Boracay Island is the Philippines most popular tourist site and regularly wins international awards for being one of the Worlds very best tropical beach destinations.
It's actually a small island just off the tip of Panay and runs no more than 7km long and just about 1km wide but it packs a great deal into a limited area! The famous highlight is White Beach an enormous strip of soft white sand washed by warm blue sea that runs along much of the west coast of the Island. Fringed by high palm trees the land side of the beach plays host to a fascinating and international mix of hotels, resorts, restaurants and shops that are fun for all ages.
The island has developed a reputation as the tropical choice for water and activity based beach holidays with a huge array of attendant food, dining and entertainment options. Whether you stay in a 5 Star Resort or in a boutique Hotel it's hard not to notice that the easy going beach lifestyle has been carefully protected so that you feel relaxed from the moment of arrival There is so much to do here from diving and snorkeling through to kite boarding and windsurfing, golf and sailing - there really is something for everyone. It's definitely worth taking time out to explore the island because despite its evident popularity there remain hidden coves and beaches where you may find that you have the whole place to yourself. For many guests though the combination of swimming and diving mixed with some relaxing down time on the beach is hard to resist. Make sure you take time out to take a sunset trip around the island on one of the sailing paraws - it's a memorable way to see Boracay!
Boracay is well served by both international and domestic flights. There are upwards of 20 daily flights from Manila and Cebu into Caticlan Airport which is adjacent to Boracay. From here it is just a short boat hop of 10 - 20 mins across to the island. Slightly further out is Kalibo Airport which serves international carriers and domestic flights. From Kalibo a road transfer of approximately 1.5 hours brings you to Caticlan and the boat transfer over to Boracay.
Boracay is a year round diving destination. December through to June sees the driest months and whilst it rains more July through to November (summer) it is generally a little quieter at this time of year with slightly less visitors. Prevailing winds in the summer can mean that dive sites are more frequented on the east side of the island which is a little more protected.
The truth about diving in Boracay is that it provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy good quality diving whilst also experiencing the social and beach lifestyle for which the island is hugely famous.
Boracay is one of the very best destinations in Asia for those planning to start diving - it has perfect conditions for beginners with sandy coves and beaches, clear warm water and excellent corals in shallow water. Our featured Dive Centers have specially designed training pools that mean all Courses are a mixture of pool and sea based training - an ideal combination for novices as it ensures the comfort and confidence of guests and students is maintained at all times.
It's also a great destination for families or couples where there are non-divers present because there are a huge range of non-diving options and activities to enjoy whilst partners or relations are diving. For certified divers the waters around Boracy offer a generous number of sites - over 20 in all. Most sites are within a short boat ride (5 - 15mins) from the Dive Center and this generally allows for 4-5 scheduled daily dives. Some sites have fixed buoys and lines leading down and others require a simple swimming descent from the surface. The shallow waters to the South of the island are home to a series of beautiful sites; the gentle connecting reefs of Crocodile Island and the small walls (Laurel Island) both of which are popular with divers and snorkelers for the abundant marine life. A healthy mix of hard and soft corals, sea fans and barrel sponges are home to a host of tropical fish species including sweetlips, groupers, butterfly fish and fusiliers. Other species found here include sea snakes, crustaceans and nudibranch. Ideal dive depths here are at between 5 and 18m and these are great places to take the camera for the macro-life.
Fridays Rock just off the center of White Beach and is small pinnacle that rises from the bottom at approximately 18-10m and levels off at about 7m. Washed by gentle currents this is another popular place for photographers and marine enthusiasts alike. There are plenty of moray and ribbon eels to be found and scorpionfish and lionfish hide amongst the rocks. Circling around are usually good numbers of fusiliers, sweetlips and groupers and some particularly large bass hover around the top of the rock.
Camia Wreck 2 is a large cargo that wreck purposefully sunk 14 years ago. It sits upright at 30m depth and the mast heads rise up to 16m. Descent and ascent is down one of two marked lines. As the wreck has matured it has taken on aspects of a typical reef and is home to an ever increasing number of marine life. Ghost pipefish and pygmy seahorses may be spotted by those with good ideas whilst the upper decks levels host batfish, scorpion fish, groupers and boxfish.
Yapak 2 is arguably Boracys most famous dive site and with some justification. It is situated off the northern edge of the island and is the top of a wall sitting at around 30m depth. It is best dived on a rising tide and requires a negative entry from the surface through the blue to the wall top. From there guests drift with the strong current watching the passing show of life bought from the deeper waters up to the wall top. Big pelagics including white tip and grey reef sharks are often seen as well as barracuda, jacks and snappers. This is a must do dive for all experienced divers whilst on Boracay.
Channel Steps is another dive popular with experienced divers. With the right tide conditions the strait of water between Boracay and Panay Island becomes a wildly thrilling drift dive and guests rush over the sea bed and in a fast ride. A series of drop-offs give the site it's name and groupers and sweetlips seek shelter from the currents amongst the sea fans and sponges that rest on the sea floor.
Nasog Point, Dog Drift and Black Rock are impressive wall dives located on the Boracay facing North West coast of Panay Island. Usually combined as two tank trips these are great dives and an enjoyable half day spent in and on the water. Watch out for dolphins on the way over.