This might be the place in the Philippines where you’ll get the least sleep; it could also be the place where you’ll have the most fun
Where? This little island is 315km south of Manila, nearly nudging the northwest tip of Panay island (2km away), in the Western Visayas region.
How? Fly to Kalibo Airport from Singapore or Caticlan Airport from domestic destinations and hop on a banca boat to one of the three nautical stations by White Beach.
Why? Discerning backpackers had Boracay’s charms pretty much to themselves during the 1970s, but word quickly spread: in 2012, Boracay was crowned ‘World’s Best Island’; it’s TripAdvisor’s best performing Asian beach destination, and around 100,000 sun-worshippers visit every month. Aptly named White Beach is one of Boracay’s biggest lures; its sociable, party scene is another.
What? Get massages and henna tattoos on White Beach; go kitesurfing or kiteboarding on Bulabog Beach (Asia’s kiteboarding capital); try sailing in Paraw; have a mermaid swimming lesson at the Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy. Enjoy cocktails at upscale Shangri-La Resort or beachside beers at one of the many wave-side nightspots – there’s a 4km stretch to choose from. Catch a fire-dancing display at Bamboo Lounge or on the beach. If you like reggae, hit Bom-Bom Bar; if you’re into shots, try Cocomangas Shooter Bar’s 15-shot challenge; if you want to make new friends, join the Boracay Pub Crawl. Go cliff-jumping at Ariel’s Point or pick from one of the quieter, more private beaches: Diniwid or Puka, perhaps. Don’t miss sunsets on the beach. Have a massage at Mandala Spa; pick up gifts for the folks back home (such as puka shell jewellery, made with shells from Puka Beach) from D’Mall.
Try… Fresh fruit juices and snacks from Jonah’s Fruit Shake; breakfast or brunch at Real Coffee (famous for their muffins, flavoured with calamansi, a local citrus fruit); lobster and crab feasts at Paraiso Seafood Grill.