It only takes one trip, one visit to Boracay to understand what many people have been saying all along --- stunning, gorgeous, paradise. From its virginal state in the 70s when there was no electricity or water, Boracay has come a long way. Its beauty was still every bit breathtaking but added in its armor fun, adventure, and the ultimate island experience. These are just some of the reasons why Boracay is a favorite destination for travelers and backpackers, foreigners and locals alike. The other reasons are more personal to every traveler, some find Boracay a place to enjoy with friends, be alone, and try new things for the first time, including getting married.
Photo from George Gibbs, Flickr, Creative Commons
Nearly 1.5 million tourists flocked to Boracay in 2014, generating 27 billion pesos in tourism receipts. According to records obtained from the Provincial Tourism Operations Office, more than 680,000 were foreign tourists while the rest are domestic and returning Filipinos. This makes Boracay still the country’s number one tourist destination and for the rest of the world, still among the all-time favorites, if not the best. Most recently, Malaysian travel agents declared Boracay as the “Favorite Beach Destination in 2015,” adding Malaysians to the growing number of Asian neighbors who regularly visit the island, most notably the Chinese and Koreans, proof that Boracay is the best in Asia. A report in the Inquirer quoted a press release from the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur praising Boracay’s famous white sand beaches.
The fine, powdery white sand obviously has a lot to do with why Boracay is among the best in the world. There’s also the breathtaking sunset that you can stare at with reverence. But there’s more than just the sand and the sunset that make tourists keep coming back. Here are the rest:
If you are tired of walking barefoot along the five-kilometer white sand or done staring at the sunset, you can try a wide range of activities. Boracay has something for everyone. For thrill-seekers, there’s sailing, wind surfing, parasailing, skim boarding, kite surfing, and cliff diving. Of course, there is the good old scuba diving, snorkeling, jet ski, and island hopping for the entire family. There are shops by the beach offering packages for all water activities, locals will also approach you, and some hotels have exclusive tour packages. Be extra friendly when you haggle and chances are good that you will have it your way. Locals are nice like that.
Adventure is among the many reasons why Boracay is the best island getaway --- you are most likely to go beyond your limits and do something for the first time.
Adventure doesn’t stop on the beach. It goes on until the wee hours of the morning because Boracay is famous for its party scene and nightlife as it is for the white sand. On any given night, there’s drinking, dancing, and partying in the bars and clubs by the beach. Happy hour usually start, at 5pm and even earlier in some bars. Here you will see how diverse the people are and how rich the culture is in Boracay. There is a good chance that you meet a new friend or even learn a new language.
Photo courtesy of Cush Travel via Pinterest
Vacation without a reliable wi-fi connection? Okay for those who are bent on soul-searching but for many, uploading pictures and sharing them to the virtual world is part of the fun. Who wouldn’t want a jump shot on the white sand shores or a selfie at sunset? Boracay is very tourist-friendly because it is truly convenient. First of all, it is easy to get there. Unlike other beaches, it only takes an hour plane ride from the Philippines’ capital, Manila. Most hotels offer free pick-up and transfers from airports.
Speaking of hotels, there are a lot to choose from and you can book them all online. Most of the hotels are beach side but if you want more peace and quiet, book a hotel nestled at high peaks for more privacy and a better view. Among them is Alta Vista de Boracay a hotel that gives tourists a different and pleasantly surprising side of Boracay that is not loud and busy.
In Boracay, you can dine in the fine restaurants that you see in the city. There are shops for souvenirs and everything you will need. You can get a massage after a long day. And yes, you can use your credit card to foot the bill.
Photo courtesy of Shonna Geri Masiglat via Pinterest
What makes Boracay truly stand out are the people. The warm and friendly locals are among the top reasons why Boracay is a favorite destination. Many travelers keep coming back because it feels like home. Typical of a Filipino, locals are always smiling and are always helpful. Hospitality is the name of the game. They also speak good English.
Among the places where you will feel this warmth is in the market or talipapa and when dining. The food is good everywhere --- from fresh seafood to the world-famous lechon or the Philippines’ own suckling pig. If you are not in the mood for local, there’s always continental, Chinese, Italian, Persian, and even Moroccan.
Photo from Angelo Juan Ramos, Flickr, Creative Commons
Oh, did we mention Boracay is not confined to the white beach? Via island hopping, boat ride or paraw ride, or in some cases a motorcycle, you can reach other less-crowded but equally stunning islands and beaches. There’s the more peaceful Diniwid beach, Bulabog beach and its huge waves, the secluded Lapus Lapus beach, and the coral gardens of Tambisaan beach. There are also hotels like Alta Vista de Boracay that offer exclusive access to Puka beach, one of CNN’s Top 100 beaches in the world.
The diverse activities in Boracay make it an all-time favorite. Despite all the modern comfort, it still manages to charm with its captivating beauty and make travelers fall in love over and over again.