The palm-studded island of Boracay – with its white, talcum-fine beach, balmy weather, and warm, crystalline waters – is like a hypnotic magnet. In this tiny, butterfly-shaped island at the northwestern tip of Panay in Western Visayas, days can be spent simply lazing on the beach while nights are for indulging in the tropical party lifestyle.
The best part of the island is the four-kilometer White Beach hailed as the “finest beach in the world.” The surrounding water is shallow and the sand is finer and brighter than most beaches in the archipelago. White Beach is so, soooo fine, it feels like treading on miles of baby powder!
The code in Boracay is strictly informal. There is an undeniably easy atmosphere in the island, where walking barefoot than shod is the rule rather than the exception. Even swinging discos have the beach for a floor, giving dance a new twist. There are no hang-ups here. During the day, tourists having a soothing massage under the shade of a coconut tree beside the shoreline is a common sight. And from dusk to dawn, Boracay turns into one big party place where everyone is welcome to join in. But first, let’s toast that sunset cocktail!
Diversions are not a problem, with leisure activities calendared throughout the year and amenities offered by some 350 tourist establishments. There is plenty to do other than beachbumming and partyhopping. For the adventure-driven, there is “”Mambo Number 5″” – a little bit of boating and wind surfing, a little bit of scuba diving, a little bit of trekking, a little bit of mountain biking, and a little bit of golf. On the eastern side of the island is Bulabog Beach, a boardsailor’s mecca that draws enthusiasts from all over the world, especially during the peak season from November to March. In January, it is the site of an International Funboard Cup.
Sailboating and kayaking are popular sporting activities, with Boracay playing host to the annual Paraw Regatta, an international sailboat race that makes use of the native outrigger. Dive sites surround the island and are learning venues to both novice and professional divers, guided by competent instructors of the many dive shops that operate in the area.
Trekking and mountain biking can also bring the intrepid to the island’s quaint interior villages and to the edges’ scenic rocky cliffs, discovering along the way many hidden coves with isolated beaches far from the tourist crowd. And for golf bugs, Fairways and Bluewater Resort Golf and Countryclub has an 18-hole championship course.
Boracay Island belongs to the Western Visayas island-group, Region 6 of the Philippines, along with the western part of the province of Negros, the island of Panay, and many smaller islands. The westernmost island in Western Visayas, Boracay borders the provinces of Mindoro to the northwest and Romblon to the north.
Other than Tagalog/Filipino and other local dialects, English is widely spoken in Boracay. Akeanon is predominantly spoken in Aklan, the gateway to the island.
March to June are the summer months in Boracay, with temperatures reaching as high as from 28 to 38 degrees Celsius. November to February are spent with pleasant winds, cool nights, and occasional rain showers. July to October are the wettest months.
Kalibo, the capital town of the province of Aklan, is the gateway to Boracay Island – Paradise Island of the Philippines. Aklan, dubbed as “Land of the Atis,” is the oldest province in the Philippines. It was organized in 1213 by settlers from Borneo, as the Minuro it Akean to include what is now Capiz.
Aklan became an independent province when President Magsaysay signed into law on April 25, 1956, Republic Act 1414 separating Aklan from Capiz. Aklan was inaugurated as an independent province on November 8, 1956.
How to get there
From Manila, the Manila Domestic Airport has flights to Boracay either via Kalibo (45 minutes) or via Caticlan (30 minutes). From the Kalibo Airport, air-conditioned vans and buses for hire are available to take you to the Caticlan Jetty, where boats are stationed to take you to the island. The bus trip takes around 90 minutes, and the boat ride, 20 minutes.
From Iloilo, there are air-conditioned vans and buses going to Kalibo or directly to Caticlan, where boats going to Boracay are stationed.
Where to stay
Red Coconut Beach Resort
Boracay Beach House
Alice in Wonderland
Alyssa Resort Boracay
Boracay Regency Beach Resort
Casa Pilar Boracay
Jony’s Beach Resort
Le Soleil de Boracay
Lorenzo Grand Villa
Nami Private Villa’s
Nigi Nigi Nu Noos
Paradise Garden Resort
Sand Castles Boracay
Sea Wind Boracay
Waling Waling Beach Hotel
Willy’s Beach Resort