Welcome to Boracay, a tropical paradise nestled in the Philippines! With its pristine white sand beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and vibrant nightlife, Boracay is a destination that captures the hearts of travelers from around the world. Whether you seek relaxation, adventure, or a combination of both, Boracay offers a myriad of experiences to satisfy every wanderlust.
This small island in the Western Visayas region is famous for its picture-perfect White Beach, a four-kilometer stretch of powdery sand that has consistently been recognized as one of the world’s best beaches. Here, you can bask under the warm tropical sun, take refreshing dips in the clear waters, or simply unwind with a cocktail in hand as you witness breathtaking sunsets.
But Boracay isn’t just about beach lounging. Adventure enthusiasts can indulge in a wide range of water activities, from thrilling water sports such as kiteboarding, windsurfing, and parasailing to exploring vibrant coral reefs through snorkeling and scuba diving. The island’s vibrant marine life and diverse ecosystems make it a haven for underwater enthusiasts.
Beyond the beach, Boracay offers a vibrant nightlife scene. As the sun sets, the island transforms into a lively party hub with beachfront bars, clubs, and restaurants. Enjoy live music, fire dancing performances, and indulge in sumptuous seafood and local delicacies.
When you’re not busy soaking up the sun or immersing yourself in the island’s vibrant atmosphere, take time to explore Boracay’s natural wonders. Puka Shell Beach, Diniwid Beach, and Bulabog Beach offer alternative beach experiences, each with its unique charm and ambiance. Embark on island-hopping tours to discover nearby islets, hidden lagoons, and stunning snorkeling spots.
Boracay is also known for its warm and welcoming locals who are eager to share their culture and traditions. Immerse yourself in the island’s rich heritage by visiting local markets, interacting with the community, and savoring authentic Filipino cuisine.
Whether you’re seeking tranquility, adventure, or a blend of both, Boracay offers an unforgettable escape. So pack your swimwear, flip-flops, and adventurous spirit, and get ready to be enchanted by the beauty and warmth of this tropical haven. Welcome to Boracay, where paradise awaits.
Boracay City Guide: A Brief History Of Boracay, Philippines
The history of Boracay is as rich and diverse as its natural beauty. Before it became a renowned tourist destination, the island was home to the indigenous Ati people, who lived a simple and sustainable way of life, relying on fishing and farming.
In the 1970s, Boracay began to capture the attention of adventurous backpackers and travelers seeking an off-the-beaten-path paradise. Word spread about the island’s pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and tranquil ambiance, leading to an influx of visitors who fell in love with its natural charm.
As tourism grew, the local government recognized the need to develop infrastructure to accommodate the increasing number of visitors. In the 1980s, land titles were issued, allowing private ownership on the island. Resorts, hotels, and restaurants began to sprout along the coastline, catering to the rising demand for accommodations and services.
Boracay’s popularity continued to soar, attracting both local and international tourists. However, the uncontrolled development and rapid increase in visitors started to take a toll on the island’s fragile ecosystem. Environmental issues, such as pollution and overcrowding, began to threaten its pristine beauty.
To address these concerns and ensure the long-term sustainability of the island, the Philippine government initiated a massive rehabilitation effort in 2018. The six-month closure of Boracay allowed for the implementation of stricter environmental regulations, including the removal of illegal structures, sewage system improvements, and the enforcement of sustainable tourism practices.
Since reopening, Boracay has been on a path towards sustainable development. The carrying capacity of the island is now regulated, limiting the number of daily visitors and ensuring a balance between tourism and preservation. Efforts are also being made to protect and restore the island’s marine and coastal ecosystems, including the establishment of marine sanctuaries.
Today, Boracay remains a popular destination that continues to captivate travelers with its stunning beaches, thrilling water activities, and vibrant atmosphere. While embracing sustainable practices, the island strives to preserve its natural wonders and cultural heritage, ensuring that future generations can continue to enjoy its beauty.
As you embark on your Boracay adventure, take a moment to appreciate the island’s journey, its past, and the ongoing efforts to maintain its ecological balance. By being a responsible traveler, you can contribute to the preservation of this paradise, ensuring that Boracay remains a cherished destination for years to come.
Boracay Top Attractions and Best Places to Visit in Philippines
Being the best known tropical paradise that the Philippines has by far, it still struggles in the shadows of the other heavyweights in the region, with the likes of Thailand, Bali in Indonesia, and even Cambodia stealing the focus from this shining gem in the Visayas. What this means is, that despite this island’s status as the #1 tourist destination in the country, it is more off the radar than the previously mentioned hotspots, making it possible to enjoy this world class white sand getaway without having to fight off the unwashed masses that more heavily trafficked destinations are plagued with.
