Hi everyone! You have no idea how superb it feels to be able to blog again, I feel that I’m not only ME again but I have a meaning to life again (ok a little exaggerated but life is no fun without some colourful language)! 🙂 This post has been highly anticipated and requested by many of you, with good reason of course! I remember spending hours on end reading and browsing through pictures in travel posts by bloggers, it almost feels as if I was part of the travelling (love it!). My sole objective for these posts is to make you feel like you were there with me, hence the tons of pictures I post!
So before I let you browse and have a good laugh while going through the pics, I have some tips to share for those who are planning on making Boracay, Philippines a future holiday destination. As much as I love to travel, I also love to learn about the history of the destination I travel to, so beforehand I generally submerse myself in some good research. Hope you enjoy this post and if anything, you’ve learnt something new from all this blabbing!
Boracay is a tiny island in the Philippines located at the South of Manila, being the capital. For those who don’t know, the Philippines was conquered by the Spanish during pre-colonial times, hence the beautiful Catholic churches located in major cities. Some towns and even people’s names still bear Spanish routes. Boracay falls under the Aklan Province and management. The peak season to travel to Boracay is between January and May as between June and December is monsoon season. We went in April and the weather was fantastic, of course the hotel rates and flights reflect the tourist season but I think it’s something worth paying for. The beaches in Boracay are nothing short of spectacular, in fact it was voted as the top beaches in the world, especially White Beach which is an entire strip of amazing white, fine sand that stretches for approximately 4km. The surrounding waters are so crystal clear that anywhere you take pictures, it’s guaranteed to come out picture perfect, no photoshop required! The island also caters for a variety of tastes and budgets, varying from Eastern to Western cuisine and from 5 star accommodation to backpacker inns. While day time is for cocktails on the beach, soon after sunset, the lounge chairs are replaced with dinner tables along the beach side. At night time, you can expect cocktail bars, lounges, fire dancers and live music down the strip of White Beach. During the day, you can plan your day packed with scuba diving, snorkeling, island hopping, shopping, parachuting and whatever else that tickles your fancy. What I love most about Boracay is that it is still pretty undercover and not polluted with tourists the way Thailand is. Sure, there are local tourists from other cities but things are kept pretty local and real there.
15 Tips Survival Guide
- Make sure you have US Dollars in cash and preferably $100 bills because when exchanging for Pesos, the bigger your notes, the better the rate.
- DO NOT exchange (large amounts) money at the exchange booth just outside the airport when you land, the rates are so bad and you wouldn’t even know until you’ve gone to downtown Boracay (personal experience). There are currency exchange booths almost everywhere in downtown Boracay and at good rates. If you must exchange at the airport because you have no Pesos, exchange just enough for your boat ride to Boracay and from the jetty port to your hotel.
- DO NOT let anyone at the airport (either Kalibo or Caticlan) offer to take you to your hotel, you’re bound to be ripped off to the high heavens (this actually happened to us), they charge you 10 times more than if you bought your own boat ticket and hired your own tuk tuk.
- Tuk tuks there are unlikely to rip you off, you don’t need to negotiate like the way you do in Thailand, there’s generally a set fee and the Filipinos are generally quite good about prices.
- Do reserve at least 1500 Pesos (per person) when you leave Boracay and travel out of the Philippines, not only for transport but you’re required to pay airport taxes in CASH after you’ve checked in and before you go to the boarding gates.
- Try book your flights together with your hotel, it’s just more convenient that way – check out Expedia.com.
- VERY IMPORTANT – make sure your layover at Manila airport is AT LEAST 3 hours because the delays are real, you’re bound to be delayed because during peak season, the airport operations can get a bit slacking and delays are a normal, everyday kinda thing.
- Make sure you pack light – trust me you only need 5 sets of bikinis, which is pretty much all I brought with me and 2 pairs of shorts etc. The reason you should pack light is because Boracay isn’t exactly the easiest place to get to, you’ll be flying there on ridiculously small chartered planes and be expected to hurl your luggage on and off a boat before reaching your final destination.
- Do pack a full bottle of SPF as well as after sun gel/lotion – considering that you will be in the sun all day, everyday, unless you stay in doors till sunset, make sure you have both on hand.
- Do have mozzie spray and patch just in case – there are mosquitoes there, not a lot but there are flying around especially when you’ll be outdoors at night.
- Don’t bother over packing on the makeup, it’s not necessary because it’s most likely going to melt right off your face as you step out your hotel anyways. Just bring the essentials, BB cream and mascara for me.
- There will be locals approaching you on the streets offering you fun, touristy things to do, they are safe (speaking from personal experience), try not to do a group thing, unless of course you are there with a group of friends, best is to just hire a boat for the day and go island hopping and snorkeling.
- Haggling is allowed but not necessary, things there are cheap and mind you, it’s not as commercial as Thailand where the locals have learnt to rip tourists off everywhere they go. If you see a vest or a tshirt you like there for 100 Pesos, just get it, it’s only R25 – they have to make a living somehow.
- Make sure you have cash, most places don’t accept credit cards.
- Relax and have fun, you’re going to meet some very interesting locals there, be open to conversation. Not everyone there is out to get you (but also be street smart) and go with an open mind, be open to try new foods and don’t be scared to try out new things.
We were in Boracay just at the right time for the Dragon boat festival
The only thing available to eat at the little airport, but it was delicious!
Hope you enjoyed this post and that the information is helpful to those who are planning a trip to this beauty creation of an island in the near future! Personally, it is so far my favourite beach holiday destination! Don’t forget to subscribe! 🙂
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