Boracay is a tropical island about an hour's flight from Manila in the Philippines. Its long white sand beaches rival the best beaches of more popular destinations such as the Caribbean, the South Pacific as well as neighbouring Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Facilities are available to suit different levels of activity. For those wanting to just lounge around and take in some rays, beach-front hotels usually have lounge chairs set up just a few steps away from the hotel entrances. Facilities for the usual water sports activities such as sailing, wind surfing, snorkeling, diving and jet skiing are also widely available for those in search of more active pursuits.
The fun in Boracay also doesn't end when the sun sets. Boracay nightlife is pulsating with many bars and restaurants serving food, drink and fun until the very late evening.
During the dry season (Nov-Apr), White Beach is calm and very suitable for swimming, etc. The other side of the island has large winds and waves making it suitable for wind surfing, wave running, etc. During the rainy season (Jun-Oct) this is reversed, with a risk of typhoons. White Beach gets large winds and waves which makes it unsuitable for swimming.
Since March 2008, 17 lifeguards are assigned by the local government. White Beach is divided into five areas: Boracay Teracces (north) to Willy's Rock, area 1. From Willy's Rock to Red Coconut Resort - area 2. From Red Coconut to Boat Station 2 - area 3. From Boat Station 2 - Station 3 - area 4. From Boat Station 3 to Angol Point - area 5. In every station, there are two lifeguards on foot patrolling equipped with whistle, life buoy and hand-held radio. The boat station 2 is the lifeguard and rescue command center.
Boracay is the most popular destination in the Philippines for beach-goers, so if you're looking for a quiet tropical paradise, this isn't it. The beaches are full of touts and vendors, and the occasional beggar. There are also several helicopter businesses who fly tourists back and forth along the beaches (and all over the island), so again, if you're looking for peace and quiet, Boracay is not an ideal choice. However, if you're looking to party, dance and partake in motorised watersports, then Boracay is for you.
Whether you go by plane or by boat, the port of entry for Boracay Island is the small town of Caticlan on the mainland. Outrigger boats or "bancas" leave every few minutes from Caticlan's jetty port. The short boat trip to Boracay's jetty port at Cagban costs 20 Pesos. Tourists have to pay a terminal fee of 50 Pesos and an environmental fee of 50 pesos. Tricycles are available at Cagban to bring passengers to their hotels. Tricycle fare is from P20 per pax up to P150 per trip depending where your resort is.
Most flights to Boracay are from Manila Domestic Airport, Manila Airport Terminal 3, or the Centennial airport. For travelers with international flights, it is recommended to allot at least 5 hours between your international flight arrival and your domestic flight departure for airport transfers and check-in & out of your baggage.
There are two airports that serve travelers going to Boracay.
The nearest domestic airport to the island of Boracay is Caticlan or Godofredo P. Ramos Airport (IATA : MPH) (ICAO : RPVE). The runway is very short and only propeller planes can land there. Flights to and from this Caticlan are bounded by sunrise and sunset limitations. Airlines with flights to and from Caticlan are South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR) , Cebu Pacific Air , Philippine Airlines (PAL) , and Air Philippines .
From the Caticlan airport, you can either take a tricycle (PhP 40.00) or walk (10 minutes) to Caticlan Jetty Port.
The second airport near Boracay is the Kalibo International Airport (IATA : KLO) (ICAO : RPVK). With longer runway and night landing facilities, Kalibo Airport is served by bigger planes with early morning and late evening flights. The airport is at least 90 minutes away by land to Caticlan Jetty Port. Airlines with flights to and from Kalibo are Cebu Pacific Air , Philippine Airlines (PAL) , and Zest Airways (formerly Asian Spirit) .
Airline fares vary, generally in the $50 to $100 range for each leg. Keep a lookout for special rates posted at the respective travel offices adjoining the domestic terminal in Manila. Luggage over 10kg will probably cost you extra.
There are minivans, vans, coasters and buses that serve travelers between Kalibo International Aiport and Caticlan Jetty Port.
The "Nautical Highway" is a combination of overland highways and roll-on, roll-off (RoRo) vessels that allow you to bring your vehicle up to Panay Island and visit key cities like Kalibo. Taking your car all the way to Boracay, though, is not possible. Public transport also operates on the same route, and is the most cost-effective way of traveling between Manila and Boracay. Assuming good connections, the total journey time is around 12 hours.
The easiest way of arranging this is to book a van in Manila by contacting private operators such as Angel Star (02 783-0886 c/o Abner) and Gope (02 732-6891 c/o Cesar). This will enable you to book a straight trip from Manila to Caticlan at the cost of P930.00, more or less. Their group operates several passenger vans which can load 10-14 or 15-18 persons. You book the trip exclusively or share with fellow travellers. The Van leaves at 9PM daily from Manila, travelling through Batangas-Calapan-Roxas (arrives Roxas at 5AM or 6AM) to catch the 8AM or 10AM ferry/boat to Caticlan, where you are expected to arrive between noon to 2PM. Before proceeding to Boracay Island though, be sure to get your return ticket (Roxas-Manila) at the Caticlan Ferry Terminal (inquire about the updated schedule from the staff of the van operators). Take an early dinner before boarding the van and bring water and something to eat while on travel. Riding a van gives you a more relaxed pace to Caticlan because you wouldn't have to stop in many sub-destinations which lengthen your trip and therefore can be truly tiresome. Noted that the fee of P910.00 already includes two RORO fares.
