Boracay is a small island in the Visayas region, a central part of the Philippines. It boasts of the 4-kilometer White Beach made up of powdery, white sand, and postcard-perfect views, earning it the accolade of being the best beach in the world for many years. It is the Philippines’ foremost tourist attraction, a tropical paradise enjoyed by crowds, and a kitesurfing haven for water sports enthusiasts.
Palm-fringed and dotted by restaurants, bars, and hotels, Boracay’s White Beach is its main draw, attracting both locals and tourists from all over the world. The sand is immaculately white, the waters are flat and crystal-clear, and the sunsets paint the sky in the most breathtaking of afterglows. Outrigger sailboats called paraws, with its colorful sails, have also become an icon of the beach. Visitors can rent them for an hour to sail around the waters while watching the sunset.
One of the most distinct and most-photographed landmarks on the island is Willy’s Rock, a rocky outcrop just right in front of White Beach with a statue of the Virgin Mary. The east coast of the island is where Bulabog Beach is. It draws sports enthusiasts from all over the world as its strong winds are perfect for kitesurfing and other water sports. Kitesurfing schools dot this beach and welcome both beginners and professional athletes, especially during world competitions held here.
Boracay is also famous for its nightlife and party scene. The island is home to many local pubs, reggae bars, and beach clubs that provides world-class entertainment for guests. The recent rehabilitation efforts of the government have set new rules to ensure the ecological and environmental sustainability of the island, like no drinking and smoking on the beach, no loud and huge parties, and regulated hotel operations.
Being a prime, and arguably the most popular, tourist destination in the Philippines, Boracay has become very accessible to local and international tourists alike. One can reach this idyllic island and its gorgeous White Beach by air, sea, and a combination of land and sea travel. The best entry point is Caticlan, with flights coming in from Manila, Clark, Cebu, and Davao. From the Caticlan airport, it only takes a short 10- to 15-minute shuttle or tricycle ride to Caticlan Jetty Port, where pumpboats await for your short ferry ride to Cagban Jetty Port in Boracay Island. One can also take flights to Kalibo Airport in Aklan — cheaper than those landing at Caticlan — but it takes 2 hours to get from Kalibo to Caticlan.
Those coming from Manila and Southern Luzon can reach Boracay by a 9-hour ferry ride from Batangas Pier. Land travel from Manila to Batangas Pier takes about 1.5 hours. Several bus companies also offer a Manila-Caticlan route through a Roll-On/Roll-Off (RORO) vessel. Same travel instructions apply once visitors arrive at the Caticlan Jetty Port.
From Cagban Jetty Port, you will then ride a tricycle or your hotel’s van to White Beach or wherever you want to be dropped off at the island.
Boracay is jam-packed with visitors during the country’s hottest months from March to May. It comes with no surprise because an island getaway is perfect with completely sunny days, a sparkling White Beach, calm waters, and devoid of any disturbances such as heavy rains — chances are, flights and ferry rides to Boracay get cancelled when skies are pouring and waves are rough.
If you don’t mind the crowds, holidays such as Christmas, New Year, Chinese New Year, and Holy Week are also a fun time to be in Boracay with its numerous activities and events. However, fares and hotel prices see a significant surge during these times.
The one advantage of visiting Boracay Island during the low season, from August to October, is that almost everything is less — fares, hotel rates, and crowds.