Bora Bora is a tropical haven renowned for its cerulean lagoon, sandy beaches, and verdant mountain backdrop. It epitomizes the ideal tropical paradise, often depicted with clear azure skies or vibrant sunsets, offering the ultimate luxurious island escape that wanderers often fantasize about. Thanks to its consistently warm climate throughout the year, any time is a good time to explore this idyllic destination.
Immersing oneself in Bora Bora’s offerings, from encountering rays and reef sharks while snorkeling to embarking on hikes around ancient ceremonial sites, promises to captivate any traveler fortunate enough to set foot on its shores. Nonetheless, amidst the picturesque imagery of cloudless skies, it’s crucial to bear in mind that Bora Bora lies in the South Pacific and experiences a tropical rainy season from December to March.
However, don’t be too hasty to disregard a visit during this rainy phase – it has its own merits! Here’s a comprehensive guide to the optimal periods for experiencing Bora Bora:
Low Season: December to March Perfect for evading crowds and saving on accommodations
As Bora Bora’s dry season gives way, cloudier days and a heightened chance of rain become more common. Temperatures rise modestly, accompanied by an increase in humidity. This transition marks the island’s off-peak tourist season, which can be advantageous for travelers who don’t mind a touch of rain during their getaway. While cyclones are infrequent, they can occur during this period.
Top-tier resorts on the island often lower their rates during the rainy season due to reduced demand. This makes indulging in a luxurious stay at overwater bungalow resorts, such as the renowned Four Seasons Bora Bora, more affordable. Another perk of the low season is the scarcity of crowds; most visitors crave the iconic blue skies, resulting in fewer tourists when the weather becomes less predictable.
Shoulder Season: April and November Balancing pleasant weather with reasonable prices
April and November bridge the gap between the wet and dry seasons, offering a blend of advantages from both. During these months, tourists are fewer in number, and resorts often offer enticing deals. While there may be occasional rain and humidity, these showers tend to be brief. The shoulder months are favored by scuba divers, as calmer waters provide excellent visibility, ideal for spotting creatures like sharks, manta rays, and barracudas.
High Season: May to October Ideal for clear skies and abundant sunshine
Bora Bora’s dry season occurs during the island’s winter months, keeping in mind that this pertains to the southern hemisphere’s winter (opposite to Europe, Asia, and America’s winter). Minimal rainfall characterizes these dry months, ensuring prolonged periods of clear blue skies and ample sunshine. Although temperatures are slightly cooler than in summer, daytime highs hover around 28°C (83°F).
This delightful weather makes the dry season the most coveted time to experience Bora Bora. However, it’s important to note that this period also brings higher resort prices and larger crowds across the island. Booking flights during peak times can also be challenging.
January January in Bora Bora brings substantial rainfall and high humidity, rendering it a less popular period for visitors. Nonetheless, it’s a prime time to secure deals at luxury resorts on the island. For travelers seeking an economical Bora Bora experience, exploring available offers is recommended. Key events: Taurua Varua
February experiences fewer rain showers compared to January, although it carries a slightly higher risk of cyclones. While French Polynesia lies outside the primary cyclone belt, such events are rare but still possible (with the last major cyclone occurring in 2010). Despite daytime discomfort due to heightened humidity, February offers breathtaking sunsets. Tourism remains subdued during this month, resulting in lower prices at resorts. Key events: Special events for Valentine’s Day (February 14)
March sees a further reduction in rainfall, although daily showers and elevated humidity persist. Tourist numbers remain relatively low, but this month marks the beginning of event season, featuring competitions to determine Bora Bora’s finest “Oreo” (guardian of oral history). Key events: Missionary Day, Orero championships
April April marks the commencement of one of the two shoulder-season months. Rainfall diminishes, allowing for more sunshine and reduced humidity. Improved underwater visibility signals the start of the main scuba diving season. The official high season has not yet begun, offering opportunities for accommodation deals and avoiding crowds. Key events: Easter celebrations (which can fall in March)
May May marks the start of the high season, characterized by clearer skies and higher resort prices. Crowds have not yet reached their peak, and water conditions are ideal for scuba diving. The Tahiti Pearl Regatta sailing race attracts teams from around the world. Key events: Tahiti Pearl Regatta, Victory Day
June June witnesses a drop in nighttime temperatures and reduced humidity, making it an excellent time to explore. Vacationing families from North America and Europe, due to the start of school holidays, populate many Bora Bora resorts during this month. Increased winds in June create ideal conditions for sailing and kiteboarding, though they reduce underwater visibility for scuba diving. Key events: Hivavaeve
July signifies the peak of the high season, not solely due to favorable weather conditions. Bora Bora’s major cultural festival, Heive I Bora Bora, takes place in July, making it one of the best times to experience the island. Key events: Heive I Bora Bora, Raid Anei hiking race
August August tends to be the busiest month during the peak season, attracting more European visitors. Despite crowds and higher prices, August boasts exceptional weather, abundant sunshine, and reduced humidity. Persistent trade winds make the heat more bearable, offering perfect conditions for exploring the island’s interior and enjoying beach days. Key events: Assumption
September While still within the high season, September witnesses a gradual decline in activity due to families returning abroad for the start of the school year. This month marks the peak of the humpback whale season in Bora Bora (mid-July to late October), offering a chance to observe mother and calf pairs in the surrounding waters. While swimming with whales is not permitted here as it is in Mo’orea, numerous whale-watching tours are available. Key events: Whale migration
October heralds the conclusion of the high season. As the month progresses, humidity and rain increase, although sunshine remains prevalent. Local school holidays attract families to the beaches. Calmer waters during October allure scuba divers back, ensuring exceptional underwater visibility. Key events: Stone-throwing competitions
November represents the second of the two shoulder-season months. Humidity rises, and rain showers become more frequent, but temperatures remain manageable, with intermittent sunshine. Crowds diminish, and resort prices decrease. With heavy rains yet to set in, visibility remains excellent for activities like snorkeling and scuba diving. Key events: La Toussaint (All Saints’ Day), Hawaiki nui va’a, Armistice Day
December December is the most humid time in Bora Bora, characterized by extended periods of cloud cover and rain. However, it’s also a festive season, with locals embracing the holiday spirit and welcoming tourists to partake in various local events.