The Philippines has many beautiful beaches dotted along its’ shores. Being a beach lover, I knew I wanted to visit one, but where should we go? We opted for the obvious – Boracay’s White Beach. According to travel guides and reviews, it’s rated one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
So, here’s my review:
Boracay is lovely. The cool – never gets hot and burns your feet – soft white sand beach stretches for a few miles. It’s an hour’s walk from one end to the other, so there’s plenty of beach to go around. Something I’ve never seen before – tall palm trees line the entire beach, giving it an almost wild, deserted island appeal. That’s was lovely. The waters were a nice green-blue that beckoned you for a swim. But, I’m going to say the waters of the Caribbean and along Mexico’s Gulf Coast are even more stunning.
(High season meant people on the beach, however it never felt too crowded)
(With the sun shining, the waters looked really blue)
Some will say Boracay is now too “built up.” Since none of the resorts along the beach are taller than the palm trees and they’re fairly modest in size, I wasn’t bothered by this. In fact, I enjoyed having restaurants and shopping nearby. If you’re on the beach, you don’t even need to put on shoes to hit the White Beach Path, which is lined with businesses. This makes it easy to take a lunch break. At night, it’s standard fare for the restaurants to set up their seating on the beach. That felt like a luxury – night after night eating on the beach with my toes digging in the sand listening to live music.
Here’s where I was disappointed. The Philippines are known for outstanding scuba diving and snorkeling. Unfortunately, off the beaches of Boracay the coral is dying and few fish have stuck around. Now, there are plenty of outfits offering tours – that’s not an obstacle. However, our tour disappointed. With that in mind – there are plenty of other activity options like parasailing, skim boarding, or jet skiing.
(On our boat trip/snorkeling tour -- soon to be disappointed)
Boracay is a popular destination, so it may be considered expensive within the Philippines. But, it’s certainly affordable when you compare it to many other beach destinations around the world. You can find budget accomodatation in Boracay. We did – and La Bella Casa was simply lovely. Our most expensive dinner on the beach was $25. Our full day boat/snorkeling tour was $35 for two people and an hour long massage on the beach was $7. So, Boracay won’t break the bank.
I loved that Boracay is a true world destination. I’m so used to Americans dominating any tourist scene. But, when you’re on the other side of the world, that’s not the case. Your ears buzz with the sound of dozens of languages around you. However, English is spoken everywhere so it’s easy for you to get around.
So, is Boracay one of the best beaches in the world? It’s lovely…but the best, I’m not sure. I’m reminded of trips to Seven Mile Beach in the Cayman Islands, Horseshoe Bay in Bermuda, and Riviera Maya, Mexico. All of those were stunning. But, I enjoyed Boracay and the feeling of pure contentment that comes when I’m on the beach. The warm sun, the refreshing water, the soft sand – I’m certain that’s one of the best feelings in the world.
My Boracay Guide: This guide is great for transportation tips, hotel listings and maps.
(We did have some overcast skies, but we still hit the beach)
(This photo documents the best feeling in the world -- at this moment I'm perfectly content!)