Two exotic and stunning tropical destinations that may be on your bucket list are Bali and Bora Bora. Bali is a small Indonesian island in the Indian Ocean, and Bora Bora is a small island near Tahiti in French Polynesia.
If you’re trying to decide between Bali or Bora Bora for a honeymoon or romantic getaway, it can be a struggle since both destinations are so incredible. Here we will compare Bali vs Bora Bora to help you decide.
Bali vs. Bora Bora Quick Take
- Both tropical islands are beautiful and well worth the visit.
- Bali is significantly cheaper than Bora Bora.
- While flights to both islands are very long from the U.S., Bali is easier to get to since it has an international airport.
- Both have luxury accommodations but Bali has more affordable options.
When to Visit Bali vs Bora Bora
If you’re planning a honeymoon or romantic getaway at a particular time of the year, then the best time to visit will be a huge factor in your decision-making process.
Bora Bora has two main distinctive seasons: winter and summer.
Winter is actually the most popular time to visit Bora Bora due to pleasant temperatures and a consistently dry climate. The winter months here run from May to November. Since it can get really busy during winter, we think the best time to visit Bora Bora is during the shoulder seasons–the months on either side.
Summer in Bora Bora, however, is a little less desirable. While the temperatures can be quite hot, there is significantly more rainfall in the summer months of December to April.
If you’re interested in nature, the best time to visit Bora Bora is between June and November. Not only is the weather at this time of year fantastic, but it is also peak humpback whale season around the islands as they migrate to breed. You may get the chance to spot one while snorkeling or scuba diving.
Bali offers warm temperatures all year round. The wet season falls between December and March. It tends to have dark storm clouds and heavy rainfall, so it’s best to avoid visiting during these months if possible.
The best time to visit Bali is typically during the dry season, which falls between April and October.
Getting to Bali vs Bora Bora
Neither of these destinations are particularly accessible, and trips from the U.S. to either island are quite long. But it’s more than worth the long journey to reach either of these unique paradises.
Bali is typically quite easy to get to, despite long flight times from many destinations, as their international airport welcomes several daily flights from a number of airports across the world.
If you’re traveling to Bali from Australia, it is a relatively short flight. But if you’re coming from elsewhere, be prepared for it to take a little longer. From the UK, your journey will take around 17 hours or more. If you’re departing from anywhere in North America, you could be traveling for more than 24 hours.
Bora Bora is more difficult to get to, as this island is located in a remote area of the Pacific Ocean and does not have its own international airport.
In order to reach this island, visitors must fly to Faa’a International Airport in Tahiti, then catch a connecting flight to the small airport in Bora Bora. Traveling here will take more than 15 hours if you’re coming from Australia, more than 30 hours if you’re departing from the UK, and upwards of 25 hours if coming from North America.
Can You Go Island Hopping in Bali and Bora Bora?
You may be interested in going island hopping, or taking a multi-destination trip, on your visit to Bali or Bora Bora. If you’re trying to choose between these two destinations, you may also be wondering if it’s possible to visit both during the same trip.
Sadly, the short answer is no.
Located more than 6,000 miles from each other, the travel time from Bali to Bora Bora would take over 24 hours. So if you truly want to visit both of these islands, you will need to split them into different vacations.
Instead, if island hopping or multi-destination travel is your thing, you may want to consider some great options closer to your desired destination. You can go island hopping in both Bali and Bora Bora.
If you’re traveling to Bali, there are special island hopping packages you can book, and it is quite easy to get to the various other destinations by boat. Be sure to check out some gorgeous spots such as the Gili Islands, Lembongan, or Lombok.
If it’s Bora Bora you’re headed to, there are plenty of amazing islands to be explored around Tahiti and within French Polynesia. Island hopping is a common trip type in this region.
Accommodation in Bali vs. Bora Bora
When it comes to which destination is best in terms of accommodation, it depends on what sort of trip you’re taking.
If you’re headed on a honeymoon or special occasion getaway, then Bora Bora may be the perfect choice, as there’s a wide selection of luxurious resorts to choose from. There’s no shortage of these in Bali either, but it is a destination that typically attracts a more diverse range of travelers and therefore offers a more diverse range of accommodation types, from luxury to budget.
At Bora Bora’s luxury resorts, costs can range anywhere from $250 to $1600 per night. With spectacular choices including all-inclusive resorts and dreamy overwater bungalows, Bora Bora is perfect for romantic getaways where you can lie back and relax in five-star lodgings.
In contrast, Bali typically caters to a much wider range of guests, offering budget-friendly hostels, affordable hotels, luxury resorts, and even fully serviced villas. There’s a great range of different properties to choose from no matter your budget across all areas of this fabulous island, including popular destinations such as Ubud, Canggu, and all the seaside towns located on the southern tip of the island.
If you’re looking to relax in a truly luxurious resort similar to the ones in Bora Bora, you may want to opt for one of the name-brand resorts, which provide the same quality and level of service at half the price.
Transportation in Bali vs. Bora Bora
Transportation in Bali is typically quite efficient. There is a range of affordable ways of getting around the island, including a public bus network, taxis, and rental cars.
Aside from these, one of the most popular ways tourists like to get around the island is by renting a scooter. It’s almost become a staple on any trip to Bali. However, due to busy roads and unpredictable traffic, this can be quite dangerous, and instead should be left to the locals.
