Out of 7,107 beautiful islands in The Philippines, Boracay Island is still the top choice for beach lover all over the world. Who would never fall in love on this white powdery sand, pristine turquoise blue water Island in the region of Malay Aklan, Visayas? The overrated and most touristy island in The Philippines. Boracay Island is famous for its 5km signature white beach and it has been awarded by Yahoo and TripAdvisor as one of the Best Beach in the World countless of time already. Read related article: WHERE TO FIND THE MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLANDS IN THE PHILIPPINES
After living in Boracay Island for quite awhile, I finally have the guts to share my Optimal Guide and tips for the people who have plans to visit this paradise. Whether your vacation is for leisure or self-seeking, this Boracay island travel guide and tips will able to give you an idea of how to make the most of your stay in the island.
Boracay Island Map
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The Philippines has only rainy and dry seasons, so speaking when is the best time to visit there, Boracay Island is an all year round destination.I’ve been in Boracay during the rainy season but still, there are thousands of tourists enjoying the Island. I remember when I was talking to one of the locals when I was still living there, he told me there is no LOW SEASON here, we just have PEAK AND SUPER PEAK SEASONS and yeah he was right.
- October-May is the ideal time to visit, that when the northeast monsoon or ‘amihan’ provides the cool air to hot weather and those months have a lot of special events happening in the world. Christmas and New year time are the escaping period for the beach lover and they spent their holiday on the Island.
- February to May: is Summertime in The Philippines, the hottest and the Super peak season of the Island.
- July to Mid November are the Rainy days season where southwest monsoon or ‘habagat’ enters the country and brings rain. NOTE; It doesn’t mean that its rainy season it will rain the whole months, Boracay weather is unpredictable, you may see it in the weather forecast that it will rain but you will find yourself hanging at the beach sunbathing and feels the freaking hot weather.
How to get to the Island
The convenient and fastest way you can get to the island is via plane. There are two airports near the island:
- Kalibo International Airport which is 3 hours away from the island.As a budget traveler, I always take my flight to Kalibo Airport If I fly from Manila or Cebu because most of the fare here is cheaper. Good news for the international traveler, there are already direct flights from Malaysia and Singapore going to Kalibo International Airport catered by AirAsia Airline. From Kalibo International Aiport you can take the bus or van going to Caticlan Jetty Port of Caticlan. Otherwise, you can book Southwest Tours Boracay Inc. for a door to door transfers.
- Caticlan International Airport if you don’t like to travel for 3 hours, this airport is the closest and fastest route going to the island.Most flights here are quite expensive, It takes approximately 45 minutes to the island from the Aiport. From the airport take a tricycle going to Caticlan Jetty Port.
Via Bus, Van or Private Car
For travelers who are coming from neighboring Provinces like Iloilo, Capiz, and Antique you may take the bus and van going to the Cagban Port. The fare is mostly around 300PHP each if you take the bus but expects you will have a long journey because they stop every neighboring Province. For Van, if you travel from Iloilo it cost around 500Php for 4-5 hours ride, You can haggle for low fare if you travel by group. Note: You cannot transport your private car in the island. Due to the limited access of the road, the government prohibited and doesn’t allow tourist to bring their own car.
Upon Arriving in Caticlan Jetty Port;
You need to pay the environmental fee for 30PHP, Terminal fee for 70PHP. There are types of Boat transfer you can choose from; Either Aircon or non-aircon boat, Ordinary boat transfer going to the island cost around 30PHP. Boat transfer is 24hours and if you arrive late in the evening or midnight there is aircon ferry that cost around 70PHP. Travel time takes 10-15 minutes from Caticlan Port to Cagban Port in Boracay Island, There you can hire a tricycle to drop you at your hotel.
MODE OF TRANSPORTATIONS
Unfortunately, due to the tight and limited road access, there is no taxi and private cars in the island. Tricycle and motorcycle are the main transportations and they can transfer you all over the island. Tricycle is not allowed on the beach so you need to take a walk. It’s one of my favorite things to do on the island walking in the seashore barefoot. Enjoying the beauty of the beach and the surrounding, besides stations to stations are so close.
Tips: After living the island for awhile, I already know the trick of the driver here. For Foreigners, don’t be a fool if they ask you to pay 100-150 pesos for one ride. Always do the haggle, my Swedish Boyfriend always a victim to this trick, the actual fare is just 10-20 pesos per person. Unless you will take the special ride where no other passenger is riding so you will pay the whole ride.
WHERE TO STAY
This our very own place listed in AIRBNB you can check for daily rate and availability. Located in station 1 near Willy’s rock with 360degree overlooking view of the forest and the beach. click this link for $50 AIRBNB GIFT VOUCHER
Boracay has 3 stations, Station 1,2 3 and on choosing what station to stay it is all depend on what kind of traveler you are.
