Travel Expert Madeline Elliott from Flight Centre Burleigh Heads shares her top tips for Boracay in the Philippines.
How would you describe Boracay?
I would describe Boracay as a unique mix between Fiji and Bali – crystal-clear water like in Fiji, with nightlife and an atmosphere similar to Seminyak.
What area did you stay in?
I stayed in Station 2 on Boracay at Jony’s Beach Resort; it was small, with a boutique feel. The island is broken up into three stations, the first being away from the nightlife and a little more exclusive (perfect for families). Station 2 is within walking distance of restaurants and bars, but it’s also set on a reasonably quiet beach. Station 3 is typically where you’ll find all the backpackers, as it’s the busiest section with budget hotels and bars every few steps.
What was the shopping like? What are the must buys?
Shopping is similar to the likes of Bali and Thailand. For beauty lovers like me, it was heaven. Think coconut everything, from shampoos and hair treatments to oils and face creams.
What day trips do you do?
We did a day trip that took us out to Crocodile Island for snorkelling and Magic Island for cliff diving. It was great to explore the smaller islands off Boracay.
What’s the nightlife life?
The nightlife is island style, where it’s totally acceptable to party barefoot on the sand. Boracay offers bar/nightclub hopping crawls, which attracts a range of Aussie, French and American tourists mostly.
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What are the must-try dishes or restaurants?
The food was everything you would expect on an island, such as seafood, vegetables and coconut drinks. There are many options for Westerners, with quite a few burger places too. The lively D’ Talipapa fish market is a must-try dining experience. You barter on a price of seafood, then pick a station and chef, and request how you would like it cooked. I chose a lobster and had it cooked in lemon butter.
What’s the best way to get around?
Walking! Walking along the beautiful white sandy beaches every day to and from restaurants was my favourite part. There are also little tuk-tuks that can take you to the other side of the island for a few pesos.
Is there a best time to visit?
November to May is the best time to visit to avoid the afternoon storms of the wet season.
Top three must-have Boracay experiences:
1. Cliff diving off Arial’s Point, suitable for beginners right through to daredevils
2. Snorkelling off Crocodile Island on Boracay; there are no crocodiles despite the name!
3. A drink at the Solana Bar at the Shangri-la Boracay at sunset; it’s almost too pretty to be real.
Get in touch with Madeline
Phone: 1300 356 879
In store: Burleigh Heads