Boracay: Most Popular Tourist Spot in the Philippines
There are some tourists who would like to just lay around near the beach side and if you are one of those you will be glad to know that a lot of resorts in Boracay offer their guests to lie down on lounge chairs set up near the beach. There are a lot of facilities and water sports activities such as sailing, snorkeling, wind surfing, diving and jet skiing. If you think that Boracay is boring after dark then you are wrong because there are a lot of people who go to Boracay for the night life alone.
The dry season is from November to April. This means that rain is scarce and you can count on the waves not being too high. The white beach is calm and suitable for swimming. During low tide a lot of people swim near the middle of the ocean although there are some signs up to what point tourists can swim.
During the rainy season which is from May to October, there is a possibility that it will rain more. There may be times when the waves would be too great and it would not be suitable for swimming anymore.
If you would like to go to Boracay whether you travel by boat or by plane, you would be required to ride a small banca once you reach Caticlan Island. There are different bancas that leave the port every few minutes. You would have to remember that there is a small fee for the boat and the environmental fee as well. Once the boat reaches Cagban, there are tricycles that can take the guests to their hotels. Do remember that the fee depends on how far the hotel is from the mainland.
Since a lot of tourists are not familiar around the place, they usually opt to ride tricycles to go around the island although there are some people who would rather walk to some of the spots there. You may want to share the tricycle with other tourists to make the fee much lower but you have the option to ride the whole tricycle on your own. If you are not comfortable with sharing the ride with other tourists just tell the tricycle driver that you would like the “Special” trip.
You do not have to worry about looking for tricycles because there are usually a lot near D’Mall which is one of the main shopping spots on the island. However, there could be some pollution on the area where the tricycles are waiting so it is advisable to bring a handkerchief with you.
Short rides on usual or familiar routes would usually cost about 10 PhP and it would tend to increase depending on the location of the place where you would be going. If you are a foreigner, the tricycle driver may ask a bit more. Long rides would usually cost about 40 PhP. If you came directly from the hotel it can go from 10O PhP and above. You may try to bargain with the driver especially if other people will be riding with you.
For those who can drive you may want to rest a scooter because this will help you navigate around the island without much effort. You just have to know exactly where you are going to save up on gasoline. However you might be surprised with the traffic and the aggressive tricycle drivers around the area.
If you would like to explore around the island, there are bancas or motorized boats that you can rent for a certain price. The prices may tend to vary depending on the season.
The Beaches of Boracay
This is primarily the reason why a lot of people visit Boracay all year round. There is a lovely stretch of powdery white sand against pristine water. Since the beach is long, it has been divided into three parts called Stations I, II and III.
- Station I is the best part of the beach for you if you would like a larger beach front. This is also where the prime hotels are located. A lot of people love staying here because they can wake up and immediately go down the water when it is high tide.
- Station II is also popular because this is where D’Mall is situated. It is the most commercialized part of the beach. This is where a lot of people party, shop and hang out.
- Station III is the southernmost section. If you would like to be in a more quiet area then you might want to stay here. This is the least developed part of the beach and there are also a lot of cheap hotel rooms located in the area.
If you would want a quieter place to stay without the usual number of tourists then you might want to try Puka beach. A lot of people have said that the beach is what they imagined it to be. It is a tropical paradise, a heaven on earth because of the white sand and the clear water. You do have to expect that a lot of locals flock the area to gather puka shells which they use to make accessories that they sell on the island. You have to be warned though that the water may tend to be a bit rougher on this side of the island but it is much quieter than the white beach.
Do remember though that there are only a few restaurants in the area because it is not developed. You may want to just go there for a stroll or for a day trip but it is not advisable to stay there at night.
Baling Hai Beach
If you like small coves then you might want too see Baling Hai Beach. It is located just a bit north of Dinawid beach. Some people go there because of the cliff top restaurant wherein you would be able to see amazing views. This is usually one of the stop overs during day tours.
Kiteboarders love Bulabog Beach because of the high winds. It would be great to come here to see the tricks being made by professional kiteboarders.
Attractions and Activities
The Bat Cave
A lot of people explore the bat cave where a lot of bats are situated. You can usually ask a local to take you there for a certain fee. The fee would be up to you. It would be more like a “tip”. If you would rather visit the bat cave while on tour then you can ask your tour guide to point it out to you.
Since the mouth of the cave has a lot of large boulders, it may be particularly hard to walk there. There are no trails or no visible paths that can be followed and it can be extremely dangerous to try walking on it on your own. The air inside the cave may tend to be warm and humid and can be uncomfortable. Another thing that makes the place dangerous is the possibility of snakes residing there as well.
However, it can be particularly nice to see the ceiling of the cave which has a lot of crystallized, small stalactites. There is another cave near the bat cave but it is privately owned. You may want to ask the owner for the fee. The whole tour might cost 2500 PhP but you may want to bargain.
There are a lot of people who are interested in diving and snorkeling. There are literally a lot of dive centers along the white beach. As usual prices may tend to vary depending on the season. If it is peak season, the prices may be a bit steeper. Usually though the prices are the same for all the diving centers so you do not have to worry about another diving center having cheaper prices than others.
There are a lot of diving spots in the area do remember though that there are some spots that are only recommended for experienced and professional divers because of the strong currents.
Bulabog Beach in Boracay is considered to be the best kiteboarding spot in Asia. This is the reason why a lot of professional kiteboarders go to the area every year. There are also some professionals who are willing to teach kitesurfing for beginners. Some learn very easily especially when they try to ride during low tide. There are times however when the place becomes over populated because of the people. Sometimes the pollution becomes too imminent.
This is fairly new to Boracay island. It is usually enjoyed by kids and older people. It can be quite easy if you would be taught well by a professional skim boarder.
If you would like to shop then you will be glad to know that there are a lot of shops situated in D’mall in Station 2. D’Talipapa also has a lot of shops and is situated in between stations 2 and 3. You may be surprised to know that aside from the usual string of restaurants and shops in the area there are also some high end stores there selling clothing, art and household materials that you may want to take home.
Aside from the above mentioned shopping sites however, there are only a few shopping destinations outside the area of the white beach. There are some stores there but the stores may be located a bit far from your usual location.
Where to Stay in Boracay
It would always be nicer to stay within the white beach area so that you could be closer to the commercialized area of Boracay. However there are other options available for those who would want to save up on money. There are some locals who are open to the idea of sharing their home with you. It would be like having your own house during your stay there. While this can be cheaper and more comfortable for some, the houses are far from the beach side and it may be a bit hard for people who do not like walking long distances.
You may be fooled into thinking that you would need a travel agent to ensure that your whole trip is smooth sailing but travel agencies usually get a percentage of what you would pay them so it means that you would be paying more than what you should. It would be best to go to the hotel directly to ask if there are rooms available. It would be okay to reserve rooms in advance although a down payment is required sometimes.
During low season you may not have to reserve rooms because there are a lot of hotels with no guests. The prices would be cheaper that way. There are also some locals who would be generous enough to help you get a hotel room for a cheap price. Just remember to give them a small fee for their services. You may also want to get their number just in case you would like to go to Boracay again.
Philippines Travel Guide: From Islands to Highlands the Dream of Every Tourist
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