Maybe I’m one of few to say this but my friends and I entered Boracay with rather low expectations. I’ve heard horror stories of overcrowded beaches, rubbish, algae and the one that haunted me the most – around 300 kitesurfers in the relatively small Bulabog Beach. Despite all this, I wanted to go see what all the fuss is about. We made the journey in Nov’18 after Boracay reopened and were left pleasantly surprised. Yes, there are still plenty of people around the main stations. Yes, the island looks as though it’s been hit with a natural disaster due to construction. But, it is easy to see why so many people return time and time again.

So should you add Boracay to your Philippines itinerary? It’s the perfect destination to relax, as long as you’re willing to share the beach with many others. The food options are endless and the mesmerizing blue waters of White Beach become difficult to tire of. Adventurous folk may get restless as there isn’t a lot to do aside from eating, sleeping and drinking until your heart is content – unless you’re brave enough to give into one of the many hecklers offering overpriced boat tours. We eased our need for physicality by kitesurfing Bulabog Beach. The season runs from November to March, so don’t be afraid to sign your life away to one of the many kitesurfing schools.

Beyond Station 3

Empty Boracay, a bit of a juxtaposition.

White Beach at golden hour

Beers with a view

Coconut and mango ice cream

You definitely won’t find yourself short of accommodation options on Boracay – just remember in order to enter the island your booking must be from an accredited list you can find here. We stayed at the Summer Palace one night which was on the expensive side, although for a good reason. Smiley staff, air-conditioned rooms, and a luscious pool made our stay extremely comfortable. It was not beachfront but in the midst of all the action around Station 2. We checked out the Sundown Resort which was around 2000 php a night, waterfront at Station 3. The room wasn’t amazing but the location sure made up for it. We also found it far less crowded around Station 3, something to take into account when booking. Last but not least we spent a few nights at the Mad Monkey Hostel, definitely not one for the introvert! If you’re after a party scene you will be sure to find it here. The hostel is also located within walking distance to Bulabog Beach.

Getting to Boracay is relatively easy as it’s sole purpose is a tourist destination. Make your way to Caticlan either by plane or ferry, from here just about every tricycle and van will offer you a ride to the jetty port.  Follow the hoard of other holidaymakers onto the boats from the Jetty – the ride is approximately 15 minutes to Boracay, this will empty your pockets about 100php.

Overall, Boracay is definitely worth a visit. Whilst maybe not everybody’s cup of tea, the beautiful white beaches, infatuating blue waters, and hustling, bustling vibe are hard to resist. If you’re on a schedule, I probably wouldn’t recommend more than one week here, as the Philippines has so much more to offer.