Boracay Island is the ultimate destination in the Philippines. People around the world flock in this little island to experience the fine white sand and night parties. Even in such a high level of tourism, Boracay is still a relaxing island for a getaway. In this post, I will share some tips about my experience to enlighten you if you are planning to visit this beach paradise!
Best Time to go to Boracay
November to May is the perfect time for sun-worshippers like me to go to Boracay. The temperature ranges from 25 to 32 degree Celsius. During peak season, there are tons of promotional tickets offered online so it this is the best time to book for the cheapest plane tickets, hotels, and tours.
July to October is the off-peak season in Boracay. I’d highly recommend these periods if you prefer a peaceful and uncongested getaway. The sun could still be up during this time but the weather could get a little bit gloomy most of the day. Peak season or off-peak, whichever time you choose, the island is sure to give you the best time guaranteed.
How to get to Boracay
There are 2 airports that serve visitors to Boracay, the Caticlan and Kalibo Airport. Flights to Caticlan are the quickest but are more expensive. Flights to Kalibo are cheaper but it’s 90km further from Caticlan. If you are not on a tight budget then I’d highly recommend getting flights from Caticlan Airport.
The Cebu Pacific promotional ticket that we got lands in Kalibo. Since this is our first visit to the island, we just ignored the pros and cons written online and went on with the cheaper one. Because of the jam-packed terminals and constant transfers, we’re already exhausted on the first day of our trip.
We arrived from Kalibo Airport and took a 2hr shuttle ride to Caticlan. Good thing we arranged our transfers ahead with Southwest Tours. They carried our luggage and paid all the fees so we don’t have to fall in line along with the other passengers. If you don’t want to book in advance then be prepared with people swarming and haggling at you when you arrive. You have to securely carry your luggage and take care of all the fees - bus to Caticlan Jetty, boat to Cagban Port and transportation to your hotel. It’s a bit expensive booking ahead with Southwest Tours but it would guarantee to make your journey smoother.
We paid for the Terminal Fee ₱100 and Environmental Fee ₱75 in Caticlan Jetty Port. Then we took a 20-minute boat ride to Boracay Island. And went on for another 15min ride to our hotel.
Where to Stay in Boracay
Boracay Island is divided into 3 Stations. Station 1 is where you’ll find the most luxurious resorts and wider beachfront. You can find the affordable ones in Station 2 & 3. If you’re on a budget and want to socialize more like partying and meeting other travelers, Station 2 will suit you. If you prefer a cheaper and a quieter area then pick Station 3.
We booked our room at MNL Boracay Beach Hostel in Station 2. It has air-conditioned rooms, free Wifi, kitchen, dining area and a big lounge on the top floor. The place is stunning and the location is quite peaceful since it’s a bit secluded. What I loved the most about this hotel is their dining area especially during breakfast. All of the guests share one large table so we get to talk and listen to strangers every day. I learned some tips and bits of advice from different people as they share their adventures from different places. If you are up for an experience like this then MNL Beach Hostel is a big thumbs up!
Best Things to do in Boracay
It would take a long journey to reach this beach paradise, so it’s good to spend a quiet time to relax first before going over the festivities. Boracay Island has a long stretch of beach where there’s plenty of places to rest. There are beach chairs and umbrellas you can rent or just bring a towel and place them anywhere for free.
On the first day, we played frisbee and I got my muscle sore. So, I went to Mandala Spa and it was the most spectacular spa that I’ve ever been. The place is surrounded by a tropical garden designed to provide a heavenly and relaxing atmosphere. It was no doubt a therapeutic and an invigorating experience for my mind, body, and spirit.
Boracay offers loads of water activities to pump your adrenaline. Snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing, cliff diving, jet ski, and the list could go on. If you are a solo traveler or in a group, find a boat operator anywhere on the island to go island hopping. There are private beaches that needs entrance fee so make sure to bring extra cash during the tour.
Boracay Sunset is one of the infamous tourist attractions on the island. The beach is bathed in a glorious orange glow. It is so vivid and was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Since it’s the peak season, there were an insane amount of people flocking along the beach but we somehow managed to find an empty space for a perfect sunset photo. Some say that its also good to rent a boat for a sunset tour but I’d just rather opt for a quiet moment on the beach at no cost.
Party the night away with the vibrant beachside bars and nightclubs in Boracay. You will find lots of lounges and fire dancers if you just want to sit down and be entertained while eating or drinking. Pub Crawl is the best activity at night in Boracay. It is a moving party of 50-150 people getting free drinks and free access to exclusive bars. Just don’t pass out early.
You can find a wide variety of food in Boracay. One of the most popular food places is D’Talipapa where you can buy fresh seafood and ingredients. Fast-food chains are also available anywhere in the island. One thing though, the lines from the fast-food chains could reach the streets during the peak season. For lunch and dinner, make sure to order ahead of time and reserve your table before every hungry tourist gets there. Restaurants are open from 11 am until 10 pm. Breakfast is not going to be a problem since most of the hotels offer free breakfast and 7/11 is available in most parts of the island.
Since we aren’t really into food tripping, we didn’t have a chance to try the different cuisines in Boracay. We only had a buffet dinner on the last day of our trip. We stumbled upon Astoria’s Dinner Buffet and the price is around 700 to 750 Php. Check the delicious food below to see what we had on our plate that night!
D’Talipapa and D’Mall Shopping Center is the perfect place to go shopping in Boracay. Everyone on the island can point the direction to this place so it is basically easy to find. You can practically buy everything you need here like tasty snacks, amenities, beach clothes, souvenirs and more. It’s also the closest place for ATMs. D’Talipapa and CityMall are open from 9 am until 9 pm.
Thank you for reading! Feel free to ask or share your tips below!