Adding to this idyllic isles appeal is the Filipino people that work and live here. Filipinos have long been regarded as one of the friendliest nationalities in the world, and due to the fact that most of them speak at least workable English, any concerns or compliments that you wish to convey will be better received here than in other locales, where knowledge of English is less certain, and the tourism workers more jaded with respect to their employment.
With the recent extension of visas from 21 days to 30 days, and the viral success of the Philippines Tourism Board’s “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” ads, it likely won’t be long before this island is overrun with new arrivals. Therefore, a quick trip to this hospitable place should be made sooner rather than later, as you likely won’t regret it!
On a small island populated solely for the purposes of servicing international and domestic tourists, there is little in the way of true cultural experiences to be had here (save for partying at night with the fun-loving locals!), so the focus of this section will instead be on the many things you can do to fill your days with fun.
Firstly, there are many outfits that offer SCUBA diving and snorkelling, as much of the Visayas are located within the Coral Triangle, which is known worldwide for its intense biodiversity of animal, coral, and aquatic plant life. While the snorkelers lazily troll the shallow reefs, those looking to go deeper will have a wide selection of dive sites, which run the gamut from beginner to advanced. Wall dives dominate the features that divers will encounter, with animals sightings ranging from a staggering array of colourful reef fish, as well as many different varieties of shark and sting rays.
From November to April, the winds off Boracay can be quite gusty, making for ideal conditions for those who are kiteboarding enthusiasts, or for those who wish to pick it up. The coral reef at Bulabog Beach knocks down the angry swells further offshore, making this ideal place to begin to learn the basics of this exciting sport without suffering any potentially embarrassing wipeouts.
In recent years, the increased media focus on extreme sports has allowed new fringe sports to emerge, and on Boracay you have the opportunity to try one of them with your adrenaline craving buddies. Skimboarding relies on sliding a short board over a pool of very shallow water, giving the participant a very exciting ride. Compete against your friends to see who can hold on the longest before taking an inevitable spill, the results of which will make for a very entertaining afternoon before festivities of the evening commence. Those looking for expert instruction from a Filipino local can have it for the very affordable price of 300 Philippine Pesos, which will prove to be money well invested as you attempt to best your compatriots the next day!
Other Cultural Attractions: Trip to Boracay, Philippines
The first thing you’ll likely want to know here is about the beaches – which one should I spend my time at, and why? Depending on what you are looking for on your holiday, the answer will vary.
The first beach we will mention is the most popular one on the island, White Beach. This is the stretch of sand that made this isle famous, as it possesses ultra-fine, powdery white sand. It is huge, so it is divided equally into three stations. Station 1 is the best place to hang out for the best sand, so consequently, the hotels and the services here are the most expensive of the three. Station 2 is at the commercial heart of the entire island, so any and all services you could ever want are located here, including the scintillating nightlife after the sun goes down. Station 3 is the quietest and least developed of the three sectors, so if you want to be close to the action, but desire privacy, you would do well to spend most of your time here.
As for the other beaches on the island, Puka Beach is even more deserted than Station 3 of White Beach, making it an introvert’s dream come true. Alas though, the sand tends to be quite coarse, and the waters off the beach very choppy, so if these attributes bother you, than White Beach is probably a better decision.
Those into action sports should head to Bulabog Beach. As mentioned earlier, it is home to many avid windsurfers in the winter season, so those wishing to try this sport, or those who like to watch should make this beach their main destination.
At these beaches, you may want the knots in your stress wracked body kneaded out. If you’re not shy, there are many roving budget masseuses roaming the beach hawking their services. Those wishing more discretion can employ the services of a blind masseuse in some of the businesses off the main beach, or by ponying up more money for a more luxurious experience, including your choice of massage style, from Swedish to Thai.
Finally, there are many raucous bars located among the length of White Beach. In Station 1, many young partiers take a liking to the Cocomangas, which has many stylish foreigners and locals alike, and devil may care attitude towards partying. Station 2 boasts many more bars, with Déjà Vu getting the pre-drinks flowing in the hot afternoon sun, and continuing the vibe at night with many highly regarded DJ’s from across the Philippines and around the world. Down in Station 3, the Red Pirates Pub is the iconic beach bar we all dream about, complete with a BBQ buffet, fruity drinks, and live music most nights. This is a favourite among travellers, so solo backpackers looking for some new friends couldn’t go wrong checking this place out!
source: Our Awesome Planet on YouTube
Top 16 Things To Do in Boracay, Philippines For Visitors
Here are the top 16 things to do in Boracay:
- Relax on White Beach: Sink your toes into the soft, powdery sand of White Beach, one of the most beautiful stretches of shoreline in the world. Bask in the sun, rent a beach chair or hammock, and let the calming sounds of the ocean wash over you. As the day progresses, witness the stunning sunset that paints the sky with hues of pink, orange, and purple.
