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by Santorini Dave • Updated: November 12, 2018
What is the best time to visit Bora Bora?
- Best Time to Visit: May, September and October.
- Best Time for Good Weather: May to October.
- Best Time for Sightseeing: May, September and October.
- Best Time for Honeymoons: May to October.
- Best Time for Diving & Snorkeling: April, May, September and October.
- Best Time for Outdoor Activities: June to September.
- Best Time for Saving Money: Avoid the peak seasons (June to August, and the Christmas/New Year period) when all resorts and hotels are bursting. Rates increase, and flights are sometimes overbooked, so plan ahead. Also, the local school holidays (especially in October) are busy times for inter-island flights.
- Best Time for Sightseeing: Like all tropical island regions in the South Pacific, there are 2 very important factors to consider when planning holidays. Bora Bora is especially busy (and overpriced) during the major European vacation times of June, July, and (particularly) August, and the Christmas/New Year period from mid-December to mid-January. The second aspect is the wet season, which lasts from November to April. At this time, heavy rain is frequent, the humidity can be draining, and cyclones are possible (although very rare).
- Best Time for Diving & Snorkeling: Calm, clear waters are most likely between April and October, the driest months. However, during June, July and August, trade winds bring relief onshore, but can churn up the sea. During the wet season (November to April), rain and wind can also affect visibility, but this is less problematic in the shallow and mostly non-tidal lagoon that surrounds Bora Bora.
- Best Time for Outdoor Activities: Not surprisingly, the weather affects the accessibility and enjoyment of all things outside. The wet season (November to April) brings heavy downpours and stronger winds, and when it’s not raining, the humidity can be uncomfortable. The optimal time to be outdoors is during the driest months of June to September, but, obviously, don’t go anywhere outdoors during any cyclonic activity.
- Best Time for Beaches: During the dry season (May to October) daytime temperatures average around 28°C (83°F), but water temperatures in the lagoon surrounding Bora Bora remain constantly inviting, i.e. from about 24°C to 26°C. Swimming is sometimes more appealing in the wet season, if only to seek relief from the heat and humidity. Obviously, avoid any bad weather (particularly lightning), and never forget sunscreen.
Bora Bora Travel Seasons
- High Season (June, July, August, and mid-December to mid-January): This is the European holiday time, with the peak of the peak in August; and around the Christmas/New Year period. During these times, hotel rates soar and occupancy is very high, so always book way ahead. And remember that December to January is also the height of the wet season, with cancelled flights not uncommon, and cyclones always possible (but very rare).
- Shoulder Season (April, May, September and October): These months are at the start and finish of the dry season, and exclude the peak holiday periods (as explained above). The weather is very comfortable – mostly clear, mild and dry – and prices have yet to peak.
- Low Season (November to mid-December, and mid-January to March): These periods are in the wet season, when rain is frequent, the humidity often unpleasant, and cyclones always possible, so be alert. Hotel rates drop considerably, and with so many empty rooms, guests can negotiate. Finding seats on planes is also rarely a problem.
Bora Bora Weather by Month
- Bora Bora Weather in January: Only a few degrees south of the equator, Bora Bora is blessed with a tropical climate of warm and balmy days, with the heat often tempered by trade winds from June to August. The hot and rainy season peaks this month, with the second-highest monthly rainfall – 270mm (10.5 inches) – and 19 days with some rain. Expect virtually the same temperature – about 30°C (86°F) – for this month, and the next 3. And when the rain stops and the sun is out, the humidity can be difficult. Cyclones are not as prevalent as its Pacific neighbors, but always possible from November to April, so check the local media, hotel announcements, and the official website.
- Bora Bora Weather in February: The middle of the wet season brings the greatest possible threat of cyclones. (Oli passed through in February 2010, but caused minimal injuries and damage.) While most tropical depressions bypass Bora Bora, peripheral winds and rains can make travel by plane and boat uncomfortable, and sometimes, impossible.
- Bora Bora Weather in March: Rainfall starts to reduce dramatically to an average of 177mm (7 inches), while temperatures remain at about 30°C (86°F). But the continual humidity can still force people back inside.
- Bora Bora Weather in April: The end of the wet season is nigh, signalling a reduction in humidity, much to the relief of everyone. Oddly, the average rainfall is slightly more than March, but the number of downpours starts to dwindle by the middle of the month, and humidity levels noticeably drop further. But don’t put away the umbrella and wet-weather gear just yet.
- Bora Bora Weather in May: Official start of the dry and cooler season, sometimes called the ‘winter’ by locals – and with it the chance of cyclones has virtually disappeared. The weather quickly becomes perceptibly drier, with rainfall less than half of that in January. Average daytime temperatures drop slightly below 30°C (86°F) for the first time in the calendar year.
- Bora Bora Weather in June: Usually perfect weather, with rainfall reduced considerably, but perhaps more importantly, humidity is lower and further alleviated by the trade winds that can last until the end of August. Average daytime temperatures for this and the next 3 months average 28°C (82°F). But the seemingly endless dry and clear days do coincide with the start of the busier tourist season.
- Bora Bora Weather in July: By now, some locals may even start complaining about the ‘cold weather’ amid increased trade winds, which provide relief for many on land, but are unwelcome by some on or under the water. The mild weather continues, with the lowest average daytime and night-time temperatures for the year, and a further reduction in rain.
- Bora Bora Weather in August: The weather continues to be ideal, except the trade winds are at their strongest, sometimes making boat trips less pleasant. Rainfall is at the lowest monthly average for the year – 60mm (2.4 inches) – with the greatest number of hours of sunshine, and least number of days with any rain (4). But the masses have now started arriving from Europe for their annual holidays.
