HomeAsiaSoutheast AsiaPhilippinesAklanBoracayBoracay Trip Guide for First-Timers By Marcos Detourista. Updated on December 31, 2017.Traveling to Boracay for the first-time? Here’s a detailed travel guide with sample itinerary, budget, spots to visit, where to stay & more.Planning to visit Boracay? Read on because I’ll be sharing a lot of helpful tips that I’ve learned from my frequent trips to the island. I can’t even recall the number of times I’ve gone there. Growing up, Boracay had been my family’s favorite holiday destination since it’s near to my hometown.Boracay is the top beach destination in the Philippines for vacationers. This small island is probably the only tourist destination in the country where you can find lively nightlife, excellent dining, a wide variety of places to stay, shopping areas, and lots of fun activities, all in one sandy stretch.Is Boracay worth visiting? Yes, the beach is not only one of the most beautiful in the Philippines, it’s also compelling enough to earn Boracay a spot on the list of the World’s best beaches & islands by many globally recognized publications.Be forewarned though. Boracay can get heavily touristic. If you’re an adventure seeker looking for hidden spots & local experiences, there are a lot of other places in the country that will suit your liking much better. Don’t miss this list of the best beaches in the Philippines.If you do not mind the touristic side of Boracay, then go! It’s a gorgeous island to spend a relaxing and convenient vacation, especially if you’re after the famous nightlife.Traveling to Boracay for the first time? This detailed travel guide will make it easy for you to plan a trip, save money, and maximize your time. Read must-know tips, sample itinerary, where to stay, budget breakdown, places to visit and lots of extra travel tips.Get startedHow to go — Touchdown at either Boracay-Caticlan Airport (MPH) or Kalibo International Airport (KLO). Both airports are located 1 hour south of Manila by plane. From Caticlan, Boracay Island is mere a 20-minute ferry ride away. Most travelers transit via Kalibo, which serves international flights and often cheaper airfares. Land travel between Kalibo and Caticlan is around 1 hour by land.See cheap flightsManila to BoracayBoracay is easy to travel on a budget — A trip to Boracay does not have to be expensive. There are a lot of budget-friendly places to stay, restaurants, and ways to spend less. Read all the extra tips on this page if you are traveling on a tight budget.Book your hotel early — Reserve your stay as soon as you know you are going because prices rarely go down the closer you are to your trip. Not to mention, lower-priced rooms tend to get fully booked faster. Click below to compare rates & read reviews by other travelers.Cheapest ratesSee reviews & discountsPre-book tours & discounts online — Check discounts on tours and attractions as well. Save money & avoid hassles of bringing large amounts of cash by booking before you leave.See all discountsClick hereClick hereClick hereBest time to visit Boracay — The best time to visit depends on how you want to enjoy the island. If you’re after the best parties, go during the Labor Day Weekend a.k.a “LaBoracay,” super peak dates including the Ati-Atihan Festival (3rd Sunday of January), Holy Week, Christmas, New Year and other major public holidays. The dry/summer season in March, April and May are the hottest months/peak season when you can enjoy mostly sunny weather & clear blue skies. I personally prefer the cool month of February or the shoulder season from the end of May to the 1st half of June when the island is not as crowded and there’s still generally good weather most days.Explore beyond White Beach — The 4 kilometer stretch of White Beach is the main attraction & tourist area. Don’t miss other spots to see on the island! Take a detour to Puka Beach and other less crowded beaches, inland viewpoints at Mt. Luho, and nearby islets where you can go snorkeling and cliff diving. Read the rest of this guide for a list beautiful places to visit in Boracay and nearby islands to inspire your itinerary.Consider alternative airports — In addition to Kalibo Airport, you can also fly in/out other airports in Panay Island including Roxas and Iloilo. This is especially recommended if