Boracay

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White Beach, Boracay

Boracay[1] is a tropical island about an hour's flight from Manila in the Philippines. Its long white sand beaches rival the best beaches of more popular destinations such as the Caribbean, the South Pacific as well as neighbouring Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Facilities are available to suit different levels of activity. For those wanting to just lounge around and take in some rays, beach-front hotels usually have lounge chairs set up just a few steps away from the hotel entrances. Facilities for the usual water sports activities such as sailing, wind surfing, snorkeling, diving and jet skiing are also widely available for those in search of more active pursuits. The fun in Boracay also doesn't end when the sun sets. Boracay nightlife is pulsating with many bars and restaurants serving food, drink and fun until the very late evening.

Contents

Understand

Map of Boracay

Areas

White Beach is divided into five areas from

In every station, there are two lifeguards on foot patrolling equipped with whistle, life buoy and hand-held radio. The boat station 2 is the lifeguard and rescue command center.

Climate

During the dry season (Nov-Apr), also known as Amihan, White Beach is calm and very suitable for swimming, etc. The other side of the island has large winds and waves making it suitable for wind surfing, wave running, etc. During the rainy season (Jun-Oct), also known as Habagat, this is reversed, with a risk of typhoons. White Beach gets large winds and waves which makes it unsuitable for swimming. Current weather conditions can be found at boracayweatherstation.com [2].

Boracay Beach Live Cameras

Boracay Island visualization can only go so far through pictures. See an array of Boracay Beach Cameras to actually see what Boracay looks like and to actually see the weather, what to expect and more. Live Boracay cameras boost tourism and promotes Filipino pride. See the beauty that is Boracay[3], Philippines in your own eyes.

Get in

Whether you go by plane or by boat, the port of entry for Boracay Island is the small town of Caticlan on the mainland. Outrigger boats or "bancas" leave every few minutes from Caticlan's jetty port. The short boat trip to Boracay's jetty port at Cagban costs 20 Pesos. Tourists have to pay a terminal fee of 50 Pesos and an environmental fee of 75 pesos. Tricycles are available at Cagban to bring passengers to their hotels. Tricycle fare is from P20 per pax up to P150 per trip depending where your resort is.

From Cagban Port to Station 1, the most that you should pay is P25 per head. That is, if you don't mind sharing the tricycle with other tourists. If you don't want to rent the tricycle and allow the driver to pick up other passengers along the way, say you just want the "Individual" price and not "Special"

By plane

There are two airports located near to the island of Boracay.

Note that if your flight connects in Manila, you will be charged an airport tax of ₱200 in cash between flights. When you leave Manila on an international flight (upon departure) you will be charged ₱750.

By road and ferry (RoRo)

The "Nautical Highway" is a combination of overland highways and roll-on, roll-off (RoRo) vessels that allow you to bring your vehicle up to Panay Island [10] and visit key cities like Kalibo. Taking your car all the way to Boracay, though, is not possible. Public transport also operates on the same route, and is the most cost-effective way of traveling between Manila and Boracay. Assuming good connections, the total journey time is around 12 hours.

The easiest way of arranging this is to book a van in Manila by contacting private operators such as Angel Star (02 783-0886 c/o Abner) and Gope (02 732-6891 c/o Cesar). This will enable you to book a straight trip from Manila to Caticlan at the cost of P1200, more or less. Their group operates several passenger vans which can load 10-14 or 15-18 persons. You book the trip exclusively or share with fellow travellers. The Van leaves at 9PM daily from Manila, travelling through Batangas-Calapan-Roxas (arrives Roxas at 5AM or 6AM) to catch the 8AM or 10AM ferry/boat to Caticlan, where you are expected to arrive between noon to 2PM. Before proceeding to Boracay Island though, be sure to get your return ticket (Roxas-Manila) at the Caticlan Ferry Terminal (inquire about the updated schedule from the staff of the van operators). Take an early dinner before boarding the van and bring water and something to eat while on travel. Riding a van gives you a more relaxed pace to Caticlan because you wouldn't have to stop in many sub-destinations which lengthen your trip and therefore can be truly tiresome.

The more challenging (but slightly cheaper) do-it-yourself version goes as follows:

The easiest way would be to book a straight trip that allows you to purchase just one ticket from Cubao terminal to Caticlan Port. The cost is between 1000-1200 pesos.

