Travelers often debate between going to Bora Bora or Fiji. Both are remote, exotic islands with plenty to offer in the ways of relaxation and entertainment. While both islands are great travel destinations there are a few factors to consider that may help to make your decision a bit easier.
Fiji vs Bora Bora: Location
Fiji is a country in the South Pacific that is actually made up of more 300 islands. The two main islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu are the most developed and traveled to. Viti Levu is where travelers can find the capital city.
Bora Bora is also a small South Pacific island and is technically considered to be part of French Polynesia. The island’s most popular town is Vaitape and is also the home of the island’s only airport.
To get to either island, you’ll need to fly out of LAX, Los Angeles. While Tahiti is an 8-hour nonstop flight and lies halfway between California and Australia, Fiji is about a 10 ½ hour from LA, although stops and layovers are pretty common so it may take more like 14 or 16 hours to make it to your destination. Because of this, many couples opt to stop in Sydney or New Zealand If they’re traveling to Fiji.
Fiji vs Bora Bora: Cost
While both islands are beautiful and tropical, Fiji is going to be the more cost-effective choice. Many travelers claim that its affordability is due to the strength of the US dollar in Fiji.
Fiji vs Bora Bora: Accommodations
When it comes to Bora Bora, there is only one airport and no public transportation, so make sure to rent a rental car to see the island. There are fun and unique experiences in Bora Bora such as Polynesian dances you can watch, famous overwater bungalows for you to sleep in and beautiful beaches to relax on.
Bora Bora is going to have more chain hotels like Sheratons, Intercontinentals and Four Seasons, while in Fiji there are very few chain hotels and more boutique places to stay. However, of the resorts in Fiji limit their bookings to 5-20 guests at a time to make sure that couples can maintain a secluded romantic atmosphere. This also allows for hotel staff to pamper guests more than larger chains can. Both islands offer some five-star inclusive hotels, so it really depends on what you’re looking for.
Fiji vs Bora Bora: Cultural Experiences
Bora Bora thrives from its French Polynesian background. Coupled with a relaxed atmosphere and friendly islanders, every traveler will love it. About 4,000 people live on the island and the nightlife scene is pretty relaxed. The two main languages are French and Tahitian although most islanders can speak English.
Most of the food found in Bora Bora is an exotic mix of traditional South Pacific food mixed with French and Italian and fish is a main staple. Many of the meals eaten on the island are cooked in a traditional pit oven, which are constructed by digging holes in the ground, then filling them with stones and setting them on fire.
Fiji is made up of native Fijians, Polynesians and Melanesians inhabitants. English is the main language, although the dialect can make it sound different than American or British English. A trip to Fiji also may include travelers seeing a traditional dance called the Meke, which narrates an important cultural event in Fiji’s history while men incorporate spears and women incorporate fans.
Fiji’s food is full of island cuisine such as things like guava and mango. Islanders also eat a lot of pork, poultry and plenty of fish. Living in the jungle and on the sea gives Fijian’s plenty of opportunity to eat fresh and local food that you won’t regret trying. However, Fiji does also have a reputation of having international cuisine across the island as well.
Fiji vs Bora Bora: Things to do
- Snorkeling cruise
- Swimming with sharks and stingrays
- Bicycle or buggie across the island
- Jet ski tour
- 4WD and ATV tours across the island
- Beach side breakfasts or dinners
- Some of the best diving in the world
- Hike Bouma National Heritage Park
- Hot springs and mud pools
- See the Tavoro waterfalls
- A day trip to Moorea (Tahiti sister island)
- Legally recognized weddings (for any honeymooners looking for a destination wedding)
When it comes to planning your South Pacific Island trip, there are many things to consider. When it comes to cost and other worldly scuba diving, Fiji is the most effective choice. However, if you want overwater bungalows and adventure on the island, Bora Bora is a great choice. Each island has a distinct and unique culture that is waiting to be explored and travelers can’t go wrong choosing to spend time in either remote, breathtaking spot.