It’s best to take a taxi, or a public bus if possible.
Bora Bora is much smaller than Bali so transportation is not as necessary. In fact, most landmarks and hiking trails are so easily accessible from tourist centers by foot that the island only features one road. This loops the coastline and takes around 45 minutes to drive.
If you aren’t sure how to get somewhere, however, transportation can be arranged by speaking with your hotel concierge.
Things to Do in Bali vs. Bora Bora
No matter what kind of getaway you’re looking for, you’ll be pleased to know that both Bali and Bora Bora have plenty of attractions on offer, although Bali has more things to do.
Things to Do in Bali
In fact, Bali has so many things to do that it’s almost impossible to see everything the island has to offer in just one trip. There are tons of places to explore including beautiful seaside towns, peaceful beaches, lovely waterfalls, jaw-dropping temples, and amazing rice terraces. And if you’re interested in adventure sports, history and culture, shopping, or dining, there’s plenty of that as well.
One highly recommended activity in Bali is hiking to the top of Mount Batur to take in the stunning sunrise. While it’s an early morning start, it provides you with incredible views of Bali’s mountains and across Lake Batur. If you’re especially active and want to escape the crowds, you may want to consider hiking to the top of Mount Agung instead.
Want to explore the area a little more? Perhaps take a day trip to one of the nearby islands, Nusa Penida, or head out into the magnificent Tegalalang Rice Terraces, one of the most famous sights in all of Bali. You can also opt for a trek to discover some of the island’s most beautiful waterfalls, including Tukad Cepung, Aling Aling Waterfall, Sekumpul Waterfall, and Kanto Lampo.
If you’re looking for something a little more active and thrilling, why not take a surf lesson? Head over to Canggu, Uluwatu, or Seminyak to discover some of the most stunning surfing spots the island has to offer. There’s a great range of surf schools offering both private and group lessons.
Things to Do in Bora Bora
While Bora Bora typically has fewer attractions to visit than Bali, the resorts here are so jam-packed with activities that you could spend your entire vacation in one and still not get bored!
That said, if you’re looking to get out and about and do a bit more exploration, there’s still a wide range of sights to see and things to do in Bora Bora.
Many visitors enjoy getting in the water when visiting Bora Bora, and for good reason too! Whether you’re interested in taking a snorkeling tour to discover the beautiful marine life in the area (such as vibrant coral, black-tip reef sharks, large manta rays, and colorful tropical fish) or simply want to go swimming with humpback whales, there’s something for everyone to discover just off the island’s coastlines.
If you’re more interested in spending your time on land, there are plenty of activities you can enjoy. Many active visitors choose to hike the majestic Mt. Otemanu, which features fantastic views of the island and its surroundings, or rent a bicycle to explore the island.
For those looking for a more relaxed and laid-back activity, you’re in luck! Hop aboard a luxury catamaran cruise where you can enjoy refreshments, a private captain, champagne, and music to truly make your getaway to Bora Bora one to remember.
The Food in Bali vs Bora Bora
As the islands are situated in different parts of the world, you can expect to find very different cuisine at each. Bali features delicious Southeast Asian delicacies, while Bora Bora offers a unique blend of Polynesian and European fare.
Many visitors to Bali comment on how delicious the food is, with dishes centered on staples such as grilled meats, rice, noodles, and fresh vegetables. Some of the most popular dishes to try while you’re here include Babi Guling (roasted pig), Mie Goreng (meat skewers), and their national dish, Nasi Goreng (a delicious mix of fried egg, vegetable fried rice, local spices, and prawns).
The food in Bali isn’t too spicy, as many dishes are made not only with a variety of local spices but also coconut milk. The island also offers a great range of lovely cafes, vegan-friendly restaurants, and Western and fusion dining. Eating out in Bali isn’t expensive either, as in some places you can get an entire meal for just $2-$3.
Bora Bora on the other hand boasts a distinctive and unique blend of traditional Polynesian cooking and European cuisine. Be sure to try the island’s signature dish, Poisson Cru (marinated tuna, lime, and coconut), as well as many of the other popular seafood options, such as Mahi-Mahi.
If you’re not a huge seafood fan, worry not! There’s plenty of other choices here such as rotisserie pork, as well as French-inspired foods like sandwiches, pastries, and pasta. Most resorts also offer a huge range of dining options, so you’ll have lots of options.
Which Is More Expensive? Bali vs. Bora Bora
Is Bora Bora cheaper than Bali? Or is Bali cheaper than Bora Bora? Without a doubt, Bora Bora is much more expensive than Bali.
While Bali caters to a wide range of travelers and offers quite a few budget-friendly options, Bora Bora is all about luxury travel. If you’re looking for a honeymoon or getaway on a budget, then Bali may be the better choice, as even the most luxurious of resorts here come at half the cost of the ones in Bora Bora.
Now that you’ve read all about Bali vs Bora Bora, which is your choice? Let us know in the comments!
If you’re still not sure or would like help planning your trip, you can get in touch with one of our expert travel advisors on our travel planning page.
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Emily is a Freelance travel writer from the UK who believes that the discovery of culture, history, foods, and modern life is the most exciting part of travel. She loves finding great deals and experiencing great travel on a budget.
Emily graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in the United Kingdom, with a degree in Asia Pacific Studies.