Bora Bora sits out in the South Pacific like some long-lost Shangri-La. Idyll, paradise, perfection – these are the words that are used to describe the set of isles, which rise in sculpted peaks clad in jungle and drop into shimmering reefs of pristine coral and white sand. It’s hardly a wonder that the place is now considered one of the world’s top honeymoon and luxury vacation destinations. But how much does a trip to Bora Bora cost?
That’s what we’re here to answer. This guide will take a look the price of everything from hotels to food in this dazzling land of lagoons, reefs, and overwater bungalow hotels. It will reveal what you can expect to pay for an average trip and what you can expect to fork out to arrive in the first place, which is often pretty pricy given just how remote it all is.
We’ll also finish off with some hot tips on how to keep costs down while traveling to the paradise isles of French Polynesia. They include some hints on the cheapest times of year to travel and ways to bag bargain flights, food, and hotels. Let’s begin…
How much does a trip to Bora Bora cost on average?
Look – it isn’t going to be cheap! Travel cost aggregator Champion Traveler estimates that a trip to Bora Bora should be anything upwards of $5,710 per couple, per week. That might seem high, but it includes everything from flights to hotels, food to activities. Of course, those who come here seeking the peak of luxury will pay more. The truth is that Bora Bora is an upscale destination at heart, with more five-star hotels than you can shake your snorkel gear at. The upshot? It’s possible to pay over $23,000 for a single week’s holiday per couple if you want to really push the boat out.
Let’s break this down a little. First off, flights are likely to be the priciest component of your holiday. They will easily clock up to $1,700+ for a return trip in the shoulder season months but could also set you back more than double that in peak season or if you don’t book early enough. And that’s not even mentioning the 10s of thousands of dollars you’d need to go first class. Then there’s accommodation, which comes in at roughly $150-200 a night, along with activities and food, which usually totals anything from $170-400 per person, per day.
How much are flights to Bora Bora?
The flight into Bora Bora in the first place is probably going to be the most expensive part of your trip overall. In fact, the average cost of airfare over to the islands is between $1,700-$3,400. That’s assuming you’re coming in long-haul from the USA or Europe. Getting on a plane in closer destinations – New Zealand, Australia – is usually a little cheaper, but often not by that much!
There are a few reasons why flights cost so darn much. Firstly, Bora Bora is miles away from anywhere. The remoteness of it is actually part of the charm, but it does mean crossing a whopping 3,700 miles of ocean from the east coast of Oz and over 2,200 miles from the tip of New Zealand’s North Island.
Secondly, the trip is made up of two legs. You’ll need to travel into Tahiti first and then change planes to get to Bora Bora. That means buying two tickets with two or more different airlines, which can significantly increase the cost. As an example, here’s a look at the average price of both legs from New York City:
- New York City’s JFK to Tahiti with American Airlines via LAX – $1,575 return
- Fa’a’ā International Airport in Tahiti to Bora Bora Airport with Air Tahiti – $402 return
That gives a total of just under $2,000 for the whole trip. Remember, the price usually increases considerably the closer you book to the date of departure, and airfare will go up during the high season months in French Polynesia (April-October).
How much are hotels in Bora Bora?
Prepare to be wowed by the sheer quality of hotels in Bora Bora. These islands host some of the most eye-wateringly wonderful resorts of anywhere on the planet. We’re talking overwater bungalows that have decks where you can dive straight off into turquoise lagoons. We’re talking places with sweeping private beaches of perfect talcum sand.
All that comes at a cost, mind. In fact, you might just find that these islands host the priciest hotels on the globe. Thankfully, there are also a few midrange stays that can balance things out. Here’s a look at a few covering both ends of the spectrum…
- Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora ($$$) – The famous name of Four Seasons doesn’t disappoint with this luxury bungalow hotel that offers private overwater suites with infinity pools.
- Maitai Bora Bora ($$) – A three-star hotel with bungalow rooms and some luxury touches on the south side of the islands.
- Fare Manava ($) – A local homestay that’s just about as affordable as it gets, offering a stunning location on a lonely beach.
How much is food and drink in Bora Bora?
Just like everything else, eating out on these islands tends to come at a premium. It’s just that many ingredients – especially those used in international dishes – need to be imported from the US, New Zealand, Asia, or Australia, and none of those are particularly nearby. The result is that a fancy meal in a fine-dining restaurant in one of the lux hotel resorts could set you back up to $500 a head! That’s the top end, with average two-course meals with drinks coming in closer to about $50-70 a head.
When it comes to drink, buying at a local grocery store is the best option. Those tend to offer six packs of the national beers (Hinano and Tabu) for around about $20 a pop. Expect to pay up to double that for imported international labels, and about $30 a bottle for a good wine, most of which will be French on account of the colonial influence.
The cost of activities in Bora Bora
There’s nothing wrong with coming to Bora Bora and doing nothing. Like, nothing at all. Lots of people do that because these are among the world’s top R&R hotspots. However, we think it’s worth budgeting a little (something around $100-300 a day per person) for activities, mainly because there are some seriously tempting excursions on offer here. Here’s a look at a few and what you can expect to spend on them…
- A jet ski tour of the island’s amazing lagoons – $270 per person.
- Romantic lunch on the water – From $390 per person.
- A lagoon cruise and swimming with sharks – $135 per person.
- Half-day 4X4 tour of the island – $75 per person
- Catamaran sailing tour and visit to a local bar – From $1,200 per person
Tips for traveling Bora Bora on a budget
It’s not going to be easy to cut down the cost of a visit to Bora Bora. Whatever you do – travel in the low season, dodge the priciest hotels, book bargain flights – the chances are that this is still going to be one of the most expensive trips of your life. Still, it never hurts to try and save some dollar bills, so here are our top tips for doing just that…
- Go during the low season – The official wet season is the top time to visit Bora Bora if you want to save money. It starts in November and ends in March, and you should find that the cost of everything from hotels to flights takes a turn for the more affordable. Of course, you might have to deal with some downpours, and the mosquitoes can be bad.
- Skip the fanciest hotels – It’s no secret that some of the hotels in Bora Bora are up there with the most expensive on the planet. Others can do good deals, so seek out the three-star places instead of the five!
- Book your flights well in advance – Flight aggregator Momondo shows that flights from the US to Tahiti can be up to $150 cheaper if they are booked at least 29 days in advance of travel. Leave things to the last minute and you could find you pay more for the very same trip.
- Eat local – We’ve already seen how the cost of food in Bora Bora could be up to $70 per person in a midrange restaurant. You can dodge that by choosing to eat like the locals. Hit a roulotte truck to sample some Polynesian cooking, which is enticing stuff – think tuna in coconut and mahi mahi in lime.
- Book all-inclusive packages – Yes, all-inclusive hotel packages will cost you more from the outset, but they can often save money and hassle later on down the line. They often include drinks and full board, so there’s no worrying about sourcing more dollars for beers in bars or meals out.
How much does a trip to Bora Bora cost? A conclusion
How much does a trip to Bora Bora cost? Let’s just say this isn’t the cheapest place to visit on the planet. Mhmm…budget seekers should steer well clear because these paradise isles in the South Pacific are actually up there with the priciest of travel destinations. You’re looking at over $5,700 for a single week’s trip, with nearly a third of that going on flights to get in from the USA in the first place.
What’s more, that’s an average estimation. Bora Bora, and Tahiti and French Polynesia more generally, are known as some of the planet’s most upscale vacay hotspots. They draw in jet setters and monied folk with the promise of deluxe spa hotels. That means you can spend whole mortgages worth of dosh on a trip, with luxury stays usually starting at around the $25,000/week mark.