The new Boracay – After the collaborative efforts of the government and the initiation of President Duterte to conduct rehabilitation in Boracay, the Island is now back to its natural state. April 2018 when President Duterte announced the closure of the island to resolve sewage conditions and other environmental issues there. The president called the Island of Boracay a “cesspool” or basically an underground container for the temporary storage of liquid waste.
BORACAY AFTER THE CLOSURE
October 2018 when the government reopened Boracay Island to the tourists. A lot of things have changed for the last two years since I visited the island way back in 2017. Some roads are still under renovations while some buildings need further improvements. I noticed that most establishments now along the white sand beach follow the strict implementation of 25 meters away from the shoreline. Actually, that was the first thing I noticed on the Boracay beach from the last time I visited the island, most establishments occupied the beach by putting dining tables, beach beds, stores and etc. But now you can only see coconut trees along the white sand beach.
HOW TO GET THERE
The fastest way to get in Boracay is by plane. Boracay Island is very accessible. You can book a direct flight from Manila to Kalibo/Caticlan via local airlines such as Cebu Pacific or Philippine Airlines to new a few. Boracay Island is part of the municipality of Malay in the province of Aklan. Traveling to the province of Aklan is just 1 hour away from Manila. Aside from plane, you can also get in Boracay via ferry. Check out 2Go Travel.
In fact, there are two airports to consider going to Boracay, The Kalibo and Caticlan airport.
- Airfare is much cheaper(PHP 2500-3500 From Manila-Kalibo)
- Can accommodate larger aircraft.
- Farther from Boracay
- You have to travel for approximately 1-2 hours to get into Caticlan Jetty port.
- More convenient since it’s closer to Boracay.
- Airfare is more expensive (PHP 6000-10,000 from Manila – Caticlan)
- The airport runway is shorter than Kalibo, only allowing the small plane to land.
- Has a sunset limitation. All planes are not allowed to land and take-off in the evening your arrival will be diverted or rerouted to Kalibo.
Whatever you choose, you have to reach the Caticlan Jetty Port or the Tabon Port. It is the only way to transfer you from the main island to Boracay island.
So here’s the step-by-step guide on how to get there:
- If you are coming from Kalibo, you can either take a van going to Caticlan Jetty port for Php 200.00($3.84) or you can take a Kalibo to Boracay van and boat transfer package within the airport which cost Php 250 ($4.80) per person. Their charge usually includes boat fare already, so better clarify. The travel time is approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.
- When you arrived at the Caticlan Jetty Port, proceed to the booths near the entrance and pay the Terminal fee(Php 25/ $0.48), Environmental fee (Php75/$1.47), and the boat fare. Php 25.00/$0.49 (Day time), PHP 30/$0.58(Nighttime – 5:40 PM – 9:45 PM) and, PHP 50/0.96(Nighttime – 9:45 – 5:00 AM)
- After you pay the fare, terminal and environmental fee, proceed to the main entrance. There’s a registration inside then proceed to the passenger’s waiting area and wait for the boarding announcement.
- Go to the boarding area and board a designated boat or ferry. The travel time is 10-15 minutes.
- You will be docked at either Cagban port or Tambisaan port. We drop off at Cagban. There are tricycles and E-jeepney waiting there that could take you to your hotel. Trike fare is only Php 25.00 ($0.49) if you are with other passengers, but if the tricycle leaves without other passengers, they are assuming you are hiring the trike all for yourself and they will make you pay for the entire sitting capacity of the tricycle which is very expensive. E-jeepney costs PHP 250 which can accommodate 12 adults.
WHERE TO STAY
Some misconception about Boracay is the hotels are pricey and you have to spend a lot of money while you are on the island. Although Boracay has some of the most expensive hotels in the country since it was listed as one of the famous tourist destinations in the world, you can still find a lot of cheap hotels and guesthouses around. We stayed at Tan’s Guesthouse, the price is quite competitive compared to other hotels around Boracay. We got it for only PHP 32,000 which is also good for 4 days of stay plus they have rooms that can accommodate a family of 12-15 pax.
LIST OF ACCREDITED ACCOMMODATIONS IN BORACAY
We highly suggest booking a room as early as possible prior to the date of your trip as we all know that Boracay is one of the most famous islands in the world so hotels might get full easily. Check out the list of accredited accommodations below.
