While you may be in the middle of the Philippines, and less than an hour from Manila’s 12 million residents, a few hours on this tropical island will leave you feeling like you’re in the middle of nowhere. Boracay is a small island with a permanent population of just 12,000. Its 10 square kilometers (six square miles) are home to countless pristine beaches, a lively nightlife and some of the best watersports in South East Asia. In 2012 Boracay was named the best island in the world by a popular travel magazine.
Most of Boracay’s 1,000,000 annual visitors come to the island for the dry season between November and April. This is the ideal time for swimming and water sports, as the beaches remain calm. The months between May and October are therefore much quieter and more affordable, as many hotels and tour operators have seasonal prices. Visitors are advised to check weather warnings, as typhoons are a possibility in the region.
Boracay’s main attractions are its beaches. The most famous of these, the four-kilometer (three-mile) long White Beach, lives up to its name. The popular public beach is lined by tall palms, providing some much-needed shade during the peak of summer, and is ideal for swimming. Families will love the safe shallow water, while the more adventurous will find excellent kite surfing, wind surfing and scuba dive operators along the foreshore. Behind the beach is the main commercial region of the island, D-Mall, where you will find great shopping and eateries.
Those seeking a more secluded beach experience will love Puka Beach, home to the rare Puka shell, while those seeking some excitement will enjoy the cliff jumping at Ariel’s Point. Get between Boracay’s many inlets, coves and beaches on board a motorized tricycle, the island’s answer to taxis. Scooters and bicycles can also be hired for those wanting to explore the island on their own time.
Visitors can reach Boracay via Manila, with regular flights to the nearby Caticlan and Kalibo airports. From here a number of shuttles and taxis run to the ferry terminal, where you’ll be whisked away to paradise.