The more challenging (but slightly cheaper) do-it-yourself version goes as follows:
At 01:30AM, take a bus at the G.Puyat (Buendia) bus terminal along Taft Avenue, Pasay City.
Get off at the end of the line which is the Batangas Port. Estimated arrival is between 4:00 to 4:30AM. Travel time actually only takes 2 hours maximum. The estimate is made to allow for other contingencies on the road.
At the port, get/buy a ticket for a private van bound to Calapan, Mindoro.
The van will be ferried by a medium-sized passenger ship. Estimated arrival time in Calapan, Mindoro is between 6:30 to 7:00AM.
The same van will travel by land towards Roxas, in the island of Mindoro and arrive at the terminal between 9:30-10:00AM.
Ride a ferry from Roxas to Caticlan. Travel duration is from 3 to 3.5 hours.
From Caticlan, take the "bancas" following the procedures stated above.
You can also start your journey with Philtranco, Alps, Dimple, Ceres, Rodastco coaches which leave at regular intervals throughout the day from Cubao, serving the Manila-Caticlan route for P1,050.00. Rodastco also offers a door-to-door service with pick ups anywhere in Metro Manila. The contact numbers for trip booking are +63 2-7326891 or +63 917-3820426, or +63 919-3820426.
Most visitors opt for motorized tricycles, which act as the island's taxis and make up most of its traffic. Rides are inexpensive, usually no more than P200 to any point on the island from White Beach and much less for shorter rides, and can be found almost anywhere along the main road. As the tricycle seats are (in)conveniently located right above the vehicle exhausts, there can be a little pollution however - bring a handkerchief if you tend to be easily bothered by this sort of thing.
Short rides, say from D'Mall to Station 3 or from Station 1 to Station 3, are a standard rate of 7 pesos but expect the tricycle driver to ask for 20 pesos or more if you look like a foreigner.
Scooters provide the best flexibility at a reasonable price. The downside is having to deal with island traffic which can be unnerving for visitors unused to the aggressive tricycle drivers.
Mountain bikes are also available for rent at several locations along White Beach, which is off limits to motorized vehicles.
To explore around the island, rent a native sailboat (paraw) or motorized outrigger (banca) and visit the many beaches of Boracay.
White Beach - This is what most people are here for. Not only is it a lovely stretch of powdery white sand against azure water, it's also the commercial center of the island. The long beach is divided into three sections, Station 1, Station 2, and Station 3. The widest beach front area is located at Station 1 where prime hotels and resorts are located. Although accommodations may be pricier, visitors can expect a more relaxing environment. A stretched grove of shady palm trees separates the beach from the line of restaurants, cafes, bars, internet cafes, shops, bakeries, etc. There is lots of room to stretch out on the beach with your sarong or you can rent a reclining chair from one of the vendors where they will be happy to keep you filled with food and drinks. Most people opt for the shade and tend to hang out under the palm trees.
Puka Beach - A quiet stretch of white sand along the northern tip of the island, Puka Beach is an image of what most people expect on a tropical island: white sand, azure water, and relatively empty. This is where locals gather the small puka shells for some of the jewelry that is sold on the island so expect the sand to be more coarse than on White Beach. The water tends to be a little rougher on this side of the island but it is much quieter. Similarly, there are fewer services -- there are only a couple of restaurants, but you likely won't have a problem getting a cold drink or an ice cream as there are a few vendors that patrol the beach. The main road in Boracay terminates at Puka Beach therefore you'll be able to hire a tricycle to get there in less than 10-15 minutes from central White Beach. Make sure you arrange a pickup if it is a quiet day and no tricycles are hanging around the beach. Most people experience Puka as one of their sailboat or banca stops during a day trip. This is a good spot for a picnic, but be sure to bring your trash home with you.
Baling Hai Beach - This is a quiet little cove just north of Diniwid Beach, where you can enjoy swimming, snorkeling and dining in a relaxed, peaceful environment. There are some fantastic views from the clifftop restaurant. Baling Hai is often included as a stop-off on an island boat tour.
The Bat Cave. One will see in several tour guides and maps of Boracay something called the Bat Cave, which houses many small insectivorous bats (the larger fruit bats roost in the trees on the hillside above Punta Bunga Beach), and locals will be more than happy to accompany you there for a fee, or "tip". The cave is on the western-end of the island and down several dirt roads. The guide will then take you on a short hike through the forest to the mouth of a cave, which drops down at a very steep angle. The mouth of the cave is littered with large boulders, and is extremely difficult to enter and walk down. There is no visible path, no handrail, and the stones are extremely slippery with slime and bat guano, as well as extremely dangerous, since the cave is at such an extreme angle. Also, the air inside the cave is very warm and humid, and in addition to the amount of guano, is very difficult to breathe. Additionally, several snakes live inside the cave. Caution should be taken by those visiting and entering the cave. There are bats in the cave, but down at the bottom of it in the dark, and unless you have a flashlight or are there at dusk, you won't see them. The ceiling of the cave is interesting, however, with multiple, small stalactites. Just nearby, you can find another cave, called "crystal" cave which has a lot of stalactites and a hole on the opposite site of the entrance, from which you can watch out to the sea if you dare to climb up to it. You will have to pay 50P entry-fee to visit both caves on behalf of the family that owns the land, in addition to paying your guide. Visiting both caves can cost up to 2500P for the guide, but this is the "rich tourist price", so try to bargain if you like.
