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Beach Bliss on Boracay

Beach Bliss on Boracay

story by: Tom Ricketts

The Philippines has 7,107 tropical islands. That’s right, 7,107 islands. Those 7,107 islands include well known names such as Luzon, Cebu, Palawan, Bohol and Mindanao. Luzon itself is home to nearly 50 million people! But the Philippines is known for one island in particular. A tiny island of only ten square kilometres. That’s nine times smaller than Waiheke Island, and half the size of Kapiti Island. What makes this island so amazing? Quite simply, its stunningly beautiful beaches and its reputation for relaxation and tranquillity. So good is this island, that the likes of Travel + Leisure Magazine and TripAdvisor have voted it the best beach destination in the world. This is Boracay.

First things first, where exactly is Boracay? The small island is just off the northern tip of Panay Island, or about 315 kilometres south of the capital city Manila. There’s no airport on the island, so you’ll have to fly to either Caticlan Airport (some domestic flights only) or Kalibo Airport which has connections from across Asia. It’s then a shuttle ride to the wharf, a boat ride to the island, and another shuttle ride to your resort. Leave all that to your travel agent to organise. Or if you’re feeling a bit fancy pants, why not go by helicopter straight from the airport to the resort?!

Boracay has changed a lot over the years. If you were one of the lucky few who backpacked through here in your younger days, do not expect the same thing today. The aptly named White Beach is the centre of tourism on the island, and is now lined with international standard resorts, hotels, restaurants, shops and tourism businesses. This is where you want to be if you like being in the thick of things, but the downside is that the beach can be a bit crowded.

Sports fans want to be across the other side of the island on Bulabog Beach. This being the most exposed part of the island means it’s the best place for kitesurfing and windsurfing. If you’re the long suffering partner of an avid kitesurfer or windsurfer, do not despair! The beach here is just as beautiful and not as crowded as White Beach.

For those of you who want the most privacy possible, Diniwid Beach is for you. Sitting north of White Beach, Diniwid is cut off from all the action by a limestone escarpment which gives the beach a much quieter and more private feel. There’s still a handful of resorts and restaurants to keep you happy, and it’s only a short walk to White Beach for an evening out.

Finally, to really get away from it all, there’s Puka Beach. Blissfully undeveloped, Puka Beach gives you a feel for what the island was like before the tourists caught on. It’s best visited as a day trip out, so pack you sunscreen, lunch and icepacks to keep the beers cool. 

> READ MORE ABOUT THE PHILIPPINES HERE

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