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BORACAY             >Paradise island  in the phils...

 

Boracay Island - Paradise Island of the Philippines. It is famous for its world’s finest palm-fringed white sand beaches, azure waters, coral reefs, and rare shells. It is the only Asian beach on Yahoo Travel Top 10 list of most beautiful beaches in the world.

 


Years ago, Boracay Island was a well-guarded secret, almost possessively so that only a few knew of its existence. It was only in the 70's when, it is said, a foreign movie crew accidentally "discovered" this island paradise.

Boracay Island slowly ceased to be a private travellers hangout and eventually became a favorite tourist destination in the Philippines. In a span of a mere 10 years, the whole world, it seemed, discovered Boracay and the once, nearly deserted stretch of beach became a teeming vacation and leisure spot for upscale tourists from all parts of the world...  

 

 

Boracay Island is located off the northwest corner of Panay Island, and belongs to the Western Visayas island-group, or Region VI, of the Philippines. The island is approximately seven kilometers long, dog-bone shaped with the narrowest spot being less than one kilometer wide, and has a total land area of 10.32 square kilometers.
 
South-facing Cagban Beach is located across a small strait from the jetty port at Caticlan on Panay island, and the Cagban jetty port serves as Boracay's main entry and exit point duringmost of the year. When wind and sea conditions dictate, east-facing Tambisaan Beach serves as an alternative entry and exit point.

Boracay's two primary tourism beaches, White Beach and Bulabog Beach, are located on opposite sides of the island's narrow central area. White Beach faces westward and Bulabog Beach faces eastward. The island also has several other beaches.

White Beach is the main tourism beach. It is about four kilometers long and is lined with resorts, hotels, lodging houses, restaurants, and other tourism-related businesses. In the central portion, for about two kilometers, there is a footpath known as the Beachfront Path separating the beach itself from the establishments located along it. North and south of the Beachfront Path, beachfront establishments do literally front along the beach itself. Several roads and paths connect the Beachfront Path with Boracay's Main Road, a vehicular road which runs the length of the island. At the extreme northern end of White Beach, a footpath runs around the headland there and connects White Beach with Diniwid Beach. 

Bulabog Beach, across the island from White Beach, is a secondary tourism beach and Boracay's main windsurfing and kiteboarding area.

Boracay is divided, for land use and conservation purposes, into 400 hectares of preserved forestland and 628.96 hectares of agricultural Land.

A number of accommodation types are scattered all over the island, ranging from luxurious hotel types to budget, spartan rooms. Along White Beach, location is often specified in relation to three boat stations, though the stations are no longer in operation. Station 2 is roughly in the center of the beach, with Stations 1 and 3 respectively roughly midway to the north and south endpoints.

The Station 3 area is where most of the cheaper lodgings are located, while Station 2 is meant for those who want to be within proximity of the bars. Station 1, meanwhile, is where you can find the more isolated accommodations, offering peace and quiet to those looking for a respite from the usual action-packed Boracay night scene. These are usually for the more upscale vacationers.

Most Boracay hotels and resorts have seasonal price levels, with high season prices generally coinciding with Amihan Season dates. Some have peak period pricing during periods of heavy tourism (usually including Christmas / New Year, Easter / Holy Week, and Chinese New Year periods).

Boracay is one competitive venue for the Asian Windsurfing Tour, with the week-long Boracay International Funboard Cup competition usually held in January on Bulabog Beach. In 2010, the event dates are January 25 – 31. CNNGo, a division of CNN focused on travel/lifestyle/entertainment, selected the Boracay International Funboard Competition on the weekend of January 22 - 24 as one of its 52 weekend recommendations for 2010.

The well-known Ati-Atihan Festival takes place each January in Kalibo on nearby Panay island. A much smaller Ati-Atihan festival is celebrated on Boracay, usually in the second or third week of January.

Dragon boat races are held annually on Boracay under the auspices of the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation, with teams coming from around the Philippines and from other Asian nations to compete. The races usually take place sometime in April or May.