you want to go on a side trip to nearby provinces or want to check cheaper flights compared to flying via Caticlan or Kalibo.Top Boracay guides & blogs Philippines Tourist Spots Philippines Beaches Manila Tourist Spots Cebu Travel GuideBoracay ItineraryHere’s a sample 3 days & 2 nights (3D2N) itinerary to give you a quick look at how to enjoy a trip to Boracay. Click below to see prices and plan your budget.Day 1: Boracay beaches and inland adventure Station 1, White Beach in Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, Philippines Sunset in Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, Philippines Zipline ride in Mount Luho, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, PhilippinesFlight to Boracay (Compare fares & airlines)Airport to hotel transfer (See discounts)Boracay hotel check-in (Check rates & reviews)Boracay inland tour — Puka Beach, Mt. Luho and ride the zipline (See discounts)Afternoon paraw sailing (See discounts)Sunset at White Beach and Willy’s RockDay 2: Boracay island hopping Parasailing in Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, Philippines Flyfish ride in Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, Philippines Sunset at Willy’s Rock, in Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, PhilippinesGo on an island hopping boat tour or cliff diving at Ariel’s point (See discounts)Enjoy water activities — Parasailing or flyfish ride (See discounts)Spa / massage (See discounts)See more trips on Instagram, Facebook & Pinterest.Day 3: Last day in BoracayShopping / free timeBack to airportTop discounts booked by other travelersTours & admission/entrance tickets13% OFF Boracay Paraw Sailing27% OFF Boracay Cable Car and Zipline26% OFF Boracay Parasailing19% OFF Boracay Island Hopping9% OFF Boracay Flyfish RideTransport12% OFF Boracay Transfers from Caticlan or Kalibo Airport Incl. Terminal/Ferry FeesWhere to stay in BoracayMost accommodations are located in the general area of White Beach, which is divided into three stations.You can find many upscale resorts in Station 1 (north end), mid-range hotels in Station 2 (middle part) and more budget-friendly options in Station 3 (south end). Beachfront properties tend to be more expensive.If you’re looking for a cheaper place to stay, keep a lookout for accommodations inland, but not more than 10 minutes away walking distance from White Beach.There are also plenty of luxury resorts hidden in secluded beach coves and hilltop locations all around the island. This is the best option if you want to enjoy a peaceful vacation away from the crowds.Compare rates & reviewsBlog features & reviews Ferra Hotel Boracay Review Agos Boracay Rooms + Beds Review The District Boracay ReviewBoracay hotels & hostelsHere’s a list of top rated places to stay in Boracay. Click below to see rates, discounts & guest reviews.1. MNL Beach HostelBudget backpacker / Bulabog BeachSee discounts2. The Lazy Dog B&BBudget backpacker / Bulabog BeachSee discounts3. Hannah HotelBudget / Station 1, White BeachSee discounts4. The Club TenBudget / Station 1, White BeachSee discounts5. Ferra Hotel Mid-range / Bulabog, Main RoadSee discounts6. Microtel by Wyndham Mid-range / Diniwid BeachSee discounts7. The District Splurge / Station 2 BeachfrontSee discounts8. Shangri-La BoracaySplurge / Banyugan BeachSee discountsWhere to bookSee more places to stay on these trusted booking sites. I use them frequently to grab rock bottom prices, often cheaper than walk-in rates. Click below to compare rates and book online.AgodaBooking.comExpedia.phAirbnbMake sure to set the check-in/check-out dates to see current prices on your travel dates.To view the best hotels/hostels, simply sort the results by guest ratings. Filter the results by “price per night” or “price range” to find rooms perfect for your budget. Carefully check the number of reviews, not only the review score.To easily view the cheapest rooms, sort the results by price from lowest to highest. Again, be mindful of the review score and number of review to find the best options, as experienced by other travelers.Boracay itineraryHere’s a suggested itinerary that you can follow on your do-it-yourself (DIY) travel to Boracay. Scroll down for the budget and list of expenses. Followed by top spots to visit/things to do & extra travel