Boracay is a slice of paradise for people from all over the world who love a beachside vacation. In fact, Boracay is one of the top attractions in the Philippines and it consistently ranks in traveler polls including Conde Naste Traveler’s Best Islands in the World in 2019. That saying, Boracay is pretty divisive, with people loving its white beaches while disliking how touristy it has become over the years.
Personally, we loved our first visit to Boracay! To be honest, at the start our expectations were pretty low because of all the negative reviews we’d been hearing about Boracay but we’d been pleasantly surprised about our stay here and can’t wait to be back!
Here’s a guide to help you in deciding whether to include Boracay in your itinerary.
How to get here
It’s easy to get to Boracay. There are no direct flights, so visitors must fly to Kalibo or Caticlan and take a ferry from there, which is just a 20-minute ride.
You can enjoy a hassle-free private transfer from Caticlan to Boracay and travel in safety and comfort.
Reasons to visit Boracay
1. White-sand beaches and turquoise waters
Boracay’s sand is often said to be the finest. While I’d been to other places in the Philippines with similar sand, what makes Boracay stand out is the same quality of fine, white sand can be seen along its 3-kilometer beach stretch (from Station 1 to Station 3, the designated boat areas in Boracay). The White Beach which is the island’s main beach is indeed one of the most stunning beaches you can find in Asia.
Explore the island and you can find other beach coves too, including Puka Beach which is a relatively quieter than White Beach and Bulabog Beach.
2. Glorious sunsets
Boracay sunsets are world famous and regarded as one of the most colorful sunsets in the world. Feast your eyes on those fantastic hues and shades of oranges, pinks, and reds, creating an abstract pattern in the blue sky every evening.
3. Island activities
Boracay is a small island, but there’s plenty to do here — from swimming in the clear blue waters to strolling along the shores, enjoying the nightlife, eating out in multi-ethnic restaurants or just enjoying a relaxing stay in a nice resort.
You can stay for a few days or weeks and you’ll always find something new to try.
Speaking of activities, Boracay offers a variety of watersports activities.
Boracay is actually a favorite of windsurfers and kitesurfers due to excellent wind conditions. Other things you can do include skimboarding, parasailing, banana boat, waterskiing, and a lot more.
If you’re looking for something unique, Boracay also offers mermaid swimming lessons!
There are plenty of dive sites around Boracay. Over 20 are located only a short boat ride away, where you can observe colorful reefs and fishes. Advanced divers can access world-class sites such as Yapak Wall, Virgin Drop, Camia, Tribird, Punta Bunga, and Crocodile Island.
Dive shops can easily be found along White Beach. You can do a regular fun dive, night dive, and even go on a liveaboard to explore the nearby islands.
The Philippine seas is rich with fish, shellfish and other types of seafood such as crabs and shrimps. There are various seafood restaurants in Boracay where you can enjoy a feast such as D’Talipapa and Lobster Plate, but the cheapest (and some would say “authentic”) way to experience this is buying the fresh seafood from the local market yourself and having it cooked in one of the “paluto” restaurants (aka cooking services).
Generally the food in Boracay is more expensive compared to other destinations in the Philippines, as everything has to be imported from the mainland. But then again, it’s a travel faux paus to miss going on a food trip in Boracay.
7. Chilled-out nightlife scene
The nightlife in Boracay has toned down after its reopening and it’s no longer allowed to drink in the beaches, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a night out.
Bars usually start happy hours in the late afternoon, so you can enjoy unlimited cocktails while enjoying the ocean view or mingling with other people.
8. Pleasant mix of tourists
People from all over the world visit Boracay annually — Filipinos, Koreans, Chinese, Europeans, and Russians. The tourists are generally pleasant and it’s easy to make friends.
9. Convenient holiday
Traveling to Boracay is easy and convenient, making it ideal for families, first-time tourists, and people who just want to have a relaxing vacation.
Just take a stroll and you can find everything you need — shops, restaurants and bars, agencies offering activities or island tours, and more.
10. Sustainable tourism
Finally, in response to years of commercialism and unregulated development, Boracay is moving towards sustainable tourism. In 2018, it closed for 6 months as part of rehabilitation and then reopened with new regulations for ecotourism.
Activities that add to air and noise pollution are banned, including smoking in public. It’s no longer allowed to bring or use single-use plastic and there is a cap on incoming visitors daily.
Have you been to Boracay? Would you recommend it? Why or why not? Let us know in the comment section below!
What to read next:
Visiting Boracay? Make sure to read about Carabao Island which is only an hour away.
Katherine Cortes is a 30-something freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).