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14 Must-Visit Places Like Bora Bora (Overwater Bungalows + Tropical Vibes)

Tropical turquoise lagoon with palm trees and a volcanic mountain backdrop in Bora Bora

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There’s a reason why Bora Bora is a dream honeymoon destination. With its gorgeous accommodation, breathtaking scenery and paradise vibes, it’s one of the best places for a luxury couple’s escape.

But, despite being one of the world’s prettiest destinations, you’re not alone if you’re looking for alternative places like Bora Bora to visit instead.

Part of French Polynesia, Bora Bora is a tropical oasis with shimmering white sands, turquoise seas and lush natural scenery. It’s an absolutely heavenly, picture-perfect destination – but it’s one that comes at a premium. 

There’s no overlooking that Bora Bora can be an expensive destination. Boasting some of the world’s best hotels, you can expect to pay £1,000 per night for a luxury overwater bungalow… And while there are a few cheaper options, if you want the iconic, bucket list experience, you need deep pockets to visit Bora Bora!

Bora Bora also isn’t the easiest destination to reach (especially if you’re travelling from somewhere like the UK), and it can be daunting if you’re not used to far-flung travel. So, you’ll be forgiven if you’re wanting to find an alternative.

Luckily, there are lots of destinations that are similar to Bora Bora and will give you crystal clear waters, colourful coral and the dreamiest accommodation. If you want to know the best places like Bora Bora to add to your list, keep reading for my top picks!

Places like Bora Bora with overwater bungalows

1 Maldives

A tiny white-sand island with overwater villas stretching out into turquoise ocean

If there’s one place that’s most compared with Bora Bora, it has to be the Maldives! Like Bora Bora, the Maldives is one of the very best places for a honeymoon or dream couple’s vacation. It has all the paradise vibes, with idyllic private island resorts and sugar sand beaches. 

Because it’s such a popular honeymoon destination – and because it boasts a ton of luxury resorts – the Maldives is notoriously expensive. However, flights are usually cheaper to the Maldives than Bora Bora (at least if you’re travelling from the UK). If you’re travelling from Europe, it’s also easier to reach than Bora Bora.

The Maldives is renowned for its spectacular overwater bungalows and villas, so it’s an amazing Bora Bora alternative. And if you love being in the water, the Maldives should also be at the top of your list – the sea is crystal clear and has some of the world’s best snorkelling and diving.

Most of all, the Maldives is perfect for those who want nothing more than to relax on pristine beaches. As each resort is usually set on a private island, there’s less adventuring to be done here – but, you’ll be in absolute paradise so it’s amazing if all you want to do is relax, unwind and treat yourself to a once-in-a-lifetime getaway!

Best time to visit: December to March

Overwater bungalows in the Maldives: Joali Maldives, Soneva Jani, COMO Cocoa Island

2 Jamaica

A green and tropical coastline with vibrant turquoise ocean

Over in the Caribbean, Jamaica is one of the very best islands for couples. Not only does it have beautiful beaches, but it also has lush rural scenery with waterfalls and mountainous jungles.

If you’re dreaming of Bora Bora but fancy somewhere a little more lively, Jamaica is a good bet. It’s known for its vibrant atmosphere and good vibes – so you’ll find beach parties and lots to see and do. You’ll be able to do everything from catamaran cruising, sailing and snorkelling to rafting and horse riding. 

You’ll also find iconic overwater villas and the most luxurious accommodation in Jamaica. Sandals Resorts currently have the only overwater bungalows in Jamaica. They’re all-inclusive and come with butler service so it’s a bucket list option, especially if you’re heading on your honeymoon!

If you’re travelling from the UK or the US, Jamaica is also easy to reach with regular, direct flights. 

Best time to visit: December to April

Overwater bungalows in Jamaica: Sandals Royal Caribbean, Sandals South Coast

3 Fiji 

Several hilly and rugged tropical islands set amongst turquoise sea

A list of places like Bora Bora wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Fiji. Fiji is one of my favourite destinations and has the most incredible palm-fringed beaches and coral reefs. It’s also a country with a rich and fascinating culture.

Also found in the South Pacific, there are lots of similarities between Fiji and Bora Bora. However, Fiji is typically cheaper! 

There are 300+ islands in Fiji, so there are loads of choices of places to stay and visit. If it’s your first time in Fiji (or you want more of an adventure), I recommend island hopping in Fiji to experience the best of the best! But, if all you want to do is relax, choose one resort and soak up the paradise setting. There are several romantic hotels in Fiji with overwater bungalows, so it’s a great alternative to Bora Bora.

