Boracay is a tropical island that lies just an hour’s flight away from Manila in the Philippines. Its name derives from the local word ‘borac’ which literally means white cotton but metaphorically conjures up the long stretches of white sandy beaches that characterise the island.
Boracay’s timeless beaches awe international visitors time and time again and have received a string of awards for their beauty. They have recently been voted as the second best beaches in the world, narrowly missing the top spot which went to the Turks and Caicos islands.
Measuring just 7 kilometres in length, and just 1 kilometre across in the middle of its bone-shape, Boracay packs a lot for visitors to do into its small size whilst still retaining its natural beauty.
When to visit
Boracay has just two seasons largely determined by the direction of the wind. The cool southeast wind called ‘Amihan’ and the southwest monsoon wind ‘Habagat’. Between September and June you can expect daytime temperatures of (25-32 °C) and very little rainfall. This all changes with the hot and humid Habagat months that follow as temperatures increase and tropical storms set in.
What to do
Boracay caters for most things a visitor may wish to do on holiday. For those wanting to just lounge around and make the most of the stunning beaches there are plenty of beach-front hotels with inviting lounge chairs a short stroll on the beach away. Massage and spa treatments are widely available and help you to while the day away in a state of relaxed bliss. Keen golfers can keep their eye in on the island’s 18-hole par 72 golf course designed by Graham Marsh.
The reef protected waters are perfect for wind surfing and kite boarding and the island’s Bulabog beach is known as one of the best spots in all of Asia. The reefs also provide some exciting dives with sites suitable for beginner or advanced divers. ‘Angol Point’ at 10m offers an entry level dive where you can experience the abundant marine life and crystal clear waters, whereas ‘Crocodile Island’ offers a thrilling wall dive at depths of up to 25m. The challenging ‘Yapak’ dive is known for its sharks and stingrays but also for its strong currents.
Boat trips to the hidden away Bat Cave are a spooky must. Here you will encounter stalactites hanging from the cave’s ceiling and numerous bats sleeping by day on its walls and floors. Another popular destination is Ariel’s Point, where you can take a boat and have a picnic and watch the cliff divers plunge into the inviting waters from natural platforms in the cliffs.
Sunset boat trips are very popular, but the fun in Boracay doesn’t end when the sun sets. There is a varied nightlife scene with many bars and restaurants serving food, drink and fun until late into the evening.
There is even a language school in Boracay Island so you could be perfecting your English whilst enjoying the sun, sand, sea and sport. Further details are available from ESL Languages (www.esl.co.uk).
If you love water sports, like to relax on unspoilt tropical beaches and would rather visit places that may not feature in your average package holiday brochure then you already have plenty of reasons to visit Boracay. Hopefully you will have found a few more here. See you there!