BORACAY TRAVEL GUIDE: MUST SEE, MUST EAT & MUST DO!

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Detailed Post:Boracay Day 1: Boracay Airport Transfer, Boracay Uptown Hotel, D’Mall

As mentioned in our instagram post previously, we have so much to share based on our own “painful” experiences as almost everyone tried to rip us off throughout our 4D3N trip in Boracay Island. However, this does not stopped us from loving Boracay. White Beach’s long stretch of powdery white sand and clear blue water is too beautiful, too surreal. So remember to read our version of Boracay Travel Guide: Must See, Must Eat & Must Do!

When to Go?

During the dry season of Nov-May, White Beach is calm and very suitable for swimming. The other side of the island has large winds and waves making it suitable for kite surfing and windsurfing.

During the rainy season of Jun-Oct, there is a risk of typhoons and White Beach often gets large winds and waves which sometimes makes it unsuitable for swimming.

Getting to Boracay:

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There are no direct flights into Boracay; all visitors must fly to either Caticlan airport or Kalibo airport, take a vehicle to Caticlan Jetty port, and then take a boat from Caticlan Jetty Port, where there is a 10-20 minute boat ride to Boracay.
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For Malaysian/Singaporean visitors, most of us fly direct to Kalibo Airport. The airport is really small and there were only two immigration counters working when were there. Expect at least 30 minutes of queue time to clear immigration. From Kalibo Airport, one needs to go through an 1.5 hours bus ride to Caticlan Jetty port, followed by a 10 minutes boat ride to Boracay Island. There are many travel agencies offering transfer services once you touched down at Kalibo Airport. The most reliable company is South West Tour. However, we realized that there is a huge discrepancies in pricing.
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We paid the official Internet price of 1225 peso per person for door to door return services, inclusive of bus+boat+van+all government fees (environmental fee and terminal fee). Our friend paid 975 peso to Manila Tours (the counter is just next to South West Tours) but we were taking the same mode of transportation under South West. Another friend who arrived one day later told South West that we paid only 900 peso and he got it at 900 peso. We checked with our hotel and they told us that 900 peso is the price that we should be paying.

Hotels in Boracay:

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We were staying in Boracay Uptown in Station 2 for three nights. We love its superb location – right smacked in the middle of Station 2 and just next to D’Mall. It is a beach fronting hotel and the facade of the hotel is very happening but our rooms were really quiet as most of the rooms are located at the back. The room is new, modern, clean and huge enough to accommodate 4.

Other Hotels:

Station 2  – Boracay RegencyHenann Garden ResortThe District Boracay

Station 1 – Estacio UnoAstoria BoracayDiscovery Shores Boracay

Diniwid Beach – Spider House ResortNami Private Villas HotelBoracay West Cove Resort

Honeymooners Hotel – Shangri-la’s Boracay Resort & SpaArgonauta Boracay

Getting around Boracay:

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White Beach is the main attraction in Boracay Island. Its long stretch of powdery white sands and clear blue water is what people are here for. The long beach is divided into three sections, Station 1, Station 2, and Station 3:

Station 1: where most prime hotels and resorts are located; quieter as compared to station 2.

Station 2: the centre of of most activities. D’Mall is the place to go for shopping, and eating, Party scene is crowded and happening.

Station 3:  least developed and lowest priced accommodation can be found here.

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Station 1’s Willy Rock
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Station 2’s night life
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Station 2’s night life
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Station 2’s night life
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Diniwid Beach, with Spider House ResortNami Private Villas HotelBoracay West Cove Resortvisible by the cliff.
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Diniwid Beach: We walked up to Diniwid Beach which is next the Station 1. We took the walkway by the rocks. The beach was nice and quiet. After a king walk it was perfect for a beach nap.
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Spider Beach Resort in Diniwid Beach

Bulabog Beach: Windy most of the time, perfect for  kite surfing.

Puka Shell Beach: A quiet stretch of white sand along the northern tip of the island with lots of small puka shells.

Most visitors opt for motorized tricycles, which act as the island’s taxis and make up most of its traffic.

Tricycle Pricing (must bargain):

Station 2 to Station 1 or Station 3 – 60 peso
Station 2 to Diniwid Beach – 100 peso

Food in Boracay:

D’Mall is the only decent shopping mall in Boracay Island.  Inside this mini complex are eateries that offers various international cuisines as well as shops that sell beach wear, souvenirs and etc.

