In celebration of the 90+ degree weather in NYC, I think it's time to reminisce on our experience in balmy Boracay.
On our trip to the Philippines, we took a quick breather from the province quick 1hr flight over to Boracay, a resort island in the Philippines. Actually, technically you fly into Caticlan, then you take a boat and shuttle to the main resort area in Boracay. One way flights from Manila are typically $32 USD. While Boracay fairly touristy now, nothing can take away the sheer beauty of the island.
The beach side is littered with resorts of all price points. We stayed at the Henann Regency Resort with family, and their suites are affordable and well appointed. There are other more well known name-stays such as Shangri-la and other Henann properties, but honestly all the resorts are gorgeous for a good price.
Most hotels have some sort of relationship with the restaurants. You can run the gamut on the food here, from hyper local to upscale. Be careful, many Americans do not have the stomach, so choose wisely and never, ever take a drink with ice. Water (including ice) is not filtered to the same standards as other places, so even when buying bottled water, make sure it's a national or well known brand, not a local brand to Boracay.
There's no shortage of businesses trying to sell you activities, but they're all generally the same. If you go with a local it's easier to negotiate a better price for all-day trips to the little islands. These tend to include:
- Cliff Diving
- Boating to multiple islands
We took one of these offers up, with Stacey's uncle haggling hard for a group discount price!
Where to Eat
If you're not from a third world country, take it from Jon - always be aware of what you're eating and drinking. Like most island resort type places, you're typically not going to find innovative affordable eats, but rather lots of fresh fruits, fish, and fried goods.
Among the safest foods you can eat are fresh coconuts ("buko" in Tagalog). Keeps you hydrated and full, and safe on the stomach. While the wet market is super fun to explore, be very careful here, no matter how delicious everything looks. Make sure the restaurant looks semi-reputable and clean.
To be honest, we didn't get to do much of this as Jon had a stomach bug for much of the trip (be careful!). However, walking along the beach there are plenty of amazing looking chill lounges. While there's tons of night clubs like Epic and Club Paraw, there are plenty of really chill lounges along the beach side to relax, have a drink, and enjoy the sea breeze.
Just a note...
The sunsets in Boracay are some of the most beautiful we've seen. Because of the tropical nature of the island thunderstorms are not an uncommon occurrence, creating beautiful, colorful sunsets with thick clouds. Of all the places we've personally visited, Boracay has the most beautiful skies.
However, as of this post Boracay is under ecological renovation. Because of the boom in tourism and fast growth, the surrounding ecology has taken a hit with the algae bloom coating the coastline. Boracay is slated to reopen, cleaned up, in late 2018/2019, so we recommend holding off on plans until the reopening of the island is confirmed!