If you are looking for another hotel to stay, here are some of the accredited hotels in Boracay Island for your reference.
|NAME||LOCATION||NO. OF ROOMS||VIA AGODA||VIA BOOKINGS|
|357 Boracay Resort||Station 3, Manoc-Manoc||10||BOOK HERE||BOOK HERE|
|8 Colors Beach House Resort||Station 2, Brgy. Balabag||8||BOOK HERE||BOOK HERE|
|Abozza Resort||Station 2, Brgy. Balabag||13||BOOK HERE||BOOK HERE|
|Agos Boracay Rooms + Beds||Station 2, Main Road, Brgy. Balabag||27||BOOK HERE||BOOK HERE|
|Aissatou Apartments||Sitio Bolabog, Brgy. Balabag||11||BOOK HERE||BOOK HERE|
|AJ Traveller’s Inn||Sition Mangayad, Balabag||9||BOOK HERE||BOOK HERE|
|Alamo Bay Inn||Station 2, Brgy. Balabag||10||BOOK HERE||BOOK HERE|
|Alice in Wonderland Beach Resort||Station 2, Brgy. Balabag||21||BOOK HERE||BOOK HERE|
|Alliyah’s Beach Resort||Sitio Mangayad, Balabag||23||BOOK HERE||N/A|
|Aloha Boracay Hotel||Station 2, Brgy. Balabag||61||BOOK HERE||BOOK HERE|
|Alta Briza Resort||Station 2||108||BOOK HERE||BOOK HERE|
|Alta Vista De Boracay||Sition Hagdan, Brgy. Yapak||408||BOOK HERE||BOOK HERE|
|Ambassador in Paradise||Station 1, Brgy. Balabag||60||BOOK HERE||BOOK HERE|
|Amigos Beach Resort||Station 2||8||BOOK HERE||BOOK HERE|
Check out the full list here.
ACTIVITIES TO TRY IN BORACAY
- Island Hopping – Discover Boracay’s white-sandy beaches and visit the different island around with the half-day boat tour including Puka beach, Crocodile island, ilig-iligan beach and, tambisaan beach. Lunch is usually included in the package. Island hopping is one of the most popular activities in Boracay. Price starts at PHP 600-700 per person. But you can also book via Klook.
- Helmet Diving – The helmet is heavy but you won’t feel the weight once you submerge into the water. You will orient by the guide and give instruction before the activity like hand gestures and the safety tips to avoid any problems underwater. No need to bring your own camera since they will provide it for free. The guide will give you the best shot and take as many photos as they can.
- Scuba Diving – Explore the underwater world Boracay. Non-swimmers are also welcome since a divemaster will assist you during your dive.
- Parasailing – Don’t miss the opportunity to get the magnificent view of the entire island while you are on several meters up in the air. Be amazed by the scenic view and make sure to bring your camera because the boat staff has a skill in photography that will definitely capture your moment totally worth it. Current rate: PHP 2000 each, the price increase since its reopening last October 2018.
- Banana Boat
- Paraw Sailing – Witness the beauty of the sunset while on the Paraw.
- Sunset Watching
- Visit Carabao Island – Actually, Carabao Island is a part of Romblon, you can charter a boat for a day trip from Bulabog beach going to Carabao Island. The rate starts at PHP 1500($28.81) per head. Travel time from
SUMMARY OF EXPENSES
I spent 7-8k on our trip last week on Boracay. The breakdown below is just an example of how much would you spending when you are in Boracay. It can be lessened depending on your food budget and the activities you want to try. You can actually survive Boracay for a 4-5k budget.
- Flight Ticket – PHP 2525 (Roundtrip)
- Hotel for 4 nights and 3 days – PHP 32,000 (It’s equivalent to 2909 per pax since we were 11 in the group)
- Van from Tabon port to Cagban Port(Vise Versa) – PHP 3600 back and forth – Equivalent to PHP 327 per pax. You can hire a van transfer service through this Facebook page for less hassle and it’s actually cheaper. https://www.facebook.com/ronnijuvy/
- Boat fare, environmental fee, terminal fees and etc. PHP 250 per pax back and forth
- Island Hopping – PHP 600 per head
- Scuba Diving – PHP 1500 per head
- Food budget – Our estimated budget for food was roughly PHP 5000 for 4 days. We buy foods at the D’Mall Palengke, good thing that Tan’s Guesthouse has a kitchen inside our room so we can cook our own food. This will lessen your expenses compared to eating at the restaurants every time.
- Souvenirs – PHP 1000
- Others(Shampoo, soap, bathroom essentials) – PHP 500 per pax
The estimated budget for 4 days overall excluding airfare: PHP 45,000-50,000. This would be lessened depending on your need and way of budgeting.
