First Boracay was not in my list for its huge touristic crowd . Shortly thereafter moving in KL, I missed Philippines badly and later I was able to grab a low-cost ticket to Boracay. I was like “ OK, let’s give it a shot”. As it turns out, Boracay exceedingly hit and left me an indelible mark with its gorgeous scenery.
Let’s have a quick glance at this beautiful island
Location:The Philippines – Western Visayas region.
Languages: Visayas and English spoken widely
Currency: Philippines Peso – Symbol: PHP
Climate: Tropical climate with 2 plain seasons as rainy season from June to October and dry season from November to May.
Best time to visit: Dry season from November to May.
The island is divided into 3 stations: Station 3 is near the jetty, station 2 is in the middle and station 1 is the farthest.
Transportation: Motorized pedicabs and tricycles are the usual form of public transportation on the main road.There are 2 types of rides: Special and non-special(which you will share the ride with other passengers and of course the price is cheaper). Van and taxi are also available on the main road but the price is higher than tricycles
How to go there?
There are 2 airports located near Boracay – Caticlan airport (Airlines with flights to and from Caticlan are: Cebu Pacific Air from Manila and Cebu, Philippine Airlines and SkyJet from Manila only) and Kalibo International Airport (Cebu Pacific, Air Asia, Philippines airline connects Kalibo to Manila, Taipei, Shanghai, Seoul and Kuala Lumpur).
Caticlan Airport is just walking distance to Caticlan Jetty Port where you will take the boat to Boracay island for 40 minutes but from Kalibo airport, it will take extra 1 and half hours to reach Jetty Port.
There are vans, taxi, coasters and buses that serve travelers from Kalibo. Make sure to ask if your tickets include ferry ticket (PHP 250 for a minivan and ferry ticket and PHP 350 for bus). Mini van just started when it get fulled so expected to wait for another extra 30 mins.
When you arrive, there will be additional environment fee (100PHP) you need to pay before you could get into the boat.
Insider tip: Some porters suggest to carry you luggage and demand for tips after. So consider if you like to carry your own things.Upon reaching the island, there are many tricyles waiting and take you to your hotel, the price depends on station you stay. The trip usually costs PHP 100 to PHP 200.
Where to stay?
Accommodation in this island are varied from 5 stars hotels and resorts to a simple bed in dormitory. Whatever your budget is, you could easily to find a suitable place to stay.
Booking in advance in peak seasons (Chirstmas, new year and Holy week) are necessary as room is difficult to find and more expensive. If you want to save, stay clear off peak seasons when everything turns high-cost.
Staying along white beach giver you better access to the bars, party and food. If you want quiet place, station 1 near Diniwid beach suits for you. We stayed 2 nights at Chillax flashpackers which located near Diniwid beach. The price is reasonable as 1500 PHP good for 4 persons includes breakfast. They have rooftop and swimming pool. Plus point is the owner is so friendly and helpful with all his tips about best places to go and best foods in town. Amazing!! Thanks to his guidance, we could visit the hidden beach named as New Coast. It’s stunning beach with white sand, clear blue water and last but best “remote” :D. Then we spent our 2 last days in station 2 as it’s center of bars and restaurants to enjoy atmosphere, food and drinks.
What to do in Boracay?
Boracay always has something for everyone. It’s the most popular beach in the Philippines because of its variaty of exciting activities. Here are some highlights of this wonderful island. Check it out!
1. Island hopping
This is one of the best way to explore amazing wonders around this island. The price is reasonable as 800PHP to 1200 PHP included lunch, mineral water and a tourguide.
The whole activity last from 5-6 hours. Snorkel is not included but you can rent it for 20PHP each.
First stop – Crocodile Island
First Activity: Snorkeling
Second stop – Crystal Cove (Entrance fee: 200 PHP will be collected by your boatman)
Third Stop: Piknikan Island where you have your lunch.
Last stop – Puka beach
Last Activity: Snorkeling
Parasailing is a popular activity for adventure lovers enjoy a whole view of white beach’s shoreline and deep blue sea below your feet while being pulled by a speed boat.
This is for those who want to challenge their fear of heights or just simply want to enjoy the precious view from the blue sky above.
Parasailing price – includes transportation, 15 mins of gliding, parasailing equipment and life jacket.
Single ride: PHP 2500
Double ride: PHP 2500 per person (the price is negotiable and depends on the season, we were able to get 1000 PHP per person on the low season. So it’s really up for your skill of bargain 😀 )
3. Paraw sailing
Experience the traditional way of sailing which you discover incredible views around this island. This activity is perfect for photograph especially you can take advantage to enjoy this activity while sunset and relaxing on the boat’s wings.
Price: 2500 peso for group of 5. Like I said the price is much lower if it’s in low season as I could get 1000 PHP for 5 person. 😀 This includes 30 minutes ride, life jackets and friendly boatman.
4. White beach
I was amazed of the unique sand here like a white powder sand spread up to 10 kilometers along the island. The water is crystal blue and perfectly calm which is the best for a dozen water activities. The beach turns more colorful and exciting when the night comes out as it gathers all kinds of bars, restaurants and shops.
5. New Coast beach
Aside from the famous crowded white beach, we got to know about this Newcoast though Dan – the friendly Chillax’s host. It is a hidden gem located the oposite site with Diniwid beach. We grabbed some snacks and plenty of water as there is no shops at the beach. Then we took a tricycle to NewCoast/Beach Cove 2 which took probably 20 minutes and costed PHP 200. There was security at the entrance but we just needed to let them know we are friend of Dan then the guard grant us the access :D.
The beach is absolute stunning and literally just us and few guests from NewCoast Resident. It’s pretty amazing we could took photos without any photobombers which rarely happen in the white beach. After hours of relaxing, sunbathing, we visited Fairway country club and had lunch at La Terrassa restaurant which are just few steps away from the beach. They have good food, drinks and even a infinity swimming pool – another great spot for photos. This paradise is worth to stroll around the whole day though!!
6. Food trip
Plenty of Filipino food which are BBQ manok (BBQ chicken), lechon (BBQ pork), adobo, halo halo etc and other Western restaurant located around station 1 and 2.
Here are some recommended restaurant we have tried.
Diniwid beach : Stella Trattoria – Authentic Italian Food
Nami – Brunch for the view (best for sunset)
Mamas Fish house – Fantastic seafood
Station 2: Pig out – this is #1 in trip adviser – Filippino food and sea food
2 brown boys – awesome burger
Station 3: Palpatri – best filipino food
Mag Inasa – famous BBQ chicken brand with unlimited rice
Andoks – BBQ chicken restaurant – cheap price.
7. Watching sunset
Best spots to watch splendid sunset
Diniwid : Wahine bar, Spiderhouse
Shangrila: expensive but awesome.
The price couldn’t be cheaper as 250 PHP for 1 hour body massage. They have plenty of massage stores you could easy to find along station 2.
9. Bars, partyyy!
I love parties here for the atmosphere, cheap drinks and people are amazing and free in their own way. Each bars have different style of music and I could do bars hopping the whole night. Check the list below for the best bars in station 2.
7:00PM till 10:00PM – Bombom Bar – best acoustic music band.
8:00PM – 12:00AM – Mad Monkey
12:00AM – 4:00AM – Exit – this bar turns insane from midnight forward with EDM music and it’s super crowded.
10. Fly fish, banana boat
Best way to have some fun with friend and family. This is an exciting ride as you are pulled by a speed boat and expect some high jump in the air.