Mt. Luho, is the highest point of the island. Here you can see Boracay's panoramic view.
Take a paraw sailing tour around the island, to explore quiet beaches and snorkel sites. Ask your crew to organize a romantic BBQ on the beach with fresh grilled seafood. Cruise back at sunset to experience breathtaking views. More info at: http://www.red-pirates.blogspot.com/
It is worth hiring motorbikes or scooters out to explore the island, as there are other beautiful beaches on the other side of the island that are even better for snorkeling that will be completely deserted. Hire them for a couple of days and you should get a discount. The roads are a bit dodgy, and some are still being constructed, but it's a good laugh and better than plunking yourself on a patch of white sand and seeing nothing. If you happen to be lying on the beach though definitely have a massage and manicure.
Horse riding is a fun activity in Boracay - get off the beaten path and experience native villages and scenery most other visitors don't get to see. All levels of experience are catered to. Ask a tricycle to take you to the Boracay Horse Riding Stables.
Trip to Ariel's Point , +63.36.288.6770, Boracay Beach Club, Balabag, Station 1, Adventure tour to the beautiful **Peace of Paradise** with famous cliff jumping and diving, snorkeling, swimming, relaxing and sunning. Round-trip boat ride, tasty barbecue buffet lunch and unlimited drinks (including rum and beer) are included for P1,200. Departures are almost daily at 11:30AM from Ariel's House Beach Bar across from Boracay Beach Club in Station 1.
For those interested in Scuba Diving and Diving Packages, there are approximately 20 Dive Centres along White Sand beach; it is a good place to learn or to improve your skills. Cost is typically $33 per dive which includes hire of all equipment.The dive centres operate a cartel and have agreed standard prices amongst themselves so prices will be the same at all centres. There are 25-30 dive sites within 10-15 minutes speed boat ride from the beach, suitable for beginners up to advanced level. Dives range from 'Angol Point' (10m), through 'Crocodile Island' (22-25m), a straightforward wall dive, up to 'Yapak'- a deep wall dive suitable for only the most experienced divers due to strong currents, although there is the possibility of seeing sharks and stingrays.
The best way to see the beauty of Boracay and it`s various beaches is by Paraw (native outrigger sailboat). You will be constantly asked if you want to take a boat trip, as there are literally dozens of companies offering this service. It is better to go with a reputable and established group such as Allen Fun Tours (motorized banca boat tours) or Red Pirates (paraw sailing) to ensure your safety and avoid being overcharged.
Boracay's Bulabog beach is known as the best kitesurf destination in Asia. The season runs from November through to April with onshore winds varying between 12-30 knots.
Skimboarding in Boracay has been a new fun sport for kids and entertainment for older for people for several years. It is a welcome new attraction and a pleasure to watch. Skimboards are available for rent at several places along White Beach. But be sure to hire an expert to teach you to do the skills..
Along White Beach you will be approached frequently by women offering to give you a massage, which they will do on the spot or on a towel laid out on the beach - your choice.
A bit more organized, White Beach also has several "Massage Stations": collections of masseurs that have their mats set up. The stations are typically open as long as there are customers around but in general start to shut down just after sunset.
For Swedish, Accupressure, Shiatsu etc, visit Abe (pronounced Abby) the blind masseur who operates outside Cocoloco restaurant in Angol (south of boat station 3). Only P300 per hour.
There is a great outdoor massage station in the beach area of Nigi Nigi Beach Resort, where they have two tables set up. The booth is draped with curtains which they will close if you wish, or leave open if you want to watch the people on the beach. They offer every massage in the book, and charge 500 Peso for one hour.
Ceasar's, found along the main road near boat station 3, specializes in Thai massage and uses two masseurs simultaneously to deliver the service. A 90 minute massage is priced at $50 USD.
Mandala Spa — is typically found near the top of the list of world spas. Situated at the top of a hill, Mandala offers everything from one hour massages (single and couple) to body scrubs, wraps, facials, baths and four hour packages that combine it all. Expect to pay $175 USD for the full four-hour prince/princess treatment. Mandala Spa also rents out rooms to visitors to Boracay, which are built and furnished in traditional tropical style and overlook the island and White Beach. Advance reservations required.
Because of its wide draw of international travelers, Boracay has a wide variety of places to eat, including a surprising number of bakeries.
A Loja Delicatessen. was for many years the only Deli on the island. A Loja Deli, working hand in hand with Heidiland Deli, caters today more to the wholesale market, but offers also a nice quiet place to eat sausages, sandwiches and drink wine in a quiet garden, away from the crowded front beach area. Wholesale prices also apply to visitors who buy in bulk.
