What to do in Boracay, Philippines

After a few days in Manila it was time for a break. We were scheduled to fly to Cataclan airport, then to jetty off to the resort island of Boracay.

The night before our scheduled flight, I received an email from Ctrip (one of the crappier of the crappy flight/hotel price aggregators. I highly recommend NOT using them) that our flight to Cataclan had been postponed by 5 days. How the hell could they do that, and on Christmas Day too? Grinch much.

$400 SGD later and we were on a Philippine Airlines flight the next day. I’m still waiting to see if MSIG will reimburse me for that amount…

How to get to Boracay

Boracay is a tropical resort island widely known for its clear waters and white sand beaches. To get here from Manila, you need to fly to nearby Cataclan airport, followed by a short drive to the ferry terminal. The ferry terminal takes you to the island, where you then need to work out a way to get to your hotel.

The whole process of transferring, getting different tickets for each of the modes of transport, as well as fares for taxes and other random government mandates is complex. There are also lines at each of the areas to buy tickets so it is manic. I recommend just booking a transfer service in advance that will cover everything, including

1. Airport to ferry transfer
2. Environmental  and Ferry Terminal ticket
3. Ferry ticket itself
4. Boracay port to Hotel

We used a company called Southwest Tours Boracay. If you fly on Cebu Pacific you can book this while on the flight. If not, you can do it online, or you can do it once you exit the Cataclan airport terminal. There will be a million people hassling you to use their services, and I’m sure they are fine, but for peace of mind just book online.

White Sand, Clear Blue Water

Back to Boracay. This is the nicest beach I have ever been to. The mix of the clear blue waters and white beach sand is unbeatable. Also for someone that is not 100% comfortable with choppy waters, its just a nice relaxing place to swim. Like being in a calm pool!

We stayed on station 1 of Boracay, which is meant to have the nicer portion of the beach, with more peace and quiet. Station 2 is where all of the bars are, as well as water activities. Since its only a 10 minute walk away, there’s no harm in staying in Station 1 or 3 and just walking over when wanting a bit more action. For us though, the quiet was just fine.

The resort itself was a 3 star place called Nigi Nigi Too Beach Resort. I’ll write a review of it later.

Willy's Rock - Boracay
Willy’s Rock – Boracay
Boracay - Station 1
Boracay – Station 1

Food and Drinks

Overall prices for food and drinks was reasonable given it is a resort town. Expect to be paying around $10-15 SGD per person per meal. Beers are around $3-6 depending on whether you get local or imported. One thing to keep in mind is that the quality of service in Boracay is nothing like in Manila. Food will take at least 45 minutes to arrive. Maybe people here are just really relaxed!

Do make sure to eat Seafood while there, its just a lot cheaper to do so in Pesos. We hit up a seafood barbecue place called Estacio Uno Resort where you can get lobster, prawns, squid, and more.

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Beyond Station 1 2 and 3 there is another beach called Diniwid Beach. Don’t bother, its just another small beach that is not as clean, and filled with more resorts. But it is a nice walk to get some good photos

Fake Shipwreck? Boracay
Fake Shipwreck? Boracay
Diniwid Beach - Boracay
Diniwid Beach – Boracay

There are markets in Station 2 where you can buy the usual tourist stuff, like shirts, magnets, trinkets, etc. Though this is not really what Boracay is about, but go for it if you need to kill some time.

Boracay - Station 2
Boracay – Station 2

And thats what this 3 day trip was all about. Just eating, swimming, and lounging around on the beach. Nothing more, nothing less 🙂