Just jump on a cheap internal flight out of Cebu or Manila and in less than an hour you’ll find yourself in the madness that is Boracay. You really have to see it to believe it. 4km of white sand beach, 4km of fun, 4km of lazy days and large nights. You can’t help but fall in love with this place whether you’re a consumer or a hippy at heart.
Be warned, prices are inflated in Boracay given its popularity, but you can’t put a price on fun and experience, so stretch the bank balance for a few days of and enjoy the Philippines most visited tourist spot.
Places to Stay
There are a few different areas to stay on Boracay with a huge range of prices. Pick up rooms for as little as 500Php per night, while a night of luxury will cost you $400US. If you want to find a cheaper place just head back from the beach a bit and prices will drop down. Each area has its own flavour…
- White Beach Station 2: Station 2 is where it’s all happening. If you love to be right in the thick of things then this is the place to be. Yes there will be crowds, and yes there will be atmosphere.
- White Beach Station 3: Station 3 (at the southern end of White Beach) is a bit more low key than Station 1. If you want a slightly quieter Boracay experience then head here. Blue Mango could be a good spot to get your diving certificate or Dave’s Straw Hat right at the end of white beach is a favourite.
- Bulabog Beach: If you’re into kite surfing and want to be close to the wind, then the eastern side of the island picks up from November to April. This side of the island is considerably quieter than white beach at night, but during the day both the water and beach are a kite extravaganza.
- White Beach Station 1: This area tends to have the higher end accommodation options so is mainly for the Flashpacker, but you could try La Bella Casa or Frendz for reasonable options in Station 1.
These are the main areas to stay but don’t be afraid to go inland either if you want to do things on the cheap, it’s a small island and it doesn’t take too long to get around!
Things to Do
- Beach it: Because the beach really is postcard perfect and it is quite ok to do this all day every day.
- Watch countless sunsets: Get a cocktail in hand, kick back and watch another day in paradise disappear with the setting sun. Wait for the fire dancers to come out and set the scene for the night ahead, then grab some dinner without your feet even leaving the sand.
- Learn to kite surf: The reef at Bulabog beach makes for some amazing flat water. Combine this with super consistent winds from November to April and you’ve got one amazing kite surfing spot for beginners and gurus alike. Be warned: Bulabog’s popularity is growing and it is getting busy, so if you don’t like crowds you may want to try nearby Cuyo Island instead. Even if you don’t fancy the idea of strapping yourself to a massive kite and propelling yourself along the water in 20 knot winds, it’s a great spectator sport. Grab a drink and a kebab instead at the Lazy Days bar on Bulabog, then sit back and laugh at all the learners. If you’re adventurous enough to learn a 3-day IKO course will set you back around 270 Euro.
- Scuba Dive: Why not get more out of your holiday and pick up a dive certificate during your stay on the island. While you can see heaps with a mask and snorkel, diving truly is the full experience. Plunging into the depths of the Philippines ocean has got to be one of the best in the world!
- Visit some other beaches for a bit of quiet time: While White beach is where all the action is, you can still find serenity in Boracay if you hop on a bike or trike. Make your way to the northern beach of Puka and enjoy some chill out time.
- Hire a banca and tour the island: Gather a crew and go wherever, around Boracay, or to nearby Romblon for some quieter beaches and friendly locals. Be sure to take a mask and snorkel!
- Sunset sail cruise: Watch a few sunsets from land, then get out onto the water and experience it from another perspective. You won’t have to hunt to find a boat, they will find you, as will the sunglass, pearl, souvenir sellers and massage ladies…
- Party: No explanation necessary!
- The Philippines Archipelago means two things, internal flights, or boat trips. Luckily there are several low cost carriers which makes flying on a budget possible. You can either go direct to Caticlan airport and get a short 15 minute boat across to Boracay, or even cheaper fly into Kalibo, then take a 2 hour bus trip to Caticlan. Check out Cebu Pacific, AirPhils express, Zest Air, SEA Airlines, and PAL, all of these serve Caticlan and Kalibo. Ipad has a nifty little gadget called PH flight that searches all airlines and returns the cheapest, otherwise just wade through their websites until you find the bargains!
- If all airlines fail then you can also check out the overnight ferries from Manila to Caticlan – it may be a long haul but if you book a cabin and manage to get some sleep it’s not such a bad way to travel.
Where to go next?
- IloIlo: A five hour van ride for around $5US will get you down to the city of IloIlo. If the city is not your thing then head up to Concepcion Sand Bar.
- Cebu: A short flight or overnight ferry from IloIlo.
- Guimaras Island: Try out the fresh mangos at Guimaras Island, a short boat ride from IloIlo.
- Manila: It’s just a speedy 1-hour flight or a lengthier and potentially stomach-churning thirty hour ferry journey back to the capital, which has great onward transport links.