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15 Best Things to Do in Boracay, Philippines in 2023

best things to do in boracay

Boracay Island may be a tiny tropical paradise, but it boasts a huge list of attractions for such a small spot.

Packed full of picturesque scenery, outstanding food, incredible outdoor activities, and plenty of party options, it’s no wonder Boracay is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Philippines.

It may be only 7 km long and 2 km wide, but this charming island manages to fit something for everyone onto its list of things to see and do.

From the stunning blue water and white sand beaches providing a beach lover’s haven to kiteboarding and cliff jumping fuelling the needs of adrenaline junkies, visitors of all types won’t be left wondering what to do in Boracay. 

How to Get to Boracay

boats in boracay beach

With no direct flights to the island, many people need to find out how to get to Boracay from Manila.

It only takes about an hour on a small plane from Manila (or Cebu as a secondary option) to fly into Caticlan Airport on Panay Island.

You could also try flying into Kalibo, which is often cheaper than Caticlan but a bit further away, requiring a 90-minute bus trip to get to the next stage of the journey. 

Regardless of which airport you land at, you’ll need to catch a boat from the Caticlan Jetty Port for a 20-minute cruise to Boracay.

The boats get you to Boat Stations 1, 2, and 3 along White Beach’s shoreline, so make sure you know which station is closest to your accommodation if you haven’t arranged transport already. 

Note: You’re probably going to get wet on the boat journey – you usually have to wade from the boat to the beach in shallow water and might get splashed during the channel crossing between Caticlan and Boracay Island. 

How to Get Around

boracay tricycle drivers
Picture by Jason Bagley

Navigating your way around Boracay couldn’t be easier, with English being so widely spoken and found on all of the island’s signage, too. 

Thanks to its small size, one of the easiest ways of getting around the island is to walk. A 2–3-hour stroll will take you from the northern to the southern tip of the island, while most of the tourist attractions are right in the middle along the White Beach. 

You could also use a tricycle for any “long” trips – these motorized taxis are the most common method of public transportation here, so you will frequently spot them all over the island.

They are quite easy to hail if you need one, or you can easily find them waiting in major tourist areas. 

Tricycle rental tips:

  • Agree on the fare before hopping on – without meters to go by, you could pay an extortionate rate by waiting until you get dropped off. You may need negotiation skills to get the best fare, but they tend to range between 100-200 pesos for the entire tricycle. 
  • Don’t let them charge you per person unless you’re just using it to get up and down the main road at White Beach (from Station 1-3) where it should be about 20 pesos per person. 

Some visitors opt for renting bicycles from the various bike rental shops found on the island. Typically 50-75 pesos per hour, they’re a quick and easy way to get around. 

Although you may also find scooters and motorbike rentals around the island, they are completely unnecessary here with a trip from one end of the island to the other taking a mere 20 minutes.

The area is just not large enough to make the 800 pesos for a half-day fare worth the cost – unless you really want to avoid walking or hopping on one of the tricycles, of course. 

Best Time to Visit

boracay white beach

The Philippines, Boracay specifically, is great to visit any time of year thanks to its tropical climate with constantly high temperatures and an average of 7 hours of daily sunshine. Without any classical seasons, the climate is determined by monsoons: 

  • End of November – End of May: northeast monsoon; less humid, dry season
  • Beginning of June – Middle of November: southwest monsoon; wet, rainy season with a higher risk of typhoons

Ideally, the best time to visit Boracay is during the transition months in between the wet and dry seasons – the core of the dry season and peak time for travel is from Christmas to Easter, or January to April.

However, even if you visit in the wet season, the strong showers are usually fairly short with the sun coming out afterward. 

Note: you will find bargain prices in May and June when the temperatures are highest and often too much to really enjoy. 

If you plan to visit more islands in this beautiful country then you should check when is the best time to visit the Philippines.

First time to Southeast Asia? Please check our recommendations for things to bring on your trip.