tips.3 days Boracay itinerary via KaliboDay 110 am — ETA Kalibo International Airport10:30 am — Kalibo to Caticlan shuttle11:30 am — ETA Caticlan Jetty Port12 nn — Caticlan to Boracay ferry12:20 nn — ETA Cagban Port, Boracay12:30 nn — Cagban Port to hotel transfer1 pm — Hotel check-in2 pm — Start Boracay land tourMt. LuhoZip Line/Cable Car4 pm — White BeachParaw sailingWilly’s Rock5 pm — Sunset at White BeachRestDay 2Option #1 — Ariel’s point cliff diving10 to 10:45 am — ETA meet-up point (Ariel’s House, Station 1, White Beach)11:30 am — ETD BoracayAriel’s point cliff divingBBQ buffet lunchLate afternoon snack5 pm — ETA BoracayOption #2 — Boracay island hopping9 am — Pick-up from hotel. Start Boracay island hoppingMagic IslandCrocodile IslandSwimming & snorkelingSightseeing at Puka Beach (weather dependant)BBQ lunch with free water2 pm — End Boracay island hopping2 to 5 pm — Free time. Choose from activities below:Diniwid BeachParasailingFlyfishSpa5 pm — Sunset at White BeachPartyRestDay 38 am to 1 pm — Free timePuka BeachPasalubong at D’Talipapa or D’Mall2 pm — Hotel check-out2:30 pm — Hotel to Cagban Port transfer2:45pm — ETA Cagban Port, Boracay3 pm — Boracay to Caticlan ferry3:20 pm — ETA Caticlan Jetty Port3:45 pm — Caticlan to Kalibo shuttle5 pm — ETA Kalibo International AirportBoracay budgetTo help you set a budget, here are expenses you can expect to spend during your trip. Make sure to review all discounts & online booking prices.Expenses breakdownTransportPricePrice per person. 2 people in group.Kalibo Airport to Boracay — Two-way transfers incl. terminal & environmental fees. PHP 630 per person per way x 2 (transfers).See discountsPHP 1260SameKalibo Airport domestic terminal feePHP 200SameTricycle rides within Boracay — Estimated.PHP 100SameScroll down to the extra tips for a DIY breakdown of charges on Kalibo to Boracay transfers via Caticlan.Budget estimatesYour Boracay budget will largely depend on activities you plan on enjoying, how much you’re up for spending on activities, accommodations & food. For your reference, here are the budget estimates if you follow the itinerary posted above.Boracay 3 days trip expenses for budget travelersPer person. 2 people in groupSolo travelerTransport – Including Kalibo Airport transfers, terminal/boat fees, tricycle fares within Boracay. Transport will be cheaper if you are flying to/from Caticlan-Boracay Airport.PHP 1,560SameAccommodations – In a budget hostel, PHP 500 per bed per night x 2 nightsPHP 1,000SameFood – Sample budget of PHP 500 per day x 3 daysPHP 1,500SameTotalPHP 4,060SameHere are estimates for the budget trip posted above + rates/admission fees on selected activities in Boracay.Including 3 of my favorite activitiesPer person. 2 people in groupSolo travelerMt. Luho tricycle transfers — PHP150 per tricycle per way x 2 (round trip). Max 4 people per ptricycle.PHP 150PHP 300Mt. Luho entrance feePHP 120SameParaw sailing — Per boat. Maximum of 5 people.See discountsPHP 1,150PHP 2,300Island hopping — Including buffet lunch & snorkeling gear. Join-in group tour.See discountsPHP 1,125SameTotalPHP 6,605PHP 7,905The cheaper the trip cost will be per person, the more people there are in your group. To know how much spending money you should bring, simply make your own estimates using the prices posted on this page.Other activitiesPer person. 2 people in groupSolo travelerAriel’s point cliff diving — Instead of island hopping. Includes buffet lunch & drinks.See discountsPHP 2,500SameParasailing — Double/tandem ride. Per person.See discountsPHP 1,750SameFlyfish ride — Max 3 people per ride.See discountsPHP 1,000PHP 2,000TotalPHP 10,730PHP 13,030Top Boracay spotsFirst time in Boracay? Here’s a list of what to do and top tourist spots/attractions to see.1. See White Beachhttps://www.instagram.com/p/BL9sl65Fzp0/ Sunset at Willy's Rock, in Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, PhilippinesStation 1, White Beach in Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, PhilippinesWhite Beach at night, in Boracay, Malay, Aklan, Philippines At 4 kilometers long, White Beach has clear blue waters and very fine white sand, compelling enough to earn Boracay a spot on the list of the World’s best beaches & islands by many globally recognized publications. The most picturesque stretch