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Everything Vancouver travellers need to know about visiting Bora Bora

How does an over-water bungalow with breathtaking views of paradise sound to you?
Find out everything you need to know about travel from Vancouver to Bora Bora, including how to get the cheapest flights out of YVR Airport.

Located in the heart of French Polynesia, Bora Bora is a mountainous island offering jaw-dropping views of its vibrant turquoise lagoon. 

Described by the Tahitian tourism board as "French Polynesia's leading lady," the island hot spot is considered one of the top luxury vacation destinations in the world. 

Known for warm locals, a rich culture, and pristine beaches, the sun-soaked island sees scores of visitors seeking private and often romantic holidays in private, over-water bungalows. These eye-catching accommodations and the island's captivating inlets have made the destination a social media darling, with honeymooners sharing snaps of breathtaking views from their private digs. 

Find out everything you need to know about planning your trip to Bora Bora from Vancouver.

What airlines should I fly to to Bora Bora?

From Vancouver International Airport (YVR), travellers fly to Bora Bora Airport (BOB) via a couple of routes; there are no direct flights and most options include a stop at Fa'a'ā International Airport (PPT) in Tahiti. 

Airlines that fly to or partially to Bali via one of their airline partners include:

  • Air Canada
  • Air Tahiti
  • Air Tahiti Nui
  • Alaska Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • WestJet

When should I book my ticket to Bora Bora?

Tickets booked in late December 2023 for trips departing in February 2024 start as low as $2,154 including all taxes and fees. These are the lowest-priced options for return trips from YVR and there is a wide availability. However, ticket prices climb starting in June 2024 and don't begin to fall back down until the last week of August 2024.

The least expensive flights from YVR typically start between $2,300 and  $3,700, according to Google Flights. 

When is the best time of year to visit Bora Bora? 

The dry season for all of French Polynesia lasts between May and October. Cyclones typically occur from November to April. 

Is it safe to visit French Polynesia? 

Canada advises travellers to take normal security precautions in French Polynesia, meaning there are no significant risks associated with travel to the destination. However, there are some important safety considerations.

Pickpocketing and purse snatching occur in busy tourist areas.  Keep personal belongings, including passports and other travel documents, secure at all times.

French Polynesia earthquakes and tsunamis may occur. If you’re staying on the coast, familiarize yourself with the region’s evacuation plans in the event of a tsunami warning.

Lifeguards don’t usually supervise beaches. Tidal changes can cause powerful currents and riptides are common. Familiarize yourself with risks associated with local beaches and wear reef shoes to protect yourself against coral cuts and stonefish.

If you intend to practice adventure tourism:

  • never do so alone, and don’t part with your expedition companions
  • always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
  • ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
  • ensure that you’re properly equipped
  • ensure that you’re well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary
  • obtain detailed information on each activity before setting out

Important considerations in Bora Bora 

The currency in French Polynesia is the CFP (Comptoirs Français du Pacifique) franc (XPF).

Currency can be exchanged at the airport in Tahiti and at major banks. Outside of the busiest tourist islands and major hotels, only cash in local currency may be accepted.

Do I need to get any special travel vaccines ahead of visiting Bora Bora?

A travel vaccination clinic should be among the first places you visit after you've booked tickets.

Bora Bora has a risk of hepatitis A that people may get if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person.

Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination around the world and is spread by exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.

There is a risk of multiple mosquito-borne illnesses in Bora Bora, including chikungunya, dengue, and zika virus.

A health care professional will break down all of the health risks, including ones that can be prevented with immunization or treated by prescription and ones that cannot, and even what to consider about drinking local water and eating food. 

Find out everything you need to know about booking a consultation at a travel vaccination clinic. 

What kind of activities can I enjoy in Bora Bora?

As a tropical island destination, Bora Bora is famed for its sparkling white sand beaches and dreamy, crystal-clear turquoise waters. 

Besides kicking back on an awe-inspiring shore with a fruity cocktail, some popular watersports include snorkelling, diving, kayaking, swimming, stand-up paddleboarding, waterskiing, and more. 

This unique island is renowned for its scuba-diving opportunities. Surrounded by a coral reef, it has schools of brightly-coloured fish and several other beautiful marine creatures that call the local waters home. 

Do I need a visa to visit Bora Bora?

French Polynesia is a French overseas collectivity but it is not part of the Schengen Area. Canadian passports must be valid for three months beyond the date travellers plan to leave the country. 

A tourist visa is not required for stays up to 90 days. 

Travellers may be asked to show proof of a return or onward flight out of Bora Bora and proof of sufficient funds to cover their stay.

How much money will I spend on accommodation?

Bora Bora is generally more expensive than Tahiti. Many of the resorts are only accessible via a boat because they are located on the destination's inlets. While this makes them more intimate, this often pushes up the price.

While those adorable bungalows may look rustic, most of them come equipped with an array of modern and posh features, such as air conditioning, televisions, and luxury amenities. 

The accommodations range from $150 to $200, climbing upwards of $2,000 to $2,245 for a night's stay.

Photo via Google Hotels


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Want to learn more about a specific destination or simply have a travel concern or idea that you would like V.I.A. to write about? Email us at elana@vancouverisawesome. Send us stories about recent holidays that you've been on, or if you have any tips you think our readers should know about.