Boracay Island, is amongst a long list of exotic islands in the Philippines, but it is also the most commercialized compared to the rest. Boracay Island … with its white sandy beach, is a very famous tourist destination, ranking one of the world’s top choice of island getaway … a perfect fit for couples, families & group of buddies to relax in the sun, and play on the beach or to enjoy some water activities. Nightlife extravaganza is also well patterned till the brink of dawn in Boracay. Fear not, all facilities are well equipped on the island … including good range of ATMs, midrange to high-end hotels & restaurants. In other words, Boracay Island is a well sort after holiday destination for Westerners or Asians alike.
I had a splendid time there, relaxing and releasing all stress/tight-knots on my back 🙂 What I should have done was do more watersports activity rather than just relaxing on the beach and enjoying the nightlife atmosphere. My advise to you is – DO IT ALL !!! Relax, snorkel, island tour, dive, boat ride, eat/drink, party, massage, shop for accessories (they are pretty here). Boracay Island is the cheaper, yet more exciting version of Maldives or Mauritius. Read on below on how to get there ~
WanderLust Diary – January 2013 : Boracay Island, Philippines
Boracay Island was the first destination I arrived at when I first went to the Philippines. I took Air Asia airlines direct to Clarke from Kuala Lumpur, then transit to Kalibo Airport.
Depending where you plan to arrive at … there are 2 airports serving visitors to Boracay Island.
(i) Kalibo Airport
(ii) Caticlan Airport – services smaller planes
Heading to Boracay Island was a perfect choice at that time. I was pretty much tired of office work, I just needed to get away ssooooo bad … the sound of sun, sand, beach & salty breeze was just the perfect suit ! However …. however, however, however … being a solo backpacker, the endurance of transiting during this trip was very challenging. Note that the Philippines consists of thousands of islands… and their destinations are rather spread out. So, be prepared to be spending alot (i really mean … ALOT) of time commuting – be it in a van, bus, boat or cruise ship.
From Kalibo Airport, upon collecting my luggage, there was a booth right near the exit of the airport – a few booth actually. Depending on your budget, choose your choice of transportation to transit to Caticlan Jetty Port. That is the main port to transport visitors to Boracay Island. What i did was, i bought a van shuttle service ticket INCLUDING the boat transfer fare (this is the budget transfer range that they offer). The van journey took about 2 hours to transit to the port. I arrived at Kalibo Airport around 8pm and the last boat out was around 11pm. So, please note the time of your arrival and gauge whether you would need to rush for the last boat out to the island or stay overnight at the airport or at the ferry terminal.
The budget shuttle van is a pretty crampy one. Be prepared to be squashed in like sardines in a can (in this case : a van). The view along the ride was rather impressive I might add. It reflects a lot about the local culture. So, if you couldnt have any shut-eye, just enjoy the view along the ride.
Once you arrive at the terminal, as a foreign tourist, you will be asked to pay:
(i) terminal fees
(ii) environmental fees
(iii) boat fees – this had been paid at the airport along with the van
These are NOT negotiable and it is compulsory.
On the island of Boracay
Once arrived on the island, there will be dozens of motorized-trishaws at your service to pick you up and send you to your destination/hotel. Be sure to know where you are going – familiarize with the map of the island as such :
Map of Boracay Island
There’s the White Sand Beach towards the West (where Station 1,2,3 is located) and there is the East Coast (Bulabog Beach).
White Sand Beach, as the name says it all, has very fine white sandy beach along the shoreline, and budget accommodations (such as dorms), midrange and high-rated hotels. Most guests would be parking themselves here over the duration of their stay, and also this is where all the commercial restaurants, ATMs are found. The Bulabog Beach on the East Coast would be more suitable for water activities such as snorkling, scuba diving, helmet diving, windsurfing, sailing, kiteboarding & cliff diving. Island hopping & renting yacht for private functions/parties is also a highly recommended leisure activity in Boracay Island.
Puka Shell Beach up north, is where the infamous white puka shells are being dug, said to be the best in the world.
Please note the monsoon/typhoon seasons whenever you want to visit the Philippines. As for Boracay Island, the seasons are :
* Dry season for White Sand Beach : November – April (calm, perfect for leisure & sun tanning)
* Rough season for White Sand Beach : June – October (strong wind gushing, not safe for swimming)
Note that the period above is for the West Coast of Boracay Island. The list is, however, inverted for the East Coast
CLick below for more pictures of Boracay
Have you been to Boracay Island? Would you love to share your experience with us ? Boracay is a must-go to destination if you are heading to the Philippines. It is to die for, you will not regret going through the hassle of getting there. Try to accomodate your stay for at least 3 nights to enjoy all the activities around the island to the maximum.
Write down your experiences below if you had been there:
~ WanderLust Diary signing off ~