What Should You Expect for Weather?
In this article we take a deep dive into Bora Bora. Situated in the south Pacific Ocean, this majestic island has captivated the dreams of millions of people around the world. A large protected lagoon encircles a spectacular volcanic peak, with turquoise and emerald shades, Bora Bora has been titled the ‘Pearl of the Pacific’. We will explore the best times to travel to this legendary island, when to book, where to stay, best accommodations, dining and excursions. Start living your dream! It’s time to cross off Bora Bora from your bucket list and experience the vacation of a lifetime!
Winter (June, July, August)
It is very important to understand what weather you should expect during certain times of the year as this will have a significant impact on your vacation experience. First off, as Bora Bora lies in the southern hemisphere, the winter months are June, July and August and each season follows successively in each 3 month period. Although Boro Bora lies in a tropical climate there are still many variances to consider with each season.
During the winter months, the prevailing trade winds moderate the air temperature and the humidity is the lowest during this time, making it more comfortable for those who are traveling from cooler climates. Even though the bungalows do offer air conditioning, most places on the island will be without. Bora Bora experiences a tropical wet and dry season but you can still expect rain throughout the entire year. The winter months will tend to be less cloudy with a shorter duration of showers, tending to fall in the early morning or overnight.
The water temperature in the lagoon will be a few degrees cooler. This will not affect those travelling from cooler climates but may be quite noticeable for those travelling from warm ones. The drop in the lagoon temperature during the winter months may impact the amount of time you will be able to spend in the water, so if you enjoy basking in warm water temperatures, the winter months may not be ideal for you.
June, July and August are peak season in Bora Bora so please be advised to book as far ahead as possible, even up to a year so you secure the flights and accommodations you desire. Also be advised that due to the higher traffic of tourists during peak season, the accommodation rates will be a lot higher.
Spring (September, October, November) Autumn (March, April, May)
These months have a very good balance of weather and offer the best all around weather and water experience. The trade winds subside during this time and there is no intense humidity from the summer rainy months. As the popularity of travelling to Bora Bora during these months grows, so do the savings on accommodations. It is once again best to book as far in advance as possible. Even booking a week before or a week later, you can see significant savings from peak season prices.
Summer (December, January, February)
The summer months in Bora Bora are the hottest and wettest months of the year. You will experience high humidity and warm air and water temperatures. Even though summer is the wet season and you may experience frequent showers, they are usually light and pass by quickly so you can continue to soak up the sun. It is best to pack a rain jacket as you travel and explore the island. The resorts do offer a plastic bag poncho, but they are usually not that practical.
This is the ideal time to enjoy the warm lagoon water temps as you will be able to stay in the water for hours and enjoy swimming and snorkeling. This is also the most peaceful time on the island. During this low season, airfares are more readily available and cheaper, resorts offer cheaper prices and you will most certainly get the most bang for your buck.
Best Time to Book
You must book as far in advance as possible, usually up to a year, especially during peak season. Bora Bora is a very small, extremely popular island. If you want your preference on which resort, room type and the most exclusive activities, for the best price possible, booking well in advance will give you the best experience that you are seeking.
You’ll need to jump on a deal when they are available. Deals are offered at certain times to encourage more bookings but once the quota for bookings is met, you’ll see these deals quickly vanish. It’s best to pre-book your excursions or any special events as far ahead as you can as well. Most exclusive tours sell out and cater to small numbers of people. If you wait until the last minute they may not be available. Even during the low season it is still recommended to book up to 6 months in advance.
While planning your trip to Bora Bora, you will be envisioning the majestic surroundings with the tantalising white sand beaches, therefore you want to plan for a luxury resort which offers an amazing beach with the best scenic surroundings. Each luxury resort is set along private white sand beaches on a small island in the lagoon. These resorts give you exlcusive access to these beaches which are specifically for the guests of the resort in which you are staying. The only public beach is Matira, on the main island which takes time and effort to get there from other parts of Bora Bora.
Basically all the accommodations in Bora Bora resorts are overwater bungalows. These bungalows give you direct access to the water. Because of this you will find that the exquisite white sand beaches are never crowded with ample space to enjoy and take in all the scenery has to offer.
Resorts With the Best Beaches and Scenic Surrounds
What does each resort offer best?
Everybody values everything slightly different. Therefore we will list some of the most amazing attractions and the best resorts to accommodate them.
For the best Bora Bora sunsets:
Conrad Nui Bora Bora resort.
For the best Snorkeling:
Conrad Nui Bora Bora resort. Straight from the beach and overwater bungalows you will find some amazing snorkeling.
