Boracay is known for being one of the most gorgeous white sand beaches in the world. A tropical paradise teeming with palm trees, humming seashells and azure waters. It is my deepest pride to finally be able to write it here in my blog because Boracay is a small island located in my home country the Philippines.
Luckily, I grew up in the province of Iloilo. I love how near we are to the island of Boracay which is six hours drive within Panay Island and only fifteen minutes boat ride from Kalibo. I’ve traveled the island for about four times now. Every time, it still amazes me how beautiful it is.
It was unbelievable the first time, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The white sand left me utterly speechless. They were so fine almost powdery to touch. It was such an unforgettable moment for me.
The last time I’ve been there was December 2015. I know, sounds a bit late to post about it now but two years ago isn’t that bad right? haha. I’ve been real busy with the whole visa process, getting married and moving to a new country so I think I get a pass on this one. 😛
When my fiance then (now my husband) visited me in the Philippines, of course we wanted to take him somewhere far and beautiful. We took him in a road trip so he can see the natural charm and simplicity of the Panay Island. The days went by so fast because we have enjoyed it so much.
Going there is a breeze. There are two options, you can fly to Iloilo International Airport and from there, a bus or a van (or in our case a private car) that can take you to the town of Kalibo. Or without any hassle, you can just fly straight to Kalibo International Airport and a boat awaits to bring you to the island.
Traveling there can take half a day but that’s part of the experience. We travel to see new places and patience is a must. Boracay can be as cheap as you want it to be. BUT it is also a perfect vacation spot if you’re into luxurious getaway. There are many resorts and restaurants to choose from that will suit your needs and your budgets accordingly.
My family have visited the island previously three times in a small budget. Well- let’s say it is how we Filipinos do it in our own cost-saving way. We managed to avoid the fancy restaurants in the area. Saved a lot by bringing our own food, drinks and also cook our own food in the resort (fresh seafood we bought from the Talipapa Market). The resort was also very budget friendly. We also didn’t stay there for long. It was only 3 days and 2 nights.
The only activity we did every time we visited the island was boating, which is around 7,500 pesos (150 USD) at that time for 7 persons (you can haggle) which was very worth it. You wouldn’t want to miss that at all even if you have a small budget. But then my husband isn’t a Filipino and so I get to experience Boracay this time the foreigner way or his way lol.
We stayed in Nigi Nigi Too Resort for around 7,000 pesos or 140 USD a night. Located in Station 1 with a perfect spot facing the island’s iconic Willy’s Rock. My fiance then chose the resort for its uniqueness, so new to his eyes with cultural simplicity and flair with a bit of modern twist. It’s a known “Native Filipino style” or that’s how we locals call it.
The rooms are very spacious with private balconies and they provide scrumptious buffet breakfast every morning that you can enjoy with a perfect view of the sea. Talking about vitamin sea in the morning- you got it!
Of course, my husband wants to also try the best restaurants there is possible in the island. Our first stop is the The Sunny Side Cafe. They offered us amazing breakfast options.
If you have a high standard with food, we would definitely recommend this for you to try. It is spot on. Just go there earlier if you can to ensure a good seat.
With its yellow walls, it sure greets you a sunny morning. My fiance absolutely loved his pancakes. I have enjoyed my Eggs Benedict so much and will not think twice to eat there again whenever we get a chance.
My husband is that kind of person who always tells me: a big part of your travel should always be about the experience, being there 100 percent, exploring the place like a local and most of all, enjoying the best food the place can offer. It doesn’t mean you have to look for the most expensive restaurants. Na-ah, sometimes you can find the best in the off the beaten track. Absolutely like the next restaurants I will be sharing.
This one is a little bit tricky to find but don’t let that scare you. It just sounds like it but it is truly not hard to find. It gave me a little sense of adventure lol. The tip is get a tricycle ride on the main road, then tell the driver to drop you off to the Boracay Summer Palace Hotel (they know that place). The restaurant is just next door, look for the sign leading to its secret entrance.
Another option to get there is from the white beach of Station 2, look for a tunnel between Deparis Beach Resort and Mandarin Island Resort, should be a walking distance from D’Mall. When you reach the end, look for the large fancy looking hotel which should be the Boracay Summer Palace on the left side and next to it is the hidden entrance to the restaurant.
Expect to have a lesser crowd and if you’re into some nice and quiet this is a perfect spot for you. They offer from local Filipino, Asian food to international cuisine. I find their Filipino food average because they didn’t really do something different or special with it. It tastes like how you would taste our food inside our homes (or our home food can taste even better). I guess, if you haven’t eaten authentic Filipino food yet and not too adventurous either, this sounds a great option for you.
I like their open kitchen where you can watch the action going on and how they prepare your food. We ordered Adobo, the national dish. The restaurant is very pricey for Filipino standards although you might get away with it by eating in a big group because they serve large portions. Of course in dollars it would be still cheap.
For budget goers though, it is going to be risky to try this place. I am sure there are other better options in the island.
The best thing I love in this restaurant is the ambiance. The feel of the polished wood (you go bare-foot with this one), the over-all look of the place and the traditional/classic Filipino theme blends well together and sings in harmony. I love the cabanas. It is so spot-on!
Speaking about special tropical flavors and also a local favorite. This is a must have when you’re in a tropical paradise. Not only that it will help you beat the heat of the sun but will make your palate seems like having a bonfire party on the beach.
Jonah’s Fruit Shake and Snack Bar
My favorite fruit and tropical flavor is sweet mango and as a fruit shake, it makes me forget my name. Well- almost. They have lots of flavors to choose from. I also love coconut, melon and avocado. Jonah’s is located in Station 1. It is a simple, very casual place to spend your lazy hot afternoons with something cold, sweet and creamy. What can you ask for? 🙂
Tune in for the Part Two where I will be sharing our favorite place in the whole island and where to find a good deal to eat lobsters. 🙂