But if you really want to save money, you can also commute from Cubao bus terminal station (near Alimall). There is really no difference except for the fact that you need to purchase ticket/s in every stop.

Cubao-Batangas Best leave between 7pm-8pm so you arrive in Batangas Port before 10pm.

Batangas-Calapan the trip takes 2 hours via cargo ship or an hour to one hour and a half via supercat. Do not purchase tickets for the Calapan to Roxas Van as this can either be a scam or you end up squeezed in one van along with several other passengers with tickets.

Calapan-Roxas Takes about 4 hours. Make sure you leave early so you arrive before 4am. In the morning, the ship to Caticlan usually leaves at 2am and 4am and the next trip wont be until 10am. The 10am trip usually leaves late.

This is the best time to leave travel via Cubao to Roxas. You arrive in Caticlan at 8am and you are left to enjoy the rest of your day in Boracay.


You can also start your journey with Philtranco, Alps, Dimple, Ceres, Rodastco coaches which leave at regular intervals throughout the day from Cubao, serving the Manila-Caticlan route for P1,200.00. Rodastco also offers a door-to-door service with pick ups anywhere in Metro Manila. The contact numbers for trip booking are +63 2-7326891 or +63 917-3820426, or +63 919-3820426.

Get around

File:Boaracay sandcastle.jpg
Boracay sandcastle

See

File:Boracay2.jpg
Willy's Rock, White Beach, Boracay
Puka Beach

Do

File:Ariel's Point.jpg
Cliff Diving at Ariel's Point
File:HPIM1135.JPG
Fire Dancing


Scuba diving

For those interested in Scuba Diving and Diving Packages, there are literally dozens of Dive Centres along the White Beach; it is a good place to learn or to improve your skills. Cost is typically $33 per dive which includes hire of all equipment.The dive centres operate a cartel and have agreed standard prices amongst themselves so prices will be the same at all centres. There are 25-30 dive sites within 10-15 minutes speed boat ride from the beach, suitable for beginners up to advanced level. Dives range from 'Angol Point' (10m), through 'Crocodile Island' (22-25m), a straightforward wall dive, up to 'Yapak'- a deep wall dive suitable for only the most experienced divers due to strong currents, although there is the possibility of seeing sharks and stingrays.

Boat tours

Boat trip on a sunset
The best way to see the beauty of Boracay and its various beaches is by Paraw (native outrigger sailboat). You will be constantly asked if you want to take a boat trip, as there are literally dozens of companies offering this service. It is better to go with a reputable and established group such as Allen Fun Tours (motorized banca boat tours) or Red Pirates (paraw sailing) to ensure your safety and avoid being overcharged.

Kiteboarding

Kites on Bulabog beach

Boracay's Bulabog beach is known as the best kitesurf destination in Asia. The season runs from November through to April with onshore winds varying between 12-30 knots. Small lagoon (2km wide) is protected from waves with coral reef. Water becomes almost flat on a low tide, making it easy to start learning kitesurfing and continue with freestyle tricks. Because of its perfect conditions, spot becomes overcrowded with riders in high season.

Skimboarding

Skimboarding in Boracay has been a new fun sport for kids and entertainment for older for people for several years. It is a welcome new attraction and a pleasure to watch. Skimboards are available for rent at several places along White Beach. But be sure to hire an expert to teach you to do the skills, 1-hour lesson from a local rider is usually around 300 peso.

Massage/Spa

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Other

Daily white water rafting/kayaking trips on the Tibiao River& Eco Trekking tours down the Antique coast line where the mountainous jungles meet the ocean. The base Kayak Village is in the mountainous region of Mount Madja-as, only a 1.5 hour trip from Boracay.

Buy

File:D mall boracay.jpg
D*Mall off of White Beach

Along White Beach, there is a wide variety of gift shops and boutiques along the beach path and in D*Mall, (mostly concentrated, including D*Mall* at Station 2). In addition to the crowded stalls that you expect in Asia, Boracay also has several high-end stores including clothing, art and household items. Some places will permit you to haggle, others have a fixed pricing system with price tags. Shop around as prices vary. Outside of White Beach, the shopping becomes sparse or non-existent. An alternative to D'Mall is D'talipapa at station 3, between the main road and White Beach, which features a number of shops, vegetable merchants and a large meat market also selling a large selection of live seafood. Prices at D'talipapa (including those for basic necessities such as milk, vegetables and meat) are about 25% below those of D'Mall, which seems like a ripoff in comparison.

