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Boracay

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Travel Guide Asia Philippines Visayas Boracay

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Introduction

A flower Bud

A flower Bud

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Boracay is undoubtedly the most famous tropical island destination in the Philippines, famed for its sugary-soft, four kilometre-long, white beach. Aside from its beautiful beach, the island is surrounded by marine sanctuaries that offer untouched coral reef gardens and diverse sea life. The island is located just 2 kilometres from the island of Panay in the Western Visayas region.

Boracay Island is a popular tropical island in the Philippines and definately classifies as one of those places and most vote the island as the best tropical island getaway in the Phlippines. It ticks all the boxes, flat clear blue water with tropical fish and corals. Pure white sand (Boracay is famous for its white sand silky sand) and of course palm trees lining the beach, with a beautiful mountain range to the left. Its such a paradise setting that Microsoft Windows used a picture of Boracay Island for its ''paradise'' desktop background for Windows 2000.
The whole island is only about 7 kilometres long and only 1 kilometre wide in some sections and behind the line of palm trees on the beach is a sand path lined with restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels and resorts. There is a truly majestic paradise island feeling to Boracay; from the moment you land there's a feeling in the air that you are in a special place.

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Geography

Boracay Island is located off the northwest corner of Panay Island, and belongs to the Western Visayas island-group. The island is approximately seven kilometres long, dog-bone shaped with the narrowest spot being less than one kilometer wide, and has a total land area of 10.32 square kilometres.

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Sights and Activities

The island offers a number of activities meant to please every visitor of this beautiful paradise.

Beaches

Most people go to Boracay Island for the beach. Particularly the main beach, White Beach, named after its incredibly white smooth sand. Sitting on deckchairs under the palm trees while ordering cocktails and food from one of the many restuarants along the beach is the main activity while on the island. Puka Beach and Baling Hai Beach are other options.

Snorkelling

There is a lot of great snorkelling in Boracay Island, most of the locals and expats head to station 3 on the white beach, the coral here is very active and has some incredible formations which many people have never seen before, theres some spectacular coral drop offs here, where the coral stops and drops down 5 metres to the sand below, making it a great area for viewing some pretty big fish. Nemo fish, angel fish and other great tropical fishes can all be seen in this area. Another great snorkelling area is crocodile island which is at the back of boracay accesible by boat.

Scuba Diving

There are more than 30 diving sites around the island, there a shallow gentle dives, channel dives, shipwreck dives and professional sports diving sites (YAPAK). The channel dive is one of the most popular dive.

Water Sports

There are water sports companies along the white beach offering jet skis (for about $30 for 15 mins), para sailing, banana boat rides and boat tours around the island.

Sailing

There are hundreds of small sailing boats along the beach of boracay (docked about 20 meters out) offering sailing around the island, this is one of the most popular activities at sunset and only costs about US$15 per hour for the boat. You will be sat on a type of netting on the wing of the sail boat, watching the water go by underneath you.

Bat Cave

For those adventerous people you can always take a tour down into a deep dark bat cave with a small ocean pool at the bottom which you can swim through to get out to the ocean (or climb back up the same way you came in at the end of the tour). To enter the cave you must climb down huge boulders in pitch black (with flashlights), avoiding snakes and bats as you climb. If your not so adventerous but would like to see the bats simply hang around the white beach at sunset, you will see huge bats flying above in groups of hundreds/thousands. Incredibly most people dont ever notice the bats above them everynight as they fly quite high and are so large they look like birds.

Other Sights and Activities

  • Beach volleyball
  • Spelunking to the crystal caves
  • Golf
  • Go Karting
  • Horse riding around Bulabog beach
  • Atv and beach buggy rental
  • Motorbike rental
  • Climing to the top of Mount Luho to have a great 360-degree view of the whole island.
  • Ariels Point - A huge cliff with deep blue water underneath which has been set up for cliff diving. 3 different heights to choose from. Hours: 7:00am to 6:00pm, Price: 200 pesos.

