This island paradise boasts of exceptional fine white sand and scenic beauty beyond compare. Consistently in the list of Top Beaches in Asia, it won’t be surprising to travel the world yet not find sands better than here.
Travel + Leisure magazine officially recognized Boracay as the best island in the world in 2012. There are two main beaches in the island. The main tourism beach called White Beach, spans about 4 kilometers long and houses hotels, restaurants and bars. Across White Beach is Bulabog Beach, the venue for activities like windsurfing and kiteboarding. White Beach is divided into Station 1, Station 2 and Station 3 named after the original ports where boats used to dock. It offers the best of both worlds – ultimate relaxation and partying like there’s no tomorrow.
Beach bum in Station 1
The best place to stay in Boracay for families and couples are in resorts of Station 1. Not only does it have the best and the finest spread of white sand in the whole island, it is also the quietest section where you can enjoy plenty of privacy. Build elegant sandcastles, admire yachts and ferries docked nearby, get a nice massage by the shore, or quietly watch silhouettes of paraws sailing off into the stunning sunset.
Party, party and party some more!
Boracay is well-known for its nigh scene with fire dancers, tropical drinks, happy hours, and diverse music genres from live music to DJ’s spinning. There is a local saying that “What happens in Boracay stays in Boracay.” And yes, partying happens every single night!
Conquer Cocomangas’ “Still standing after 15 shots” challenge and you will score a point for your country, have your name engraved in their “Boracay Wall of Fame” and get a free T-shirt from the trendy bar. Play shuffleboard or chill out in the pool-side bar of Calypso and Sanga Bar. Bom Bom and Pat’s next to each other are famed for live reggae music with bean bags sprawled directly on the beach.
Jump off a cliff in Ariel’s Point
Rated as the number one activity in Boracay via TripAdvisor, Ariel’s Point is reached via a thirty to forty minute boat ride from White Beach. On the cliff are attached diving boards three, five, eight, ten and finally fifteen meters high from the ocean surface. If you have fear of heights or vertigo and find that you cannot jump, you may opt to snorkel, kayak in a native canoe, swim in blue-green waters or bask in the sun.
Visit Yapak Beach
Yapak Beach, reachable via boat from White Beach or via rickshaw from the main road, is also called Puka Beach. Rightly called so, its shore is abundant with naturally occurring shells called puka. You would often see locals collecting these shells to create accessories like bracelets and necklaces. This stretch of coarse white sand is a welcome breather from the otherwise more frenzied and crowded White Beach. It is a favorite among photographers for its pristine blue waters and excellent views. Go here for some privacy, peace and quiet.
Try out exciting water activities
You will never run out of exhilarating things to do while in Boracay. Though absolutely not for the fainthearted, among the favorites are parasailing, kiteboarding, windsurfing, fly fish, paraw sailing, scuba diving, and zip lining. Other activities more subdued nonetheless fun are helmet diving, skimboarding, ATV and buggy car, open cable car, Go Karts racing, offshore fishing, aquarium ocean walk, banana boat and crystal boat tours.
Get a soothing massage by the beach
Nothing beats the pampering of a massage coupled with the sounds of the waves gently beating the shore nearby. Massage services are generally offered by islanders as you walk by the beach however there is a bountiful of spas in the island. Soak in a floral bath, get a hot puka shell therapy massage, four-hand massage, wine massage, hot stone massage or dip in private Jacuzzis and saunas. When it comes to total indulging of the senses, Boracay is among the best in Asia.
Please your palate
From street food to fine dining by the beach, from Asian to Mediterranean cuisine, Boracay restaurants have an extensive selection of dishes to choose from. Take a leisurely stroll and catch whiffs of mouth-watering barbecues and other food fares. Buffet seafood dinners are offered every night along the stretch of White Beach for about 10-15 dollars. Do not miss local delicacies such as Real Coffee’s calamansi muffins, Jonah’s fresh fruit shakes, ripe mangoes and the chori burger.
Shop like an islander
D’Mall, a contraction of “The Mall” and D’Talipapa (Translation: a smaller market) are shopping districts in the island. There are numerous shops showcasing unique local crafts, souvenirs and beach essentials. Test your haggling skills as you shop for colorful sarongs, knitted swimsuit cover-ups, sunglasses, native bracelets, pearl and capiz earrings, handmade sandals, and stylish beach wear. D’Mall and D’Talipapa are easily accessible via rickshaws on the main road but you can also opt to walk by the beach to get there.
How to get to and around Boracay
To get to Boracay, you can either travel by boat or by plane, the latter being the preferred and most advisable method by the majority of travelers. Traveling by boat takes at least 12 hours plus land trip so it is not a popular choice. There are two airports near Boracay namely Kalibo International Airport and Caticlan Domestic Airport. Getting in via Kalibo will require a 1-1.5 hour land travel to reach the Jetty Port where a boat will take you to Boracay Island. You can fly in from Manila, Taipei, Shanghai, Singapore, Incheon and Seoul to Kalibo. Caticlan Airport can only accommodate smaller aircrafts but is much nearer the Jetty Port and even possible to walk to. Local flights to get to Caticlan depart from Manila, Cebu and Clark. Once the boat has transferred you to Boracay Island, there are many rickshaws you can hire which can take you to your hotel for about PHP 100.
Getting around Boracay is fairly simple. Rickshaws are cheap and easy to flag down from the main road so renting a car is not wise in this destination. Besides, you will be spending most of your time on the beach or in your hotel and not on the road.
- Tourists need to pay PHP 75 Environmental Fee and PHP 100 Terminal Fee at the Jetty Port.
- If you have heavy luggage, there are porters who can assist with your luggage when boarding the boat. A PHP 20 tipping is expected.