If you're planning a trip to Bora Bora, it's important to be aware of the local laws, including the legal drinking age. In this post, I'll provide you with all the necessary information about the legal drinking age in Bora Bora.
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Legal Drinking Age in Bora Bora
What is the legal drinking age in Bora Bora?
The legal drinking age in Bora Bora is 18 years old.
A project of law was on the table to increase the age to 21 but as I’m writing these lines (in 2023) the legal drinking age is still 18 in French Polynesia.
This is also the legal age to purchase alcohol. Bars, restaurants, and stores selling alcohol are required to ask for identification from anyone who appears to be underage to ensure that they are of legal age to purchase alcohol.
A law project was proposed to increase the legal drinking age from 18 to 21 in French Polynesia. The proposed law aimed to reduce alcohol-related accidents and deaths, particularly among young people. The proposal was met with mixed reactions from the public, with some arguing that it would infringe on personal freedoms and others supporting it as a necessary measure for public safety.
Despite the proposed law, the legal drinking age in French Polynesia remains 18. This is in contrast to many other countries where the legal drinking age is 21. However, it is worth noting that the enforcement of underage drinking laws in French Polynesia is not always strict, and many young people are able to access alcohol even if they are not yet 18.
It remains to be seen whether the proposed law will gain more support in the future or if the legal drinking age will remain unchanged in French Polynesia.
How Much are Drinks in Bora Bora?
Due to taxes and importation alcoholic drinks are pretty pricey in Bora Bora (and in French Polynesia in general).
You can expect to pay at least $20 for a cocktail on a resort in Bora Bora like the St Régis Bora Bora or Four Seasons Bora Bora. But when traveling to a popular tourist destination, it's important to keep in mind that prices at restaurants inside resorts and hotels can be significantly higher. Eating out at local restaurants can be a great way to experience the culture and save money at the same time. In fact, you may even find that the food is more authentic and delicious.
In Bora Bora prices at restaurants outside of resorts can be significantly lower. For example if you head to the Bloody Mary's, you'll find that prices are much more reasonable. Their signature cocktails range from $8 to $15, and a glass of wine will only set you back about $7. Plus, you'll get to mingle with locals and fellow travelers, and soak up the laid-back island vibe that Bora Bora is known for.
Also, if you are trying to save a few bucks make sure to take advantage of the happy hours offered by the restaurants of the island.
How to Save Money on Drinks in Bora Bora?
Bring your own alcohol
My number one tip to save money on drinks in Bora Bora is… to come with you own alcohol.
This tip can save you a considerable amount of money, especially if you're staying in a resort where cocktails can cost up to $25 each. For big drinkers, this tip can result in savings of up to $300 a day per couple.
I know, it sounds cheap but I promise that no one will give you looks. Most resorts in Bora Bora have no issues with this ☺️
Also read :
Each visitor to Bora Bora is permitted to bring 2L (about 3 bottles) of spirits in their checked luggage - Check picture. You may also purchase alcohol duty-free before leaving for French Polynesia or upon arrival at Tahiti Airport. Note that the airport may be closed if you arrive very early, so it's safer to buy before boarding for Tahiti.
You’ll then only need to buy mixers from a local shop like Toa Amok or Chin Lee (budget option) or though the room service of your resort.
In your room you’ll find a mini bar, glasses (wine, champaign and regular glasses) well as an ice bucket. Ice machines are usually displayed around the resort so you can help yourself.
If you want to take your own drinks outside off your room, the most convenient option is to bring a small cooler with you. This way, you can prepare your mix and head to the pool without having to go back to your room.
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Buy local alcohol
Although it may be tempting to stick to the familiar brands, opting for local ones can provide a unique experience and insight into the local way of life (and will save you some money at the same time).
When it comes to beer, there are several local brands to choose from. Of course, the infamous Hinano first (available in lager, dark, and white). It is the most populat beer in the country (and a national symbol - you’ll even find Hinano’s way of life shops in Tahiti).
If you're feeling adventurous, you can also try "Hoa", their IPA is my favorite. If you want something sweeter you can try the “Tabu” - similar to Desperados.
A pack of six small local beers will cost around $15 to $20, which is a reasonable price for a taste of the local brew.
For those who prefer something stronger, local rum is a great option. With its distinct flavor and smooth texture, it's a favorite among locals. A bottle of local rum typically costs around $20 to $40.
If you're looking to try something new, the Ti-Punch cocktail is a must.
It's a local favorite and easy to make. Simply mix dark rum, fresh lime, and cane syrup with lots of ice, and you'll have a delicious cocktail made with local ingredients.
Insider tip : If you're a wine enthusiast you’ll find selection of French wines… but most of them are meh as they have been left in cargo for too long with high temperature variations (but I’m French, so picky about wine 😉🍷). For a great selection of wine, head to the St. James restaurant instead. You can enjoy a nice glass of wine there, overlooking the lagoon, and they also have a small shop with an excellent selection if you want to bring a couple of bottles back to your resort.
And if you feel extra fancy treat yourself with a wine degustation. You can book direct with the links below or contact me with the contact form at the end of this post so I can organise everything for you.
Good to know : When it comes to shopping for alcohol, Chin Lee Market is a great place to start. They offer a wide selection of beers, spirits, and wines, and their prices are reasonable. If you're staying close to Matira Beach, Tiare Market is also worth checking out. They have a good selection of local products, including alcoholic beverages.
By exploring the local culture and trying out the local products, you'll gain a deeper understanding of the place you're visiting and have a more meaningful experience.
Can you drink the water from the tap in Bora Bora?
Yes, you can drink water from the tap in Bora Bora.
I know you're in holidays but your are not going to drink alcohol only right? 😏 So, it is important to note that not all islands in French Polynesia have safe tap water. In fact, only two islands, Tahiti and Bora Bora, are known to have safe tap water. If you happen to be staying on any other islands, such as Moorea, it's better to avoid drinking tap water.
That being said, if you're still hesitant about drinking the tap water in Bora Bora, there are other budget options available to you. For instance, many resorts and gyms have water fountains that you can use to fill up your own bottle. Not only can this save you money (as bottled water at resorts can cost as much as $8 a bottle), but it can also help reduce plastic waste at the same time.
And voilà! 💁🏼♀️ Thank you for reading this post on the drinking age in Bora Bora!
Enjoy your stay in Bora Bora safely and responsibly!
Wine tastings in Bora Bora ⬇️
For more infos and bookings please fill up the form below.
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So, you can carry a cooler around the resorts, like at the pools and on the beach, with your own alcohol, and te resort won’t care?
Hi Cody, By cooler I mean a little insulated tumbler or cup (https://www.yeti.com/drinkware/tumblers#closeCSModal) not a big cooler with bottles of course. But no, I promise that no one will give you looks ☺️