While walking or laying on the sand, anywhere on Boracay, you'll be approached to buy a variety of items including jewelry made of shells, fresh fruit, ice cream, sunglasses or a nice massage.



ATMs

There are about 8 ATMs on the entire island for the 16,000 inhabitants plus tourists, and when they run out of cash, they are not refilled until the next business day. On weekends and holidays it is even worse, as the ATM's might go several days without being refilled. On paydays one will also see very long lines at the ATM's, and be aware that not every ATM accepts every card. One might only accept cards with the Visa logo, and not the MasterCard logo, so before standing in line for two hours, be sure it accepts your card. Also, be prepared for a very long wait in line, as many Boracay natives seem to do all their banking at the ATM, spending what seems like an unusual amount of time at it. Maximum withdrawal at any one time is 10,000.00 pesos, the maximum per day at an ATM is 20,000.00 pesos.

The best solution is to bring travelers checks or plenty of cash. Also, many establishments, including the tricycles, cannot break a bill over 500 peso (around $10), so it pays to always have small bills.

Foreign money (US dollars, Euros, Korean Won, Japanese Yen, etc.) can be exchanged at several locations around the island. It's worth checking around for the best exchange rate, as all places don't offer the same rate. You're best off heading away from the beach for better rates.

Vendors

There are literally hundreds of vendors from Mindanao who walk White Beach and try to get tourists to go on boat rides, scuba diving or snorkeling excursions, jet ski rides, etc., for which they are paid a commission. Some carry racks of sunglasses with them, which they try to sell even if you are wearing some already. Most annoying are the obsolete articles such as pirated DVDs, strands of huge pearls, and rip-off watches, none of which interest most tourists.

These vendors are everywhere, and it doesn't matter if you are walking down the beach, lying on it, sunbathing, eating at a sidewalk restaurant, or lounging in a hammock outside your hotel, they will come up and start bothering you, starting with "Yes, ma'am?" then asking "Jet Ski? Parasail? Scuba? Sailboat? Sunglasses?" and waving a laminated card in your face. Normally, you have to tell them several times to go away, and it isn't long before another approaches. Many hotels and restaurants have "No Vendors" signs posted, but to little avail.

Local women and children sell manicures and massages, shells, fruit, and jewellery on the beach. (If you refuse initially, you may hear "For your husband for your wife?") This is irritating especially if you are trying to read. Children may ask you to buy them food once they befriend you.

The uniformed security guards may serve to keep the vendors at bay, as they do not tend to approach you if an officer is near. Hopefully, these guards are also on the watch for any theft.

After several days, you may find the vendors extremely irritating, as instead of enjoying a nice meal relaxing on your vacation, you will find yourself constantly waving away and avoiding vendors. They will even come up and start tugging on your shirt sleeve, while you are trying to take a picture. You may see a fed-up tourist walking in a T-shirt or henna tattoo reading "No Scuba! No Jet Ski! No Sunglasses!". Vendors are not allowed in the D*Mall, but are waiting along the path. While tourist guests often wish the vendors were removed from White Beach, it is worth stopping to realise that not all locals on the island benefit equally from the endless tourist onslaught. When you are visiting somebody else's territory some respect and discretion is in order so do try to be thoughtful and considerate. Sometimes a little selflessness goes a long way.

Eat

Because of its wide draw of international travelers, Boracay has a wide variety of places to eat, including a surprising number of bakeries.

Don't lose you opportunity to enjoy one of the best mangoes in the world. Climate in Philippines is perfect for mangoes, so you always get them mellow and sweet.

Drink

If you like to party, there are plenty of places to choose from. The livelier bars are situated near boat stations 1 and 2. There are plenty of places to party all night! Boat station 3 has a more laid back and relaxed atmosphere, with small native bars and restaurants - popular with backpackers.

Expect to check your handgun with the security guard!

File:Happy hour boracay.jpg
Sunset during Happy Hour on White Beach

Sleep

Accommodation standards vary, with top of the line hotels and resorts to a simple bed rented from a resident. As such, whatever your budget, you could easily find a suitable place to stay. During peak periods such as Holy Week, Christmas and New Year, rooms are more difficult to find and more expensive, so book in advance.

