I liked how this spontaneous trip to Boracay went as one of my unforgettable trips in my traveling journey. My friend from South Korea visited the Philippines for the first time so I had to bring him to one of the best tourist destinations here in the Philippines. Here’s the full story. His preferences were a place where there’s a great nightlife, touristry, great beach and cheap to travel. However, Boracay isn’t that cheap to travel especially if you’re coming from Manila as you need to book a plane ticket to go there and if you want a beachfront hotel that will cost you more too.
Instead of a hotel, we opted for dormitory room that we got for P350 per night only and instead of fancy restaurants, we picked a cheap eatery where we got a decent meal for only P50. These things were actually normal to us as we’re both budget traveler. We always look for better alternatives without spending too much.
In this guide, I’ll show you how to travel cheaply to Boracay Island!
How to Get to Boracay
Boracay Island is located off the northwestern coast of Aklan and is very accessible to beachgoers. Flying is the best option if you’re coming from Manila. Kalibo and Caticlan are the two airports serving Boracay-bound passengers. Each airport has its pros and cons.
- Kalibo requires around 2 hours of travel time going to the Island, however, fares are much cheaper
- Caticlan is only 15 minutes away from the Island, but fares are more expensive.
Since I’m a budget traveler, we picked to land at Kalibo airport. But whichever you prefer, you need to go to Caticlan Jetty Port. Here’s the step-by-step guide that you can follow:
- From Kalibo Airport, take a van, bus or jeepney going to Caticlan Jetty Port. Fares are P120 for a van, P107 for an air-conditioned bus, and P75 for a jeepney. If you’re traveling with a big group and want a more comfortable travel, you may consider arranging a private van transfer. The cost is P2000 one-way.
- Upon your arrival at Caticlan Jetty Port, proceed to the booths near the entrance to pay the Terminal fee (P100), Ferry (25), and Environmental fee (P75).
- Next, go inside the port building and register. Proceed to the waiting area and wait for the boarding announcement. During the off-season, there’s no need to wait in the passenger area, you can proceed directly to your assigned boat or ferry.
- Enjoy your 15-minute boat ride.
- Upon arrival at either Cagban or Tambisaan Port, ride a tricycle or motorcycle to take you to your accommodation. Usually, P50 to P100 per person. We chose to ride on a motorcycle which cost us only P50 for two. We researched how to file motor vehicle crash operator report just in case.
If you’re coming from Caticlan airport, you can walk or take a tricycle going to the port. It’s 10 minutes away only.
Where to Stay in Boracay
Boracay has some of the most expensive hotels in the Philippines, but you can still find cheap accommodations if you’re on a budget. However, don’t expect that it’s beachfront, as most of them are 5 to 10 minutes away from the white beach. Hostels and guesthouses are the most common choice for backpackers and budget travelers.
- Hostels and Dormitories
During off-peak season, hostel fan rooms can be booked for around P400 per night while a bed in a dormitory can be booked for as low as P300 per night. Booking has a great selection of affordable hostels and dormitories.
We stayed at Jeepney Hostel and Kite Resort near Station 2 for just 400 per night (dormitory). It’s near Bulabog beach and a 10-minute walk from Boracay beach. It was a great experience meeting fellow backpackers from different countries. We made friends with them and partied at night.
- Hotels and Guesthouses
If you’re traveling with family and kids, hotels or guesthouses are the best options. Booking is a good place to find affordable hotels.
Where to Eat in Boracay
The variety of food in Boracay is very diverse. You can find whichever food you want. There are traditional Filipino foods, and of course, a lot of international cuisines like Spanish, Chinese, Mediterranean, Italian, etc. Boracay is also rich when it comes to fresh seafood. However, the variety of food options is smaller when you’re on a budget. Check the list below to know more where you can eat so that you can have a full and satisfied belly, without an empty wallet.
- Jasper’s Eatery
Jasper’s Carinderia offers a true local style Filipino food. The price range is P60 to P120 per meal. This eatery is located along the main road, on the left side of D’mall’s entrance.
- Mang Inasal
Mang Inasal offers Filipino food. Their best seller is the grilled chicken. The price range is P60 to P120 per meal.
- Lola’s Pizzeria
Lola’s Pizzeria has a good quality pizza at a very affordable price. The price range is P100 to P200 per pizza.
- Super Submarine Sandwich Shop
If you’re looking for a takeout meal, Super Submarine Sandwich Shop is perfect for you. The price range is P80 to P295 per sandwich.
D’talipapa has about 25 different choices of seafood. Lobsters, prawns, different kind of fish, oyster, etc. You name it, D’talipapa has it.
- Blue Jade Café
Blue Jade is one of the best restaurants that you can go to when looking for a restaurant to cook the seafood you bought in D’Talipapa. The price range is P115 to P280 to get your seafood prepared.
