Located at the northwestern tip of Panay, this small island has meanwhile become the No. 1 tourist destination of the Philippines.
The island, roughly shaped like a dumb-bell, is 7 km. long and the narrowest spot is nearly 1 km. wide. With approximately 6,000 inhabitants Boracay belongs to the municipality of Malay in Aklan province and consists of three communities locally called barangay. Yapak in the north, Balabag in the center and Manoc-Manoc in the south. The north and the south are hilly with elevations up to 100m above sea level, and is suited for extensive hiking trips. Numerous interwining paths and trails may sometimes lead through tropical jungle and link the small villages of the island with each other.
The best part of the island is its 4km. White Beach, also called long beach by the locals. It is situated at the west coast between the villages of Angol and Balabag, and some experienced travellers claim it to be the finest beach of all Asia. The water is shallow here, and its sand brighter and finer than most beaches in the archipelago. There are about 350 beach resorts with 2000 rooms to suit vitually everyone’s taste. There is accomodation of all types and price categories. Restaurants range from the native fastfood stalls to establishments that would satisfy even a gourmet. You can find beer joints as well as discos with amazing light and sound equipment.
Further in the north a trail connects the dreamy litthle village of Diniwid over a hill with its 200 m beach. Near the beach there are simple cottages as well as bamboo houses in individualistic design (some of them with fully equipped kitchens) leaning against the rocky hillside.
Continuing on a steep path over the next hill, there is tiny Balanghai Beach, which is enclosed by steep rocky walls-offering a remote hideaway for those who want to be alone. Here, too, are several simple cottages for rent, most of them scattered over the hills.
On the north coast, facing Carabao Island you will find Puka Shell Beach, a white sand stretch about 800 m long. The beach was made famous by the shiny white Puka shells which were up to some years ago dug from the sand adn made to fashion jewelry. An experienced hiker can reach this solitary spot near the Yapak village in about 2 hours from Balabag.
On the rocky coast, near Yapak, are caves inhabited by giant bats. If you want to take an original photo of those flying monster and is willing to bear the intense stench in the cave, you may hire a local guide in the village who can show you the best spot for this.
Turning eastward at the junction before Yapak, you will reach – after 20 minutes hike – the village of Ilig-Iligan, situated on the right of the road’s end on the hill towering above the ocean.
Apart from that the east coast offers few tourist infrastructure in spit of existing sand beaches. Obviously because of the shallow water that does not lend itself for swimming, especially during the low tide. Stones and seaweeds often obstruct the access to deeper spot. Yet this part of Boracay offers a variety of steep rocky coast line, sand beaches and quiet bays with partly thick undergrowth inland. Professional windsurfers practice here at Bulabog and been carry out their international fun board cup championships for several years now.
In the south of the inland there are other beautiful quiet sand beaches with tourist facilities.