With its turquoise lagoon, blonde beaches and lush mountain backdrop, Bora Bora is the epitome of a tropical paradise. Typically pictured with clear blue, sunny skies or fiery sunsets, this is the luxury island escape that many travelers dream of – and thanks to year-round warm temperatures, there's no such thing as a bad time to visit.

From snorkeling alongside rays and reef sharks to hikes around ancient ceremonial sites, spending time in Bora Bora is truly a balm to the soul. However, the photos of cloudless blue skies that you see on social media don't paint the full picture – this is the South Pacific and the island has a tropical rainy season from December to March.

But don't let a little rain put you off – visiting during the rainy season has its advantages too! Here's what you need to know about the best times to visit Bora Bora. 

A woman looks from overwater bungalows to the mountains on Bora Bora
Overwater bungalows are the definition of luxury in Bora Bora © wilar / Shutterstock

December to March is the best time to visit on a budget

As Bora Bora's dry season comes to an end, the days start to get cloudier and there's an increased chance of rain. The temperatures creep up a little higher and the humidity kicks in. This change in the weather marks the low season for tourism, but this can be advantageous to travelers who have a limited budget and don't mind some clouds in the sky. Cyclones (hurricanes) are rare but they can blow through at this time of year.

During the rainy season, many of the island’s top resorts drop their rates as demand falls. This makes a plush stay at an overwater bungalow resort, such as the luxurious Four Seasons Bora Bora, much more affordable. Another advantage to the low season is the lack of crowds; most visitors crave those iconic blue skies and you can end up with an entire beach to yourself when the weather is more unpredictable.

December is the most humid month in Bora Bora but the cloudy skies don't put a dampener on Christmas. Enthusiastic celebrations happen across the island as locals throw themselves into the holiday spirit; tourists are made to feel very welcome at local events. Visitor numbers are at their lowest in January but if you've decided to snap up a hotel deal, make time to experience the Taurua Varua festival – one of the most important religious occasions in the islands that's celebrated with traditional singing.

February sees less rain than January, though this month has the highest chance of a cyclone. As French Polynesia lies off the main cyclone belt, these are quite rare but the chance is still there (the last major cyclone was in 2010). Humidity is high, which can be uncomfortable during the day, but it also brings some of the most incredible sunsets you’ll ever see. Again, tourism is slow during this month so prices tend to be lower at resorts.

As March rolls in, the rain decreases further, though you'll likely still experience daily showers and high humidity. Tourists are still scarce but March marks the beginning of event season, with competitions to find Bora Bora's best orero (guardian of spoken history). 

April and November give the best combination of weather and prices

The months of April and November fall between the wet and dry seasons, offering some of the advantages of both. During these months, you'll see fewer crowds and you can find some generous deals from resorts, but the weather still brings plenty of sunshine. 

There will be some rain and humidity, though the rain showers tend to pass quite quickly. April brings the start of the main scuba diving season as the absence of strong winds makes for calm, clear waters – perfect for spotting sharks, manta rays, barracudas and more out in the deep blue. This visibility also occurs in November, which is why it's also a popular time for underwater adventures. The Hawaiki nui va’a is a wonderfully fun and hectic time of canoe races around the island and islets. Join the locals and cheer on your favorite towards victory!

A beautiful Bora Bora island beach at sunrise
The peak season brings perfect beach weather most mornings © Lux Blue / Shutterstock

May to October is the best time for blue skies and sunshine

The dry season in Bora Bora takes place over the southern hemisphere winter months (May to October) on the island. The dry months see low levels of rainfall, so you can be confident that you will have clear blue skies with plenty of sunshine for much of your stay. Temperatures during the winter are also less intense than in the summer months, with daytime highs around 28°C (82°F).

This ideal weather for basking in the sun makes the dry season the most popular time to visit Bora Bora. Unfortunately, this means higher prices at resorts and bigger crowds across the island. If this is your dream time to visit, start looking at flights well in advance as seats get snapped up quickly.

Though the high season kicks off in May, the main crowds haven't arrived yet. Water conditions continue to be ideal for scuba diving and the Tahiti Pearl Regatta sailing race draws teams from across the globe. Come June you’ll notice a drop in temperatures at night and the humidity decreases too, making this a perfect month to visit. It's also when school holidays start in North America and Europe, bringing vacationing families to the resorts. The wind tends to pick up in June, creating ideal conditions for sailing and kiteboarding, but decreasing the visibility for scuba diving.

Bora Bora's biggest cultural festival, Heive I Bora Bora, takes place in July, making this one of the best times to visit the island. Expect plenty of carnivals, singing, boat racing and all-round revelry across the island. August tends to be the busiest month and is when most European visitors head to the island. The trade winds make the heat less intense and long hours of sunshine make for blissful times on the beach.

Things start to quiet down a bit in September as it’s back-to-school season for many families visiting from the northern hemisphere. This also marks the height of humpback whale season in Bora Bora (which runs from mid-July to the end of October). This is the best time to see mothers and their calves in the waters surrounding the island; you can’t swim with them here as you can in Mo’orea, but there are plenty of excellent whale-watching tours.

October marks the end of the high season. Towards the end of the month, you’ll notice more humidity and rain but there's still a lot of sunshine to enjoy. Local school holidays during this month bring families to the beaches and scuba divers return to the water as it tends to be calm, meaning great visibility.

This article was first published Nov 17, 2021 and updated Dec 12, 2023.

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