Where to Stay

As a top-rated travel destination, Boracay has several luxury beachfront resorts scattered about the island along with many budget-friendly options to suit all types of travelers. 

Frendz Resort & Hostel BoracayHostel

Frendz Resort & Hostel Boracay
Source: friendzresorthostels.com

The first location of the Frendz chain has been voted the best hostel in the Philippines a number of times, thanks to its laid-back environment conducive to making new friends with their free pasta nights, live music, and Frendz boat trips.

They also offer up designated beach chairs on White Beach, a mere 2-minute walk away from the hostel.

Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort and SpaLuxury

Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort and Spa

For a luxurious stay in a sheltered bay with scenic views and a private beachfront, Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort and Spa offer 219 rooms, suites, and villas all with private balconies to its visitors.

For a quiet retreat or a family vacation, this five-star paradise with a range of dining options, spa facilities, recreational activities, and even an infinity pool is sure to meet all your needs. 

Villa Caemilla Beach Boutique Hotel – Midrange

villa caemilla beach boutique hotel

This boutique four-star hotel offers affordable luxury right on White Beach, ideal for couples and families alike.

With award-winning hospitality and easy access to the jetty port and bustling Station 2, the hotel is in an ideal, quiet location and has a great variety of delicious local and international cuisine to choose from. 

Amihan-Home – Buget

For a charming, homey feel, stay at this Mediterranean-style house just a four-minute walk from White Beach.

Found in the best-rated area of Boracay, this accommodation provides private balconies and plenty of facilities including a golf course, billiard tables, sun terrace and garden, with numerous restaurants around the property. 

Travel Tips

  • Before traveling, make sure you have a printed booking confirmation from your accommodation – you will be denied entry if you don’t, and it also needs to be on the Department of Tourism’s Accreditation List. 
  • Tourist traps: When you land at the airport or jetty, you might find several men trying to grab your bag(s) and carry it for you without asking. They will demand payment for this, so you may want to save a couple of dollars by politely declining and carrying it yourself. 
  • Although some hotels will pick you up upon arrival to the island, you may want to hire a tricycle to get you the rest of the way, walk, or to save yourself the struggle of haggling, try pre-booking your transfer.
  • Currency: Many places accept credit cards, but your best bet is to take cash with you. You can find ATMs and exchange centres close to Station 2. 
  • Smoking and Drinking: No smoking or drinking is allowed on White Beach, so make sure you find designated smoking areas and only drink alcoholic beverages in approved bars. 

Where to Eat

where to eat boracay
Picture by Mr. Leeds

Best Restaurants for Breakfast in Boracay

  • Nonie’s Restaurant – A fantastic range of healthy food and shakes, and a huge breakfast menu with excellent portion sizes. 
  • Sunny Side Ca – Serving up Filipino-American cuisine with artisan coffee and all-day breakfast with superb WiFi to sit and enjoy.
  • Real Coffee and Tea Café – A must-visit when in Boracay, this cozy café overlooks White Beach and is home to the original Calamansi Muffins – a must-try treat!

Best Restaurants for Eating Launch in Boracay

  • Cha Cha’s Beach Café – Open from breakfast to late, this beachfront all-you-can-eat buffet is known for its Western-Oriental fusion. 
  • Smoke Resto – A no-frills place offering traditional Filipino dishes for affordable prices in a chilled-out atmosphere. 
  • 8 by the Beach – Sitting right on the beach, with tasty food and cocktails and even a swimming pool for you to enjoy, this place is a perfect lunch stop. 

Best Restaurants for Dinner in Boracay

  • Vintana Asian Café – Situated in the lush Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa, you can enjoy a romantic, luxurious meal from a collection of cultures while enjoying the beautiful scenery. 
  • Dos Mestizos – This inviting restaurant serves up true Filipino-Spanish feasts in a lovely ambience with live entertainment.  
  • The Pig Out Bistro – For tasty burgers, fresh seafood, and the best oysters in Boracay, the well-presented plates of American/Spanish/Filipino cuisine here are as delicious as they are attractive. 

