BORACAY TOURIST SPOTS AND BORACAY THINGS TO DO

This is a detailed blog of top Boracay tourist spots, and best things to do in Boracay. Also included here are suggested places to stay in the island and the 2020 Boracay travel requirements due to Covid-19.  

Boracay in Malay, Aklan Philippines is one of the deservedly popular tourist destinations in the country. Blissfully situated in Aklan Province, Philippines, Boracay is composed of the villages of Balabag, Yapak, and Manoc-Manoc. Boracay’s sheer beauty is jaw-dropping, its powdery, white sand shore is arguably the finest in the country, if not the world.  Its crystal clear, cerulean and artic water is perfect for swimming, tourists usually frolic here for hours. Boracay is also loved by divers from around the world because of its mesmeric, dive sites.  Experienced and newbie divers can rent equipment and book dives at nearby resorts, while non-divers can settle for snorkeling.  At night, Boracay island turns into a party haven, tourists can hop from one bar to another and experience how the locals party. But if you need some peace and quiet, Boracay is strewn with tranquil seaside escape far from the crowd of tourists. You’ll never really run out of things to do in Boracay, and to help you plan your Boracay trip, here’s some of the best tourist attractions in Boracay and things to do.

 


1.Swimming at White Beach Boracay


BORACAY TOURIST SPOTS: White Beach Boracay

Boracay has long been a tourist-magnet. This bountiful island is actually bordered by palm-wafted, talcum beaches, but arguably, the most beautiful Boracay tourist spots is White Beach along the stretch of Station 1, Station 2, and Station 3.  The mere mention of this pretty popular tropical island in the Philippines connotes images of powdery, white sand beach hugged by cerulean water and Willy’s Rock formation.

 

White Beach is Boracay’s key tourist spot that beckons tourists. It is packed with water sports, restaurants, bar, hotels, and entertainment that are sure to suit everyone. Because of its popularity, is often crowded with tourists, sunbathers, and swimmers. It sure deserve its recognition because it is one of the best beaches in the Philippines for swimming and sunset watching. I have been to many beaches in the country and I’ve only seen a few that has the same quality of sand – fine, powdery, white sand, gentle waves, and clear, azure water as White Beach in Boracay.

 

 

  • Boracay Tourist Spot
  • White Beach Boracay Entrance Fee: FREE
  • Open Hours: 24/7
  • How to get to White Beach Boracay:

Ride a tricycle from your hotel in Boracay (if your hotel is not within the area) and tell the driver to drop you off at White Beach Station 1.  You will be dropped at D’Mall where you have to walk for a few minutes to reach Boracay Station 1 or Station 2 or Station 3.  If you want to head to the area near the famed Willy’s Rock formation, find your way to Station 1.

 


2.Try the Water Sports in Boracay


 

Boracay is not all about tourist attractions, it is also home to many activities for all types of travelers. While most beaches in the Philippines are raw and underrated, Boracay has been encroached by development over the years.  It is packed with travel agencies ad establishments offering all kinds of water sports. Boracay was temporarily closed to tourist for six months a few years ago to make way for the clean-up of the island to safeguard sustainability.  And with its re-opening, strict rules for tourists visiting the island is implemented, including the kinds of activities that are still allowed.

Here are some of the popular water sports to try in Boracay:

BORACAY WATER SPORTS (3-in-1 or 5-in-1 package): RESERVE HERE

 

  • BORACAY PARASAILING

BORACAY THINGS TO DO: Boracay Parasailing

One of the unforgettable things to do in Boracay for first-timers is parasailing, where tourists fly with a parachute over the sea. Parasailing first emerged around the 70’s when sky divers tried to find other ways to fly, and today it is a pretty famous tourist activity. Once you sign up for parasailing in Boracay, you will be briefed shortly for your safety and provided with a life jacket.  You will parasail from a motor boat, so, shortly after take-off, you will take-off with a parachute in the air and the motorboat will pull you forward while you climb up in the air.  This water sports is exhilarating and will sure give you scenic view of Boracay island and the cerulean, endless sea from above. The staff will gladly take pictures for you once you are up in the air so you can take home souvenir photos.

You can book ahead the Boracay parasailing through the link below, so you don’t have to  worry about it and spend your time looking for a travel agency to sign up for it once you reach the island.

Boracay Things to Do:

Boracay Parasailing: RESERVE HERE (Discounted)

Boracay Parasailing fee: Approximately ₱2,500 ($51, €43, SGD 69, MYR 214, AUD 71, KWR 58,167)

 


  • BANANA BOAT RIDE

 

While swimming or sunbathing in White Beach Boracay, you will probably see tourists shouting their lungs out while riding the banana boat.  It is one of the thrilling adventures you can try with your group of friends or families. If you’re a solo traveler, you can try joining other groups. You can book on the spot, but if you want to arrange everything before you arrive in Boracay so you can save time, best to book ahead through the link below.