RELATED: Bali vs Fiji: Which Is the Best Vacation Spot?

Because Fiji is in the same region as Bora Bora, it will still be a long journey if you’re travelling from Europe. However, there are more international flights into Fiji so it can feel easier to get there. From the UK to Fiji, you can connect in Los Angeles or Singapore, whereas for Bora Bora, you’ll have extra changes.

Best time to visit: May to October

Overwater bungalows in Fiji: Likuliku Lagoon Resort, COMO Laucala Island

4 Mauritius

A towering mountain and an underwater waterfall off the coast of Mauritius

As a country that’s been described as heaven, Mauritius is an idyllic choice if you’re looking for a tropical getaway. With its mountain landscapes, beautiful beaches and clear waters, Mauritius is comparable to Bora Bora, albeit much bigger and more developed.

As one of the more built-up islands, you’ll find lots to see and do in Mauritius so it’s great if you get itchy feet. As well as water activities, you’ll be able to go hiking, visit botanical gardens and immerse yourself in cultural activities.

Mauritius is amazing for snorkelling and diving, and it’s a perfect place for wildlife lovers with its abundant jungles and nature reserves. 

Better still, Mauritius is relatively easy to reach, especially if you’re headed from Europe. With direct flights from London, it’s a convenient choice for Brits. Plus, across the island, there are heavenly hotels with options to suit every style and budget – one of which has overwater bungalows.

Best time to visit: September to December

Overwater bungalows in Mauritius: Constance Le Prince Maurice

5 Zanzibar

Clear blue waters and a pristine empty white beach in Zanzibar

One of Africa’s gems, Zanzibar is one of the most amazing places like Bora Bora. Slightly under the radar compared to other Indian Ocean islands, Zanzibar is perfect if you want an authentic paradise vacation.

Thanks to its jaw-dropping beaches and the experiences it offers, it’s a good contender as one of the best places like Bora Bora. Named the Spice Island, Zanzibar is known for its production of spices like nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon – you can visit the spice farms during your stay.

Zanzibar has some of the most picture-perfect beaches with palm-fringed sands and shallow azure water. It’s a paradise destination that’s just as photogenic as Bora Bora. There aren’t as many overwater bungalows here – but, the scenery more than makes up for it.

This is an island that’s part of Tanzania, so it’s also a brilliant option if you want to combine a heavenly beach break with an exciting safari vacation. It’s just a short flight between the two and the combination promises a once-in-a-lifetime getaway.

Best time to visit: June to October

Overwater bungalows in Zanzibar: Isaraya Luxury Over Water Villas

6 Turks & Caicos

Azure water off the coast of Turks & Caicos with a shipwreck on the sands

If you’re dreaming of the most beautiful beaches, you can’t go wrong with Turks & Caicos. This is a destination that’s renowned for its beaches – its Grace Bay Beach has been named the world’s best beach on multiple occasions!

As one of the best places like Bora Bora in the Caribbean, it’s a perfect choice for US and UK travellers who can make the most of direct flights. 

And although it’s one of the more expensive Caribbean islands, it has incredible accommodation that’s ideal for honeymooners or those celebrating a special occasion. You’ll find villas on private islands, stylish beach resorts – and luxury water pavilions!

If you choose to visit Turks & Caicos, you’ll be transported to absolute paradise. It’s a Caribbean destination that’s slightly quieter than some of the others so it’s a perfect choice if you want privacy and relaxation. Made up of 40 islands, it’s also fab for island hopping and exploring pretty cays and secluded beaches. Plus, it’s home to one of the world’s largest barrier reefs.

Best time to visit: December to April

Overwater bungalows in Turks & Caicos: Amanyara

7 Moorea, French Polynesia

Tropical greenery and palm trees along the coast of Moorea

As another of the islands in French Polynesia, Moorea has obvious similarities to Bora Bora. Moorea is the closest major island to Tahiti (which is where international flights land), so it’s slightly easier and cheaper to reach than Bora Bora. 

It’s also bigger than Bora Bora, so there’s a greater choice of accommodation to suit different budgets (although the overwater bungalows can still be a little spendy). Moorea also has a more local and authentic feel compared to Bora Bora which is mostly focused on exclusive resorts.

Like Bora Bora, Moorea boasts amazing coral reefs so you can expect the best snorkelling. There’s also lush scenery, turquoise lagoons and gorgeous sunsets that make it a dream romantic destination. There’s also a little more to see and do in Moorea so it’s perfect if you get bored simply lounging on the beach. Some of the things you can do in Moorea include hiking, renting a car to explore remote areas and taking in the most breathtaking panoramic views.

