A Guide to Boracay
After years of living in Asia, The Husband and I finally made our way to the breathtakingly beautiful, white-sand island of Boracay, located in the Philippines just south of Taiwan. We decided to go there for our babymoon, since it is less than a 3-hour flight from Taiwan, and sounded (and looked!) like the ideal spot for a last romantic getaway as just the two of us.
Once we set foot on this picturesque island and laid eyes on the turquoise blue waters (that had us thinking for a second we were in the Maldives!), we knew we made the right decision coming here. We spent 5 days lounging under palm trees, swimming in the crystal clear waters, sipping on mocktails, and eating our way around town.
In my travel guide you can find all the information you could possibly need about traveling there, such as how to get there, how to get around on the island, where to stay and most importantly, where to eat! Scroll down for some "good-to-know-before-you-go" tips, and also a map of all the must-see places.
How To Get There
There are two international airports in the Philippines to which you can fly to (Caticlan or Kalibo Airport), however, the one you arrive at will depend on the airline you choose. The only direct flights (from Taiwan) to Boracay is currently with AirAsia and you'll arrive at Kalibo Airport, which is about a 3-hour trip from the island. Other airlines have a stopover in Manilla first, and then flies to Caticlan Airport, which is closest to Boracay.
Caticlan Airport - This airport is just across the waters from Boracay island, and arriving here is the most convenient. Once you exit the airport you will see different travel agencies that provide transport to Boracay by boat and then taxi for about 600 pesos per person, and they will get you there in under 40 minutes. Most airlines with stopovers in Manilla will arrive at Caticlan Airport.
Kalibo Airport - Kalibo Airport is about a 3-hour trip from Boracay, and transport can be arranged right at the airport for about 600 pesos per person. Transport includes an (almost) 3-hour van ride, and then a short boat trip to the island. AirAsia has flights available to Kalibo Airport.
How To Get Around
Getting around in Boracay is fairly easy, as you can either choose to walk along the beach to the different stations, or opt for their "taxi" services which includes transportation by eTrike and eTricycle, and these can be arranged by your hotel and will pick you up right on your doorstep. A private trip in one of these is 150 pesos, or if you share it with other people for about 20 pesos per person. A trip to the port of Boracay (from where you'll depart to get back to the airport) is 250 pesos.
Where To Stay
Boracay's long stretch of beach is divided into 3 stations; Station 1, Station 2 and Station 3. When looking for accommodation it's best to decide first at which station you would like to stay, as each of them has a completely different vibe and can either make or break your vacation. Find a short description of each station below, and also see which station we decided on and at which resort we stayed at.
Station 1 - The most expensive station to stay at, but also the most beautiful. Stay towards the far end of the beach for a peaceful and quiet atmosphere.
Station 2 - Filled with shops and restaurants, jam-packed with people and also (in)famous for wild partying (I don't recommend staying here.)
Station 3 - The most affordable station to stay at, and also the most tranquil, away from the hustle and the bustle.
Since it was our babymoon, we wanted a relaxing getaway together (away from crowds), so decided on staying at Station 1; First of all for its beauty, and then also for its tranquil and romantic ambiance, and amazing resorts. We stayed at the gorgeous Fridays Boracay Beach Resort, a luxurious beach front resort with villas right on the sand, a swimming pool, a spa, a restaurant and bar, and also beach chairs and umbrellas overlooking the turquoise blue seas. I HIGHLY recommend staying here, and can't wait to go back!
Friday Boracay Beach Resort, Station 1
Where To Eat
After hearing not that great things about the food in Boracay (and the Philippines over all), we were hesitant in trying new restaurants and food before reading reviews online, and explored quite a bit before we narrowed down where to eat. After spending 5 days there we discovered quite a few gems, and below you can see the restaurants and cafes I recommend.
Little Wave - Thanks to a friend's recommendation we ended up at this stunning cafe (It's an Instagrammer's dream!) located in Station X. They serve next-level lattes and food, and also some of the best desserts on the island (See my full review of Little Wave here).
Kasbah - Located right on the sand under the palm trees, sits this beautiful Moroccan restaurant ideal for a date night. We ordered the Chicken with Preserved Lemons and Olives, and Marinated Aubergines (seriously one of the BEST meals of my life!).
House Brew Cafe - Located on the beach and in the stylish District Hotel, you'll find House Brew Cafe. They offer healthy meals such as acai bowls and salads, not-so-healthy options like hamburgers, a few vegetarian options, and also sweet and savory crepes.
Lemon Cafe & Restaurant - This cafe lured me in with their outdoor seating and gorgeous interiors, filled with greenery, floral prints and bright colors; the ideal spot for an early breakfast and latte. Try their pancakes and carrot cake, and thank me later!
Hoy, Panga - If you're craving something healthy, look no further than Hoy, Panga. Located right on the beach in Station 2, overlooking the blue seas and palm trees, you'll find this healthy cafe serving smoothie bowls, fresh juice, fruit bowls and other healthy dishes.
Cyma Greek Taverna - If you want your fix of gyros, moussaka and feta, then this Greek restaurant in Station 2 is the place to go. They're super popular and dishes sell out quickly, so go there early (preferably lunch time) to avoid disappointment.
Things To Know
Upon leaving the island by boat, you need to pay a 100 pesos per person tax fee at the port, and at the airport another 700 pesos per person (They won’t allow you to enter the security gates without proof of payment).
A service charge of 10% is required at all restaurants.
The food is hit or miss, so rather not be adventurous and stick to the recommendations above to avoid disappointment.
It’s perfectly safe to take beach strolls at night.
No smoking or drinking is allowed on the beach or on the streets, and it's only allowed in allocated areas.
The sun is POTENT. Wear sunscreen!
Avoid walking under the coconut trees if you can. We saw quite a few coconuts drop... It can be deadly.
If you’re looking for peace and quiet, avoid staying at Station 2 by all means. Rather consider staying at Station 1 or Station 3. If you love crowds and is there to party, stay at Station 2.
A Guide to Boracay MAP
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