The Ultimate Boracay Travel Guide: Plan your trip
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When to visit Boracay:
Boracay is a year-round destination, and you can visit the island any time of the year. However, the best time to visit depends on your preference and priorities.
The peak season in Boracay falls between November to May, which is also the dry season. During this period, the weather is generally sunny, and the sea is calm, making it perfect for swimming and water activities. Christmas, New Year’s, and Easter Break are particularly busy times, and rates for hotels and flights are at their priciest.
If you plan to visit during the high season, it’s advisable to pre-book your accommodations well in advance to avoid any inconvenience. Expect the island to be crowded during these times, but you’ll also get to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and festive celebrations.
From June to November, Boracay Island experiences the low season, which is also the rainy season. The weather during this period is characterized by cloudy skies and occasional rain showers, especially in October. While the weather may not be as sunny as during the high season, you can still enjoy a unique and different experience in Boracay.
One advantage of visiting during the low season is that the island is not as crowded as during the high season. This means you can enjoy the beaches, water activities, and other attractions with more privacy and space. Additionally, the rates for accommodations and flights are generally lower during this period, making it an ideal time for budget-conscious travelers.
Best time for kiteboarding and windsurfing
Strong winds are common in Boracay, particularly during the months of November to February. These months fall under the northeast monsoon season or the “Amihan” season, which brings in cooler temperatures and stronger winds. During this season, winds can reach up to 20 knots, making it perfect for wind-based water activities like kiteboarding and windsurfing.
Boracay has been hit by typhoons in the past. The Philippines, including Boracay, is located in the Pacific Typhoon Belt and is vulnerable to typhoons or tropical cyclones that form in the region. In November 2013, Boracay was hit by Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms ever recorded in history. While the island has since recovered and has implemented measures to prepare for and respond to natural disasters.
Attractions You Should Consider Visiting:
The most popular activities in Boracay:
Boracay Island offers a plethora of activities that cater to all types of travelers. Here are some of the most popular activities that you should try:
Explore the stunning beaches and islands surrounding Boracay by taking an island hopping tour. You’ll get to visit scenic spots like Puka Beach, Crystal Cove Island, and Crocodile Island.
Experience Boracay Paraw Sailing, one of the essential activities on the crystal-clear waters of the Sulu Sea. Explore the island aboard a traditional wooden and bamboo sailboat, taking in the breathtaking tropical scenery.
Discover the vibrant underwater world of Boracay through freediving, a form of diving that relies on holding your breath instead of using breathing apparatus. Experienced instructors are available to help you learn and explore safely.
Take advantage of the island’s strong winds and learn kitesurfing, a thrilling watersport that uses a kite and a board to glide across the water.
See Boracay from a different perspective by taking a helicopter tour. Fly low over the island and take in the breathtaking views of the crystal-clear waters and white sand beaches.
Get your adrenaline pumping by trying cliff diving at Magic island, where platforms range from as low as 3 meters to as high as 10 meters. It’s the perfect activity for thrill-seekers and adventure lovers alike.
Getting to Boracay Island:
The nearest airport to Boracay is the Caticlan Airport, which is located on the mainland. From there, you can take a short boat ride to Boracay Island. Alternatively, you can fly to the Kalibo International Airport, which is located further away from Boracay, but has more flight options. From Kalibo, you can take a bus or van to Caticlan, and then a boat to Boracay.
If you prefer a more comfortable and hassle-free journey, you can arrange for a private transfer from the airport or any other location in the region to Boracay. Many hotels and resorts in Boracay offer private transfers as part of their services.
There are also ferries from Batangas, Manila, and other nearby ports to Caticlan.
Discovering Boracay in 4 days
Day 1: Arrive Boracay
Arrive at Boracay and check in at your hotel. Explore the area around your hotel and take a stroll along White Beach. Watch the sunset and enjoy dinner at one of the many restaurants in the area
Day 2: Boracay Island Hopping
Start your day with a hearty breakfast and head out for a half-day island hopping tour, which typically includes stops at nearby islands and snorkeling spots. Return to Boracay by early afternoon and spend the rest of the day lounging on the beach or exploring the island’s interior. In the evening, sample the local cuisine at a restaurant and enjoy a drink at one of the island’s many bars or nightclubs.
