Everyone’s excited to revisit the country’s ultimate beach destination Boracay. Who wouldn’t? With all the unbelievable photos and videos of how pristine Boracay is now compared to six months ago, everyone’s scrambling to step foot on the island again. Well, we can say from the footage that the six-month lock-down on the Philippines’ most famous and most visited white beach is what the island needed after being battered by tourists for decades. We can only hope that this new Boracay will be able to retain its new face and environment.
The island reopened its doors last Oct 26, 2018 to tourists. If you’ve been to Boracay before, there are certain new rules to follow after its lock-down to keep the cleanliness of Puka Beach – the long stretch of white sand named as such because of the abundance of puka shells on its shores.
Per the Department of Tourism (DOT), parties – such as Laboracay during the 1st of May – would now be banned from the island. Also, smoking and drinking in public places, especially along the beach front, is now prohibited. If you loved drinking your cold beer under a beach umbrella on the fine white sand, you’ll be fined big time if you do so on your upcoming visit. Furthermore, if you’re used to playing a game of chance in any of the casinos on the island in the past, the government has issued an ordinance banning casinos in Boracay. So, we recommend doing research on the do’s and don’ts of the new Boracay before your trip.
WHAT'S IN THIS GUIDE?
How to Get to Boracay
From Kalibo or Caticlan
Boracay has two major entry points: Caticlan and Kalibo.
- Kalibo is farther and requires two hours of land travel and around 30 minutes of boat transfer, but fares are relatively cheaper.
- Caticlan is closer, around 15 minutes travel time from the airport, but you can expect that fares to be much higher.
With the new regulations set by the government on visiting Boracay, getting to the famed beach is not as easy as before. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has issued a statement that in the future, they may require access cards for tourists before entering the island to keep track of the number of people. DENR said that the island can only accommodate around 19,000 people at any given time and this initiative can help them monitor that number.
During the re-opening of Boracay last October 26, 2018, the government made a separate entrance for tourists and workers. This move was made to keep count of the people entering the island on that day.
Whether you’re coming from Caticlan or Kalibo Airport, you have to take a boat or ferry in Caticlan Jetty Port to enter the island.
- From Kalibo Airport, ride a bus or van to Caticlan Jetty Port. Fare: P200 (for update). If you’re traveling with your family or friends, you may consider renting a private van. The price for a one-way trip is P1,900 or P180 per person (10 pax).
- After arriving at the jetty port, go straight to the booths near the entrance and pay the Terminal Fee (P100), Environmental Fee (P75), and Ferry fare (P25).
- After settling all the fees, go inside the port building to register your name and proceed to the Passenger Waiting Area, and wait until it is time for boarding.
- Board the boat or ferry to the island.
- The boat will dock at either Cagban or Tambisaan Port. There are tricycles waiting there that can bring you to your hotel. Tricycles charge P100 per ride. If you’re arriving from Caticlan airport, you can also ride a tricycle to the jetty port. Or if you’re up for it, you can walk for around 10 minutes to get to the port.
New Boracay Updates:
The government has partnered with Grab, the ride-sharing platform available here in the Philippines to roll-out a Hop-On/Hop-off jeep system. This aims to offer tourists flexible transportation passes (daily and weekly) as well as discounts at many establishments. All these public utility vehicles operated by Grab will be integrating an automated fare collection system wherein tourists will use wearable bands or tap cards they can buy upon arrival to the island. These cards and bands can be reloaded and used for transportation and pay for foods and drinks in the island. Grab had launched this jeepney system for free during the reopening of the island and will continue offering free rides until January 2019.
In the coming months, passengers can also book e-trikes via Hirna, another ride-sharing platform that will be available in Boracay.
Where to Stay in Boracay
During my first visit to Boracay, my friends and I were on a steep budget so we stayed in a hostel in town. We needed to take a tricycle every time we wanted to go to the beach and it was a bit inconvenient especially during nights when we had drinks and partied all night long. So on my next visit with my family, we decided to book a beachfront hotel and for me it was the best option since we are a big group, and we were there to relax and unwind and not to party. Haha!
Hostels cost P300-800 per night for a single bed in a dormitory. Budget hotels and guesthouses usually cost around P1500-2000 per room. Beachfront hotels range from P5000 up to as much as P8000 per room/night.
New Boracay Hotels Update: DOT reminds tourists to check first if the hotels they’re booking have opened and in operation before paying. Some hotels are still closed and still accomplishing the permits they need to start operating again. Check the list of authorized and accredited hotels in Boracay: Boracay Compliant Hotels APRIL 2019
Here’s a list of some of the best resorts in Boracay as rated by Agoda users.
- Coast Boracay Island. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY
- Henann Lagoon Resort. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY
- Shangri-la’s Boracay Resort and Spa. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY
- Discovery Shores Boracay. ✅ CHECK RATES & AVAILABILITY