Aria in "D' Mall". Delicious Italian food. If they don't give you the spicy olive oil bottle on the side for your custom made pizza make sure you ask for it.
Arwana Coffee Shop (near station 3) is one of the nicest spots in the area for a tasty breakfast at a beachside table
Bamboo Lounge, near boat station 1, serves a good selection of Chinese food in a relaxed beachfront setting.
Blue Jade Cafe is in D'Talipapa and offers Asian and European cuisine. Customers can also shop in the market for fresh sea food and have it cooked for them at the restaurant.
Blue Mango, near station 3, comes highly recommended. There are some interesting mango-inspired creations on the menu too.
Cocoloco bar/restaurant near boat station 3 serves great Filipino and International cuisine in an attractive native-style setting.
Cowboy Cocina near boat station 3 serves affordable and tasty steaks, ribs and other grilled dishes, and arguably the best burgers in Boracay.
Crafty's Rooftop Bar and Coffee Shop is on the top level of Crafts Department Store at D' Mall's main road entrance. There is an excellent menu of Indian food as well as international dishes, and there's also a wide selection of imported beers and ales. This is a great place to watch the sunset.
Cyma, in the new part of the mall. Excellent food and service at this Greek restaurant. Try the Mezedes Combination, the Spinach and Artichoke Fondue and the Chicken Souvlaki.
Dos Mestizos This restaurant is the brainchild of respected Boracay chef & restaurateur Binggoy Remedios and his close childhood friend, Jose Ramon Valdes Nieto. Both owners have Spanish ancestors, hence the name "Dos Mestizos". This restaurant serves a selection of excellent Tapas dishes and is located between boat stations 2 and 3, behind the Tourist Center.
D'Talipapa The best and cheapest place to eat. Around the place are a variety of food stores that offers to cook for you, you could just buy Fresh sea foods/ etc (located just near the stores) then have the stores cook it for you with what ever way you like it. (Imagine you can get Crabs for 250 Pesos for 1 Kilo opposed to buying in restaurants that costs 130 Pesos/ 100 Gram).
Heidiland Deli - Next to the main plaza at the D'Mall Phase IV is a fully air-conditioned European style Deli selling all kinds of Deli food as cheeses, cold cuts, salami, yoghurt, wines and much more. Famous are the reasonably priced sandwiches.
Hey Jude, in front of D'Mall, serves good pizza and bistro style food. The beef kebabs are a must-try.
Jonas Fruitshake in Station 1. Their fruit shakes are to die for!
Kurt's restaurant and bar near station 3 has a wide selection of good German and Filipino dishes and a friendly atmosphere.
Kasbah Authentic Moroccan cuisine serving exquisite tagines and couscous. Next to Discovery Shores, Station One.
Lemon Cafe, in D' Mall. A new addition to the island, this place serves a variety of breakfasts, lunches and light meals. The service and presentation is excellent.
Lovells Swiss Bakery, Balabag, next to Pantelco and infront of the balabag main hospital, Boracay's first European bakery and pastry shop, founded and run by a Swiss guy since the early 1980s.
Manana, near boat station 1, serves large portions of tasty Mexican food. Guacamole is only available when avocados are in-season despite what the menu says.
Smoke , located down one of the alleys opposite Lemon cafe in D'mall is a very good budget eatery. Local dishes, meat and seafood dishes, omeletes and excellent sandwiches are on offer. Most meals cost around 70 peso's and are all cooked fresh. If you are around between 11AM and 2PM you get a free drink of Iced lemon tea with every rice meal.
Real Coffee, near boat station 1, serves a variety of pancakes, sandwiches, omelettes and salads, as well as freshly brewed coffee.
Ole (located in D'mall plaza) is the place to go for Spanish tapas and other specialties. Beware - the main courses are enormous!
The Hobbit House, - (Also located in D'mall plaza) is one Bar/Restaurant that you'll find alittle different. With its great food, drinks and folk singers this place is the best. But mainly they have the weirdest staff ever, serving you all night are Hobbits! or little people. this is one place in the world that you'll find "the Lord of the Rings" dream come true!
Rumbas, in D' Mall serves good steaks, pies and other English style dishes. You can even order curries, fish and chips and sausage sandwiches!
True Food, in Station 2, offers fiery Indian cuisine that will awaken the tastebuds. The place is cozy with straw mats and over-sized cushions. The staff is polite and very accommodating. For those who enjoy the spicier side of life, try the tandoori chicken.
Zuzuni, near boat station 1, is the island's newest Greek restaurant, serving excellent cuisine in a romantic, beachfront setting. The service is friendly and extremely efficient.
Obama Grill Bar-Restaurant (Station 1), Beachfront & Main Road Frontage, across from Andok's Station 1 and Shore Time Hotel, Steak restaurant, opened April 2009
If you like to party, there are plenty of places to choose from. The livelier bars are situated near boat stations 1 and 2. There are plenty of places to party all night! Boat station 3 has a more laid back and relaxed atmosphere, with small native bars and restaurants - popular with backpackers.
Expect to check your handgun with the security guard!
Cocomangas, near station 1, is famous for it's "Still standing after 15" challenge. Drink 15 ferocious shots and win a t-shirt and a plaque on the wall. This bar is popular with the student crowd. Try the Jam Jar, a pineapple and vodka cocktail.
