Bora Bora is located in French Polynesia in the South Pacific. It’s part of an island chain called the Leeward Islands, which are part of a bigger island group known as the Society Islands. It has Australia to the west, Asia to the northwest, South America to the east, and the United States to the northeast.
Its next closest neighboring island in French Polynesia is Tahiti, which is quite similar to Bora Bora. Bora Bora is 172 miles (277 km) from Tahiti and 2527 miles (4067 km) from Hawaii to the north.
To reach Bora Bora, you will first need to fly into Tahiti since Bora Bora doesn’t have an international airport. Tahiti has the closest airport, Fa’a’ā International Airport, and you will typically fly into Tahiti and then get on a separate one-hour flight to reach Bora Bora. You can also travel from Tahiti to Bora Bora via a ferry that ports into Vaitape, but that takes 6+ hours. We recommend you just book a flight since it’s more convenient.
If you look at the map above, you can see it’s between the United States and Australia, which makes it a popular destination for both countries.
If you look at a map of the Leeward Islands down below, you will see that Bora Bora has Maupiti to the west and Tahaa’a to the east. Raiatea is another popular island that a lot of people visit on their vacation in French Polynesia vacation and is farther southeast of Bora Bora.
Bora Bora is surrounded by motus (private islands), where a lot of the high-end resorts are situated. Many of the resorts offer their own private boat taxis to the mainland, so you don’t need to worry about how to visit it. You can read more about them in our where to stay guide.
Moorea is also farther southeast, and most people tend to choose between Tahiti, Bora Bora, or Moorea, but of course, we recommend Bora Bora. Many people also plan a longer 2-3 week trip and visit all three islands.
If you’re on a budget, Moorea is probably the cheaper alternative, but Bora Bora has by far some of the best overwater bungalows and areas and Motus to stay in. You can do everything from hiking to snorkeling, sailing, jet skiing, and much more on this beautiful island.
These are the average flight times to reach Bora Bora from the United States and New Zealand (if you’re coming from Australia):
- From San Francisco (SFO) To Papette (PPP) is around 12 hours. From Los Angeles (LAX) to Papeete (PPP) is around 10.5 hours. Both the Los Angeles and San Francisco airports are common places for connecting flights if you’re flying from other cities in the United States.
- From New Zealand (AKL) to Papeete (PPP) is around 5 hours. If you’re flying to Bora Bora from Australia, you’re almost guaranteed to have a connecting flight in AKL. As a whole, you can expect anywhere between a 15 to 20-hour flight time.
You can use this map embed to get a clearer understanding of where Bora Bora is located in relation to other places: