The Boracay Islands in the Visayas region in the Philippines had recently been named by Tripadvisor as the second best beach in the world and first among its counterparts in Asia. Who wouldn’t fall in love with its powdery-white sand beaches and clear blue and green tranquil waters that even Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie gave in to the temptation?
It could definitely be your next summer destination, but before thinking that it will cost you a leg to go there, let me share to you my (quick) Boracay travel story.
During late summer last year, me and two of my favorite people decided to do a sidetrip in Boracay (before going to Iloilo) on a budget. From Caticlan (where the boat that will bring us to Boracay is stationed at), we paid PHP 150 each (around USD 3) for the terminal fee, fare for the boat ride and environmental fees. We were greeted by the friendly staff at the terminal, leading us to where the boats are.
It only took us 20 minutes to get to the jetty port and afterwards rode a trike going to our hotel (around USD 0.50 each). We booked a hotel at Station 2 (there are 3 stations in Boracay and all are equally lovely in my opinion) for PHP 1500/night (USD 36/night).
As expected, the sea was a true beauty. I even told my dad how it projected gradients of blue and green. The heavens were kind to us during our stay. Tourists flocked the whole island, mesmerized with the sea and sand as well.
Aside from the place, tourists also look forward to going to Boracay for the party experience. There’s a looooong food strip in the island that transforms into a smorgasboard of all things party at night. This is where things are going to be tough, so allot USD 5-10 per day for your meals.
If you’re planning to go on island hopping, set aside another USD 10-20 depending on the number of activities you want to do during your stay.
Here’s a breakdown of my travel expenses for 2 days/1 night stay in Boracay (we had to fly to Iloilo the day after):
Terminal fee +Boat fare + Environmental fees = USD 3.00
Tricycle to Station 2 = USD 0.50
Hotel for 2 days/1 night (PHP 3,000) /3 = USD 24.00
Meals = USD 10.00
Tricycle back to the port = USD 0.50
Shopping = USD 25.00
Meals = USD 10.00
TOTAL: USD 73.00 (Plane tickets and fees for other activities not included, so USD 150-200 will be enough)
- Travel with friends. This will cut down costs, especially when getting a hotel and paying for transportation.
- Scout for a good island tour package by asking several people first. They’re just about everywhere, holding plastic laminated signs – island-hopping, banana boat ride, scuba diving, etc. Feel free to ask, and feel free to refuse as well.
- Hotels in Stations 2 and 3 are cheaper than Station 1. If you’re planning to go a little luxurious for your summer vacation, most of the posh hotels are located in Station 1.
- Shoot for May or Early June. May is actually the start of the wet season in the Philippines, but it also means that hotel accommodations are cheaper there.
- Try their fruit shakes, choriburger and balut. I specifically love Jonah’s fruitshake from Station 1 and choriburger (chorizo burger) and the world-famous-fear-factor-ish balut sold along Station 2.
- Long walks in Boracay are lovely in the morning. Just my opinion.