Bom Bom Bar (near D 'Mall) is a native style beach bar which often has live music. It's a popular hang out for artists and musicians.
Nigi Nigi's beach bar, between boat stations 2 and 3, three minutes walk north of the tourist center, is a popular centrally-located spot to have a cool drink and enjoy a little people watching.
Cocoloco, near boat station 3, is an attractive beach bar/restaurant which also serves tasty food. You can enjoy your drink by the beach, under the coconut trees, and there's a pool table in the bar too.
Red Pirates Pub, is a native style beach bar (near boat station 3) with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and good selection of fruity cocktails as well as affordable ice cold beer. It's a good place to meet other travelers and chat, and on Fridays and full moon nights there is live music and an all-you-can-eat beach BBQ and buffet.
Kurts Bar, near station 3, is run by friendly Bavarian Kurt and his wife Mags. It's a very popular spot to meet and chat, and one of the few places on the island serving draft beer.
JUICE located right between Boracay Regency and Boat Station 2 offers top notch cocktails and a variety of "sneaky smoothies". with a wide open courtyard opening up to the beach it tends to fill up by around 11PM but still very comfortable. The crowd is a nice mix of locals and foreigners. Great staff and charming bartenders.
Hey Jude Bar usually has a live DJ, and the music makes a nice change from the ubiquitous Hip Hop and "R'n'B" played all over the island these days. Try their pizza and pasta dishes as well as tasty bar snacks to munch along with your cocktails.
Rumbas, in "D' Mall Plaza", is an English style bar that attracts a friendly crowd. The menu is pretty good too, especially the sirloin steaks.
Crafty's rooftop bar has probably the most extensive selection of imported beers and ales on the island. Head to the top floor of Crafts Superstore.
Chez De Paris Resort, (036)288-3233, on the White Beach balabag, beside Le Soleil and The Mandarin, one of the first European restaurants on the island, the first infact to have chocolate mousse and italian pizza when the island was without electricity in the early 80's. Owned by the infamous and eccentric frenchman Roger Deparis who has lived on the island since his backpacking days. It is a throwback to the old island style of mismatched decorations and heavy foliage. A little bit of island history resides in this sleepy getaway nestled between two large hotel
Cream Cafe, right on White Beach, between La Reserve & Crystal Sand in Station 1, It's a great place for good old fashioned milkshakes and Arce Dairy Carabao (Water Buffalo) Ice Cream.
Ariel's House Main Station 1 and New Beachfront location (Station 1), Main..modern & upscale enclosed airconditioned bar & restaurant located in front of their hotel-Boracay Beach Club pool area. Beachfront..open area bar and enclosed cozy airconditioned/2nd floor room. Frequented by Manila/Makati elites, entertainers, & hip crowds. Special events and live DJ's during peak season.
Charles Bar, Near Station 2, Right in the middle of the beach, This bar is a favorite on Boracay. It has a live band that plays covers and patrons can sing with the band if they want.
Accommodation standards vary, with top of the line hotels and resorts to a simple bed rented from a resident. As such, whatever your budget, you could easily find a suitable place to stay. During peak periods such as Holy Week, Christmas and New Year, rooms are more difficult to find and more expensive, so book in advance.
Staying along White Beach gets you closer to the bars, lounging and food, while staying closer to Bulabog beach gives you better access to the popular wind and kite-boarding areas.
A word of warning: Boracay is notorious for travel agents (many in Manila) passing themselves off as the resorts, often through websites. When you call them to get a room rate or make a reservation, you will be quoted much more than if you called the resort itself. The travel agents simply take your request, call the hotel and make reservations and charge you extra for the service, up to double the original rate. Meanwhile, the traveler has no idea he wasn't talking to the resort. This can often lead to frustration, as the traveler will show up at his hotel or resort and see he was charged double the rate that the hotel is listing, even though the hotel had nothing to do with it! So the advice is, try your best to ignore the many travel agencies and make your reservation with the resort or hotel directly.
Real Maris Beach Resort Boracay , (+63-02) 525-32-76 or 522-08-22 (email@example.com), Station 1 Balabag Boracay Island, Malay Aklan, One of the finest resort in the beautiful island of Boracay;Beach front resort that is located in station one where finest white sand and crystal clear water was well known. Best Location as it is just a minute walk from the Boracay Landmark, Grotto or others called it Willys Rock and same as with the night life place in station 2.It Has 42 rooms with 3 different room types: VIP Deluxe, Pool Side Suite and Family Room. All rooms has cable tv, split type airconditioner, telephone with NDD and IDD,wi-fi access, safety vault, mini bar, balcony; bath tub,shower with glass shower booth, lavatory sink; all with hot and cold water. services such as 24 hrs front desk and security guard services, currency exchange, wake up service, Laundry service, and masasage service. 5 feet deep swimming pool with water sensor to maintain water level and under water lights during night time surely enchant the guests. The architectural structure and interior design plus its facilities and hospitable staffs make your vacation worth remembering.
