Boracay Island is known for its beautiful white sandy beach and turquoise water. Palm trees cover the whole waterfront of the main beach, called White Beach, in Boracay and the restaurants nearby tempt you to try foods and drinks from all over the world.
In this post I will tell you everything you need to know about the beautiful island of Boracay!
How to get to Boracay?
Getting to Boracay Island is pretty simple! There are frequent flights from Manila and Cebu to Caticlan Airport which is the closest airport to Boracay. There’s also ferry connection to Mindoro island if you happen to be coming or wish to continue your journey there. After arriving to Caticlan you have to take a ferry from Caticlan port to Boracay.
If you wonder where is Boracay located, click here.
Note: You need to prebook your accommodation online before arriving in Boracay. They will check that you have a valid hotel voucher for the period of time you intend to stay at Boracay.
White beach is the main beach on Boracay Island and there’s a clear reason why. The sand there is super white and the texture is like powder and the sea is heavenly turquoise. That makes the White beach the perfect beach!
The downside of White beach is that it is super crowded especially during the peak months from January to April. White beach is kilometers long though so if walking isn’t an issue for you, you will find a place for yourself!
White beach is divided into parts which are called stations. Each station has its own characteristics. This is important to know when you are deciding where you want to stay. While walking there you won’t see any boarders between the stations but it’s just good to know about these area-wise.
Station 1 on White beach is more about luxurious beach hotels. It’s a quiet area with a wide beach front and shallow water. Station 2 can be called as the center of Boracay and that’s where all the mid-range hotels are located. It’s way more crowded than Station 1 partly because most of the restaurants and shops are located there.
Station 3 is the low-budget bungalows and backpackers area. There are couple of bars around but otherwise it’s the most peaceful area. The water there is much deeper than on the other stations.
Bulabog beach is the perfect beach for kite surfing! It’s located the opposite side of Boracay to the White beach and it’s a lot windier. It’s definitely not the best beach for sun bathing, for that you need to go to the White beach. However, it’s a perfect place to learn kite surfing!
I didn’t have time to try kite surfing when I was in Boracay since learning the basics takes you from 4-8 hours depending on how skilled you are. So if you want to learn the skill and have some fun afterwards reserve at least 3 days for it!
Puka beach is the most Northern beach in Boracay Island. It’s a nice white-ish sandy beach with not too many tourists. You may want to go there before the day-trips so be prepared to go there in the morning. It’s a beach worth visiting because who doesn’t love beaches right? It’s not as great as the White beach but it’s a LOT emptier. There you can have a relaxing swim and you don’t have to worry about others.
During the weekends also locals go to Puka beach to spend the day but the beach won’t get crowded. The downside of this beach was that every two meters, there was a guy who tried to get you to sit on their mat for the day and pay for it. I mean it’s good that they have a business there and if I wanted to stay for the entire day there I’d maybe use their services but it was super annoying when you have 20 people coming to you one by one trying to sell a place on their mat.
No matter what it’s a lovely beach to visit and you can get there easily by tuktuk!
Where to stay in Boracay Island?
Most of the people who travel to Boracay stay near the White beach. It’s the main beach and that’s where all the action happens. That’s also where most of the accommodations are located. I would also recommend staying close to the White beach because it’s the reason why you travel to Boracay Island.
White beach is divided into different stations and you can decide based on their characteristics where you’d like to stay. The beach is long but then again you can get anywhere by tuktuk so the location of your accommodation isn’t everything. Your budget will also have an affect on which part of the beach you are staying because Station 1 is more luxury hotels and Station 3 for backpackers.
If you want to stay on another beach in Boracay that’s possible too. There are several hotels near Ilig-Iligan beach, few resorts near Punta Bunga beach and some on the Southern Boracay. If you want a peaceful holiday with not many other tourists you may want to consider these options.
Pros and cons of Boracay
Boracay Island and especially the White beach is no doubt an amazing beach with the most powder white sand and turquoise water. It’s a place with all the services you may need, (except that finding a scooter rental appeared to be impossible) and restaurants from all over the world.
Cons of Boracay
Despite the beautiful beach, I feel that Boracay was more like the Phuket of the Philippines. Too many things have been built specifically for tourists and it leaves the local culture aside. The Philippines is a beautiful country with friendly people but I wouldn’t say Boracay represents Philippines well. The lack of Filipino restaurants was also a downside for me. I couldn’t believe that I actually need to make such an effort to find a Filipino restaurant in the Philippines.
The other thing that was a bit disturbing were all of the signs that say what all is forbidden on Boracay. It’s great that they are making the efforts to keep the beach clean especially after they had to close the beach for months to recover but it made me feel like I have to be careful of my every move.
I also felt that it’s a shame that there are no real beach bars or restaurants and you cannot even have a picnic on the beach with your own food or drinks. They a good rules to conserve the nature I guess but shame that there has been a need to create such rules. (And also fire shows are forbidden which I absolutely love.) I understand the need for the rules and signs, they just didn’t make me feel very welcome.
Pros of Boracay
Boracay is an easy destination for a holiday and no doubt has a beautiful beach. The sand was the most powder like soft sand that I’ve ever felt under my toes. The water is also very much turquoise and one of the clearest waters I’ve ever seen. Boracay also have a lively atmosphere and there are many restaurants to choose from.
However, it’s not the first place I would recommend to anyone just because it’s a bit too touristic for my liking. I felt like I need to see Boracay with my own eyes because so many people have praised its powder sandy beach and turquoise water. Now when I’ve seen it, I don’t think I have to go back anytime soon. (I could go back for an ultimate frisbee tournament though.)