Beers are really cheap in Boracay Island too. We had too many rounds of  San Miguel and Red Horse until we lost count.
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To be frank, we have never really tried anything mind blowing or memorable in Boracay Island. Most of them are edible and at best, decent in taste.
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Brunch at Lemoni Cafe – decent but not cheap (at least 500-800 peso per person)

Continental Food – Aria’s (Italian, Pizza), Cyma (Greek), Dos Mestizos (Spanish), Lemoni Cafe (Australian, Cafe), Bite Club (Burger), I LOVE BBQ
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Fruit Shake – Jonah’s, Jony’s. We preferred Jonah’s than Jony’s. Remember to order mango milk shake with less milk, the pineapple milk shake and peanut banana milk shake were delicious too!
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Fast Food – Andok’s, Mang Inasal (opposite Andok’s in D’Mall), Mcdonald’s, Pizza Hut, Shakey’s Pizza, Yellow Cab’s Pizza, Starbucks

Fast food is probably the cheapest dining option in Boracay Island. A decent meal in Andok’s or Mang Inasal costs less than 150 peso per person. Mang Inasal offers unlimited rice refill too!
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Smoke Resto offers cheap, authentic local Filipino food. Love the chill out atmosphere here.
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Paupatri is a local fine dining restaurant so hidden that we had some difficulties locating it. The restaurant is absolutely beautiful, one has to walk through a wooden bridge to get inside. There are many individual sitting booths for different groups of patrons. Our dinner of traditional Filipino dishes was delicious but it was really pricey – 4000 peso for 4 pax. If you order western food such as pasta and chicken chop, the pricing is really reasonable.

Local Filipino Food – Smoke Resto, Plato D’ Boracay Resto (oppsoite Smoke Resto), Paupatri
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For desserts, we tried the famous calamansi muffins from Real Coffee. So hard to get it as it is always sold out but we find it OKAY only.
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We also went for a seafood meal in D’Talipapa market. How it works is that you go to the market, buy your own seafood and bring them to any of the local restaurants nearby for cooking with a minimal cooking fee charge depending on the style of your cooking choice. We spent about 720 peso for cooking fee, rice, vegetables and drinks.
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Our dinner at D’Talipapa Market is a really challenging experience. We were told to bargain at least 70% from the price offered but this is what happened:

For 2 medium size crabs and 3 big prawns, we were offered 2000 peso but we paid 800 peso. We were told that it should be around 500 peso.

For XL sized clams, we were offered 1500 peso we paid 500 for 1 kg. Our cook told us that it’s only 150 peso.

For sun hock fish, we were offered 1500 peso but we paid 400 for a small size fish. Our cook told us that it’s only 150 peso.

So the rule of thumb is to take 90% off from what the vendors offered?!

Activities in Boracay:

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Sun Bathing – Most hotel’s lounge chairs are free for hotel guests, otherwise order some drinks or snacks from the restaurants that own the lounge chairs.  Bring your own towel if you do not wish to pay for anything.
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Every morning, once you hit the beach, 90% of the time you will be harassed by local agents offering you “attractive” packages for water sports. For parasailing, most of them offers 1300 peso per pax but our friend managed to bargain down to 1000 peso. For paraw-sailing, we got it for 700 peso (4 pax) where most people offers 300 peso per pax.
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One does not need to pre-book for most of the water sports activities. A must-do when in Boracay is to go sailing aboard the paraw, which is a sailboat with nets on the side to serve as hammocks. For sun set paraw-sailing (20-30 minutes), just wait in front of the beach around station 2 at 5 pm. All the paraws will be parked along the beach, so you get to see which paraw that you will be taking for the sun set cruise.

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Our friend also did a package of Ariel’s Point cliff diving + para sailing + sun set paraw-sailing + ATV ride + snorkeling for RM 300. It all depends on your bargaining skills. Other activities include helmet diving, zip-lining, island hopping, flying fish and etc.

Massage / Spa in Boracay:

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There are two Palassa Spa in Boracay and the most visible one is the one located next to Jonah’s milk shake in station 1. We tried their Swedish Massage at 350 peso for 60 minutes. Tipping is mandatory. It was an OK experience, nothing great but we got to kill some time.

We also tried beach front massage at 600 peso per couple. Remember to choose a senior looking masseur to ensure a most satisfying experience. Highly recommending if you do not mind stripping off by the beach (ladies remember to wear bikini).
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We have decided to splurge a bit on a luxurious spa session in Nami Private Villas Hotel since this is a R&R trip for us.
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A 60 minutes Swedish Massage session costs 990 peso per person. The view from the resort is magnificent!
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After a massage session in Nami Private Villas Hotel, we hang around the resort for a while since we can’t afford a stay here. Pictured here is our beautiful couple friends.

Shopping in Boracay:

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There are two major supermarket in the Island they are both located opposite each other at the entrance of the famous D’Mall of Boracay Island – Boracay Budget Mart and The Crafts Boracay. We got lots of cheap local chips and beers from here.
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The largest area for shopping is called D’Mall, with fashion and specialty shops, supermarkets and a fruit, fish and meat department. D’talipapa market offers cheaper bargains and souvenirs.

Best Spots for Sun Set in Boracay:

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Spider House Resort’s bar is a really good spot to watch sun set. They play amazing house music and you can jump into the water directly from the bar.
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Boracay Terraces Restaurant in between Station 1 and Diniwid Beach also offers a great ocean fronting location for sunset view.
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Of course, paraw-sailing was our best sun set experience. There is nothing more romantic than lying on the hammocks by the side with your loved ones, while watching the sun setting down.

Paalam na hô (good bye) Boracay Island!

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