What to expect
Years ago Boracay wasn’t on any tourist map until some folks from Lonely Planet acknowledged it as the next big thing and since then the small 8km Island has changed severely. It became a magnet for tourists from all over the world! Now to the downsides: Yes the environment has massively changed and the natural sand beaches have declined. But tourism as a factor for economic growth creates jobs and boosts the image of the Philippines and so on. The people on Boracay have reacted and many sustainable projects to protect the Environment have been launched. The beaches stay clean and the eco systems are surveillanced.
Enough ambivalence now I tell you about my personal experiences on this island jewel known as Boracay.
Boracay is a small spear-shaped Island famous for nice resorts, its white beaches and many great spots to party – That’s why it’s a perfect extended weekend getaway.I recommend to stay there 3-5 days.
There’s just one straight road operated by trycicles, the filipino motorbike carrying up to 6 passengers – so no cars or taxis available here! There are four beaches, each one nearby and my favourite one is of course white beach. White Beach is very touristy indeed but if you love activities, beach parties and entertainment like fire dancers this is the right spot for you. White beach is divided into three parts: Station 1-3. The pricier resorts are usually on station one but actually within 20-30min you walked through all stations so it doesn’t really matter where your hotel is located.
The 12 villa Resort West Cove is rumoured to belong to world boxing Champion Manny Pacquaio. He’s the filipino national hero just like Roger Federer in Swizerland. The resort is clearly Santorini-inspired and was built into a cliff. Even if you don’t stay here it’s just nice to visit and enjoy the sunsets with a Cocktail from the bar.
Backpacker Resort Moreno’s Cottages
I was travelling back then with my best friend Louis. It was his first time in asia so I chose a very native backpacker-style place to stay: Moreno’s Cottages. We had a bedroom room with aircondition and paid 25 Dollars/night for the room. Since there are only 8 rooms we had a very familiar experience there. They offered us laundry service and we also had some massage to relax after all our activities. It’s the place were you get very individual treatment and the staff is really eager to help you make the best out of your stay. If you’re easygoing like this is the place the place to stay.
In comparison to other holiday destinations activities here are pretty affordable. This is the place to try out all the water sports you’ve ever wanted to try. There are many vendors trying to sell packages. Stay tough and first listen and compare the prices. Usually every vendor has different prices, you might compare first before you sign the deal. At the end everybody offers the same tour Operator.
Me and Louis tried out parasailing. I felt the adrenalin rush in my veins since we were catapulted up to 300 Meters, the amazing view over he island and to see the different shades of blue in the ocean overtook my fear of heights.
Another Must is Island-Hopping. Usually this is a half day trip, where you take together with a group a fisher boat to visit neighbour islands which are mostly not inhabited. On crocodile island we wenti nto caves and all the walls were reflecting sparks of glittering rocks and on another picknick island w playes volleyball and had our private barbecue with fresh fish and shrimps. The seafood doesn’t get any fresher!
If you are a morning person there are yoga sessions at the beach, usually at 7am in the morning so that the heat of the sun won’t be unbearable. We had several session for 500 Pesos including a rich breakfast. I’m not sure if that place still has this offer but there are sure similar offers since yoga has become quite popular.
How to get there:
Boracay has no own airport so you have to fly to the neighbour islands! Caticlan and Kalibo are the closest Airports to Boracay Island. Caticlan is just nearby Boracay. On our way back I took the cheaper fare from Kalibo back to Manila which is still 2 hours by shuttle to the port and from there it’s a short boat trip to Boracay island. Since you will have to carry on your luggage with you for a while, backpacks or small suitcases are recommended.
I advise to look for a travel Agent at one of the several malls to book the flight. It’s a very easy and spontanious way to book your flight and mostly you get great last minute deals!