Trip Report: Boracay Island, Philippines

Vacation Report: Boracay Island, Philippines


This is a photo narrative of our visits to Boracay Island.  We traveled there from our home in Iloilo City by auto.  1st, a confession.  Whilst we have lived in Iloilo for a few several years, although we have explored numerous other resorts in Iloilo and elsewhere on Panay Island, we studiously avoided visiting Boracay — even with invites, regardless of some others imploring us to go, regardless of amazement that we lived so near and have not gone there.  Why?  Almost everything we’d listened to produced us feel we would not like it, that it has been spoiled, overdeveloped, was garish, tacky — a Coney Island, a Disneyland of the tropics.  (You can browse about our incredibly enjoyable trip to Boracay driving through beautiful Antique Province by clicking in this article.)

Approaching Boracay Island from Caticlan.  Boracay still has its magic.

Approaching Boracay Island from Caticlan. Boracay nevertheless has its magic.

White Beach Boracay


This is Boracay's "Main Street" - the White Beach foot path

This is Boracay’s “Main Street” – the White Beach foot path

Boracay can be crowded.  People queuing for boat rides.

Boracay can be crowded. Individuals queuing for boat rides.

Boracay's White Beach path at night - not for the solitude-seeker!

Boracay’s White Beach front path at night – not for the solitude-seeker!

All that turns out to be partially genuine, but Boracay has virtues that let it to survive its excesses and nonetheless keep on being an pleasurable destination.  Right here are the issues we appreciated very best about Boracay:

  • There are practically no autos on the island.  The principal transport for travellers is a prolonged, beautiful palm-shaded sandy path paralleling the seashore.  Anything is obtainable on foot.  You can devote a 7 days on Boracay strolling all over the place, under no circumstances viewing, smelling or hearing a car or truck.  For us, that is a huge component of Boracay’s attract.
  • Though Boracay is a significant, fast paced tourist vacation spot it retains its helpful tiny-town, provincial character.  Even the hordes of sunglass sellers are well mannered.  This is a huge contrast with the Cebu City-Mactan resorts.
  • Study much more about why we favor Boracay to Cebu resorts in this article: Boracay in contrast to Cebu Mactan IslandUnlike most Philippine resorts spots, Boracay is very refined in its dining and searching chances.  There are a lot of intercontinental eating selections, delis offering baguettes, imported cheese, paté, wine and other necessities of civilized everyday living!  Of system you can go from the Cebu-Mactan resorts into Cebu City for equivalent facilities, but you are going to wrestle to get transportation from your resort into the metropolis and back again — a significantly cry from strolling underneath the palms to a cafe or deli on Boracay
  • Prior to we visited Boracay, we frequented various islands (together with Malapascua and Bantayan Islands)  which are claimed to be “like Boracay ahead of it was ruined”, or were being heading to be “the upcoming Boracay”.  Irrespective of all the growth, White Beach front at Boracay remains a magnificent beach front.  The shorelines at Mactan are lousy in comparison.

Tirol and Tirol Beach Resort, Boracay, Philippines

On our initially trip to Boracay we stayed at a single of Boracay’s pioneer resorts, Tirol and Tirol Beach Resort.  TNT, as it is identified, was a single of the initial quality Boracay resorts but like lots of of the outdated resorts it is currently being demolished to make way for even bigger, fancier resorts.  The distinction involving TNT and the large concrete mass of the new Boracay Regency right away following doorway is unmistakable the old, low-vital, laid-back Boracay at TNT and the Regency, which could as easily have been in Makati as Boracay.

Boracay Regency

Boracay Regency

To be good, we do have mates who stayed at the Boracay Regency and loved it, specifically the bounteous buffet foods.  Boracay Regency reservations

Deprived of TNT, on our subsequent trip we stayed at Roy’s Rendezvous, a smaller resort around Boat Station 3.  Boat Station 3 is quieter than the pulsing din of Boat Station 2, so for people seeking relative quiet, it is a very good alternative.  Those seeking to be close to the nightlife scene might want Station 2.  You can study our evaluate of Roy’s Rendezvous Here. There are hundreds of resorts on Boracay, from the posh Shangri-la to the dozens of scaled-down, essential and much less highly-priced resorts that line the footpaths and roads top away the beach front.  Since we are funds travellers, we like to get respectable accommodations at a price we can manage.

