Bora Bora vs Maldives.

It's time to redefine your travel bucket list.
Even though we have only been to Maldives twice and Bora Bora once I believe we have a good understanding how both places are. We have stayed at 3 different islands/hotels in Maldives as well as spending time on Male as well as 3 hotels in French Polynesia which also include the main island of Tahiti to give you an honest comparison to hopefully help you decide which one is the best fit for you.

While both destinations are literally in every person's bucket list due to turquoise waters and overwater bungalows there is one main very obvious difference - the distance and flight time from your location. The further the  destinations the much more complicated adventure it may be: multiple layovers in different countries, long flight time that adds up to quite a few days just of traveling etc. But should your perfect getaway be determined due to distance? Absolutely not. The most beautiful places are almost always the ones that are hardest to get to. 

L O W    S E A S O N: 

We have visited Maldives both times during their low season as well as Bora Bora and we were shocked how different both places are. While Bora Bora may get some rain here and there it'll only last a few minutes and clear up immediately. Maldives however is a completely different story, their low season truly does mean that. If you happen to go there during monsoon season you may not see any sunshine at all, when it rains it pours with no promises of clearing up. We have gone there in November and December and those were great months as it was towards the end of the low season so prices were still somewhat affordable for flights etc.

If you want to get your money worth I highly suggest going to Bora Bora during their low season and Maldives ONLY during the good season.

Maldives low season: April - November. Best time to go end of November - beginning of April. 

Bora Bora low season: December - March. Best time to go is whenever you can find the best deals, November and end of March would be best. If you check the weather and it says it'll rain, don't get scared as it always says that, their weather system isn't accurate as islands are all small and clouds move fast. 

C O S T:

While neither one of the destinations are budget friendly you will find more all inclusive resorts in Maldives. There is also a large variety for anything and everything between budget friendly to high end luxury meeting everyone's needs. However, Bora Bora offers less resorts as it's not as spread out as islands in Maldives, you can easily find a hotel to stay at under $700 a night food included in Maldives while in Bora Bora you will be spending at least $800 a night for a basic room plus food averaging to $100 per person / day. 

*If you're looking for budget friendly hotels in Maldives, I highly suggest checking out Dhigali and Velassaru! They price match and always have the best deals. 

E X P E R I E N C E:

If you're not familiar with Maldives layout, you fly into Male which is their main island where all the planes land. You immediately have to have the next transport ready to go to your hotel island whether it's with a boat or a seaplane. We made a mistake by not researching the Male island and thought it may be interesting to stay there a day after we landed. It is in no way tourist friendly destination, if for any reason you happen to have to leave the airport please respect the fact that it is Muslim country, there will be no alcohol and you are expected to cover up as well as not swim in their beach unless you are covered up. I had an experience with army officials there and was escorted out of the water, once again my own fault for not researching. 

With that being said Maldives does not offer such experience as exploring a different island, you will only be able to do things that your island where resort is located offers. Please keep in mind all the hotels are very small and each hotel has their own island, you cannot really island hop, go hiking etc. You will most likely be able to walk around your little island within 5-10 mins max. Activities will include your usual snorkeling, kayaking etc. but that's about it.

Bora Bora on the other hand does have a Tahiti island where you land before you go to your final destination. Tahiti is a great island as a stopover as well! We spend 2 days there exploring their local markets, driving around island, eating local food, meeting locals, shopping, seeing their black sand beaches and other landmarks the island is known for. 

If you're wanting to see more and do more Bora Bora wins the category for "experiences".

T H I S vs T H A T:

Almost every resort in Maldives is extremely modern, everything is newly updated while Bora Bora hotels may be updated but they are not as modern and are known for using lots of bamboo, palm leaves wood etc.  

If you're traveling to Bora Bora expect to see lots of Americans and if you're headed to Maldives you will most likely be the minority (if you're American) as everyone there is from different countries which makes it fun meeting people when traveling! 

Bora Bora is a kid friendly place while Maldives seems to attract more couples with no children. 

When traveling to Maldives once you land in Male you will take a seaplane or a boat to your resort making a trip less complicated. In Bora Bora once you land in Tahiti you may have to go to 1-2 other small airports and still take a short boat ride to get to your final destination. For example to get to Le Bora Bora hotel we had to fly to Bora Bora island and then take a boat, from there to get to Le Taha'a hotel we had to take the boat, another plane and another boat to get to the hotel which makes getting around French Polynesia harder than in Maldives. 

In my opinion Maldives is a sort of destination that you must absolutely go to at least once in your lifetime for something special as anniversary, honeymoon etc. while Bora Bora is a destination that you may visit more times as it offers more options on activities and is more kid friendly targeting a larger variety of customers worldwide. It all comes down to what it is you're looking for and what place in your life you're at.

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