I spent a week in Boracay, Philippines, earlier in the month and loved it.
Boracay is a small island just off the North Western tip of Panay Island. It doesn’t have an airport, so getting there involves a flight to either Caticlan or Kalibo (on Panay Island), a ferry trip across the straits (only about 5 – 7 minutes) and then a transfer to the hotel.
The flight from Manila (that I took) was great, simply for the fact that they use Bombadier Q300 aircraft – propeller driven aircraft that seat a maximum of 50 people.
This means that you’re flying at around 12,000 – 15,000 feet and, as long as it’s clear, you get spectacular views of the Philippine countryside.
The flight down from Manila takes about an hour, and arriving at Caticlan involves a sweep over Boracay island, touching down on a short runway and deplaning into an airport building about the size of a reasonable farm house. Loved it.
I booked through the My Boracay Guide website and the service they provided was absolutely excellent.
Our bags were miraculously extracted from the baggage trolley and we were on our way to the ferry before we knew it.
The ferry across the strait was quick and we were quickly and painlessly checked into our hotel just over 35 minutes after landing – and on the beach about 10 minutes after that.
If you do go to Boracay I do recommend booking through My Boracay Guide – and that’s not even an affiliate link!
That Boracay is stunningly beautiful goes without saying, and I’ll let the pictures in the slide show below tell that story.
But one of the nicest things about it is that it’s so relaxed.
Yes – you get people trying to sell you mangoes, fake watches and reflective sunglasses, but if you say no they leave you alone. No hassle, no pressure.
You also get people selling snorkelling trips, island hopping trips, jet skiing and other past times. We took an Island Hopping trip which was spectacular – I’ll do a separate article with pictures for that one – and I do recommend it.
At night the beach front comes alive. The beach front restaurants all place tables and chairs out on the beach and serve an incredible range of caught-that-afternoon-fresh seafoods – absolutely out of this world.
There’s a mall close to Station 2 on the white beach (where most of the action takes place) where you can buy pretty much anything – clothing, medicines, food, internet access and anything else you may need.
And at the other end of the white beach there’s a fresh market, selling fresh fruit,vegetables and meat.
We had a great time, and were sad to leave. The slide show below shows some of the sites and scenes, but they don’t depict the friendly, relaxed atmosphere and great service we received.