In 2012 Boracay was named the best island in the world to visit due to its stunning untouched beaches, however sadly in in 2018 Boracay was off limits to tourists due to the sad effects of over tourism and branded a “cesspool” by the Philippines President – I am glad to say we didn’t witness any of this – thank goodness!
We were lucky enough to visit as a family in 2017 and had a great time. When standing on the beach outside our hotel the peace and solitude takes your breath away. Ahead, the clear blue waters from Puka Shell Beach fan out to meet the sky in an endless expanse.
The sunsets in Boracay have been the most amazing sunsets I have ever seen in my life. The sky would turn from pink, to orange, to red and lasting a good 30 minutes.
Boracay has 13 beaches with the most popular being White Beach which is 4km long and one of the longest white beaches in Asia.
The beach on our hotel doorstep was stunning, with powder white sand and crystal blue water which was so shallow that you really had to walk quiet far out to get the water to come up to your waist.. This was perfect for the children to play and enjoy the sea especially when having their paddle boarding lessons.
There is no shortage of hotels in Boracay, but don’t be fooled they aren’t as affordable as one might think especially if you're looking to stay in a premium luxury property. For us it was a toss up between the Shangri-La and Discovery Shores with Shangri La being the most luxurious property in Boracay.
We booked Discovery Shores, we were super impressed with our room as it was really big more like a duplex apartment with a Jacuzzi on the balcony offering great views of the beach and over looking the main swimming pool. Discovery Shores its more of a boutique property with no hotel entrance as you enter by car off the main road straight into the garage, walk up a couple of stairs and it opens up into a wide open space with the beach straight in front of you. The facilities were great including the spa and they had a vast menu catering for children. We did visit the Shangri –La a couple of evenings as the restaurants were amazing and the setting was very romantic.
We only left our hotel a couple of times to enjoy a few adrenaline activities, visit the shops or in the evening enjoy the nightlife bar hoping!
One of the activities which we loved and I would highly recommend trying it out for yourself, was the Happy Planet Zip-line and Cable Car Station. Located on the highest point of the island, (ask your hotel to arrange a car) the station offers a beautiful panoramic view over the island’s only golf course, resorts and one of it’s beautiful beaches.
Little did we know until we got there that this zip line was a little different to ones we have done before as we’d be flying superman style! That’s right – instead of sitting upwards and holding on –this time we were lying down on our tummies, strapped in from above, arms outstretched! And to add to it, our 4 year old adrenaline junkie daughter Amara sitting upright on our back!
Once strapped in and our Go Pro at the ready (we took our own Go Pro but you can rent them and they also provide a selfie stick free of charge for your phone or camera) we were ready to go.
Looking back at the footage we took, I had to add music over it as I was screaming so much, my husband was laughing loudly and Amara was simply chilling enjoying the view and im sure she was thinking… “Really, is this it??!”
Watch our zip line video here: https://youtu.be/kPzfbushGEY
What was also great about this zip line was that it had two cables so the other family who we were traveling with could do it in tandem with us – I have to admit, they weren’t as loud as me!!
Once at the end of the zip line, your unbuckled and you jump on the cable car back to the start. This was great as you got to enjoy the view and witness all the things we’d missed earlier as we whizzed by head first! The aerial view of the island of Boracay gives you the opportunity to see just how much of a paradise island it really is – everywhere you look, green leafy palm trees, white sandy beaches and turquoise waters!
The next day we booked a private boat trip giving us the opportunity to see the island and snorkel. I managed to capture some great underwater shots of the kids and our friends not to mention the beautiful sea life.
Our boat captain was very proud to point out Manny Pacquiao (Filipino Boxer) million dollar resort which sat on the waters edge and only accessible by boat named Boracay’s West Cove.
We also took the kids parasailing, which we had to take a car to another part of the island. I wasn’t that impressed with the setup, maybe because it was super busy with tourists and after Zip lining this was rather boring – especially because Amara kept asking if it went any faster and any higher! – I guess it wasn’t an adrenalin rush for her!
Getting to Boaracy
I actually wouldn’t recommend the route which we took as the journey went on for hours – which really wasn’t fair on the children. We took a flight – bus –boat and then a hotel car to the resort.
We flew Silkair from Singapore Changi Airport to Kalibo Airport (International Airport)
What we should have done was fly Silkair from Boracay Godofredo Ramos Airport (Domestic flights) which can you believe was located 20 minutes from our resort flying direct into Manila.
Then Manila to Dubai on Emirates.
Im pleased to say after a 6 month tourist ban, Boracay was reopened in Oct 2018 and thanks to the large cleanup the beaches are immaculate and the waters crystal clear, significant work still needs to be done to get the road system up to speed before larger numbers of tourists are allowed back on the island.