Boracay - Most Popular Tourist Spot in the Philippines
As the Philippines most popular tourist spots, Boracay continues to boom and prosper. 315km (200 miles) south of Manila, this destination is admired by the both local and foreign tourists alike. The success story that is Boracay is one from a path of remote wonder to commercial resorts. This interestingly unique success story of the Philippines has become referred to as having the best beach in the world.
A Little Bit of History
Originally home to the Ati Tribe, this island officially became a Philippine province in April of 1956. Back in those days Boracay was a little-known secret spot in the Philippines with very few tourists actually making the trip. It wasn’t until the 1970’s where tourism began to take-hold on the island. Then backpackers making it a “must-stop” spot in the 1980’s and the popularity began to explode. Comprised of 17 barangays, Boracay Island is now so entranced in tourism that it is now under the control of the Philippine Tourism Authority in conjunction with the Aklan Provincial Government. In fact, much of the rare and remoteness that made Boracay so special is now being supplant by very large commercialized ventures. Luckily environmental efforts are underway setting aside two protected areas for Boracay, one for the conservation of 400 hectares of forestland and almost 630 hectares of agricultural Land.
How Did Boracay Get So Popular?
There seems to be two main contributing factors for this phenomenal success. It is rumored that back in the 1970’s a movie crew stumbled upon this paradise when looking for a place for a remote beach scene. Then a German travel book written by Jens Peter gave the island incredible reviews. The stage was set for a major transformation. As the tourists experienced the incredible white sand beaches and turquois blue pristine waters, the word got around quickly in Europe and western countries. The growth has been nothing short of phenomenal with literally hundreds of hotels and resorts setting up shop on this tiny island.
Traveling to Boracay
Boracay is a very small, only 7 km long dog-bone shaped island just off of the northwest peninsula of the much larger Panay Island. It has two main stretches of beach for the resort crowd; White Beach and Bulabog Beach. These two most popular beaches are on opposite sides of the tiny strip island. For those flying into this paradise, the main entry/exit point is at Caticlan on Panay Island. After your plane flight, you will enjoy easy access to the actual resorts via a short boat ride to the Cagban jetty port on the south-facing Cagban Beach. This is the main port of entry to the Island for most of the year, but there is one additional alternative when the weather and seas take a turn for the worst.
When You Get There
White Beach is the main tourism beach on the island. At over four kilometers long there is plenty of room for numerous resorts, hotels, restaurants, and general tourism-related establishments. There is a wonderful footpath known as the Beachfront Path located along the center stretch of the beach and separating the beach from the establishments located along it. There are true beachfront resorts and restaurants directly on the beach just north and south of the centrally located walkway. There is a main road for vehicle traffic that runs along the entire length of the small island.
For windsurfing and kitboarding enthusiasts, Bulabog Beach, located across the island from White Beach, is the second most popular beach .
Accommodations, Golf and Various Stations/Locations
The good thing about Boracay is the wide range of accommodations on the island. 2000 rooms and close to 350 beach resorts means you are sure to find exactly what you are looking for and at your specific price-point. From the most humble of abodes for those on a budget, to the lap of luxury, you can find it all on this little strip island in the Philippines Archipelagos. This island truly offers a vacation getaway for everybody. The island is divided up into various stations/locations. Station 1 is location for those seeking accommodations offering solitude and isolation, providing more upscale accommodations and facilities. Station 2 is for those who prefer the general party atmosphere and the night life of the bars and clubs. While Station 3 is where you’ll find most of the less expensive, budget oriented facilities.
For the golf enthusiast, Boracay has a world-class 18 hole golf course designed by Graham Marsh.
Most of the accommodations have pricing associated with low and high seasons. The most favorable Amihan season garners the high season rates with even higher premium pricing during the traditional Christmas, New Years, Holy Week and Chinese New Year vacation periods.
Courtesy Flickr - CC License- Angelo Juan Ramos
Seasons and Weather on Boracay
The seasons fall into two general categories, that seem to follow the worldwide El Nino and La Nina ocean weather patterns, which generally describe the wind direction on the island. The most favorable is the Amihan, from around Sept/Oct to May/June. The beginning parts of the Amihan season is usually considered peek season and enjoys the more moderate temparatures normally between 77-90 degrees F (25-32 degrees C) from the beginning of Sept/Oct to Feb/Mar where it increase up to 82-100 degrees F (28-38 degrees C) to the beginning of the Habagat season where it starts its slide back to the 77-90 degree F (25-32 degrees C) temperature ranges again. Like most remote tropical islands, tropical storms can hit the island just about any time of year with significantly lower temperatures prevailing during these periods, but more often than not they tend to arrive during the Habagat season.
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