Any conversation about visiting the Philippines as a tourist isn’t complete without discussing the gorgeous beaches of Boracay. Consistently ranked as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Boracay is a dream destination for many first-time tourists planning to go to the Philippines.
In recent years, the preference for DIY travel planning has been steadily increasing among travelers. DIY travel can be quite exciting and liberating, but it can also be difficult if you will be visiting a place for the first time. Don’t let that stop you though! Boracay is an incredibly fun and friendly destination for travelers of all ages, making it a great place to plan DIY travel. If you want to give planning a trip to Boracay a shot, here are a few tips.
Best Time to Travel
Boracay is a fantastic tourist destination and can be visited year-round. However, there are certain months that are more ideal than others. This is mostly because the Philippines really only has two seasons: wet and dry. Depending on how you plan to spend your days on the island, you may want to avoid visiting during certain months:
January to February: These tend to be the coolest months (avg daily high of 29C) in the Philippines and land right in the middle of its dry season. Outside of local holidays, the island sees slightly less tourists, which make this window a great time to visit if you want to avoid large crowds.
March to Mid-May: This period marks the “summer season” for the Philippines. The days are hot and sunny with very little, if any, rainfall. Tourist numbers tend to spike during this period as both international and local tourists flock to the island. That said, if you want to visit Boracay during this time, you’ll want to book your flights and hotel reservations well in advance.
Late May to October: In late May, the Philippines begins to transition towards its wet season. Though there are days that are still hot and sunny, there will be inevitable rainy days. Starting July until October, rain becomes more common. However, these months often have the best deals on flights and hotel rates, while the island still has a wide range of indoor attractions on those rainy days.
November to December: These months begin the transition towards the dry season and temperatures start to cool down. However, these months also contain a significant number of local holidays. Try to time your visits to avoid local holidays, Christmas, and New Year if you wish to avoid the crowds.
Kalibo vs Caticlan Airports
Most travelers will choose to take a flight to reach Boracay. There are two options to choose from: Kalibo International Airport or Caticlan Airport (Godofredo P. Ramos Airport). Generally, there is no wrong choice between the two. First-time travelers, however, will need to choose wisely.
Kalibo is located further away from the port that transports visitors to Boracay island. To reach the port, travelers will need to ride a bus or arrange a private transfer to the port. As such, ticket prices tend to be much cheaper.
Caticlan Airport, as you may expect, is much closer to the port, which is roughly a 10-minute tricycle ride away. In exchange for this convenience, flight tickets for Caticlan tend to cost more.
Travel time and cost are your main factors for consideration. As such, it’s generally a good idea to canvass ticket prices across multiple flights and airlines to find the best deal. To that point, using apps like Skyscanner can be incredibly helpful.
Know Your Stations
Boracay’s world famous White Beach is vertically divided into three “stations”: Station 1, Station 2, and Station 3. A vast majority of accommodations in Boracay will be located in these stations, with each station offering a distinct set of hotels to choose from:
Station 1: Station 1 is where you will find the majority of the upscale international hotels and resorts. This is the station furthest away from the port. Similarly, these places are further away from the island’s hotspots, so plan your transportation accordingly.
Station 2: Station 2 is generally regarded as the heart of the island. This is where a large number of restaurants and shopping centers are located, all of which are often just 3-5 minute walks away from various hotels. Accommodations here offer great value for money without skimping on the services you would expect from high-end hotels.
Station 3: Station 3 is closest to the port. This is where a good number of hostels are located, as well as a number of popular eateries.
Naturally, you want to choose a hotel that matches your intended itinerary on the island. For example, those who prefer to be close to the action and experience all the different activities in Boracay will probably want to choose a top-rated hotel in Station 2 like Feliz Hotel Boracay.