If you were like me and wondering what to do in Boracay, The Philippines, this post is for you! Boracay was my favorite place in the country. It’s small, convenient, walkeable, and the White Beach was just a few minutes away from where I stayed.
Getting to Boracay
I flew from Manila to Godofredo P. Ramos (Caticlan) Airport (MPH). Kalibo International Airport apparently has cheaper flights, but you need to travel 2 hours via bus. Based off of how complicated it can be to travel short distances here, especially in the December high season, I chose to pay more for the closer airport. There’s no airport in Boracay (yet).
After landing, I paid for a tricycle to the ferry dock. It’s essential that you take CASH with you as soon as you see an ATM, because not all ATMs work, or have cash. Paying for all public transportation involves cash. I take out at least 5000 pesos at a time (about $92USD). I use the Charles Schwab debit card, which reimburses me of all ATM fees. Paying to take out your own money is a scam, and my life forever changed when I found out about this card. I don’t pay foreign transaction fees, either.
Ok, back to the ferry! You have to pay a few hundred pesos for tourist fees and all that. The ferry ride is about 15 minutes long, and they leave frequently. Going from the hustle and bustle of Manila to Boracay in the evening was a shock to my system, in the best way. I could breathe the fresh, ocean air, and it was DARK.
The streets aren’t very well lit at all, but don’t worry, it’s safe. Filipinos are friendly, welcoming, and are pretty nonviolent (as someone who has been assaulted at knife point in Nicaragua, I can tell the difference). I also find that they don’t try to blatantly overcharge you in ways I saw when living near Cancun. I feel like I can trust people here a lot more easily than I could in Latin American.
Where to Stay in Boracay
Before worrying about what to do in Boracay, it’s important to decide where to stay. The island is shaped like a dog bone, and it’s divided into Stations 1, 2, and 3. Station 3 is where I stayed. It’s in the southern part closest to the ferry dock. I chose it because I had heard that station 2 is the party station, and as a sensitive traveler, I didn’t want to be around too much noise.
I stayed for almost a week at Kommons by Camino, a lovely hostel run by the friendliest staff. Breakfast is included! I loved walking downstairs each morning and having breakfast ready while chatting it up with the staff. I ended up making friends with them and going to karaoke and trivia nights with them. It’s loud downstairs until midnight, but the rooms are on the 4th floor. I slept pretty well and the beds were comfy. The wifi wasn’t the best, but it’s not good anywhere outside Manila. It’s about a 5 minute walk to White Beach, a gorgeous beach lined with restaurants, shops, and spas.
After my much needed socializing time, I stayed nearby at my Airbnb behind Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant. The restaurant was great, but I wouldn’t recommend staying in that neighborhood because it was HELLA muddy when it rained. There’s also lots of roosters and loud construction going on there. I ended up going back to Kommons after a week.
tours to do in boracay
Boracay is a small island. White Beach is beautiful but crowded. Puka beach is up north and is less crowded. After exploring the beaches, I did 2 tours, both of which I signed up with with one of the many tour operators scattered along White Beach:
The ATV Tour
I took a tricycle to the ferry dock, where they took me on a speedboat with a filipino couple and two guy friends traveling together from Oman. Then we took a jeepney to the ATV resort. While waiting for the ATV tour, we swam in the river and kayaked. The ATV tour consisted of us going around in circles on a track in the jungle. If you have asthma, I don’t think this would be a good idea because the exhaust from the ATVs was intense, and there wasn’t much room between us.
The best part of the tour was drinking some Tanduay rum and chilling in the Kawa, basically a tub full of water that’s burning from a fire underneath. I sat in mine for almost 2 hours!
The island hopping tour
This tour takes you from Boracay to Puka Beach, then to the mainland for a buffet lunch (no nice beach there), and then Crystal Cove. The highlight of this tour was meeting a solo traveler and Colombian who is now a dear friend! We ended up speaking in Spanish with each other and hung out for the next few days.
Meeting her reminded me of how much I missed Latin America. I’ve been to Colombia 3 times and just spent the past year and a half living in Mexico, and I missed it. I came to Asia to step outside of my comfort zone, though, and Latin America isn’t going anywhere.
Where to eat in boracay
Nonie’s was hands down my favorite restaurant. They had vegeterian and vegan options, and the food is locally sourced. I can rarely “feel the love” in the food when I go to a restuarant, but I felt the love here!
Falafel Boracay: Also another place with veggies! I’m not vegeterian, but I do like to eat healthy. This place is small and has delicious falafel. Also, I love how they were called “Hijo de Pita!”
Giuseppe’s Restaurant: I went here 5+ times for the veggie pizza. Their salad was pretty good, too. I also recommend their squid in polenta. The view of the beach is relaxing AF!
Hope you’ve enjoyed my post about things to do in Boracay! Drop your questions in the comments!