Boracay Island has been one of the dream vacation destinations not just for Filipinos but also for foreign tourists. It has been featured in a lot of TV shows, magazines, and even movies. This popular island was awarded as the 2012 Best Island In The World from the international travel magazine Travel = Leisure. In 2014, this tropical island made it to the top of the Best Islands in the World list published by the international magazine Condé Nast Traveler, and just last year, Boracay headed the magazine’s list of Top 10 Destinations To Watch.
A LI’L BIT OF HISTORY The island of Boracay is an itty-bitty island located 315 km south of all the hustle and bustle of the city of Manila; just 2 km from the northwest end of Panay Island. The island is approximately seven kilometers long with its narrowest point at only less than a kilometer wide.
There are a few stories about how the island got its name. One said it was derived from the word “borac” which means white cotton, a characteristic that can describe the sugary white color of Boracay’s sand, and from afar, it sure looks as soft as a cotton.
HOW TO GET THERE There are two airports where a plane to Boracay can land. The closer but smaller one is in Caticlan, now called Boracay Airport. And the bigger one is in Kalibo. Kalibo airport also caters to international flights and much bigger planes. Because of its further distance from Boracay, most plane tickets for Kalibo are more affordable than those bound for Caticlan.
After getting out of Boracay Airport, there are already motor tricycles lined up and waiting. The five-minute ride to the Jetty Port should only cost 50 pesos.
Kalibo International Airport
Even on the wee hours of the night, vans, buses, and taxis are still available outside Kalibo Airport. The prices for the 90-minute ride to the jetty port fluctuate depending on the number of people in a group, the type of vehicle and the season.
The Jetty port has pump boats (bangcas) and speed boats that ferry from Caticlan mainland to Boracay Island and vice versa. The Bangca ride costs Php30 for residents who can present IDs. Non-residents and tourists will have to pay a Php75 environmental fee and a Php100 terminal fee. The trip across is approximately 10 minutes.
You can also book for a transportation package like what we did. Southwest Tours offers safe and hassle free transportation for Php600. Perfect for first timers, night travelers and for people with lots of luggage. This includes all transfers and fees from Kalibo Airport all the way to your hotel. They have a variety vehicles that can accomodate different group sizes. Vehicles are also clean and comfortable. They even have their own speed boat for faster transfers from the jetty port to the island. On top of that, their staff is very accommodating and ensures your safety. One of their staff member even walked us to our hotel front door since our hotel is a few-meter walk from the main road.
WHERE TO STAY Station 1 is where most luxurious hotels are located. Hotels in Station 2 may not be as pricey but still expensive. Station 3 is where affordable and cheap hotels are found but most are not near the beach. If you’re looking for a beachfront accommodation, then expect the price to be higher than those hotels a few meters away.
There are a lot of choices online too. You can try booking from online travel apps like Airbnb, Trivago, etc. We booked our hotel at Agoda a week before our trip. We’re lucky to have stumbled upon D7 Inn Resort that offers a deluxe room for four with two double beds for only Php1,446/night. It is located at station 2 and it’s just a 5-minute walk to the beach.
The room is decent and comfortable in spite of its affordability in a peak season. The beds are big and sturdy. Both the room and the bathroom are clean coz they have daily housekeeping services. The amenities are very minimal but this is perfect for backpackers and for those who care more about experiencing fun activities and lounging at the beach.
FUN ACTIVITIES For more info, prices and where to book, click here.
- Island Hopping
Enjoy 3-4 hours of fun with an Island hopping tour that usually includes visiting three islands, fish feeding, snorkeling and a lunch buffet.
Have access to nature’s sublime realms and enjoy it even without hours of diving training or expensive diving equipment.
- Cliff Diving
This is probably the least complicated activity you can try. No need for any special training and equipment.
You don’t need to wonder how it feels like to fly and be whisked into the sky. You can now experience it firsthand.
- Helmet Diving / Marine Walk
Rendezvous with vibrantly colored fishes through this euphoric underwater activity. You can trek around the surrounding coral formations and feed these aquatic marvels.
- Paraw Sailing
Feel relaxed while admiring the breathtaking sunset of Boracay without the annoying sound you usually hear on motor boats.
- Kite Surfing
This is like surfing, wake boarding, and paragliding, all rolled into one. Usually, you can see kite surfers in Bulabog beach where the tide is low and the wind is strong; also perfect conditions for beginners.
- Wind Surfing
This sport is a combination of surfing and sailing; surfing through the waves and sailing through strong winds. Just the sound of that makes it a bit complicated and difficult. That is why they offer training courses to help you get familiar with all the basics.
- Fly Fish
Thrill seekers, this hair-raising ride is the best water sport for you. The stronger the wind and the faster the boat, the higher the raft rises above the water.
- Banana Boat
Not venturesome or bold enough to try Fly Fish? Then you should try the Banana Boat instead. This activity is now a very popular water sport.
- ATV and Buggy Car
If you wanna stay away from the water for a bit, go and tackle the island’s rough terrain and breathtaking trail on an All Terrain Vehicle.
- Paddle Board
That may look like a surfing board but rest assured you don’t need professional surfing skills to enjoy this activity. You just need to learn how to balance on the board.
- Mermaid Swimming
Be whimsically gorgeous like a mermaid! Wear those vibrant and dazzling mermaid tails and achieve the look of a mermaid. Not just that, you can get classes to help you with techniques so you can swim like a mermaid too.
- Scuba Diving
Boracay is not only famous for its white beaches. It’s also famous for its diverse marine life and that’s what makes it perfect for diving.
- Jet Ski
Power your way through the refreshing turquoise waters of Boracay. You can race with your friends and slice the waves with ultimate speed. You can also share the ride or take turns to divide the fee.
- Reverse Bungee (GMAX)
I’m sure you have seen a lot of funny videos of people who have tried this heart stopping ride. Who wouldn’t want to be sky- rocketed at an immense speed? Well, I don’t. But you might.
- Aqua Fun
Check out this new craze in Boracay! It’s the exciting world of inflatables which offers aqua games that are perfect for the family.
Muster the courage to try this hanging adventure. Try the zipline and fulfill your childhood dream of flying as you swing from one point to the other on a Superman pose.
- Cable Car
Just like a zipline, you will be transported from one point to another while suspended on a cable, but this time, you will be sitting in a cable car in a slower pace.
Our stay was short but filled with fun and laughter. We did not even book for any tours ahead of time. We just booked as we go, where we go.
Wanna know more about the rates, and booking options? Check out the link below.