Summary: This blog details a comprehensive budget travel guide for Boracay which includes a sample DIY itinerary good for 3 days; estimated budget is P4,545+ per person which covers expenses for tour, food and transportation only. It also enumerates the new guidelines imposed in Boracay, top things to do in 2019 and a list of DOT-accredited hotels. Further, this Boracay blog is intended for first time travelers and backpackers either solo, family or traveling in group.
BORACAY AT A GLANCE
The most awarded travel destination in all of Philippine islands, BORACAY extends to 7 kilometers long in a dog-bone shaped at the northeastern tip of Panay in Visayas.
The small island which has been highly recognized as the flagship of Philippine tourism over the years, along with Palawan and Cebu, is widely known for its over 30 soft, powdery, white beaches and coves that assist a postcard-perfect sunset, international restaurants that dot along its coastline, and an extensive list of nightclubs and pubs. On top of these, Boracay is popular for its richly azure waterfronts that make for an excellent stage for water activities like stand-up paddle, snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing and banana boating, to name a few.
Due to an explosive influx of tourists for the past years, Boracay went through a significant decline in its environmental condition which required for a quick rehabilitation so it can regain its former glory. Thus, in April 2018, Boracay was temporarily closed for a period of 6 months; whereby an evaluation was made in all of its surroundings resulting to the demolition of some establishments that violated the Water Code of the Philippines.
Of late, Boracay is back to welcoming tourists who fancy on wandering around its world renowned beaches. Yet, unlike the previous years, tourists are now limited to a number of activities and are obliged to comply certain requirements to be fully admitted to the island.
Read further and learn more about the changes in the renewed Boracay.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT BORACAY
Here are bits of information you need to know about the island of Boracay:
- Boracay is administratively part of the municipality of Malay in Aklan province. It is composed of three barangays: Yapak, Balabag and Manoc-Manoc which has a total population close to 60,000 people.
- Before it became a major tourist destination, Boracay was home to the Ati community. Ati tradition claims that Boracay was derived from the local words bora which means “bubbles” and bocay which translates to “white.”
- The rehabilitation of Boracay last April 2018 was decreed by the Philippine Government to allow a certain period of time to undertake major renovation works including the rectification of sewerage system and an evaluation of the influx of tourists, line-up of establishments and a list of tourist activities in the island.
- The best time to visit Boracay is during the dry months from December to early June, when its waters are mostly calm and at their best condition.
HOW TO GET TO BORACAY
There is not a direct flight to Boracay. To get to the small island, follow these 2 simple steps:
- Go to Caticlan (the nearest municipality to Boracay) and head out to its Jetty Port.
- At the port, take a ferry that will get you across to Cagban Jetty Port in Boracay; then hail a van or tricycle to your hotel.
Here are more information for each step:
- Caticlan can be accessed directly via its airport if you are coming from Cebu or Manila. At the airport, you can hail a tricycle or shuttle to get to Jetty Port. Travel time is around 10 minutes. Fare is roughly P50. If you are going on an international trip, access to Caticlan is possible via Kalibo International Airport which also services flights from Cebu and Manila, and from Incheon in Korea, Taipei in Taiwan, and Shanghai and Chengdu in China via Pan Pacific, Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, Air Asia, Jin Air and Juneyao Airlines. From Kalibo airport, you can get to Caticlan Jetty Port by:
- (cheaper option but longer travel time): taking a tricycle to the bus terminal at Kalibo town proper where you can board the next available Ceres bus to Caticlan Jetty Port. Travel time is roughly 2 hours, fare is around P150.
- (more expensive but faster travel time): by taking the shuttle service at Kalibo airport. Travel time to Caticlan Jetty Port is close to 1.5 hours, fare is around P200.
