Days of Our Lives on Boracay Island

We had the days of our lives on Boracay Island in the Philippines and you can too. Finding your own tropical island paradise may not be on your bucket list just yet, not until you’ve done a bit of research at least. But we certainly did. After visiting the Philippines for over two decades we found Boracay one of the best places to have both relaxing and adventurous experiences. It may not be the place to be if you’re over 70 years old unless you like watching the tanned bodies and sexy women on the beaches. And Boracay is certainly value for money if you plan your holiday well. Finding someone who has experienced Boracay, and is happy to give recommendations like a friend are well worth listening to.

You have the money, you’re finally ready to book your plane ride and accommodations for a trip to one of the most beautiful Islands in the world. You’ll be totally excited to pack your swimsuits, hop on a plane, and finally experience the look and feel of one of Boracay’s thirteen powdery white sand beaches. There is not an over abundance of American travelers who have the courage to visit Boracay, but Americans do visit and don’t regret it. You won’t have any trouble finding information to plan a trip on the net with so many options available on the Island, especially when it comes to finding accommodation, food, and fun activities for everyone’s preference. So I see how you might get confused planning your itinerary with so many options. This Boracay first timer’s article will come in very handy when planning your trip for a perfect holiday in paradise.

Where is Boracay?

Where is the Philippines? From our American history you may recall the famous MacArthur departing the Philippines during the Second World War stating “I will return”. Which he did to liberate the Philippines from the Japanese during World War II. You can still dive on sunken Japanese wrecks in the Philippines. So America has a history with the Philippines. You’ll find the Philippines in Asia, south of China and east of Malaysia. It’s a country of thousands of tropical islands, the second-largest archipelago in the world and a dream to visit. The world media bombards us with images of Filipinos living in dire conditions on rubbish tips near Manila, of maritime and natural disasters. Unfortunately these exist there, as they do everywhere but especially in third world countries. So why not consider your money spent in Boracay as your donation to help build their country.

Boracay is less than an hour’s flying time south of Manila. It is just off the northwest tip of Panay Island in the Western Visayas region. The most convenient way to reach Boracay is via Manila International Airport (NAIA), with a domestic connecting flight to Caticlan Airport, followed by a short pleasant boat ride to Boracay Island. Daily flights link Manila to Caticlan, the gateway to Boracay Island. Alternatively, it would be more convenient if you can fly to the much larger Kalibo International Airport, then take a 90 minute bus ride to Caticlan.

A regular fleet of Banca (out-rigger style boats) service Boracay on the 15-minute trip from Caticlan jetty to White Beach. The Filipinos will help with your baggage and frail people if required. This may be their only source of income, so please have some change for tips. A 20 peso (half a dollar) would be sufficient, dependent on the amount of work they do for you.

Flights from the USA: Philippines Airlines (PAL) has consistently been the cheapest flights out of America, flying direct to Manila from New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Other airlines offer indirect flights to Manila costing more, such as Singapore Airlines, Asian Air, Eva Air and Cathy Pacific.

Flight time Los Angeles to Boracay Los Angeles to Boracay is 14 hours, with connecting flight and it can be as cheap as $1,100 return. Manila (Terminal 3) to Caticlan Airport in 1 hour, direct. Flying in to Boracay from manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport is situated just 7km south of Manila CBD and tends to be very busy and daunting. You will usually have to change terminals to get to your Domestic flight. There’s a free regular bus service to all the terminals, alternatively you may like to spend time in Manila which is an exciting city. Flying in to Kalibo Kalibo International Airport, around 68km from Caticlan, therefore you will require transport north to Caticlan. Bus services are available as well as Taxis. You can even arrange Boracay Helicopters to fly you to Boracay, baggage weight permitting.

Flying in to Caticlan airport (Godofredo P. Ramos Airport) Situated opposite Boracay Island, Caticlan would be your preferred destination. From Arrivals you can take a tricycle or Taxi to the ferry. Weather and other factors affect the ferry services departure location. However Caticlan is a small community and the local services will know which ferry services are available and where they depart.

Flight Special 2016 LAX to Cebu

As of November 2015, PAL are advertising $780 LAX to Cebu. Unfortunately PAL do not fly to Boracay direct from Cebu, requiring you to book with an alternate airline. The good news is you can book a return airfare Cebu to Caticlan (Boracay) for around $130 with Cebu Pacific, however you may need to stay at least a night in Cebu or Lapulapu Island due to the connection times, which isn’t all that bad. In fact, I would stay at least two days to explore Cebu or Bohol Island as there are some really nice places to visit such as Chocolate Hills or the Tarsier animal reserve in Loboc.

The other advantage of flying to Cebu is that the airport is very easy to navigate, unlike NAIA Manila airport that can be quite challenging.

Check the Specials on their website for details. Entry requirements to Philippines These are the requirements Visa and entry into the Philippines requirements: You passport must be valid for at least Six months beyond intended period of stay, A return/onward ticket Proof of sufficient funds. No visa is required for a stay of up to 30 days;

The Philippines officials will stamp your passport for a 30 days upon arrival. A visa can be issued on or after arrival for up to 59 days, however there is a cost for the extension.

Getting the Best Accommodation

One of the great things about Boracay is the number of accommodations that entertain different types of guests. It doesn’t matter if you’re a backpacker or the tourist who wants luxurious accommodations, you can easily find an Inn, hotel or resort that will cater to your needs. For those who prefer less-frills, the island offers hostels, inns, and B&Bs that will provide safe, clean, and affordable rooms for the budget-conscious traveler.

White Beach located on Boracay’s west coast is the largest beach stretching almost the length of the island. White Beach is divided into three sections: Boat Station 1, Boat Station 2, and Boat Station 3. The upper market and expensive hotels are mostly located north of Station 1, while the budget accommodations are mostly near Station 3. Station 2 is known as the center of nightlife on the island. There is also lower end accommodation on the eastern side of the island near Bulabog Beach where an almost consistent breeze allows for windsurfing and Kiteboarding.

To Get a Guide or To Explore Boracay

For your first holiday in Boracay it may be best to get a guided tour. A whole day on a tricycle may cost you as little as $20, but don’t hand over the cash until you are finished for the day. Some tourists like to explore the island on your their own since it’s pretty small island. Either way, getting to know the place personally makes it a more monumental and story-worth trip.

Great Adventures on Land and Sea

A good part of your vacation will be spent sprawled out on the white sand and catching some glorious sun rays. In order to make the most out of your stay sign up for some of the exciting adventures that the island has to offer.

Visiting Bulabog Beach to try kiteboarding and windsurfing, great spot for adrenalin junkies. A day trip to Ariel’s Point for a spot of cliff diving and a BBQ is an adventure not to be missed. This can be booked through the Boracay Beach Club, where you get a discount if you stay there. Enjoy wildlife? Dream time theme park near mount Luho was damaged in a typhoon several years ago, but I understand the Go Karts and All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) are still available to tourists, which is great fund.

If you enjoy being close to animals there is a small wild life sanctuary near Dreamtime theme park.

Eating Your Heart Out While Enjoying the Magnificent View

Nothing boosts one’s appetite than chilling at the most beautiful beach in the world. Fortunately, Boracay has lots of options for travelers of every kind. Cheap dining are a plenty for the budget-conscious beach bum. If you’re at Bulabog Beach, why not try the local and international dishes at Happy Home, which serves huge portions that go for around 150 Peso each, which is about $3. I love the Filipino BBQ Chicken with rice and soy from San Pedro.

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