Country: Philippines
Currency: Peso (PHP)
Peak Season: February-May, December-January
Shoulder Season: June-October
Median Temperature: 27.70 C / 81.86 F
Main Languages: Filipino, English, Mandarin
Primary Modes of Transportation: Ferry, banca boat
Recommended Duration of Stay: 4 days
Recommended Pocket Money: $100.00/day
Tourist Passes: n/a
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Very little was known about the sunny shores of Boracay Island until the long-kept secret was cut loose to the international media when tour guides and gossip started popping up in the 1970’s, acclaiming the island for its natural, unchartered beauty—ripe for tourists and investors to come see. Of course, this wasn’t met with full enthusiasm by the natives, who then were goaded to vacate their occupancy of the island’s key locations (although tourist influx and their stake of some portions of the land give them a modest income). In the last decade, Boracay has become the most favored summer destination in the country, toppling Baguio and Tagaytay in just a matter of years.

While the Philippines is a relatively hot and humid country, the breezy Amihan (northeastern winds) seem to buffer the heat. This Amihan, however is replaced by a less-favorable weather condition called Habagat (southwestern winds), which occur during the start of July up until October, evidenced by a series of typhoons and heavy rainfall. It’s either you get soaked in the sun or get drenched in the rain.

Either way, Boracay is a fun place—it’s where one can see the unrestrained laughter of locals and foreigners playing it out on the beach during the day and mingling/socializing during the wee hours, meeting new acquaintances and such. Your choices of beaches aren’t restrained to just White Beach and Bulabog Beach—there are plenty more locations on and off the island where you can enjoy the Philippines’ finest offerings.

Packing List

  • Tropical clothing: aloha shirts, accessories, sandals, hats, sunglasses and the all-too-important beachwear; the beaches aren’t that crowded, really, so you can bring both a parasol and lounger chair
  • Snappy clothes for nightly socialization and hiking equipment if you prefer to go island-hopping; Boracay has plenty of attractions other than the beaches, but rentals are high, so bring your own equipment
  • Essential medication and toiletries; sunscreen with high SPF is highly advisable, since not a lot of people are used to temperatures averaging at 30° C—remember to also bring bottled water just in case
  • Credit cards and converted currency for impulse purchases of souvenirs and also for other contingencies (e.g. island transport); refreshment stalls are easily locatable, but some only accept local currency
  • A decent camera, plenty of film and batteries; bring portable media and books to keep you company if you happen to visit during Amihan—days when the bad weather prevents you from going outside

Things to Do

  • Selecting the beach that suits your taste, particularly during the holidays where tourist influx is at a maximum; Puka, Diniwid, Bolabog and White Beach path are your safest bets for wholesome fun
  • Selecting the beach that suits your taste, particularly during the holidays where tourist influx is at a maximum; Puka, Diniwid, Bolabog and White Beach path are your safest bets for wholesome fun
  • Engaging in some equestrian island discovery with horses provided by the Boracay Horse Riding Stables; the fine, tropical weather complements the temperament of the expertly-trained horses
  • Kayaking at the dire Tibiao Whitewater River near the apex of Mt. Madja-as; as per kayaking parlance, the whitewater prides in its level 3 “Chicken Run” and death-defying grade 4 rapids
  • Cliff diving at Ariel’s Point during daytime; you can choose from five cliff diving sites offering spectacular views from all vantage points—canoeing and snorkeling activities are also offered

DON'T

  • Refer to the island as “Bora,” “Bora Bora,” “Bora Island” or any amalgamation; the Department of Tourism encourages both locals and foreigners to call the island by its real name—Boracay Island
  • Leave your valuables out in the open and always secure your hotel room and don’t let strangers follow you; there have been instances of missing valuables (and even robberies) stemming from negligence
  • Hesitate to hire a local tour guide instead of relying on your own; Filipinos make fine travel companions and don’t ask for much—they’ll even help you find from the cheapest stores to avoid being ripped-off
  • Commit any acts of debauchery on the beach—a recently enacted ordinance imposes a strict fine on people who try to do it on the beach; you can help by reporting these people to the nearest authorities
  • Lock up during the night—it’s during the wee hours that fun starts to culminate inside bars and bistros; Filipinos are generally accommodating to foreigners, but leer away from the intoxicated ones