Gone are the days when going to Boracay means going to the beach (although it’s white sand and perfect beach/es is still a must see). From a plain and relaxing afternoon at the beachfront to a more adventurous and death-defying cliff diving at Ariel’s point, Boracay is an island paradise packed with different activities for everyone.
Since, we’re a budgeted wanderer we decided to go to Boracay via Kalibo.
From the airport, different bus/ tour companies offer services to bring you directly to your hotel in Boracay just like Southwest Tours. For Php500 (US$12-13) you’ll get the convenience of:
-being in an airconditioned bus from Kalibo Airport to Caticlan Port
-no more waiting in lines to pay for terminal fee, environmental fee and any other fees.
-montenegro lines’ “mini ship” (lol, im sorry but i dont know how you’d call it but its not the typical ‘bangkas’ that you’d see going to and from Boracay) will bring you from Caticlan port to Boracay
-and a van (it’s like the typical L300 vans but no aircondition) will bring you directly to your hotel from Boracay port.
First stop? Checking-in to your Hotel.
Most budget-friendly hotels in Boracay doesn’t have their own website or are not even featured in any website like Agoda. During off-peak season (June to October) budget hotels could go as low as Php800 to Php1500 (US$20-38) per night. It’s safe to look for a hotel when you get to the island during the off-peak season, but during peak seasons make sure to book your hotel as early as 2 months prior to your arrival.
We tried two budget-hotels during our 3D/2N stay. (Reason for this will be explained later)
Located in Station 3. You would probably have a hard time locating this hotel but don’t hesitate to seek the help of the locals.
What’s good with this hotel?
– Tripadvisor’s 2013 Winner and part of the Top 25 Bargain hotels in the Phils.
-Located on the quiet side of station 3 (even the beachfront in this area is not crowded as compared to those of Station 1 and 2)
-with water heater, aircondition, and television.
-clean (i haven’t seen any cockroach during our stay, but im not saying that it’s 100% cockroach free lol)
– spacious and with an orchid garden in front
What’s not so good?
– Lots of mosquitoes (maybe because of the garden)
– Far from Stations 1 and 2 (this is the main reason why we transferred to a different hotel on our 2nd night since we dont want to waste energy going to and from the extreme ends of white beach.)
– You need to pay Php50.00 for the Wifi
Verdict: If you’re going to Boracay to plainly relax and enjoy the beach then this place is a good choice. But if you’re up for some activities and would love to be part of where the action is then go and look for a hotel in Station 1 or 2.
Located in Station 2. It’s easy to locate this hotel since its near the ever-famous D’Talipapa. Few steps from the beach going to D’talipapa, you’ll see this hotel on your left.
What’s good with this hotel?
-Clean and affordable
-Near D’talipapa, souvenir shops, bakery (in front), sari-sari stores, bars, restaurants, etc.
– FREE wifi (but you should stay at the reception to get connected to the internet / no wifi in other area of the hotel specially in our room).
-Friendly and accomodating staff
What’s not so good?
– Water heater’s not working
– Limited power outlets (im not sure with other rooms)
– We have 2 beds but only 1 blanket (since we’re dead tired we didn’t bother to ask the reception for an extra blanket)
Verdict: Considering it’s location, it’s already a good choice.
Next, Where to eat?!
This is a main concern for budget travelers, especially in Boracay which is known for being one of the most expensive places in the country.
The best choice would be Smoke Resto.
With two branches (D’mall branch is the one we visited), Smoke Resto offers delicious and affordable meals for as low as Php100.00 (US$2.50-3.00).
Looking for an authentic Boracay afternoon snack?
Try their chori or longgaburger (short for chorizo or longganisa burger).
Stalls line-up the beachfront every afternoon. Try the one on the farthest end of station 1 near the Grotto. (We found out that its cheaper there than in stalls in Stations 1 and 2.
What to do in Boracay?
Haven’t prepared an itinerary before your arrival? Don’t worry. Here are some suggested activities you should try while in Boracay:
Ok, shopping’s not really the activity that you’re looking forward to when in Boracay, right?
So here are the real deals:
Photos and video are part of the package so no need to worry if you dont have your own underwater camera.
Cliff Diving at Ariel’s Point (Php1600 / US$40)
Don’t leave Boracay without going to Ariel’s Point. Conquer your fear and jump off the cliff from 3 different heights (actually 5 but only 3 are with wooden planks that are 5, 8 and 15 meters high). The package includes unlimited lunch.
You’ll go there in a large group, 80-90% of which are foreigners.
View of Ariel’s Point from our boat.
Tired of jumping off the cliffs or should I say don’t have the guts of jumping off the cliffs?!
Most island hopping packages are at Php 1200-1500 for just 3 hours in 3 to 4 islands or beaches in Boracay. We thought that 3 hours isn’t enough to enjoy the sceneries that each destination has to offer.
Located on the farthest end of the island, you can reach Puka Beach by riding a tricycle from the main highway in either of the three stations in white beach. Tricycle ride is Php50 from station 2.
Puka beach is where the necklaces made of puka shells came from.
These are just some of the activities you can try while in Boracay. Three days wouldn’t be enough to try each and every adventure Boracay has to offer.
You can also try parasailing, banana boat and flying fish ride, scuba diving, zorb ride, and a lot more.
For inquiries, you can call Kuya Vic (09273119433) to arrange an itinerary for you. He’s an employee of Zorb but also arranges packages and could give you discounts on packages.
It’s sad to bid farewell to this island paradise. But this for sure wouldn’t be the last time i’ll come and enjoy Boracay.
Till next time Boracay!
Happy wandering guys!