Even though Moorea is a great alternative to Bora Bora, if you’re travelling to this part of the world, I’d really recommend going to Bora Bora during your trip anyway. Island hopping around French Polynesia will be an unforgettable experience and it makes sense to experience the bucket list accommodation in Bora Bora while you’re so close 😉

Best time to visit: May to October

Overwater bungalows in Moorea: Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa, Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea Beach Resort, Manava Beach Resort & Spa

8 Indonesia

A rustic overwater villa beside shallow turquoise sea in Indonesia

If you’ve been to Indonesia or are planning a visit, it’s probably Bali that’s on your travel list. Bali is a great little island and has so much to offer, but it’s not the destination I’d recommend if you’re looking for places like Bora Bora. Elsewhere in Indonesia, there are, however, gorgeous spots that will give you the dream Bora Bora-style vacation!

If you’re looking for a relaxing, resort-type holiday, there are some of the most serene and heavenly hotels in Indonesia that are just as picture-perfect as those in Bora Bora. One of the best is Bawah Reserve, which is a luxury, tropical paradise near the coast of Singapore. 

Extremely secluded, Bawah Reserve epitomises luxury and offers the most incredible setting. It’s surrounded by crystal waters, blue lagoons and coral reefs, so it’s the ideal spot for water lovers and those who want to experience abundant marine life. It’s also a resort that has the most romantic overwater bungalows!

Aside from Bawah Reserve, you’ll also want to check out NIHI Sumba in Indonesia. Located on the island of Sumba, about an hour’s flight from Bali, this is a remote, paradise resort that’s all kinds of perfect. While it doesn’t have overwater bungalows, it does have gorgeous villas with breathtaking tropical views.

Best time to visit: April to October

Overwater bungalows in Indonesia: Bawah Reserve

9 Palawan, Philippines

A cluster of rocky limestone cliffs in a secluded bay in Palawan

The Philippines Province of Palawan is one of the world’s most photogenic places so it’s an incredible alternative to Bora Bora. I’d even say this is one of the best places like Bora Bora thanks to its dramatic coastal scenery and incredible turquoise waters!

Palawan is known for its secluded beaches, sparkling waters and craggy limestone cliffs. It’s a destination that’s unbelievably scenic and is a real-life heaven for beach lovers. Like Bora Bora, it’s one of those places that really wows. It also has lots for visitors to see and do. 

Island hopping is one of the best things to do in Palawan. The most famous spots are El Nido and Coron, but some of the less-known islands and beaches are perfect if you want a little more privacy. You’ll be able to float on clear waters, snorkel among colourful reefs, as well as trek through jungles!

Palawan is also a much cheaper alternative to Bora Bora, while still boasting romantic accommodation (it’s one of the best honeymoon destinations in Southeast Asia so you’ll get gorgeously rustic charm!) There are lots of options for beachside villas and hideaways, as well as plenty of overwater bungalows. 

Best time to visit: November to May

Overwater bungalows in Palawan: Cauayan Island Resort and Spa, El Nido Resorts Lagen Island, Sunlight Ecotourism Island Resort

10 Malaysia 

Cable cars between mountains overlooking tropical islands in the sea

Another place like Bora Bora with overwater bungalows is Malaysia. Most people think of Kuala Lumpur when planning a trip to Malaysia, but it has so many exotic islands that are perfect for a tropical vacation. 

If you’re planning a honeymoon, Langkawi is a really great destination in Malaysia that has Bora Bora vibes. As an archipelago made up of 99 islands, there are a lot of beautiful palm-fringed beaches. Langkawi also has lush mountainous jungles, mangrove forests and waterfalls. 

Because it’s a great honeymoon destination, there are really dreamy accommodation options here – including the St. Regis and Berjaya Langkawi Resort, which both have overwater villas.

Elsewhere in Malaysia, you’ll also find private island resorts like Pangkor Laut Resort that are amazing for a dream vacation. 

Best time to visit: November to March

Overwater bungalows in Malaysia: The St. Regis Langkawi, Berjaya Langkawi Resort, Pangkor Laut Resort 

11 St Lucia

An empty tropical beach in front of a striking volcanic mountain

St Lucia is easily the most romantic island in the Caribbean so it’s an obvious alternative to Bora Bora. Not only does St Lucia have gorgeous beaches, but it’s also known for its rainforests, jungle reserves and iconic Piton mountains. It’s a breathtaking island with views that rival Bora Bora’s!

