Caticlan / Boracay

Sailing boats at White Beach, Boracay (Photo: Lester Ledesma)

Above video: Sped-up scenes from Boracay’s White Beach, where beachgoers can be found surfing, boating and sunbathing by day. By night, they build campfires, play with sparklers, and party till the break of dawn. The island is alive 24/7!

Where to stay

  • Azzuro Di Boracay, Station 3; +63 36 288 5119; A beach resort with amenities that include free WiFi, a library, and complimentary usage of a beach bed and umbrella.
  • Blue Lily, North Beach (Station 1); +63 36 288 6404; A clean, comfortable and spacious beachfront hotel.
  • Boracay Pito Huts, Station 3; +63 2 788 5697; The beach houses here can accommodate up to 15 people, making them a good option for big groups.
  • Boracay Regency, Beachfront, Station 2; +63 36 288 6111; While this four-star resort boasts modern rooms and three pools, it particularly prides itself on its Filipino hospitality.
  • Lugar Bonito, Station 1; +63 36 288 1247; Six cozy and charming rooms with a Greek/Mediterranean aesthetic – think whitewashed walls with blue accents.
  • Residencia Boracay, Station 1; +63 36 288 5394; A pleasant and low-key property located away from the madding crowds of Stations 2 and 3.
  • Spider House, Diniwid Beach; +63 36 288 2350; This quiet, two-star resort offers a relaxing environment, for when you want to get away from the crowds.

Where to eat

  • Aria Cucina Italiana, D’Mall, Station 2; +63 36 288 5573; A contemporary restaurant serving up Mediterranean-inspired Italian fare.
  • Dos Mestizos, Remedios St, Sitio Manggayad; +63 36 288 5786; Specializes in Spanish Filipino heritage cuisine. The flavors in every dish are as authentic as they can get, especially in the callos de garbanzos (tripe with chickpea).
  • Hoy, Panga!, Beachfront, Station 2; +63 36 288 9039. The tuna specialist’s best bets are its grilled dishes, panga (tuna jaw) and tuna belly, but its menu also includes traditional and very fiesta-style Filipino food like sinigang, grilled pork belly, tuna kinilaw and grilled pork barbecue.
  • Izakaya Shibutani, Bolabog Rd. Run by a Japanese family, this restaurant offers patrons an authentic Japanese dining experience, with dishes like okonomiyaki and katsu curry.
  • Jonah’s Fruit Shake and Snack Bar, White Beach, Balabag. There’s nothing like an ice-cold fruit shake after a sweltering afternoon at the beach!
  • La Cozina Boracay, Station 1; +63 917 324 9051; Order a feast of tacos and churros at this beachfront Latin bistro.
  • Los Indios Bravos, Road 1A, Bolabog; +63 36 288 2803; This gastropub offers the widest selection of Philippine craft beer on the island. Take your pick from brands like Joe’s Brew, Nipa Brew Craft Beer Co, Craftpoint Brewing Company and more.
  • Narra Resort, Nabaoy; +63 921 782 2024. Sample the native specialty, tinumkan (crab or shrimp cooked with coconut and wrapped in taro leaves).
  • Palay Restaurant, Asya Premier Suites, Sitio Cagban, Brgy. Manoc-Manoc; +63 36 288 1790; Located on a secluded strip of beach, Palay offers fresh, simple fare in a balmy, luxury-resort setting.
  • Sea Breeze Café, Main Beach Wing, Level 1, Boracay Regency Beach Resort, Station 2; +63 36 288 6111 to 17. Enjoy an all-day buffet by the beach, at what is probably the largest buffet restaurant on the island.
  • SpiceBird Piri-Piri Grill, Unit 108, D’Mall, Station 2; +63 36 288 4023; Treat your tastebuds to dishes like grilled chicken and slow-cooked pulled pork, with generous lashings of spicy piri-piri (hot chili) sauce.
  • Subo Boracay, Calle Remedios, Station 3; +63 36 288 2849; This restaurant is a cultural showcase as much as a gastronomic one – it’s designed as a heritage home and built from materials upcycled from a 115-year-old house. We’d recommend dishes like the kare-kare (beef shanks in peanut butter sauce with bone marrow) and chicken paru-paro (butteflied grilled chicken with a special ginger sauce), just to name a few.
  • Supermagic Burgers, Beachfront, Station 3; +63 36 288 1592; Sink your teeth into incredibly juicy burgers, all of which are seasoned with the restaurant’s signature Umami Dust (made from Kampot pepper, sea salt and other secret ingredients). Then, round off your meal with some frozen custard with sea salt and chocolate-covered potato chips.
  • The Sunny Side Cafe, Beachfront, Station 3; +63 36 288 2874; This happy beachfront café serves up delectable breakfast favorites: think stacks of oversized pancakes, buttery home-made bread, artisanal flatbread pizzas and gourmet coffee.
  • Ti Braz Creperie and Bistro, White Beach; +63 36 288 1667; A popular French bistro serving up salads, sandwiches, pastas and of course, sweet and savory crepes in flavors like bacon and egg, and cookies and cream.
  • Titos Resto & Grill, Station 2; +63 36 288 2369; Get a table on the rooftop to enjoy the breeze, and order favorites like the suha (pomelo) salad and specialty Boracay rice (white rice with chorizo and scrambled eggs).

What to do

  • Ariel’s Point, Batason, Buruanga; +63 928 226 8210; Head to this eco-adventure destination (listed by The Huffington Post as one of the best cliff-diving destinations in the world!) for activities like cliff-diving and kayaking. Day trips from Boracay are offered seven days a week.
  • Boracay SunCruiser, Willy’s Beach Hotel, Main Rd, Station 1, Balabag District; +63 36 288 9079; Party onboard this 65ft outrigger fiberglass boat customized to accommodate up to 80 passengers. It’s equipped with a giant inflatable slide that launches you straight into the sea, but if you’d rather relax with a drink courtesy of the full-bar service, there are sun beds and bean bags on spacious decks.
  • Butterfly Garden and FarmBulabog Beach; +63 36 288 6701; A beautiful sanctuary that’s home to approximately 300 butterfly species.
  • Crocodile Island. Perfect for snorkeling and swimming. Package tours available from travel agents or hotels/resorts.
  • Hinugtan Beach, Buruanga; +63 36 288 3288; Escape the crowds on this private beach on the pristine coast of Panay island, just a 45-minute boat ride from Boracay.
  • Kitesurfing. Bulabog Beach has been dubbed as “the number one kitesurfing beach in Asia”, so it would be a shame not to give it a go! An introductory two-hour course costs from PHP3,000.
  • Mandala Spa & Villas, Station 3; +63 36 288 5857; Pamper yourself with a traditional Filipino massage, which involves the use of banana leaves and bamboo sticks.
  • Motag Living Museum, Brgy, Motag; +63 921 556 3111; The first interactive living museum in the Philippines, where you can watch farmers at work, learn how to make toys from coconut leaves, and play traditional games.
  • Parasailing. Check out Diamond Watersports (+63 36 288 6621) for parasailing. You’ll get an unbeatable bird’s eye view of Boracay.
  • White Beach. Hands down the most popular beach on Boracay, with 4km worth of fine white sands and crystal clear waters.
  • Yanninks Tattoo Studio, Station 3; +63 917 327 9841; Get a permanent souvenir at this tattoo studio, whose famous clientele include Manny Pacquiao, Arnel Pineda and Michael Madsen.
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