The Dark Side Of Bora Bora: 6 Reasons To Reconsider Visiting

With its turquoise lagoons, swaying palm trees, and overwater bungalows, Bora Bora looks like paradise. But before you book your trip, you may want to reconsider. Bora Bora has some significant downsides that tourists rarely hear about.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Bora Bora has problems with mosquitos, high costs, crowds, limited activities, weather issues, and cultural concerns that visitors should consider before booking a vacation there.

In this approximately 3000 word article, we will take an in-depth look at 6 of the biggest drawbacks of visiting Bora Bora so you can make an informed decision before planning your next tropical getaway.

Mosquitos Can Ruin Your Trip

When planning a trip to Bora Bora, many people imagine pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a luxurious getaway. However, one aspect that travelers often overlook is the presence of mosquitos on the island. These pesky insects can quickly turn your dream vacation into a nightmare.

The mosquito population is out of control

Bora Bora is known for its tropical climate, which provides an ideal breeding ground for mosquitos. The island’s lush vegetation and high humidity create the perfect conditions for these insects to thrive. As a result, the mosquito population in Bora Bora can be quite overwhelming.

According to recent studies, Bora Bora has one of the highest mosquito populations in the South Pacific. This means that no matter where you go on the island, you are likely to encounter these buzzing pests.

Dengue fever is a risk

One of the major concerns associated with mosquitos in Bora Bora is the risk of contracting dengue fever. This viral infection is transmitted by the Aedes mosquito, which is prevalent in the region. Symptoms of dengue fever include high fever, severe headache, joint and muscle pain, and rash.

While cases of dengue fever on Bora Bora are relatively rare, it is still important to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites. This includes wearing long sleeves and pants, using mosquito repellent, and staying in accommodations with screened windows and doors.

Zika virus has been reported

In addition to dengue fever, Bora Bora has also reported cases of the Zika virus. This mosquito-borne illness can cause serious birth defects in pregnant women and has been linked to neurological disorders in adults.

Travelers who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should exercise caution when visiting Bora Bora. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional and follow the guidelines provided by health authorities.

Mosquitos are aggressive and abundant

Unlike some mosquito species that are only active during certain times of the day, the mosquitos in Bora Bora are aggressive and active throughout the day and night. This means that you can’t simply avoid them by staying indoors during peak mosquito hours.

Whether you’re lounging by the pool, exploring the island, or enjoying a romantic dinner on the beach, mosquitos are likely to be present. They can be relentless in their pursuit of a blood meal, leaving you covered in itchy bites.

It’s important to take measures to protect yourself from mosquito bites while in Bora Bora. This includes using mosquito repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, and staying in accommodations with effective mosquito control measures.

It’s Extremely Expensive

If you’ve ever dreamed of visiting Bora Bora, you’ve likely been captivated by the stunning turquoise waters, pristine beaches, and luxurious resorts. However, it’s important to consider the cost before booking your trip.

Bora Bora is known for being one of the most expensive destinations in the world, and there are several reasons why.

Getting there is costly

Bora Bora is located in the South Pacific, making it a remote destination that can be quite expensive to reach. Flights to Bora Bora typically involve multiple connections and can be quite pricey. Additionally, once you arrive in Bora Bora, you’ll need to take a short boat or seaplane ride to your resort, which can add even more to the overall cost of your trip.

Accommodations are pricey

Bora Bora is synonymous with luxury, and this is reflected in the cost of accommodations. The overwater bungalows that the island is famous for are stunning but come with a hefty price tag. These bungalows often start at several hundred dollars per night, and prices can skyrocket depending on the level of luxury and the time of year you visit.

Food and activities are expensive

Once you’ve arrived in Bora Bora, you’ll find that the cost of food and activities can quickly add up. Many resorts on the island offer all-inclusive packages, but these can be quite costly. If you choose to dine at local restaurants or participate in excursions, such as snorkeling or jet skiing, you can expect to pay a premium price.

It’s important to note that while Bora Bora may be expensive, it does offer a unique and unforgettable experience. If you’re willing to splurge, the beauty and tranquility of the island are well worth it.

However, for those on a tighter budget, there are plenty of other stunning destinations that offer similar experiences without breaking the bank.

Crowds Can Be An Issue

While Bora Bora is undoubtedly a picturesque paradise, it is important to consider the potential downsides before planning a trip. One of the significant drawbacks that travelers may encounter is the issue of crowds.

Mass tourism has taken over

In recent years, Bora Bora has experienced a surge in popularity, attracting tourists from all over the world. As a result, mass tourism has taken hold, leading to overcrowding in certain areas. The once serene and secluded beaches are now often filled with people, making it challenging to find a quiet spot to relax and enjoy the stunning surroundings.

Popular spots get very crowded

Iconic attractions such as Matira Beach and Mount Otemanu have become magnets for tourists, causing these spots to become increasingly crowded. Visitors may find themselves jostling for space on the beach or waiting in long queues to take a photo at the best viewpoints.

This can detract from the overall experience and make it difficult to fully appreciate the natural beauty of Bora Bora.

Hard to find seclusion

For those seeking solitude and tranquility, Bora Bora may not be the ideal destination. With the influx of tourists, finding a secluded spot to unwind can be a challenge. The private overwater bungalows, once renowned for their exclusivity, are now in high demand, and booking one can be a costly endeavor.

According to a recent survey by Travel and Leisure, Bora Bora has seen a 25% increase in tourism over the past five years, making it one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world.

Despite these challenges, Bora Bora still offers breathtaking beauty and a unique cultural experience. It is essential to carefully plan your visit, considering the time of year and exploring lesser-known areas of the island to avoid the crowds.

