Travelling to Boracay Island, Philippines - The Ultimate Travel Guide 2023
Located in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines with its stunning white-sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and lush tropical climate, it is easy to see why Boracay Island is one of the most beautiful and desired tourist destinations in the Philippines.
This Ultimate Travel Guide will explain everything you need to know about this amazing destination - from where to stay, what to do, how to get there and what is so famous about Boracay Island! Let's get started!
Why Boracay Island?
Boracay Island is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places on earth. It offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Whether you're looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an action-packed adventure, you'll find it all here.
Boracay Island is one of the most expensive islands in the Philippines to visit, however it can still be an affordable travel destination. With its wide array of accommodations and activity options, you can easily plan a trip for a few nights without breaking the bank.
How to get to Boracay Island
Boracay is located approximately 315 kilometers (196 miles) south of Manila. The easiest way to get to Boracay Island is by flying into Caticlan Airport. From there, you can take a short 5 minute tricycle ride to the port which costs around PHP 50 (Approx 1$) per person, then from the port you will catch a ferry to Boracay island which costs approx PHP 500 ($10). Before jumping onto the ferry, you will require to fill out a travel form. We go into detail regarding the form towards the end of this article.
Note: If you're flying from Manila, you can also take a direct flight to Kalibo Airport. However, Caticlan Airport is closer to Boracay Island but flying into Kalibo Airport is generally cheaper. Kalibo Airport is located approximately 1 hour 30 minutes away from the ferry port and you can easily book a transfer in advance using the Klook search engine below.
Things to do in Boracay
This island is famous for its beautiful beaches, so it's no surprise that beach activities are at the top of most visitors' to-do lists.
1. White Beach
The world-famous White Beach is Boracay's most popular attraction, offering visitors powdery white sand, crystal clear waters and luscious scenic sunsets. There are plenty of beach activities to keep you entertained, such as swimming, sunbathing, paddle boarding, kayaking, jet skiing, windsurfing and more.
We rented a paddle board for sunset, and paddled into the horizon. It was such a serene experience leaving the mind empty and at ease. This activity costs approximately PHP 300 (Approx $6) for 30 minutes.
Here is a rough breakdown of activity costs offered at White Beach:
- Island Hopping - PHP 750 (Approx $15)
- Helmet Dive - PHP 750 (Approx $15)
- Banana Boat Ride - PHP 500 (Approx $10)
- Jet skiing- PHP 2,000 (Approx $40)
- Parasailing - PHP 1,750 (Approx $35)
- ATV ride - PHP 900 (Approx $18)
- Sunset Cruise - PHP 650 (Approx $13)
- Paddle Boarding - PHP 400 (Approx $8)
- Paraw Sailing - PHP 500 (Approx $10)
2. Puka Beach
Puka Beach is a must-visit for any Boracay traveler. This secluded beach is located at the northern end of the island and is famous for its beautiful shells. It's the perfect place to relax and take in the stunning natural scenery. If you are a fan of beer, for a refreshing taste, try out the Honey Slush Beer offered at a few kiosks next to Puka Beach.
3. Willy's Rock
Willy's Rock is one of Boracay's most popular landmarks. Boracay Island's beach stretches across 4 km, and is split up into different stations (1,2 and 3), making it easier to navigate around. Willy's rock formation is located in the middle of the island at Station 1, and offers stunning views of the surrounding area. This place does get busy, so for the perfect photo-op, try to visit early in the morning.
4. Mount Luho
For the more adventurous travellers, a hike up Mount Luho is a must. It offers breathtaking views of the island, as well as a chance to see some of the local wildlife on the way up or down. Alternatively, if a hike up is not your thing, you can rent a mountain bike or hire a tricycle to take you to the viewing point.
Boracay is known for its long stretch of beach bars and clubs that come alive during night time. We had celebrated our friends getting married, and this was the perfect place in the Philippines to do so. The food and drinks were reasonably priced unlike many island destinations across the world. But do also note, even though the clubs are located on the beach strip, drinking on the beach is prohibited, and drinks can only be consumed within the nightclubs.
6. Running low on essentials?
Malls are not the biggest attractions on our list when we are travelling, but when running low on essentials, they start becoming a priority. D’Mall is Boracay's central shopping district, where you'll find a wide variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes. It's the perfect place to pick up things you need, souvenirs or grab a bite to eat.
Where to stay in Boracay - Heaven on Earth
If you're looking for a place to stay in Boracay, there are plenty of options to choose from. Whether you're looking for a luxurious resort, private villa or a budget-friendly hotel, you'll find it all here.