- Island Hopping: Embark on an unforgettable island-hopping adventure to explore the hidden gems surrounding Boracay. Visit nearby islands like Crystal Cove Island, Crocodile Island, and Magic Island. Snorkel or dive in crystal-clear waters teeming with colorful coral reefs and tropical marine life. Discover secluded beaches where you can unwind and savor the solitude of untouched nature.
- Snorkeling and Scuba Diving: Immerse yourself in the vibrant underwater world of Boracay through snorkeling or scuba diving. Strap on your mask, snorkel, and fins to discover the vibrant coral gardens and swim alongside an array of tropical fish. If you’re a certified diver, dive deeper to explore exciting dive sites, including Yapak, Camia Wreck, and Angol Point, where you can encounter turtles, sharks, and other fascinating marine creatures.
- Mount Luho: Take a scenic hike up Mount Luho, the highest peak in Boracay, for breathtaking panoramic views. Follow the winding trails surrounded by lush vegetation and catch glimpses of the island’s stunning coastline, the azure waters, and the sprawling landscapes. Enjoy the cool breeze and capture postcard-worthy photos from the summit.
- Ariel’s Point: For thrill-seekers, venture to Ariel’s Point for an adrenaline-pumping experience. Test your courage by cliff jumping from various platforms into the inviting ocean below. Feel the rush as you leap into the deep blue waters and conquer your fears in this exhilarating adventure.
- Puka Shell Beach: Seek tranquility at Puka Shell Beach, a serene retreat away from the bustling crowds. Named after the abundance of puka shells that wash ashore, this beach offers a peaceful escape. Take a leisurely stroll along the pristine shoreline, collect seashells, and relish the untouched beauty of nature.
- Paraw Sailing: Embark on a traditional paraw sailing adventure, a twin-hulled outrigger boat ride, to discover the beauty of Boracay from the water. Glide across the azure sea, guided by the wind, as you relax on the boat’s bamboo outriggers. Feel the gentle spray of the ocean and admire the stunning coastline, especially during the golden hours of sunrise or sunset.
- Bulabog Beach: Visit Bulabog Beach, a haven for wind and kiteboarding enthusiasts. Feel the thrill as you engage in these exhilarating water sports or simply marvel at the colorful kites dancing across the sky. Sit back and enjoy the spectacle or take lessons to try your hand at these exciting activities.
- Willy’s Rock: Take a leisurely beachfront stroll and make your way to Willy’s Rock, an iconic landmark in Boracay. Ascend the stairs embedded within the rock formation to reach a small chapel perched atop it. Marvel at the breathtaking views of the ocean and capture incredible photos against the dramatic backdrop of this natural wonder.
- Sunset Sailing: Indulge in a romantic sunset sailing experience. Board a traditional sailboat or a luxurious yacht and set sail into the horizon as the sun paints the sky with hues of gold and orange. Enjoy a glass of champagne, savor delectable snacks, and immerse yourself in the magical ambiance of the setting sun.
- ATV Adventure: Embark on an exhilarating ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) adventure and venture off the beaten path to explore Boracay’s lush interior. Navigate through winding trails and scenic routes, passing by verdant rice fields, local villages, and picturesque landscapes. Feel the thrill of off-road exploration as you soak in the natural beauty and enjoy panoramic views along the way.
- Zipline at Mount Luho: Feel the rush of adrenaline as you soar through the air on a thrilling zipline ride at Mount Luho. Strap in, take a deep breath, and launch yourself into the sky, gliding over the treetops and taking in the spectacular views of Boracay’s coastline. It’s an exhilarating experience that combines adventure and breathtaking scenery.
- Boracay Pub Crawl: Immerse yourself in the vibrant nightlife of Boracay with a lively pub crawl. Join fellow party-goers as you visit the island’s best bars and clubs. Dance to the pulsating beats of the music, enjoy refreshing drinks, and create unforgettable memories as you experience the lively atmosphere and make new friends.
- Helmet Diving: Dive into the underwater world of Boracay with helmet diving, a unique and accessible way to explore the marine environment. Don a special diving helmet that allows you to breathe freely underwater as you descend to the seabed. Encounter colorful tropical fish, vibrant coral formations, and other fascinating marine creatures in an up-close and personal experience.