The Boracay Open Asian Beach Ultimate Tournament, an ultimate frisbee event, has been held annually since 2003, usually during summer.

 

Boracay is made up of three little communities: Yapak in the north, Balabag in the middle, and Manoc-manoc in the south. Hilly elevations up to 100 meters above sea level characterize Yapak and Manoc-manoc. Intertwining trails link the small villages together but may sometimes lead to lush tropical jungles. Electricity and public transportation remain relatively scarce.

Boracay would have remained a national secret if not for a few foreign travellers who accidentally stumbled upon the place. Some say it was a movie crew which spread word about Boracay to other sun-worshippers. Other swear it was German traveler Jens Peters' book, which included rare reviews about Boracay, that sent tourists on their way. Whichever tale is true, Boracay has become a melting pot for beach lovers. At any point in the island, visitors can hear English, German and French spoken fluently. More importantly, visitors respect the serene quality of the place, and pay tribute to native Boracaynons by behaving according to local behavioral codes-which means no nudity, no fighting, and no loud commotions.

 Sheltered from the fierce easterly typhoons, Boracay can be found at the northwestern tip of Panay, in the western Visayas region, off the Sibuyan Sea. Boracay has managed to pack its thousand-hectare area with all the elements of a tropical paradise--crystal blue waters, powder white sand, liberal doses of tropical palms and flowering plants, and a healthy marine life underneath the seas.

 

 
Bikinis of Boracay

The gem in the Philippines tourist crown, Boracay boasts one of the most perfect stretches of tropical tourist beach anywhere in Asia. Not-surprisingly it is the most popular destination in this archipelago though it’s tastefully developed and not overly crowded. The whole beach-feel has been retained since the access roads are kept away from the water front and the low-rise beachfront resorts provide a great experience where you can literally get sand between your toes while eating breakfast!

This blog will gradually reveal the best of Boracay and those things to watch out for, in short how to get the most out of your visit here. By the end of 2009 this will all be upgraded into a 100 page website that is part of a large established guide series to Southeast Asia, with sister sites on the Visayas, Manila and the Philippines. Everything you need to know about Boracay will soon be found here.

The island centres around the stunning White Beach, which runs for several kilometres of perfect white sand, aqua coloured water and plenty of coconut palms. The ends of the beach offer an private and quite island experience while the central beach area is where you will find many restaurants, bars, shops and services. It all adds up to a great experience of sunbathing, sailing, snorkelling and diving, water sports, relaxing and partying.

 

The island of Boracay is small enough that you can easily walk around and get to wherever you need to go. In fact, to get to one end of the 4 km White Beach to another, the walk will take you only about an hour and a half. If you want to be in close commune with nature, leisurely walks around the island are definitely in order. Just don’t go barefoot and don’t walk around at high noon because the sun light is especially strong during this time. Besides, your feet will not appreciate you torturing them by getting them in close contact with the scorching hot sand.

If you’re going to areas outside the White Beach, public transport in the island comes in the form of tricycles. These are motorcycles that have sidecars attached to them where the passengers are supposed to sit. The fare ranges from five pesos to twenty pesos depending on how many people are hiring the ride. If you’re going to charter a tricycle for an hour, you may have to shell out 150 pesos.

You can also rent bicycles. Some resorts rent them out to their guests at about 50 pesos per hour. This is another way to get around the island and exercise at the same time. You just need to be careful on the road. Bikes are supposed to run on the right side of the road. Tricycle drivers tend to navigate through the main roads like maniacs so make sure to stay out of their way.

There are also resorts that can help you arrange for motorcycle rentals. But take note that driving manners and the road conditions may be different from those in your country. You will also need an international driver’s license to be able to rent a motorcycle. Rentals can cost about 150 pesos an hour.