Things to Do in Boracay:

Banana Boat Ride: RESERVE HERE


  • MERMAID SWIMMING

If you’re dreaming of becoming a mermaid you can try the Mermaid Swimming being offered in Boracay. Tourists in Boracay can actually rent mermaid tail outfits in different colors and get to experience a 90-minute swimming lesson wearing one. During this activity, you’ll learn the 4 different strokes that will allow you to swim easily while wearing a mermaid tail. The instructor will also teach you the breathing techniques for your safety while swimming underwater and you’ll be able to swim in Boracay’s crystal clear water while wearing your mermaid tail outfit.  And of course, your instructor will gladly take your mermaid souvenir photo.

 Boracay Things to Do

Boracay Mermaid Swimming: RESERVE HERE

Boracay Mermaid Swimming Fee: ₱2,200 ($45, €38, SGD 61, MYR 188, AUD 62, KWR 51,187)

If you are not keen to try swimming in monofin of mermaid tail but just want to try on the mermaid tail, you can join the Boracay Mermaid Photoshoot.  As the name says, it’s only for photoshoot so no swimming lessons included. You can book your reservations through the link below, and it’s discounted!

Boracay Mermaid Photoshoot Only: RESERVE HERE

Boracay Mermaid Photoshoot Only: ₱1,200 ($25,€21, SGD 33, MYR 103 , AUD 34, KWR 28,000)

Tip: Bring your own accessories for your hair, such as flowers for your hair, headband, etc. The operator only provides the mermaid tail for the photoshoot.


  • BORACAY FLYFISH

Boracay is a heaven for adventurers as it is oozing with adventure sports, including the thrilling Fly fish Boracay. While fly fish was originally known as a method of fishing, today, in the world of travel and adventure, it is a watercraft. An inflatable water sled ( composed of 3 main tubes that looks like a fish) towed by a boat, is now referred to as fly fish. Why the name fly fish? Perhaps because the high speed when the speedboat tows this watercraft causes it to launch and fly like a flying fish. So, once you climb on the fly fish, make sure to hold on tight and wear your life vest because once the speed boat starts the engine and tow the watercraft, it will feel like you are riding a very fast craft and you’ll fly. Enjoy the moment as the sea breeze blows you higher.  This would usually last for 15 minutes and can accommodate 2 – 6 persons. Best to do this with you friends of family. Hopefully, you won’t fall, so hang tight!

Things to Do in Boracay:

Flyfish Boracay: BOOK HERE

Flyfish Boracay rate:


  • KITEBOARDING/KITESURFING

Bulabog Beach located on the east side of Boracay (parallel to White Beach) is best known as the one of the best kiteboarding spots in Asia. During the Amihan season (Northeast Wind), which runs from October to April, Bulabog beach is the go to place of kite surfers, kiteboarders and windsurfers.  I remember interviewing one of the best kite surfers in the world while I was in Mui Ne,Vietnam, when he learned that I am from the Philippines, he mentioned Boracay as one of the best kiteboarding destinations. Bulabog Beach boast of palm-fringed powdery shore hemmed in by azure water. This laidback beach is protected from strong waves by coral reefs.

BORACAY TOURIST SPOT: KITEBOARDING

Kiteboarding lessons in Boracay rates start from  PHP 3,300 (Discovery Course), typically a 2 hour lesson. Beginner Course Kiteboarding in Boracay usually costs PHP 21,000 for a 12 hour lesson while the Intermediate course to become an advanced kiter typically costs PHP 12,500.

 Things to Do in Boracay

Kitesurfing cost: starts at  ₱3,300 (Discovery Course/2 hours) to ₱21,000 (Beginner Course/12 hours)
How to get to Bulabog Beach: Take a tricycle from your hotel or wherever you are in Boracay to Bulabog Beach.


3.Explore Boracay’s Underwater


 

Apart from partying and nightlife that Boracay is known for, it has more up its sleeves. The island’s clear, denim blue waters also harbors diverse and colorful coral reefs ideals for diving and snorkeling.

  • Diving

What was once a fishing village known as Boracay has flourished into a diving haven, with a couple of dive sites to discover. Experienced and newbie divers can rent equipment and book dives at a nearby dive resorts or dive shops. Best to make your research first about the best dive shop in Boracay before your trip to maximize your vacation. Dive rates in Boracay vary, depending on the type of dive lesson and dive shops.

BORACAY SCUBA DIVING: RESERVE HERE

 

  • Snorkeling

Non-divers traveling in Boracay can also settle for snorkeling. There areas in Boracay that are perfect for snorkeling because of the colorful and iridescent fishes and other marine life thriving underwater.

 

 

  • Boracay Helmet Diving

Another way to immerse in Boracay and witness its rich, marine life underwater is by helmet diving.  It’s a pretty famous activity in Boracay, easy to do and won’t empty your wallet.  As the name suggest, you will be submerged into the water while wearing a diving helmet sealed to your head and neck with a breathing gas supply attached to a diving support boat. The diving helmet was originally worn by professional divers involved in surface-supplied diving, it’s also great for beginners because of the low-risk of drowning and a large supply of breathing gas compared to the traditional diving. However, since the diving helmet is attached to a vessel, your movement will be limited. Still, this thing will allow you to see  the underwater clearly and the rainbow-hued fishes swimming by. Staff will also happily take your souvenir photos so make sure you bring your underwater camera.

