Boracay is one of the most well-known islands in the Philippines and is one of the prominent tourist spots of the country because of its amazing beach. This paradise is located in the province of Aklan and can be accessed by its nearest airport in Caticlan. I spent a few days in Boracay celebrating my birthday and checked a few spots on a budget.
Boracay Island could be expensive due to most of the establishments’ target market are foreigners. I said that because I observed most of the shops have labels in Mandarin, in Korean, and in Japanese. Even the staff can speak a foreign language as well! In addition to that, the logistics for the supplies to the island is expensive as well.
How to Get There?
I went to Antique as a side trip before going to Boracay. From Antique, I rode a bus to Solido, Aklan, then rode a van-for-hire to Jetty Port in Caticlan. I then secured tickets for the boat going to Boracay with Oyster Ferries. Take note, the Jetty Port checks passenger’s hotel/accommodation voucher before letting you in the security check.
The boat trip took only 15 minutes and while on transit, a staff was briefing the passengers some information about the island and friendly reminders.
We arrived at the port of Boracay Island and I took an e-bike going to D’mall. Riding an e-bike is I think the cheapest way to navigate and explore the island.
D’mall is located at Station 2 and it’s one of the most public-centric places of Boracay. A lot of shops and establishments are open in this area and the beach in this station is also amazing.
Welcome to Boracay!
Activities in Boracay
Boracay Island offers a lot of activities, from water sports to island hopping, to helmet diving and exploration. I only experienced cheap activities for the reason I don’t have enough budget for everything. Here’s what I did during my stay in Boracay Island:
- Strolling in the Beach (Station 2 and Station 1)
Boracay is such an amazing paradise, with its pristine beach and fine white sand, who could’ve miss to enjoy and stroll the long shoreline? Don’t miss the lovely “Paraw” and magnificent sunset view at the beach.
You can stroll from Station 2 to Station 1 which is more fewer people and has wider fine white sand. There’s also a Grotto within the station where you can find a station of Mama Mary.
- Puka Beach
Puka Beach is another beach to not miss and is located on the other side of the island. I took an e-bike going to the place from Station 2 and is cheaper than hailing a motorcycle taxi. What I love about Puka its vast beach and blue water. When I went there, the weather was not the best thus the waves are bigger than usual. I did swim a little bit but opted to stop to prevent accidents.
- Island Hopping and Helmet Diving
This is more like island tour rather than Island Hopping but tour operators call it this way lol. I booked my tour at one of the local operators and they’re not hard to find as they stand within the passageways around the stations.
I was a joiner of this whole day tour and the weather was not the best as well. The tour should go to Puka beach but advised not to because of the strong current and waves, hence, we went to a secluded beach to enjoy. It’s not the best beach but it’s fun to play with the waves.
We also made a quick stop at one of the snorkeling sites near Station X. We didn’t really enjoy it because of the strong current and waves.
A part of the tour is a buffet lunch at Aklan, which surprised me, as our boat traveled all the way from Boracay Island to Aklan mainland. The buffet was sumptuous and was okay.
After the buffet, those who availed the helmet diving disembarked with a tiny boat from the restaurant to the diving site. We were given an orientation and instructions on what to do, like hand signs to communicate and what not to do when already diving. For me, it wasn’t the best experience, there’s not much of beautiful corals and fishes on their dive site. And I don’t think it’s the same dive sites I found on some of my friend’s social media feed.
Where to eat in Boracay on a Budget?
If you’re really on a tight budget in Boracay, you should go to fast food chains rather than restaurants or go to local food places. You may check out in Tripadvisor for food stops and check the value.
- Always ride e-bike, it’s cheaper than motorcycle taxis and most importantly is eco-friendly vehicles.
- Check Tripadvisor for rates for restaurants and food chains.
- Book to hostels or small hotels. I booked at Boracay Midtown Hotel through Agoda app and cost 1,400 for a cozy air-conditioned room and shower.
- Be friendly to locals, they will help you go to your destinations.
Watch my Boracay Vlog here:
Bus to Solido from Antique – P100
Van from Solido to Caticlan – P30
Oyster Ferry Boat Fare – P75
Environmental Fee – P75
Terminal Fee – P100
E-bike fare in the island – P25
Island Hopping and Helmet Diving – P1000
Snorkel Gear Rent – P80