With year round temperatures that remain warm in a tropical location that is the envy of any wanderluster, it’s hard to decide what exactly the best time to visit Bora Bora actually is. Whether you wish to embrace the best of the spectacular weather conditions or are seeking a slightly more budget friendly version of a luxury tropical island vacation, you will be able to find the perfect time to visit French Polynesia and no matter what your goal is when visiting the island, there is bound to be a season to suit your needs. In addition, there are so many different events, competitions, holidays and adventures to experience throughout the entire year, giving you plenty of reasons to visit this breathtaking island paradise for yourself.
Bora Bora’s popular times can be roughly broken into peak and off peak season, which generally coincides with the weather. Off peak season, which roughly runs from November through April, tends to be characterized by rain, heat and humidity and increased mosquito activity, but don’t let that deter you. It doesn’t rain every single day and even though the temperatures are warmer, it’s only by a handful of degrees. The bonus is that rooms are usually much cheaper during the off season, and there is always so much to do that you will be sure to enjoy the time.
Peak season is generally from around May through October and is renowned for its nearly perfect weather. Warm temperatures, very little rain and low humidity makes a perfect combination for enjoying the pristine beaches of the island. The caveat is that prices are higher and the area is more crowded. For this reason, a number of people aim to visit during the brief months called “shoulder months”, often considered to be the best time to visit Bora Bora. These are the months that fall in between the peak season and off peak season. These months can have the best of both worlds as well as the downfalls, making for a perfect compromise that maximizes the benefits as well as the budget! Read on for a detailed explanation of the pros and cons of each month and why they are each the best time to visit Bora Bora, all for very different reasons.
And don’t forget, when you book your trip to protect it with travel insurance! A trip to Bora Bora can be very costly, have peace of mind with your investment.
Best Time to Visit Bora Bora – Month by Month
Right in the middle of the wet and rainy season, January isn’t what you would first think of as the best time to visit Bora Bora but for those seeking a remarkable deal, it might be just that. With over a foot of rain falling during the month of January and temperatures around the high 80s, the weather can be unpredictable at best and miserably humid at worst. The savvy budget traveler can take full advantage of this and save a decent amount of money on resorts and hotels that might normally be out of their price range. After all, a luxury hotel is still a luxury hotel even when it is raining outside and the scenery and views are breathtaking no matter the weather.
Therefore, those who really want to experience the luxury and beauty of this French Polynesian paradise without breaking the bank might consider this one of the best times to visit. Another bonus to visiting in January is to experience the spectacular event known as Taurua Varua. This festival is held and celebrates the changing of the year and the community of people who live on the island through massive song competitions, lavish decorations and feasts of native French Polynesian food, celebrating the coming together of cultures and influences throughout the history of the island.
For lovers and honeymooners, February might be the best time to visit Bora Bora, regardless of the conditions. There is quite a romantic appeal to visiting the luxury suites and basking on the sandy beaches for Valentine’s Day. While this isn’t the worst of the months for rain, it can still rain quite often, with average amounts of rainfall for February equaling around 9 inches. Because it falls during cyclone season, you’ll want to ensure that you purchase travel insurance in the event that flights or cruises are canceled due to high winds or swells. Depending on the calendar year, you might even be able to catch a Chinese New Year celebration.
March brings with it even more fair weather as the rainy season starts to subside, but the humidity can still be a factor due to the temperatures in the high 80s and rainfall amounts around 7 inches for the month. Despite this fact, March is the best time to visit Bora Bora if you want to take advantage of the low tourism traffic and the local events that take place. Missionaries Day celebrates the arrival of Protestantism to the island through traditional dancing and songs in the churches and the Orero Championship takes place in mid-March. This event is a singing competition that shows the mastery and majesty of the traditional French Polynesian songs, the winners of the Championship later traveling to other locations to compete among the best of the best of the islands.
Considered one of the “shoulder months”, April is thought by many to be the best time to visit Bora Bora. Take advantage of the moderate temperatures and low rainfall amounts during this month, while also enjoy the calm before the tourism storm. The peak months for travelers visiting Bora Bora happens from around May through October, so the month of April tends to be much quieter than the other months without the rains associated with the off peak season. The average temperature fluctuates from the mid 70s to high 80s and only about 5.5 inches of rainfall occur during this month, so the chances of having excellent weather are very good. Additionally, many of the hotels, resorts, and restaurants run discounts and deals to spur business during this slower traffic time period, making it a perfect opportunity to enjoy the beauty and serenity of this tropical island paradise.