- Station 3: Closer to Cagban Port, where most budget friendly accommodation, hostel, hotel and, inns are in this area. Price ranges from $10-$98 per night.
- Station 2: For avid party people and those who wanted to stay awake the whole night, this area might you looking for. Bars, restaurants, budget and mid-range hotel are in this area. Price range $20-$300 per night. There is Backbeach area also, right now there are plenty of hotels and inns the area, still accessible and minimal tourist you can find in the area.
- Station 1: If you are looking for a quiet and serene area, Station 1 is a residential area and might the best for you. Most 5star and expensive hotels are located here, Hotel Prices range from $158-$600 per night. You might also check Airbnb and they have a lot of choices near the area.
WHERE TO EAT
I have listed my favorite restaurants around the island. From healthy choices to international and local Cuisines
Healthy and Vegetarian Restaurant:
One of the major concerns for traveler all over the world when visiting Boracay is where to find the healthy and Vegetarian food. This island is an agony for my boyfriend when it comes to meal cuz it’s so hard for us to find this healthy stuff until we came back last summer and we find several of them.
- Nonies is a newly open restaurant is located in Station 3 in Boracay Island. Their Food was very tasty and fresh, 100% Vegetarian and best for health-conscious people. Also, a good service and Prices are comparable to other food places on the island.
- Sunnyside Cafe our all time favorite restaurant in the island. Located in station 3, This is a unique restaurant to dine, They served breakfast food all day round and they also have vegetable and fruit salads choices.
- Hoy Panga! this restaurant is now serving healthy choices of food. Mostly healthy bowls and refreshing healthy smoothies and Filipino cuisine.Located in Station 2
- Lemon Cafe and restaurants located in Dmall, they serve varieties of healthy stuff and delicious food from a wide variety of different cultures.
International and local Cuisine Favorites
These are the lists of our favorite restaurant on the island. I know it’s hard to choose since there are so many restaurants on the Island.
- Aria is an Italian and European Cuisine located in Dmall, it’s a good choice for pasta lover, pizza, and ice cream etc… They also serve international wine and the best time to dine here during at night for beach views. Bit pricey but worth to try.
- Los Indios Bravos; Located in Bulabog beach or back beach, This restaurant boasts of international bar fare and local craft beers themed with dark wood and leather seats. The nostalgic, relaxed and friendly atmosphere of this place paired with their exceptional dishes.
- The Pig Out Bistro Restaurant Another highly recommended place for me, located in station 1. This place serves seafood platters, paella and etc… it’s absolutely delicious with the freshest seafood and the yummiest burger in the island.
- Dos Mestizos Restaurant is located in station 3. This is a Filipino-Spanish style restaurant. One of the best food they have is their best seller Paella.
MUST TRY AND DO IN BORACAY
There are countless of activities you try can and do in Boracay Island, either Water, Land activities or even up in the Air. Try the things that only in Boracay island you can do.
Don’t let the day in the island without watching the magnificent Sunset. It’s truly magical and stunning, Happy hour and the low tide of the ocean meet the epic sunset of the island.
Jonas Fruit shakes
the famous and best seller fruit shake in the island. I must say it a must to try this refreshing shake. It is located in station one in front Willy’s rock. They offer varieties of fruits shake flavors.
located in Diniwid beach next to station 1. This restaurant is a famous hiding spot for tourists who want to escape the touristy area of the main island. You can dine, do cliff jumping and even play with their cute puppies.
An eco-adventure where guests can cliff dive, kayak. stand up paddle, and snorkel in an unspoiled tropical paradise. This is a whole day escape in the main island and food and boat transfer is already included.
Boracay Mermaid Lessons
Ohh my greatest childhood dream. I am so fan of the little mermaid and who ain’t fantasize that dream. This time you will surely achieve your dream, try this so cool mermaid lesson in Boracay island for a day.
if you are from Philippines people might identify you if you have gone to Boracay island if you have a braid in your hair haha. This is a Filipino’s statement if you have been to Boracay. If you want to try this you can find a lot of women on the shore asking for you
Boracay Pub crawls
if you are a young traveler at heart and wanted to meet people all over the World you might try this Pub crawl or go to several famous bars for a night. For sure you will have the best and epic night of your life.
if you plan to cook your own fresh meals, you can find varieties of fresh products here from; fish, vegetables, poultry and even souvenirs. TIPS; For foreigners learn to haggle and always ask for a lower price, vendors automatically give you a high price if they can identify that you are not Filipino.
If you want to practice your balance or relax in the water try this water activity on the island. You can rent for 200 pesos per hour and you can find them everywhere.
Make the most of your stay in the island. Try this amazing air activity and see the overlooking view of the island. Best tandem activity.