Where to go in Boracay? When I think about how I would write about Boracay, I am at a lost as what to write. If you know me, you would know that I love, love, LOVE, Boracay. People always asks me why do I love it so much. I’m hoping to convey that here, so that I can convince you to visit it. This here is the second act of my Where to go in the Philippines 10 act series. So, to my fellow travelers who are in a state of wanderlusts who are wondering where to go, I present to you my most favorite (favoritest…?) island in the world. Boracay. If you’re lazy, I’ve summarized below on why you should visit Boracay you lazy bum. But let’s talk about where to go in Boracay.
What is Boracay?
If you really want the history or the whatever of this place, wikipedia will help you. This blog isn’t for that. But, I still feel like I should provide some informational background for you. So, Boracay is paradise. Besides being called paradise, it is also called frigging amazing. Besides that, it is an island almost smack dab in the middle of the Philippines. It is about 200 miles (300 km) south of Manila. As you can see from the photo to the right, it has many beaches, the one famous of them all is White Beach, a long stretch of beach that’s broken into 3 different stations, Station 1 through 3. Did I happen to mention that Boracay was selected as the world’s best beach by Travel & Leisure back in 2012? Yeah. It’s that frigging awesome.
By the way, I’ve been there 3 times already, and each time I come back, it gets just more and more amazing. If you’re wondering how to pronounce it, there are 2 ways.
“Bore-rah-kie” where kie is pronounce like hi except with a “k” sound.
“Bor-raq-kay” where kay is like bye but with a “k” sound. I say Bore-rah-kie. The locals tend to say the other pronunciation. But it doesn’t matter, because after visiting there, you’ll refer to it orgasmically beautiful and epically awesome. Epicawesome.
How to get to Boracay
First things first, before you can enjoy the white beach, sand, sand sun, you have to get there. There are 2 airports that is nearby the Boracay island. One is called Caticlan (airport code MPH), and Kalibo (KLO). Caticlan is the closest airport to Boracay. Once you land, it’s either a 5 minute tricycle ride to the pier, or a 15 minute walk. The tricycle should cost you about 50 pesos. If you want to walk, upon exiting the airport front door , take a left. After a 5 minute walk, take a right. After 2 streets, take a left, and the pier should be straight in front of you. If in doubt, ask a local Filipino. They’ll be more willing to help.
I recommend flying into Caticlan, just because it’s right there, and makes traveling a lot easier. However, it can sometime be more expensive than Kalibo. Plus, Kalibo offers nonstop services to certain international airports, like Incheon Seoul. Kalibo is a 2 hour bus ride from the Caticlan pier. Make sure you schedule that into your itinerary. The cost tends to be about the same between the different bus or van operators, which is about 250-300 pesos for a combo van (bus) + boat ticket. Remember though, you still have to pay the environmental and terminal fee, which is about another 125 pesos.
At the pier, just follow the windows. It’ll start at 1 to 3. Pretty much, you’ll be paying about 200 pesos for environmental fee, pier terminal fee, and boat ride ticket. The boat itself is a 10-15 minute boat ride. Once you get to the other side, there are tricycles which can give you a lift to where you need to go for about 100 pesos per person. If you’re a backpacker, or just want to save money, you can exit the parking area of the pier and walk to the street. There, you can just wave a tricycle down, which can take you to station 2 of white beach for about 25 pesos (hey, savings matter! and adds up yo!). I did this always. Remember to bring your negotiating skills.
Where to stay
To be honest, there are many other better resources out there that can help you with this. There are many many options, from the cheapest of guest homes, hostels, to the most expensive of hotels. However, in each of the time that I visited Boracay, I have only stayed at one place, and that place is Frendz Resort Hostel. This place is frigging amazing! Why? 3 things
Frendz Resort is right between station 1 and station 2. That means it’s right next to most of the bars and clubs, so if you’re a partier, you’ll definitely like it. The staff is amazing! They do everything they can to help accommodate you. Will take you out. Have breakfast ready for you if you ask. Seriously, they’re amazing. Finally, the vibe of the place is pretty awesome. You’ll see a lot of backpackers go through this, so there’s always people to meet, from all the corners of the globe. Please don’t be one of those people that come here and just sit and look at your phones the entire time (Looking at some of you Chinese and Korean tourists here). It kills the mood and vibe. Put it down. Say hi to someone. I’ll write a longer review later in the future, but for now, just know that this hostel is frigging awesome and you won’t be disappoined to stay here. Oh yeah, the bathroom and bed are clean and safe for you to use. Except the annoying security guy that makes sure you won’t be able to bring any girls home into your place. What’s up with that? I feel bad for my friend that this happened to..haha.
What to do while in Boracay
Well, holy yellow-brown stuff that comes out of your butt, there’s way too many things to list here. Like seriously, way too many. But hold on. Let me see if I can do it. *inhales breath*. Let’s talk about where to go in Boracay.
