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Is Bora Bora Boring? An Honest Guide On If Bora Bora Is Overrated

One thing I was a little worried about when planning my Bora Bora trip was that it might be a bit boring.

There’s only so much sitting around on a beach I can do before I crave adventure!

Now that I’ve visited for myself, I’d love to share with you how I found it and if I felt there was enough to keep me busy!

Is Bora Bora Boring?

Chances are, if you’re reading this post, then you’ve heard that Bora Bora is boring.

Some people say that there isn’t much to do other than lounging around on the beach or on the deck of your overwater bungalow. 

It’s even earned the nickname ‘Boring Boring’ by some visitors.

It’s true that this secluded paradise island doesn’t have a million and one different things to do and most activities revolve around that stunning, turquoise lagoon.

However, based on my own experience, Bora Bora isn’t boring. There’s actually tons of different things to do and that’s speaking as someone who is a definite ‘do-er’ on vacations.

My usual vacations are jam-packed city breaks filled with sightseeing but I definitely don’t think that Bora Bora is boring.

As well as relaxing on the beach, I went snorkeling with sharks, I hiked the famous Mt Otemanu, I explored an ancient temple and I jumped off the deck of my overwater bungalow into the lagoon.

There’s actually way more to Bora Bora than most people realize!

You’ll also find that the majority of people that have visited don’t think that Bora Bora is boring either.

I asked everyone that I knew who had visited and pretty much all of them said it was the best vacation they’ve ever been on and it was far from boring.

This place really is the ultimate tropical paradise. It’s almost impossible to get bored of these views.

Bora Bora lagoon

The water is the clearest and bluest that you’ll ever see and it’s filled with an abundance of tropical fish, rays and small reef sharks. 

You’ll also be greeted by towering mountain views at every corner, luscious blue skies and did I even mention the overwater bungalows?

Personally, I’d be more than happy to lounge around in an overwater bungalow for a week! Bora Bora is the best place to just sit back and relax but there’s also adventure to be found.

You can go snorkeling, diving, parasailing and swimming. There are also hiking trails, 4×4 tours and sunset cruises around the lagoon to keep you busy.

Many of the fancy resorts also put on events during the day like flower crown making classes, basket weaving classes and cooking classes which are super fun and give an insight into the local Tahitian culture.

The flower crown making class was one of my personal highlights! I love taking part in more authentic activities that allow me to get to know the local culture.

Overall I’d say that Bora Bora is beautiful, peaceful and romantic. If you enjoy stunning views and a laid-back atmosphere then you’ll have no complaints about Bora Bora.

To decide for yourself, check out my 5-day Bora Bora itinerary. I tell you exactly how I think you should spend 5 days in Bora Bora.

Who Is Bora Bora Boring For?

  • Anyone who loves exploring big cities (Bora Bora is small and only has one small town).
  • Children may not have enough to do.
  • Anyone who dislikes water/swimming.
  • Anyone who wants to party into the early hours.
  • Solo travelers (Bora Bora is romantic and tailored towards couples)

Who Is Bora Bora Perfect For?

  • Anyone on a honeymoon.
  • Anyone celebrating a milestone birthday or anniversary.
  • Anyone looking for a relaxing beach vacation.
  • Couples in general!
  • Anyone who loves tropical islands getaways.
  • Anyone that loves swimming, snorkeling and water-based activities.

Here’s what you can expect from a vacation in Bora Bora:

There are definitely some downsides to Bora Bora and some things that are certainly missing.

For example, I found that shopping is pretty limited in Bora Bora. I found some local markets and bought a Tahitian pearl necklace to take home with me as a souvenir but that’s about it.

You’ll find no large stores or fancy shopping malls here.

Additionally, Bora Bora has very limited nightlife. If you’re looking to party until the early hours then you’re probably not going to like Bora Bora.

I did write an entire guide on things to do at night in Bora Bora for some ideas on how you can spend your evenings.