A bungalow at Roy's Rendezvous Resort

A bungalow at Roy’s Rendezvous Vacation resort

A single of the finest items about Boracay is being capable to treat on your own to amazing clean seafood by obtaining the seafood at the area industry (the talipapa) and having it cooked just the way you want it at one particular of the cooking provider eating places which encompass the talipapa.  In typical the costs at the talipapa are acceptable, so load up on refreshing crab, lobster and shrimp and consider it a number of steps to one particular of the cooking services, explain to them how you want it cooked, get a table and wait around for your seafood feast to get there.  For additional information and facts see our submit about Boracay seafood at the talipapa Listed here.

Fish for sale at the Boracay talipapa market

Fish for sale at the Boracay talipapa sector

Talking of taking in, my spouse and I enjoy Indian (and Pakistani) food items but as much as we understood there were being no Indian restaurants in Iloilo Metropolis in which we live.  When we have been arranging on viewing Boracay, a close friend of ours instructed us to be positive to dine at Crafty’s Rooftop Cafe.  What a fantastic recommendation it was! We did so and have been not upset.  Crafty’s has a tandoori oven which generated nan (Indian flat bread) as great as we experienced in Montreal or New York.  Regrettably, the oven was not often fired up, so nan was not generally offered.  We tried the whole wheat chappatis as a substitute and they too ended up excellent.  Basically almost everything was superior.  We met the Pakistani chef, Vincent who gave us some tips on getting Indian cooking elements in Iloilo and Manila.

Trace: Indian/Pakistani groceries and spices are obtainable in Manila at the Assad Ali Minimart, UN Ave, in close proximity to Paco Park. Phone 02-526-1349 or 02-526-5034

To get to Craft’s Rooftop Restaurant from the White Beach front route, choose the southerly-most path by way of d’Mall, go all the way by means of d’Mall right until you appear to the trike-loaded Primary Highway.  Craft’s in on the forth and topmost flooring of the Craft’s grocery store constructing which is on the left at the intersection of the  Most important Road and the southerly d’Mall path.

We could not splurge on just about every meal.  There have been 5 in our party.  For inexpensive lunches, we dined at Andok’s, a Philippine rapid foods chain specializing in rooster.  We could get a complete roast hen and rice for 5 and drinks for about P350.  Andok’s is on the White Beach front trail amongst Boat Station 2 and 3.

The bottom line is this:  we really like lifestyle in the Philippines with all of its amazing peculiarities, but we have mates in the United states of america who just could not or would not like to endure the real or imaginary hazards or inconveniences of journey in the Philippines.  Their “comfort zone” is the US or Europe, or probably an upscale Caribbean island.  Boracay is perfect Philippine desired destination for these kinds of guests.  International site visitors can fly into Manila and hop on a flight to Boracay with no leaving the airport, without having even sniffing Manila.  The new piers at Caticlan on the mainland and Cagban on Boracay Island are pretty civilized.  Greater-stop Boracay resorts have their individual boats and vans to whisk attendees to their resorts. Foreigners can have a tropical seashore vacation in the Philippines without having possessing to endure hardy any hardships or inconveniences. They’ll get a probability to sample unbeatable Filipino hospitality.  Boracay, inspite of its crowds and around-development, is really a friendly Filipino provincial area. Opinions and ideas welcome under.

Your journey to Boracay will please the taxman immensely.  If you fly on a Philippine airline, be organized for a menu of fees and taxes which are tacked on to the base cost of your ticket, in addition to any baggage and seat variety expenses.  For illustration:

  • Gas Surcharge
  • Terminal Fee
  • VAT
  • Aviation Stability Payment
  • World wide web Administration Cost
  • Domestic Passenger Assistance Demand

The moment you land at Kalibo, you will get a bus to Caticlan and the Jetty Port for you boat to Boracay Island.

  • Jetty Port terminal charge is P100 per person each individual way.  We compensated P1,000 in jetty port charges.
  • Environmental cost is P75
  • Pump Boat fare is P25 each individual way
  • Tricycle to you vacation resort.  We paid out P100 to our Boat Station 3 resort.
  • Foods and Lodging VAT 12%
  • Snorkeling Payment P20