boracay travel guide updated

Complete Boracay DIY Travel Guide For First Timers (Itinerary & Budget)

It was my 2nd time in Boracay, so much has changed since 2017 when my eyes first saw the world class white beach. Despite the noticeable changes around the island, some things still remained the same. The sunset is as beautiful as it was 6 years ago, the powdery sand still amazes me and the night life remained vibrant as it has always been. (Boracay DIY Travel Guide)

Boracay diy travel guide
Boracay DIY Travel Guide

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Understanding Boracay Island

Boracay is an island located in the Northwest part of Panay Island and is part of the province Aklan. Along the west coast is a laid back beach filled with restaurants and a calm beach. The east coast on the other hand has strong winds that makes Bulabog beach a hub for water sports.

Language and People

Other than Aklanon and Tagalog, English is also widely spoken in Boracay. Later settlers brought other Visayan languages to the island such as Ilonggo, Capiznon and more. Given that Boracay is a world class beach visited by many foreigners, it is also not surprising that most locals can speak and understand basic greetings from different parts of the world like Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, French etc.

Currency Used in Boracay

Aside from PHP cash, there are lots of establishments accepting USD cash, credit cards and e-wallet payment like GCASH. Moreover, there are a handful of money exchange centers and ATM machines around the island such as BPI, BDO and Metrobank. Money exchange centers can be found at Caticlan Jetty Port and at D’Mall in Station 2.

Did you know? Boracay is a Bitcoin Island and over 250 locations including resorts, fine dining, water sports, etc. accepts Bitcoin as a form of payment. Read more here.

Best Month to Visit Boracay?

The ideal months to visit the island is during summer season where it is hot and the beach is as calm as still water in a basin. These months are from February to April. Although I’ve tried visiting Boracay in November and the weather was hot and sunny.

Of course, you definitely do not want to visit Boracay during algae season. To avoid this, keep in mind that algae season corresponds to rainy season which starts from mid May to mid October. Although the presence of algae is non-toxic and should not be a cause for concern, a visit to Boracay would be more appreciated without it. So best to plan your date of travel!

Pre Boracay DIY Travel Guide

How to go to Boracay Island?

Boracay Island is very accessible either via sea travel or air travel. I created a separate travel guide for this. Read step by step guide here: How to get to Boracay From Caticlan or Kalibo Airport?

How to get around Boracay Island?

The main mode of transportation is an e-trike. For short distance travel between Stations 1-3 going to D/Mall, the fare is Php20.00/each for a group of 4-6 people. If you will charter the whole e-trike for 1-2 people, the fare is Php50.00-100.00.

Moreover, e-trikes also offer land tours for Php500.00/hour and for a maximum of 4 person. The places to visit are (1) Puka Beach, (2) Ilig-Iligan Beach, (3) Keyhole Beach, (4) Groto Beach, (5) Diniwid Beach, (6) New Coast Beach and (7) Bulabog Beach. The expense per person will really depend on how long you are going to stay to these places.

d'mall boracay
D’Mall, Boracay

Where to eat in Boracay?

I have mentioned in my previous article that Boracay is a growing food hub, and honestly there are so many restaurants to choose from. Almost all types of cuisine around the world can be found in Station 1, 2 and 3.

My top recommendations are (1) Nalka Seafood Restaurant, (2) Coco Mama, (3) 2 Seasons Boracay and (4) Salsa Fusion Restaurant. For more recommendations, read here: BORACAY FOOD GUIDE + BEST RESTAURANTS.

Where to Stay in Boracay?

BOOK ROOMS AT HUE HOTEL BORACAY HERE

We stayed at HUE Hotels Boracay located at Station X and it’s only about 5 minutes walk from the beach. I highly recommend HUE Hotels! You can pre-book airport transfers, they have free breakfast, floating Prisma Bar, swimming pool, luxury stores and many more.

