Travel Guide: Boracay Tourist Itinerary
Boracay is a tropical island located in Aklan province, approximately 315 km (200 miles) south of Manila. It is found at the northwest corner of Panay island in the Western Visayas Region (Region VI) of the Philippines. It is a dog bone-shaped island, which is one of the top tourist destinations. Boracay’s pristine blue green waters, stunning white-sand beaches, and magnificent views have charmed the world over. Below is an itinerary guide for 3 days and 2 nights if ever you plan on a trip to Boracay.
The quickest way to get to Boracay is via Caticlan on board Cebu Pacific Air, Asian Spirit, Interisland Airlines, and Sea Air. You can also take a flight to Kalibo via Philippine Airlines. From Kalibo, you can take a bus or shuttle to Caticlan.
Regardless whether you take a flight via Caticlan or Kalibo airport, you would have to pass through the Caticlan Jetty Port, which offers ferry boats for a 15-minute ride going to the port in Boracay. The banca fare costs Php39.50, which includes the Php20.00 terminal fee.
Note: To see schedule of flights, please check the airline’s official websites.
By sea: Another way to go there is via Negros Navigation, which offers direct 14-16 hour trips from Manila to Caticlan. It is recommended that you take the night trip so you will be able to arrive in Boracay early the next morning. When you arrive there, you would have to take a ferry boat.
By Roll-on Roll-off (RORO): The cheapest way to go to Boracay is via the RORO. It is a four-part travel: a two-hour bus ride from Cubao to Batangas Port; 2-3 hours RORO vessel trip to Calapan, Mindoro; 2-3 hours land travel to Roxas Port in Mindoro; and the last stretch is the 4-5 hours RORO to Caticlan Port. Traveling via RORO does come cheap but it is also the most tiresome way to go to Boracay. The series of short trips will only weary down the tourist before he/she can even reach the island.
Things You Need to Know
Main Tourist Spots: Boracay has two primary tourism beaches on opposite sides of the island: White Beach on the west and Bulabog Beach on the east. White Beach is the main tourism beach. It spans four kilometers long and is literally lined with resorts, hotels, lodging houses, restaurants, and other tourism-related businesses. Bulabog Beach is a secondary tourism beach and Boracay's main windsurfing and kiteboarding area.
Accommodation: In planning a trip to Boracay, one should consider primarily if it is peak season or off-peak season.
Peak season in Boracay runs from October through May, although the summer months of April and May are often very hot. It is recommended to go there during November to February when temperatures are more bearable. Advanced booking is highly recommended a few months before planned trip as hotels quickly get fully booked and busy during this time.
It is also good to visit Boracay during the off-season, which runs from June to September. which coincides with the rainy season. Although rainy spells can be inconvenient, they usually do not last long and are usually replaced with sunny spells, which will not cause much disruption to your plans. If you’re on a tight budget, you would find it best to go during the off-season because the rates are cheaper, the crowds smaller, and the resorts quieter.
Prices depend whether it is peak season or not. In finding the hotel of your choice, you can choose from among the many resorts and hotels that line up the Boracay beachfront. There are three stations in the island: Station 1, which boasts of the most exclusive and high-end hotels; Station 2, which offers quality resorts at more affordable rates than those at Station 1; and Station 3, which has low-cost inns and resorts for the budget-conscious tourist and is also considered the least crowded of all stations.
Meal: You need not worry of what or where to eat because you have lots of choices in Boracay. There are about four miles of beachfront restaurants in the island which offer a wide variety of foods: Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Italian, Spanish, French, German, Korean, and of course native Filipino dishes.
Touring: There are many locals offering tourist packages, a couple of which include: Island tour with tricycle costs Php200/hour but this price is negotiable; and Island-hopping tour, which would take you to the nearby islands surrounding Boracay and costs vary depending on the negotiation.
Important Things You Need
- Very few clothes because there are so many clothing shops in the island where you can buy beachwear.
- Sunblock (it’s a must to protect your skin as sunlight and the temperatures can get really hot!)
- Sunglasses for your eyes
- Hat (protect your hair)
- A good pair of beach sandals (this is essential so you could enjoy walking on powdery white sand from Stations 1 to 3)
- Insect repellent lotion
- Moisturing soap and lotion
- Hair conditioner (moisturize your hair)
- Camera (Don’t miss the opportunity to take photos of the island’s magnificent views)
- Flashlight (You can use this while taking walks along Boracay at night)
To be on the safe side, always bring more money with you. This will allow you to easily purchase stuff like souvenirs and accessories from local vendors who most often than not, accept cash as the only mode of payment. You can also access ATM machines (Allied Bank, Metrobank, BPI, and Landbank) which are strategically situated nearby shops at the beachfront. The most accessible from the beachfront is the BPI ATM machine, which is conveniently located in front of Boracay Beach Chalets. Credit cards are accepted in some locations on Boracay.
Below is a rough estimate of a budget for a great Boracay trip:
*Good for one person only
- Airfare – Php6,000 (two-way)
- Accommodation – Php 1000/night
- Food – Php 1,500
- Touring (Island tour and Island-hopping) – Rates vary; negotiable
- Boat – Banana boats cost Php250/person
- Pasalubong – Php 1,500 (there are so many souvenir shops in the area; you might need a little more cash to spend on this one)
Note: Prices are subject to change. It is always best to get in touch with hotels, tour guides and airlines for updates.
