Bora Bora and Moorea are both luscious, tropical islands located in the Society Islands, part of the greater South Pacific Islands. The beautiful island of Bora Bora gets all the attention – it’s considered one of the most epic honeymoon destinations on the planet and you’ll often see the rich and famous visiting and staying in over-the-top, luxurious overwater bungalows. But, don’t discredit the lesser known tropical paradise of Moorea, only a short 45-minute flight away from Bora Bora. Moorea also has incredible resorts with overwater bungalows that would make anyone looking for a relaxing, tropical vacation jump for joy. So, what’s the difference? Should you visit Bora Bora or Moorea? Keep reading to see the ultimate showdown of Bora Bora vs. Moorea to see which island paradise is right for you!
What is the Best Time to Visit Bora Bora or Moorea?
The answer to this question doesn’t really make a difference between islands. Let’s face it, they’re within a 45-minute flight distance from each other. But, I think it’s something that’s important to remember when planning a visit to either island.
The high season in French Polynesia and therefore both Bora Bora and Moorea is from May to October. During this time frame, the weather is marginally cooler (we’re talking the difference between 82-86°F) and the rains are isolated and far less common.
The shoulder season in Bora Bora and Moorea fall in November and April. I personally love visiting destinations during the shoulder season because overall, the weather still tends to be pretty good and the prices tend to drop dramatically and you can usually find a great deal.
That means the low season, otherwise known as the rainy season, in Bora Bora and Moorea is from December-March. The weather is muggy and at its highest temperatures, and with the mugginess and high temperatures come lots of rain. December and January traditionally have the most rain, so if you can at all help it, try to plan your trip to Moorea or Bora Bora outside of these months.
Bora Bora vs. Moorea: The Cost
One of the big things to consider when deciding Bora Bora vs. Moorea is the cost. To put it lightly, Bora Bora is expensive. There are great places to stay and things you can do to reduce the cost, but it’s still quite an expensive destination.
The best resorts in Moorea are also quite pricey, but not as bad as Bora Bora. The cost to stay in Moorea is about 2/3 of the cost of Bora Bora. On average, an overwater in Bora Bora during the high season will cost you around $1200-1300/night, whereas the same overwater bungalow in Moorea will cost you around $800-900/night.
That being said, there are many more options in Moorea when it comes to cost. If you want to stay at one of the nice resorts in Moorea, there are several different types of accommodations, such as garden and beach bungalows that come with a significantly lower price than overwater bungalows. In Bora Bora, there may be a garden bungalow or beach bungalow option, but the majority of options tend to be overwater bungalows which come with a higher price tag.
In addition, Moorea has many more affordable types of accommodation, such as Airbnbs and guest houses. Overall, Moorea definitely wins when it comes to the affordability factor in the battle of Bora Bora vs. Moorea.
Resort Options in Bora Bora & Moorea
A big difference between Bora Bora and Moorea are the resort options. Overwhelmingly, Bora Bora has more resorts to choose from, ranging in quality. In Moorea, there are only 2 or 3 big resort options, and the rest of the accommodation options are Airbnbs and guest houses.
Moorea has a few really incredible resorts that are highly rated and recommended. All three of the resorts listed below have overwater bungalows available to book. Each of the resorts is located in a different area of the island, offering their own unique panoramic views surrounded by palm trees.
- Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea Beach Resort
- Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa
- Manava Beach Resort & Spa Moorea
While Moorea does have some incredible resort options, Bora Bora definitely wins when it comes to the best hotel choices. There are overwhelmingly more 4- and 5-star resort options on Bora Bora. Some are on the main land, but most are on the motus that make up the outer part of Bora Bora, which gives them an extra ounce of paradise.
- Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
- InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
- The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort
- Conrad Bora Bora Nui
- InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort
- Le Bora Bora by Pearl Resorts
Bora Bora definitely wins in the battle of Bora Bora vs. Moorea for the best place to find the nicest hotels and resorts.
