Moorea to Bora Bora

We've stayed in French Polynesia a few times and both in Bora Bora and Moorea. I think Bora Bora is more geared towards the service.

There isn't a large reef system (only off site from the resorts by boat), and aside from languid activity there isn't much to do. The view of Otemanu from the motus is fantastic, and the color of the lagoon is amazing.

However, I wholeheartedly recommend Moorea. If I were to go back, I would skip Bora Bora. Moorea is a bigger island, and more laid back. Bora Bora is stunning and is worth a visit. We did five nights in Moorea and three in Bora Bora. I felt that was the perfect ratio of the two.

We stayed at the Hilton Moorea in a panoramic overwater villa. The best feature of Moorea is the lagoon, and the Hilton has the best reef. Over water bungalows are very nice, but I don't think it is worth it to stay in one for 14 days since they are pricey.

The bungalows are a decent size but no where near the size of the St. Regis villas in Bora Bora, but very comfortable. The lagoon was the highlight, and the amount of sea life we saw was amazing. Every moment of every day, there were fish, stingrays, sharks, some jellies, everything.

We spent all of our mornings, afternoons, and evenings in the lagoon.

Breakfast was included and good, and in the evening we often had crepes which were the best we've ever had of anywhere. The chef is a fantastic French guy.

One of my favorite memories is sitting on the lower deck while a full moon illuminated the lagoon and the water was totally calm, watching the sharks and rays swim around the property. We did the 4×4 tour (I recommend this) and got to see most of the island and visit old temples. We did not eat lunch but bought snacks in the gift shop.

Bora Bora, on the other hand, had beautiful water with little sea life. Most of our activities were in tours in the lagoon which were more expensive than in Moorea.

We almost booked the Sofitel Moorea because it has a beautiful view of Tahiti, but were ultimately very satisfied with the Hilton. Those staying at the Sofitel said they enjoyed it but not the food. They had decent snorkeling, but not the variety of wildlife we had at the Hilton. I thought the Hilton property looked nicer, and was more spread out.

If you have any questions, please feel free to message me. I'm a French Polynesia enthusiast and am happy to answer what I can. We have only gone to BB and Moorea but have done a great deal of research on Taha'a, Raitea, and Tetiaroa.

Use a travel agent.

You will get the best bang for your buck. I've used two companies, one for my honeymoon and the other exclusively for our return trips since she has gotten us everything we've wanted. Shop around, find who you like. They can even save you money by skipping a plane ride from Fa'aa and taking the water ferry to Moorea. Also, we are from Chicago as well.

Book your LA flight separately from the travel agent since they are just booking from LAX to Papeete. We've historically found the best and most comfortable deals on Virgin America out of O'hare. The red eye midnight flight from LAX leaves you plenty of time to get to Los Angeles on Virgin, they have an evening flight that comes in I think at 7PM. Air Tahiti Nui desk in LAX does not open until like 10PM, so you have no choice but to sit and wait. There are no lounges to use prior to getting checked in.

The overnight flight from Papeete to LAX arrives at the same time as other international flights, run to customs if you are connecting or leave enough buffer time for an hour or more of waiting.

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