The month of May marks the official beginning of the peak season for the island, and with it comes nicer weather, larger crowds and plentiful events. Rainfall amounts dip down to around 3 inches for the month and the temperatures range from the low 70s to mid 80s, making it the best time to visit Bora Bora if you want to take full advantage of the beaches and outdoor recreational activities. One of the biggest events that draws crowds to the islands is the Tahiti Pearl Regatta. Don’t let the name fool you, this event includes all the islands in the French Polynesian island chain, with the race route changing each year and often including Bora Bora in the itinerary. Regardless of whether the sailing vessels stop at the island during the race, the waters surrounding are filled with sailboats, yachts and other ships to celebrate the event and watch the races up-close. The air of celebration can be found everywhere around the islands! In addition to this, Victory Day on the 8th celebrates the end of World War II and occasionally the public holidays of Ascension Day and Whit Monday depending on the calendar year.
The peak season for the island continues with June, where the weather is remarkable and the islands are abuzz with festivities and events, as well as travelers near and far. Taking advantage of the prime weather conditions as well as the throngs of tourists, most resorts, hotels and restaurants host events and shows as well as excursions and recreational activities. With temperatures in a range between 70 and the low 80s and rainfall amounts of only around 2 inches, you will be able to take full advantage of water sports and diving as well as lounging on the beach soaking in the sun. Additionally, dance schools practice and perform in preparation for a grand month long event that starts at the end of June, giving you an opportunity to bask in the spectacular French Polynesian dances renowned around the world.
Nearing the very peak of the peak season is the month of July, considered by many to be the best time to visit Bora Bora. With just a little over two inches of rain and warm temperatures between the high 60s and low 80s, the weather is perfect for beach goers and outdoor enthusiasts and the sunny summer days provide for some of the best views as well as prime ocean conditions. Because of the great weather, there are a number of spectacles to be had, the most notable of which is the Heive I Bora Bora. Running concurrent with the Heive I Tahiti, the islands become home to a month long celebration of French Polynesian culture. Dancing competitions, traditional musical shows and songs as well as feasts of local and native foods fill the streets and major venues, almost all of which offer free admittance. Additionally, the resorts and hotels capitalize on this grand spectacle, offering shows and events of their own from the comfort of the establishment. The streets, shops and markets are decorated in lush flowers and vegetation at every turn, filling the entire island with perfumes scents, vibrant colors and a magical appeal of tropical views.
Also in July is Bastille Day, a public holiday that is a reminder of the island’s connection with France. A French National holiday celebrating their independence, the islands celebrate with song, dance, revelry and food aplenty. For those seeking a more adventurous and rigorous event, the Raid Anei Bora Bora takes place at the end of July. This competitive hiking event brings competitors from around the world to traverse the lush jungle terrain of this tropical island, promising views that will last a lifetime.
August on the island brings with it some of the nicest weather. The combination of one of the lowest rainfall amounts for the year as well as the lowest temperatures makes it positively gorgeous beach weather with low humidity, scant rain and splendid sunshine filled days. With under two inches of rain falling and temperatures that rarely stray outside the range of high 60s to low 80s, making it the best time to visit Bora Bora if you want to enjoy the weather and beaches. As one of the peak months during the peak season, the island will be flooded with tourists and with those tourists come entertainment and dining options as well as excursion and adventure packages to cater to their desires, ensuring that you will find plenty of things to do in Bora Bora!
Less people flock to the island in September than in August and with this reduction in traffic comes a reduction in hotel and resort prices. Because the weather is the same or perhaps even better than that of August, September is considered by many to be the best time to visit Bora Bora. Rainfall totals are the same or lower at under 2 inches and the temperatures are still within the moderate range of high 60s to low 80s, but the added bonus is that the tradewinds have settled to a calmer and cooling amount that is less persistent than those that buffet the island in July and August. With gentler winds comes calmer surf, making cruising more comfortable as well as providing for improvement in the clarity of the waters should you want to enjoy diving or snorkeling among the picturesque coral reefs of the island. If you still want to enjoy the amenities of peak season but want to avoid the bustling crowds and perhaps even score a deal, September might be the best time to visit Bora Bora!
