For a tiny island perched off the northwest corner of a larger island, Panay, which lies off the coast of the Philippines, Boracay’s fame as a beach tourist resort and for its unspoiled tranquillity is probably the highest per square foot in the world. It wasn’t always this way.
When the Spaniards arrived in their quest for world dominance, the islands was inhabited by a few hundred souls who pursued a living from the land, mainly from growing rice and fishing. A few hundred years later, this expanded to other crops through the instigation of a couple from the nearby island of Panay who purchased tracts of land for agricultural development. The world discovered Boracay when it became the location of a Hollywood movie in the 70’s, but it was largely the back packing crowd who came this remote spot for the next ten years, not requiring high-end resorts and dining. Eventually, the rest of the world caught on what they were missing. In 2012 Boracay was named, not only the second best in the world for beaches, but the top island in the world by Travel + Leisure – a stunning endorsement.
It’s not big: seven kilometers long and only a kilometer wide at its narrowest point located in the midsection of the island. There is one main road which stretches its length. But it has a myriad of beach resorts ( over three hundred and fifty, from five star down) plus all the restaurants and hot spots one would associate with a popular tourists destination. Yet it remains a wonderful place to relax, and the native people are very friendly.
If you are the active sort, Bulabog Beach is the place to go for para-sailing, snorkelling, diving. and so on. giving it the reputation as the best water sports beach in Asia. Or if you like to golf, there is an 18 hole course designed by Graham Marsh. And if you wish to explore Boracay it is great for hiking. though you can rent bikes and motorized vehicles such as ATV’s. Alternatively. you can also rent outriggers, kayaks, or paraws , the native sail boat, and explore by sea. It’s a small island so you have to work at getting lost!
One place that is a must-see is White Beach, the tourist favourite which stretches for four kilometres of Boracay’s seven. It is the “happening” place on the island. Then if you wish to chill away from the majority of beach goers, Diniwid Beach, Balinhai or Puka Shell Beach are good alternatives, each with their own attractions.
However long your stay, whether it be a day’s visit on a cruise or a week or two’s sojourn at a resort, you will have lovely memories of this beautiful island with its miles of white sand beaches, sparkling blue waters, and endless skies.
If you wish to visit Boracay on a cruise, it is on the itinerary of a number of Celebrity sailings in SE Asia. These cruises are very popular and you should plan well in advance. Contact cruise Holidays of Port Coquitlam for one of these cruises or a beach resort stay.
Article written by D.MacIntyre of Compass Media for The Travel Diary.