Just came back from the Philippines' party island, Boracay. The beaches are still as awesome as the photos before and the nightlife is very alive. It is quite harder to leave especially during the last day. They call it as 'sephanx', or separation anxiety especially in the last day when I'm about to leave, just when I've met new friends. Six days isn't enough I tell you to see all the tourist spots in the island of Boracay. They said Boracay is already overrated. Having visited Palawan's El Nido plus Puerto Princesa twice and comparing both, for me it isn't yet. It is up to you how you'll make your Boracay trip awesome. I had one of the best time there so I would like to share our DIY Boracay itinerary and tour guide. I stayed at two backpacker hostels, ate in 6 restaurants, treated myself to a foot spa and a 5 - star pampering package.
How to get to Boracay from Manila via Kalibo on a plane
Air Asia, Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines all fly daily to Boracay. It takes about 1 hr and 15 minutes to reach Kalibo International Airport. Some smaller aircrafts can fly to Caticlan airport which is nearer to Boracay. In our case, our touchdown via Cebu Pacific is in Kalibo so I can't tell much how its like in Caticlan.
From Kalibo airport, you can hire a private van for Php 1500 good for 10 - 12 pax or share on a public van that costs Php 250. While we are on board, Cebu Pacific announces a whole package transfer until you reach your accommodation. It is Php 500 per person that includes the van, boat, tricycle, terminal fee ( Php 100) and environmental fee (Php 85). We opted to do a DIY land and boat transfer to Boracay from Kalibo instead since one of my travel buddies have contacts to van drivers already.
Please take note that this Boracay guide from our trip isn't for those who are on a tight budget. This trip is made of three activities in Boracay you must do: food trip, wellness and of course island hopping.
12 noon - Arrival at International Kalibo Airport.
12:30 pm - Mc Do Drive through for 5 pax. We were too hungry but don't want to stay longer so instead of eating our ordered food inside, we did the ' drive - through. We only ordered fries, burger and so then we ate it while inside the van.
2 pm - Reached Kalibo Port Terminal. There was a long line outside but it is just a duration of 10 - 15 minutes waiting time. We paid our terminal fee, environmental fee and boat transfer. You need to pay in separate counters for each of these fees. The boat ride is only 15 minutes long.
2:30 pm - Arrived in Cagban Port Terminal.
2:40 pm - Rode a private minivan for Php 250
3 pm - Check in at Mad Monkey Hostel Boracay. It is a newly opened backpacker slash party hostel which is only 10 minutes away to Station 1 and Bulabog beach. Dorm beds cost Php 400 without breakfast. Room for two costs Php 1, 400. During peak seasons, the rates increase Php 100+.
|Photo credit to Mad Monkey Hostel Boracay|
Please check out my Mad Monkey Hostel Boracay blog review soon. This hostel is the 6th branch of the biggest chain of backpacker slash party hostels in Cambodia.
Address: Bulabog Road
6 pm Dine at Lemoni Cafe. This restaurant offers from light to heavy French inspired meals all injected with lemon fruit. We ate a lot of their dishes. I will just mention a few must eats:
1) Pinoy tapa ( Php 450)
2) Seared tuna, sauteed spinach, lemon mash, tomato coulis + olive tartar (Php 500)
3) Cheese cake (Php 140)
8 pm Yes it took us almost 2 hours to devour all and take photos. We headed to the beach just 5 minutes away.
9:30 pm: Walked for 10 minutes back to Mad Monkey Hostel Boracay. We watched amazing fire dancers and kids making sand castles. Please don't take photos without their permission, they charge per shot.
10 pm: Slept since we're too drained from our flight.
6 am: Beach bumming
8 am: Breakfast at Mad Monkey Hostel Boracay
10 am: Went to Footzeez in D Mall. It is one of the pioneers in the island of Boracay for a top - notch healing foot spa and foot massage. They've been doing this for 15 years not just for the guests's feet to look good but for a healthier pair of feet. By pressing some parts of the foot, they can tell the way you react whichever hurts, that there is a particular body part that needs more attention, they call it as foot reading. Foot spa is Php 650 and 1 hour foot massage is Php 600
Address: D Mall, Boracay
12 noon: Lunch at Maya's Kitchen. They got one of the best beach view. If you are into Filipino and Mexican dishes, this restaurant is for you. They also serve Jony's Fruit Shakes. These are really good tasting fresh fruit juices that are perfect to pair with their delicious meals.
|Photo credit to Tripadvisor|
Address: Jony's Beach Resort, Station 2
1:30 pm - 6: 30 pm Mad Monkey Hostel Boracay's Island Booze Cruise. Activities: cliff jumping, snorkeling and sunset at Puka beach. This includes UNLIMITED drink of beer, rum and vodka for Php 1300 only.
7:30 pm - Dinner at Pig Out. This is all about seafood and fine dining of Western comfort food like burger, potato chips and French fries. If you're looking for the best seafood, order the Sea Platter and see what I meant by literally pigging out! This is a sister restaurant of Maya's Kitchen so youll still get to order the best of Jony's fruit and milk shakes.