- Explore D’Mall: Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of D’Mall, the bustling heart of Boracay. Browse through a myriad of shops offering a wide range of souvenirs, beachwear, and local handicrafts. Indulge in delectable street food, sample tropical fruits, and savor the flavors of Filipino cuisine at the various restaurants and eateries. Experience the lively energy and immerse yourself in the local culture.
- Spa and Wellness: Pamper yourself with a relaxing spa and wellness experience in Boracay. Unwind and rejuvenate your body and mind with a range of treatments, from traditional Filipino massages using aromatic oils and soothing techniques to holistic therapies and wellness rituals. Let the skilled hands of experienced therapists melt away your stress and restore your inner balance.
These top 16 activities in Boracay offer a diverse range of experiences, from beach relaxation and water sports to thrilling adventures and cultural exploration. Whether you seek relaxation, adventure, or a combination of both, Boracay has something for everyone. Embrace the island’s natural beauty, indulge in its vibrant atmosphere, and create unforgettable memories in this tropical paradise.
What To Eat and Drink in Boracay, Philippines
Boracay is not only known for its stunning beaches and exciting activities but also for its vibrant culinary scene. Here are some must-try dishes and drinks that will tantalize your taste buds during your visit to Boracay:
- Seafood: Being an island destination, Boracay offers an abundance of fresh seafood. Indulge in grilled prawns, squid, fish, and lobster, served with a side of steamed rice or garlic butter. Enjoy the succulent flavors and the taste of the ocean in every bite.
- Chori Burger: A popular local specialty, the Chori Burger is a delicious fusion of chorizo (spiced sausage) and a juicy burger patty, served in a bun. Topped with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and a special sauce, it’s a unique and flavorful treat that combines the best of Filipino and Western cuisine.
- Calamansi Muffins: Sample the delightful Calamansi Muffins, a unique pastry made with calamansi, a local citrus fruit. These tangy and moist muffins offer a refreshing burst of flavor, perfect for a quick snack or breakfast on the go.
- Halo-Halo: Cool off with a refreshing bowl of Halo-Halo, a popular Filipino dessert. It’s a delightful mix of crushed ice, sweetened fruits, jellies, beans, leche flan, and topped with a scoop of ube (purple yam) ice cream. The combination of textures and flavors creates a delightful and satisfying dessert.
- Adobo: Don’t miss the chance to savor a classic Filipino dish, Adobo. This flavorful dish typically features chicken or pork marinated in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and spices, then braised until tender. It’s a savory and comforting dish that pairs perfectly with steamed rice.
- Fresh Fruit Shakes: Beat the tropical heat with refreshing fresh fruit shakes. From mangoes and pineapples to watermelon and coconut, enjoy the tropical flavors blended into a refreshing beverage. Add a touch of calamansi or a scoop of ice cream for an extra twist.
- Lechon: Indulge in the succulent and crispy goodness of Lechon, a traditional Filipino roasted pig. Savor the tender meat with its flavorful crackling skin. It’s a popular dish for special occasions and celebrations, but you can find it served in restaurants and food stalls in Boracay.
- Buko Pie: Treat yourself to a slice of Buko Pie, a delectable coconut custard pie. Made with young coconut meat, sweetened filling, and a buttery crust, it’s a beloved Filipino pastry that showcases the tropical flavors of Boracay.
- San Miguel Beer: Enjoy the local beer of the Philippines, San Miguel Beer. This refreshing lager is a popular choice to quench your thirst while relaxing on the beach or enjoying the lively nightlife in Boracay.
- Rum-based Cocktails: Boracay offers a wide variety of rum-based cocktails. Try the famous Boracay Rum, locally produced and available in various flavors. Sip on a refreshing Mojito, Piña Colada, or the island’s signature drink, the Boracay Breeze, while enjoying the tropical ambiance.
- Kinilaw: Experience the flavors of the sea with Kinilaw, a Filipino ceviche-style dish. It typically features fresh seafood, such as tuna or shrimp, marinated in vinegar, citrus juices, onions, and chili peppers. The combination of tangy and spicy flavors makes it a delightful appetizer or light meal.
- Pancit Canton: Delight in a plate of Pancit Canton, a stir-fried noodle dish that combines Chinese and Filipino influences. Made with thick egg noodles, vegetables, and your choice of meat or seafood, it’s a hearty and flavorful option that showcases the fusion of culinary traditions.
- Mangoes: Boracay is famous for its sweet and juicy mangoes, often referred to as the best in the Philippines. Savor the tropical delight by enjoying them fresh or as part of a fruit salad or dessert. Their vibrant flavor and refreshing taste will leave you craving more.