 

BORACAY HELMET DIVING: RESERVE HERE

 

  • Freediving

While Boracay is known for its shallow water and gentle waves that are ideal for swimming, there are also selected, deep areas here that are good for free diving.  For the uninitiated, free diving is a method of diving underwater where you hold your breath until you resurface, unlike the customary diving that rely on a breathing apparatus.  So, if you are keen to try it, bring your own gear or rent one at a dive shop sprinkled in the main beach area.  You can also inquire about the cost of free diving in Boracay.

 

 


4.Boracay Island Hopping


 

 While Boracay is pretty known for White Beach in Station 1, 2 and 3, there’s more places to see in Boracay.  Boracay’s jungle-clad headlands plummet into delightful pockets of beaches and coves making it an oasis of  tropical island hideaway. And the best way to explore these underrated Boracay tourist attractions is by hiring an outrigger boat for island hopping or joining a group tour for island hopping. Boracay island hopping boats can accommodate  25 persons, 30 persons or up to 45 people. You can join a shared/group tour for Boracay Island hopping that usually costs ₱1,000 ($20) to ₱1,500 ($31) per person depending on the travel agency.  It usually includes buffet lunch and a roundtrip shuttle bus  (pick up and transfer to and from hotel from Station 1, Station 2, or  Station 3 only). If you’re staying outside the confines of White Beach, like if your hotel in in Diniwid Beach or Yapak area, you must verify the meet-up point with the travel agency, usually it’s at D’Mall Boracay.

Boracay island hopping typically includes the following Boracay tourist destinations:

 

    • Puka Shell Beach

BORACAY BEACH: PUKA SHELL BEACH

 

This serene beach is my personal favorite in Boracay, it somehow shows you how Boracay was in the olden days.  Though the entrance to the beach is lined up with souvenir stores selling all kinds of trinkets, hats, swim wear, boardshorts, summer dress, sarong, etc.  a huge part of the beach is hemmed in by jungle-clad coves without the crowd and palm-fringed coast.  What also caught my attention here is a native hut filled with hand-crafted artworks and goods.  It’s a great place for swimming and sunbathing and you’ll have the whole beach to yourself especially the cove area.

Entrance Fee: FREE

 

  • Crocodile Island

This is probably one of the best snorkeling sites in Boracay and usually included in Boracay Island Hopping tour.  Visitors are required to pay an environmental fee of ₱20 to enjoy swimming in Crocodile Island’s azure water where rainbow-hued fishes thrive. Best to bring your own snorkeling gear for your own hygiene.

Entrance Fee: ₱20 ($0.41,€0.35, SGD 0.56, MYR 172 , AUD 0.57, KWR 465)

 

  •  Crystal Cove

About 10-15 minutes away from mainland Boracay is the 2 hectare serene island formerly known as Tigutian Island, an erstwhile fishing outpost. Crystal Cove is  a popular stop over for Boracay Island hopping tour that is clad by rock formations and dramatic cliff and hollowed coves.  This small island is sprinkled with thatched-roof shelters and cabanas with a scenic view of the aquamarine water below.  It’s also a good place for snorkeling as it’s a sanctuary of iridescent coral gardens and colorful fishes. If you’d had enough of swimming, you can also explore the hidden coves and tiny caves in Crystal Cove.

          Entrance Fee: ₱200 ($4,€4, SGD 5, MYR 17, AUD 6, KWR 4,653)

 

Here’s a sample Boracay Island Hopping itinerary:

 

09:30 AMHotel pick-up (Station 1, 2, 3 hotels only) or at D’Mall
09:45 AMETD Puka Beach
10:00 AMPuka Shell Beach
11:00 AMETD Crocodile Island
11:15 AMSnorkeling at Crocodile Island
12:30 PMLunch
01:30 PMETD Crystal Cove
01:45 PMCrystal Cove Sightseeing
02:45 PMETD to D’Mall.

 

 

Boracay Things to Do:

Boracay Island Hopping Rate (shared/group): ₱1,000 ($20) to ₱1,500 ($31) per person

BORACAY ISLAND HOPPING TOUR: RESERVE HERE

 

Travel Tip: The PHP 200 entrance fee at Crystal Cove is not included in the tour package cost, you will pay it separately. If you don’t want to pay the admission fee, just enjoy swimming outside of Crystal Cove until your tour group departs for the next island. There’s also a PHP 20 environmental fee for Crocodile Island.  Don’t forget to bring your own drinking water to keep yourself hydrated.  Also, I recommend bringing your own snorkeling gear for your personal hygiene.

 


5.Boracay Land Tour (Sightseeing)/Beach Hopping


 

If you’re looking for other things to do in Boracay and places to visit, you can hire a tricycle to take you around some tourist spots in Boracay.  Alternatively, you can also hire an ATV and experience riding the ATV to Mt.Luho Viewpoint.

