Boracay is not just one of the pretty beaches in the Philippines. It is THE beach. The Panglao Beach in Bohol and El Nido in Palawan are close competitions, but Boracay simply offers more. It has a longer white beach shoreline, bluer ocean water, and wider variety of activities all over the island. Getting around Boracay is to experience tropical paradise for real.
The best and fastest way to reach Boracay is by plane through Manila, the capital city of the Philippines.
Once you get there, the most common form of transport getting around Boracay by land is the motorcycle, a motorized tricycle-taxi that can carry three passengers for Php20 or USD 0.45 each. Some drivers will overload by trying to cram 5 passengers together, and this is something you are advised to refuse if they attempt it. An exclusive tour around the island or to any tourist point in Boracay costs Php200 (USD4.50) from the White Beach.
Tricycles make up most of Boracay’s traffic and are responsible for polluting the tropical island breeze. This is especially true when tricycles climb up the hill going to Manoc-Manoc as their engines struggle to make it on top. Passengers should make sure to get their handkerchiefs to cover their noses from the exhaust. Tricycle drivers are very aggressive and do not seem to mind pedestrians and other passing vehicles, which can be scary for foreigners. Boracay tourism could do much better if traffic and anti-pollution laws were enforced.
Foreign and local tourists can also get around Boracay in style by renting a mountain bike, motor bike or an ATV (all-terrain vehicle). These are the best ways to see the vast terrain of Boracay and enjoy a brisk tropical wind brushing your face. Drive through the hillsides, rough roads, and of course the white sand beaches, and other spots that cannot be reached by tricycles. Finding these rides is not a problem since vendors walk along White Beach offering them. In a matter of a few minutes, a just-arrived tourist may be approached by as many as five vendors offering rides or even by approached by the same vendor three times.
Galloping on a horse is another cool way to get around Boracay onland. Horse stables are located at the northern part of the island, near Puka beach. An hour’s ride costs Php150 (USD3.40) and is worth the money considering its romantic charm. The only downside is that riding a horse can only get you so far depending on the animal’s speed and stamina.
The only way to truly get around the whole of this bone-shaped island and visit nearby islands that are as magnificent is by boat. Rent a paraw, which is a sailboat equipped with outriggers to prevent capsizing, or hire a motorized outrigger for island hopping. An hour’s trip around Boracay costs only Php500 or USD11. Just stroll along White Beach or sit by the sand and you’re sure to be approached by a boatman offering island-hopping rides.
Getting around Boracay by land or sea is best done with a local. Drivers and boatmen intentionally charge foreign tourists much higher than normal believing that they have more money to spend. A local tourist or resident is only charged Php7 (USD0.15) for a tricycle ride to anywhere in the island, which represents considerable savings if you plan to do a lot of moving about. Your Filipino friend or guide can help get you considerable discounts as you make your way around the island.