White Beach is considered to be one of the best beaches in the world. The four km stretch of sugary fine white sand and the crystal clear blue water is the first thing that comes to mind when you picture paradise. This is where most of the island’s hotels, restaurants and bars are located.
Every January, Bulabog beach is abuzz with locals and visitors who come to see or even take part in the Boracay International Funboard Cup Competition. Windsurfing (and kite-surfing) are popular activities all year round and there are several companies across the island that offer classes and courses for beginners and advanced surfers. Funboard Center Boracay:
In the beginning of every year, there’s the two-week long Ati-atihan festival, when people throughout the Philippines wear elaborate fancy dress costumes and make-up, and party with music, dance and carnivals. The religious festival is held in a nearby municipality and is in honour of the Santo Niño de Cebu (the Holy Infant Jesus), a patron saint of the Cebu region. The Ati-Atihan takes place every third Sunday of January.
Less crowded than the White Beach, Puka is a stretch of crispy white sand that is a must-visit for all travelers to the island. It is usually included in most beach-hopping itineraries. The beach is little commercialized, but some beach bars offer complimentary sun beds with purchase of a drink.
The area Barangay Yapak is home to the special breed of bats called "the golden flying fox" or " "the Philippine flying fox" - these giant fruit bats can reach a wing span of more than 1,2 metres. The best time to visit is in the afternoon, when you can see them take flight into the stunning sunset.
The Boracay Butterfly Garden is a very popular attraction. This attractive landscape garden is home to rare species of exotic tropical butterflies as well as rare trees and plants. It is estimated to contain between 200-300 live tropical Philippine butterflies at any one time.
This unique forest sprawls across a network of tiny fish ponds. Even though the trees are dead, their trunks have managed to stay alive, and some people say it is because of evil spirits. High humidity and the nutrition carried by the surrounding ponds help the trunks to remain suspended.
What better way to discover the island than to put on your hiking shoes and get out there? You are sure to find remote places and breathtaking scenery. There are paths criss-crossing the whole island and if you prefer renting a mountain bike, you can do so pretty much anywhere along White Beach.
Located at Station 1, Willy's Rock is somewhat of an iconic location on the island of Boracay. Best time to visit is during low tide. Rumor has it, this beach is also home to some of the island's best sunsets, so stay until sundown and watch the magnificent sun disappear behind the horizon.
Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary is a small Catholic Church in the Station 1 area of Boracay Island. Mass in English is held almost daily, so do not hesitate to visit for a spiritual moment or join the Sunday mass. Tourists and visitors are welcome to attend.
To learn more about Boracay culture and traditions, visit the Motag Living Museum. Many of the "exhibits" are interactive - visitors will, for example, be able to plant rice and try their hand at other activities performed by local farmers. Visits are by appointment; pick-up service available.
For a beautiful, panoramic view of the island take the 15 minute hike uphill to Mount Luho, the highest point of Boracay (hire an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) or tricycle if you mind walking). Go on a clear day for best views. There is a small entrance fee and a mini-zoo as you approach the top.
On the Crystal Cove Island you can not only enjoy the beautiful, pristine nature, but also engage in active pursuits such as snorkeling, trekking and water sports. Small entry fee applies for entry to the coves. For special occasions, there is a possibility of renting the entire island.
The busy I Luv Backyard BBQ Grill is located at D'Mall, the island's busies shopping village. Their chicken and pork dishes include tasty treats such as litson kawali, crispy pata, sisig and of course roasted and fried chicken; the seafood menu is just as extensive. Come outside "rush hours".
This Greek restaurant has been popular ever since it opened and it is not hard to understand why. The menu is perfect for vegetarians and meat lovers alike with vegetables, seafood, soup, pasta and lamb. The atmosphere is typically "beachy" - cozy, relaxed and casual.
At Mama's you can taste genuine Austrian and German cuisine. On the menu you'll find dishes such as Goulash, Chicken Wiener Schnitzel, Bockwurst, and Berner Wurstel - servings are rather generous. To accompany the food order a German wine or an Austrian Schnapps.
At Yellow Cab Pizza you can find different types and sizes of New York-style pizza with premium ingredients and generous toppings. Other foods, such as pasta, calzone and desserts are also on offer. If you want a piece of the Big Apple in Boracay, order a delivery or dine in.
Heralded by some as one of Boracay's best eateries, this intimate, secluded restaurant is best visited after sundown. The establishment serves traditional Filipino food (along with some international options), such as seafood and fresh fish, in a traditional local setting.
The Smoke is a casual dining Asian restaurant, with a laid-back atmosphere and affordable, delicious food. Here you can find tasty soups, meat/chicken/seafood and rice dishes, as well as a few tofu-based vegetarian options. Some international foods, such as burgers, are served as well.
At Aplaya the Beach Bar & Italian Restaurant you'll be able to tuck into delicious pizza and pasta, as well as steaks and other Italian cuisine specialties. At night, the ambiance becomes more relaxed and patrons often opt for ordering water pipe (served directly on the beach) or the incredible Margaritas.