THINGS TO DO IN BORACAY: LANDTOUR

Things to Do in Boracay:

Boracay Land Tour (via Tricycle): ₱500 (good for 2-3 passengers)

ATV Ride: ₱800 – ₱1,000 per unit

Here are the other places to see in Boracay by land:

  • Mt.Luho Viewpoint

Entrance Fee: ₱150 ($3)

BORACAY: MT. LUBO VIEWPOINT

It’s one of the highest points in Boracay where you can witness the 360 degree view of the island.  Take a moment to appreciate where the land meets the sea and the island lapped by powdery, white sand beaches almost everywhere, rock-strewn coves, and the few remaining forest-fringed promontories of Boracay.

 

  •  Puka Shell Beach

Entrance Fee: FREE

 

boracay Puka Shell Beach

Like I said before, this public beach is secluded and serene, so you can enjoy Boracay without the crowd, resorts, and less establishments. As the name suggests, this powdery sand beach is  dappled crushed puka shells (seashells) but it was formerly called Yapak Beach because it is located on the northern shore of Boracay in the confines of a village called Yapak.  Though there are stalls and restaurants selling drinks, food, coconuts, and souvenirs, there’s a lack of shade where you can lounge.  Bring your own mat or sarong or rent a lounge chair from one of the vendors here if you plan to sunbathe or lay on the beach and read your favorite book.

PUKA BEACH BORACAY

Take note though that if you are joining the Boracay Land Tour of Boracay Island hopping, you may not have enough time to lounge here.  You can rent a tricycle (quite expensive by PH standard) to take you there if you want to stay longer.

 

  • Ilig-Iligan Beach

Entrance Fee: FREE

BORACAY BEACH: ILIG ILIGAN BEACH

 Probably the most remote beach I’ve reached in Boracay is Ilig Iligan Beach, blissfully situated on the northeast coast of Boracay Island. This is my favorite beach in Boracay. This place is uncrowded, often overlooked by tourists because of its far distance from Boracay port, and with only a few small restaurants dappled on its shore and about 2 resorts nearby. The palm-fringed sand here is cream colored and powdery, and the water is clear, denim blue, prefect for swimming.  What I also like about Ilig Iligan Beach is, it boasts of a scenic view of the beautiful rock formations and islets off shore. And if you walk a little farther, you will reach a forest and rock formations.  Hire a local guide (roughly PHP 300) to take you to the Bat Caves, which is home to hundreds of fruit bats and flying foxes, but make sure to put on insect repellent. If you want to stay a bit longer here and savor the beach, you can hire a motorbike to take you back to Boracay center.

 

  • Diniwid Beach

Entrance Fee: FREE

Diniwid Beach is the first beach that I’ve seen in Boracay when I first visited a couple of years ago because our hotel was located here.  It’s sort of an extension of the more popular White Beach Station 1 in Boracay, fringed with hotels and restaurants, many of them are standing proudly on cliffs with terraces offering scenic ocean view.  Since the beach here is not as crowded as Station 1, it’s great for swimming, but be careful since there are rocks on sprinkled on the seafloor. What I like best about Diniwid Beach is, aside from its powdery white sand, it offers a sublime sunset view of Boracay.

 


6.Boracay Sunset Watching


 

Boracay has one of the most beautiful sun sets in the Philippines if not the world.  Best places in Boracay to watch the last light of the day is at White Beach (Station 1, 2, or 3), Diniwid Beach,  Hagdan Beach, Punta Bunga Beach,  Balinghai Beach, and Puka Shell Beach, these are the beaches on the west side of the island.

Another great way to catch the world-famous sunset in Boracay is by paraw sailing.  Paraw is a traditional boat made of wood  with 2 outriggers and adorned by 2 colossal sails that can accommodate 4-6 passengers.  It’s a single shallow hull with floaters or bamboo on each side to balance the boat and prevent it from capsizing. These types of boats were originally used for fishing by the locals before it was commercialized to sunset sailing vessels.

Paraw sunset sailing usually begins at 5:00 PM and lasts for approximately 1 hour.  You can have a private tour or join a group. You can book while there or reserve online ahead of time for less hassle. Enjoy sailing the crystal, clear cobalt water of Boracay during sunset while the sea breeze touches your face.  You’ll also get to witness whole stretch of the picturesque White Beach and Diniwid Beach from afar.  It’s a perfect photo opportunity when the sky turns pinkish and tangerine as the sun slowly descends into the horizon while the silhouettes of the paraw boats strewed on the foreground also add more drama to the already scenic vista. Don’t forget to wear your life jacket and put on sunscreen!