9 pm - Back at Mad Monkey Hostel Boracay. Being a party hostel, we went down to have a few drinks at the bar. I ordered one light beer and my buddy a glass of rum however every hour, they offer free shots of grenade. It's a combination of hard liquor with 40% alcohol. Mostly the crowd is composed of young Western backpackers.
11 am - Lights off
6 am - Pool time at Mad Monkey Hostel Boracay
8 am - Breakfast at Mad Monkey Hostel Boracay.
9 am - Mermaid Academy Swimming lesson and photoshoot.
By the beach: Php 1k for 30 minutes
Swimming lesson + photoshoot on Mad Monkey Hostel pool: Php 2k for 90 minutes
12 noon - Lunch at Dos Mestizos. It's a Spanish restaurant that serves the best paella valenciana and paella pollo in Boracay. Check out their smoked ham, special chorizo and tuna pesto. Don't forget to have a glass of sangria (red wine).
Address: Calle Remedios, Station 1, Boracay
2 pm - Asian signature massage for 1 hour and 45 minutes at Mandala Spa & Resort Villas. It costs Php 3, 500 not including the 10% service charge and 12% tax
Address: Station 3, Ambulong | Manoc-Manoc, Aklan
6 pm - Dinner at Jeepney Stop. It is all about Filipino street food served in fine dining style but on a very affordable price. Check out Pares Hilton, Goodbye Philippines and Sex on a jeep drinks.
Address: D Mall, Station 2, Boracay
9 pm - Back to Mad Monkey Hostel Boracay. Managed to drink another free shot of grenade to help me sleep easier. Note: the bar closes at 11:30 pm to give way to every guest a good night sleep. The crowd usually transfers to a nearby bar outside to continue the fun.
6 am - Beach bumming
8 am - Breakfast at Mad Monkey Hostel Boracay
11 am - Check out
12 noon - Lunch at Sunny Side Cafe. Like Jeepney Stop, their menu has quirky names too. Check out their fresh signature drink: All The Way (pineapple, lychee, calamansi and smashed mint) and I Can't Believe It's Better Than Bacon (creamed spinach, tomato and potato hay)
We booked 3 nights only at Mad Monkey Hostel Boracay. The 5 other buddies I was with had to go back to Manila while me I have 2 more nights. Because of misunderstanding with a staff, I was informed that Mad Monkey Hostel ran out of dorm beds. I prefer staying in a communal room with mixed genders because I get to know more fellow backpackers from all over the world and it is cheaper. As much as I want to stay there, I just couldn't. Luke, the GM of Mad Monkey referred me to the nearby hostel, Chillout Boracay which is on the same road and just 5 minutes away.
1 pm Check in at Chill Out Hostel Boracay
Chillout is a smaller hostel that offers a homey vibe. No pool yet, no private rooms - just mixed dorm beds. Php 500 with breakfast already. You can order food to cook at night with your dormmates. They got a free rhum for guests but it is more of small chitchat. If you come to party hard at Boracay, this isn't the place to be. You got to stay at Mad Monkey Hostel instead.
|Credit to FB Page of Chill Out Hostel Boracay|
Address: Bulabog Road
2 pm - Free time. Stayed in my dorm bed to rest and so. Sneaked out in the bathroom to wash a few of my clothes. Note: It is usually forbidden by all types of accommodation for a guest to do some laundry especially in a shared room. I did it very discreetly. I just wash it without messing up.
7 pm - Dinner in nearby carinderia or eatery. The cheapest you can buy your meals. In Boracay, a cup of rice is Php 15, pork or chicken dish is Php 40. Beef is Php 45.
8 pm - Socializing with fellow guests. Drank 2 light beers (Php 40 each) and tasted one shot of free rhum. Accompanied a fellow guest do some night swimming so we went back to Station 1.
12 mn - Lights off
8 am - Breakfast at Chill Out Hostel Boracay
10 am - Swimming time
12 noon - Check out
More activities to do in Boracay
1) Ariel's Point for Php 2500 each and leaves 1030am daily
Includes cliff jumping ( 3 - 15 meters), open bar all day, buffet BBQ lunch, paddleboarding, kayaking and boat cruise
15 minutes - Php 1500
1 hour - Php 4000
30 min - Php 2500
15 min - Php 1800
4) Helmet Diving
Twenty minutes under water for Php 800
Photoshoot includes a CD you can take home
5) Banana Boat
Ride on a giant inflatable banana that can go as fast as 40 km/hour. For every 15 minutes, it's Php 250 each.
You can hang for 15 minutes up in the air up to 200 meter above water. Guaranteed 0% chance to die. 100% great view of Boracay awaits you. Solo is Php 2000 and 2 pax is Php 1500 each
If Banana Boat isn't enough to give you the best adrenaline rush. You hold on to a giant inflatable toy getting tugged along at 60 km/h. It costs Php 800 per pax.
These tour activities in Boracay can be booked via Mad Monkey Hostel. That is it, six days isn't really enough. I am definitely going back to Boracay again.