By now, a lot of us might have already gone to Boracay or at least have listed this place on a bucket list. I mean, why not? it’s one of the best beaches in our country. As for me, I chose going back because I wanted to replace my not-so-good experience years ago with something worth remembering. Besides, it’s Gelo’s first time going there and it would be fun to party at the beach on my birthday. It was also our first time travelling by plane together so I wanted a place far away from Luzon. We spent 5 days in Boracay and it was pure paradise. The weather was in our favor because it only rained while we were on our way to island and when we left, so it was always sunny whenever we expected it to be.
I have come up with some tips for those who have plans of going there in the near future. It was time-consuming for us when we had to do our own research and I know that you guys don’t want the same hassle, so below are the things to keep in mind when going to Boracay:
All thanks to the Piso Fare promos, we were able to book this flight as early as June via AirAsia. It only cost us ₱4,523.20 for the two of us traveling to and from Kalibo, Aklan. Yes, it was Kalibo and not Caticlan, although the latter could have saved us more money & time (You spend around 2 hours of travel from Kalibo to Boracay while you save half the time if you’re from Caticlan). AirAsia doesn’t accommodate trips to Caticlan but other airlines do. It all depends I guess to what matters to you more: The fare or the comfort.
As you leave the Kalibo airport, there will be a lot of people waiting for you to take advantage of their airport transfer services. This is true even for arrivals at around 8PM as there will still be plenty of buses and vans around. You can bargain all you want but if you’re like me who’s bad at haggling, prepare this ahead of time. For example, Southwest Tours offers door-to-door transfers and their website is very informative & user-friendly. I learned about them through our host who only charged us ₱1,500/ea for both ways and inclusive of environmental, admission, and terminal fees.
NOTE: The Kalibo airport charges ₱200/person for their terminal fee and they’re stricter with liquids in your baggage, jsyk.
You don’t want to splurge so much for your hotel room when you know that you’re going to spend 90% of your day outside. If you agree with me, then consider these 2 options: Look for vacant rooms by roaming around the island (the prices are lower if you’re a walk-in guest), or book a room on Airbnb. We chose option #2 and found a basic room at The Rabbit Hole. It had all the basics we need for only ₱1,294/night:
- air-conditioned room
- cable TV
- hot & cold shower
- a balcony where you can hang all your clothes to dry
Other Things (a.k.a. Stuff You Should Already Know)
You would be sunburnt without this. You’ll be sunburnt even with it, but it’s much worse without it. My ultimate staple is SunPlay Watery Cool sunscreen with SPF 65. It has that cooling effect which is helpful when it’s humid, and it’s sweat- and water-proof.
2. A Waterproof Bag
I had seen a lot of people walking at the beach with regular shoulder bags (I kid you not). 95% of those ended up with wet bags shortly after. You can buy a waterproof bag almost everywhere— including the stalls at D*Mall. I got mine as a Christmas gift from my sister and I was told she bought it from Lazada. It kept our things dry as it should.
3. A Coin Purse
We didn’t want to bring our wallets, of course. We just left them in our room and brought this cute coin purse instead. I got this from my sister. What. A. Steal.
4. Straw Hats
Kimmie advised me to buy a straw hat because of the heat, and I’m so glad I followed her advice. We bought them for ₱200/ea. They were wonderful for selfies and for that beach vibe!
Now this you can’t help but break your piggy bank for. The entire beach strip, especiall D*Mall, offers so many restaurants with great food. Below are the ones we liked the most:
It’s a Mexican restaurant that was recommended to us by my good friend, Kimmie. We had our dinner here on our first night. I ordered their Cheese Quesadillas and Piña Colada, while Gelo had a Mexican burger plus a Mango Margarita. Tres Amigos is located at D*Mall, beside Texas Steakhouse.
Another Mexican restaurant but cheaper. Gelo and I only ordered their 2-piece burrito for less than ₱400 and we were surprised to see that it’s big enough for 4 people! Not to mention their super large fruit shakes.
If you’re facing the beach, just go to your right and you will find Mañana.
On my birthday, Gelo bought their Mango Madness cake (₱150) which was their best seller and it was good.
It’s a 24-hour canteen where we ate burgers, hotdogs, and onion rings. Finding them is easy too as they’re just beside Epic and near Boracay Uptown. The place isn’t as grand as the other restos you will see there, but it’s worth trying out if you’re into junk food after a long swim at the beach.
One of the best at D*Mall, Spice Bird is a Piri-Piri grill with a mouth-watering selection of food. It’s located at D*Mall between Cyma & Wokeria: Red Crab Pasta House, and behind the Ferris Wheel. This was where we had my birthday dinner! We had Piri-Piri Pulled Pork Sandwich (₱295), Piri-Piri Shrimp Board (₱320), Mango & Mint Shake (₱120), and their famous Homemade Calamansi Cheesecake (₱245).
We would have bored our asses out if we just swam all day for 5 days. Luckily, you can find deals for activities the moment you step out of your hotel. A lot of people will offer you deals & packages so I had Gelo haggle with each person for the activities that we liked. The prices below were based on 7 guys we asked:
- ATV: ₱600-700 each
- Paraw sailing: ₱400-600
- Parasailing: ₱1100-1500 each
- Island-hopping: ₱700-800/ea, and ₱2000-2500 for a private boat
The estimated total for those mentioned would range from ₱2,800 to ₱5,300 for only each of us. Is it pricey? Hell yeah. Can you get a much lower price? HELL YEAH.
Tip #1: Among the 4 activities above, only ATV and parasailing were worth it. Paraw sailing had us take pictures of the sunset, but the ride was so inconvenient because we had to sit on a plastic net the entire time. Island-hopping was okay and it has a free buffet but there were extra fees for helmet-diving (₱400), snorkeling (₱20), cliff-diving (₱200), and entering the Crystal Cove (₱200). All those for 40 minutes each. We also didn’t get to visit Puka beach because of the wind’s danger to the boat. That was a total bummer.
Tip #2: Try looking for deals in the evening. What we realized was people will really give you the cheapest prices at night and when they find out that you already said ‘yes’ to someone else. The cheapest offer we got was for the ATV at only ₱200/ea. We met Jing who was one of those men we asked and he offered us those 4 activities for only ₱2,450 each.
You can contact Jing through this number:
+63 907 196 9849
I know that Boracay has been overrated and has become mainstream, but our experience dare I say is the most fun we’ve had in a while. It was so heartbreaking when we had to leave for Manila that we actually considered missing our flight just so we could spend one more day in the island. No regrets though, just sunburnt and happy faces. 🙂
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Note: This is not a sponsored post.