Boracay Things to Do

PARAW SAILING: RESERVE HERE

 


7.Try Jony’s Fruit Shake – the Original Boracay Fruit shake


 

The original home of Boracay fruit shake is Jony’s Fruit Shake founded in 1982, not to be confused  with the popular Jonah’s fruit shake. I had the privilege to interview the owner – Mr. Dionisio “Jony” Salme and hear his stories of how Boracay looked like in the olden days before it made its mark on the world map. Jony is actually a misspelling of his nickname “Diony”, but he maintained it because it’s a combination of his and his wife’s nicknames.  Jony’s Fruit shake is also served at the attached Maya’s Restaurant, a beachfront restaurant in Boracay Station managed by Ellen Salme, the daughter-in-law of Mang Jony’s.  Maya’s Restaurant has really good Mexican and Filipino dishes thanks to its gifted chef – Jun Salme.  His son, Chef Jun Salme owns the Pig Out Bistro, a pretty popular Instagrammable café serving really good food located beside Jony’s Beach Resort, which I’ll talk about below.

boracay JONY'S FRUITSHAKE

The modest Mang Jony Salme, who is also the long time president of the Boracay Business Foundation Incorporated (BFI), an organization of business owners in Boracay, said he arrived in Boracay island in March 2, 1975, when the island has no electricity yet and it was still virtually empty and  the only inhabitants were a small group of  Ati, Boracay’s indigenous people, and only a few foreign backpackers visit the island occasionally. Mang Jony who hails from Pontevedra, Negros Occidental worked for the prominent Elizalde family. He was just a hardworking student who graduated from University of the East when he worked for the Elizalde Group of Companies.  He was assigned in Boracay in the 70’s to manage the Elizalde properties  – D’Mall and local radio station during the Marcos era because there were land-grabbing issue back then. He said that during that time, there was still no electricity in Boracay so they use a generator.  Jony’s Fruit shake history started when an Austrian  Dutch backpacker who brought a blender visited Boracay and sold him the blender when he returned back to his country. The young guy got tired because there was no place to charge his blender.  Back then Boracay foreign backpackers, mostly German and Swiss, started going to Boracay because of the guidebook written by German writer Jens Peters that mentioned the island.  Since there was no direct flight to Boracay, travelers  who came from Manila  go to Puerto Galera, then Tablas or Romblon and take a boat to Boracay. Those foreign backpackers were looking for refreshing drinks, but there was none. So, Mang Jony’s started the fruit shake business using that blender since his employer’s company has a generator.  But back then  it was pretty expensive to maintain the business since there was no electricity in Boracay, he had to travel all the way to mainland Kalibo, which would take a whole day, to buy a gasoline for the generator to run the blender, and buy fruits and ice. Fortunately, a co-worker gifted him a refrigerator powered by kerosene where he made ice, so he was the only one to own a refrigerator in Boracay then. Soon enough, the foreign tourists started lining up for his fruit shakes. He then thought of setting serving Mexican food like tacos and burritos because he taught that’s what the foreigners will like. So, he set up tables and umbrellas along White Beach, and the rest is history.

 

Jony's Fruitshake

Photo by Maya’s

 

Mang Jony’s never thought that he would settle in Boracay, he thought it was only a temporary assignment.  But eventually, he got married in Boracay, started a family, and now has grandchildren. Today, Jony’s Fruit Shake offers all kinds of shakes you can imagine – Avocado Shake, Mango Shake, Watermelon Shake, Papaya Shake, Chocolate Shake, Banana Shake, etc. Mang Jony also now owns a beach resort called Jony’s Beach Resort just right across Maya’s Restaurant.

 

 


8.Boracay Food Trip


 

Because of the rise of tourism in Boracay, restaurants started to mushroom everywhere and never stopped expanding. That is why, finding a place to eat and dine in Boracay can be quite overwhelming. Going on a food trip is one is of the best things to do in Boracay. I tried some restaurants and cafes during my repeat visits to Boracay since 2010, here are some of my personal favorites.  I will update this once I get to revisit Boracay again in the near future.

 

  • PIG OUT BISTRO

On top of my favorite café’s in Boracay so far is Pig Out Bistro.  When my friend __  told Ms. Ellen Salme of Maya’s Restaurant that I will be visiting Boracay, she invited to try the food at Pig Out Bistro.  It’s a small, Instagrammable café beside Jony’s Beach Resort. But unlike many picturesque restaurants in the Philippines, Pig Out Bistro’s food is not only Instagram-worthy, they’re really delicious.  The prices on the menu are reasonable considering the have huge servings. Some of my favorites here are the fresh oysters sourced from Aklan – the Oyster Mignonette garnished with mignonette sauce to balance out the brininess of the oyster, the Oyster and Pearl relished with cucumber, dill, and egg roe, and the Green Oyster savored with herbed compound butter.  They also have a massive Seafood Platter comprised of grilled octopus, grilled prawns, grilled gindara, garlic steamed clams, baked oysters, oyster mignonette, and rustic bread. Also, if you’re looking for a really good burger, Pig Out Bistro in Boracay is the place to go – they have humongous US Bone Marrow Burger, good for 2 people, made up of good quality US beef patty, garnished with cheddar cheese, pickles, tomatoes, chimichurri, onion, lettuce, and bone marrow.   You can read my full blog review of the Pig Out Bistro by clicking the link below.