- At Caticlan Jetty Port, pay the terminal fee for P100, environmental fee for P75 and boat fee for P25 if you choose the motorized outrigger boat or P50 if you take the Oyster Ferry. The same fees are collected for tourists 6-year old and up. All boats arrive at Cagban Jetty Port in 5 to 10 minutes depending on the sea condition. At the port, you can charter a tricycle or van to your chosen accommodation for P150. Travel time is close to 10 minutes.
Note: At both airports and jetty ports, agency-organized transfers are also offered if you don’t want to do it yourself. Price ranges from P700 to P1000 inclusive of transfer from airport to Caticlan port, from Cagban Jetty Port to your hotel, and all fees from ferry, terminal to environmental.
Here are transfer packages offered by Klook from Caticlan and Kalibo airport:
- Godofredo P. Ramos Airport Transfers (MPH) for Boracay
- Economy Kalibo International Airport (KLO) Shared Transfers for Boracay
How to Get Around Boracay
Most tourists in Boracay stay at the 4-kilometer White beach which can be covered on foot as the entire stretch is enveloped with white sands that are easy on the feet. Elderlies or those who find long walks a challenge can charter a trishaw that are parked at the pathways near the shore. A ride from one station to another is around P50 to P100 depending on your bargaining skill. A cheaper alternative are tricycles and e-jeepneys that can be found at the main road, some 300 meters away from the shoreline. Fare for a short distance ride is P10 per person.
Outside White beach, the main mode of transport in Boracay are tricycle, pedicab and e-jeepney. Fare for short distance travel is P10; for long distance say from White beach to Cagban Jetty port is P20 per person.
NEW BORACAY GUIDELINES
Here are new guidelines in Boracay from its re-opening in October 2018 that directly affect tourists.
- Entry of tourists in Boracay per day is limited to 6,000 persons only.
- Tourists are required to present a copy of hotel reservation at the Jetty port in Caticlan before permitted to purchase a ticket bound for Boracay. The hotel must be accredited by the Department of Tourism. Click the link for the list of hotels: www.tourism.gov.ph.
- Spitting, urinating, defecating and vomiting in public areas are strongly prohibited.
- Open fire and use of kerosene gas are banned at the shores. Fire dancers can still perform, only if they use LED lights.
- No animal is allowed to roam freely in the beaches and public areas in Boracay.
- Drinking of alcoholic drinks, partying and dining at the beach area are not permitted.
- Smoking is allowed but is limited to designated areas.
- Flying of drone is granted only if the owner secures a permit from the local authority.
TOP THINGS TO DO IN BORACAY
Here are top activities that you can still do in Boracay at the time of its re-opening.
- Photo session at sand-castles (if you are lucky to find one as this has been regulated)
- Island hopping
- Banana boating
- Mermaid lesson
- Helmet diving
- Stand-up Paddle
- Paraw Sailing
- Scuba diving
Apart from the list, catching the sunset which Boracay is famous for, should be a priority. The sunset at White beach is like no other. It is insanely beautiful! Don’t take my word for it, just look at these photos.
Of course, in between your beach activities, it’s important that you grab a bite at some of Boracay’s most visited snackhouse and restaurants. Try HaloMango and Ice Flakes at Station 2 near D’Mall or feast on seafood at D’ Talipapa.
For party goers, you can join the pub crawl which lets you interact with 40+ other people as you hop from one bar to another. It’s a fun way to socialize and spend the night away.
BORACAY SAMPLE ITINERARY
The proposed Boracay itinerary assumes a party of two and will set back an amount of P4,545+ per person which includes expenses for food, transportation, and tour activities. The allocated budget does not cover cost for airfare, accommodation, souvenir and other incidentals.
DAY ONE (Budget per person: P1,335.00)
|Arrive at Caticlan Airport||3:00PM||–|
|Trike to Caticlan Jetty Port||3:15PM||P50|
|Ferry to Cagban Jetty Port||3:30PM||P200|
|Travel to Hotel||4:00PM||P75|
|Stroll at White Beach until sunset||5:00PM||–|
|Dinner at Paluto (D’ Talipapa Market)||7:00PM||P1,000|
|Back to Hotel||8:00PM||P10|
Search for more Boracay discounted offers from KLOOK using the search box below. Just type “Boracay” and click “search.”