starts from Willy’s Rock until Station 1, which offers the finest sand and front row seats to amazing sunset views. After dark, the beachfront comes alive with the island’s famous nightlife and seafood buffet restaurants.2. Explore Boracay Beaches beyond White Beach Puka Beach, in Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, Philippines Banyugan Beach at Shangri-la Boracay Resort, in Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, PhilippinesPunta Bunga Beach in Boracay, Malay, Aklan, PhilippinesDiniwid Beach in Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, PhilippinesBulabog Beach view from Mt. Luho, in Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, PhilippinesLapus-lapus Beach at Fairways and Blue Water Resort in Newcoast Boracay, Malay, Aklan, PhilippinesIlig-Iligan Beach in Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, Philippines See other beautiful beaches starting with Puka Beach, which offers a glimpse of Boracay before it got developed by mass tourism. Take a walk along easily reached Bulabog Beach, Diniwid Beach & Ilig-Iligan Beach. Or, stay at luxury beachfront resorts with exclusive access to:Lapus-Lapus Beach — Fairways & Bluewater Resort, Savoy Hotel Boracay.Punta Bunga Beach — Mövenpick Resort & Spa Boracay Banyugan Beach — Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort and Spa3. Go island hopping Ariel’s Point, in Buruanga, Aklan, Philippines Crystal Cove Island near Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, PhilippinesCliff diving at Magic Island, near Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, Philippines Join a boat tour to nearby islets, islands, snorkeling and cliff diving spots near Boracay including Ariel’s Point, Magic Island, Crystal Cove & Crocodile Island.4. Tour Boracay’s inland spots View from Mt. Luho facing White Beach, in Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, Philippines Zipline ride in Mount Luho, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, PhilippinesBicycle tour in Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, Philippines Don’t miss the breathtaking panoramic views from Mt. Luho, the highest point on the island. Try the cable car & zip line ride while you’re at it. You can go there by chartering a tricycle/shuttle, renting an ATV or going by bicycle.5. Enjoy fun water activities Sunset in Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, Philippines Flyfish ride in Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, PhilippinesSunset in Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, PhilippinesKite surfing in Bulabog Beach, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, Philippines Take your pick from paraw sailing (my favorite!), parasailing, flyfish ride, helmet diving, kite surfing and more.6. Beyond BoracayMainland Aklan — Hinugtan Beach, Tangalan Beach, Kalibo.Antique Province — Malumpati Cold Spring in Pandan, Mararison & Seco Island in Culasi, Waterfalls in Tibiao, Caluya Islands.Iloilo — Gigantes Islands, Concepcion Islands, Iloilo City.Capiz — Roxas City, the Philippines’ seafood capital.Carabao Island, Romblon — Neighboring island with a long crowdless white sand beach and many scenic spots.Travel tips before you goHow to get to Boracay?There are two main airports for Boracay-bound tourists. Boracay-Caticlan Airport (MPH) is the nearest and more convenient option. Meanwhile, Kalibo International Airport (KLO) is more popular with international flights & often cheaper airfares. Flight duration is around 1 hour from Manila & Cebu, 1h 30m from Davao, 3h 40m from Singapore & 4h 20m from Seoul.Grab hassle-free airport to hotel transfers if you want to avoid time lost on separate trips/queues at ticket stalls & remove the guesswork on fees. Click below to see prices online.See discountsVia Caticlan AirportCaticlan Airport serves direct flights from Manila, Cebu, Davao, Clark, El Nido, Cuyo & Iloilo. Airlines include Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, AirAsia, AirSWIFT & Air Juan.To get to Boracay, nearly all travelers transit at Caticlan Jetty Port (ferry terminal). Distance from Caticlan Airport is only 450 meters away, which takes less than 5 minutes ride on a shuttle or 6 minutes by walking.From Caticlan Jetty Port, ride a ferry to Cagban Jetty Port located on