Those in search of culinary delights

ALSO READ: The Pig Out Bistro in Boracay Review

The Pig Out Bistro Boracay

Address: Brgy. Balabag, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan

Open Hours: Daily 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM (last order at 9:30 PM)

Facebook: @pigoutbistro

Instagram: @thepigoutbistroboracay

 

  • MAYA’S RESTAURANT

 

A restaurant in Boracay serving Filipino and Mexican dishes – Maya’s Restaurant  is located in Station 1 Boracay in front of Jony’s Hotel, alongside Jony’s Fruitshake, which they serve.  It was established ion 1982, the same year Jony’s Fruitshake was established, but the name Maya that refers to the local bird “Maya” and at the same time the indigenous people of Mexico – the Mayans.  The airy restaurant has a tropical atmosphere, fringed by palm trees and adorned with potted greeneries.  Even the modern-designed rattan chairs here exude a tropical flair, offering a perfect view of the scenic bone-white sand and azure water of Boracay while you sip your favorite flavor of Jony’s Fruitshake.

 

Maya's Restaurant

Photo by Maya’s

 

Just like the Pig Out Bistro, the dishes at Maya’s  Restaurant are touched by Chef Jun Salme’s expression.  My personal favorites are the Lechon Kawali, which is served in a small kawali, the famed pork belly Filipino cuisine that is oven-steamed to make the skin crunchy while preserving the juiciness of the meat and fat.  And because of the owner’s Bacolod roots, you will find here the legendary Bacolod dishes like the Kansi – the softened beef bone marrow stewed in batwan, lemon grass, and ginger. Of course, Maya’s Restaurant also serve their own version of Bacolod’s chicken inasal, called Maya’s Chicken Inasal. For Mexican flavors, don’t miss their Tacos Al Pastor – composed of homemade fresh corn tortilla, cilantro rice, onions, beans, avocado, and slow-cooked pork. Meanwhile, the huge serving of Carnitas Burrito was inspired by the authentic burrito recipe shared by the former Mexican Ambassador to the Philippines.

 

Maya’s Restaurant

Address: Station 1 White Beach, Brgy. Balabag, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan

Open Hours: Daily 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM (last order at 9:30 PM)

Facebook: Maya’s Filipino and Mexican Cuisine

Instagram: @mayasboracay

 


9.Buy Souvenirs at D’Mall


 

Boracay is a shopper’s delight, packed with trendy boutiques, souvenirs shops, restaurants, and bistros. The compact downtown area is perfect for shopping, strolling, and people-watching at an outdoor café.

 


10.Join the Boracay Pub Crawl


 

Boracay is a beach destination, yes, but when the night comes, it turns into a party island. During our first visit in Boracay, we met some friendly fire dancers who took us to different venues in Boracay.  We even experienced a local bar where most locals party, and it was a lot of fun, like how we usually party in the province. Nowadays, if you’re into party scenes, best to join the Boracay Pub Crawl with an experienced guide, as you go hopping to different popular bars in Boracay and get free shots and special drinks at every stop while enjoying different activities.

BORACAY PUB CRAWL:  RESERVE HERE

 


BORACAY SIDE TRIP


 

Here are some of the side trips you can include when traveling to Boracay:


1.Cliff Diving at Ariel’s Point

Adrenaline junkies, brace yourselves! Although Ariel’s Point is not in Boracay itself, it is one of the popular side trips for tourists, about 35-minute boat ride away from the island. This eco-adventure paradise is a popular cliff diving spot in Batason, Buruanga, Aklan where you can jump at 5 different diving boards starting at 3 meters to 15 meters.

What draws tourists to Ariel’s Point aside from cliff diving is its incredible view of emerald green and turquoise water where and swimming holes hemmed in by dramatic rock formation. It also raves a rich marine life underwater where clown fish, damsel fish, starfish and anemone are usual sightings. If you’re not into cliff diving, Ariel’s Point day tour package also includes the following activities: kayaking along Buruanga coast, paddle boarding, snorkeling, and sunbathing with a scenic view of the Sulu Sea. A day trip package to Ariel’s Point already includes a buffet lunch  (traditional dishes), merienda (afternoon snack), and unlimited drinks (soda, beer, local rhum, mixed drinks, water).

 

Basically, when you book this package, you will be transferred from, Boracay Island to Ariel’s Point by an outrigger boat, about 35-minute ride. Then, upon arriving at Ariel’s Point, you will be provided simple snacks and drinks and safety briefing will start. After that, you can now test and try the diving boards for cliff jumping.  Lunch will be served and unlimited booze. After eating, you can now have fun cliff jumping, swimming, and experience kayaking or go paddle boarding. Now going back to Boracay is a whole lot of fun as well (if you love drinking), the boat ride back is nothing short of a booze cruise as bottomless rhum is passed around during a game of spin the bottle.