BOOK ROOMS AT LA CARMELA DE BORACAY FOR PHP1,400/NIGHT GOOD FOR 2

BOOK DORMITORY SHARED ROOM AT SHORE TIME DORMITEL FOR PHP350 PER PERSON HERE

For solo travelers looking for a dormitory type, there are shared rooms available at Shore Time Dormitel for only Php350.00 per night.

BOOK ROOMS AT LABELLA CASA BORACAY FOR PHP1400/NIGHT GOOD FOR 2

This is where I stayed way back 2017, it is located in Station 1 and walking distance going to the popular tourist destination Willy’s Rock.

BOOK ROOMS AT HENNAN REGENCY BORACAY FOR PHP5,000/NIGHT GOOD FOR 2

Just like Hue Hotel Boracay, Hennan is also a good choice if if you have the budget for accommodation.

Things to do in Boracay Island

1. Check the Beach at Station 1, 2 and 3

Are you up for long walks by the shore? If you are then you might want to check the long stretch of white sand beach from station 1, 2 and 3! But mind you, it’s a really long walk so I suggest to do it early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

2. Food Crawl in Boracay

It is evident that the island is also for people who likes to binge eat because Boracay is a growing food hub that literally has all types of cuisines around the world in one island.

The wide array of choices makes it difficult to choose which restaurant to try. But here’s a list I created for top rated restaurants/food you should try in Bora! Read here: 2023 ULTIMATE BORACAY FOOD GUIDE.

3. Sunset Paraw Sailing is a MUST!

I give this activity 10/10! Sunset Paraw Sailing is a must try activity. Boracay has one of the best sunsets I’ve seen in the country and watching it while sailing makes it more aesthetic in photos, lol. Kidding aside, it’s the best seat to watch the sunset in Boracay.

BOOK DISCOUNTED PARAW SAILING ADVENTURE ON KLOOK

4. Visit the Keyhole

One of the newest attraction is the Keyhole which can be accessed via land travel. It is located along the side where they are developing the “Newscoast.” We were not able to see it up close because it has been raining for days when we visited and they said the rocks are dangerous.

Oh and don’t forget to make a wish before passing through under the keyhole! Superstitious or not, I guess it’s something fun to believe!

5. Get an IG-Worthy Crystal Kayak Shot!

They say you’ve never been to Boracay without getting a crystal kayak shot for the ‘gram! For only Php150.00 you get a crystal kayak boat ride with a local who is experienced in taking crystal kayak photos. They are available in Station 1, 2 or 3, just walk towards the crystal kayak if you see one and inquire.

boracay itinerary & budget

6. Visit the Diniwid Beach

Diniwid Beach is a more quiet spot than in Station 1, 2 and 3. If you are looking for a chill spot, Diniwid Beach has lesser crowd. It is located just beside Station 1, you can either walk or ride an e-trike to get here. Insider tip: it’s a nice sunset spot!

7. Get a Hair Braid!

I don’t know if it’s just me but whenever I see my friends in Boracay, they always get hair braids. It kinda set me the impression that hair braid is a thing in Boracay. So, I told myself I need to get hair braid! Lol. It’s a mandatory thing for ladies!

I enjoyed walking around the beach with my tan skin and braided hair. It’s like a signature thing in Boracay. Haha!

boracay island

8. Try the Water Activities

Definitely something to look out for especially for adrenaline junkies out there! Almost all hotels/accommodations offers water activities to their guests or just by walking in literally any part of the island, locals will come offering you water activities to try.

Some of the popular activities to try are: (1) helmet diving, (2) parasailing, (3) jetski, (4) island hopping, (5) banana boat and many more! If you’re planning to do it, I suggest doing it in 1 day and ask for a package deal so that you’ll get it at a discounted price.

boracay island
Helmet Diving in Boracay

9. Island Hopping or Visit Carabao Island in Romblon

If you have more days to stay in Boracay, visiting Carabao Island in Romblon is a must. Dubbed as “Boracay’s twin sister island” you will definitely enjoy the laid-back beach of Carabao Island.

