About Bora Bora
Bora Bora is a tropical island group located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and forms part of French Polynesia. This stunning marvel is world famous for its beautiful reef system which surrounds the island. Because of that, it is a major tourist attraction and brings in hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.
Because of its tourism and gorgeous landscape, Bora Bora is filled with ultra-luxury resorts which are reef and beach focused. The island is truly a spectacle and needs to be seen by everyone at least once in their lives. But getting to the island is not easy. Also, it is very pricey to get to the island due to its extremely remote location. However, the island has always peaked my interest due to its unrivalled beauty. If you do have the chance to visit it should not be turned down.
The first step to getting to Bora Bora is to get to the island of Tahiti in French Polynesia. No international flights go directly to the island. Once you arrive at Tahiti Airport you can transfer to another domestic flight that goes over to the island paradise. You will need to collect your luggage and recheck in. Once over on Bora Bora a public boat can be taken to the main island or a boat shuttle is provided for some resorts.
Getting to Tahiti
From North America
One of the easiest continents to get to Bora Bora logistically. Los Angeles, Honolulu and San Francisco are the gateway airports to getting into French Polynesia.
Two airlines fly to Tahiti from Los Angeles (LAX). Take a flight from your origin city into LAX and board a flight to Tahiti either with Air France or Air Tahiti Nui. Both airlines take 8 hours to reach Tahiti from LAX so come prepared for a lot of travel to get to this tropical paradise.
Direct flights fly most days; however prices vary wildly. Check the travel and airline websites to ensure you are getting the best possible price.
Less regular flights from Honolulu travel to Tahiti on Hawaiian Airlines. If you are in Hawaii and want to continue your trip onto Bora Bora this is a great option. The flight from Honolulu is just under 6 hours.
However, the airline only makes one return trip a week, each Saturday. For this reason, unless you are in Hawaii it does not make logistical or financial sense to take this flight. The prices for the flight are more stable than the Los Angeles flight, however there are much cheaper days going out of LAX for the months I looked at researching this article.
Search flights on Hawaiian Airlines here.
Getting to Bora Bora from San Francisco is possible on two airliners. United and French Bee operate regular flights to Tahiti. Both airlines do a few return trips per week, depending on the week. So, getting to the island is simple enough from San Francisco.
Like Los Angeles, prices vary wildly depending on the day and month you are travelling, so ensure to do your research to get best prices. The trip from San Francisco to Tahiti is between 8 and 9 hours.
The Oceania region is another logistically simple continent to access Bora Bora. Two airports connect the Oceania region to Tahiti to get you snorkelling with turtles in crystal clear water.
To get over to Tahiti, you will need to take a flight from wherever you are into Auckland. Once you have arrived in the New Zealand capital, two airlines service French Polynesia, Air New Zealand and Air Tahiti Nui.
Both airlines fly most days of the week and prices will depend on the day and season you are travelling. The flights from Auckland to Tahiti vary between 5 and 6 hours depending on which was you are going.
The New Caledonian capital city Noumea also offers flights to the island. Being another French territory, the archipelago has close ties to French Polynesia. Aircalin offers a once weekly service, flying there and back usually each Saturday, however there was some variance on the day on the months I looked at. Sometimes the flight was switched to Friday or Sunday. Ensure you check your schedule to book the best times.
The flights from Noumea are only logical and financially viable if you are in New Caledonia or it’s direct region. Otherwise, it is much cheaper with more regular flights to fly to Tahiti from Auckland.
Search flights on Aircalin here.
Europe and the Pacific Ocean don’t really go hand in hand together for flights. Being literally on the other side of the world from each other, there are no direct flights. However, being an overseas country of France, French Polynesia has close ties to the country. Because of this, two airlines offer flights from Paris to Tahiti with a stop in North America.
Both Paris Charles de Gaulle and Paris Orly have flights to Tahiti Airport, with stops in Los Angeles and San Francisco. This is the quickest way to get to Bora Bora from Europe. However, it is still a full day’s travel to get there. So, I hope you brought your neck pillow!
From Paris Charles de Gaulle, Air Tahiti Nui has a regular service with a stop at Los Angeles. Prices are highly varied depending on the day from what I saw in my research. This is a 22-hour flight total, including stopover so ensure you are prepared for an extremely long trip.
Paris Orly has flights to Tahiti through San Francisco on the budget carrier French Bee. Flights are a few times a week and were cheap during the week from what I saw on my search through the site. Like the CDG flight, this is close to a whole day of travel. So, it is very important to be prepared and ready for long haul flights.
There is only one city connects Asia to Bora Bora through Tahiti. However, in 2017 the first chartered flights from China arrived at the airport. With the number of Chinese tourists looking for new places to go, a regular service could very well be on the horizon soon.
Tokyo Narita has one airline that does regular flights to and from the island. Air Tahiti Nui do 2 return trips per week, leaving Tokyo every Monday and Saturday and returning every Friday and Sunday. Prices were similar for the days that I checked. Even with Japan being in the Pacific Ocean it is still a long-haul flight at nearly 11 hours there and 12 back. Kind of puts into perspective the size of the ocean.
Search flights on Air Tahiti Nui here.
From South America
South Americans can also get there through one airline. LATAM Airlines, a Chilean owned airline and operates flights to the Pacific island. However, the flights stop over at the famous Easter Island or Los Angeles.
LATAM Airlines offers flights out of Santiago and into Tahiti, stopping at Easter Island or Los Angeles. Be warned, there can be long stopovers between flights on certain days. However, if you can get a flight that goes via Easter Island, this is a perfect opportunity to go and see the amazing Moai stone statues during your stop over. A lot of flights that I saw had an 11 hours stopover so this is doable.
During my research I found a range of flight times to Tahiti from Santiago ranging from 11 hours to 28 hours. Access can be had from Santiago daily through Los Angeles if you are not flexible.
Search flights on LATAM Airlines here.
Unfortunately, no flights from Africa go to Tahiti. If you are looking to access the island, you will need to go via one of the continents mentioned above. This could prove very expensive and be an extremely long flight. Weigh up your options and decide on whether Bora Bora is the right place to travel for you.
I did some research on flights from major African cities and found that flight times were over 40 hours in most cases. This included many stops, usually connecting through Doha into Auckland and onto Tahiti. A lot of these flights were over $4000 AUD (very expensive) total!
Try swimming! No flights from Antarctica also sorry!
Getting to Bora Bora from Tahiti
The hard work is almost done once you are in Tahiti. You can almost see the beautiful scenery and taste the cocktails. One more flight is needed to your destination.
A quick 50-minute flight from Tahiti to Bora Bora and you are there. Air Tahiti is the only airline that offers this flight and flies between the two islands daily. Flights were stable for the dates I was researching.
Search flights from Air Tahiti here.
Travelling Around Bora Bora
Once you are in Bora Bora there are several options on how to get around the island. A public boat shuttle moves visitors from the airport to the main island located centrally. Some resorts offer boats for their visitors to take them directly to the resort. Ensure you check with the resort on where to meet them when you arrive.
There is no public transport available on Bora Bora, however there are cars available for rent. There are also a few taxi services on the island. But the most common form of transport on the main island is moped, which is also available for rent.
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