Guilly's Island, Station 1, Balabag, Boracay's premiere bar destination
If you prefer peace and quiet, avoid accommodation at the centre of White Beach, as this is the most crowded area. Head further north or south instead. The area south of boat station 3 has a more relaxed and peaceful vibe - no pounding disco till 4AM. Accommodation is more reasonably priced, and there are some friendly little bars and restaurants where you can meet people and chat. North of station 1 you'll find many of the more luxurious (and expensive) establishments. The beach is at it's widest here, and the area is usually relatively peaceful.
Among the many quality resorts in Boracay at which you may stay are (in alphabetical order):
Blue Mango, In Angol, at the southern end of White Beach. A friendly, family run establishment. The location is peaceful - less crowded than at station 2.
Escurel, Amidst the vast complex of station 3 accommodations tucked behind the pathway next to Arwana's cafe, this is a friendly Filipino-owned establishment. Spacious, private rooms with fan run about 800PHP while air-conditioned rooms are priced anywhere between 1000-1500PHP depending on the time of year. All rooms have a nice balcony to lounge out and laze on; the fan-only huts also each have a nice hammock out front.
Moreno's Place, Run by a different owner of the same family as Escurel's, one will find similar accommodations and friendliness here. Prices are roughly similar to Escurel and seem to be more negotiable than other, better publicized (read: Lonely Planet listed) accommodations.
Little Corner of Italy, In Angol, at the southern end of White Beach (Station 3 southern end - left and right from the famous red pirates bar). Better known as
7Stones Boracay Suites , +63 36 288 16 01, +63 36 288 16 01, Bulabog Beach, Balabag, Boracay Island, Malay Aklan, is a luxury boutique hotel situated on a 4,000 square meter beachfront property located at the famous water sports paradise otherwise known as Bulabog Beach. This new and modern boutique hotel boasts of stunning roomy suites and breathtaking sights.
Bamboo Bungalows , +63 36 288 63 24, +63 36 288 63 24, 4000 m2 of beachfront property. Offers various categories of rooms, ranging from aircon and hot water-equipped hotel rooms to basic fan-cooled cold-shower bungalows.
Boracay Beach Club (Station 1), Upscale 32 rooms with rooftop deck, pool and cabanas. Across from the beach with their own guests bar(Ariel's Beach House )& sun loungers right on the beachfront. Special packages, and complimentary breakfast included. Hotel's restaurant & bar right in front of pool's area. Family owned and managed. Situated right in the party district and restaurants.
Jay Jays Club Boracay Resort (Jay Jays Boracay Resort) , A hilltop private resort above Boat Station 1 with incredible ocean and beach views. Apartments have aircon, hot water, kitchens, cable TV and wifi.
La Isla Bonita Resort Bar & Restaurant , (036) 288-6959, (036) 288-6959, Boat Station No. 3 Manggayad, Manoc-Manoc, Nice, basic, aircon room with cable TV and private bathroom runs 2000PHP/night (high season).
La Reserve Boracay , (63 36) 2883020, Station 1 Balabag, Boracay Island, Malay Aklan, Philippines, Spending your vacation at La reserve will make your holiday dream come true, full of relaxing and partying, with nice ambiance that feels and brings you in paradise. Spend the night in their elegant rooms, and enjoy breakfast on your private balcony with garden views. La Reserve is ideally located for day trips. Spend the day exploring nearby towns or the natural attractions of Boracay Island, or simply relax at the hotel.
Le Soleil de Boracay , **+6336** 288-5734 to 12, Right in the center of White Beach, near Boat Station 2. The resort as a whole has a nice ambiance, rooms are also brightly decorated. Lounging area available right on the beach front as you step out of the hotel. Breakfast is served a la carte and portions aren't that impressive so if your package doesn't come with breakfast, you might as well have it outside of the hotel.
Nami Boracay (Nami Boracay) , +63.36.288.6753, Diniwid Boracay, This is a beautiful cliffside resort located in the Exclusive Diniwid Beach area. Each room offers spectacular views of Diniwid Beach and the SULU Sea.
One Crescent Place Hotel , (63-36) 288-5429, Balabag, Boracay, Aklan, Philippines, The resort is in Station 1 of Boracay Island, a two-minute walk to the powdery white sands and crystal-blue waters of White Beach. This ideal location lends a quiet place to relax and unwind in while giving you easy access to Boracay’s exciting areas. Each guestroom features a deck, dining area, kitchenette, microwave oven, refrigerator, private toilet and shower, mini-bar, and Internet access. It is also fitted with a DVD player, writing desk and chair, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, and safe.
Patio Pacific Boracay , (+632) 845.2222 to 28, Station 1, Formerly known as Pink Patio Resort. Facilities include a gym, pool and climbing wall. The 65 aircon rooms are adequate if a bit bland in decor. Breakfast is served buffet style though choices may be limited at times. Three-minute walk to White Beach.
Residencia Boracay , +63 2 996 2036, Beachfront, Station 1, Boracay Island, Philippines, Residencia Boracay is a beachfront hotel north of Boracay located at Boat Station 1 with 22 newly constructed rooms completed last April 2008, Residencia Boracay is designed to provide a relaxing retreat away from the crowds of Boracay White Beach. Perfect for families and couples looking for value-for-money convenience, comfort, and style. All the rooms are airconditioned with cable tv and hot water shower.
