Boracay, Philippines - Travel guide

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Conde Nast Traveler just ranked the 30 bests islands in the world in the 2017 Readers Choice Awards and the number one is...(drum roll please)...the one and only Boracay in the Philippines! Following up close on 2nd and 3rd place are two other islands in the Philippines as well: Cebu and Palawan.
Now...if I were to be completely honest I liked Palawan better than Boracay, mostly because it is not yet that touristy and the landscapes are more dramatic, but Boracay is not too shabby. If you haven't yet read our article about El Nido - Palawan you can check it out here.

Why visit 
Crystal clear turquoise water, powdery white sand, the most lively night life ever and an abundance of water sport choices, all to create a perfect island destination.

When to visit
Best time to visit the island is between November - May, during the dry season. You most definitely want to avoid the wet season as there is literally nothing to do when it rains.

How to get there
Boracay has two main airports, one in Caticlan and one in Kalibo. We landed in Kalibo and from there we got a combo ticket (bus+boat) to get to Boracay. We booked online with Southwest Tours Boracay Inc. and the price for 2 people was 1680 php.
Boracay is the land of fees! There is a fee for almost everything: an airport fee, an environmental fee and a boat terminal fee. Therefore in order to leave the airport you will have to pay the airport and environmental one. So you might need to withdraw some money at one of the airport's ATM's.

Where to stay
While in Boracay the best place to stay is near the White beach. The beach is divided in 3 stations, we found it best to stay somewhere close to Station 2, as that is where all the magic happens. Most of the restaurants, shops and even the mall are in Station 2. Station 3 is the more laid back area, not as busy as Station 1 and 2 and has limited options in terms of restaurants and shops.

Things to do in Boracay

Relax on the White Beach

The most famous attraction in Boracay is for sure the White beach. The name is of course given by the perfect powdery white sand...the kind that makes you believe for a second that somebody spilled bags of flour on the island...the perfect kind.
However there is a small downside to this, something you won't read in many articles, but here I am to spoil the fun. Responsible for making this perfect white sand, I mean really the whitest ever, is a type of green algae which you will see cramming at the shore in the eventuality of a sea storm and it creates a gooey paste making it a bit unpleasant to enter the water, but once you get past that...the water is perfect.

Willy's Rock

If the island were to have a symbol, Willy's Rock would definitely be it. The rock is an oddly shaped volcanic formation with the statue of Virgin Mary somewhere in a corner.
I'm going to be very blunt on this...I did not really get all the hype about it, but for some reason people were cramming to get photos of it.

Puka Shell Beach

Crystal Cove
This is a small private island near Boracay famous for its coves. As the island is very tiny it tends to get crowded really quick. There is a fee of 200 php to enter the island.

Take an island tour

The two destinations above can be seen individually or by booking an island tour. The tour takes you snorkeling around the island, a short visit to Crystal Cove and it ends on the lovely Puka Beach.
Besides the 800 php/person that we paid for the tour, an additional fee of 20 php/person was added as snorkeling tax and another 200 php/person to enter Crystal Cove.
Please keep in mind that all the fees mentioned in this post might have changed in the meantime.

Adventure to some water sports

If you are a fan of water sports then Boracay is the place for you! They have a large variety from which you can choose from and you can be certain that you will not get bored there. Here is where I discovered paddle boarding which I now love!

Enjoy the night life

Boracay is for sure the island with one of the most lively night life we have ever seen. The island lights up in a variety of colors that set up a perfect scene for you to enjoy a cocktail. Fire shows, dance shows and many more happen every night for tourist entertainment.

In conclusion, yes...Boracay is the clear definition of a touristy island! Opposite to Palawan where only local shops and restaurants are to be found, Starbucks and Mcdonalds are right at home on Boracay.
Even so, the island has a unique charm! As long as you don't expect to be alone on the beach you can still manage to find a few quiet spots and palms trees to relax under.

All things said, I think this cute little island deserves to be visited at least once in a lifetime!

Have you packed your bags yet?

P.S: For more photos from our adventures, follow us on instagram @flip.flops.only.


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