Cliff diving. Island hopping. Boat cruising. Drink rum. Boat sailing. Swim. Sun tan. Play with sand. Play with water. Lie down.
Get a $5 massage. Eat everything. Drink on boats. Parasailing. Drink more rum. Banana boats. Get a lesson to be a mermaid. Do a mermaid photoshoot. Drink. Dance. Pole dance. Watch fire shows. Watch fireworks. Listen to live music. Eat some more. Drink the amazing mango juice. Drink some more rum. Snorkel. Watch the sunset. Surf. Go boating. Smile. Love life.
Okay, sorry, I got a little carried away. Let me see if I can be a little bit more informational. As I mentioned above, and as you can see on the left, Boracay can pretty much be broken into 4 areas. There’s the area you get into from the pier, which doesn’t have much. From there to white beach is a 15 minute tricycle ride. White Beach itself is broken into 3 stations. Most of the activities I mentioned above can be done in station 2.
White Beach is gorgeous! Blue clear turquoise water. Sun baked pure white sand. Coconut trees everywhere. It really is paradise on Earth. Don’t believe me? Look at the gallery below! Anyway, because it’s so famous, White Beach is quite crowded. If you go during the holidays, expect it to be super crowded, especially with the Chinese and Korean tourists crowd. I went during Lunar new years, and wow…In my 3 times of going there, that was the most crowded.
If you want to get away from the crowd, head up to Puka Beach, which is a 50 pesos tricycle ride north. It’s just as beautiful, but 95% less people. Highly definitely recommend you go here. There’s also an interesting bat cave here that you can check out. Opposite of White Beach is Bolagbog Beach, which is on the eastern side. Here, the water activities is more various, so I definitely recommend checking it out. For the majority of people though, White Beach should suffice.
There is also a package call “Ariel’s Point”, which is an ecotourism place in Boracay. It’s about 2000 pesos, and basically, they pick you up, take you out to a boat starting at 10am, and from 10am to 4pm, you’re given unlimited food, unlimited drinks on this boat. That’s right. It’s insane. While you’re eating and drinking yourself to gluttonous death, the boat also takes you around the island and also to a place where you can dive off of a cliff. If I remember correctly, there’s a 5 meter jump, and a 15 meter jump. I don’t recommend doing the 15 meter jump if you’re quite intoxicated. To be honest, how no one has drowned or seriously hurt themselves is amazing. Or maybe they do but we don’t hear anything about it. In any case, fun package.
When to go
So we talked about where to go in Boracay. Let’s talk about when to go. The best time to go to Boracay is the December to March timeframe. At this time, you get the cool dry monsoon season, which means not a lot of rain, no typhoon, and cool not that humid weather. It really is perfect. Except for when I was there last month (Feb 2014), where we had a typhoon hit us. Yeah. That was random. Thanks global warming. Now, the other time is good to go too, of course, but you get the summer heat, as well as the summer monsoon. I heard Boracay is blessed in its location in that, it doesn’t really rain a lot during the monsoon. One thing the clouds give you though is amazing sunset. Which brings me to my next point…
I’ve covered on where to go in Boracay and when. Let’s now talk about why. Because it has everything for everyone. It has sun, beach, and sand for those that seeks a relaxing beach vacation. It has countless bars and clubs for those that wants to party and drink. It has hordes of international folks for those that wants to meet international folks. It has a wealth of daytime activities for the family and couples. It has inexpensive food, hostels, and drinks for the backpackers that wants to save money. It has an amazing friendly local people who are all about smiling and accommodating.
If you can, I recommend visiting during non-Asian holiday times. I’m sorry, but when the hordes of Chinese and Korean tourists come, and they definitely have found out about my tropical paradise, they swarm over everything. No, literally, in Lunar New Years 2014, they’re swarming all over the beach, the convenience stores. Before, the only boats you would see on the beach are the iconic blue sails one. Now, there are a whole lot of different boats to accommodate these new Asian tourists. They’ve definitely discovered this island, as back in December 2012, I saw at most 1 Chinese restaurant. Now, there were 5 of them that I could see. The sand isn’t as white anymore. And the water is a little less turquoise.
On one hand, it’s good for the local populace, because it’s just another revenue source for them. On the other hand, Boracay is slowly looking like Phuket, with too many damn tourists. Of course, this entry won’t help as I know by now you’re salivating to go. I guess I’m a little sad. The more this wonderful paradise gets discovered, the more people go there. The more people go there, the more pollution and stuff that can destroy an island. I’m hoping all of those fees, as well as the tax revenues being generated, will help the Filipinos keep Boracay amazing and clean.
Oh, and by the way, to finish this off, why should you come to Boracay? Because it has quite possibly the most amazing location for a sunset in the world. Until next time my fellow wanderlusts, I hope you live life the way it’s meant to be lived. A quarter mile at a time. Cheers to you all for being the conquistadors of our time.
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