Boracay is known not only locally, but also for foreigners who love the beach. The island is famous for its white and powdery beaches, spectacular sunsets, and beach and bar parties. Visiting the island was really a difficult decision because of what other people say: crowded, overrated, etc., but good feedback intrigued me. At the end of my first visit to the island, I fell in love with her and I want to share this Boracay travel guide.
Visiting Boracay is very subjective and it will solely rely on how you want to spend your time in the island. For me, I plainly wanted to relax and chill out. Most part of the island is crowded, from beaches, restaurants, to tourist attractions. However, the crowd was not that too intimidating as what other people describe it.
It’s true that the stretch of White Beach is now dotted with food stalls and hotels. Don’t forget the pushy locals offering souvenirs, island hopping tours, adventure activities, massages, henna tattoos, happy hour, buffet promos, and refreshments, on your leisure walk that annoyed the pessimistic Polish blogger who posted her not so nice experience in the island. But this I tell you, I wasn’t bothered by them, I just smile back, say no, and just receive a smile in return.
Few times, at different times of the day, I walked from White Beach to Diniwid and on those walks, I found the scorching heat of the sun very relaxing with the fine sand kissing my toes. I also had a chance to see the magnificent sun down during one of the leisure walks. Anyway, here’s the simple Boracay travel guide on how to fall in love with the most famous island in the Philippines:
BORACAY TRAVEL GUIDE
AMAZING THINGS TO DO
Probably the first thing you’re looking forward to is to strike the beach. If you get to be disturbed by the crowd in White Beach, you can hop on other less crowded beaches of the island just by having a tricycle ride or a short walk from D’ Mall. You can consider the beaches of Diniwid, Punta Bunga, Puka, Ilig-iligan and Bulabog.
Parasailing and Kite Surfing
Kite surfing is the new trend in terms of extreme adventure activity in Boracay. Tourists planning to learn and try kite surfing flock in Bulabog bay where different centers offer kite courses for as low as Php 3000. If you’re not into intense activities, you can try parasailing where you will be attached to a canopy wing, similar to a parachute, while being towed by a boat. A 15-minute ride will cost you Php 600. Book a parasailing activity here.
Don’t be sad if you don’t know how to dive. Helmet diving activity will give you the chance to explore the wonders underwater and walk on the sea floor. The helmet, which provides breathing gas, will allow you to stay longer in the water and for you to mingle with colorful fishes. If you are good in haggling, you can have it at Php 500 per person.
Island Hopping and Cliff Diving at Ariel’s Point
Island hopping destinations will vary depending on your boatman. Before settling with them, you can verify the destinations and you can add places you want to visit. Puka Beach and Punta Bunga Beach, where Boracay Shangri-La is located, some snorkeling sites, Magic Island, Ariel’s Point, or Carabao Island can be your options. Please prepare your courage if you plan to visit Ariel’s Point as they have several diving platforms to choose from, from 3, 5, 6, 7 and 15 meters high.
Sunset is the most anticipated time of the day in the island. Aside from the happy hour along White Beach, one thing Boracay visitors need to try is the parawsailing. Paraw is a double-outrigger boat with two sails that can be used to cruise the sea during sundown with your love one, family, or friends. Paraw sailing reservations, here.
Book discounted Boracay Activities from KLOOK.
WHERE AND WHAT TO EAT
Smoke Resto, Unit 3 Blk 9 D’ Mall
This small restaurant in the middle of D’ Mall offers quite inexpensive food. They have different rice meals from chicken, pork, beef, and seafood that range from Php 140 to 210. Aside from that, they also have soup, veggies, and their house specialties include the Crispy Bulalo, Deep Fried Beef Shank and Sizzling Bulalo, and Beef Shank in Gravy Sauce, all at Php 350. I ordered Kaopad Chicken (Php 160) which was good with the not-that-salty shrimp paste mixed well with the rice and perfectly blended with the ripe mango, chicken, and strips of fried egg.
Crazy Crepes, Lot 604 –D4 Station 2
Think of a filling for your crêpe, they have it. Crazy Crepes’ kiosk along Station 2 tucked in front of Pizza Hut; it offers several varieties of crêpe from ice cream, custard cream, Nutella, savory, fresh cream and even parfaits. I tried the Blueberry Custard Crepe (Php 80), not that too bad to have while walking along White Beach.
Jonah’s Fruitshake and Snack Bar, near Willy’s Rock
The most talked-about fruitshakes in Boracay can be availed at Jonah’s Fruitshake. They have around 4 dozens of fruit combinations and flavors from Php100 to Php190. Their bestseller is the Banana Choco Peanut (Php120) but I’ve tried the Fresh Watermelon (without milk) shake (Php120). It’s good but not the thing I’m willing to try for the second time.
Lemoni Café and Restaurant, Phase IV D’ Mall
This chic café is known for their appetizing desserts. Since I’m a fan of cheesecakes, I wasn’t able to resist the idea of getting their signature Lemon Café Cheesecake (Php140) and a piece of Macaroon (Php40). The signature cheesecake was really sinful, first bite brought chills (or led to exaggeration) while the macaroon has the coconut-y texture went well with the right sweetness of the chocolate filling.