READ HERE: CARABAO ISLAND TRAVEL GUIDE

boracay sidetrip
Cliff-jumping in Romblon

10. Boracay Night Life

The vibrant night life in Boracay hasn’t changed at all. Dance the night away with a crowd mix of tourists, foreigners and locals!

11. Get that Boracay Massage

As a tita Joan, I cannot skip this! Lol. The way people do massage is different from one place to the other. Diverse culture gives people a different but unique way of massaging or healing the body and I really think it’s another way of learning about a place’s culture & tradition.

Sample Boracay Itinerary & Budget

This itinerary is assuming that you will be arriving in Caticlan (nearest airport) in the afternoon on your first day. (Boracay DIY Travel Guide)

DAY 1 (MNL-BORACAY)ACTIVITYPRICE
1:00PMCaticlan Airport to Hotel in Boracay DIYPhp150 (e-trike airport to jetty port)
Php175 (environmental fees)
Php50 (pumpboat to Boracay)
Php100 (e-trike to hotel)
2:00PMCheck in hotel, freshen up
3:30PMVisit KeyholePhp400 (e-trike roundtrip) goof for 4
5:00PMExplore D’MallPhp500-1000/pax
6:00PMDinner and sunset at Nalka Seafood RestaurantPhp500-1000/pax
9:00PMBack at hotel, restPhp20 (e-trike D’mall to hotel)
DAY 2
6:00AMHotel’s free breakfast, prepare
8-12:00NNExplore Station 1, 2, 3
Visit Willy’s Rock in Station 1
Beach bumming
Hair braid
Crystal Kayak
Php150 (crystal kayak)
Php250-1000 (hair braid)
12:30PMLunch at Jammers Beach ShackPhp200-500/pax
2:00PMBack at hotel
Swim in the pool, rest, freshen up
Php20 (e-trike D’mall to hotel)
5:00PMSunset Paraw SailingPhp780 per person (group of 4)
6:30PMEarly dinner at Little TajPhp500-1000/pax
9:00PMNight lifePhp200-500/pax
DAY 3
6:00AMHotel’s free breakfast, prepare
8-12:00NNLand tour: Puka Beach, Diniwid Beach, Bulabog Beach
Book hassle free Island Tour here
Php500.00/hour and for a maximum of 4 person (e-trike for land tour)
12:30PMLunch at Sugba de Boracay
Try COCO MAMA for desert
Php500-1000/pax (sugba de boracay)
Php150/pax (coco mama)
2:30PMWater activities: helmet diving, banana boat, parasailing, jetski etc.
7:00PMDinner at 2 Seasons Boracay (highly recommend their pizza!)Php300-500/pax
9:00PMBack at hotel, freshen upPhp20 (e-trike)
10:00PMBoracay massage at D’Mall
DAY 4 (BORACAY-MNL)
8:00AMCheck out, travel back to Caticlan airportPhp100 (e-trike to port)
Php50 (pumpboat fare)
Php150 (e-trike jetty port to airport)

Tips From Joan’s Footprints

  • Avoid algae season by booking flights in the months of February – April.
  • Don’t get scammed by hair braids! Do not pay more than 1,000 for a hair braid. Haggle as much as possible.
  • Protect the colors of the reef! Use reef safe sunscreens for your skin protection! Purchase Magwai’s reef safe sunscreenand get a 10% discount by using my code JOANA10.
  • ATM machines are almost everywhere, don’t worry if you’re out of cash. Almost all establishments accepts online payments like bank transfer and/or GCASH.

Help me improve my Boracay DIY Travel Guide! By commenting suggestions in the comment section below, I am very open to new ideas. 
Huge thanks to ShopBack for this trip!
Contact Us for paid promotions and link insertions.
For proposals: email me at jpiann4@gmail.com

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