What prompted me to visit Boracay? It’s the Cebu Pacific Promo Fare. I got round trip ticket for only Php2295.00, you can get a lower price if you’re lucky. I booked my flight without second thoughts. It’s about time I should experience Boracay myself. As a budget traveler I scouted the cheapest possible way of enjoying the island.
Getting there. According to my friend it can be cheaper if you do not choose air travel. If you have much time to spare a ferry (Ro-Ro) is a good choice. The fare for non air-conditioned buses is Php700.00 and around Php850.00 for air-conditioned ones. This is inclusive of ferry rides that you will take along the way. The trip is approximately 18 hours to get to the island. You’ll enjoy the scenic trip since the ship passes along several provinces. If you want to save time go traveling by air. Book a flight going to Kalibo or Caticlan. It’s more convenient to get a flight to Caticlan since it’s just 15 minutes away from Boracay itself. If you’re flying to Kalibo you have to take an hour and a half bus (Php275.00) or van (Php175.00) ride to Jetty port. Expect to pay Php100 per person to cover terminal, environmental and boat fee. There will be another 15 minutes ride to Cagban Port where the island is. Upon getting to the port of Boracay, simply ride a tricycle (Php200.00) and head over to your preferred accommodation.
Accomodation. From first class beach resorts to essentially furnished hotels, long termed residences, and budget accommodations, you are sure to find all these in island paradise. Yet, Boracay is not about hotels but beaches. You don’t need a fancy accommodation to enjoy your stay. The cheapest inns can be found in Station 3 it’s approximately 20 minutes walk to station 1. For first timers, you’ll hear people trying to persuade you not to book hotels/inns from station 3 because it’s far from ‘Bora life’ – I’ll tell you there’s not much difference. Regardless if you’re in the fancy hotels of Station 1 or in the cheap inns of Station 3, you will feel Boracay nevertheless. I got our accommodation at Trafalgar Cottages for Php1950.00 3 days, 4 nights for two. If you’re alone you can get a room for as low as Php350.00 per night, and I am talking about peak season (November to May).
Foods. There are countless restaurants to choose from the island. From fine dining to carenderia or from native to foreign cuisine, you've got hundreds of choices. So far the cheapest eatery I discovered in the island is Chiquiting, situated inside D’ Mall. They are serving "lutong bahay" for as low as Php55.00 that includes a viand, rice and a bottle of soda (if you know cheaper than that let me know). Affordable fastfood restaurants like Andoks and Chicken Inasal are also located in the area.
Activities. Boracay is an island that offers a perfect getaway. Here is the list of things that you should try when visiting Boracay.
A. Sports – Some of the island sports like parasailing, kiteboarding, jet skiing and scuba diving are pretty expensive that you’ll just have to enjoy watching them from afar. However, you can also take pleasure in sports like skimboarding Php100.00 per hour inclusive of tutorial. Banana boat riding Phph200.00, or rent ATV (All Terrain Vehicles) for Php350.00 and go up to the highest peak in the island which is Mt. Luho and enjoy the breathtaking view of Boracay.
B. Clubbing. Boracay’s nightlife I may say is also one of the factors that attract tourists as much as her white sand. The beaches transformed to tropical party venues once the sun start descending from the sky, the white sand becomes a dance floor at night. You can choose from the array of restaurants, discos, and other after dusk venues. If you want to chill out and save money at the same time you can find bars that offer beers for Php80.00 (buy one take one) or buy a cocktail and get another one for free at Johnys for Php150.00. For exhilarating night watch fire dancers at Hey Jude’s bar.
C. Sunset Viewing. Sunset in Bora is one thing you mustn’t miss. It’s one of the highlights of your Boracay trip. The best area to watch the sunset is at Jonas where you could find the best milkshake (Php75.00) in the island. Enjoy and relax while you wait for the sun to kiss the sea.
D. Massage – Get a rejuvenating and relaxing rubdown for Php300.00 - Php350.00 for an hour. You can also get home service massage for the same price.
E. Shopping at the D’ Mall – for ‘pasalubongs’ and souvenir items you’ll get everything from this area of Boracay. It’s like Manila’s crossing, a busy place with busy people from all walks of life. This is the most accessible part of the island wherein you can get arrays of restaurants, boutique shops, tiangge, ATMs and banks. All the things you’ll need can be find here.
F. Ride a Zorb. For Php350.00 – Php Php380.00 you will have an invigorating experience by rolling downhill inside an inflatable ball by riding the Zorb. The ball is much larger than a beach ball. With a passenger/s inside, it rolls down a grassy slope. The Zorb can accommodate up to 3 people.
G. Island Hoping – Don’t limit yourself lounging on the beach the whole day. Discover Boracay’s hidden beauty. Me and my friend rented a motorized boat for only Php1000.00 (4-5hours). We went to Crystal Cove (Php200.00 entrance fee). This island is exceptionally beautiful. It has two caves with each opening right up to the sea. Inside is a little ‘unnoticeable’ zoo for some birds and animals which personally I think is futile. The island itself is fun for trekking and beautiful as it is, the birds and animals should be freed.
Next we went to Crocodile Island for snorkeling. Expect to pay Php20.00/head for environmental fee. The snorkeling gears are included in our boat rental. Swimming with the fishes of different sizes and colors is a wonderful experience.
Then for your last stop a secluded beach known as Puka Shell Beach. Here you can find private cove where you can go swimming or go shopping for souvenirs. Most of the items sold here cannot be found on white beach.
Make sure to do this activity when you visit Boracay. I didn’t appreciate Boracay as much as I do now until I went island hopping.
It’s just not the sand that sets Bora apart but also the balmy weather, splendid scenery and crystalline waters.
• Plan ahead; it's one way to maximize your trip, saving money and energy.
• Haggle with prices. You'll be surprise you'll get most of the island activities
for more than half the price of being offered, don't believe everything that
people are saying.