Boracay, the world's most beautiful island, reopens on October 26 after a six-month rehabilitation. The government aims to create a more eco-friendly experience for tourists in contrast to the island's former party-place reputation. This isn't only good for the environment, but also for vacationers who can truly enjoy the natural beauty of Boracay.
Experience the “new and improved” Boracay before 2018 ends. What better way to cap an amazing year than a beach vacation? Plan a 4-day stay in Boracay on a budget. Here's a travel budgeting guide for solo and group vacationers.
Boracay trip on a budget
Not many people visit beaches during the last quarter of the year. October to December is considered an off-peak season in Boracay, which means flights and accommodations are on promo rates. You can snap up round-trip plane tickets from Manila to Caticlan for the last week of October for as less than Php6,000 (US$103 to US$113). Check out bargain tickets from various budget airlines such as Cebu Pacific and Air Asia. Just make sure you book a seat as early as possible because prices change fast.
There are other transport modes if you're up for more adventure. You can take the cheaper but longer travel by water. Take a bus to Batangas Port where you take a vessel to Caticlan Jetty Port. An economy class ticket is for about Php600. If you're traveling as a group, you can pitch in for a Php1,300 cabin.
You can roam around Batangas, perhaps have a satisfying serving of bulalo, before heading off to Boracay.
Comfy and affordable hotel
The main purpose of the six-month rehabilitation in Boracay is to ensure that establishments are compliant with environmental regulation. This covered restaurants, travelers' inns and hotels. The government has closed down a lot of hotels, so it's highly recommended that you finalize your accommodation before flying to Boracay. The places you've stayed in may no longer be operational.
For a comfortable and affordable stay in Boracay, book a room in Alta Vista de Boracay. This premier condotel offers studio/deluxe suites for solo travelers for about Php3,800/night, inclusive of a hearty breakfast. Staying as a group? Book the loft suite for only Php4,800/night, inclusive of breakfast. This room has two queen-sized beds that can fit two adults.
Alta Vista de Boracay sits on a peak overlooking the serene Puka Beach. Have a relaxing dip in the infinity pool after a long day of outdoor activities or a sip of Martini in the Sports Bar.
Food crawl for travelers on a budget
There are still long weekends lined up. You can have your 4-day, 3-night budget trip before the year ends. Mark your calendar for the upcoming All Saint's Day long weekend, the Bonifacio Day holiday, and the Christmas week. If you haven't used your vacation leaves, perhaps it's time for a much-needed R&R.
Boracay is a gastronomic paradise. It has a wide selection of diners and restaurants that fit every craving for any budget. But then again, you better check the new list of establishments. The government's rehab program caused the closure of erring businesses, including dining places.
How much do you need for food during your stay? Alta Vista de Boracay shall serve you free breakfast for your entire stay, so you only allocate for the other two meals and snacks. A rice meal, with fish or meat and iced tea, is for about Php100. If you want a fancier lunch, prepare for at least Php250 per full meal order. For only Php500, you can get a fine dining experience. As for snacks, you can enjoy coconut ice cream dessert for less than Php100.
Of course, you'll save a lot if you're sharing with family and friends. The more the merrier (and more affordable), right?
Shoestring Boracay adventure budget
To ensure that you stay on budget, prepare a Boracay itinerary. There's an activity for every type of traveler. If you're an adrenaline buff, you can go for parasailing, sailing or flyfishing. Some prefer island hopping and trekking. You can also explore the rich marine life of Aklan by signing up for scuba diving or snorkeling lessons.
How much do you need for Boracay activities? Want to know how it feels to fly over water and white sands? You can do parasailing with a partner (price starts at Php2,000). What better way to enjoy the Boracay sunset than in the middle of the sea? Your barkada can rent a paraw or boat for Php1,200. Banana boating is a favorite activity in Boracay among family and friends. You can enjoy getting a ride on the boat for Php250. If you want a more thrilling boating experience, go for flyfishing for Php400.
Explore the breathtaking gifts of Mother Nature by planning an island hopping adventure. Some tour groups include the boat rental and lunch in the package. But if you want to save, your barkada can rent a boat for Php1,400 and bring your own food.
Economical Boracay exploration
Getting around Boracay can be a bit tricky. You're not allowed to bring a car and the major modes of transport are tricycles and pedicabs. Some rent ATVs when exploring challenging terrains in the island. Fare in tricycles and pedicabs are between Php30 and Php50 during the day and bit higher in the evening. You can avoid getting ripped off by checking the fare schedule posted inside the ride.
Plan your schedule well so you don't need to spend a lot of money and time going from one point to another. Many places on the island were within walking distance. Map out your destinations. Also, walking is good for your health.
Curious about how much you’ll really spend if you follow the itinerary above? Here’s a budget breakdown for your reference:
- Option 1: Manila to Caticlan round-trip plane tickets - Php6,000 (US$103 to US$113).
- Option 2: Vessel to Caticlan Jetty Port - Php600(Solo) and Php1,300(Group)
Staying at Alta Vista de Boracay:
- Solo traveler - Php3,800/night, inclusive of breakfast.
- Group travelers - Php4,800/night, inclusive of breakfast.
- Prepare at least a P1,500 food budget for a 4-day stay.
- Parasailing - Price starts at Php2,000.
- Paraw or Boat Rental - Php1,200.
- Banana boating - Php250 per person.
- Flyfishing - Php400 per person.
Everybody's excited about Boracay's upcoming reopening. There are high hopes for a cleaner place, reminiscent of the earlier years when only a handful of people visited. Experience a better Boracay this year. An important reminder: observe local rules and regulations. If you're asked to bring your trash with you, do so. It's everyone's responsibility to keep Boracay clean and beautiful.