The lowdown on how to get there, where to stay, what to do, and the food you should try!
For beach babies and sun worshippers, Boracay might be the first place that comes to mind when planning a visit to the Philippines. That being said, there is more to the country than just this famed beach – take your pick from 7,000 plus islands! However, we can’t deny Bora’s charm: the clear blue waters, the powdery-fine sand, top notch accommodation, tasty eats and even a pumping nightlife.
If you’re planning a trip to this dreamy destination, make the most out it by using these insider tips from our Sassy Manila Girls:
How To Get There
Getting to Boracay is relatively easy these days. Located South of Manila in the Visayas region, Boracay is an island on the tip of Aklan province. Though it sounds far away, it’s easily accessible, and you can opt to arrive via sea, air, or even land from Manila.
If you’re travelling from Manila, you can opt to go via ferry or RoRo (Roll On/Roll Off buses on cargo ships). They are much cheaper options but take a lot longer, so we suggest booking a flight instead. With a whole roster of budget airlines and affordable flights to choose from, purchasing a ticket won’t really put a dent in your wallet, and you’ll be able to travel based on your preferred time and schedule. Airlines like Cebu Pacific have three flights a day from Hong Kong, and as many as ten scheduled flights to Boracay from Manila, with tickets often on promo. You can choose to get in via Kalibo, followed by an hour long bus or van ride to the jetty port, then off you go on a banca ride to Boracay Island itself. Flying straight to Caticlan, which allows for smaller planes, does away with the bus ride. Either way, Cebu Pacific has flight options for both.
Where To Stay
Booking accommodation in Boracay can be confusing at first, what with so many choices, location options and price ranges. Clearly a room at a huge chain resort will mean more money spent; you can’t deny the top quality service and facilities that will come with it though!
– New on the strip is The Lind Boracay, with 119 rooms and suites varying in size and amenities, you’ll surely find one that’ll suit your needs. If time on the beach-front isn’t enough, while away the day on their rooftop infinity pool (one of two pools on the property) or lounge around in their birdcage cabanas – with cocktail in hand of course! Perfect for sunset viewing.
– We’re all for big resorts, but small boutique options are always so charming. Check out Diniwid Beach, just a cove after Boracay’s main White Beach. This more private area is home to Nami, whose rooms may not be situated on the shoreline but have amazing views from up top. We love their al fresco tubs – be sure to check them out!
– A non-beach front accommodation, but in the prime area of Station 1, is Sol y Sombra. Newly opened, this 5-room property may be smaller than the usual, but its look and feel packs a punch. Book a room for you and your loved one, or a bigger room for your all-girls trip, and enjoy its clean, white sheets, modern-with-a-crafty-twist interiors and décor. Prices start at P3,500 for low season (that’s 1 June – 15 October).
– If you’d rather stay in the middle of all the busy action, then Station 2 is the area for you. Reserve a room in The District, a modern boutique hotel steps away from D’Mall and in the midst of the island’s restaurants, bars and night clubs.
What To Do
Though Boracay’s white sand and clear waters are more than enough for an idyllic getaway, you might want to include some activities in your itinerary. Water and beach sports are easy to come by, so here are other options for keeping your beach time occupied.
– Explore Boracay’s other beaches and coves via an island hopping experience. Get your hotel to assist in booking a tour for you and your group, visit Asiatravel.com for packages that include meals, or simply approach the local boatmen that offer their services for a half or whole day trip that’ll make stops in nearby Crocodile Island for snorkelling, Puka Beach for sightseeing, and even Magic Island for cliff jumping.
– Not just for the kids but also for kids-at-heart, mermaid lessons make for a fun-filled afternoon. Learn to swim and move around with your (faux) fishtail in a 90-minute intro to mermaid swimming. Learned the moves already? Avail of the 4-hour scuba class instead.
– There is no better way to enjoy Boracay’s glorious sunset than on a paraw sail. Enjoy a 30-minute ride out on the water in this local sail boat and make sure you time it perfectly with the sunset. Usual rates are P500 per person.
– One of Boracay’s affordable luxuries is a massage right on the beach. Approach the locals that offer the service for a pamper-me package that’s totally affordable. If you’re more into a spa venue, check out the relaxing facilities of Tirta Spa or Mandala Spa. They’ve got nutrition and wellness packages too for those wanting to go on a healthy getaway.
– For those into partying the night away, Boracay’s nightlife is happening! Grab drinks for great deals during happy hour in Nigi Nigi Nu Noos and hang out beachfront, or dance all night in famous clubs like Epic where a seasoned DJ plays the latest house tunes.
Where To Eat
Expect Boracay to have the freshest catch! A meal cooked for you with seafood chosen from the talipapa (fish market) is an authentic island experience not to be missed. But for those looking for more continental flavours, the island’s got a bevy of choices.
– Sunny Side Café is an all-day breakfast joint located at White Beach’s Station 3. Try their signature dishes which include Bacon & Mango Grilled Cheese, and a special version of the island’s famed Chori Burger. For those looking for a specialty coffee fix, this is the only spot on the island that serves up a mean cup of joe!
– Real Coffee has been around for quite a while, and rightfully so as this spot is not only a go-to for a hearty breakfast, but is also home to the famous calamansi muffins.
– Boracay is frequented by people from many neighbouring countries, which makes the island a melting pot of flavours. Jujumburi is an authentic Korean restaurant that serves up dishes like fried seaweed and raw beef salad – great if you’re looking for something different.
– Two Seasons Boracay is home to the island’s famous Four Cheese Pizza and Oyster Sisig. No trip to Bora would be complete without it! Head to the resort’s barLO café and order your fill ASAP.
– Located in the main retail area of the beach, D’Mall, SpiceBird is a restaurant that cooks up piri piri chicken and pork and sandwiches inspired by Portuguese flavours.
– Looking for the freshest sashimi and top quality Japanese food on the island? Sushi Shiro is the place to be. All the dishes are handpicked and made on site, ensuring a supreme quality and taste.
Happy travels, girls!
Featured image sourced via Iloilo. All other images sourced via respective Facebook pages and websites.