Day 3: Boracay
Spend the day relaxing on the beach, trying out water sports such as parasailing, jet skiing, or kiteboarding. Visit some of the local markets or shops to pick up souvenirs and gifts to bring home. Watch the sunset over the ocean and enjoy a seafood dinner at one of the beachside restaurants.
Day 4: Depart Boracay
Check out of your hotel and depart from Boracay.
Boracay's White Beach: Station 1, 2, or 3?
Boracay Island has a wide range of accommodations to suit different preferences and budgets, from rustic “nipa hut” bungalows to modern luxurious hotels with conference facilities, spas, and gyms. Most are located along the four-kilometer White Beach on the west coast, with a few more interspersed along the north and east coasts and in the island’s interior.
If you’re wondering where to book your hotel, the island is divided into three stations along White Beach:
Station 1 is located on the northern and widest side of the beach. It’s the least crowded and home to a great choice of luxury beach resorts. The shallow water is perfect for families with children.
Station 2 is the busiest and liveliest part of White Beach, with the most mid-range resorts. It’s slightly narrower than Station 1 but has a great choice of bars and restaurants, and it’s just walking distance to a shopping mall. The water is less shallow than Station 1.
Station 3 is the most tranquil part of White Beach, with many budget hotels and a few laid-back bars and restaurants made of bamboo. It enjoys a peaceful atmosphere and is perfect for backpackers. However, the water becomes deep faster than at the two other stations.
Where to stay:
Boracay offers a wide range of accommodations to suit different budgets and preferences. Here are some popular areas to stay in Boracay:
This is the most upscale and exclusive area of Boracay, with luxurious resorts and hotels located right on the beach. The area is quieter than other stations and offers a more peaceful and relaxed atmosphere.
This is the busiest and most lively part of Boracay, with a wide range of restaurants, bars, and shops. There are also many budget-friendly accommodations and mid-range hotels in this area.
This is the southernmost part of Boracay and offers a more laid-back and relaxed atmosphere. It’s a good option for those who want to stay away from the crowds and enjoy a quieter beach experience.
Station Zero in Boracay is a well-kept secret, a private beach that accommodates some of the finest luxury hotels on the island. Unlike the bustling tourist hubs, Station Zero offers a tranquil escape. This hidden gem remains undiscovered by most tourists, thanks to its secluded location and the higher price point of the luxury accommodations, which naturally limits the number of visitors to this area.
This is the main kiteboarding and windsurfing beach in Boracay, and it’s located on the eastern side of the island. There are several budget-friendly accommodations and mid-range hotels in this area.
This is a secluded and peaceful beach located north of Station 1. It’s a good option for those who want to stay away from the crowds and enjoy a more secluded beach experience.
What to bring along
Are you planning a trip to Boracay? Don’t forget to pack these beach essentials to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable vacation.
Eating Out, Nightlife, and Shopping in Boracay
Boracay boasts an impressive array of restaurants and eateries, catering to various budgets and tastes. You’ll find a diverse range of cuisines, from international delicacies to local fast food.
D’Mall, often considered the heart of Boracay, is an open-air shopping plaza that offers a plethora of dining options, souvenir shops, cafes, bars, and everything in between. It’s essentially a one-stop destination for all your island needs.
While pork and chicken are the most popular meats, fresh seafood is a must-try and available throughout the island. You can purchase seafood from the wet market inside D’Talipapa and then take it to one of the nearby restaurants, where they’ll expertly prepare it for a reasonable fee.
For a more local shopping experience, check out Palenke, the local wet market located within the D’Mall complex. Here, you’ll find small shops selling fruits, vegetables, and meat.
For an authentic local experience, visit the small market-based ihaw-ihaw restaurants. If you’re feeling adventurous, try balut, a boiled fertilized chicken or duck egg believed to be an aphrodisiac! All Filipino dishes pair perfectly with the world-famous San Miguel Beer, served ice-cold.
When it comes to nightlife, Boracay has it all. Whether you prefer drinks, dancing, or karaoke, there’s something for everyone.