Nestled in the Alkan Province of the Philippines you’ll find the tropical island of Boracay. The island is incredibly popular amongst tourists because of its white sand beaches, shells, romance, and seclusion. Littered with restaurants, shops, gardens, and attractions, you’ll find the island entertaining and intriguing – and you’ll be searching for a reason to stay longer.
When to Visit Boracay
Boracay boasts a tropical climate year round. Those who’d prefer to spend their days on the beaches might want to avoid visiting during monsoon season, though, which usually runs from November through February.
The Boracay Tourist Center
The Boracay Tourist Center is located at Mangayad, Manoc-Manoc. Visitors to the island are encouraged to visit the tourist center for “one-stop services” including money transfer and currency exchange, safety deposit box rentals, post office services, and – of course- information on local attractions. You will also find craft boutiques and convenience store items at the tourist center.
Health & Safety in Boracay
The biggest health concern for individuals who have never visited a tropical climate is, of course, the sun. It’s incredibly important that you drink plenty of bottled water, apply sunscreen regularly, and take frequent breaks from the sun. Bottled water is recommended because of an outbreak of coliform approximately 10 years earlier, of which there are occasionally small outbreaks that can cause you to have significant gastrointestinal difficulties. Despite your tropical beach location, it is also important to use moderation when consuming alcoholic beverages – they are dehydrating and will only contribute to your heat exhaustion if not followed by water.
Petty crime is prevalent on the island of Boracay. Avoid leaving your valuables unattended – those in your hotel room should be locked in a safe. You should not take anything to the beach you don’t want to lose as your belongings are likely to disappear while you’re swimming – especially if you try to swim at night. As a matter of fact, you’re better off avoiding the beaches at night altogether.
Despite what the tourism bureaus would like you to believe, the “hired date” industry, while technically illegal, thrives on the island. Tricycle drivers may stop you to offer a boy or girl or your hired date may end up too eager to bring you a beverage. The long and short of the situation is that you’re likely to be drugged and/or robbed. Use some common sense and avoid strangers, especially those that seem over-eager, while you’re on the island.
Transportation throughout Boracay
The standard mode of transportation on the island of Boracay is by either tricycle or motorized pedicab. Pedicabs, which usually travel along the main road between boat stations 1 and 3 for a flat rate, have the fares listed on the front. The fares are higher for those that wish to go further than the main road and are usually twice as high at night, although they can be negotiated. Those spending a lot of time on the beaches will find that non-motorized pedicabs are also available but the prices will change depending on the location you wish to travel to.
Things to Do in Boracay
Those visiting Boracay for the first time should start with a trip to the Boracay Butterfly Garden. Opened to the public in 2005, the garden has a Wildlife and Collector’s Permit issued by the DENR/PAWB and has permission to collect and breed butterflies. The netted tropical gardens house more than 150 species of plant life and hundreds of different Philippine butterfly species.
The beaches throughout Boracay are astounding and if you have a chance you should spend a little time on each of the most popular. White Beach, for example, is famous for not only having cool white sands but also for being the best place for watching the sun set each evening. Yapak Beach, also known as Puka Shell Beach, is popular because of the astounding white seashells found there. Balinghai Beach, on the other hand, is a more secluded beach popular amongst romanticists.
You will, of course, want to spend a little time exploring some native handiwork during a shopping excursion throughout the island. The most popular destination for shoppers is D’Mall, a central market full of food vendors, specialty shops, and fashions. You’ll find some cheap tourist junk in D’Mall but you’ll also find fine silver jewelry, sarongs, bamboo products, rain-sticks, and other handmade treasures.
The island of Boracay is an astounding destination for individuals who want to spend some time relaxing in the sun, leisurely exploring the island, and partying the night away. Most attractions are within minutes of all of the hotels in Boracay, making it easy to hop from attraction to attraction stopping only for a few hours rest in between. Enjoy your time in this tropical paradise.