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Events and Festivals

Main article: Events and Festivals in the Philippines

  • Ati Atihan Festival - Ati Atihan Festival transforms what is typically a quiet city to a loud and entertaining destination, complete with parades, parties, costumes, and elaborate face paintings. This week-long celebration in January is in honor of Santo Niño, or the Holy Christ Child. It has been celebrated in the Philippines for over 700 years.
  • Boracay International Funboard Cup - The Boracay International Funboard Cup is the longest running windsurfing and kiteboarding event in Asia. Occurring in January, both professional and amateur surfers come to Boracay for its relaxed tropical atmosphere and perfect shore winds to complete for coveted titles.
  • Fil-American Friendship Golf Cup - Fil-American Friendship Golf Cup formed in the 1940s with the intent of strengthening relationships between Americans and Filipinos through the use of sports. Initially, only American and Filipino golfers were allowed to compete, but over the years this event has become very popular, and golfers from all over the world can now compete. Event occurs annually in mid-January.
  • Annual International Paraw Cup Challenge - Annual International Paraw Cup Challenge was created to generate popularity for sailing and kayaking on the island. Over time, the Paraw Cup Challenge has evolved into a fun family event, where visitors can enjoy water-sport shows, world-class sailing and kayaking competitions. This February event is very popular, so tourists are encouraged to book all reservations in advance.
  • Boracay Food Festival - One of the most anticipated events of the year, the Boracay Food Festival is full of entertainment and fun, featuring: top chef demonstrations, music, dancing, and of course, incredible food, the finest in Filipino delicacies.
  • Annual Beach Reggae Festival - This annual summer event is typically held on Boracay's famous White Beach. The music event features non-stop music by local reggae bands and parties that last all night long.
  • Boracay International Beach Festival - Every October, the Boracay International Beach Festival celebrates the cultural heritage of the Boracay. Visitors can expect traditional food, songs, and dance presentations that showcase the rich history of the island.
  • The chinese New Year.
  • Dragons Boat racing every Easter.

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Weather

Boracay has a tropical climate with generally warm and humid conditions. Furthermore, the climate of Boracay is divided into two seasonal weather patterns known locally as the Amihan and Habagat seasons. The former is a cool southeast wind, and Habagat is a warmer southwest wind, or southwest monsoon. The Amihan season is characterized by moderate temperatures, little or no rainfall, and a prevailing wind from the northeast. The Habagat season is characterized by hot and humid weather, frequent heavy rainfall, and a prevailing wind from the west. Generally speaking, October to May is the driest and cooler time, June to September are hot and wetter. Daytime temperatures on Boracay generally range from 25-32 °C from the beginning of the Amihan season into February or March, and increase to 28-38 °C range with the onset of the Habagat season.

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Getting There

By Plane

The nearest airport to Boracay is the Caticlan Airport that services smaller aircrafts like the following:

Also the nearby Kalibo Airport provides connection to Boracay but will require about 1 hour of land travel to Caticlan Jetty Port.

By Boat

From the Caticlan Jetty port, motorized boats transport tourists to the island and stopping at Boracay's three boat stations: Station 1, Station 2 and Station 3. You can also take a boat from Manila, the boats are very cheap, modern and comfortable. Boats leave daily and usually leave manila in the evening and arrive in boracay in the morning.

By Car

You can technically drive to Boracay Island, buts its not recommended due to the multiple land - boat - land - boat transfers required and lack of signage in the Philippines.

By Bus

Buses leave everyday from Manila from most major bus companies and cost about $15. However you can usually get a plane or boat for the same price. The bus journey is very long, lasting approximately 14 hours and includes two ferry rides.

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Getting Around

Getting around Boracay is simple, all the action takes place along the White Beach and many tourists never actually leave the beach as everything they need is there. When travelling up and down the beach the best option is walking, its good for you, its enjoyable, its free and it keeps the island pollution free.

By Car

There are few cars on the island and its not a recommend mode of transport due to the size of boracay. However, motorbike rentals are everywhere and allow you to access all parts of the island

By Public Transport

Motorized tricycles are the way to go around Boracay and are a fast and cheap way to get between most places, including the 3 stations and the main beaches and hotels.

By Foot

From Station 3, you can walk to White Beach along the shore in the early morning.

By Bike

ATB's are for rent and are a good way to go to top of the mountain and can see the beauty of the island.

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Eat

All of the best restaurants on Boracay can be found by walking up and down the White Beach, especially in D'mall in station 2. There are some delicious buffets everynight costing US$5. Just start at D'mall at sunset and head towards station 3 (other end of the island) until you see something you like. You will not ever go hungry on Boracay, the food choices match that of a city.