- Bora Bora Weather in September: Probably the optimal month to visit as the dry and pleasant weather continues, but with a significant reduction in hotel rates and tourist numbers. The trade winds may linger, but are cooling rather than frustratingly blowy.
- Bora Bora Weather in October: The final month of the calendar year for reliably mild weather. Average daytime temperatures start to rise by a degree (°C), and, more noticeably, there’s an upsurge in humidity. Rainfall begins to increase as the wet season looms; there’s about 30% more rain in October than the previous month, but less than half of the next.
- Bora Bora Weather in November: Official start of the wet season, also called the ‘summer’ by locals, which continues until late April. Average daytime temperatures rise further, soon peaking at about 30°C (86°F), while the humidity becomes conspicuously more uncomfortable. Rainfall is double that of October, and more than triple the amount from September. And cyclones are now possible (although very rare) anytime until April, so keep alert.
- Bora Bora Weather in December: The wet season has well and truly started by now, with heavy downpours that could affect travel plans. With an average 15 rainy days in December, this is the wettest month: 280mm (11 inches) of rain is almost 5 times more than in August. Despite this, tourist numbers increase dramatically during the Christmas/New Year period.
Bora Bora Holidays, Events and Festivals
Bora Bora Events in January
- New Year’s Day – public holiday celebrated by everyone, especially at Matira. Some shops, bars and cafés, particularly those owned by expats, close over the Christmas/New Year period – maybe, even for all of December.
- Taurua Varua (changeable, late January) – 1 of the island’s most important religious events, with 3 weekends of unique traditional singing at various venues around the main island.
Bora Bora Events in February
- Chinese New Year (changeable, January/February) – the handful of Chinese families (and others) in Vaitape celebrate moderately for a few days.
Bora Bora Events in March
- Missionaries Day (5th) – also known as Gospel Day. Public holiday honoring the arrival of Protestantism over 220 years ago, with traditional dancing and singing, mostly in the churches.
- Orero Championship (changeable, mid-March) – remarkable competition of ancient singing at the town hall in Vaitape, with winners to later compete elsewhere in Tahiti.
Bora Bora Events in April
- Easter (changeable, March/April) – some facilities close for 4 days, while Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays. Easter Sunday is a great time to visit a church.
- Miss & Mister Bora Bora (changeable, early April) – a contest of beauty and strength at the town hall in Vaitape.
Bora Bora Events in May
- Labour Day (1st) – public holiday.
- Tahiti Pearl Regatta (7th to 13th) – largest sailing race in the Pacific. All sorts of boats, from yachts to canoes, travel around Tahiti, including Ra’iatea and Bora Bora islands.
- Victory Day (8th) – public holiday commemorating the end of WWII in Europe.
- Ascension Day (changeable) – public holiday 40 days after Easter Sunday.
- Whit Monday (changeable, May or June) – also known as Pentecost, a public holiday and major religious event.
Bora Bora Events in June
- Heiva Dances (changeable) – in the lead up to the major Heiva celebrations across Tahiti next month, the dance school in Vaitape practices and performs.
- Miss Tahiti (22nd) – honors the beauty of Tahitian women, with an event at the town hall in Vaitape.
- Hivavaeve (29th) – also known as Internal Autonomy Day. Public holiday celebrating when French Polynesia was granted self-government (but not yet independence).
Bora Bora Events in July
- Heiva i Tahiti – expect plenty of hip-swinging dancing, ukulele playing, canoe racing, and sporting carnivals across all of Tahiti. (Ask your hotel or check online about events and venues in Bora Bora.)
- Bastille Day (14th) – public holiday, celebrated with food and song along the main street of Vaitape.
- Raid Anei Bora Bora (changeable, late July) – competitive hiking in the mountains. (Check online for current details.)
Bora Bora Events in August
- Assumption (15th) – public holiday, with church services widely attended.
Bora Bora Events in September
- No special events or festivals this month.
Bora Bora Events in October
- Stone-Throwing Competitions (changeable, early October) – honors the ancient tradition of fishing using stones, with events among communities on the main island.
Bora Bora Events in November
- All Saints Day (1st) – public holiday, when many locals visit graves of relatives.
- Armistice Day (11th) – commemorates the end of WWI.
- Faatitoraamoa (11th to 13th) – Armistice Day is ‘celebrated’ with a few days of traditional cock-fighting around the communities on the main island.
- Hawaiki Nui Canoe Races (changeable, mid-November) – serious races around Hauhine, Ra’iatea and Bora Bora islands. Over 3 days, with lots of fun for participants and spectators.
- Matari’i Ni’a (changeable, late November) – traditional events among communities around the main island as locals express gratitude for the rain and hope for a plentiful harvest.
Bora Bora Events in December
- Va’a Bora Bora (changeable, early December) – more canoe races off the shore of Matira.
- Village de Noël (11th to 14th) – Christmas fair with locally-made products for sale around the harbor in Vaitape.
- Parade de Noël (Saturday before Christmas) – modest but colorful pageant, with dances and displays. In Vaitape.
- Christmas Day (25th) – celebrated fervently. Also a public holiday, with most shops and independent restaurants (i.e. those not associated with hotels) closed for several days. Some facilities, especially those owned by expats, close over the Christmas/New Year period; sometimes, even for the whole month of December.
- Boxing Day (26th) – Christmas celebrations continue, although not a public holiday.
- New Year’s Eve (31st) – commemorating the changing of years, with most resorts offering buffet dinners, sometimes with dances and music. Otherwise, head to Matira to see what’s happening.
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