We know it: when we think of paradisiacal beaches, exotic and unique destinations, overwater bungalows, luxury and exclusivity, places like Bora Bora and the Maldives islands come to our minds.
We want to share with you our knowledge of both places, the pros and cons, and why would you choose each one since travel is very personal.
First things first, we will place both places on the map.
The Maldives Islands are a set of 1200 islands, located in the Indian Ocean, just below India. They are part of the Asian continent, and they are a country. Correct, Maldives is a country. Within this group of islands, logically there is a wide range of places to visit, different hotels, local islands, etc.
Bora Bora is an island that is part of French Polynesia, and is located in the middle of the Polynesian region, which is part of Oceania. French Polynesia has many islands, of which one is Bora Bora.
So as the first difference, we have the location: Maldives are in the Indian Ocean, closer to the continent if you want, and Bora Bora is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, being more remote (since it is thousands of km from any of the continents- makes it a bit more exclusive since its harder to get here).
Having said that, and having placed ourselves on the map, we will now move on to compare different points to see which one we would choose, taking into account each one of them!
When we talk about how to get there, it is clearly in sight that it is much simpler and cheaper to get to the Maldives than to Bora Bora … in case you live in Europe.
Flights to the Maldives are not only much cheaper, but there are also many more options since its 3h50 from Dubai International Airport. That said, keep in mind that it will always depend on what you choose within the Maldives, since as we said there are many islands all scattered in the ocean. Among the options is to go to a local island or a private island, and in the latter case, you will surely have to pay the cost of the private seaplane of the hotel. Unless you stay in one of the 5 star hotels in local island where you can arrive by boat. We recommend to explore both options if you have enough time.
As for Bora Bora, there is no such thing as easy access. You will have to fly to some of the most frequent flights, such as Los Angeles (USA), Santiago de Chile or Auckland (New Zealand), and then once in Tahiti, fly to Bora Bora.
In conclusion, we believe that accessibility is easier to reach Maldives, and less expensive, even from South America (since there are more options and possible combinations). If you are in Europe there is no doubt that you will be much easier Maldives. Bora Bora ends up being in any case much more remote.
In terms of geography, the places are practically opposite. On the one hand Maldives is the flattest country in the world, there are no elevations. Each island is completely flat, and so is the landscape in general: islands at sea level, and a turquoise that goes to infinity. The highest elevation that they will have, are the palm trees!
Bora Bora, on the other hand, is volcanic (like most of the islands of Polynesia), so the landscape is completely different. Green elevations that emerge from the water, a lot of vegetation, that’s the panorama in Polynesia.
This also means that the type of activities you can do, are different, since for example in Bora Bora you can climb Mt. Otemanu and do other types of activities that in the Maldives, of course, do not.
So regarding Geography, we would stay with Bora Bora since it has more variety of landscapes.
Both places have different cultures to the western, and very particular. Also, very different from each other.
On the one hand, Maldives is a country whose religion is Islam, which is why certain rules of modesty that we all imagine apply. In local islands, women are covered, wearing their typical clothing, and the use of bikini is only allowed on private islands, but if you travel to a luxury hotel you will have no problem with this.
On the other hand, Bora Bora and in general French Polynesia have a Polynesian culture, with a strong French influence that has to do with their colonization at some point, and the fact that even today they continue to be linked to that country as a community of overseas In Polynesia there are no regulations or specific limitations regarding clothing or behavior related to religion.
In this sense, both cultures seemed very interesting to us.
In terms of luxury, in both places you can find them, and on a large scale!
In Maldives the options are more, because there are more islands. The good thing about this point is that you simply have to choose the hotel that you like the most, it really depends on the hotel or the private island you choose, location is a must to ensure you have a great beach and a good service since you really are completely in the middle of nowhere, and that is a very nice feeling.
As for Bora Bora, as we mentioned previously, it is known to be the place with the most expensive hotel cost per night average in the world. So luxury and exclusivity is a bit higher level here.