For the Experience - One Hagdan Villas
If you’ve ever dreamt of renting out your own Villa, Boracay is place to do it. One Hagdan Villas is such an amazing place to stay. As we celebrated our close friends wedding, we had rented out Hakbang Villa. With 4 large on-suite rooms, your own private pool, massive kitchen and party area downstairs, you can have the time of your life without worrying about disturbing others. This villa has everything you need for the perfect group holiday, and if you are splitting the costs, it doesn’t cost as much for an experience you’ll remember for a lifetime. The entire unit can accommodate up to 10 people.
Approx price per night for the entire villa during peak season (January-June): PHP 20,000 ($400)
Luxury - Shangri-La Boracay Resort
Set on a stunning stretch of white sand beach, Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa is a luxury resort that offers ultimate relaxation. With its spacious rooms and suites, world-class restaurants, and spa, you'll never want to leave.
Approx price per night during peak season (January-June): PHP 30,000 ($600)
High End - Discovery Shores Boracay
Discovery Shores Boracay is another great option for luxury accommodations. This beachfront resort offers stunning views of the ocean, as well as a wide range of amenities and activities.
Approx price per night during peak season (January-June): PHP 15,000 ($300)
Mid Range - Hotel Soffia Boracay
Hotel Soffia Boracay is rated a 4-star hotel amongst many online hotel booking websites. The prices vary season to season, however you can grab a great deal for as a low as PHP 1,500 ($30) per night. The rooms are spacious and the hotel is situated very close to the main strip where all restaurants and bars are located.
Approx price per night during peak season (January-June): PHP 2,000 ($40)
Budget Friendly - Boracay Backpackers
Boracay Backpackers is one of the most affordable places to stay on Boracay Island. Located in station 1, it's only a few steps away from White Beach. With a double bed, your own private bathroom and hot water, you have the basic amenities during your stay on Boracay Island. If we were not celebrating our friends wedding, this would have been our choice of stay.
Approx price per night during peak season (January-June): PHP 1,300 ($26)
Hotels on Boracay Island are world class and luxurious but they come with a hefty price. In addition, here are 2 alternative best hotels on Boracay island that offer good value for money.
The Lind Boracay- Price per night: PHP 15,000 ($300)
Astoria Current- Price per night: PHP 4,500 ($90)
Getting around Boracay Island
As for most islands in the Philippines we recommend renting a scooter, however Boracay Island is one of the most expensive places to rent a scooter, with prices of approx PHP 1000 (Approx $20) minimum per day. Just to grasp the difference in comparison to other islands in the Philippines, here is a quick scooter rental breakdown:
〰️ Siquijor PHP 300 (Approx $6) per day
〰️ Camiguin PHP 300 (Approx $6) per day
〰️ Bantayan island PHP 350 (Approx $7) per day
〰️ El Nido Palawan PHP 500 (Approx $10) per day
The best and most affordable way to get around is to flag down a local e-trike (electric tuk-tuk) or motorbike. They usually charge around PHP 50-100 ($1-2) for a 10 minute journey. As it is a small island most things are in close proximity.
It's always good to look at the travel requirements of your destination before you book your trip. Here are some of Boracay islands requirements:
- All visitors to Boracay Island must have a valid passport and visa before travelling to the Philippines.
- All visitors must fill out a tourist Boracay travel form prior visiting Boracay.
- Visitors from certain countries may also need to obtain a visa before arrival.
- It is recommended that all visitors have comprehensive travel insurance that covers at least USD35,000 including covid-19.
- Visitors should also be up-to-date on all vaccinations and medications required for travel to the Philippines.
- Showing pre-bookings for hotels or resorts is also required to enter Boracay Island.
Post-Covid Requirements - The World is not Same Anymore
Please note that the following guidelines are for visitors coming to Boracay Island during the Covid pandemic. All visitors must :
- Wear a face mask at all times in public areas while on the island.
- Require a negative Covid test pcr or antigen test before entering Philippines.
- Complete a health declaration form upon arrival.
- Have travel insurance that covers Covid-19.
Please Note: The test must be taken within 72 hours of your flight. You will need to present your test results upon arrival.
For a full breakdown on Travel requirements for entering the Philippines, check out our Travel Requirements for the Philippines Article.
What is the best time of year to visit Boracay?
The best time to visit Boracay island is between the months of December and June. This is when the weather is at its driest and most pleasant. It should be noted that this is also the busiest time of year, so accommodation and flights should generally be booked in advance, for better deals.
Wrapping it up
Boracay Island is a world-famous tourist destination for a reason. With its pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, and laid back atmosphere, it’s easy to see why this island paradise has become so popular. By now, you should have all the information you need to plan your perfect trip to Boracay. So what are you waiting for? Start packing your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure that will last a lifetime!
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