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Drink

Bars and restaurants are along the White Beach from very trendy nightclubs such as EPIC in station 2, to native bamboo style chillout bars like red pirates in station 3. Again the best option is to walk from one end of the island to the other to checkout the hundreds of choices, the best time do this is just before sunset when are the bars are at happy hour.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Bella Vista De BoracayBoracay island BalabagGuesthouse-
Bonzai ResortManggayad, Boracay, Malay, AklanHotel-
Boracay HillsBantud Manoc ManocHotel-
Casa Camilla-BoracayWhite Beach, Angol, Boracay Island Malay, AklanHostel-
Frendz Resort BoracayFrendz Resort Station 1 Boracay IslandHostel86
Hotel Villa Sunset, BoracayManggayad, Balabag MalayHostel-
Isla Gecko ResortStation 2, Balabag, Boracay Malay, AklanGuesthouse78
Isla Kite GuesthouseBolabog BeachGuesthouse-
Ocean Breeze InnStation 3, Boracay Angol,Hostel80
Panorama Boracay ResortBalabag, Station 2, Boracay Island AklanGuesthouse82
Paradise Bay - BeachBoracay Island Tulubhan, Manok-ManokHotel78
Reef Retreat ResortBulabog Beach Boracay, Malay, AklanHotel-
Roxon ApartmentsStation3 AmbulongApartment-
Surfers HomeBulabog Beach Boracay IslandGuesthouse81
Trafalgar CottagesTrafalgar Cottages ManggayadHostel86
Victory Beach ResortBalabac Malay AklanHotel88
Melinda's GardenBoracay Island AklanHOSTEL82
Bolabog Apartelle at The English Bakery MainBolabog Road, Boracay Island MalayAPARTMENT81
Boracay Holiday ResortStation 2. Non Beach Front Manggayad, Boracay IslandHOTEL-
Bura-akay Nature Resort0943 Diniwid Sitio BalabagHotel80
SerendipityMain Road, Bgy. BalabagHostel-
Villa Criselda ResortVilla Criselda Road Balabag Boracay IslandHotel77
Villa Paula Beach House5608 Malay AkalanHostel-
Aquarius Marina Boutique - HotelWhite Beach, Balabag Boracay IslandHotel-
The Q Lodge BoracaySitio Bulabog BalabagHostel76
Amigos Beach ResortStation 2 Manggayad BalabagGuesthouse-
La Isla Bonita Resort, Restaurant and SpaWhite Beach Front Boat Station 3 Barangay Manoc-ManocHostel-
Boracay Kite ResortBulabogGUESTHOUSE-
Tonglen ResortMangaayadHOTEL-
PapayaBulabogApartment-
Papaya BoracayBulabog beach BoracayAPARTMENT-
Feliness Resort BoracayTambisaan Manoc-Manoc Boracay Island Malay, Aklan,HOTEL-
Bale MiBolabog Road, Bolabog Beach, BalabagHOTEL-
Boracay Actopia Resort1194 Cagban Rd. Brgy. Manoc-manoc, Malay, AklanHOTEL81
Whitebeachdivers HostelAngol, Malay, AklanHOSTEL-
Casamso BoracayBalabag 0234HOSTEL-
Paradise Bay - BeachBoracay Island Tulubhan, Manok-ManokHOTEL-
Sunrise Palais Boracay5608 Boracay Island Mount Luho road 2nd bendGuesthouse-

Mid-Range

Upscale

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Keep Connected

Internet

There are a number of internet service providers nationwide: PLDT-Smart Communications, Globe Telecoms, BayanTel and Sun Cellular and each have their signal strengths in various locations. Internet access areas of broadband speeds are plentiful in city malls, much less so outside the cities, but are growing at a rapid pace. Internet surfing rates depend primarily on where you surf and the medium used (e.g. WiFi or wired). Internet services offered by hotels and shopping malls are expensive and can go up to ₱200/hour (approximately US$5) but neighbourhood cafes can be as cheap as ₱15/hour (approximately US$0.35).

Public place WiFi services in the Philippines is provided by Airborneaccess.net and WiZ is likely to cost ₱100 (approximately US$2) for up to an hour. But if you want cheaper, there is a internet cafe chain in SM malls called, "Netopia", that has a landline internet connection for around 20P an hour (about 0.46 US). Coffee shops as well as malls usually carry WiFi service some are free to use. Certain areas may also carry free WiFi. The SM chain of malls offer free wifi, so you can sit virtually anywhere in the mall and access free wireless.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company commonly known as PLDT is the leading telecommunications provider. It is also the largest company in the country. There are three major companies operating GSM 900/1800 networks: Globe, Smart and Sun Cellular. Your home provider at home should have agreements with one of these providers so check with them before leaving home. Roaming may be quite expensive just as elsewhere however, pre-paid SIM cards of these networks are easy to acquire and cost as little as ₱30 and provide a cheaper alternative.
If you don't have a phone to begin with, a complete pre-paid kit with phone and SIM can be purchased for as little as ₱1,500.The usual cost of an international long-distance call to the United States, Europe or other major countries is $0.40 per minute. Local calls range from ₱ 6.50 per minute for prepaid calls.

Due to the wide use of mobile phones, pay phones are increasingly becoming obsolete. Some malls and public places still do have them and they usually come in either the coin or card operated variety. Globe and PLDT are the usual operators. Phone cards are usually sold by shops which sell cellphone pre-paid loads and cards. Note that phone cards of one company can not be used with the other company's card operated phones.

Post

The Philippine Postal Corporation, or PhilPost, is the provides the postal service throughout the Philippines. PhilPost is pretty reliable, but one can hardly call it fast services. It is fine for sending postcards and letters though, both domestically as well as internationally. Prices for sending postcards or letters within the country start at around P7, while most international post costs at least P20. For sending parcels to and from the Philippines it might be wise to use companies like FedEx or UPS. The opening hours of post offices in the Philippines differ from one place to another. Usually, post offices are open from 8:00am to 12 noon and from 1:00pm to 5:00pm on weekdays. And for those that operate on Saturdays, the business hours are from 8:00am to 1:00pm.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 11.971839
  • Longitude: 121.927400

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Boracay Travel Helpers

This is version 75. Last edited at 8:14 on Aug 7, 13 by Utrecht. 7 articles link to this page.

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