When tourists plan their summer vacation at a well-known Philippine paradise, Boracay, they always get the usual places that most people go to. Why? Every travel agency has most of the rates they can give you from their partner hotels and travel guides so itineraries are most likely the same, hotels and activities are always updated online with their promos in every season, and reviews on places from most people are always what we can get. I lived in Boracay for a year and pretty much have explored the most part. So, let this guide connects point A and B for you.
The highest part of Boracay Island where you can see 360◦ panoramic view of the island. On the picture is the view of Bulabog Beach which is on the other side of the Island.
How to get there?
- From anywhere you are, you can ride a tricycle or a motorcycle (in the Philippines, we call it “habal-habal”) and ask the driver to drop you at an alley going to Happy Dreamland. Fare price is 60-100 pesos back and forth. You can walk from where you stopped to an old theme park called Happy Dreamland. If you are coming with a group and you brought a private vehicle, there’s a parking lot near the park.
- From the theme park, you can rent an ATV or buggy car for 600-1000 pesos (1-2) hours for each person which I highly recommend because it adds more fun! You just can’t resist the view on your way up! Just make sure you know how to negotiate because they will initially give a higher price. But if you don’t want to rent the ATV car, you can go directly up with the private vehicle. For the tricycle or motorcycle, it comes with an additional fee depends on how you negotiate to the driver but it’s mostly just 20-50 pesos because all public transportations have specific routes to take and the driver also has to wait for you because there are no other vehicles you can get for when you go back.
- Walk up the stairs to the entrance and pay the fees. These entrance fees are for the maintenance of the place.
50 pesos for local tourists
70 pesos for international tourists
Yup! I know what you are thinking. Prices for non-Filipino-looking tourists are different and all are higher because of the idea that international tourists have a lot of money given the difference in currency conversion. Go up to the view decks and enjoy! There are local tourist guides you can find to ask if they can take pictures of you. Trust me, it’s all worth it! And the fresh air? God, if only you can collect some!I suggest you come early at 7 am or 8 am because people will start coming at around 9 am or 10 am.
Puka Shell Beach
One of the parts of Boracay where there are no permanent commercial establishments constructed unlike in Stations 1, 2, and 3. This part only has small stores where you must buy anything in order to use their cottages. The stores all close at 6 pm so you get to enjoy a peaceful and relaxing sunset view.
How to get there?
- From anywhere you are, ride a tricycle or motorcycle and tell the driver you are going to Puka beach. Almost any local in Boracay knows where this place is so you don’t have to worry if you get lost. The fare is 30-80 pesos one way. If you are bringing a private vehicle, parking is not a problem.
- You just have to buy anything from the small stores so you can use the cottages with no limited time. Food is allowed if you prefer to bring your own with no corkage fees. All stores close at 6 pm and since Puka beach has no permanent establishment constructed, you should expect that there are no lights at night. The only downside of Puka Beach is the white sand. It is not as fine as the sand at Stations 1, 2, and 3. But one of the cleanest I’ve seen!
Tip: Sunset view is great at Puka Beach, so if you are on a tight budget, come at 5 pm. Some tourist starts leaving by that time and some stores will start to close so you can just use the cottage for free. You’re welcome!
- Please do pick up your trash before leaving. There are trash bins anywhere so there’s no reason for you to be irresponsible. As the saying goes, “Leave nothing but footprints, bring nothing but memories”. Also, don’t stay in too late at Puka Beach because major concern for tourists with no private vehicle is the transportation. The tricycles and motorcycles will leave soon after the sun has set.
Ilig – Iligan Beach
This place has only one resort where you can stay. If you are the type of person that hates the crowd, spend your days at Ilig – Iligan Beach. This is by far my most favourite place in Boracay. Just look at the picture and imagine waking up to that view every morning! Perfect for a group of friends who want to have fun without other people looking.
How to get there?
- From anywhere you are, ride a tricycle or motorcycle and tell the driver you are going to Ilig -Iligan Beach. Same route when you go to Puka beach but it’s on the right side. (See map) The fare is also around 30-80 pesos one way. If you are bringing a private vehicle, parking is not a problem.
- Unlike Puka beach, Ilig –Iligan doesn’t have many cottages you can use. They have benches and tables that you can borrow and just give a tip to the owner. You can bring food and/or grill barbeque because they have old school burners you can use.
- Transportation is also difficult when you stay in too late so plan ahead of time. And don’t leave your trash!
Tip: In my one year of living in Boracay, I never heard of anyone getting mugged by the locals, but mobile phones being sold on the streets secretly are a thing. As funny as it sounds, muggers don’t need to snatch phones because they can just pick it on the shores after the tourists drop or forget it while partying last night. So, be extra careful!