 

The island of Boracay is small enough that you can easily walk around and get to wherever you need to go. In fact, to get to one end of the 4 km White Beach to another, the walk will take you only about an hour and a half. If you want to be in close commune with nature, leisurely walks around the island are definitely in order. Just don’t go barefoot and don’t walk around at high noon because the sun light is especially strong during this time. Besides, your feet will not appreciate you torturing them by getting them in close contact with the scorching hot sand.

If you’re going to areas outside the White Beach, public transport in the island comes in the form of tricycles. These are motorcycles that have sidecars attached to them where the passengers are supposed to sit. The fare ranges from five pesos to twenty pesos depending on how many people are hiring the ride. If you’re going to charter a tricycle for an hour, you may have to shell out 150 pesos.

You can also rent bicycles. Some resorts rent them out to their guests at about 50 pesos per hour. This is another way to get around the island and exercise at the same time. You just need to be careful on the road. Bikes are supposed to run on the right side of the road. Tricycle drivers tend to navigate through the main roads like maniacs so make sure to stay out of their way.

There are also resorts that can help you arrange for motorcycle rentals. But take note that driving manners and the road conditions may be different from those in your country. You will also need an international driver’s license to be able to rent a motorcycle. Rentals can cost about 150 pesos an hour.

 

 

How To Get There?

By Air


By plane

The nearest domestic airport to the island of Boracay is Caticlan or Godofredo P. Ramos Airport (IATAMPH) (ICAORPVE). The runway is very short and only propeller planes can land there. Flights to and from this Caticlan are bounded by sunrise and sunset limitations. Airlines with flights to and from Caticlan are South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR), Cebu Pacific Air , Philippine Airlines (PAL) , and Air Philippines .

From the Caticlan airport, you can either take a tricycle (PhP 40.00) or walk (10 minutes) to Caticlan Jetty Port.

The second airport near Boracay is the Kalibo International Airport (IATAKLO) (ICAORPVK). With longer runway and night landing facilities, Kalibo Airport is served by bigger planes with early morning and late evening flights. The airport is at least 90 minutes away by land to Caticlan Jetty Port. Airlines with flights to and from Kalibo are Cebu Pacific Air[6], Philippine Airlines[7], and Zest Airways[8].

There are minivans, vans, coasters and buses that serve travelers between Kalibo International Aiport and Caticlan Jetty Port.


By Air and Sea


By road and ferry (RoRo)

The "Nautical Highway" is a combination of overland highways and roll-on, roll-off (RoRo) vessels that allow you to bring your vehicle up to Panay Island and visit key cities like Kalibo. Taking your car all the way to Boracay, though, is not possible. Public transport also operates on the same route, and is the most cost-effective way of traveling between Manila and Boracay. Assuming good connections, the total journey time is around 12 hours.

The easiest way of arranging this is to book a van in Manila by contacting private operators such as Angel Star (02 783-0886 c/o Abner) and Gope (02 732-6891 c/o Cesar). This will enable you to book a straight trip from Manila to Caticlan at the cost of P930.00, more or less. Their group operates several passenger vans which can load 10-14 or 15-18 persons. You book the trip exclusively or share with fellow travellers. The Van leaves at 9PM daily from Manila, travelling through Batangas-Calapan-Roxas (arrives Roxas at 5AM or 6AM) to catch the 8AM or 10AM ferry/boat to Caticlan, where you are expected to arrive between noon to 2PM. Before proceeding to Boracay Island though, be sure to get your return ticket (Roxas-Manila) at the Caticlan Ferry Terminal (inquire about the updated schedule from the staff of the van operators). Take an early dinner before boarding the van and bring water and something to eat while on travel. Riding a van gives you a more relaxed pace to Caticlan because you wouldn't have to stop in many sub-destinations which lengthen your trip and therefore can be truly tiresome. Noted that the fee of P910.00 already includes two RORO fares.

