Boracay Island Philippines

Somewhere in the Sulu Sea, in the Western Visayas region (Region V1) of the Philippines, approximately 315km (196 miles) south of Manila and 2km off the northwest tip of Panay Island, basks the beautiful island of Boracay. A small, dog bone-shaped island, approximately 7km long, it boasts a total land area of 10.32 square km and a population of around 28,369 (2010). Mabuhay!

What does ‘Boracay’ mean?

There are a couple of differing stories as to why the island is called ‘Boracay’ (pronounced ‘Burr-ROCK-eye’, never ‘Bora’!).

One story tells that it is derived from the local word ‘Borac’ which means ‘white cotton’. Another suggests that it comes from the word ‘Bora’ which means ‘bubble’ and ‘Bocay’ meaning ‘white’. Both tales are surely referring to the color and texture of the dazzling-white, powder-soft sand that fringes the neon-blue ocean…

History

Originally home to the Ati Tribe who cultivated rice and raised goats, Boracay Island became known as ‘Buracay’ by Spanish conquerors.

In 1900, a town judge on nearby Panay took ownership of some properties on the island and planted coconuts, fruit trees, and lush greenery. The first tourists arrived in the 1970s and in the 1980s Boracay attracted backpackers looking for a budget destination in paradise.

By the 1990s, Boracay’s beautiful beaches, especially the now-famous White Beach, were being heralded as the best in the world and today the once-sleepy fishing village is known as the beach capital of the Philippines.

Beaches on Boracay

The beaches on Boracay Island Philippines are quite simply stunning and have won many awards. The world-famous White Beach was declared the ‘Best Beach in Asia’ by the world’s largest travel website, Trip Advisor in its 2015 Traveller’s Choice Awards and it was judged as number 1, ‘Best Overall in Asia’ by Travel and Leisure’s World’s Best Awards 2012 amongst other accolades.

Earlybirds can watch the incredible liquid-gold sunrise on Bulabog Beach, then end the day with a cocktail on White Beach to watch one of the best sunsets on the planet.

Boracay also has a few other beaches you can easily visit, including the rugged Ilig Iligan and the picture-perfect Puka Shell on the northernmost tip.

Weather in Boracay

Welcome to Paradise! Temperatures in Boracay, Philippines are usually a beautiful, balmy 25˚c-30˚c (77˚F-86˚F). There are two distinct seasons – wet season (Habagat), from the end of May until November and dry season (Amihan), from November until early June. Habagat brings tropical storms and rain, and Amihan brings a warm wind to Bulabog Beach, attracting kite surfers. Read more about the weather in Boracay.

How to get to Boracay

Travelling from Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) by plane (approximately 1 hour), there are two airports on mainland Panay that will take you near to Boracay:

  • Arriving at Caticlan (Boracay) Airport: you can arrange in advance for an airport welcome and transfers to Villa Caemilla. Alternatively, you can take a tricycle to Caticlan Jetty Port, which is a short 5-minute ride away, then catch the small ferry to Boracay which will take approximately 10-15 minutes. Subject to availability, our complimentary private transfer service can greet you at the jetty port in Boracay and take you to Villa Caemilla.
  • Arriving at Kalibo International Airport: you can arrange in advance for an airport welcome and transfers to Villa Caemilla. Alternatively, you can take a public or private bus to Caticlan Jetty Port, which will take approximately 2 hours, then take the ferry and private transfer service as above.

Should you wish, there is the option to take a 2GO passenger ferry from Batangas port in Manila, which arrives at Caticlan jetty port approximately 12 hours later. Travel time to Batangas port from Ninoy Aquino International Airport is around 2.5-3 hours depending on traffic.

Money

Local currency is the Philippine Peso (PHP), although U.S. Dollars and most major credit cards are accepted at some stores, larger resorts and restaurants. There are numerous ATMs and money exchanges across the island. For your peace of mind, safety and security, every room and suite in Villa Caemilla is equipped with a safety deposit box.

Health

We advise that you drink sealed, bottled mineral water only. Our ice at Villa Caemilla is made from chlorinated water. As with all tropical vacations, remember to remain hydrated, especially if you’re exercising or exposed to the sun for long periods of time.

The biggest health hazards on Boracay are sunburn and alcohol. There is no Malaria on the island, however to minimize the risks of discomfort and Dengue Fever (especially in wet season) it is advisable to wear mosquito repellent and wear light, loose-fitting clothing.

Boracay Service Facilities

Despite being a small island, Boracay has everything you’ll need on your vacation, including: numerous medical clinics and a provincial hospital, dentists, opticians, a shopping mall, two supermarkets and a department store, branded fast-food outlets, an outdoor cinema, wet seafood markets, laundry shops, Fed-Ex offices, banks and ATMs, gyms, real estate offices, churches, computer repair centers and a wide selection of souvenir stalls.