- Pinoy Delight
For a local Filipino food experience, Pinoy Delight is one of the best cheap restaurants for a good quality local food. The price range is P100 to P200 per meal.
- El Centro Bistro
You wouldn’t believe it, but there are still cheap restaurants right in front of White Beach. El Centro Bistro is one of those. Located in Station 2 of Boracay Island. The price range is P75 to P200 per meal.
- Jordan’s Eatery
Jordan’s Eatery might be the cheapest Carinderia in Boracay Island. For as low as P50 per meal, you can get a decent meal already. This eatery offers Filipino local food.
What to do in Boracay
Aside from its finest white sands and clear blue water, Boracay is also known for its extremely enjoyable activities for all ages. From sunset sailing to ATV riding, Boracay has so much to offer. Below is the updated list of things to do in Boracay this 2018.
- Ultimate Island Hopping Adventure
Explore the stunning wonders of Boracay Island with Island Hopping tour.
Perfect for: Group or Solo Travelers
Duration: 5 hours
Price Range: P1,200 to P1,400 per person
- Helmet Diving
Experience a blissful underwater activity with different kinds of fish and corals through helmet diving.
Price Range: P1,300 to P1,500 per person
If you’re looking for an adventure, parasailing in the island of Boracay is perfect for you.
Price Range: P2,000 to P2,500 per person
- ATV Island Off Road
Up for a rough road adventure? Try this ATV or All-Terrain Vehicle adventure. This activity will let you explore the forest of Northern coast in Boracay Island.
Perfect for: Solo Traveler, Couples, Families
Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Price Range: P1,000 to P1,250 per unit rental
- Scuba Diving
Explore the wonders of Boracay’s underwater with Scuba Diving adventure.
Price Range: P1,800 to P3,000 per person
- Mermaid Lesson
Live your mermaid fantasy!
Perfect for: Adults and Kids
Duration: 90 minutes to 3 hours
Price Range: P1,000 to P2,000 per person
- Indoor Shooting Range
Try this newest and heart-pounding indoor shooting adventure in Boracay
Price Range: P2,500 to P6,000 per person
- Segway Tours
Drive your way off the beaten track in an eco-friendly way.
Price Range: P2,000 to P2,500 per person
- Cable Car and Zipline
Dare yourself to try these heart-pounding and enjoyable activities with Boracay cable car and Zipline combo.
Price Range: P1,000 to P1,300 per person
- Jet Ski
Your Boracay escapade wouldn’t be complete without trying a Jet Ski adventure. Feel the adrenaline rush!
Price Range: P2,000 to P2,500
Sample Boracay Itinerary
Here’s a sample Boracay itinerary that you can use on your next Boracay escapade.
- Check in at NAIA Terminal 4 (Domestic Flights)
- Depart from NAIA Terminal 4 going to Kalibo
- Arrival at Kalibo International Airport
- Jeepney/Bus ride going to Caticlan Jetty Port
- Arrival at Caticlan Jetty Port (Lunch)
- Board boat/ferry to Boracay Island
- Check-in at Hostel/Hotel, freshen up
- Explore White Beach at Stations 1 and 2, Bulabog Beach, Willy’s Rock and Diniwid Beach
- 5 PM Sunset watching
- Dinner, Spend time sitting and appreciating Boracay’s white sand, Rest
- Island Hopping
- Flyfish / ATV Adventure
- Parasailing / Jet Ski
- Freshen up, Rest
- Experience the Nightlife in Boracay Island
- Try Balut or Filipino street food (especially for tourists)
- Buy a souvenir at D’Mall or D’Talipapa
- Check out
- Board ferry going back to Caticlan
- Bus ride going back to Kalibo
- Arrival at Kalibo, then Lunch
- Check in at Kalibo International Airport
- Arrival at NAIA Terminal 4
Budget Breakdown to Boracay
Here’s the actual budget I spent during my trip to Boracay. Take note that I didn’t try any paid activities. If you’re planning to try any paid activities in Boracay, you can just make an adjustment on the computation based on the price per activity above. Also, you can get cheaper plane tickets if you book ahead of time. Probably 6 months to 1 year prior to your tour. My trip to Boracay was spontaneous and I just booked my ticket a week before our flight.
Boracay seems very nice to see. What did you liked the most?
The travel experience is wonderful, very happy to read the article you have shared
Sad to say under 2 months after you wrote this article is that Boracay is now under closure because of over development and pollution. But there are a lot of other hotels and resorts in and out of Manila. The Philippines has more than 7,000 islands that means there will never be a shortage of beaches to go, mountains to climb, and hotels to stay in.
thanks for sharing