Home from Boracay, arguably one of Philippines’ best beaches!

This was where I spent December 26 to 30 with the family — Boracay, a beautiful island in the middle of the Philippines known for its 5 kilometers strip of white fine sand beach.

To get to Boracay, we did the following:

  • Take a one-hour domestic flight from Manila to Caticlan
  • Take a 1.5 hour bus ride from Caticlan to Kalibo
  • Take a 20-minute boat ride to the island of Boracay
  • Take another 20 minute bus ride to get to the beach strip
  • Walk for 15 minutes from the entrance of beach strip (because they don’t allow cars near the water) to our hotel

I would highly recommend that you use the service Island Star Express for help with the transfers exclusive of the airfare. The total cost for transfers is PhP 950 per person, which is worth it given that you need to transfer through air, land and sea before arriving in your destination. Trust me, negotiating separately is NOT worth the hassle.

Their office is as follows:

  • Kalibo Office: Tel. No: +63 36-268 2355
  • Makati Office: +632 845 2222 to 26
  • Boracay Office: +63 36 288 6644

They’re very well experienced already having been in the Boracay transfer business for over a decade. I’ve lost my papers by stupidly forgetting them on the bus to Kalibo but through some quick thinking and coordination, the coordinator was able to get it back to me. I am very pleased with their top-notch service. 🙂

We stayed at the Mandarin Boracay which was around Php 8,800 a night for a regular room. The pros is that it’s just 10 steps away from the beachfront and their service is quite fast.

Be careful about check-outs though. Given the peak season, they’ve been relatively strict with us checking out over the 12:00pm check-out time. I also didn’t like their room chair and hard pillows but these are minor complaints.

The location is quite flexible and it shows in the price. D’Mall which was a few minutes walk away also had a wide array of expensive shopping and cheap food to choose from. I would strongly encourage everyone to try the beachfront buffets which ranged around Php 300 per head. Quite reasonable actually.

Water-sports wise, we managed to squeeze the following over the last few days:

  • Flyfishing (Php 350 per head) – a tamer version of banana boating

  • Helmet diving (Php 400 per head inclusive of photo CD and fish feeding)

  • Parasailing (Php 1,100 per head for 30 minutes up in the air) – totally worth it! Scary, but worth the experience
  • Island hopping (Php 1,000 per boat for some snorkeling and traveling around the island)
  • Scuba diving (Pho 1,350 per person for 30 minutes if you already have an open water license)

Of all the activities, I loved parasailing the most. Given that it was my first time, we were really super high up the air around 50 meters, and the wind was strong enough that it was moving us back and forth swaying.

We wondered what it would be like if the rope snapped at us. Haha, definitely it would be a really dangerous freaky accident if we landed on our butts in the water! 🙁

Anyway, it was a whole lot of fun. Boracay is indeed as beautiful as I’ve heard people say it was. Perfect for those who want to party all night long and have fun doing water sports in the daytime as well. The beach itself is amazing.

Am tired now so going to take my zzzs! The last day of 2010 – hope that everyone celebrates a very happy new year!

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