Sofital Private Island Motu exhibits large coral gardens, an abundance of fish which can be accessed by kayak. It is highly frequented on lagoon excursions and by staying at the Sofital, you’ll be able to visit these gardens any time you want.
For the best view of Mt Otemanu
- Four Seasons Bora Bora
- Intercontinental Thalasso Bora Bora
- Bora Bora Le Meridien
- Pearl Beach Resort Bora Bora
- Sofitel Private Island Resort
It is worthy to note that although the Conrad Bora Bora Nui is not on this list, you can still view Mt Otemanu from the hill top, the spa and a few overwater bungalows on the eastern side of the resort.
For the best beach
- Conrad Bora Bora Nui features the best beach for swimming, snorkeling and other water activities. It is a long natural white sand beach with stunning contrast of flowering plants against the back drop of the ancient, lava rocks.
- The Intercontinental Thalasso beach is fantastic for reclining on loungers along the well groomed shore line, taking up the views of Mt Otemanu across the turquoise water.
- The Four Seasons beach offers the most majestic view of Mt Otemanu and also features a sandy islet in which you can swim out to from the main beach.
For the best pool
The Conrad Nui not only features the best pool but also the newest. It features multiple levels with wide circle views over the beach and across to the horizon. You’ll also find luxuries such as a swim up bar, cabanas, water submerged sun beds, shady sunken lounges and access to a cocktails and appetizer menu.
The Four Seasons pool has the most amazing views. You’ll be able to view the beach and mountains while amongst towering palm trees. The only downside is that you’ll have to leave the water in order to order yourself coctails.
Pear Beach Resort is also an honorable mention as it weaves through magnificent gardens with dramatic views over to Mt Otemanu. Although it doesn’t have the facilities of other pools, it does make up for it in tranquility.
- The Best Snorkeling in Bora Bora
Most of the resorts in Bora Bora do not feature the exceptional coral gardens in which you would expect to make the most out of a snorkeling trip. Therefore, it is essential to travel to the best coral gardens by boat if you are looking to capture the most sensational underwater views. Many resorts however, have created their own lagoon environment with an eco- system very similar to that in the lagoon. In these ‘lagoonariums’ you’ll find many species of fish, coral and coral nurseries, but you will not find any sharks or stingrays. These areas make fantastic places for beginner snorkelers and for children to enjoy explorative time in the water. Even though these lagoonariums offer something different to see on a daily basis, it is still advised to venture off into the real lagoon as nothing compares to being out in the beauty of the Bora Bora lagoon.
Resorts With the Best Snorkeling
Conrad Bora Bora Nui
Conrad Nui is the only resort with abundant corals situated under the over water bungalows and all along the beach. Often refered to as the resort with the best snorkeling, overwater guests enjoy being able to snorkel directly from their bungalow and all Nui guests can enjoy easy access to prime snorkeling by accessing coral in the lagoon directly from the beach. From black lava rocks on one side of the resort to the over water bungalows on the other, Conrad Nui offers the best snorkeling by far.
Sofitel Private Island
Nicknamed ‘the aquarium’ the most visited coral gardens in Bora Bora is accessible to the guests of Sofitel by kayak from the main beach. For most of the day you’ll be able to enjoy these coral gardens all to yourself as tour groups pass through intermittently. The best part if you are a guest of Sofitel is that you can enjoy these corals without cost and they are always teaming with fish!
Intercontinental Le Moana
Situated in a shallow part of the lagoon at the southern tip of the main island, this resort has been fostering a coral regeneration program near the over water bungalows and can be viewed through the glass floors. Guests at this resort can also stroll across the road to Matira Beach where they will find an abundance of good snorkeling as well.
Four Seasons Resort
At the very end of the western overwater bungalows at the Four Seasons resort, you’ll find a few coral heads. For beginner snorkelers, the inner lagoon offers exploration with a marine biologist.
Pearl Beach Resort
Not the greatest spot to find coral, Pear Beach however, does have a program in which coral is being regenerated near the overwater bungalows. The coral is still quite small but has attracted some colorful fish.
The Intercontinental Thalasso Resort
In front of the chapel, this resort has a splattering of coral heads scattered in front providing a home for a variety of fish. Experienced snorkelers would be advised to see more by taking a snorkeling excursion through the lagoon with different corals to stop and explore along the way.
Best Lagoon Snorkeling
The best places to snorkel in the Bora Bora lagoon listed in no particular order include:
- The Aquarium
- Southern tip of Bora Bora
- Hotel Bora Bora
- Manta Ray Trench
- Outside the Pass