Since the well-loved Boracay re-opened, the local government has enforced several new policies to preserve the beauty and cleanliness of the island.
Are you planning to take a vacation? If you are, then this Boracay guide update for 2019 will equip you with information and recommendations to help you experience a stress-free vacation on the island!
What to Prepare for in Boracay
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One of the new policies implemented on the island is the “No Booking, No Entry” policy. After purchasing your airplane tickets to the island, do not forget to arrange your accommodation bookings. You will not be allowed to enter the island if you fail to show proof that you are booked in one of the government accredited Boracay hotels or other accommodations.
If you’re looking for a hotel that offers style and convenience without breaking your budget, book at Alta Vista De Boracay. It’s hilltop location will give you the best breathtaking view of the island from sunrise to sunset.
The peak season in Boracay is February to May. During this time, there are a lot of tourists and beach activities that happen on the island. If you’re more of the laid-back type, you might prefer to schedule your vacation during Bora’s off-peak season, instead. This would be between July and October when it is less crowded, and airfares and hotel bookings are a lot cheaper, to boot. Regardless, any time is the best time to visit the pristine beach!
How to Enter Boracay
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You can reach Boracay from Manila by air or by land. If you choose the former, you can take either the Manila to Caticlan or the Manila to Kalibo route.
The first route is significantly faster, considering that it is a mere 15-minute boat ride from the shores of Caticlan. The only downside is that airfares for this route tend to be more expensive, making the Manila-to-Kalibo route a favorite by tourists. If you choose to touch down at Kalibo, take a 1.5-2-hour bus or van ride to Caticlan Jetty Port; upon arrival, 15 minutes away is the pristine Boracay beaches.
If riding the plane is not your thing, you can take the scenic route to Boracay. You can either take the bus or your own car to Batangas port and from there ride the roll-on-roll-off (RoRo) ferries to Caticlan and Boracay. While this option takes it longer for you to reach Boracay island, it is relatively cheaper, enables you to see different places en route to Boracay, and lets you experience other perks!
Aside from airfare and ferry tickets, prepare enough money for terminal fees and environmental fees charged at the port prior to entering the island. Upon reaching the port in Boracay, you can either ride a tricycle or a multicab to your hotel and other stations and locations on the island.
Changes in Boracay since its re-opening
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Aside from the “No Entry, No Booking Policy,” other changes in Boracay after its 2018 rehabilitation include no smoking, drinking of alcohol, littering, peeing, defecating, loud music, fire dancing, and pets; and pitching umbrellas on the beach.
Proper waste disposal and segregation are also now being implemented on the island. So be a responsible traveler and beachgoer by throwing your trash at designated disposal areas when in Boracay.
Maybe you’ll want to keep memories of your trip and you’re considering to bring a drone with you on your Boracay island vacation? Do not forget to secure a special permit from the local government and indicate the specific dates, locations, and number of times when you will fly your drone. The permit costs Php1,300 per day; and do not try to fly your drone without a permit, as you will be fined double if you get caught.
The building of sandcastles in Boracay has been regulated; so consider yourself fortunate if, during your visit, there’s a sandcastle on the shore, the photo of which you can snap and bring home with you as a souvenir.
Speaking of souvenirs, if you’re planning to bring home precious sand and pebbles, please know that it’s illegal to do so. In fact, you could be fined Php2,500.00, as a first-time offender, or you could face imprisonment for one to three months. Remember, “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.” If you’re looking for great finds to take home with you, head towards D’Mall to score some affordable souvenirs.
The new policies and subsequent changes that come with them are expected to be properly followed by every tourist in Boracay. This will ensure the preservation of its world-class beaches and maintenance of its beauty—for generations to come.
In recent travel statistics, Boracay has managed to attract 619,934 tourists in Q1 2019, alone, of which 57% were foreigners. The reported additional 67,000 tourists compared to that in 2018 seems to indicate that the changes are working in favor of the local businesses.
Don’t let the new government policies keep you from visiting this island. So long as you read through this 2019 Boracay travel guide, you should be well-equipped with enough knowledge to enjoy a worry-free escape in this tropical paradise.
Explore, fly, and dive: Activities in Boracay
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There are a lot of things to do during your stay.
Go island hopping to discover more of Boracay, aside from its renowned White Beach. island-hopping tours include stopovers at Puka Beach and Tambisaan Beach. Organized tours will also let you admire Crocodile Island from your boat and will bring you to a coral garden which is a snorkeling site. You can either have a private island-hopping tour or join a group tour with other travellers. The island-hopping tour price costs around Php700 per person (inclusive of lunch).
Aside from island hopping, you can explore the beauty of Boracay beaches via paraw sailing. A paraw is the island’s signature boat with two sails. Depending on the size, it can hold up to eight people, making it an ideal beach activity for the family. This costs roughly Php500 per person, depending on how many you are. You can opt for a day slot or a sunset slot for paraw sailing.
Looking for an exhilarating beach activity for adults? Scream and laugh out loud with your friends by riding a banana boat or a UFO, and cruise as fast as 30 kph on Boracay beach! The cost of banana boat rides start at Php380 and UFO rides at Php580.
If you prefer doing a solitary beach activity, you can try stand-up paddleboarding and paddle over the turquoise blue calm waters of Boracay.
You can enjoy parasailing in Bulabog Beach to get the best view of the island, as you soar high up in the sky! Rates for parasailing start at Php2500 per person; but if the price is too steep for you, you can haggle--especially during the off-peak season or if you’re trying it with a group.
Another favorite beach activity to try there is cliff diving at Ariel’s Point. Choose from five cliff diving platforms from 3 to 15 meters to jump off from. Finally, tick off this box in your Bucket list! For visitors who do not want to try cliff diving, they can enter the water through their floating dock.
Aside from snorkeling, discover the beauty of marine life under the turquoise waters of Boracay via helmet diving. Kids five years old and up can even try this activity with an adult companion. Helmet diving starts at Php600, and you can haggle, especially during the off-peak season. The best time to try this out is early in the morning or in the afternoon.
The Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy can make your mermaid dreams come true. They can teach you how to swim, like one, with your own tail; and strike a pose as a mermaid on the beach!
After trying out different beach activities, relax your tired muscles by getting a massage. If you’re tummy is grumbling, head towards D’ Talipapa, and feast on mouthwatering seafood you can ask restaurants to cook for you.
And, of course, a beautiful way to end your day is to watch its beautiful sunset. If you want a more detailed list, here is a list of beach activities to include in your itinerary.
Going to Boracay is a must-try
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Boracay is one of the best islands in the world, and it is consistently a top item on many a visitor’s Bucket List. Because of its powdery white sand, turquoise waters, diverse marine life, and breath-taking sunsets, it is no wonder why people keep coming back. Immerse in the beautiful and picturesque views of Boracay. With new policies and efforts backed up to restore the wonders of the Philippines' best white sand, it shouldn’t be a miss on your travel list.