Despite there being limited nightlife, you can definitely easily grab a drink or two and a snack after dark. Most bars/restaurants close at around 11 PM in Bora Bora.

Bora Bora’s main island is also pretty small at just 8km (5 miles) tall and 5km (3 miles) wide. 

You can easily explore the whole islands in just an hour or two. 

Additionally there’s not a lot of sightseeing opportunities on the main island. 

All you’ll find there is the small village of Vaitape, the huge Mount Otemanu and Matira Beach which is often ranked as one of the most beautiful beaches in the whole world.

Although there’s not a lot of sightseeing, that doesn’t mean that Bora Bora is boring…

Things to Do in Bora Bora

overwater bungalows

The majority of activities in Bora Bora are water-based and revolve around the turquoise lagoon with the towering green volcano, Mt Otemanu, sitting in the middle. 

It’s so captivating! I was genuinely blown away when I first saw it in real life – I promise that it looks even better in person.

Top Activities in Bora Bora:

  • Snorkeling in the lagoon (there’s a lot of marine life)
  • Swimming with sharks
  • Boat tour around the lagoon
  • Relaxing on the beach (or on the deck of your overwater bungalow)
  • Head to the spa for a massage
  • Stay in an overwater bungalow
  • Hike Mount Otemanu or Mount Pahia

My absolute favorite thing to do in Bora Bora was to just jump into the lagoon for a swim with some fish, rays and even reef sharks (don’t worry, the sharks are friendly). 

I did this pretty much every day and honestly never got tired of it.

You can even explore some vibrant coral reefs. At Conrad Bora Bora Nui, they have coral growing around the overwater bungalows themselves.

If you’ve booked an overwater bungalow, then jump into the lagoon straight from your deck!

💡Tip: Bring an inflatable pool float with you to lounge in the lagoon just outside your villa. You can also bring a bit of rope to tie your float to your overwater bungalow so that you can relax without floating away. Genius right!?

Check out my ultimate Bora Bora snorkeling guide for the exact spots and locations where you’ll find the most marine life.

I did find that Bora Bora was largely tailored towards couples, especially those on a honeymoon. It’s super romantic and you’ll find that the peace and quiet is just what you need.

Try out a relaxing couples massage or take a romantic stroll on the beach. Most resorts have an on-site spa which makes relaxation easy.

Related Post: Massage Prices in Bora Bora

Being completely honest, there isn’t much for kids to do in Bora Bora so I do think that families with children will likely prefer other vacation destinations.

There’s only so much snorkeling and swimming that kids can do before they get bored.

Having said that, I did see some kids at the resorts I stayed at (St Regis & the Four Seasons) and they definitely didn’t look bored.

The Four Seasons even had a kids club to keep them entertained.

Interested in how Bora Bora compares to other popular locations? I compared Bora Bora vs Hawaii and Bora Bora vs the Bahamas too!

Is Bora Bora Overrated?

overwater bungalow

This question is hard to answer because it really depends on each person.

For me, I did’t think that Bora Bora was overrated as it’s genuinely even more beautiful in person – photos really don’t do it justice.

I personally love tropical islands and I think that Bora Bora is the absolute best tropical island out there (I’ve been all over the Caribbean, Fiji, Hawaii etc and nothing comes close to Bora Bora in terms of beauty).

It literally has some of the clearest and bluest waters on the planet, tons of fantastic snorkeling opportunities and luxurious overwater villas.

Of course, it’s no lie that Bora Bora is really expensive. In fact, you’ll likely have to spend a small fortune to visit.

It was my most expensive vacation to date and I don’t plan on spending that much again for a very long time.

On average, a week-long vacation for two people in Bora Bora will cost around $11,000. For more information on this, check out my full cost breakdown of a vacation in Bora Bora.

That’s a lot of money.

But there’s a reason that people spend this much…

1. Secluded Location

Firstly, Bora Bora is in an extremely secluded location. It’s literally smack-bang in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean.

