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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.
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.
The island offers a number of activities meant to please every visitor of this beautiful paradise.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Main article: Events and Festivals in the Philippines
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
From Station 3, you can walk to White Beach along the shore in the early morning.
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.
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.
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.
|Bella Vista De Boracay||Boracay island Balabag||Guesthouse||-|
|Bonzai Resort||Manggayad, Boracay, Malay, Aklan||Hotel||-|
|Boracay Hills||Bantud Manoc Manoc||Hotel||-|
|Casa Camilla-Boracay||White Beach, Angol, Boracay Island Malay, Aklan||Hostel||-|
|Frendz Resort Boracay||Frendz Resort Station 1 Boracay Island||Hostel||89|
|Hotel Villa Sunset, Boracay||Manggayad, Balabag Malay||Hostel||-|
|Isla Gecko Resort||Station 2, Balabag, Boracay Malay, Aklan||Guesthouse||80|
|Isla Kite Guesthouse||Bolabog Beach||Guesthouse||-|
|Ocean Breeze Inn||Station 3, Boracay Angol,||Hostel||81|
|Panorama Boracay Resort||Balabag, Station 2, Boracay Island Aklan||Guesthouse||-|
|Paradise Bay - Beach||Boracay Island Tulubhan, Manok-Manok||Hotel||67|
|Reef Retreat Resort||Bulabog Beach Boracay, Malay, Aklan||Hotel||-|
|Roxon Apartments||Station3 Ambulong||Apartment||-|
|Surfers Home||Bulabog Beach Boracay Island||Guesthouse||75|
|Trafalgar Cottages||Trafalgar Cottages Manggayad||Hostel||-|
|Victory Beach Resort||Balabac Malay Aklan||Hotel||-|
|Melinda's Garden||Boracay Island Aklan||HOSTEL||80|
|Bolabog Apartelle at The English Bakery Main||Bolabog Road, Boracay Island Malay||APARTMENT||-|
|Boracay Holiday Resort||Station 2. Non Beach Front Manggayad, Boracay Island||HOTEL||-|
|Bura-akay Nature Resort||0943 Diniwid Sitio Balabag||Hotel||-|
|Serendipity||Main Road, Bgy. Balabag||Hostel||-|
|Villa Criselda Resort||Villa Criselda Road Balabag Boracay Island||Hotel||-|
|Villa Paula Beach House||5608 Malay Akalan||Hostel||-|
|Aquarius Marina Boutique - Hotel||White Beach, Balabag Boracay Island||Hotel||-|
|The Q Lodge Boracay||Sitio Bulabog Balabag||Hostel||-|
|Amigos Beach Resort||Station 2 Manggayad Balabag||Guesthouse||-|
|La Isla Bonita Resort, Restaurant and Spa||White Beach Front Boat Station 3 Barangay Manoc-Manoc||Hostel||-|
|Boracay Kite Resort||Bulabog||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Papaya Boracay||Bulabog beach Boracay||APARTMENT||-|
|Feliness Resort Boracay||Tambisaan Manoc-Manoc Boracay Island Malay, Aklan,||HOTEL||-|
|Bale Mi||Bolabog Road, Bolabog Beach, Balabag||HOTEL||-|
|Boracay Actopia Resort||1194 Cagban Rd. Brgy. Manoc-manoc, Malay, Aklan||HOTEL||-|
|Whitebeachdivers Hostel||Angol, Malay, Aklan||HOSTEL||-|
|Casamso Boracay||Balabag 0234||HOSTEL||-|
|Paradise Bay - Beach||Boracay Island Tulubhan, Manok-Manok||HOTEL||-|
|Sunrise Palais Boracay||5608 Boracay Island Mount Luho road 2nd bend||Guesthouse||-|
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.
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.
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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I have lived in Boracay for seven years as a Expat :)
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