Nightlife

boracay beach nightlife
Picture by Ray in Manila

Known as the party capital of the Philippines, Boracay is packed full of lively beach bars and informal dance clubs – often, the dance floor is sand.

A stroll along White Beach near the lively areas of Station 1 and 2 will offer up several choices of busy bars that keep booming until 1-3am. For a more chilled out, relaxing kind of night out, check out the bars in Station 3 area. 

Epic Boracay – next to D’Mall, White Beach – Station 2

As a general rule, Epic is the most popular beach club on the island offering up top-rate partying alongside excellent dining – the beachfront bar changes its style depending on the time of day, with laid back swimming sessions in the sun, to sunset, candlelit dining before transforming to a busy nightclub until 4am. 

Paraw Beach Club – Boracay Hwy Central, White Beach – Station 1

A super popular club accommodating up to 1,000 guests, this 2-story building gives you the option of dancing until 3am to local and international DJs in the sand or on the wooden parquet. 

Exit Bar – White Beach – Station 2

For an authentic beachy vibe, a more old-school feel with ‘90s pop and ‘60s rockabilly jams and a hippie-type atmosphere, check out Exit Bar and its friendly, relaxed environment. 

Prisma – Hue Hotels & Resorts Boracay – Station 2

For a modern wine bar with world-class cocktails, head to Prisma with its classy ambience and largest rum collection in the Philippines. 

Boracay Sports Bar – Bulabog Road

For those sports fans in search of a big screen to watch the match, head to Boracay Sports Bar for good food, cheap beer, and all the sports action you need. 

Best Things to Do in Boracay

Boracay Beaches

boracay white beach philippines
Picture by Deortiz

The 4-km-long White Beach is Boracay’s main attraction and ranked one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Split into 3 regions:

    1. Boat Station 1: high-end area
    2. Boat Station 2: restaurants, bars, and shopping
    3. Boat Station 3: quiet area, away from noise and nightlife

Bulabog Beach is just a kilometre away from White Beach and is a paradise for water sports and kite surfers with its strong wind strength. 

Puka Shell Beach (AKA Yapak Beach) is situated on the northern part of the island and offers more privacy and fewer tourists than White Beach. 

For a more relaxing day, Diniwid Beach has waterfront guesthouses, a couple of bars, and coral rock formations. This smaller beach is perfect for watching the catamarans sailing by or reading books before chilling with food and drinks while listening to live music. 

For a more secluded beach mostly unknown to travellers, make your way to Ilig Iligan Beach. 

Day trips usually include lunch and drinks, with the seaside spot located a 40-minute speedboat ride away from Boracay, on the western edge of Buruanga. 

Bring a pair of water shoes. Sometimes the beaches are rocky and you might wound your feet.

Crystal Cove Island

Crystal Cove Island boracay
Picture by Cesar

Also known as Tigwatian Island to locals, this private islet is just 10 minutes by boat and will feel like you’re being transported to an abandoned jungle camp.

Some of the best snorkeling and cave exploring can be found here, with crystals scattered through the caves and some leading to passageways taking you right to the other side of this curious island. 

Willy’s Rock

Willy’s Rock boracay
Picture by Eugene

Smack-dab in the middle of Station 1 is Willy’s Rock, one of the most popular places to watch the sunset and take incredible pictures.

A rocky outcrop with Virgin Mary’s statue atop the steps carved in volcanic rock, this is considered Boracay’s most famous, most photographed landmark. 

Ariel’s Point

Ariel’s Point cliff jump boracay
Picture by Eisen Jiao

Get your thrills from 15-meter cliff diving, paddleboarding, kayaking, and snorkeling at this eco-adventure resort.

Make sure you take back home the best memories. Bring your GoPro Camera and sports accessories.

Island Hopping

crocodile island boracay
Picture by momo

For a full day of Boracay island hopping by catamaran, try one of many island tours that stop by 3-5 spots including Crystal Cove, Crocodile Island, Magic Island West Cove, Balinghai Beach, and Puka Beach.