If you want a loved-up vacation (or you’re planning a honeymoon), St Lucia is a perfect choice. This island has so much to offer couples – from horse riding on the beach to sunset cruises and romantic private dining. It’s also a great destination for luxury with lots of secluded hotels. 

As a top honeymoon destination, St Lucia isn’t the cheapest destination if you want the bucket list experience. If you’re after an overwater bungalow, the only option is from Sandals, which is on the spendy side – but it’s totally worth it for that dream tropical getaway!

Best time to visit: December to April

Overwater bungalows in St Lucia: Sandals Grande St. Lucian

Bonus places like Bora Bora 

The following destinations don’t have overwater bungalows but they still have incredible accommodation, gorgeous scenery and tropical Bora Bora vibes. They’re 1000% worthy of being on your list too!

12 Hawaii

A dramatic, mountainous coastline in Hawaii

Known for its insanely beautiful scenery, Hawaii has to be included as one of the best places like Bora Bora. Hawaii is exceptionally picturesque with impressive landscapes and gorgeous beaches. Kauai and Oahu could be considered the most scenic islands with the latter being home to the iconic Kualoa Ranch!

Kauai has a wild beauty and is the perfect island if you want a bit more seclusion. It has hidden beaches, tropical rainforests and dramatic cliffs. It’s one of the world’s most beautiful places so naturally, it’s a good contender if you’re after somewhere similar to Bora Bora.

Unfortunately there are no overwater bungalows in Hawaii, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t loads of incredible hotels to add to your list. Hawaii is a dream destination so you’ll find so many amazing beachfront resorts and paradise accommodation.

Best time to visit: April to September

Where to stay in Hawaii: Four Seasons Resort Oahu, Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay

13 Whitsundays, Australia

A drone view looking down on islands set in clear turquoise waters

If you’re like me and you’re obsessed with beaches, Australia’s Whitsunday Islands could be your dream destination! I was blown away by the Whitsundays when I visited Australia. Whitehaven Beach is the most famous in the Whitsundays and is one of the world’s prettiest – it has the softest sugar white sands and some of the clearest waters.

Off the coast of Queensland, the Whitsunday Islands sit on the Great Barrier Reef, so it’s also an exceptional place for snorkelling and diving. The area also boasts rainforests and hiking trails. It feels like a true paradise destination so it’s a must-visit if you want a tropical getaway with similarities to Bora Bora.

Even though this is a spot that’s visited a lot by backpackers, there are incredible resorts for couples in the Whitsundays, too. It’s the perfect place to relax, kick back and experience a slice of paradise.

Best time to visit: September to December

Where to stay in the Whitsundays: Qualia Resort, Elysian Luxury Eco Island Retreat 

14 Seychelles

A beach with large granite boulders and pristine white sands

Made up of 115 scattered islands, the Seychelles is beyond idyllic. This is a destination that has a big focus on wildlife and getting back to nature. It’s a really remote vacation spot – so if you’re dreaming of privacy and somewhere secluded, the Seychelles is a winner!

As one of the top places like Bora Bora, the Seychelles boasts pristine scenery and the most beautiful beaches. The country’s Anse Source d’Argent beach is one of the world’s most photographed and it’s easy to see why – it’s breathtaking and gives Bora Bora’s beaches a run for their money.

If you want to go island hopping, the Seychelles is another great destination. But, if all you want to do is lounge on white sandy beaches, you’ll be in heaven. As an isolated option like Bora Bora, you won’t find a million things to see and do in the Seychelles but that’s probably not a problem when you’re surrounded by the most incredible surroundings!

There might not be overwater bungalows in the Seychelles but, as one of Africa’s very best honeymoon destinations, you’ll find the dreamiest, ultra-romantic accommodation. After all, it’s where Will and Kate had their honeymoon and if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us!

Best time to visit: April to May & October to November

Where to stay in the Seychelles: North Island, Six Senses Zil Pasyon, Denis Private Island Seychelles

There’s no denying that Bora Bora is an incredible vacation spot. If you’re planning a honeymoon or a romantic getaway, Bora Bora will always be a good choice. But, if it’s not a realistic option because of the cost or the distance, there are loads of alternatives!

I hope this list of places like Bora Bora has inspired you (and even if you’re still going to Bora Bora – these should be on your list anyway!) These destinations epitomise paradise, have the most breathtaking beaches and are heavenly in every way.

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