Perhaps the most tropical and alluring island of the Philippines, Boracay rests approximately 200 miles south of Manila in the Western Visayas region. At just over 4 miles long, it is packed with beaches, resort accommodations, and several months of hot, sunny, idyllic weather per year. Access is via sea, typically from nearby Panay Island to Borcay's Cagban Beach jetty port.
Go to Boracay Island If You're Looking for...
Sun, beach time, relaxation, watersports--particularly windsurfing and kiteboarding--and an eclectic mish-mash of cuisine.
Boracay Island Highlights
- Named Best Island in the World for 2012 by Travel + Leisure.
- The Beaches. Boracay has more than ten of them tucked into its coves, all covered in powdery white sand. The most popular beach is a 4+-mile stretch on the west coast of the island called White Beach, whose sand is known for staying cool even on the hottest days. White Beach has a pervasive presence of resorts, restaurants, bars, discos, and stores. For snorkeling, head to the smaller Balinghai Beach--off its shores lies a coral garden packed with underwater curiosities. Manoc-Manoc Beach (meaning "Chicken-Chicken") tends to be quieter and less populated, plus attracts the island's best windsurfers and kite surfers, who flock to its waters' strong winds and aggressive currents (up to 6 knots) across the channel.
- Culinary Diversity. An eclectic array of cuisines and restaurants populate the island due to the number of travelers who have visited, fallen in love with, and transplanted to Boracay over the years--and brought flavors of their homes with them. Enjoy everything from open-air seafood BBQs to fine dining establishments.
- The Boracay International Funboard Cup. An annual windsurfing competition that takes place in January.
- The Boracay International Beach Festival. Takes place annually in October, with a week's worth of celebrating with local food, music, and dancing.
- Boracay Resort & Spa.
- The Fairways & Bluewater Golf Resort.
Best Time to Go to Boracay Island
Like most areas of the Philippines, Boracay's climate divides into two seasons, locally named Amihan and Habagat. Amihan enjoys modest temperatures and little rainfall, typically occurring in September and May. Habagat owns the rest of the year, which is characterized by very hot weather with occasional cooling rainshowers from March to June, and more frequent and severe thunderstorms from July to October. Most people choose to visit the island in the March to June period, at which time the majority of its accommodations are all but sold out.
The Philippines: Culinary Oddities
Although Boracay Island basks in a rich panoply of restaurants and dining options thanks to its foreign transplants, its Filipino Motherland has several local dishes and flavors suitable only for true culinary (and perhaps gastro-intestinal) adventurers. Would you try:
- Dinuguan. Pig blood stew made from meat simmered with offal (kidneys, intestines, lungs, heart, ears and snout) in garlic, chili, and vinegar-flavored hemoglobin.
- Camaro. Field crickets sautéed in soy sauce, salt and vinegar.
- Crispy Pata. Pigs' feet or knuckles boiled and then deep-fried and served with a soy vinegar dip.
- Asocena. Dog meat stew. Fried, tomato sauced up, and blended with liver spread.
- Sizzling Sisig. Boiled, then grilled, then fried pig's head served with onions on a sizzling hotplate.
- Papaitan. Goat or beef innards stew, flavored with bile to give it a bitter bite.
- Pinikpikan Na Manok. After a live chicken is beaten to death with a stick to bruise the skin and bring the blood to the surface, its feathers are removed by burning, and the bird is then boiled with salt and cured pork.
- Boracay Island: http://www.boracayisland.org/
- Boracay Island Beaches: http://www.boracayisland.org/?page_id=29
- Boracay Island Accommodations: http://www.myboracayguide.com/beaches-resorts-rooms-accommodations-boracay-hotels.html
- Boracay Island Restaurants: http://www.myboracayguide.com/boracay-restaurants.html
- Boracay Island Water Activities Directory: http://www.boracayisland.org/?page_id=45