Boracay

Airports

Boracay is a small tropical island located approximately 315km (200 miles) south of Manila Philippines and 2km off the northwest tip of the island of Panay in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. Boracay is one of the country's most popular tourist destinations, due to it’s pristine white beaches. The island is comprised of the barangays of Manoc-Manoc, Balabag, and Yapak (3 of the 17 barangays which make up the municipality of Malay), and is under the administrative control of the Philippine Tourism Authority in coordination with the Provincial Government of Aklan.

Boracay Island

Boracay Island, approximately 7km long (with the narrowest spot being nearly 1km wide), is located off the northwest corner of the island of Panay, and belongs to the Western Visayas island-group, or Region 6, of the Philippines.

Languages/Dialects

Other than Tagalog/Filipino and other local dialects, English is widely spoken in Boracay. Aklanon is predominantly spoken in Aklan Province (island of Panay), of which Boracay is part.

Weather and Climate

Amihan and Habagat

Weather in Boracay is generally divided into two seasonal weather patterns known locally as the Amihan and Habagat seasons. In the Tagalog language, Amihan means a cool northeast wind, and Habagat means west or southwest wind; south-west monsoon. Amihan and Habagat seasons are generally associated respectively with the La Niña and El Niño global weather patterns. The Amihan season is characterized by moderate temperatures, little or no rainfall, and a prevailing wind from the east. The Habagat season is characterized by hot and humid weather, frequent heavy rainfall, and a prevailing wind from the west.

On Boracay, the main indicator of the switch between the Amihan and Habagat seasonal patterns is the switch in wind direction. In most years this transition is abrupt and occurs overnight. In some years there is a period of perhaps a week or two where the wind will switch between Amihan and Habagat patterns several times before settling into the pattern for the new season. As a general rule of thumb, Boracay will be in the Amihan weather pattern from sometime in September or October to sometime in May or June and in the Habagat weather pattern for the remainder of the year. These dates can vary in individual years, though.

Daytime temperatures on Boracay generally range from 77-90º F (25-32º C) from the beginning of the Amihan season into February or March, increase to the 82-100º F(28-38º C) range until the onset of the Habagat season, and moderate back to the 77-90º F (25-32º C) range with the start of the Habagat season. During Tropical Storm periods, temperatures can fall below 68º F (20º C). Tropical Storms can impact Boracay at any time of year, but are most likely to be seen during the Habagat season.

Impact on Tourism Operations

Partly because of its wind and weather patterns, Boracay tourism is heaviest during the Amihan season. During Amihan, the prevailing wind blows from the east. The main tourism area for Boracay, White Beach, is on the western side of the island and is sheltered from the wind. During the Amihan season, the water off White Beach is often glassy-smooth. On the eastern side of the island, hills on the northern and southern ends of the island channel the Amihan season wind from the east onshore onto Bulabog Beach in the central part of the island's eastern side, making the reef-protected waters off that beach ideal for windsurfing and kite boarding / Kitesurfing.

Most Boracay hotels and resorts have Low and High Season price levels with High Season prices generally coinciding with Amihan Season dates. Some have additional Peak Period pricing during periods of heavy tourism (usually including Christmas / New Year, Easter / Holy Week, and Chinese New Year periods).

Transportation

by Plane

From Manila’s domestic airport, take flights to Boracay either via Kalibo (1 hour and 45 minutes away) or via Caticlan (10-20 minutes by boat). From Kalibo airport, air-conditioned vans and buses for hire will take you to the Caticlan Jetty Port, where boats are stationed to take you to the island. Motorized tricycles will take you from Caticlan airport to the jetty port, 3 minutes away.

Around Boracay Island

On the island, most public transportation is by motorized Pedi cab or tricycles as they are called locally. There is a set fee for tricycle rides displayed on a tariff card in every vehicle. Other means of transportation include mountain bikes, quad bikes and motorbikes, which can be rented. Operation of motorbikes along White Beach and most of the beach’s path is forbidden by law. To explore around the island's coast, rent a Paraw (sailboat) or motorized banca. A common sight round the island is the sailing Paraw, a narrow hulled boat with outriggers either side and with passengers sometimes seated on a webbing platform between the outriggers supports. These are extremely fast off the wind, but are rather unwieldy. Going about is a rather complicated maneuver.


