Philippines, March 2016
Godofredo P. Ramos Airport (Caticlan)
Clear skies and beautiful weather greeted us when we arrived at Caticlan Airport mid-morning. From the arrival terminal, we walked a few meters down to the taxi stand. Some people walked from the airport straight to the ferry terminal but if you have a big luggage, I would recommend using a tricycle.
The tricycle ride plus the boat fare cost 100 Php per person. Once in the ferry terminal, you have to pay a Terminal Fee of 50 Php and an Environmental Fee of 100 Php. It was about 10 minute ride from Caticlan to Boracay Island.
Bluewater and Fairbanks Resort
We took a 20-minute tricycle ride to our hotel, The Bluewater and Fairbanks Resort (click here), which occupies more than 10% of the whole island of Boracay. It has a golf course which hosts lot of international competitions, multiple villas and a private beach. It provides free shuttle service within the resort as well as to the different Stations in White Beach. Check in process was easy, but since we arrived early, our room was not yet ready. So to kill time we went to the private beach using the shuttle.
The beach was beautiful with a small bar and some deckchairs. We went up a flight of stairs and saw an infinity pool, where people were already taking advantage of in the warm weather. It was close to noon time, so we decided to eat lunch at La Terraza restaurant located just a few steps up from the pool.
After lunch, we headed back to the reception desk hoping that our room was ready and fortunately, it was. We stayed in Villa Lucia which had its own pool and poolside bar that was open till 9 pm. Our room was clean and spacious with 2 queen beds and a big bathroom. For travelers who prefer a quiet location away from the busy White Beach, this is the hotel for you. I highly recommend this resort.
That same afternoon, we used the Shuttle Service to D’mall market in White Beach which was the drop off and pick-up area outside of the resort. White Beach is divided into 3 different stations (1, 2, 3). There were tons of beachfront hotels, bars, street vendors, and a wide selection of restaurants. As expected, the beach was congested with tourists both local and foreign.
The clear water and powdery white sand was evident, and I finally understood why it is such a famous travel destination. There were a lot of beach-side activities like sand castle making and beach volleyball as well as water sports like parasailing, banana boat riding and jet skiing. After a couple of hours of walking around, I became more appreciative of our hotel being far from the noise of White Beach. We finally found a “quiet” spot where we sat down and enjoyed the sunset.
After being mesmerized by the sunset, we were hungry and we were ready to hunt for a good seafood restaurant. Obviously, all the oceanfront ones were very expensive, so finding a decent place that was also budget-friendly was not easy. At last, we found one by the beach in Station 1 called Blue Smoke. The decor was simple, no tablecloths or fancy table setting.. although they did have a battery-operated light covered with white paper to give off an illusion of ambiance . I ordered a sizzling seafood dish which was very good. I thought the price was just right for the amount of food I got. I recommend this place if you are looking for good food that’s reasonably priced. After dinner,, we returned to D’mall supermarket for our shuttle service back to the resort where we swam a bit and had a few more drinks at the poolside bar to finish off the day.
The plan for the following day was to visit two more beaches that was recommended outside the White Beach area. We left the resort for Puka Beach mid-morning. It was still quiet at this time, with less tourists visible. The sand was not as fine or “powdery” compared to that of white beach but it had a lot of shells.
The water was clear, clean and slightly colder but it felt refreshing from the heat. There were fruit stands, restaurants, cottages and lounge chairs. We stayed here for a couple of hours until more tourists came pouring in, then it was time to go to the next beach.
The tricycle ride from Puka Beach to Ilig-Iligan Beach took about 15 minutes (150 Php). Not as popular as the other two we had been to, this beach had a very low tourist traffic..probably because it was rocky and not well kept. Despite of this, though, the water was as just beautiful as the other beaches. We found a place to relax under a coconut tree where we made sure we sat in a spot away from the danger of getting hit by a falling coconut thus avoiding a potential head injury. We also stayed here for about 2 hours before we headed back to our hotel to relax.
My friend and I stayed in Boracay for just a couple of nights. I’m sure a lot of people think this is way too short of a time to visit but personally, I just wanted to see why Boracay is such a hot spot for travelers. The White Beach is definitely the place to go to for parties, good food, bar hopping and land or water sports. Street vendors were everywhere to satisfy the shopaholics. It has everything that you’ll need to keep you busy during your stay. If you haven’t been to Boracay, you definitely need to check it out.