Sunday, February 8, 2009

A visitor's guide to Boracay - Philippines

A visitor's guide to Boracay - Philippines

The Boracay Island in the Philippines is haven for me. Thinking about it takes me to cool crystal blue waters, fine white powdery sand, clear blue skies, warm breeze, a beautiful tan, gorgeous swim suits, souvenir shopping, night parties, fun water sports and deliciously fresh seafood. There is nothing like a splash in the beautiful beach of Boracay on a hot summer day.

To relive this wonderful experience and picture of Boracay, here are my smart budget recommendations for the future visitors of this island paradise:

1) When to come The ideal time to go to Boracay is from March until April although this is also the time when the beaches are so crowded since people are escaping from the heat of the summer sun in the city. It's also not bad to spend November to January in this paradise since there won't be as many people and the weather is still conducive for beach swimming or sun bathing.

boracay-sexy-babes by travelboracay.

2) How to get there From Manila, the Philippines capital, Boracay is about a one hour plane ride. There are a couple of airlines that fly to either Caticlan or Kalibo. Caticlan is a very small airport and can accommodate only small planes. The benefit in landing at Caticlan is you only need to wait an hour to get to Boracay. You will need to ride to the Port where a boat will take you to the Island of Boracay. If you choose to fly to the Kalibo airport, you will need to take about a 1.5 hours land ride to the port. Once you reach the Boracay island, you can take a tricycle that will take you to your resort or rent a van. My suggestion is to have your resort pick you up from the Boracay port so it's let of a hassle for you. Some resorts also offer packages that include airfare / transfers. Look at the prices and your options. I would rather use a resort package than go through a travel agent. Believe me you can save more in going directly to the resorts than going through a travel agent.

Backless In Boracay by #1 Drama Queen.

3) Where to stay There are so many hotels / resorts sprawling across the Boracay Island stretch. The island is divided into 3 areas: Station 1, 2 and 3. People say that station 1 houses the most exclusive and expensive resorts, station 2 has the middle class resorts and station 3 has the most affordable resorts. I've tried staying at a station 1 resort and I wasn't very happy being that our resort was not in the beach front. I've also tried staying at a station 3 resort and I enjoyed my stay there better since our resort was beach front and I don't really mind walking to station 1 to enjoy the finer sand in that area. If I were to give advice on which station to stay, I'd stay station won't matter, pick a resort that is in the beach front and has all the amenities you are looking for. If budget is a consideration, I'd say pick a hotel that's most affordable. Some people go to Boracay without a hotel booking and just search through the beach front resorts with all their luggage and backpacks. Since I am more of a planner, I'd opt to make my reservations in advance and try to shop online / make phone reservations.

he's bringing sexy back by littlenutbrownhare.

4) What to bring Of course, a visit to this paradise will not be complete without enjoyment of the white sand and cool blue beach. Take the most comfortable swimming gear. People don't care whatever you are wearing. Some go on swimming on shorts and tanks. The more daring ladies wear bikini sets (you must remember that the Philippines is a Catholic country and a bit still conservative). Don't forget a sun block if you don't want to be burned by the sun or a good sun tan lotion if your goal is to bask in the sun and be a golden beauty.

IMG-5829 by AkazukinCha.
Taken at Patio Pacific Boracay.

5) Where / what to eat Along the stretch of the beach front, there are several choices of food and restaurants. But since you are on this island, it is advisable to try their fresh seafood. There are places that would let you order your sea food fresh and they would cook it right then and there after you pick them. I love seafood and this is heaven for me!

6) What to do Activities in Boracay are just unlimited. For the outdoorsy person, there's the water sports (scuba diving, kite boarding and skim boarding, etc). Of course, nothing beats just lounging under the sun or soaking in the Boracay beach waters. Shopping is also a favorite pastime among Filipinos. There are several souvenir shops all over the island now. If you are looking for great accessories, try station 3. There's a couple of locals in the area that sell accessories really cheap (way cheaper than what you think they would cost). I bought a freshwater pearl jewelry set (necklace, earring, bracelet) for just about $2.50. Know how to bargain also because that is the key! There's also an abundance of massage therapists, henna tattoo artists and hair braid kids along the beach front. It seems that a visit to Boracay can never be complete without a henna tattoo that just could cost a little less than a $1 (name your design). For first time Boracay visitors, it's a great idea to go island hopping. It takes about half a day and it's worth it. There are also other fun water activities for the entire family (ex. Banana Boat ride). At night, bars along the beach front open up. From time to time, there are also big concert events on the island.

Boracay Grotto by Alvin Gumba Photography.
A tourist enjoys her sunbathing near the Grotto which is a popular landmark in Boracay.

In Boracay, you can enjoy the sand, the sea, shopping and night life.

A visitor's guide to Boracay - Philippines

girl from ipanema by Chewy Chua.
A recently-married friend of ours, walking down the fine sand beaches of Boracay, just outside the resort we stayed in.

P2050639 - Our Boracay Trip! by Macky Martin.
My sexy and gorgeous wife at La Carmela De Boracay.

Boracay by Diane Czyrnik.
early mornin.

IMG-5449 by AkazukinCha.
This shot was taken at Boracay.

Angelica Panganiban by Pran Delicious.
Philippine TV star and commercial model, Angelica Panganiban, watching the 2008 Boracay Open (Frisbee)

100_3671 by hi-bert.
sarap magbabad. hot boracay smb babe. (boracay island). makes you drink more beer huh?