Guide to Boracay Island: Pride and Paradise of the Philippines
Boracay is in the heart of the Philippines, about 300 km south of Manila , 1 km northwest of Panay Island and 10 minutes distance to Caticlan Jetty Port by boat. It has a breathtaking view as it is surrounded by the deep blue water of Sulu Sea westwards and Sibuyan Sea in the east. The warm and crystal clear water is perfect for scuba diving, snorkeling, and other water activities.
It was surprising to see so many people of all ages coming from different countries gathered in one area. The town was simply amazing – beautiful and laid back. Boracay has the most perfect white sand beaches, turquoise blue water, and tall coconut trees. No wonder it’s considered one of the best beach destinations in the world.
Traveling with friends made the whole experience more interesting. As a group of 5 girlfriends born and raised in the Philippines we had drawn up a long list of activities to do during our 3-day stay in Boracay. Most people think that a vacation on Boracay has to be expensive, when in actual fact, it’s one of the most budget-friendly vacations I ever had. Trust me, I love to travel, but I don’t like spending a fortune.
Where To Stay in Boracay
Boracay is the most popular during the summer season in the Philippines, so if you can avoid visiting during the peak season you will be able to make some good savings on accommodation. If you have to take a flight to the Philippines, I’d advise that you check out Yapta and start tracking prices so you can book when prices are low.
The cheapest room rates are found at station 3 along the main road. If you find yourself in station 1, you should head away from the beach. The main road is just 5 minute walk from the beach and prices are much lower. My friends and I stayed at The Orchids. In just 2 minutes, you can access both the main road and the white sand beach. Their native nipa and bamboo rooms are spacious enough for those who travel in groups. If it’s low season, their double room with fan starts from 600PHP / $14USD. They also have private villas in case you are on an extended holiday – which are equipped with more amenities. A few more suggestions on other places that you can stay in when you visit Boracay, I discovered them while doing my boots on the ground research.
The Boracay Treehouse This is a beachfront guesthouse at located in Angol Point White Beach in station 3 and offers a bed in a dormitory for only 300PHP / 7USD per night, 200PHP / $5USD if you stay for several nights. The price of their private rooms start from 800PHP / 18USD a night.
Bans Beach Resort Is actually in Station 1 and aside from being near the white beach, it is only 8 minutes walk to the D’Mall area where you can buy lots of stuff, especially souvenirs (Boracay T-shirts, keychains, shell-made jewelry, etc.) Their fan room is only 500PHP / 12USD per night during regular season and 800PHP / $18USD during peak season. If you want to enjoy their set breakfast, you will pay 200PHP / 5USD per person.
Balai Capiz If you want to stay in Station 2, Balai Capiz is among the cheapest accommodation you’ll find. It’s only 5 minute walk to the beach and 10-15 minutes walk to D’ Mall. For 1500PHP /$ 34USD per night you can enjoy an air conditioned room and other amenities such as free Wi-Fi access.
There are a lot more guesthouses and hotels that offer larger and air conditioned rooms. Rest assured that whatever your budget and style you will be able to find your ideal type of accommodation in Boracay. You can also get better savings if you stay longer and book directly with the guesthouses/hotels online (like what we did).
Best Places To Eat in Boracay
You don’t need to spend a lot to satisfy your tummy when in Bora (as what many Filipinos call it). But, it can be a bit challenging to find those cheap restaurants that serve delicious meals. In most cases, the best places are hidden off the main roads, but since we found some of them, let me tell you where they are.
Andoks There are several branches on the island, main road, at D’mall. This is a Filipino fast food chain and open 24 hours a day. They serve decent meals at 60-140 PHP / $1-3USD.
PauPatri Restaurant located between the beachfront and the main road in Station 2, this quiet restaurant serves traditional Pinoy food. Its rustic ambiance and big food serving make it ideal for families and groups. For only 200-300PHP / $5-7USD you can enjoy a decent meal.
Mang Fred’s Although there is really nothing special about the location of this restaurant, they serve good meals at reasonable prices. This is located in the market area and if you like people watching while having a meal, you enjoy it. They mostly serve local Filipino dishes here, which is great if your are looking for some local fare.
Fun and Activities
Boracay has a very long list of fun activities to offer. If I have one regret about going there, it would be not being able to try all of them. I’ll give you a run-down of some activities my friends and I have tried. But I assure you, there’s more than the list I’m about to give.
Island Hopping– Your trip will never be complete without this. Boracay is a home to over a dozen underdeveloped beaches, clear blue water, and colorful coral reefs. Feast your eyes on the amazing scenery, snorkel and take a glimpse of its beautiful sea life. The boat trip will take about 3 hours and you will have a stopover at some amazing places and go swimming or snorkeling. All gear is provided. This is a package and it generally costs 3000PHP / $68USD for the entire boat, on our trip we had 10 people which included other tourists so it averaged out cheaper.
ATV and Buggy Car– It’s time to take a break from the tricycle rides in Boracay and enjoy an ATV or Bug Car ride. The units can be rented for 1900PHP / $42USD for 2 people and this includes an hour tour, sightseeing, entrance fees to other attractions like the Bird Farm, Trick Art Museum, and Sky Cycle.
Banana Boat– This is a very popular water activity on the island- for friends and family. For only 300PHP / $7USD for 15 minutes (long enough), this exciting and speed-induced ride is so much fun. It is indeed fun in the sun with a splash.
Other popular activities include para-sailing, jetskiing, helmet diving, scuba diving, ziplining, go-carting, horseback riding, spas, cliff diving, and so many more
These are just so many great things to see and do in Boracay. The island never fails to entice tourists and beach-lovers from all parts of the world to visit, to enjoy and relax in this paradise. As everyone deserves to have a break, whether to be alone or to spend time with family and friends.
Boracay is the perfect spot. It has something for everyone, from its white sand beaches, panoramic views, to delicious food (any type of cuisine), nightlife, entertainment, and the never-ending activities to try for all ages. Wherever you might be in the world, don’t miss out on a chance to explore one of the best beach destinations you will find in your lifetime.
About The Author: Felisa Laboro was born in raised in the Philippines and lives in Iloilo city, she has been a successful travel writer for more than five years. She currently writes about interesting things to do in cities all around the world on Short-Term-Renting (www.short-term-renting.com)