Although Boracay has over 12 beautiful white beaches, exceptionally good food, and offers great value for the tourist dollar, its UNIQUE features are it greatest attraction. Among the discoveries that await the traveler.

WHITE BEACHES:

13 of the finest white beaches in the world offering powder fine snow white sand can found right here on Boracay Island:

  • White Beach extends along much of the island’s west coast, this famous stretch of white sand is the premier beauty and tourist attraction of Boracay.
  • Diniwid Beach is just north of white beach and is 200-meters-long. This lovely cove may be reached by walking north from white beach along a picturesque path hewn form the cliff. Diniwid offers seclusion and upper-scale resorts with a private beach.
  • Tiny Baling-Hai Beach, enclosed by craggy walls of rock, is a romantic hideaway for those who prefer quiet and solitude. Cottages of the Balinghai Resort are scattered on the rock cliff as well as at the top of the cliff above the beach.
  • Puka Shell Beach is on the north end of Boracay facing Carabao Island. This beach is 1,300 meters long and is the second-longest beach on Boracay and a favorite picnic destination for tourist boating around the island.
  • Bulabog Beach is on the eastern side of Boracay Island and separated from white beach by the narrowest part of the Island. Although only one-kilometer long, Bulabog Beach is home to windsurfing, kitesurfing and the annual Southeast Asia Funboard Cup.

EXOTIC WILDLIFE:

In some jungle-like areas you will still see snakes, monkeys and even  a waren, a large monitor lizard. As you walk along white beach in the evening you may see the flying foxes flying overhead. These large fruit eating bats are native to Boracay and in recent years have become endangered. Once numbering in the thousands, now only about 750 are believed to be on the island.

  • the marvelous GECKO, found all over the island and even in homes and some of the hotels and resorts.
  • the tiny yellow breasted SUNBIRDS, can be seen feeding on nectar in calamansi and palm trees. When not feeding, they fly acrobatically with sudden stops midair, calling excitedly.
  • the BUTTERFLIES can be found in the areas rich with trees an plants can reward you with a view of many beautiful butterflies native to Boracay.
  • an abundance of MARINE LIFE in the waters surrounding Boracay can be found, although not to be compared to what one finds in Bohol, Palawan or Batangas. For first time divers, Boracay offers great underwater scenes.

EXOTIC PLANTS and the DEAD FOREST:

The Varity of trees and bushes on Boracay is stunning. There are literally hundreds of different varieties of flowers, bushes, plants, trees:

  • Mango, Papaya, Guava, Tamarind and Jackfruit, and many Calamansi and Breadfruit trees.
  • Look for the strangely beautiful Frangipani with its contorted trunk and branches. It’s lovely flowers are purplish outside with a pleasant fragrance.
  • The fruit of the Indian Almond tree is a preferred meal of the local bats
  • A delicate Barringtonia asiatica tree can be seen beside the swimming pool of the Boracay Regency Resort. It’s pink and white pollen-filled blossoms open only in the evening, and the fruit contains seeds that stun fish when grated and cast in the water.
  • You will also see well-tended Hibiscus bushes and large Bougainvillea bushes with there brilliant flowers.

ARE YOU READY FOR BORACAY?‚Äč

A forgotten land as far as tourism is concerned, Boracay is not for everyone. Changes, delays, taxi over charging, occasional chaos are all part of traveling in Boracay, so potential travelers should be well-qualified and thoroughly briefed to avoid unhappy experiences for all concerned.

Potential travelers should also be warned of the health hazards, lack of safety equipment (life jackets and/or rafts) in boats and other embarkations; of the scarcity of medical facilities outside of Manila and the fact that the medical facilities available in the capital are not up to American standards. In other words, traveling to Boracay Philippines definitely involves a certain amount of risk.

If, on the other hand, one has a true spirit of adventure akin to that of the early explorers, is willing to accept and trade some aggravation and discomfort for incredible white beaches, flora and unique wildlife in a pristine land, and welcomes the unexpected as the very essence of adventure travel, then Boracay Philippines will prove to be the destination of a lifetime to return to again and again.