Important note: Boracay island has been closed by the government until end of October because of overcrowding, but it should re-open by the end of the year!
The answer is unfortunately… it depends. Boracay is probably one of the most popular and famous islands in the whole of the Philippines. A couple of hours after we set foot on the island we started thinking that this was probably not a place where we would stay for a long time. The island is completely overcrowded, the main beach on the West side of the island is one line of restaurants, bars and hotels, sewers were overflowing in the streets and there were masses of tourists everywhere… However, we ended up staying for almost a week on the island, and discovered another side of Boracay that we ended up really enjoying, the surfer’s area.
So our answer would be: if you’re into kitesurfing or windsurfing, it’s definitely worth the detour. However, if you are looking for that picture perfect deserted Philippine island, Boracay is probably not the right place for you as there are many others who fit the image much better.
What to do on Boracay?
Windsurfing and Kitesurfing
The main reason we ended up staying for so long on this island is because of the amazing kitesurfing spot on the East side of the island (Bullabog Beach). It’s literally has perfect conditions for kitesurfing: a 3 km long turquoise lagoon with constant strong wind, shallow water and no waves. You can stand pretty much everywhere in the lagoon so it’s the perfect spot to learn this amazing sport! Only downside: it can get quite crowded!
Puka Shell Beach
This is the beach on the North side of the island, who has been spared from the many tourist developments so it’s much less crowded than the other ones. The sand is super fine and white, and the water is turquoise blue as far as you can see. A gorgeous beach!
This is another calm beach where you can enjoy the beautiful turquoise water or just relax in the sun. There’s a little path on the North side of the beach which takes you to another smaller beach which is often less crowded and super beautiful.
Where to sleep?
Bale Mi Resort: we ended up staying most of our time in this cute little hotel close to Bullabog beach. It’s away from the crowds and offers huge rooms at a decent price or around 30 USD a night (much better than anything you would get on the West side of the island for this price).
Where to eat?
Urban Boutique Hotel: offers an amazing breakfast, and it’s just around the corner from Bale Mi
Sushi Shi-Ro: good sushi but not cheap
Restaurants on white beach: there’s loaaaads of restaurants on white beach which have good food, but it’s not the cheapest places. It’s fun for one night but generally we tried to avoid white beach as it’s completely overloaded with tourists.
Which Kite School?
Reef riders Windsurf and Kitesurfing school (Bullabog Beach): there’s no school we couldn’t recommend more. The teachers were super professional, the equipment was top notch and the owners are the sweetest and most welcoming Filipino family we have ever met. We absolutely loved this place, and spent a lot of time here even after class hours 😊
How to get there?
From Panay island
Boracay can be reached by boat (30 minutes) from Caticlan port, on the Northern tip of Panay island. You can just walk into the ferry terminal and buy a ticket on the spot.
You can fly to Panay either directly into Caticlan airport or Kalibo airport which is 60 km away (but usually has cheaper flights).