 

Ariel’s Point entrance fee (day tour package from Boracay): PHP 2,800

Ariel’s Point  Day Tour Package: BOOK HERE

How to get to Ariel’s Point:

To get to Ariel’s Point, you must book a day tour package that departs by boat from Boracay Island around 11:15 AM (travel time is about 35 minutes) and returns to the island around 5:00 PM. The Ariel’s Day tour package already includes transfer from and to Boracay, lunch, afternoon snack, unlimited drinks, cliff diving and other water activities.

Travel Tip: Because this is a popular tourist spot, you must book at least 1 day in advance to secure a slot. You can make online reservation through the link above.

 


2.CARABAO ISLAND

 

If you’re planning to do a day trip or side trip from Boracay, I highly recommend the remote Carabao Island.  I visited this island a few years ago, and I had a great experience. Carabao Island is known as Hambil by the locals. It is oozing with palm-fringed powdery, white sand coastlines and turquoise water devoid of crowd. If you are wondering what Boracay may have looked like before the throngs of tourists arrived, Carabao Island is reminiscent of that. However, if you are expecting to find bars and restaurants here and luxury resorts, you will be disappointed. Carabao Island is laidback and is still far from overdevelopment, you go here to enjoy the serenity and experience the provincial life.

 CARABAO ISLAND DAY TOUR FROM BORACAY: RESERVE HERE

 How to get to Carabao Island from Boracay:

You can hire a boat from Bulabog Beach in Boracay to Carabao Island. Day trip chartered boats will cost around PHP 1,500 (good for 4 persons) and PHP 3,000 – PHP 4,000 (good for 10-12 persons).

Alternatively, you can make your way to Caticlan, then ride a tricycle to Tabon Baybay Port where there are daily passenger boats to Carabao Island. But take note that the return trip is the next day, so you need to stay overnight in Carabao Island. Fare is approximately PHP 100 per person and boats leave daily to Carabao Island at 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM, 2:00 – 3:00 PM, and 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM. Return trip to Caticlan leaves daily at 6:00 AM only.

 

  • CARABAO ISLAND ACCOMMODATIONS:

Ocean’s Edge Resort :RESERVE HERE

Location: Brgy.Lanas, Carabao Island

 

Location: Brgy.Lanas, Carabao Island

 

ALSO READ: CARABAO ISLAND TRAVEL GUIDE

 

 


3.GIGANTES ISLAND

 

Another side trip from Boracay Island is Gigantes Island, a group of islands in Carles, Northern Iloilo. If you can’t get enough of the beach, you can go island hopping here. Gigantes Island is dappled with tropical islands clad by dramatic rock formations, rough-hewn coves,  and mesmeric emerald green lagoons. This laidback island has such as irresistible appeal, this is where you go if you want to experience the island life in the Philippines. The kind of place where you’ll eat the best, fresh seafood of your life on the beach with your feet in the sand. Plus, the seafood here is dirt cheap!

 

For a detailed travel guide and alternative ways to get to Gigantes Island from Boracay Island, click and read my Gigantes Island blog below:

 

ALSO READ: GIGANTES ISLAND TRAVEL GUIDE

 


4.CAPIZ

 

ALSO READ: CAPIZ TOURIST SPOTS

 


2020 BORACAY TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS DUE TO COVID-19


 Travelers from GCQ and MGCQ areas can now enter Boracay, provided, they secure the following requirements in Boracay:

  • Negative RT-PCR Test Result

Travelers from GCQ and MGCQ areas must present a negative RT-PCR Test Result for Covid-19 that must be taken within 48 hours prior to their trip. click HERE, for a list of accredited COVID-19 testing centers in the Philippines.

 

  • Health Declaration Form

To get the Health Declaration Form, you need to register at Aklan.gov.ph After the registration, you should receive a QR Code that you need to present upon arrival at Caticlan Port and at Boracay establishments.

  • Boracay hotel bookings

Even prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Boracay requires travelers who are staying in Boracay for at least 1 night to present hotel bookings from accredited Boracay hotels (see lists below under Where to Stay in Boracay).

  • Observe health protocols

While in Boracay, you must wear face mask, practice social distancing, and frequent handwashing.


HOW TO GET TO BORACAY


There are several ways to get to Boracay, you can fly to Caticlan (Aklan), Kalibo (Aklan), Roxas (Capiz), or Iloilo.  But as of 2020, due to Covid-19 pandemic, Caticlan is now the only airport accepting tourists traveling to Boracay.

For hassle-free travel from Caticlan Aiport to your Boracay Hotel, you may book an airport transfer.

But if you want to Do-It-Yourself (DIY) to Boracay, here’s how:

CATICLAN TO BORACAY

Caticlan Airport (Godofredo Ramos Airport), is currently the only port of entry for tourists going to Boracay because the IATF has implemented a “one-entry one-exit policy” for easier monitoring of tourists.

