You need not go to Ibiza in Spain just to have one grand beach party that will be surely talked about by your friends in the years to come. Boracay, in Aklan, is that ultimate beach party destination that certainly comes at par with some of the world’s best party beaches such as Kuta Beach in Bali, Indonesia and South Beach in Miami, USA.
Cheapflights.com, a travel search engine which business is to publish travel deals, has named the famous White Beach in Boracay as one of the World’s Top 10 Party Beaches. Boracay is definitely on a roll this year!
In July, famous travel magazine Travel + Leisure has also named this beach paradise as the World’s Best Overall Island, topping other beach favorites Santorini, in Greece, and Sicily, in Italy. The same publication also named Discovery Shores, possibly the most popular high-end resort in the island, as the Top Hotel Spa in Asia.
Leisure takes on a different meaning here, so take your love to the beach. Now.
Here are ten reasons why Boracay is such a hit among juanderkids! 😀
10. Accessibility. All Philippine airlines fly to this major destination and they certainly have numerous flights in one day. The nearest jump-off point to the island is Caticlan, which is just some 20 minutes by pumpboat. Or when looking for cheaper travel options, one may take a plane to Kalibo and then ride a van to Caticlan. Take in the rural scenery as you travel for at least one hour.
When you are feeling adventurous and you want to travel around Panay Island, try considering flying to Iloilo City first for some gastronomic feast, then take a bus or a van to get you to Caticlan. Travel time is between five to six hours.
Once in the island, you can ride a tricycle to take you from one station to the next. Or the best option, of course, is to just enjoy that famous Boracay white sand when that cravings for that equally-popular fruit shake become unbearable.
9. Crowd watching. Boracay is one melting pot that attracts people of different interests and bikini sizes. From ordinary beach-goers who turn the beach into their catwalk, to celebrities who try hard to blend with the locals, to demigods whose bodies look like they belong to a different dimension, the island is an interesting mix of different people.
While some guests complain how Boracay has turned into a destination nightmare with the continuous ballooning of the number of visitors that troop to the island, some people actually take delight in this diversity. Depending on the time of the day (or night), you are destined to hobnob with fellow travelers who revel in Boracay’s brand of leisure and entertainment.
According to the Department of Tourism, around 1 million foreign and domestic tourists arrived in Boracay in 2011. That’s one million reasons to watch the world go by.
8. Weddings. Fairy tales do come true, at least for a day or two, in this island. Boracay, without a doubt, is the most popular wedding destination in the country today. It is an easy favorite among couples who want their weddings to be away from the city crowd but also hope to enjoy the conveniences of an urban lifestyle.
Boracay weddings are always a hit, with the world-renowned sunset providing that seamless backdrop to a day that is destined to become a classic. Head to Station 1, where the beach is at its widest, to get a taste of weddings that range from the most amorous to the most drool-worthy.
7. Locals. One of the reasons why Boracay is so vibrant is because of the locals who understand the island’s spell. You’d be surprised to find locals here who are genuinely hospitable and who do not see you as a walking wallet, even when the island already stinks of commercialism. Yes, a number of them will try to “outsell” you, but when you show them that you do not have the money to buy the world, they warmly welcome you to the island.
Island kids are always fun to be around with, they are the first to tell you some of Boracay’s little taken-for-granted secrets. They will offer to teach you how to skimboard, prepare the best sand sculptures for your barkada, they will come up with the best death-defying diving routine (okay, this one is an exaggeration).
The thing is, they will make you feel that you belong to the island when you treat them with respect. And yes, Boracay please, not Bora!
6. Nightlife. That infamous Boracay nightlife! Life for some in the island starts when the sun goes down and ends just when the sun starts to show up once again. Who wouldn’t live this kind of life with Boracay’s dynamic, pulsating, and aggressive night scene, right? People who come to Boracay to party and just have fun certainly get what they are looking for.
Almost every establishment along White Beach promises a night that is both enjoyable and unforgettable. And sometimes, regrettable. 🙂 Early night out means you get to enjoy the acoustic sound from most restaurants that have an al fresco set up. Fire dancers are also not to be missed.
When it is hardcore island partying that excites you, wait a little bit later as most bars and hang-out places here start to pump up at 11 pm. Epic, formerly Hey Jude, is a crowd favorite among yuppies. But not to be missed are other island regulars Juice Bar, Bom Bom Bar, Summer Place, and Friday’s. Cocomangas Shooter Bar, by the main road, has its infamous Still Standing After 15 drinking challenge, which when survived, allows its drinker’s name to be listed on its wall of fame. Bulabog Beach, on the other side of the island, has Jungle Bar which hosts the island’s most-happening full moon parties.
