The Philippines is a very large island country so at the time of visiting it one must contemplate yes or yes internal trips. The entrance is the capital, Manila, but since this is about visiting some of the best beaches in the world, it is necessary to go further and cross to Boracay.
Boracay is an island just over 300 kilometers from Manila, a great destination to relax or have fun, whatever you are looking for, as it offers both possibilities with the best landscape in the world. It is usually known as the Ibiza of Asia. But how to go from Manila to Boracay? Where do you stay once there? How do you move? When should you go? If you are thinking of traveling to the Philippines then today's article is for you.
Table of Contents
Tourism came to this island in the 70s and in the following decade it became a recommended destination for backpackers around the world. An island of coconuts, fruit trees and lots of green. For the new century one of its beaches was among the three best beaches in the world and since then no one doubts that Boracay is an earthly paradise.
It has two main beaches, the famous Playa Blanca and the Bulabog, both on opposite sides of the island, one to the west, the other to the east. The first and most popular one has about four kilometers of white sands and is lined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, bars and businesses of all kinds, but as you walk, things slow down so it is a great destination to have a little of action and a little peace.
For windsurfing and kitesurfing the option is Bulabog beach. Whether it is to rest or have fun, it is necessary that you be clear at what time of year it is convenient to go to have a good time whatever your option. Basically there are two seasons, dry and wet and the best to spend a great vacation is go between christmas and march.
How to go from Manila to Boracay
From Manila the fastest route is to take a plane from the domestic airport to the island of Panay. Or you fly directly to the city of Kalibo or the city of Caticlan, on Panay Island. The flights last us more than an hour and the companies that comply with it are Asian Spirit, Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific or Air Philippines.
The best option is to fly via Caticlan and although they are small planes they fly low and the views are great. Also, there are daily flights to Boracay but if you don't like long trips this is the best option. Once in Caticlan you take a motorcycle-tricycle to the port and then the water transfer, boat bench, to Boracay which is minutes nothing more.
From Kalibo the journey is longer because the port is one or two hours away by bus or van. The flights are generally on board a 737 but then you have that hour and a half by bus or mini van to Caticlan. And from there another minute by boat that leaves you at one of the three coastal stations or Boat Stations in Playa Blanca, on the west coast of Boracay.
In high season it is even advisable to book accommodation with time because although you will not have problems in finding where to sleep without reservation, you may find people who want to take advantage of the prices. If you go between July and November, don't worry.
If you don't want to fly then you can go by ferry But the schedules are more complicated and since bad weather can suspend trips, I would not recommend it much. From Manila you can take a bus to Batangas and from there the ferry, better the fast ferry. The MBRS company has cheaper ferry trips and they leave in the afternoon to arrive the next morning at Caticlan and from there it is 15 minutes. There are several services per week.
From Batangas you can also take the night ferry to the island of Tablas, to the small port of Odiongan. From here you take a jeep that crosses the hills and takes you to the port of Loorc or Santa Fe from where you take the bank boat to Boracay. Only for adventurers, yes. You can also go from Manila to Dumagit, located north of Panay Island, south of Kalibo. The trip is at night and from there you can get to Caticlan yourself, either in an air-conditioned bus or in a jeep.
You can also do part of the tour by bus, although it is very long: you take a bus in Manila to Caticlan, you travel twelve hours a day.
Boracay, the island of the three seasons
I'm not talking about seasons of the year. Boracay It has three stations or boat stations on the coast: 1, 2 and 3. They are all on the coast of Playa Blanca, its most popular beach, and are the landing points on the island. On each one there are restaurants, cafes and hotels of all kinds.
Station 1 is the one located further north while station 3 is the one closest to Caticlan and station 2 is right in the middle. They are not far from each other so walking you unite them calmly. You must bear in mind that the bank boat literally leaves you on the beach so it is advisable to go with a backpack because the suitcase can get wet. There is no proper pier and the water is up to your ankles, hopefully.
Each of the stations has its own imprint: while 2 is the busiest, with loud music and crowds of people and street vendors. La 1 and 3, although they have restaurants and bars, are somewhat quieter. All excursions depart from these beaches so you are going to know them very well. My advice is to stay in rooms 2 and 3 to avoid the hustle and bustle.
As I said above, you can arrive by reservation or without prior reservation, but it all depends on the time of year. I don't like to improvise, I like to know where I'm going to go so I highly recommend booking. In station 3 you can try your luck with Tree House, a very basic but cheap accommodation, and in station 1 an option is La Fiesta Resort, just thirty meters from the beach but with air conditioning and a large balcony.
Last year the rate for La Fiesta was $ 35 per day. Eating is not expensive in Boracay because there are hundreds of chiringuillos on the beach or simpler stalls where you eat for 3 or 4 dollars some exquisite dishes and a can of beer If you want an accurate price list then you can visit the Philippines tourism website because there is a list prices for accommodation, food, excursions and other necessary expenses.
With a week in Boracay enough and more. It's about enjoying the beach, taking boat rides to the islands around you, enjoying beautiful sunsets, and not much else. If you add three days in Manila it should be a wonderful trip.