4 DAYS & 3 NIGHTS SAMPLE ITINERARY
This is only an example but you still can adjust it based on your preferred schedules. Our flight from Manila to Kalibo is 5:20 PM. It’s better to arrive at the airport 2 hours earlier from the time of your flight to avoid unexpected problems.
|2:00 PM||House to NAIA|
|5:20 PM||Flight to Kalibo|
|7:00 PM||ETA Kalibo|
|7:30 PM||Van – Kalibo To Caticlan|
|7:45 PM||Estimated Time Departure – Kalibo|
|9:15 PM||Estimated Time Arrival – Caticlan Port|
|9:30 PM||ETD Caticlan Via Caticlan Jetty|
|9:45 PM||ETA Boracay Island|
|10:00 PM||Tricycle from Cagban Port to Tans’ Guesthouse|
|10:15 PM||Hotel Check-in – Tan’s Guesthouse|
|10:30 PM||Rest | Late Dinner|
|6:00 AM||Wake up Call|
|7:30 AM||Stroll Around | Explore D’Mall | Swimming|
|11:00 AM||Preparation for lunch|
|2:00 PM||Back to the Beach|
|3:00 PM||Free time|
|5:00 PM||Sunset Watching|
|6:00 PM||Back to hotel|
|8:00 PM||Free time |Night life|
|6:00 AM||Wake up|
|7:30 AM||Walking | Swimming |Shopping|
|9:00 AM||Island Hopping | Puka Beach | ILIGILIGAN|
BEACH | TAMBISAAN BEACH | ETC
|5:00 PM||Back to Hotel – Tans Guesthouse|
|9:00 PM||Nightlife | Free time|
|7:00 AM||Wake up|
|9:00 AM||Scuba Diving|
|2:00 PM||Helmet Diving|
|4:00 PM||Back to Hotel – Tan’s Guesthouse|
|5:00 PM||Sunset Watching|
|6:00 PM||Preparation for Dinner|
|9:00 PM||Nightlife | Free time|
|7:00 AM||Wake up | Breakfast|
|8:00 AM||Stroll around | Swimming|
|9:00 AM||Buy Pasalubong | Shopping D’ Mall|
|11:00 AM||Back to hotel|
|2:30 PM||Checkout out at Tan’s Guesthouse|
|3:00 PM||Boracay to Caticlan Port|
|3:45 PM||Van from Caticlan Jetty Pork to Kalibo Airport|
|8:15 PM||Flight from Kalibo to Manila|
|9:45 PM||ETA Ninoy Aquino Internation Airport|
I notice that Boracay is more organized and well-disciplined in terms of limiting its nightlife. We experienced Boracay before its rehabilitation, although it’s more fun, today Boracay Island is more peaceful. Bars, restaurants, and other establishment were still there, but they’re just limiting themselves from occupying the beach. If you are looking for a bar or club to experience Boracay nightlife, check out this list.
- Epic Boracay
- Summer Place
- Boracay Stars
- Exit Bar
- Coco bar
- Nigi Nigi Nu Noos Bar
- CocoLoco Bar
- Red Pirates Pub
- Wave Bar and Lounge
- OM Bar Boracay
BUDGET-FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS IN BORACAY
- Plato D’ Boracay – Price range: PHP 150-200 per meal
- El Centro Bistro – Price range: PHP 75-200 per meal
- Blue Jade Café – Price range: PHP 115 – 280
- Lola’s Pizzeria – Price range: PHP 100 – 200 per pizza
- Mang Inasal – Price range: PHP 60 – 200 per meal
- Jasper’s Eatery – Price range: PHP 60 -150
- Jollibee – Price range: PHP 50-150 per meal
- Mcdonalds – Price range PHP 50-150 per meal
- KFC – Price range: PHP 80-150 per meal
- Hoy Panga!
- Epic Boracay(Restaurant and Bar)
THINGS TO BRING
Here are some of the important things to bring when you visit Boracay Island.
- Plane ticket – Do I need to explain this?
- Chargers(for Cellphone, Camera, and etc.)
- Action Cam / Cameras – To record and capture every moment when you are in Boracay.
- Memory cards – Your memory card may run out of storage, so it is better to bring extra.
- Snorkeling gears
- Vitamins/ Medicine – We didn’t know when the sickness will strike, so it is important to always put medicines on your bag.
- Towels – Some hotel provides a towel but you can also bring your own.
- Valid ID – Always bring ID every time you travel.
- Sunscreen – To protect your skin from the scorching heat.
- Eco Bag – Bringing eco-bags will make your life easier especially when shopping.
- Your accommodation confirmation letter – LGU are now requiring tourists to present their Department of Tourism accredited hotel bookings. Tourists without bookings may be denied entering the island.
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