Nestled in the waters of the Western Visayas region in the Philippines is a shining jewel with an almost unbeatable reputation: the island of Boracay. Only 7 kilometers long and 1 kilometer wide at its narrowest part, this small island isn’t called one of the best vacation spots in the world for nothing.
Boracay stands out because of its striking natural beauty. With fine white sands, calm turquoise waters, and fantastic weather, it’s no wonder that Boracay Island is considered the go-to vacation destination all year round. Initially an idyll, tucked away paradise, it’s now one of the most famous islands in both the Philippines and the world
Tourism began in Boracay in earnest during the 1970s, and by the 1980s and 1990s it had become a popular destination for backpackers and adventure-seekers. Even before the start of the new millennium, Boracay was already referred to as one of the best beaches in the world. As tourism picked up, so too did a flourishing local industry full of resorts, hotels, restaurants, water activities, and much more. It was named the Best Island in the World by Travel+Leisure in 2012, and ranked again in 2014 and 2016 in the Best Island lists of international magazine Condé Nast Traveler.
Thanks to the tourism boom that began in the late 90s and continued well into the 2000s, Boracay gained a bit of a reputation as a party destination. In April 2018, it was briefly closed to travelers and underwent a clean up and rehabilitation program before reopening in October. With new regulations in place to protect the island’s ecosystems and prevent further degradation to the island, Boracay has now returned to previous identity as an idyllic, laidback vacation destination that couples, families, friends, and solo adventurers can all enjoy.
But besides its stunning views, what else does Boracay have to offer? Quite a lot, actually. Boracay is home to hundreds of hotels and resorts, so you have your pick of where to stay on your visit. From five star hotels like the famous Shangri-La Boracay, to hostels like Fat Jimmy’s Resort, you can find your home away from home on Boracay’s crystalline shores.
It’s also a great place for food lovers everywhere. Boracay has an impressive collection of restaurants, bars, and cafés that are sure to cater to even the pickiest palate. You can try fresh seafood at Mamas Fish House Boracay, or grab a quick bite at Lemoni Café & Restaurant in D’Mall. There are even fantastic vegan or vegetarian options at Subo and Nonie’s. And let’s not forget Jonah’s Fruit Shake and Snack Bar, where you can find a cool, refreshing drink right on the sands of White Beach.
Looking for something to do during your stay? The island isn’t considered one of the best water activity spots in the Philippines for nothing. There are a ton of things to do in Boracay, from scuba diving and snorkeling to learning how to swim like a mermaid. You can try out cliff jumping, parasailing, or even go on a short hike up Mt. Luho and get a view of the island. Whether you’re looking for fun for the family, or want a little bit of a thrill, there’s definitely something out there for you.
If all of this sounds right up your alley, then you’re in luck. We have a quick and easy guide to getting to Boracay, including all the new rules and regulations so you can look forward to safe travels. This is your one stop shop for planning your dream vacation in one of the most beautiful islands in the world.
James Gonzales is a Filipino-American travel enthusiast and writer currently based in the Philippines. After living and working in New York for 10 years, James decided he wanted to see more of the world and leave the city behind. In the course of saving up for what would become an epic trip across Asia, he wrote about previous traveling experiences for various travel websites and publications based in the Lower East Side.
James focused on journeying through the Philippines in the hopes of understanding his roots, and began Daydreaming in Paradise to share his thoughts and experiences. He’s always looking for like-minded travelers to trade stories and swap tips with, and he hopes you’ll join him on his journey.