Sea Wind Boracay, (632) 4164010, (632) 4164010, 1 R&G Tirol Park, Station 1, Balabag, Boracay, 50-room luxury resort. Spacious, Filipino-style rooms with pseudo-antique furniture.
Serendipity Resort Boracay , +(63)36 288 5411, Main Road, Bgy. Balabag Boracay, Malay, Aklan, Simple but tastefully-fitted aircon rooms with hot water and cable TV. Fan-cooled cottages, inspired by huts in the Philippine highlands, are also available. Additional features include a commercial arcade, a guest’s lounge and landscaped gardens.
Serina del Sol Beachfront Inn , +6336 2884343, +6336 5063172, A cozy hotel located at station 1, White Beach. All rooms air conditioned, with hot and cold shower, cable television, patios, minibar, 24-hour Room Service. Newer hotel.
Shangri-La's Boracay Resort and Spa , +63 36 2884988, Barangay Yapak, Boracay's first international branded resort. 219 rooms, suites and villas, with 350m of dedicated beach and 12 hectares of grounds.
Shore Time Boracay Resort , +63 6 288 4968,, Station 1, next door to Andok's- Station 1 & across from Obama Grill Restaurant), In station 1, across from the beach with their own private guests sun loungers on the beachfront.
Villa Camilla, Quiet beach-front hotel.
Villa Lourdes Resort WEbsite:http://www.villalourdesboracay.com
Bulabog Beach runs parallel with White Beach and is on the east side of the island. It is approximately 1.5kms long and has similar white sand to that found on White Beach. It is protected from strong seas by a coral reef located 500 meters offshore, and from late Oct. to April the Amihan wind(NE wind) make this beach very popular with windsurfers and kiteboarders.For these reasons it is often referred to as the "No.1 kite boarding beach in Asia." Bulabog Beach has the "old" Boracay atmosphere, being less developed than the White Beach area, quieter, more laid back, with onshore breezes most of the year, and a number of foreign residents have made it their home. In addition, resorts are starting to appear and the various types of water-sports (para-sailing, banana boats, jetskis, water-skiing, etc.) are using this area during the White Beach off-season (May-Oct, when the Habagat wind blows). Access to the D'Mall Shopping Center is only a 5 minute walk and a couple of minutes later you are on White Beach with all the crowds, restaurants, bars, discos, etc.
The Lazy Dog Bed and Breakfast, Tel.+63 9209 454 845 +63.36.288 4128, . Offers 10 fully air conditioned rooms, hot showers, cable tv and free WIFI. Set inside a private garden enclave and conveniently located at the center of the island. The room rates start at Php1,800.00 per night with an on site cafe offering breakfast and lunch. Dogs are welcome.
Reef Retreat Boracay, Tel +63 9173 493 060 . A nice cozy 12 room hotel owned by a couple from the UK. It's right near windsurf/kiting schools and breakfast is also served in one of these schools. Free wifi internet is available in all rooms. All rooms are equipped with cable tv, aircon, mini bar, hot/ cold shower and ceiling fan. Bulabog beach is only 1min walk away from the hotel. The walk to White beach takes about 10 min and the same goes for the walk to D*Mall. The hotel is clean and newly built with comfortable rooms.
Boracay Butterfly Garden Cottages, Tel +6336 2886701 , Cottages with kitchens, separate air conditioned bedrooms, hot showers, cable TVs, free WIFI, and sea view patios. 10 min from beach, 7 min from D'Mall.
Palm Breeze Villa Boracay, Tel. +63.9155352625,. A small luxury resort in a slightly elevated position at the north end of Bulabog Beach. The resort features a swimming pool with swim-up bar. Free wifi throughout. Stunning views over the swimming pool and ocean from all rooms. En-suite bathrooms feature modern fixtures and oversized shower-heads. They also include quiet split-system air-conditioning, cable TV, mini-bar and tea/coffee making facilities.
Cohiba Villas Boracay Resort, Tel. Tel: +36-288-4792,. Furnished villas intended for families staying a week or more, located on a cliff overlooking Bulabog Beach. Quiet split-system air-conditioning, cable TV, mini-bar.
Some hotels and resorts are located along roads and footpaths off of White Beach, generally within just a few minutes walk from the beach. Room rates in these may be a bit lower than prices for comparable rooms located in resorts which have beach-front entrances, and the rooms may be a bit quieter than rooms located right on the beach.
Turtle Inn, Tel +63 (0) 36288 4206, . This is one of the island's newer establishments. Located just a couple of minutes walk from the beach near boat station 3, this hotel has a high standard of accommodation at surprisingly reasonable rates.
Villa Criselda Resort , (6336) 288-6337, 27 Balabag, Boracay Island, Aklan, Philippines 5608, 34 air-conditioned rooms, all of which have wireless Internet, cable television, and an in-room safe. Some of its amenities include flight bookings & reconfirmation, a spacious playground for kids, and an on call massage & beauty service.