You need to have at least Php15,000 to follow the itinerary above. To minimize expenses, it is always ideal to travel with your friends or with a big group. Some air carriers and hotels offer special group packages with big discounts, which you can avail of to save you lots of money.
Once in Boracay, the first thing you should do is to check into the hotel, where you made your reservation. Unpack your things and check the facilities of the hotel. Make sure all your valuables are properly kept before you go out to the beach. Always lock your rooms and bring your key with you.
Your first day in Boracay should be a time for enjoying the beach and the waters. It is the best time to appreciate the stunning natural resources only Boracay can offer: the crystal blue and clear waters, beautiful white-sand and picture-perfect sunrise and sunset views. It would be fun have your first swim and to walk around the beachfront as well.
While walking around, you would find some locals offering special tourist packages. You may want to schedule an island tour or do some island-hopping on your second day.
Ask the locals for any events that are happening around the area. You can check out band concerts, sports festivals, and other activities while strolling along the beachfront. Also remind yourself to attend future events in the remaining days of your stay.
Look also for good restaurants where you can enjoy sumptuous meals while enjoying the scenic views of Boracay.
Finally, get enough sleep. You need to take some rest after a tiring trip earlier that day so you would have lots of energy for the next day ahead.
Make the most out of your Boracay vacation. Wake up early the next day and have a delicious breakfast. Put on your best beach clothes or swimwear and wear your shades. Do not forget to apply sunscreen on your skin for protection. Now that you are all set, you can now begin the day touring while the sun is still not that hot.
You can opt for a tour of the island or avail of the island-hopping tour, which would take you to see other nearby islands: the Crocodile Island, where you could go snorkeling; the Crystal Cave; the Bat Cave; and the Puka Beach.
Later in the day, you can spend your time just hitting the waters. Bask in the sun and get a good tan. Avail of a good massage while on the beach. You can also get a henna tattoo while there.
Do not miss the opportunity to take some nice photos of Boracay. Capture the splendid sunset or get your photos taken with a backdrop of sand castles, which are built by the locals in some areas of the island. Enjoy a banana boat ride, which is one of the most popular activities in Boracay. You will enjoy 20 minutes of a breathtaking boat ride that cruises the waters surrounding the island.
Most popular activities in the island include:
- Sailing – You can relax by drifting around the island via a banca. Activities like kayaking, paddleboating, yachting and speedboating are available on the island. A number of resorts rent equipment at affordable rates.
- Sunbathing – Stay out in the sun or lie under a cool shade of palm trees while getting a good tan. Wear sunscreen lotion to prevent any skin damage.
- Mountain Biking – A popular sport on the island. There are sports centers which rent mountain bikes to tourists.
- Wind Surfing - Boracay is one of the country’s prime windsurfing locations. Annually, every January or February, it hosts the San Miguel Super Dry Boracay International Funboard Cub, which is something to look watch out for.
- Beach Volleyball and Other Beach Sports – Have a fun game of volleyball, soccer or other related sports.
- Diving – There are diving centers or establishments that provide lessons for those who want to explore Boracay’s marine life. Most popular ones are Calypso Diving and the Red Diving School.
- Restaurant Hopping - With the numerous restaurants located right in front of the beach, you would surely enjoy having your meals here.
In the evening, Boracay transforms into a party zone. When the sun sets, never miss the chance to enjoy the vibrant night life there. You can go bar hopping, watch some live bands, enjoy reggae music, and dance the night away.
On your last day in Boracay, you can divide your time buying pasalubong (souvenir gift)for your family and friends back home or spend half of your day swimming so you will be able to enjoy the waters for the last time.
There are numerous souvenir shops in the area where you can buy key chains, necklaces, bracelets, bags, t-shirts, and other personalized Boracay items. Scout for the best pasalubongs at the island's major shopping centers.
Some of the best places to shop in Boracay are:
- Talipapa Market, Boracay
- D'Mall Shopping Center, Boracay
- Stables Boutique, Boracay
- Plazoleta Shopping Plaza, Boracay
- Lonely Planet, Boracay
To get the best deals, shop at Talipapa Market, which is famous for the best lamps, clothes, bags and accessories at affordable prices. It offers the best haggling opportunity . It is also easy to get around this place because the shops are arranged in a symmetrical order so that each store is lined side by side.
You can also explore the D'Mall Shopping Center where the shops are all located in open air alleys. The tiny shops offer the best knick knacks, clothes and the best beach wears. There are also restaurants offering Western and Filipino food and ice cream parlors that are lined up all over the place.
Don't want to leave Boracay yet? Well, take your memories of Boracay with you by getting a nice tattoo. A lot of tourists get henna tattoos to remember their trip there. You can visit Noel's tattoo studio, which is one of the famous shops to hang out and draw a tattoo on your body or you can simply hire the services of tattoo artists who have booths located at the beach front.
Now pack your bags. Make sure you have all your things before logging out of the hotel. Don't forget to take pictures of Boracay and to see the beautiful beach for the last time.
Travel Guides and Information
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