This blog post was originally shared February of 2015:
Deciding on what island to visit in the Philippines is hard, especially when there is 7,107 to choose from (only 2,000 are inhabited so there is plenty for the taking ;). When I was deciding on which to visit, partying and of course leisure played a factor into my decision making which is how I ended up choosing Boracay. An island that has long been praised for its pristine white beaches and endless nightlife, but still has a quiet affordable side if you’re willing to explore and learn more than meets the tourist eye.
Before arriving to Boracay it is important to plan your accommodation and flight details to save money. I chose to use AIRBNB, but you can also bargain your price if you’re willing to risk arriving without an accommodation. I learned a lot from JUST ONE WAY TICKET’S BLOG POST, so instead of me repeating her wisdom you can read more on her site. I will say I found my accommodation on AIRBNB and then was able to haggle my price down in person, even though this is rare. I was willing to take the risk. Resulting in getting a single fan room for 18 days only a 5 minute walk from Diniwid Beach for only 9,000 pesos. That is 500 pesos a night or about 10 euro a night. So much better than a hostel, because after my experiences hostels are something I just do not enjoy. But to each their own.
When selecting airfare to Boracay I used CEBU PACIFIC with rates of less than 40 US each way. One tip for travelers when leaving the Philippines, there is a 550 peso fee you must pay before leaving. Something I didn’t learn until I was leaving and was very surprised to have to pay to leave a country. But I guess does make up for not having to pay for a visa to enter the country.
Back to enjoying Boracay on a budget. You will be using tricycles as your main method of transportation and it is important to always ask for a shared ride aka a taxi. This way you won’t be paying for a private ride that is overpriced and not necessary, this a way the drivers try to get more money from tourist. Now for the last frontier to find cheap food and quiet beaches, you must go to Diniwid road where there is a lovely secluded beach and a restaurant called Melissa’s run by one woman where you can get breakfast for less 200 pesos including an omelet, (huge) pancake, and a smoothie.
There are also other choices for Greek, Italian, and Filipino food as well. Though for most visitors you will end up at D Mall where most prices are high but Smoke Resto is a safe bet for good price for value. Others are fast food that you can easily spot, but don’t be fooled that everywhere you have to pay more than 300 peso a meal. Take the time to explore the small streets and local spots, your wallet will reward you.
As for enjoying yourself on one of the many tours available. I highly recommend ISLAND HOPPING as you can get a good deal with the more friends you have. A big trip that most do is Ariel’s Point where you are able to drink all you can from getting on the boat, plus buffet lunch all while you are enjoying cliff diving from either 7, 10 or 15 meters. This is why they provide unlimited drinks. ;) I dared to do all three. The key to jumping so high is to maintain posture, courage, and to hit the water straight. Otherwise, there will be pain… You can also enjoy scuba diving, parasailing, banana boats, ATV’s, and much more. Not to forget enjoying the simplicity that is laying on the beach with your new favorite book which is completely free.
The beach and sunshine is why I went to Boracay, and was first in complete love with White Beach. But there is also others worth enjoying like Puka beach, Diniwid beach (plus Spider House Resort that has the best view for sunset and best place to work with wifi), and Bulabog beach if you’d like to enjoy a cool breeze and watch wind surfers somehow manage not to collide into one another.
Incase you’re worried about staying fit while visiting Boracay. You have nothing to worry about either as you can join one of the many runners at sunrise with or without shoes (I chose to run without), and as you run you can see the many other activities that are done each morning for you to chose to be apart of. There is much more to Boracay than partying, many enjoy fitness!
My time on Boracay came and went so quickly making many new friends and receiving a golden tan. I will look forward to my next visit to paradise that is, Boracay.