Located at Hennan Regency Resort & Spa, Christina's is an elegant restaurant set directly on the waterfront. The food is exquisite, with a selection of international dishes available. Choose from meats, seafood, and Italian specialties such as risotto and pizza. Live bands play at night.
A reputable local restaurant, Dos Mestizos beautifully showcases the Spanish culinary heritage of the Philippines. Paella served here is some of the best on Boracay, and other traditional Spanish delights enjoy a great reputation. The owners also run a Spanish deli Gusto y Gustos.
Located at the Artista Resort in Boracay, this rooftop café boasts a spectacular view of Diniwid Beach. The atmosphere is very laid-back and relaxing, and if you wish, the staff can even put on some classical music for you. A selection of international dishes and succulent desserts is served.
A must when visiting a tropical island is definitely to enjoy a fresh fruit shake. A good place to do that is Jonah’s Fruit Shake & Snack Bar. They also serve breakfast, lunch, fruit bowls and other snacks.The best-selling shake is the banana-peanut-chocolate - one simply cannot go wrong with it.
When you grow tired of the tropical Filipino cuisine, change it up by visiting this little place. European treats such as fine wines, chocolates, freshly baked breads, deli cuts and cheese platters are their specialities. Prices are above average, as most products are specially imported.
At Aria Gelato you can find real Italian ice-cream. Unique on the Boracay island, this gelatteria offers a large variety of different flavours - fruit- and chocolate-baased. Try the milkshakes - a perfect blend of refreshing drink and dessert for the hot sunny days.
The Boracay installment in the worldwide coffee chain, Starbucks is a coffee shop known to all. You can choose between different coffee flavours and sizes or go for a lovely piece of cake, sandwich or smoothie. Make yourself comfortable in the café and write an e-mail back home – Wi-Fi is available.
Relaxed, chill music and ice cold beer await at Red Pirates Pub, located in the Station 3 area, far away from the hustle and bustle of the lively Stations 1 & 2. This hole-in-the-wall bar serves mean mojitos, and hosts live acoustic music performances (mostly reggae, rock and folk).
Located on the Ferra Hotel rooftop, this elegant bar is a very relaxed evening venue with a selection of drinks and food items on offer. Light, jazzy music fills the air, and the views of the Boracay skyline are some of the best on the island. Conveniently located by the D'Mall.
Once Upon a Time in Boracay is the first cinema pub of the island. Here you can have fun and spend time with your friends drinking, playing board games, listening to good music, having barbecues and, of course, watching some of the best movies on the large screen.
One of the best authnetic shopping spots on the island, the D' Talipapa Market is know first and foremost for its fresh seafood. Beware of the "tourist prices" and haggle relentlessly - costs can be decreased to a fraction of the initial price. Seafood is also cooked and served at local eateries.
The D'Mall isn't exactly a shopping center, but rather an entire one-storey village, whose streets are lined with all manner of shops and restaurants. Known for its generally reasonable prices and an abundance of decent eateries, the D'Mall is an area frequented by locals and tourists alike.
Paulo Collection specialises on beach- and swimwear, and offers a variety of quality items ranging from swim suites to footwear and accessories. The store specializes primarily on women's fashions, but menswear is available as well. Consult the online look book for more.
Boracay can be reached best from Cebu or Manila to Caticlan by air. Flights arrive into the small Caticlan Airport (Godofredo P. Ramos Airport) on Panay Island regularly from other islands or the mainland. Services are operated by Airphil Express (code-shared with Philippine Airlines), Cebu Pacific Air, and South East Asian Airlines. Caticlan is minutes away from the jetty port from where banca boats leave for Cagban Beach (the jetty port for arrivals and departures on Boracay) throughout the day. The ferry takes approx. 10-20 minutes. There are different companies arranging transfers from here to Boracay. Southwest Tours (southwesttoursboracay.com / +63 36 2685100) is one of them.
Motor-tricycles, mountain bikes or quad bikes can be hired from many outlets around the island. Pedicabs circulate around the island as well, fares are usually clearly displayed on the vehicle and are twice as high at night and increase if the destination lies beyond Stations 1, 2 or 3. Boracay’s coastline can be seen from the decks of sailing boats or motorized bancas.
Post offices dot the island and are clearly identified by signage. They are normally open from 9 am to 5 pm, on weekdays only. One of the offices is located at the northern end of the Main Road. You can also send your mail from the Boracay Tourist Centre, that is said to be quicker than the post offices, but be aware that it is about 50% more expensive.
There are pharmacies in most of the island’s communities, which are open from 10 am to 5 pm. Farmacia Gomez (at Tyrol Shopping Center/+63 36 288 5005) and Harlem Drugstore (at Tambisaan Jetty Port Road/+63 36 288 3244) are two of the largest pharmacies on the island. For emergencies head for the Boracay Medical Centre which is open 24 hours.