Bite Club Grilled Burgers, D’ Mall
The burger house has this create-your-order style with three steps: choose your burger, add topping, and pick a side. For the patty, they have a third, half pounders, and biggest burger in the island, the one-pounder burger. They have a dozen of toppings to choose from which is free for the first one and Php25 per extra one. For sides, they have Crispy Club Fries (Php75) and Potato Wedges (Php75), both good for 2. All burgers come with lettuce, tomato and their special Bite Club dressing.
D’ Talipapa, far end of Station 3
If you love those ‘dampa’ style dining in Manila, you can also experience this in Boracay at D’ Talipapa market. Affordable and fresh seafood like lobsters, prawns, squids, fish and shells are available. Restaurants near the ‘talipapa’ offer cooking services for as low as Php100 for half-kilo per dish. I bought 2 pieces of squid, 1/8 of prawns and a fish all for Php350. For the cooking services, I had the squids and fish grilled and the prawns on garlic butter with a total fee of Php300. It’s a bit steep if you’re alone but reasonable if in groups.
Mama’s Fish House, Microtel Boracay, Diniwid Beach
If by chance you checked-in in one of the accommodations in Diniwid Beach, don’t forget to visit the restaurant in Microtel Boracay, Mama’s Fish House, with mains including the Red Roasted Mahi-Mahi (Php420), Grilled Yellow Fin Tuna Steak (Php420), House Fish and Chips (Php340), Chicken Parmigiana (Php390) and Angus Grilled Beef Tenderloin (Php750). I was able to try Angel Hair Prawn Al Olio (Php420), pasta in chili garlic prawns with rocket leaves, parsley, basil, and parmesan cheese, plus the Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato Sandwich (Php230) on hefty servings.
WHERE TO STAY
Microtel by Wyndham Boracay
Microtel Boracay is perfectly located away from the crowd, tucked along Diniwid Beach, near Station 1. Hotel guests will be welcomed with refreshing drink and cold towel. The pool and the poolside, with the restaurant a few meters, is a cozy place to chill especially during sun down. Lounge chairs are available for readings or short naps under the shades of towering coconut trees. It is also a nice spot to watch for the sunset. Rooms are equipped with the essential needs but what’s important is the chiropractor bed that gives a revitalizing sleep, always. You can avail Microtel’s hourly shuttle service to D’ Mall. – Diniwid Beach, Boracay Island. For discounted stay in Microtel Boracay, book your reservation here.
Zuzuni Boutique Hotel
Zuzuni Boutique Hotel is perfect for groups who are seeking for no-frill accommodation that focuses on relaxing and delightful Boracay escapade. Room is a bit small but the way the items were laid out, there is enough space for three guests to comfortably move around. A sofa sleeper is an added perk for a more fun getaway with friends. Other in room facilities includes the cable-enabled television and air-conditioning unit. Shower room is one of the things that will surprised you on you stay at Zuzuni Boutique Hotel. The showerhead is transparent and will enable you see the water running clearly. Room rates include free breakfast that can be availed at La Cozina. – Station 1, White Beach. For discounted stay in Zuzuni Boutique Hotel, book your reservation here.
Lime Hotel Boracay
Space generalizes the features of my deluxe room at Lime Hotel Boracay. The twin beds, placed alongside with each other, make the usual tight space between them added to the room’s ample space. My room has a soothing and calming vibe having the shades of green from bed, pillows, and up to a painting on one of the walls. The 46-room property, opened last quarter of 2015, is a 3-minute walk to the beach which gives you an undisturbed stay away from hordes of crowds in the island. – Main Road, Station 2. For discounted stay in Lime Hotel Boracay, book your reservation here.
Ferra Hotel is located in the middle of the island. It’s not beachfront but the hotel is very accessible in either side of the island, White Beach or Bolabog Beach. Hotel’s One Bed Loft, apart from having a queen size bed and a sofa sleeper, has two cable-enabled televisions, and two air-conditioning unit both for the lower level and loft. Staying inside the room will make you appreciate the coffee and tea making facility, refrigerator, and microwave. Part of the rate is the complimentary cocktails usually served on the hotel’s deck during sundown.- Sitio Bulabog, Balabag For discounted stay in Ferra Hotel, book your reservation here.
Second Wind Bed, Bunk, and Breakfast
For a hostel, Second Wind‘s private room is really impressive having a colorful abstractly painted ceiling with the ceiling fan that properly distributes the cool temperature from the AC unit. Large and hexagonal-sized mirrors make the room bright, while cabinets are available where you can place your personal stuff. The bathroom is equipped with hot and cold shower, and the toilet has a bidet. Hair dryer was also available. – Bulabog Road, Brgy. Balabag. For discounted stay in Second Wind Bed, Bunk, and Breakfast, book your reservation here.
Book your stay in Boracay Island on Agoda.com!
Boracay Island is indeed a must destination and I know now why people always rave to go here. Your visits in the island are incomparable as new hotels, resorts, restaurants, or activities pop-up every time. But one thing is for sure, Boracay will always offer that laid-back experience you need.