Exploring Boracay: where the sand never burns your feet
Traveling to the Philippines is like unwrapping a Christmas present: you never know what you’re gonna get. With 7,107 islands to explore, the archipelago directly south of Taiwan and north of Indonesia is bursting with tremendous travel potential. And the island of Boracay remains a firm favorite with locals and foreigners alike.
The Department of Tourism launched its colorful and vibrant ‘More Fun in the Philippines’ campaign in 2012, targeting the Asian, European and American markets. There are plans to invest around $1.85 billion over the next few years to provide access roads and improve existing infrastructure. All in all, it’ll make traveling to still relatively uncovered grounds far easier.
This is great news not only for the country’s industry, but also for intrepid travelers searching for new pastures.
Reasons to visit Boracay in the Philippines
The island for everyone
Situated in the Visayas region of the country, Boracay sits at the north-western tip of Panay Island. After a journey that includes a flight, coach and ferry ride, any traces of lethargy vanishes the second you catch sight of the sandy coastline.
White Beach, Boracay
White Beach is the most popular stretch of Boracay and is split into 3 stations:
- Station one is the northernmost with high-end hotels and resorts;
- Number two is the commercial centre where you can find most of the bars, restaurants, shops etc;
- The third station is the southernmost with cheaper accommodation as it’s the furthest from the beachfront. It’s also less developed than the other two.
By far however, the most popular station is Station two, the epicentre of excitement.
There are hotels to suit every budget, plus an extensive choice of lively bars and restaurants. I personally recommend staying at either The Lind Boracay, or Coast Boracay. The Lind is in Station 1, and offers guests a luxury stay with the best position right on the beachfront. What’s more, they have a free shuttle service for hotel guests to Caticlan Airport.
Coast Boracay is also right on the beachfront, but in Station 2. There’s free Wi-Fi access around the hotel, plus a swimming pool on site in case you want a break from the sea!
In Station 2 is the D Mall shopping centre, and at the time of writing, the only centre on the island. For the first-time traveler, adapting to the Boracay vibe is easy, and you’ll quickly leave your troubles behind.
Kick start every morning with a freshly made green mango juices to, followed by a mid-morning dip in the translucent warm water. For lunch, feast upon newly-caught steamed lobster and shrimp for lunch.
As the title suggests, the fine grains of sand stay cool even with temperatures reaching over 32°C. Needless to say, this makes an afternoon stroll on the beach a bit more bearable.
As well as its tranquil element, Boracay’s just as notorious for its nightlife. Party like it’s 1999 on the infamous pub crawl with a diverse group of travelers. Alternatively, have a more mellow evening by listening to one of the many talented live Filipino bands during dinner.
There’s so much that Boracay has to offer, and my words are no match for its reality. Travel magazine Travel + Leisure voted Boracay the best island in the world in 2012, and to this day still continues to collect more accolades. That said, it’s only a matter of time before the whole world and his dog will be heading there for a piece of the Boracay pie.
The increased diversity of the group I traveled with to Boracay is testament that tourism is indeed back on track for the Philippines. Get there before everybody else does.
The best time to travel to Boracay is between December to April. It gets very hot during May and June, where 2 showers a day is the minimum!
This article was first published on 6 June 2013 on Live Share Travel
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