Bora Bora, which is part of French Polynesia, sits 2,600 miles south of Hawaii, 7,790 miles west of Chile and 8,800 miles east of Australia.

Bora Bora is about as remote as it gets and you pay a lot for this.

Not only do you have to pay for the airfare of getting to such a secluded location but also for the luxury of being able to visit a place in the middle of nowhere.

I mean, imagine how much it costs to import food & other essentials to the island!

2. Extreme Luxury

Next, Bora Bora is known for extreme luxury and for having some of the best overwater bungalows on the planet.

In fact, overwater bungalows were invented in French Polynesia!

💡Fact: The first hotel ever to feature overwater bungalows was on the nearby island of Moorea and opened in the 1960s.

At some resorts, including the St Regis Bora Bora and the Four Seasons Bora Bora where I stayed, you even get your own dedicated butler.

Yep, that’s a whole person dedicated to just you and your partner. 

They can help with pretty much anything you want from restaurant reservations, spa appointments, recommendations, activity bookings and more.

They even unpacked and repacked my suitcase for me! I’d rate their organization skills 10/10.

3. Exclusivity 

If one thing’s for sure, you pay for exclusivity and Bora Bora sure is exclusive.

It’s so exclusive in fact that only between 100,000 and 150,000 people visit each year.

To put that into perspective, Hawaii gets the same number of visitors in one weekend as Bora Bora gets in an entire year.

Bora Bora is also a favorite spot for celebrities.

For example, Jennifer Aniston spent her honeymoon here in 2015 with Justin Theroux, staying at the Four Seasons Resort.

The Kardashians also visited in 2011, staying at the Conrad Bora Bora Nui with it even featuring on their reality show.

4. Once In A Lifetime

For the majority of people visiting Bora Bora, this will be their only visit.

Over half of the people who visit Bora Bora are actually on their honeymoon. Most other people visit to celebrate an occasion like a wedding anniversary or milestone birthday.

It can take years to save up the money to visit so it really is a once in a lifetime opportunity and for this reason most people are happy to spend a little more than they normally would on a vacation.

If you want to make your honeymoon or anniversary super special then what better place to do it than in Bora Bora?

Is Bora Bora Really Worth It?

Again, the answer to this question varies depending on the person.

Some people, for sure, wouldn’t spend $1,000+ per night to stay in an overwater bungalow but some people would.

For me, I think Bora Bora is definitely worth it if you’re planning a super special vacation like a honeymoon or important wedding anniversary.

Bora Bora is one of the most romantic places on the planet and is a great place to really connect with your partner and relax.

If you’re traveling with children then it may not be worth it. I personally don’t think that there’s that much for kids to do in Bora Bora.

I also think it’s worth mentioning that if your budget is tight then it’s probably not worth visiting.

Most of the really impressive stuff in Bora Bora costs a lot of money.

You can definitely get by in Bora Bora on a budget. For example, you can stay in a local guesthouse to save on hotel costs and you can dine at local street food trucks to avoid expensive restaurants.

I personally don’t think it’s worth coming all this way if you’re not going to enjoy the best of what Bora Bora has to offer like overwater bungalows, top restaurants and fun activities.

Again, this is completely up to you and will vary person to person.

And that’s it!

Thanks for reading this post on if Bora Bora is boring and if it is overrated. 

Hopefully now you have some clarity on if Bora Bora is the right vacation destination for you.

For me, I honestly don’t know how anyone can say that Bora Bora is boring when there’s just immense beauty and wildlife surrounding you at all times. It’s a paradise!

Need help planning a Bora Bora vacation?

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Megan Jones is a travel expert and founder of Traveller's Elixir, who has been travelling the world full time since 2021. Megan's travel tips been featured in numerous media outlets including Metro, Timeout, Thrillist and more.

Learn more about the Traveller's Elixir Team.

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