Being the last month for consistent weather in the area, October is a popular month to visit if you are concerned about getting rained out during your visit, especially if you can’t stay for very long. In October, the temperatures begin to climb into the low 70s and mid 80s. Combine this with approximately 3.5 inches of rainfall on average and the weather can start to feel a little more humid and uncomfortable. Regardless of this fact, there is still a high percentage of clear and pleasant days, especially when compared to the depths of the off season wet weather. Another reason to visit during October is to witness the stone throwing competitions. This event is typically held in the beginning of the month and celebrates the ancient French Polynesian artform of fishing with throwing stones, a tradition that is particularly unique to the island chains and celebrates their deep respect to honoring the age old traditions of the native Polynesians.
The second of the two “shoulder seasons”, November is heralded by many as the best time to visit Bora Bora. While the weather is considerably more wet when compared to the low rainfall totals of the dry season, it is only on average half as much precipitation as the highest totals of the rainy season. For example, December and January average over 12 inches of rain per month, while November hovers around 6 inches or so. Temperatures range from the mid 70s to the mid 80s, which can cause for some uncomfortable humidity levels after the rain, and there is a rise in mosquito populations as a result, but the trade off is reduced prices at the resorts and hotels of the island.
One of the major reasons that many consider November to be the best time to visit Bora Bora is the number of events and festivals that occur during this period. Hawaiiki Zuni Va’a is a grand championship canoe race involving the island of Bora Bora and the best time to experience the French Polynesian art of outrigger canoes. Because of their lengthy history with this particular water vessel, the islands are home to some of the best athletes of the sport and this event, typically held in the beginning of the month of November, is the best place to see them in their element. The race culminates in a grand festival of song and dance with feasts of abundant local and regional food, something that exemplifies all aspects of the vibrant Polynesian culture found all over the islands.
Another culturally significant event is celebrated on Armistice Day, a celebration of the end of World War II. In addition to dancing and song and festivities commemorating this special day, you will be able to experience the often taboo sport of rooster fighting. While this practice is banned in a number of countries around the world, it is still widely practiced in Bora Bora. Called Faatitoraamoa in Polynesian, this celebration of the end of the war concentrates on the sport of rooster fighting. For a few days around Armistice Day, local communities come together and cheer on their favorite animal in the ring. Because it is banned in a majority of the world, this is one of the few places and occasions where you can witness the sport first hand. Last but certainly not least, November is known for the celebration of Matarii Nia. This local cultural event happens around the end of the month of November. Recalling the ancient religious practices of the original Polynesian natives of the island, this period is celebrated with abundant food, joyous song and exhilarating dance as the local Polynesians show their gratitude for the rainy season and pray for a bountiful harvest season as a result of those rains.
With over 12 inches of rain and high humidity brought on by the higher temperatures that range from the mid 70s to high 80s, not many would consider December the best time to visit Bora Bora. But ironically, it happens to be one of the busiest months as travelers from around the world spend their Christmas holiday periods in this beautiful island. When compared to the climate and conditions prevalent around much of the United States in December, it goes without saying that a rainy day in paradise beats a cold, snowy day stuck at home! A holiday trip to this exotic island could be just the ticket for many travelers and there are often a number of events and festivities to soften the blow of the higher chance of a rained out day.
Because the tourism sector increases during this holiday period, many of the resorts and hotels plan special events and celebrations of their own, all of which have a uniquely French Polynesian flair. In addition to the private events you’ll find at the resorts, you can also join in on one of the many public events held during this month. Va’a Bora Bora is an outrigger canoe race specific to the island held in the beginning of December and features many of the best local rowers as well as athletes from around the region compete to declare their prowess in this traditional French Polynesian sport. Of course, in classic style, the island is alive with celebration during the event. Dancers, singers, musicians and delicious food all combine for a traditional French Polynesian cultural affair. And of course, Christmas is always a time of celebration, so you will be sure to find parades, singing, craft fairs and decorations galore!
Bora Bora is a vacation destination that is the envy and dream of travelers worldwide. Whether you prefer to avoid the crowds or chase the best conditions, it’s fair to say that any time is the best time to visit Bora Bora! Each and every season has its pros as well as its cons, so it’s just a matter of deciding which of the benefits is worth more and which of the cons is most tolerable in comparison. Regardless of when you travel to this exotic tropical paradise, you’ll be sure to make amazing memories and experience spectacular events. To be honest, the best time to visit Bora Bora is when you actually get to visit Bora Bora! It is a breathtaking place that you’ll have to see to believe!
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Disclaimer: I am an ambassador for Allianz Travel insurance and this post is sponsored by them. As always, opinions are entirely my own.