Boracay is the premier beach destination in the Philippines, an incomparable island of white sand, turquoise waters, outstanding corals, and plenty of fun in store. As you get off the main road and head for the beach, past the houses, diners, and shops, the blue sea bathed in bright sunlight proudly proclaims your start of a glorious stay in the island.
Boracay is a small, dumbbell-shaped island off Aklan. The best thing about it is the fine, white, powdery sand filling the principal beaches of White Beach, Puka Beach, and Bulabog Beach. Boracay is so popular all over the country that many choose it as a beach wedding destination, where the bride, groom, and loved ones stroll over the fine sand, a very memorable occasion, indeed. The officials on the island have wisely moved ferry-docking off White Beach, leaving the area clear for beachbums and sun-lovers. A continuous row of stores, diving shops, resorts, and dining establishments stretches throughout the beach, while tradesmen line the beach and offer services with a smile. As you spend the rest of the first day taking in the beauty of the sea, you can start feasting on seafood the very affordable restaurants, and even bar-hop during happy hour as the night draws on.
On the second day, you can rent a banca to take you beach-hopping. There are several boat operators combing the beach as they offer their services to visitors. They also act as experienced local guides, taking you to popular attractions like Crocodile Island and several snorkel spots where you may swim among the picturesque corals and tropical fish. If you’re feeling hungry, more than a few vendors aboard outrigger boats offer fresh catch for grilling, coconuts, fruits, and trinkets as your own boat loiters over the dive sites.
Allow half a day to fully explore the various locales. Before the day ends, have your picture taken in front of one of the expertly-designed sand castles, and donate a few coins to the builder for a job well done. You can finally watch the sun set in White Beach in a glorious orange-and red show while sailboats dart past the horizon.
Before you leave, take another half-day exploring the interior. A casual walk from White Beach across the narrow center of Boracay will take you to Bulabog Beach, a place reserved for kite-sailing. Like majestic seagulls filling the skies, these kites pull enthusiasts and their boards parallel to the shoreline. Visiting the west end of the island will take you to Puka Beach, an undeveloped portion of white sandy beach that measures around 1,000 meters in length, where the mighty waves constantly crash against the shore. And if you have time, you can also shop, eat, and play in D*Mall, a row of shops, eateries, and boutiques that will supply your every beach need.
Boracay is also a good starting point for visiting the rest of the region, like the provinces of Aklan, Capiz, Antique, and Ilo-Ilo on Panay Island. Waterfalls like Agnaga Falls near Caticlan and Tigis Falls in Buruanga, Aklan offer a good hideaway from the summer heat. Jawili Falls in Tangalan, Aklan, some 48 kilometers from Caticlan, connect seven basins down a steep mountainside, giving visitors several chances for a cool dip and a swim. Historic Panay Church is located in Roxas City, Capiz, and is a monument to the grand Spanish influence in the area. The churchâ€™s 5-story belfry houses a huge antique bell that weighs 10.4 tons, and is surrounded by 8 smallers bells,
To get to Boracay, you can take several domestic flights from Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 to Caticlan Airport or Kalibo Airport on Panay Island, including Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. From there, board a commuter van to the Port Terminal, where a pumpboat will ferry you to Boracay Island. You may also take an overnight ferry from Manila or Batangas to Caticlan Jetty Port Terminal. You may take a tricycle from the dock to your lodgings. The best time to visit Boracay is during the dry season from November to early June. Holy Week is especially festive in White Beach, when the party crowd gets thick and the place gets packed with henna tattoo artists, trinket vendors, masseurs, and entertainers. There are also many beach events celebrated here, including International Beach Volleyball, soccer, frisbee, and skimboard tournaments. If you want the beach to yourself, the days before Christmas areÂ ideal, with lodgings and restaurants offering bargain rates. Finally, avoid buying trinkets or souvenirs made from endangered animals like corals or snake skeletons, to discourage the illegal trade of these items.