Bora Bora vs. Moorea: How to Get There
Another big factor in the battle of Bora Bora vs. Moorea is how exactly you get to the island. For some people, this may not be a big factor, but for others it could be an absolutely non-negotiable. Both islands require you to first fly on an international flight to the biggest island in French Polynesia, Tahiti. Make sure to book your international flights to Tahiti’s Faa’a International Airport (airport code: PPT). Most flights from the USA to Tahiti filter through direct flights from Los Angeles or San Francisco on airlines such as Air Tahiti Nui, Air France, and United Airlines.
From Tahiti, there is only one way to get to Bora Bora – a flight to the Bora Bora airport. The flight is only about 45 minutes long, unless you have a stop along the way to let passengers on or off. While the flight is quick, the planes are smaller prop planes which makes some people who are nervous fliers very uncomfortable. Once you land at the airport in Bora Bora, your hotel will meet you there and you’ll take a boat ride from the airport to your hotel.
Moorea is much easier to get to from Tahiti and you have more than one option. You can opt to fly from Tahiti to Moorea. It’s only a 10-minute long flight, so it’s super quick. But, it seems like a waste because the alternative option is the ferry. The ferry only costs about $12 per person and is about 30-45 minutes. For Moorea, the option to choose to fly or take the ferry makes it superior to Bora Bora, where your only option is to fly.
Bora Bora vs. Moorea: Which Island Has Better Activities?
The showdown of Bora Bora vs. Moorea in regards to activities isn’t really a showdown at all. The honest truth between these islands is they both have incredible activities and it really depends on what you personally prefer. Aside from non-motorized water sports, the activities on either island are typically an extra cost, so make sure to budget for that.
Bora Bora’s best things to do really focus a lot on the water, which isn’t surprising, given the island’s overwhelming natural beauty. The blue lagoons in Bora Bora are known around the world as some of the most stunning turquoise waters. On the contrary, Moorea is more known for the island itself. When visiting Moorea, you absolutely should rent a car one day from Avis and just drive around and explore. In addition, Moorea offers things like hiking and ATV tours or 4×4 tours.
The snorkeling and scuba diving in Bora Bora is absolutely breathtaking, which makes sense considering the island is surrounding by a coral reef. Most of the activities you’ll participate in on the island of Bora Bora are water based and occur on the island’s beautiful lagoon, such as jet skiing, boating, snorkeling, and scuba diving. That being said, Moorea Island is known for its humpback whale season. Between the months of July and early November, you can swim with humpback whales.
While Bora Bora overall has better coral reefs, if you do visit Moorea, I definitely recommend staying at the Sofitel if you’re a fan of snorkeling. The house reef at this resort is absolutely to die for and honestly blew me away.
Is Moorea or Bora Bora Better for a Honeymoon?
The winner of Bora Bora vs. Moorea for the question of which is better for a honeymoon is kind of a subjective question. However, when I think of honeymoons, I instantly think of Bora Bora.
Bora Bora is a great place for a honeymoon – it’s the honeymoon destination. People save up for years to go on a honeymoon to Bora Bora – it just has that romantic mystique that’s unexplainable, but you instantly understand when you visit for the first time.
On the flip side, some people prefer doing things like hiking and ATV tours and renting a car and going out and exploring. If you want to make that argument, Moorea has a more well-rounded offering, which to some might make it the better honeymoon destination.
In my humble opinion, the absolute best honeymoon would be well spent on both islands, beginning in Moorea and ending in Bora Bora.
Bora Bora vs. Moorea: Which Island Paradise is the Winner?
After reading this article, you’ll understand why both islands end up victorious in this battle of Bora Bora vs. Moorea. Honestly, both of them are great and you really can’t go wrong and either island will be the best choice for you depending on your preferred travel style.
Both offer slightly different, but always quite similar experiences. Both are overwhelmingly worth a visit. If you can swing it, I highly recommend trying to squeeze both into one trip. I would recommend putting Moorea ahead of Bora Bora just because I find Bora Bora to be more relaxing and prefer to end my travels on a relaxing note, but the truth is, you can’t go wrong.