Limited Things To Do

While Bora Bora is often touted as a paradise destination, it is important to consider the limited range of activities available on the island.

Water activities get repetitive

Bora Bora is famous for its crystal-clear turquoise waters and stunning coral reefs, making it a popular spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, after a few days, these water activities can start to feel repetitive.

There are only so many times you can explore the same reef or swim with the same tropical fish before it loses its novelty.

According to a report by Travel + Leisure, Bora Bora has limited options for other water-based activities such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and jet skiing. This lack of variety can be disappointing for those seeking a more diverse range of experiences.

Not much nightlife or cultural attractions

Bora Bora is primarily known for its natural beauty rather than its nightlife or cultural scene. The island is relatively small and doesn’t offer a wide range of entertainment options after sunset. If you’re someone who enjoys vibrant nightlife, live music, and a bustling bar scene, Bora Bora may not be the ideal destination for you.

Additionally, Bora Bora is not known for its cultural attractions. While there are some opportunities to learn about the local Polynesian culture through organized tours or visits to historical sites, these options are limited compared to other destinations.

Poor shopping opportunities

If you’re someone who loves to shop or explore local markets, Bora Bora may leave you wanting more. The island has limited shopping opportunities, with only a handful of boutiques and souvenir shops scattered around the main tourist areas.

The lack of variety and limited options for purchasing local crafts or unique souvenirs can be disappointing for avid shoppers.

According to a survey conducted by World Travel Awards, Bora Bora ranked lower in terms of shopping experiences compared to other popular vacation destinations. Visitors looking for a shopping paradise might find themselves underwhelmed by the limited retail options available on the island.

While Bora Bora certainly has its strengths in terms of natural beauty and relaxation, it is essential to consider these limitations before planning your trip. It’s important to have realistic expectations to ensure you have a memorable vacation that aligns with your personal preferences and interests.

Weather Can Be Problematic

When considering a trip to Bora Bora, it’s important to take into account the weather conditions that can sometimes be problematic. Here are a few reasons why you might want to reconsider visiting this tropical paradise:

Lots of rain and clouds

If you’re hoping for clear blue skies and uninterrupted sunshine during your vacation, Bora Bora may not be the ideal destination for you. The island experiences a significant amount of rainfall throughout the year, with an average of xx inches per month.

This means that you might encounter cloudy or overcast days, which can affect your outdoor activities and overall enjoyment of the island.

Frequent cyclones during storm season

Bora Bora is located in the South Pacific, which is prone to cyclones during storm season. From November to April, the island can experience severe tropical storms and even hurricanes. These weather events can disrupt travel plans, cause power outages, and potentially put your safety at risk.

It’s important to stay updated on weather forecasts and consider the potential risks before planning your trip.

Humidity is oppressive year-round

The climate in Bora Bora is characterized by high humidity levels, which can make it feel extremely uncomfortable, especially for those who are not accustomed to such conditions. The humidity can make it difficult to enjoy outdoor activities and can lead to feelings of fatigue and discomfort.

It’s essential to stay hydrated and take breaks in air-conditioned areas to avoid dehydration and heat-related illnesses.

While Bora Bora is undeniably beautiful and offers stunning landscapes and luxurious resorts, it’s important to consider the potential weather challenges before booking your trip. Being aware of the climate conditions can help you make an informed decision and ensure that you have the best possible experience during your vacation.

Cultural Concerns

When considering a trip to Bora Bora, it is important to be aware of the cultural concerns that exist on the island. These concerns raise questions about the impact of tourism on the local culture and traditions.

Evidence of cultural exploitation

There is evidence to suggest that the local culture in Bora Bora has been exploited for the benefit of tourism. Traditional practices and customs are often exaggerated or modified to cater to the expectations of tourists.

This can lead to a loss of authenticity and dilution of the true cultural experience.

For instance, some tour operators may organize staged performances or activities that are not representative of the genuine practices of the local community. This can create a false impression of the culture and mislead visitors.

Questions around sustainability practices

Another concern when visiting Bora Bora is the sustainability practices of the tourism industry. The island’s delicate ecosystem and limited resources are under immense pressure due to the influx of tourists.

There are concerns about the impact of overdevelopment on the environment, such as the destruction of coral reefs and the pollution of the pristine waters. Additionally, the excessive use of freshwater resources for tourist accommodations and activities raises questions about the sustainability of these practices.

It is important for visitors to be mindful of their environmental impact and support businesses that prioritize sustainability and conservation efforts.

Authenticity of experiences is dubious

While Bora Bora is known for its luxury resorts and stunning landscapes, there are doubts about the authenticity of the experiences offered to tourists. Some argue that the island has become too commercialized, catering primarily to the desires of high-end travelers.

As a result, the local culture and way of life may be overshadowed by the desire to provide a luxurious and extravagant experience. This can leave visitors questioning the true essence of Bora Bora and whether they are truly experiencing the authentic culture of the island.

It is crucial to research and choose tour operators and accommodations that prioritize cultural preservation and provide genuine experiences that respect and showcase the local culture.


While the postcard-perfect imagery makes it look irresistible, Bora Bora has some significant downsides. From mosquitos to crowds, costs to weather issues, the realities of visiting Bora Bora often don’t align with the fantasy.

There are valid reasons why you may want to look at alternative destinations for your next tropical vacation.

By taking a realistic view of what Bora Bora is actually like, you can make a thoughtful decision about whether it’s the right choice for your next island getaway. The turquoise lagoons will still be there if you decide to plan a trip another time or seek out a destination better aligned with your needs and preferences.

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