Philippines - Getting to know Borocay
Over the past 25 years Boracay has been increasingly hyped as one of the finest island destinations in the world. It is undoubtedly special, with long white-sand beaches and an ever-growing checklist of attractions and nightlife opportunities, but its compact landmass (7km by 2km) is becoming highly developed. Boracay is stunningly beautiful and great fun, but it is no longer a get-away-from-it-all holiday destination.
The aptly named White Beach, which stretches for 4km down the island’s busy west coast, has been rightly singled out for countless travel plaudits, regularly appearing in lists of favourite global beaches, winter getaways, and so on. Even so it is rarely crowded, being long enough to absorb the large number of holidaymakers who flock south from China, Korea and all around the world.
The beach is a thriving centre for all kinds of watercraft, watersports and scuba diving. Everything from fishing excursion to parasailing experiences can be found here, but one of the best has to be a trip around Boracay’s top snorkelling and diving spots, such as Crocodile Island. The clear, warm waters of Boracay are layered with thriving coral reefs, home to all kinds of exotic and colourful marine life, including carrotfish, angelfish and butterflyfish, moray eels and sea cucumber.
The legendary nightlife of Boracay is also centred on energetic White Beach. Boracay is ideal for evenings spent mingling in the bars and clubs, and taking in the cocktails, music and entertainment.
What to do in Boracay
- Go kiteboarding at Bulabog Beach, a renowned global centre for the sport on the quieter eastern side of Boracay. Bulabog has a calm, surfer-friendly community vibe, with perfect constant wind conditions, a shallow warm lagoon and all the equipment and top tutors on hand to learn fast or improve your skills.
- Visit a luxury spa with a difference. Perched on a hill overlooking the Boracay coastline and designed in the style of a Hindu temple, the internationally renowned Tirta Spa is devoted to the pleasures of pampering. Hundreds of feel-good, cleansing and healing treatments are available, inspired by the region’s natural resources and influenced by ancient Asian techniques.
- Horse-riding is an unexpected and rewarding activity in Boracay, available from the stables in Balabag. Dawn is the perfect time to gallop along the beach, take in the surrounding hills and the beauty of Mount Luho.
The famous powdery smooth sand on White Beach remains unusually cool even in the fiercest heat of the sun.
Getting off the trail in Boracay
- Puka Beach in the island’s north is far from the madding crowd, and although it is only 15 minutes by tricycle from White Beach it feels a world away. Join the locals on this quiet, idyllic beach, collecting puka shells which they use to make natural jewellery. This is an experience that offers a flavour of the real Boracay – only 20 years ago the whole island was as peaceful as this.
- If you fancy a break from the full-on fun of Boracay it’s easy to take a boat to one of the nearby, less developed islands, such as Carabao, Tablas or Romblon. Escape for the day or stay overnight.
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A honeymoon in the Philippines?
Boracay is growing fast as a honeymoon destination, offering just the right amount of breathtaking beauty, idyllic coastal activities and lavish hotel suite-based romance – all balanced with a one-off blast of excess and party frolics on White Beach.