the southern side of the island. Travel time is less than 20 minutes. Take note of these fees before departure:Boracay-Caticlan Jetty Port fees for touristsEnvironmental fee — PHP 75 per personCaticlan jetty terminal fee — PHP 100 per personCaticlan-Boracay ferry — PHP 25 per person one-wayThen, ride a tricycle or shuttle to your hotel. Travel time is 15 minutes or more depending on your destination. Shared tricycle fare is P20 per person. Meanwhile, chartered shuttles start at PHP 150 per ride.Here are fees to expect on your return trip:Cagban jetty terminal fee — PHP 100 per personBoracay-Caticlan ferry — PHP 25 per person one-wayCaticlan Airport terminal fee for domestic flights is not charged at the airport. It should already be included in the final price upon purchase of your plane ticket.Via Kalibo AirportKalibo Airport serves direct domestic flights from Manila & Cebu. And, international flights from Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Seoul-Incheon, Busan, Beijing, Taipei in Singapore. Airlines include AirAsia, Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, SilkAir, tigerair, China Airlines & XiamenAir.Travel time between Kalibo Airport and Caticlan Jetty Port is 1 hour on a direct trip. Airport tourist shuttles cost PHP 200 per person per way for the land transport only.There’s also the option to go the Ceres bus terminal in Kalibo town proper and ride a regular bus to Caticlan. The price difference is not worth the hassle considering the waiting time and energy you’ll waste in transit. You’re better off with direct transfers.Departing passengers from Kalibo Airport are required to pay the airport terminal fee amounting to PHP 200 per person for domestic flights or PHP 700 for international flightsVia RoxasRoxas Airport serves direct flights from Manila and Cebu. Airlines include by Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines.Frequent shuttles travel between the van/bus terminals in Roxas and Kalibo. Travel time is around 2 hours. Fare costs between PHP 100 to 150 per passenger.Via IloiloIloilo Airport serves direct domestic flights from Manila, Cebu, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, Puerto Princesa, Caticlan, and Cuyo. And, international flights from Hong Kong and Singapore.Airlines include Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, and Air Juan.Caticlan-bound buses depart from the Ceres bus terminal in Tagbak, Jaro District, Iloilo City. The land journey takes approximately 5 hours. Aircon bus fare should cost around PHP 360 per person.How to find cheap flights to Boracay?The easy way is to search on airfare comparison sites that can show you the lowest fares on many airlines in one go.Start your search on Wego, Momondo, and Skyscanner.When are you going? See the cheapest flights that you can book right now. Enter your travel details and search.Check Boracay promo fares several weeks or months ahead of your trip if you are planning your trip early. The cheapest promos are sold up to a year in advance of the travel/flight departure date & are often only available if you book directly with the airline.To learn more, visit the guide on how to book cheap flights.How to get around Boracay?Tricycles and shuttle vans are the primary transport within Boracay Island. You can easily charter or get a shared tricycle from the main road, which is around a 5-minute walk from White Beach.Hotels and resorts located outside of White Beach usually have complimentary shuttle service for guests with pick-up/drop-off service at D’Mall shopping center.How many days to spend in Boracay?A 2 or 3-day trip is enough to enjoy most of the highlights. If you are travelling to Boracay for 4 days, 5 days or more consider a side trip to other islands near Boracay including Panay and Carabao Island.When is the best time to visit?I personally prefer to visit during the cooler month of February or the shoulder season from the end of May to Early June when the island is less crowded compared to the peak season. During this time, the weather pattern starts to change between dry/summer and rainy seasons. There’s a chance of cloudy skies/rain but the weather is generally good most days. More significantly, the green sludge/algal blooms in White Beach are not as bad as during the summer months.There are