Including a lunch buffet and drinks, your day will fly by with all of the snorkeling, tanning, jumping into the water from the boat, and striding ashore to explore. 

Zipline Boracay 

zipline boracay
Photo by Laker from Pexels

A visit to this zipline park will spark an adrenaline rush while providing spectacular views of the entire island.

A gondola will take you to the top before releasing you on your belly to zip 70 meters, Superman-style back down to the bottom – no strenuous physical activity required.

Parasail

parasail boracay philippines
Picture by mimathology

No matter where you are on White Beach, you can likely spot parasails sending travelers high up in the air behind a speedboat.

One of the best ways to get the most Instagrammable Boracay pictures is by riding a parasail at sunset.

For a bird’s eye view of the Boracay Islands, simply stroll down to the beach and you’re almost guaranteed to be offered up a tour before you get the chance to ask. 

Boracay Pub Crawl

boracay pub crawl

If you’re looking for the best pubs and a way to make some new friends during your stay, check out a Boracay Pub Crawl.

You will not only get some free shots and a shirt but a night full of playing drinking games and enjoying drinks at a few of the best bars in Boracay. 

Check this article to find out what a pub crawl is.

Filipino Cooking Class

filipino cooking class
Photo by COMSEVENTHFLT

Collect your fresh ingredients from the morning market with a Filipino chef before learning how to cook an appetizer, two main dishes, and dessert.

You will often find these classes come with a couple of complimentary drinks along with your hand-cooked meal and a printed or digital copy of a cookbook. 

Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy

A unique activity fun for both kids and adults alike, the Mermaid Swimming Academy gives you the chance to be a mermaid for a day – slip on a mermaid tail and glide through the water to swim and pose like a real mermaid. 

Climb Mt. Luho

mt. luho boracay
Picture by Anthony Alger

Looking for a good hike during your stay? Check out Boracay’s highest peak, with a viewing deck providing spectacular panoramic views of the entire island.

If you’re not interested in the beginner-friendly climb, you can also hire a tricycle or motorbike to get you up the hill. 

There’s a beautiful viewpoint waiting for you up there. Bring your backpacking/hiking camera and capture the moment.

Sail at Sunset on a Paraw Boat

Paraw Boat yacht in boracay
Picture by Dr Tr

Local sailboats known as Paraw boats are a fabulous way to view the island from the crystal-clear water surrounding it.

Stop for a snorkel, swim, or maybe even paddleboarding while watching the sun go down. 

Helmet Diving

helmet diving in boracay
Source: viator.com

For anyone that doesn’t scuba dive and/or isn’t much of a swimmer, helmet diving is the perfect opportunity to feel like an aquanaut and enjoy marine life up-close and personal while walking along the ocean floor. 

Bat Caves

An adventure to these bat caves carved into a cliff centuries ago will take you on a trek through a dirt path in the jungle to a man-made cave now home to hundreds of bats.

Tirta Spa – Signature Massage

Combining multiple massage styles in one, the Tirta Signature Massage gives you an hour and a half of Swedish massage, therapeutic aroma massage, and foot reflexology along with lymphatic drainage to release any toxins.

Perfect for couples, the setting provides a flair of romance with the outdoor bathtub, koi pond, and fabulous fauna surrounding the villa.


Where to go next?

We recommend Explore Negros Island, the 4th Largest Island in the Philippines

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Catalin Geangos is the founder and previous owner of TravelTrained. He has been to more than 35 countries and lived in a few more before. He was a digital nomad travelling and backpacking extensively in Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam and others parts of South East Asia from 2020 to 2023. He wrote about many articles about his first hand backpacking and partying experiences in these countries. He stayed in many hostels and hotels, met many other backpackers, travelers and locals whom he partied and shared his story with. His articles have inspired travelers, mostly single backpackers, around to world to take the leap to explore South East Asian countries from grassroots and not just the tourist attractions but also the real and happening life on the streets after the sun sets down! He now writes about outdoor gear and hiking.