BORA BORA VS THE MALDIVES
From Sydney to get to Bora Bora it was a 3 hr flight to New Zealand, than a 7 hour flight to Papeete and then a 30 minute flight to Bora Bora. It takes around 14 hours when you account for waiting time between flights etc. To the Maldives, there are different routes you can take – either Sydney – Singapore - Maldives or Sydney- Perth-Maldives. For me the Singapore route was a no brainer as it meant we got to spend time in Singapore as a stopover. Funnily enough it works out cheaper than the Perth route if you fly Singapore airlines in terms of flight costs, as they want you to transit through Singapore. Flight time to Singapore is 8 hrs and then onto the Maldives is a further 4 hours. Depending on where you are staying in the Maldives ie which atoll will depend on if you have to get in another plane or if you will transfer by speedboat.
We were planning on scuba diving on our trip but unfortunately I broke my foot on the stop over in Singapore so I was limited to only snorkelling! (couldn’t put my foot in a flipper). We did go on a quest to find sea turtles and this was a beautiful experience but not better than the one we had in Bora Bora. There are many more experiences offered if you stay in the South Ari Atoll rather than the North Male Atoll. These include swimming with Whale sharks and if your lucky even Hammerheads! (My dream!).
In Bora Bora there was the freedom to go on the main land and head into the main town to pick up supplies and look at the shops. Resorts in the Maldives also offer some trips but they are much more costly as they usually involve a seaplane to get there.
Pricing in both Maldives and Bora Bora is expensive. At the time we travelled to Bora Bora we found it was incredibly expensive as even a bottle of water was 20 USD. That is another thing to be aware of all the resorts in Bora Bora and the Maldives charge in USD, so its not a great time to travel if your currency is currently trading very low against the USD.
Our first resort we stayed at Centara Ras Fushi – is an all-inclusive resort in the Maldives. This made the trip much more relaxing and fun than constantly worrying about the 200 -300 USD a night dinner expense as it was all included! Even drinks!!. This all inclusive package included dining at 4 restaurants they had on the island – they were Thai ,Italian, buffet and middle eastern. Our second resort however was a COCO resort and it was much pricier. The price of 3 nights was the price of 6 nights at Centara but it had no inclusions. This meant that the pricing was similar to that of Bora Bora and you are expected to pay around 200-300 USD for dinner and around 80 USD pp for breakfast.
Both of these places offered different experiences and I am so grateful to have travelled to both. I think that you need to look at the price range and also the activities offered when you decide where to travel. I would go back to both in a heartbeat. But I will always keep in mind when booking to try my best to find an all-inclusive resort that suits our needs.