Hello Everyone! This month, I spent a few weeks on the beautiful Philippine island of Boracay. Boracay is a small island located about 300 kilometers (200 miles) south of the capital city of Manila. Aside from the immense beauty of this small island and the surrounding sea, the Filipino people are an absolute pleasure — warm, hospitable, polite, cheerful, and more.
Getting to Boracay requires a bit of effort – first fly to Manila, then fly to the city of Caticlan, then take a tricycle (a motorbike taxi with a covered sidecar) to the Caticlan harbor, then take a motorized outrigger boat to the Boracay harbor, then take another tricycle to the hotel. Since the Philippines is a country of hundreds of islands, land transportation won’t get you very far – air and water travel is essential to go just about anywhere.
Boracay is a little island with a huge variety of activities from which to choose, and has received many awards as a tropical island destination. The island is very popular with Filipino, Korean, Chinese, and Australian leisure seekers. I was one of the very, very few Americans on the island – I came across only two Americans.
Boracay is shaped like an hourglass, and is only about 10 kilometers long and 1 kilometer wide at the narrowest part of the hourglass. That narrowest area is about half the length of the island (4 kilometers long) and is the tourist center of the island, with White Beach located on one side and Bulabog Beach located on the other side.
The rest of the island is smattered with 10 more smaller beaches (some of which are very remote and deserted), coves, and jungle-laden hills. The island has a huge bat population, including the largest bat in the world, known as the flying fox, a type of bat that eats only fruit and roosts in treetops, not in caves. Adult flying foxes have a wingspan of 5 feet, are 2 feet long, and weigh 5 pounds. It is a bit unnerving when one zips past your head at twilight!! It is like something out of Jurassic Park to see a flock of flying foxes spread out across the sky.
I stayed at a hotel located on White Beach, which is the main tourism beach. White beach is 4 kilometers long and about 100 meters wide. The water is an iridescent aquamarine – the beige sand alongside the brilliant aquamarine water is striking to see. The rear of the beach is lined with a palm grove, and on the other side of the palm grove is a sand beach path along which the hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops are located. No building can be higher than the palm trees. So, from the beach, or from a boat located just off of the beach, you do not see much of the commercial development, only palm trees. Very nice. White Beach, along with its beach path, the palm grove, and the businesses extend for 2.5 miles (4 kilometers)!
The sunsets at White Beach are some of the best I have ever seen anywhere. What is especially amazing about White Beach sunsets is that every single evening there is a gorgeous sunset, and the range of colors is like no place else I have been.
So, what did I do during my stay on Boracay? I spent my time snorkeling the offshore reefs, island hopping, diving, touring the island on my rented motorbike (3 dollars per day to rent), walking the many remote beaches on the island, swimming in the remote and gorgeous coves around the island, vertical rock climbing/rapelling, parasailing, and trying to windsurf (emphasis on trying). Kite surfing, diving, fishing, and paraw sailing (small outrigger sailboats) are also very popular activities. Island hopping involves taking a small, motorized outrigger boat (half day or full day) to visit many of the surrounding and undeveloped small islands, and the more remote coves and beaches of Boracay island itself. When it comes to island hopping, my preference is to island-hop for an entire day, stopping wherever I want to, and for as long as I want to, and just exploring the jungles, beaches, and snorkeling the reefs.
Last, but not least, I ate some very fantastic Filipino food and seafood! And I do mean fantastic – one of my favorites is the chicken, pork, or seafood adobo. Incredible, especially the pork! And interestingly, there are restaurants on Boracay that have a kitchen, but no food. Yes, no food. They are located near the main wet market (wet meaning fresh seafood and meat). You simply go to the market, buy your fresh seafood or meat of choice, and take it to one of those restaurants. For a very small price, they will prepare your meal for you and serve it to you at one of their tables. I was there every single day!!!
I hope you enjoyed this post! And, remember, clicking on any of the photos in my posts brings about a more enhanced, lightbox image of the photo.
There are a dozen or so more photos below — be sure to scroll down and check them out.
Other Philippine destinations that I visited are Manila and Taal Town – those posts are coming soon.
Finally, as a reminder, if you scroll to the very end of this post, there is (as in all my posts) an area to leave comments or ask me any questions that you may have. As always, I would love to hear from you.