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Voted the world's best beach by the Sun Herald, Australia and Harper's, Boracay is the perfect island getaway, with its warm blue waters, powder-fine white sand, and a palm fringed 4-kilometer beach.
The islands facilities and amenities make her a recreational haven. Watch February's Fun-board Cup, windsurfing's annual international event, or the World Beach Volleyball Tournament in September. Or take a refreshing swim in the crystal clear waters.
The world-famous island of Boracay is located in Aklan province 345 kms. South of Manila. The island is accessible by air from Manila or Cebu through two principal gateways : Caticlan airport or Kalibo airport.
After a swim in the sea, you can engage in relaxing activities. Comb the beaches on horseback. Play an exciting game of volleyball. Get on an outrigger and sail to the other side of the island. Swim over to the floating bar and cool off with a cocktail. Or hop around one beach to another and enjoy the easy-going atmosphere.
After sunset, the island transforms into one exciting night of dancing and partying. But don't take our word for it, Boracay is an island you have to experience yourself.
For many certified sun-worshippers the world over, paradise goes by the name Boracay. For indeed, many visitors have come back to Boracay year after ytear. Some have even chosen to live in this paradise island.
Sheltered from the fierce easterly typhoons, Boracay can be found at the northwestern tip of Panay, in the western Visayas region, off the Sibuyan Sea. Boracay has managed to pack its thousand-hectare area with all the elements of a tropical paradise--crystal blue waters, powder white sand, liberal doses of tropical palms and flowering plants, and a healthy marine life underneath the seas.
Boracay is made up of three little communities: Yapak in the north, Balabag in the middle, and Manoc-manoc in the south. Hilly elevations up to 100 meters above sea level characterize Yapak and Manoc-manoc. Intertwining trails link the small villages together but may sometimes lead to lush tropical jungles. Electricity and public transportation remain relatively scarce.
Boracay would have remained a national secret if not for a few foreign travellers who accidentally stumbled upon the place. Some say it was a movie crew which spread word about Boracay to other sun-worshippers. Other swear it was German traveler Jens Peters' book, which included rare reviews about Boracay, that sent tourists on their way. Whichever tale is true, Boracay has become a melting pot for beach lovers. At any point in the island, visitors can hear English, German and French spoken fluently. More importantly, visitors respect the serene quality of the place, and pay tribute to native Boracaynons by behaving according to local behavioral codes-which means no nudity, no fighting, and no loud commotions.
Not surprisingly, the culinary fare at Boracay is as diverse as the nationalities of its visitors. French, Australian, Belgian, German, Spanish and Thai--they're all here side by side the native cuisine. Lending ample support to this virtual rainbow of fruit shakes: from sweet yellow mango, green tart mango, to pineapple, coconut milk, cantaloupe and banana. Don't go home without a sip.
WATER FUN. The beach beckons for some serious swimming, or just wading by the shore.
For the more active vacationer, windsurflng and parasailing gear are readily available. Go sailing with the help of local sailors who are acutely attune to the rhythms of the sea. You can also try diving off Lourel Island.
STAR GAZING. In Boracay, there's plenty of room to sit back and look to the heavens for inspiration. Whether you're mooning over a sea of stars, watching the parade of white clouds, or basking in moonlight, be sure to keep your eyes open for a falling star. The visual delights never end specially at every setting of the sun, when the sun cries out in blazing, flaming colors, before it is finally laid to sleep.
BEACHCOMBING. There are over a dozen beaches dotting the islands. Bamboo outriggers ferry guests for a small fee. The choices are many: White Beach, Diniwid, Balinghai Beach, Manoc-manoc Beach and Cagban Beach among others. Work on your tan, read a book, relax.
SADDLE UP Stables are located near White Beach. Head towards the caves of Yapak, or just go where the horse takes you. Bicycles are also up for rent. Riders are advised to stay on inland paths.
NIGHTLIFE-- Spend the last hours of the day at any of Boracay's bars or discos. Beer in hand, you can dance in the sand with a few brilliant fireflies. If this seems too rowdy for your taste, take a stroll in the beach by the moonlight.
WHITE BEACH-- Probably the most famous stretch of beach in the country, White Beach lies on the west coast, between the villages of Angol and Balabag. Acclaimed as one of the finest beaches in Asia, White Beach features bright, fine sand and clear, shallow waters.
YAPAK to the bat cave! Explore the bat caves of Yapak preferably with an experienced guide in tow. You can even take photos of these night creatures.
PUKA SHELL BEACH-- Blissfully deserted, Puka Beach boats of fine white sand and millions of puka shells.
KAR-TIR SEA SHELL MUSEUM-- Located at the village of Ilig-Illigan, Kar-Tir features an interesting collection of sea shells, wood carvings, pottery, hand-woven articles and traditional costumes from all over the Philippines.
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GETTING THERE. From Manila, take the 50-minute Philippine Airlines flight to Kalibo in the province of Aklan; from where you travel another two hours inland ( via bus or jeepney ) to Caticlan, visitors are asked to fill up forms regarding travel details. Then, it's off to Boracay via outrigger boats.
STAYING IN. There are around 200 establishments for every whim and budget. From Jony's airconditioned rooms to quiet cottages trimmed with greens and flowers. A number of these have airconditioned rooms and television sets, others are blissfully powerless--just the way nature wants it.
GETTING AROUND. The mood is very casual. Dress light. Walking is great for exploring the island's numerous white sand beaches, freshwater lagoons, coconut plantations and fishponds. Low-powered motorcycles are also available. Or go on horseback. Peso is the medium of exchange. The U.S. Dollar and major credit cards are widely accepted. Peak season is from November to May.
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