Boracay

A speck in the Visayas, this island is a mere 7km in length and reachable only by ferry from one of the neighbouring island airports. You’ll probably arrive in a propeller jet similar to this one before hopping onto a local ferry for a small fee of 30 PHP.

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You will easily spot the traditional outrigger characteristics identified by the two stabilisers jutting out on each side. This design is everywhere around the island and links to the fishing days of the Ati, who first settled on the island.

Once on the island you will find yourself in a self-contained beach paradise, offering everything from parties to local cuisine, snorkelling, vendors and all kinds of water sports. The most famous stretch of beach on this tropical island is the White Beach and certainly lives up to every expectation of a paradise escape.

The White Beach has 4 stations and tends to get more tranquil as you make your way northwards. Here, on Station 1 you will find the larger hotels opening out to the prime sunbathing spots; the vendors drop off allowing you to appreciate the scenery away from the hustle and bustle of coconut sellers, shops and now even a Starbucks!

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With crystal waters and the finest white sand it’s easy to lose yourself as you take a stroll from Station 4 to Station 1, passing Willy’s Rock, a landmark volcanic formation on the way.

I’d recommend a lazy stroll early in the morning before visitors flood the beach. That way you’ll experience this beautiful island in its more serene moments and away from the scorching sun.

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The sunsets are nothing short of breath taking and a perfect pre-dinner show as you look out over the calm waters. The sea temperature is still warm enough for an evening paddle if you’re like me and dying to immerse yourself in the glowing scenery!

There’s lots to explore in Boracay. Bulabog beach offers a quieter alternative to The White Beach and here, on the windier side of the island you’ll be able to get stuck into kite surfing. Alternatively, spend your day on a Paraw sailboat and leisurely drift to some great snorkelling spots as well as a lunch at Puka Shell beach around the side of the island. Locals are more than happy to take you out at sunset if you fancy a more romantic time at sea.

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But don’t be deceived by Boracay’s isolation. This island reaches its peak during the New Years celebrations, where hundreds will flock to the white shores to dance the night away under the display of their extravagant firework displays. During this season, this island becomes more of a social haven than a peaceful retreat.

…but boy are the fireworks spectacular!

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With displays in every corner of the island and even set up in the sea, you won’t know which direction to turn your head! One thing you’ll definitely learn about the locals, Filipinos love to party! Everywhere you go the bars are filled with music, entertainment, locals and travellers alike having a blast. It’s impossible not to get involved.

Before you know, it’s 3:50 in the morning and you’re dancing on the stage of a local beach club! But hey ho, you only have this to deal with the next morning…

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Not such a tough gig!

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