The more challenging (but slightly cheaper) do-it-yourself version goes as follows:

  1. At 01:30AM, take a bus at the G.Puyat (Buendia) bus terminal along Taft Avenue, Pasay City.
  2. Get off at the end of the line which is the Batangas Port. Estimated arrival is between 4:00 to 4:30AM. Travel time actually only takes 2 hours maximum. The estimate is made to allow for other contingencies on the road.
  3. At the port, get/buy a ticket for a private van bound to Calapan, Mindoro.
  4. The van will be ferried by a medium-sized passenger ship. Estimated arrival time in Calapan, Mindoro is between 6:30 to 7:00AM.
  5. The same van will travel by land towards Roxas, in the island of Mindoro and arrive at the terminal between 9:30-10:00AM.
  6. Ride a ferry from Roxas to Caticlan. Travel duration is from 3 to 3.5 hours.
  7. From Caticlan, take the "bancas" following the procedures stated above.

You can also start your journey with Philtranco, Alps, Dimple, Ceres, Rodastco coaches which leave at regular intervals throughout the day from Cubao, serving the Manila-Caticlan route for P1,050.00. Rodastco also offers a door-to-door service with pick ups anywhere in Metro Manila.

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Travel Tips

A group of islands between Luzon and Mindanao, surrounded by the Visayan Sea, the Visayas is a place for your dream vacation. Join island hopping adventures, swim on it's crystal clear waters, stroll on it's white sand beaches, explore the undersea world!

 



FESTIVAL IN THE REGION

Enjoy the festivities of the region such as Ati-atihan, Masskara, Dinagyang, Sinulog, Halaran and many more! You will never forget your experiences on it's paradise islands. Lots of surprisesare store to all of you!


TRAVEL TIPS ON VALUABLES

Avoid bringing valuables. A decent watch and faux accessories (optional) are all you need. But in case you did bring some expensive jewellery, deposit them and your other valuables in the hotel safe (most major hotels provide them for free).

Make sure you make photocopies of your passport and tickets just in case you loose them. Keep the copies in separate locations - place them in deep pockets of your luggage.



It is a good idea to use a belt bag to put your money, passport and other valuables when on the road rather than a bag. And position it in front of your body and under your shirt if possible. Better yet, use a money belt and hide it under your clothing.

Never leave your bag and other valuables on the beach or at the poolside when swimming. It is a lot safer to leave them in your hotel room.

 


HEALTH TIPS

 Sometimes an apple a day just isn't enough... If you are travelling away from home, keeping healthy is a must. Find out about risks and preventative measures by selecting your nationality from the drop-down box below:

Philippine Travel Seasons

 



June to August is the typhoon season.Although the temperature is moderate and hotel rates are lower, it is not thebest time to travel specially if you intend to see the countryside or cross theislands by sea.


From March to May is summer time and is a good time to see theislands with clear skies and calm waters. You are also assured that no flightsor ferry boat trips will be cancelled due to typhoons. Although expect thetemperatures to occasionally reach 38 degrees centigrade.

 

Enjoy the festivities of the region such as Ati-atihan, Masskara, Dinagyang, Sinulog, Halaran and many more! You will never forget your experiences on it's paradise islands. Lots of surprisesare store to all of you!

 


CEBU CITY: The Queen city of the south

It was in Cebu that Ferdinand Magellan first set foot in Philippine soil back in 1521. Even before the Spaniards came, trade with the Chinese already flourished in the province. Prosperity has continued, and today, Cebu City, known as the Queen City of the South, has become a thriving, highly urbanized center that comes second to Manila's bustling metropolis.



Only a few minutes away from the city are numerous white sand beaches, crystal blue waters, and swaying palms, making Cebu a perfect destination for both business and leisure. Mactan Island is a coral island and famous scuba diving and beach site. It is also the site of the Export Processing Zone. Malapascua Island is endowed with white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, and the west coast is ideal for swimming and snorkeling. The sleepy little market town of Moalboal was one of the first places where scuba diving caught on in the Philippines. From here, you can dive straight off Panagsama Beach, which is home to an extraordinary array of coral, anemones, sponges, and a swarming host of brightly colored reef fish.