Staying along White Beach gets you closer to the bars, lounging and food, while staying closer to Bulabog beach gives you better access to the popular wind and kite-boarding areas.

A word of warning: Boracay is notorious for travel agents (many in Manila) passing themselves off as the resorts, often through websites. When you call them to get a room rate or make a reservation, you will be quoted much more than if you called the resort itself. The travel agents simply take your request, call the hotel and make reservations and charge you extra for the service, up to double the original rate. Meanwhile, the traveler has no idea he wasn't talking to the resort. This can often lead to frustration, as the traveler will show up at his hotel or resort and see he was charged double the rate that the hotel is listing, even though the hotel had nothing to do with it! So the advice is, try your best to ignore the many travel agencies and make your reservation with the resort or hotel directly.

Better yet, don't make advance reservations in the low season. Just go to White Beach or the region you want to stay and negotiate deals with the places you want to stay at. Many street touts will offer to show you the rooms first and then you can negotiate.

Template:Style

White Beach

File:DSC01087.JPG
Boracay Sunset

If you prefer peace and quiet, avoid accommodation at the centre of White Beach, as this is the most crowded area. Head further north or south instead. The area south of boat station 3 has a more relaxed and peaceful vibe - no pounding disco till 4AM. Accommodation is more reasonably priced, and there are some friendly little bars and restaurants where you can meet people and chat. North of station 1 you'll find many of the more luxurious (and expensive) establishments. The beach is at it's widest here, and the area is usually relatively peaceful.

Budget

Mid-range

Crown Regency Prince Resort perfectly integrates all these into one cozy, homegrown atmosphere. Signifying the Earth Element, the resort draws its passionate ambiance from the rich traditions of its vast stylistic range of past and contemporary art echoed in the 36-rooms with a twisted blend of complete modern amenities complemented by the island's warm hospitality. 2.

island. A beautiful view of the sunset, creating an amazing display of amber hues exemplifying the passion of fire. It has an infinity pool at the deck. Essences of the Fire element are shown in patterns of sunshine as streaks of sunlight penetrate the warm and vibrant interiors of the resort. 2.

Convention Center is a splendid seclusion for those who are serious about taking life easy,yet desirous of only the best refinement. 2.

195-room hotel overlooking the beach. Wwo swimming pools, gym, business center and a host of restaurants that serve international dishes (Korean, Japanese, European, American).



Bulabog Beach

Bulabog Beach runs parallel with White Beach and is on the east side of the island. It is approximately 1.5kms long and has similar white sand to that found on White Beach. It is protected from strong seas by a coral reef located 500 meters offshore, and from late Oct. to April the Amihan wind(NE wind) make this beach very popular with windsurfers and kiteboarders.For these reasons it is often referred to as the "No.1 kite boarding beach in Asia." Bulabog Beach has the "old" Boracay atmosphere, being less developed than the White Beach area, quieter, more laid back, with onshore breezes most of the year, and a number of foreign residents have made it their home. In addition, resorts are starting to appear and the various types of water-sports (para-sailing, banana boats, jetskis, water-skiing, etc.) are using this area during the White Beach off-season (May-Oct, when the Habagat wind blows). Access to the D'Mall Shopping Center is only a 5 minute walk and a couple of minutes later you are on White Beach with all the crowds, restaurants, bars, discos, etc.

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Near White Beach

Some hotels and resorts are located along roads and footpaths off of White Beach, generally within just a few minutes walk from the beach. Room rates in these may be a bit lower than prices for comparable rooms located in resorts which have beach-front entrances, and the rooms may be a bit quieter than rooms located right on the beach.

Budget

Mid-range

Casa Dayang Boracay Inn, tel.+63927-9474468, +63920-9094379, near D'Mall and across from the hospital. Swiss Deli, Italian coffee-shop, and soon to be opened Japanese restaurant. Luxurious rooms, AC,Cable TV, marble floors and toilet, hot and cold shower, veranda, old world charm. Your home away from home. Personalized service. Email: casadayangboracay@yahoo.com. We are on Facebook. Starts from $65 only

Splurge

Balabag and other areas

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Get out

To Be Updated

WikiPedia:Boracay

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