Backpacking Boracay

9:30 AM

One of our most spontaneous trip for this year is our trip to Boracay; an overnight plan! It was a long weekend and we were contemplating on where to practically spend the holidays without sacrificing the fun! - And what could be more fun than spending the weekend and experiencing Halloween in Boracay?

Going here is easy! You may either book a flight straight to Caticlan, Aklan or if you're coming from Ilo-Ilo City, you may have the following options to travel by land:

Bus Van
First Trip 2:00 AM Always Available
Last Trip 5:30 PM Always Available
Price per pax 360 Php 500 Php
Travel Time 6 Hours 4 Hours
I personally prefer taking a Bus because I find it more comfortable and spacious than taking a Van (especially if you're traveling solo). Most Vans are maximizing the number of their passengers that leads to congestion and a longer waiting time. However, if you happen to miss the last bus to Caticlan, an alternative is to take a bus from Ilo-Ilo to Kalibo (estimate: 200 PHP with 4 hours travel time) then have a Van transfer from Kalibo to Caticlan (estimate: 100-150 PHP with 1 hour travel time).
Upon arrival at Caticlan, there are several fees to pay: 
  • 100 PHP for the Terminal fee;
  • 75 PHP for the Environmental fee; and 
  • 25 PHP for your transportation to the Island via Pump-boat.
Boat transfers in-and-out of the Island are available 24/7. However, rates are higher at night depending on the number of passengers going to/from the island; ranging from 100 to 200 PHP (Usual price: 25 PHP during the day).
For a clean, comfy, and cozy accommodation, go for Chill Out Hostel Boracay. A Bohemian themed hostel and most probably the best hostel in town in terms of price, location, and hospitality. Just walking distance from D Mall passing through Balabag lake, its location makes it easy for you to navigate the island and conveniently reach any establishment that you might find in need.
The hostel offers free breakfast, a free 15-minute Kite-Surfing, and free rum every night from 7:00-9:00 PM; calling it Rum Nights and doing their own pub crawl afterwards (How cool is that? get the chance to mingle with other guests, make new friends, and get drunk for free!). Furthermore, if you're on a very tight budget, you can also bring food for you to cook in their kitchen, or ask them to cook it for you - for free too!
Team having breakfast with Hostel Owner Hannah and her boyfriend Mike
What impressed me most during our stay at Chill Out Hostel is how hands-on owner's Hannah and Mike are. They're very approachable, ready to help with any of your concerns, just to make sure their guests are having a great time in Boracay. I wouldn't be able to explore other attractions in this Island without their suggestions.
*Photo by: Dan Marie Morata (@kiss_cess)
*The Main Attraction!
Probably the most developed or urbanized beach in the Philippines. Boracay's White Beach is very well known to be a party hub with events sprouting in almost every corner all year round. With an average of 4,000 tourist visiting everyday (Even more on Holidays!), Boracay can never be boring! Hyping as it sounds (meeting all sorts of people, party here and there, etc.), finding a little quiet or tranquil place to relax might be a challenge or so expensive. 
If you wanna have a break from the party scene, let's get to know the other side of the coin for Boracay.
*Perhaps some place high?
*Photo by: Edmund Villaverde (@mr.terrifictraveller)
Mt. Luho is the highest point in Boracay giving you a panoramic view of the entire Island. It is approximately 10-15 minutes tricycle ride from D Mall for 40 PHP per pax. If you're in a group try to do a good bargain. In our case, we have contracted a Tricycle to give us a round trip for 200 PHP only (4pax). Entrance will be 120 PHP each and just a few number of stairs to climb. But, the scenery and cool breeze at the top is all worth it! 

*Somewhere with Caves and Rock Formations
Aside from White beach, another common go-to-place in Boracay is the Puka Beach. A nice place to relax and do recreational activities that is much less crowded than the White beach. In order to get here, you can ride a tricycle for 40 PHP per pax (10-15 minutes ride coming from D Mall). Or, negotiate for a better price if you're in a group.
*Photo by: Archie Esleyer (@archieoffduty)
Puka beach is also one of the usual destinations when you do Island hoping. Here, you can enter a cave for 20 PHP (plus some donations to your guide). The beach does not have an entrance fee but you might want to mind your spending on snacks or drinks; they offer free cottages with a scheme of buying any kind of drink from their store (FYI: Prices are doubled and are too expensive for a single drink). 

*More beach, less establishments
Apart from Puka Beach, another beautiful location that is not congested with tourist is the Ilig-Iligan beach. A couple of minutes away from Puka beach, this part of the Island offers majestic scenery and tranquility. Be mindful again of taking cottages for you'll have to buy food or drinks that is unusually priced.
*Photo by: Edmund Villaverde (@mr.terrifictraveller)
A perfect place to swim, relax, and take pictures without having to worry about photobombers...LOL

BORACAY IG/BLOGGER CREW: @mr.terrifictraveller (starting from the right), @archieoffduty@kiss_cess, and @doctoban; together with Hannah and Mike (left-most)
*Don't forget about the night life! Feast and Drink!
Looking for a laid-back place to hang out or spend the night? Check out Gypsea Shack Bar and Grill located near station 2. Awesome place to dine that offers delicious food and perfect Island-life ambiance!

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