  1. Fly to Caticlan Airport from Manila (1.5 hours), Cebu (1.5 hours), or Davao (via Manila or Cebu) (6+hours). There are several airlines flying to and from Caticlan Airport in Aklan.
  2. Exit Caticlan Airport and take a tricycle to Caticlan Port. Fare is roughly PHP 50 ($1) – PHP 75 ($1.50) per person, depending on the number of passengers.
  3. At Caticlan Jetty Port, find the Registration Booth and register. It is located in one of the tents outside the jetty port building.
  4. Proceed to the Verification Area. Present a copy of your Boracay hotel booking, this is required if you are staying in Boracay for at least 1 night.
  5. Due to Covid-19 pandemic, other requirements such as Negative RT-PCR test result taken within 48 hours before the trip and the Health declaration form (QR Code required, Boracay Requirements above for details).
  6. Pay the Boracay fees (boat fee, environmental fee, and terminal fee). Go to the payment windows and settle the fees. The Boracay environmental fee is PHP 75 ($1.55) and the terminal fee is PHP 100 ($2). To get to Boracay, there are 2 types of boats that passengers can take: the cheaper boat for PHP 25 ($0.52) one-way or the fast craft for PHP 100 ($2), one-way. Don’t forget the receipts, you must have 3 receipts, 1 each for the required fees (boat fee, terminal fee and environmental fee).
  7. Enter the Caticlan Jetty Port building and clear security check.
  8. Make your way to the Passenger Waiting area. Wait for your boarding.
  9. Board your boat. Don’t to follow social distancing while lining up. Travel time is roughly 15 minutes.
  10. At Boracay port, take a tricycle to your hotel, or if you’ve booked a hotel-pick up, look for your hotel’s shuttle. Tricycle fare (chartered) is approximately PHP 100 ($2) – PHP 150 ($3) depending on your hotel location.

 


WHERE TO STAY IN BORACAY


 

As you probably have heard, you need a confirmed hotel booking (the Boracay hotel needs to be accredited)  before you are allowed to travel to Boracay. I listed down below some of the accredited Boracay Hotel, based on the updated list provided by DOT (Department of Tourism Philippines) last February 28, 2020. Click the link below to check the availability and room rates.

 

BORACAY HOTEL

Ferra Hotel loft room

 

 During my last trip to Boracay, I stayed at Ferra Hotel and Garden Suites, located in Sitio Bulabog in Boracay. It’s a few minutes’ walk to White Beach Boracay or you can ride a tricycle to reach the famed beach. I absolutely loved my stay there because my loft room is airy, sleek, and impeccably-styled with comfort in mind. Adding up to Ferra Hotel’s allure is its  excellent, personalized service. You can book through the link below.

 FERRA HOTEL: RESERVE HERE

 

 Here’s a list of other affordable top-rated accredited Boracay Hotels according to online users.

 

 BORACAY ACCREDITED HOTELS  (STATION 1)

  •  Jony’s Beach Resort
  • Location: Station 1 Boracay
  • RESERVE HERE
  • Jony’s Boutique Hotel
  • Location: Station 1 Boracay
  • RESERVE HERE

 

  • Zuzuni Boutique Hotel
  • Location: Station 1 Boracay
  • RESERVE HERE

BORACAY ACCREDITED HOTELS  (STATION 2)

If you are on a tight budget, here’s a list of cheap accredited Boracay hotels:\

  • Shoretime Dormitel
  • Location: Brgy.Manoc-Manoc Boracay
  • RESERVE HERE

 

  • Fat Jimmy’s Hotel Boracay
  • Location: Station 2 Boracay
  • RESERVE HERE

 

 

  • Shoretime Hotel Annex
  • Location: Station 2 Boracay
  • RESERVE HERE

BORACAY ACCREDITED HOTELS  (STATION 3)

  • 357 Boracay Resort  (8.7)
  • Boracay Hotel Location: Boracay White Beach Station 3
  • RESERVE HERE

BORACAY ACCREDITED HOTELS (BRG.BULABOG)

  •  Cool Stay Inn
  • Boracay Hotel Location: Brgy.Bulabog, Boracay
  • RESERVE HERE  

 

  • Lazy Dog Bed and Breakfast
  • Boracay Hotel Location: Brgy.Bulabog, Boracay
  • RESERVE HERE  

 


BORACAY TRAVEL TIPS AND REMINDER


BORACAY TRAVEL TIPS

  • Since the re-opening of Boracay in 2018, there are new guidelines being strictly implemented in the island. Do take note of them to avoid hassle during your Boracay vacation.
  • Only 6,000 persons per day are allowed in Boracay.
  • At the jetty port in Aklan, you must show a hotel reservation (DOT accredited Boracay hotels) before you can purchase a boat/fast craft ticket en route to Boracay.
  • Flying of drone is only allowed for visitors who secured a permit from the local government.
  • Smoking is allowed in designated areas only, located at the right side of the entrance in D’Mall.
  • Open fire and use of kerosene gas are not allowed on Boracay shores, this is why fire dancers can only use LED lights now.
  • Urinating, defecating, vomiting, and spitting in public areas are prohibited.
  • Dogs and other animals aren’t allowed to roam freely in public areas and beaches around Boracay.

 

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