Travelling In Paradise Boracay Island
Where is Boracay?
The island of Boracay is located in the Philippines about 315kms south of the country's capital of Manila, a journey which takes no more than an hour by plane.
Getting to Boracay
The quickest way to arrive in Boracay is by plane, and the closest airport to Boracay is located in the small town of Caticlan on the mainland. Manila's domestic airport provides regular flights to Caticlan aboard turboprop airplanes, but many flights listing Boracay as their destination actually fly to Kalibo, a town with a larger airport than Caticlan. Visitors arriving in Kalibo must then take a 90 minute bus ride to Caticlan before reaching their final destination of Boracay. Caticlan airport is only a ten minute walk away from Caticlan port, where outrigger boats called 'bancas' regularly depart for Boracay.
Booking private van operators in Manila is the best way to travel by road to Boracay as drivers cannot take their vehicles to the island. The total journey time between Manila and Boracay by ground transportation takes approximately 12 hours.
The most common means of transportation in Boracay itself are motorised tricycles which serve as the island's taxi service and offer reasonable rates. Passengers must sit on seats on top of the exhaust pipes, though, so handkerchiefs are recommended. Boracay visitors may also rent scooters, sailboats, bancas, or mountain bikes. The latter means of transportation is especially useful on White Beach, where motorised vehicles are forbidden.
White Beach is merely the most famous of the many beaches which are Boracay's main tourist attractions, and also serves as the island's main commercial centre. Boat Station One is where Boracay's most luxurious beachfront resorts are located. White Beach's many restaurants, boutiques, bars, and shops are separated from the beach itself by a shady palm tree grove. Many White Beach shops can be found at the DMall Shopping Center which, despite the name, is actually an outdoor boardwalk filled with unique shops.
White Beach is also within a short boat ride to over 25 scuba diving sites ranging from beginner to advanced level, and is home to 20 dive centres which include equipment rental as part of their affordable prices. Skimboarding has also become especially popular among children and older visitors, and rentals and lessons are both easily available at White Beach.
The perfect way to relax on The Philippines' White Beach after a long day outdoors or a long night partying at one of its many bars is a massage, and White Beach massage options range from outdoor budget massage stations to the hillside Mandala Spa, considered one of the world's top spa resorts. Many White Beach hotels also include massage and spa treatments, and women frequently offer massages to sunbathing visitors.
Those wishing to escape the crowds of White Beach in their pursuit of sun and sea will find their desired getaway at tranquil Puka Beach, where Boracay's main road ends at the island's northern tip. Puka Beach includes only a few restaurants, and picnickers are advised not to leave their trash behind. Baling Hai Beach is another quiet Boracay beach located north of Diniwid Beach which features snorkeling, swimming, and a clifftop restaurant offering unforgettable views. Bulabog Beach, located on Boracay's east side and considered Asia's greatest kitesurf destination, features two kiteboarding schools offering lessons at all levels taught by IKO-certified instructors.
No visit to Boracay would be complete without a tour of the Bat Cave, where several insectivorous bats call home on the island's west side. Visitors are advised to accept one of the many offers of guided tours from locals as walking down the cave is very difficult thanks to the steep angle of its entrance, the cave stones are very slippery with no path or handrail, and the cave's warm air sometimes makes it difficult to breathe. Visitors leaving the cave are required to pay a fee to the family which owns the property where the Bat Cave is located in addition to the fee requested by their local guide.
Renting scooters or motorbikes, horseback riding, and boat tours aboard outrigger sailboats known as paraws are all ideal ways to explore the entire island of Boracay.
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