Long story short, if you have limited time, I suggest skipping Boracay and I will tell you why:
1. The most important reason is that there are places much more beautiful than Boracay that you should definitely not miss if you’re heading to the Philippines. I will soon write about my favourite part of the trip.
2. It’s overcrowded. I mean going at sunset time or in the evening on White beach or D-mall (where you can find the restaurants & shops) is literally a nightmare if you are not a fan of extremely crowded places. You have no place to sit and enjoy. I know Boracay is a touristy destination, but I really didn’t expect such a crowd.
3. The beaches didn’t manage to wow me, most probably because it was our last destination and I have definitely seen amazing beaches in this country.
If you do decide to give it a try, I have some recommendations:
1. Do not choose a hotel on White Beach. Go for one with a private beach. This way you can enjoy your time there with limited amount of people. If you are on a budget, a good option would be Fairways and Bluewater – the biggest hotel on the island. The hotel could use some renovations, but still offers a private sandy beach, multiple pools, good breakfast and nice clean rooms. A, let’s not forget golf courses.
If you want a medium budget hotel, I would say Movenpick or Crimson Resort & Spa, are a great choice and you get to share the beach with my top recommendation for a hotel – Shangri-La. It’s pricey, but it gives you a top notch experience. We have just visited for a day, but the beach, the villas, the spa and the restaurants look amazing.
2. Go to Puka beach for sunset. It’s not crowded, at least it was not when we were there, and the view was so worth it. The way there is a bit bumpy, but we took an E-trike and it was ok. After seeing the sunset, we could easily find another E-trike to head back to the hotel. We didn’t visit by day, but I guess it should really nice as well.
3. Try Rima Restaurant at Shangri La and book a table on the terrace. It’s like a tree top restaurant with crazy views for sunset. I promise you are going to like it! I recommend try the beef carpaccio and for the main course lamb chops or the ryb-eye steak. A big plus for the friendly and helpful staff.
4. If you are into kite surfing, then please do visit Boracay and forget my recommendation to skip this island. This is the place for you. The wind is generally perfect for this sport!
5. If you want to eat sushi, try Hama Japanese Cuisine. Take an E-trike to D-mall and just ask around. It’s a famous restaurant and you might have to wait a little to find a table, but we did enjoy their dishes.
6. Be aware of the jelly fish. Since there is usually wind, it can carry jelly fish to the shore. Always check the flags: purple means jelly fish alert and believe me I have seen some blue ones that don’t seem friendly at all.
7. If you want to buy souvenirs, go to D-mall. I postponed getting a fridge magnet until I got to the airport and realised I totally forgot to buy. Needless to say, I couldn’t find anything there so I have no souvenirs from Boracay.
8. Don’t worry about finding airport transfers in advance. You just go out of the airport after taking your luggage and you will see the staff from Layod’s there ready to offer the best priced transfers from Caticlan to your hotel in Boracay. I was surprised to see how organised they were. From Caticlan Airport you take a shuttle to the port, then a boat to transfer to Boracay island and after that another shuttle to your hotel.
This sums up my experience in Boracay. We spent 5 days on the island, but to be honest, I wish I have spent them somewhere else in the Philippines. Still glad that I ticked off this of my travel list and probably we won’t be seeing each other any time soon.