DAY TWO (Budget per person: P2,340.00)
|Snorkeling Area 1||–||–|
|Snorkeling Area 2||–||–|
|Back to White Beach||2:00PM||–|
|At HaloMango Ice Cream||4:30PM||P250|
|Sunset at White beach||6:00PM||–|
|Back to Hotel||1:00AM||–|
DAY THREE (Budget per person: P870.00)
|Enjoy the beach!||10:00AM||–|
|Trike to Cagban Jetty Port||1:00PM||P20|
|Ferry to Caticlan Jetty Port||1:30PM||P200|
|Trike to Caticlan Airport||2:00PM||P50|
Here are things to note for this sample DIY Boracay itinerary:
- The sample itinerary can be extended to 5 days depending on your activities. Take note however that Boracay is a mainstream tourist destination and most of its activities come with a steep price.
- D’ Talipapa is a local market where you can buy fresh seafoods including lobsters and crabs. Right in the market are restaurants like Paluto that can cook the seafoods for a certain fee.
- The island hopping activity which only cost for P500 is organized by Bamboo Resort at Station 2. The activity already includes an all-you-can-eat lunch. You can book the activity in person, just drop by at their area a day prior or before 8:00AM if you want to do it on the day.
- D’Mall at Station 2 is where you can find the most variety of restaurants and souvenir shops in all of Boracay. The mall is open-air and can be accessed from the beach area or from the main road.
WHERE TO STAY IN BORACAY
The White beach is the place to be when it comes to accommodations in Boracay. The beach is segmented into 3 stations: Station 1 which owns the best sands and is dotted with some of the most luxurious hotels in Boracay; Station 2 which is situated in between and gives good access to all points of interest in White beach in only a short walk, the accommodations around the area are a mix of splurge, average and budget; lastly, Station 3 which is home to the most affordable hotels in all of White beach, this station is where all tourists for island hopping and scuba diving meet up making it an ideal location if you are keen on doing these activities.
Note: Always check if the hotel is DOT accredited before making a reservation.
Other affordable accommodations at Station 1:
- Island Hostel Boracay (dormitory) Click here for rate and availability
- Alamo Bay Inn Click here for rate and availability
Other affordable accommodations at Station 2:
- Hostel Avenue Beachfront Click here for rate and availability
- Indila Boracay Click here for rate and availability
Other affordable accommodations at Station 3:
- Island Jewel Inn Click here for rate and availability
- Boracay Tropics Click here for rate and availability
Like in any parts of the Philippines, the locals can speak English in Boracay. However, here are some good phrases that might prove useful when you find yourself endearing with them.
English to Tagalog (the most widely used language among the local tourists in Boracay)
Thank you – Salamat
Good morning – Magandang umaga
Good afternoon – Magandang hapon
Good evening – Magandang gabi
How much is… – Magkano ang…
Where is… – Saan ang…
EXTEND YOUR TRIP
Visit other top tourist spots in Visayas:
Or visit some of the top destinations in Luzon:
- Baler Budget Travel Guide
- Baguio Budget Travel Guide
- Zambales Budget Travel Guide
- Sagada Budget Travel Guide
- Laoag Budget Travel Guide
- Manila Budget Travel Guide
- Palaui Island Budget Travel Guide
- Cordillera Budget Travel Guide
Or, go to the surfing capital of the Philippines – Siargao! Budget Travel Guide here.
Or visit other countries in Asia using these budget travel guides:
- Chiang Mai Budget Travel Guide
- Chiang Rai Budget Travel Guide
- Sukhothai Budget Travel Guide
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Budget Travel Guide
- Johor Bahru, Malaysia Budget Travel Guide
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