The Small Island of Boracay in the Philippines
Boracay is a small island near the center of the Philippine archipelago, just northwest of Panay, and 315 km south of Manila. It is only 7 km long, and at its narrowest point, barely 1 km wide. For an island this small, it offers an amazing number of attractions for the visitor. It is a popular fun spot for people from all over the world.
Tourists are unanimous in extolling the beauty and appeal of this island, with its fine, pure white sand, crystal clear waters, lush tropical growth, spectacular sunsets, plentiful accommodations of all price ranges, and many, many things to do for recreation. Above all, the Filipino hospitality makes all visitors feel like honored guests. Boracay is often named among the top ten best beaches in the world.
Boracayâ€™s population of 12,000 is scattered among the barangays, or communities, the largest three being Yapak in the north, Manoc-Manoc in the south, and Bulabog in the center. The main attraction in the island is White Beach, a 4 km stretch of beach with a gentle surf on the protected west side of Bulabog. The strong winds and protective reef at Bulabog Beach on the east side makes it suitable for wind surfing and parasailing, and for snorkeling and scuba diving. Then there are smaller white sand beaches all along the coast of the island, some tucked away and private, and some containing upscale resorts. At the north and south ends are cliffs 100 meters above sea level which afford a view of neighboring islands and scenic coves.
White Beach is the most popular and most visited. The water is warm, clear and shallow. The powdery white sand feels good to walk on barefooted, or to dance on at night. White Beach Path runs off the shore along rows of coconut trees and between hotels, restaurants, bars, and stores. This is the most populated spot on the island.
Visitors may choose to relax and suntan on the beach, and avail themselves of the massages offered at the beach or spas at the resorts. For the sports minded, there are many offerings: hiking, bicycling and motorbiking along hilly paths; golfing at the 18-hole championship Bluewater Resort Golf; volleyball or football at the beach; and horseback riding. On water, there is sailboating and kayaking, fishing, diving, snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, and kiteboarding. There are classes and guides to teach the water sports such as diving or kiteboarding. Throughout the year, there are regional and international sports events, such as the Boracay Funboard Cup in January, one of the leading windsurf competitions in Asia, the Boracay Invitational Golf Tournament in April, and the Boracay International Beach Football Championship in November.
There are also some unique places to visit on the island. At the bat caves in Yapak one can see the giant fruit bats, called â€œflying foxesâ€ with wingspans of 4ft. Mount Luho at the southern tip is the highest point in the island, and gives a view of the islandâ€™s east coast and the northern coast of Panay. Dead Forest, a mangrove of dead tree trunks forming an eerie silhouette portrays a real story of how it was destroyed by a typhoon. The butterfly gardens at the entry to the golf course contain exotic tropical butterflies. Two museums imparting cultural information are the Kar-Tir Shell Museum displaying a collection of shells and Philippine artifacts, and the Tirol Heritage Museum showing Chinese artifacts related to Boracay history.
There is an active night life at White Beach, starting with dining at a variety of restaurants serving Filipino and other Asian cuisine, and European dinner fare such as French, German, Austrian, Swiss, Greek, and English. Then thereâ€™s dancing at the discos or barhopping, videos and cultural shows, billiards, and frequent spontaneous parties lasting until the wee hours of the morning.
October to May are the best months for a visit to Boracay, with March to May being the busiest. June or July to September brings the Southwest monsoon when the winds shift so that White Beach is no longer tranquil, and which results in wet, sultry days. However, this off-season time comes with the lowest rates. October-December is the coolest period when most sports events occur.
With these many offerings, Boracay beckons to every kind of tourist, of every age, and from every region of the world!