three main tourist seasons in Boracay:Super peak season — Major public holidays including Christmas to New Year, Holy Week, Ati-Atihan Festival (3rd weekend of January), Labor Day (April 1 & the closest weekend).Peak season — December to May except during major public holidays. The hottest months or dry/summer season is March, April & May.Low/lean season — June to December except during major public holidays. Rainy/monsoon season starts in mid-June until August and may extend until October.How to get money?Money exchange stalls and ATMs from major Philippine banks are widely available in Boracay.Money saving tipsTraveling to Boracay on a budget? Here are some ways that you can spend less & enjoy a cheap vacation. These are especially useful if you are backpacking or simply traveling on a limited/tight budget.1. Go on shared tricycles — For transport between stations 1, 2 & 3, hail a tricycle with passengers already riding. Ask the regular fare, which is usually PHP 10 to 20 for short rides. Empty tricycles waiting along the highway usually charge the chartered rate, which is a lot more expensive. There’s also the option of simply walking along White Beach and enjoy sightseeing until you reach your destination.2. Travel in a bigger group — Sharing expenses with more people can make your tours & accommodations a lot cheaper per person.3. Eat local — If you want to take a break from expensive food at tourist-oriented restaurants, look around for a carinderia or local eatery, usually found along or near the main road. You can even do your groceries at the supermarket (easy to find) and cook your own food if your hostel has a kitchen facility. There’s also a growing number of fast food chains in the island like Mang Inasal, Andok’s & McDonald’s.4. Haggle down prices — Boracay is known for overpricing tourists, even local tourists from nearby provinces. Don’t be shy to haggle! Always ask for a lower price when buying souvenirs or booking tours. Shop around for the best deal.5. Consider staying outside of White Beach — Expect to pay a premium for beachfront rooms. There are a lot of cheaper options along the main road. Choose one that’s not too far from the beach though.6. Look out for discounts online — With the rising popularity of booking sites, there are a lot of accommodations & activities that can be booked cheaper online than paying walk-in rates.Hotel/hostel discountsClick below to see the best deals available today. Make sure to set your travel dates to see actual room prices & discounts.AgodaBooking.comTripAdvisorTours & attraction ticketsClick below to see all discounts posted on these top booking sites:KlookExpedia.phKkdayTop Boracay discounts13% OFF Boracay Paraw Sailing27% OFF Boracay Cable Car and Zipline26% OFF Boracay Parasailing12% OFF Boracay Transfers from Caticlan or Kalibo Airport Incl. Terminal/Ferry Fees19% OFF Boracay Island Hopping9% OFF Boracay Flyfish Ride9% OFF Boracay-Ariel’s Point Cliff Diving3% OFF Boracay Helicopter TourFlights/airfare promoBoracay promoKalibo promoIloilo promoRoxas promoDon’t stop hereDid you find this travel guide helpful? Share your trips & tag #detourista. Follow updates on:Instagram @detouristaHQFacebook [email protected]PinterestCheck out these pages for more inspiration on places to go in the Philippines & beyond: Philippines Beaches Asian Countries To Visit Palawan Tourist Spots Manila Tourist SpotsDon’t leave yet. There’s more!26 Most Beautiful Islands & Beaches in the PhilippinesSingapore Itinerary – 3-4 Days SG Legoland TourBalabac Trip Guide for First-TimersIndochina Itinerary – Thailand, Cambodia…Discover more blogs and travel tips in:BoracaySoutheast AsiaPhilippinesAsiaAklan See all placesFind more posts about:ItineraryTravel GuideTourist SpotsPinoy Travel BlogBudgetLeave a Reply Cancel reply Comments Mina saysSeptember 20, 2017 at 10:24 pmIt’s so hard to find information on the fees to expect upon leaving Boracay. Thanks for putting up the information here.Reply Marcos Detourist saysSeptember 20, 2017 at 10:44 pmThanks for the comment Mina :)Reply Virg saysDecember 8, 2017 at 11:58 pmHi Marcos! I like best how detailed you share stories and tips on boracay. I am inspired and will start a trip come February.ReplyStart A TripSee travel guides and blogs about the Philippines and beyond.