- BBQ Skewers: Explore the street food scene in Boracay, where you’ll find an array of tempting BBQ skewers. Indulge in grilled meats, such as chicken, pork, or seafood, marinated in flavorful sauces and served with a side of vinegar or spicy dip. It’s a delightful snack or a satisfying meal on the go.
- Tocino: Sample Tocino, a popular Filipino breakfast dish. It features sweet and savory cured pork, typically served with garlic fried rice and a sunny-side-up egg. This flavorful combination is a delightful way to start your day and fuel your adventures in Boracay.
- Buko Shake: Treat yourself to a refreshing Buko Shake, a creamy coconut beverage made from fresh young coconut meat and coconut water blended with ice. It’s a perfect thirst-quencher, especially on hot days, offering a taste of the tropical paradise that Boracay embodies.
While in Boracay, make sure to explore the diverse culinary offerings available. From fresh seafood and traditional Filipino dishes to tropical fruits and refreshing beverages, the island’s food scene promises a delightful gastronomic journey. Don’t hesitate to venture beyond the familiar and try the local specialties for a true taste of Boracay’s culinary delights.
Top Restaurants In Boracay, Philippines
When it comes to dining in Boracay, you’ll find a wide range of restaurants offering diverse cuisines to satisfy every palate. Here are some top restaurants in Boracay that you shouldn’t miss:
- The Sunny Side Café: Start your day with a delicious breakfast at The Sunny Side Café. Known for its creative twists on classic breakfast dishes, this cozy café serves up mouthwatering options like Ube Pancakes, Tocino Benedict, and their signature Sunny Side Up Bowl.
- Spider House Resort: Enjoy breathtaking ocean views and fresh seafood at Spider House Resort. Located on a cliffside, this unique restaurant offers a rustic and laid-back atmosphere. Feast on grilled fish, prawns, and other delectable dishes while enjoying the stunning sunset views.
- Dos Mestizos: Experience Spanish flavors at Dos Mestizos, a well-established restaurant in Boracay. Indulge in authentic tapas, paella, and flavorful grilled meats. Don’t miss their famous sangria, a perfect accompaniment to your Spanish feast.
- True Food Indian Cuisine: Craving Indian cuisine? Head to True Food Indian Cuisine for an authentic culinary experience. Savor aromatic curries, tandoori dishes, and freshly baked naan bread. The restaurant’s cozy ambiance and attentive service add to the overall dining experience.
- Mama’s Fish House: Delight in a seafood feast at Mama’s Fish House. Located on the beachfront, this restaurant offers a wide selection of fresh catch. From grilled prawns and lobster to fish dishes prepared in various styles, Mama’s Fish House ensures a memorable seafood dining experience.
- Los Indios Bravos: If you’re a beer enthusiast, Los Indios Bravos is a must-visit. This craft brewery and restaurant serves a variety of house-brewed beers, paired with a menu of international comfort food. Try their burgers, fish and chips, or beer-infused dishes for a satisfying meal.
- Prana Restaurant: Indulge in healthy and flavorful vegetarian and vegan dishes at Prana Restaurant. Known for its plant-based menu, Prana offers a range of dishes made with organic, locally sourced ingredients. Enjoy the fresh flavors and nourishing options, including salads, wraps, and hearty plant-based mains.
- Kasbah: Transport yourself to Morocco at Kasbah, a Moroccan-inspired restaurant in Boracay. Feast on flavorful tagines, couscous dishes, and grilled meats. The restaurant’s vibrant atmosphere and traditional decor enhance the dining experience.
- Nigi Nigi Nu Noos ‘e’ Nu Nu Noos: Located right on White Beach, Nigi Nigi Nu Noos ‘e’ Nu Nu Noos is a beachfront restaurant offering a relaxed ambiance and a diverse menu. Choose from a range of international dishes, including Filipino favorites, pizzas, burgers, and seafood.
- Spicebird: Spicebird is a popular restaurant specializing in mouthwatering grilled chicken dishes. Their menu features various marinades and spice levels to suit different tastes. Enjoy your chicken with a side of flavorful sauces and tasty sides like cornbread and coleslaw.
- Lemoni Café: Craving healthy and refreshing options? Lemoni Café is a go-to spot for fresh salads, wraps, and smoothies. With its focus on using organic and locally sourced ingredients, this café offers a delightful menu for health-conscious diners.
- The Pig Out Bistro: Indulge in comfort food at The Pig Out Bistro, a restaurant known for its hearty and flavorful dishes. From juicy burgers and ribs to pasta and grilled specialties, this restaurant satisfies cravings for satisfying comfort meals.