Real Maris Resort , (+6336) 2884144, Station 1, Balabag, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, 5608 Philippines, Real Maris Resort is a luxurious Boracay hotel for more bliss in paradise. Their air-conditioned rooms are equipped with a cable TV, DVD player, Internet access, room safe, mini-bar, and refrigerator. Some of their facilities are restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, a beach bar, and massage services
The Sitio Boracay , (02) 4144065, The Sitio Boracay is situated at Station 1 in Boracay. Compared with the other boat stations on the island, our location affords a more serene ambience, away from the throbbing beat of Boracay's clubs and bars. From the native cogon roofing to the endearing Filipino-Balinese theme, your air-conditioned Boracay villa is a place rife with comfort and charm. Station1 Brgy. Balabag, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, Philippines.
Gran Prix Boracay Hideaway , (036) 2883548, A cool beach retreat nicely tucked a few meters away from the buzz of the Boracay coastline. Offers an oasis of calm and understated luxury with its wonderfully modern ambience.
Boracay Hills Resort, Tel +6336 2883315 Fax +6336 2883768, . One of the most exclusive places to stay on Boracay Island. Located in the lush and hilly hammock of Bantud just 10 minutes walk from the beach; free shuttle service available.
Lorenzo's Villa, tel +632 928-0719, . At the southern tip of Boracay, 10-15 min to White Beach by free hotel shuttle. All rooms feature ocean view balconies. There is a pool and spa services on site, but beach access to a small stretch of sand is limited due to the resort being perched on a cliff.
Balaihara, Tel. No.: (+63-36) 288 5587 or 89, . A cluster of villas sprawled over the resort community of Fairways and Bluewater in the Newcoast area. Each villa has roomy and cozy rooms furnished with modern amenities. Recreational facilities include an 18-hole Graham Marsh-designed golf course and a swimming pool.
Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel , +63 36 288 3444, Beachfront, Station 2, Balabag, Boracay Island, Aklan, Philippines, Set in the heart of Boracay’s vibrant culture and warm atmosphere is Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel, a AAA beachfront resort with fifty-two luxurious rooms and suites, an in-house restaurant by the sea, hotel spa, swimming pool, kiddie pool and convention center.
Along White Beach, there is a wide variety of gift shops and boutiques along the beach path and in D*Mall. In addition to the crowded stalls that you expect in Asia, Boracay also has several high-end stores including clothing, art and household items. Some places will permit you to haggle, others have a fixed pricing system with price tags. Shop around as prices vary. Outside of White Beach, the shopping becomes sparse or non-existent.
While walking or laying on the sand, anywhere on Boracay, you'll be approached to buy a variety of items including jewelry made of shells, fresh fruit, ice cream, sunglasses or a nice massage.
Shell jewelry — similar to what you can find elsewhere in the world, the jewelry made of shells is popular as for the most part it is made locally from shells found on Puka Beach.
Boracay Regency Kai Spa (Kai Spa), 63 36 2886111, Station 2 Blabag Boracay Malay Aklan, 3/F Boracay Regency Beach Resort , An international standard spa with almost 30 unique treatment rooms that offer wellness, rejuvenation and detoxification treatments. Kai Spa will soothe your soul and senses.
There are about 8 ATMs on the entire island for the 16,000 inhabitants plus tourists, and when they run out of cash, they are not refilled until the next business day. On weekends and holidays it is even worse, as the ATM's might go several days without being refilled. On paydays one will also see very long lines at the ATM's, and be aware that not every ATM accepts every card. One might only accept cards with the Visa logo, and not the MasterCard logo, so before standing in line for two hours, be sure it accepts your card. Also, be prepared for a very long wait in line, as many Boracay natives seem to do all their banking at the ATM, spending what seems like an unusual amount of time at it.
The best solution is to bring travelers checks or plenty of cash. Also, many establishments, including the tricycles, cannot break a bill over 500 peso (around $10), so it pays to always have small bills.
Foreign money (US dollars, Euros, Korean Won, Japanese Yen, etc.) can be exchanged at several locations around the island. It's worth checking around for the best exchange rate, as all places don't offer the same rate. You're best off heading away from the beach for better rates.
During peak tourist season, there are literally hundreds of Muslim vendors from Mindanao (Muslim Vendors Association) who walk White Beach and try to get tourists to go on boat rides, scuba diving or snorkeling excursions, jet ski rides, etc., for which they are paid a commission. Some carry racks of sunglasses with them, which they try to sell.
These vendors are everywhere, and it doesn't matter if you are walking down the beach, lying on it, sunbathing, eating at a sidewalk restaurant, or lounging in a hammock outside your hotel, they will come up and start bothering you, asking "Jet Ski? Parasail? Scuba? Sailboat? Sunglasses?" and waving a laminated card in your face. Normally, one has to tell them several times to go away, and it isn't long before another approaches. Many hotels and restaurants have "No Vendors" signs posted, but to little avail. After several days, one may find the vendors extremely irritating, as instead of enjoying a nice meal relaxing on your vacation, you will find yourself constantly waving away and avoiding vendors. They will even come up and start tugging on a tourist's shirt sleeve, while he or she is trying to take a picture. One may see a fed-up tourist walking in a T-shirt that said "No Scuba! No Jet Ski! No Sunglasses!". Vendors are not allowed in the D*Mall. Boracay and its tourist guests would benefit greatly if they removed the vendors from White Beach.
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