5. Island adventures. From water adventures to inland activities, this island surely does not run out of it. Boracay is known to have 30 dive sites within 30 minutes of the island, which makes it appealing to scuba divers. Not a scuba diver? Never fret. You can still have a glimpse of what happens under the sea trough helmet-diving and reef-walking.
One can also snorkel when he or she island hops, which takes guests to nearby islands Crocodile, Tablas, and Crystal Cove. These tours also bring guests to other beaches in Boracay such as Puka and Banyugan.
Skimboarding is a favorite among the younger crowd because it is extremely inexpensive (and could be free if you befriend the locals). Paraw sailing is a must at sunset. If it’s group activity that you desire, banana boat and flying fish rides are popular here as well. Off Boracay Island, cliff diving at Ariel’s Point is worth a try.
When done with your water adventures, hit the road with all-terrain vehicles (ATV) and buggies. Or ride the Zorb for that needed adrenaline rush that one gets from riding down a hill inside a giant ball.
4. Pampering. All the island adventures can be tiring for some travelers but the island is ready to rescue such weary souls. One can avail of spa services and massages that can be found in almost every corner of the island, ranging from the most budget-friendly to the ones that could possibly make a dent in your wallet.
Massage huts are found along White Beach, offering different types of strokes that will cost you between PhP300 and PhP500. The island understands that people need this kind of pampering, one will be surprised to find massage centers that are open 24/7. Also, roving masseuses can be found almost everywhere.
Meanwhile, the burgeoning spa industry certainly has a home in Boracay. Some of the most expensive spas, but which services are highly remarkable and esteemed, are found in the island. Among these spas that have earned their royal patrons are Mandala Spa, which is known for their award-winning treatments such as Hilot Trilogy; Nami Spa, which is revered for its location that affords you with a great view of the sea while enjoying their treatments; and Chi, Shangri-La’s in-house spa that offers that much needed privacy.
3. Dining. Boracay’s dining scene is as varied and as interesting as the kinds of people that the island attracts. But one should not forget to try some island favorites such as the churi burger and the to-die for chocolate banana peanut shakes (!) of Jonah’s.
Name all those international cuisine that you fancy and you’re more likely to find them here. From Filipino to Mexican, Japanese, Chinese, Mongolian, Korean, Spanish, American, Italian, Swiss, you are not one to run out of appetite here. Why, even Greek, Thai, and Indian cuisines have a place here. More notable are the restaurants Dos Mestizos for its paellas, Aria for its pasta and pizza, iLemon cafe for its cheesecakes, and Cyma for its Mediterranean dishes.
Also, dinner buffets abound in the island which one can enjoy for as low as PhP250. Most of these inexpensive buffet scenes are found along Station 2 and show a wide selection of food that ranges from seafood to most Filipino food favorites such as adobo and mechado. The more expensive resorts also host their own buffet dinners but the one that is highly-recommended by Juanderkid is that of Discovery Shores. Their food selection is just amazing! And mouthwatering! 🙂
2. Sunset. A lot has already been said about the island’s world-renown sunset and all of these are actually true. Some of the island’s guests travel the world just to get a view of this grand work of nature and more often than not, they are simply overwhelmed by this display.
One gets a sense of tranquility just by admiring Boracay’s sunset while others take this opportunity to come up with photographs that make other people wonder where you have just been.
1. The beach. People, of course, go here for the beach. From brilliant blue to glassy green, its water remains one good reason to make Boracay your quick-beach fix or your grand beach destination. One need to schedule his or her trip to the island accordingly as some months see the large presence of moss and seaweed in the area. Also, talks of Boracay’s water being contaminated with E. Coli has been a cause for concern among travelers, especially those who travel with their kids.
For most guests, Boracay is that perfect beach which fine, powdery, white sand remain unparalleled in the country today.
Whatever it is that you’re looking for in a beach holiday, Boracay has certainly one for you. Whether it is the unending beach parties that lure you to the island or the water activities that pump up your adrenaline or the rich cuisines that tease your palate or the kind of pampering that you only daydream about during lunch breaks, you definitely get out of Boracay rejuvenated.
Without a doubt, this Juanderkid here is a lover of this island!
Love and light, everyone. Go, juanderlust! 😀
- Except for the photograph of the tricycle that was taken with a Sony D90 in November 2010, all other photographs were taken with a Canon 550d. The locals photograph was taken in April 2012, while the rest were taken in November 2011.
- The photographs that comprise the last collage were taken in October 2009.