Boracay Dream Island was initially a Norwegian website; from us Norwegians living at Boracay to the Norwegians who wanted to visit this gem of a paradise island. The WorlBoracay Dream Island d Wide Web is large and gradually it has become such that we receive mostly English language visitors and requests. That is why have to give priority to further develop the English version of this site. For this we apologize, and we hope for your understanding. At the same time, we do not expect that it will be too difficult to read the English posts and descriptions.
Welcome and we wish you good luck on your trip!
How to get here?
The easiest way to get there is to fly from Manila to Caticlan, either with Air Philippines (operated by Philippine Airlines), Cebu Pacific, Seair or Asian Spirit. The cost is more or less 4500 pesos (about $100). These airline companies have campaigns and promotional prices on some departures (often first or last departure), the low season and can customize a flight, for approx. 1800 pesos (about $50,00). Cebu Pacific has flights from Manila to Kalibo, which is normally almost half-priced compared to flights to Caticlan, however you have to take a 1.5 hour bus trip on board one of the world’s uncomfortable minibuses to Caticlan.
There are 18 flights daily between Manila and Caticlan.
On most international flights the baggage weight allocation is up to 20 kg per person without having to pay for overload. On the flight between Manila and Caticlan, only 10 kg is allowed without having to pay a penalty for overweight. The price for overweight is Php 40 per kg (or about $2.00).
from Caticlan is by small boats (banca boat) during the day and a somewhat larger boat in the evening. Rate is at PHP19.50 (about $0.50) but tourist must also pay an environmental fee of PHP50.00 pesos (about $1.00). Tricycle from Caticlan Airport to the ferry port is PHP70.00 (about $2.00). On arrival at the airport, there are porters that pick up your luggage and take you to the tricycle for further transport to the ferry port, which is located about 250 m away (if you do not have a lot of luggage, it is better for you to walk). At the ferry port new porters provide assistance to carry the luggage. It is normal to give PHP20.00 (about $0.50) to them, depending on how much luggage you have. It is absolutely safe to let them do their job, but if you have breakables or other sensitive equipment you have to see to it that they will handle your luggage carefully. Perhaps it is best not to let such sensitive equipment and other high valued products in the briefcase.
For those who have been here before, you will remember that banca boats used to dock right at the white beach. This is not the case now since all banca boats coming in from Caticlan must dock at Cagban Port, at the south part of the island. Tourists that have been here before might miss the unique experience of arriving right at the beach but by this, there are less banca boats at the beach making it more peaceful, swimmers are more secure and the natural environment of the island is better preserved.
Boracay is an informal holiday island. Dress code is shorts (skirt) and t-shirt. It is very rare that a formally dressed guests, apart from Korean women, who wander around on the beach with high heel shoes, purse and sun umbrella in fear to be too tanned. Casual is the dress code among Filipinos and Western visitors. You will not need long pants other than those for you flight or car trips and your stay in cities.
In the rainy season - June to November, it is easy to take along a light raincoat.
Please remember that it is not considered to be decent to bask naked on the beach. While walking at D*Mall or other places than the front beach, it is better to put on a shirt for men. As for women there is no problem with just wearing their swimsuit while having a walk at the beach or just sitting at a bar or restaurants at the walkway in the afternoon while watching the magnificent Boracay sunset.
The best footwear to go around with are sandals or slippers. Slippers cost between $5 and $10 and is of a reasonably good quality. For men who need shoes / sandals with sizes above No. 10, it is recommended to either buy these from your country, or to purchase these in cities on your way to the island. It may be difficult to get hold of good sandals in that size out here, but slippers are OK.
How to get around?
Most of the transportation to / from the ferry port in Manoc Manoc and to the various stations is done with tricycle (motorbikes with side car). Rate from Manoc Manoc and to the D * Mall, is PHP 100 ($2,50). When needed to use this transportation during the stay here, the rate is PHP 7 (about $0,10) for a sit together with other people on tricycle. If you wish to have the tricycle alone for yourself the rate is PHP 20 (about $0,40).
There are some places where people offer transportation by mopeds/motorcycles. They do not use the helmet and do not have helmet for any possible passengers. They are not authorized and registered, such as the tricycles, they have no insurance, no support from the authorities if anything happens. Therefore you should not compromise your travel insurance to cover any possible damage. It is NOT recommended to use them.
Feel free to give tips, but do not forget that most Filipinos have a daily salary of PHP250-400, and in doing so, it is important to think a little on the amount of tips you will give, so as not give a picture of the major differences. In the restaurants where one is billed with service charge, it is normal not to leave tips. On the other hand, where no service charge is included on the bill, it is normal to give about 10% in tips.
Hotel reservartion and booking.
If you are coming in without a reservation, the chances are you will be approached by a friendly local that will try to help you to find a hotel or a place to stay at. There is no problem letting them help you, however they will probably bring you to hotels where they will get up to 20% commission from the room rates you will pay. The result will might be that you will not get the cheapest possible rate for this will greatly affect their commission.
If you decided to do it on your own, remind the front desk officer at the hotel where you will inquire that you arrived without any “commissioners”. If you are staying for more than 2 nights, try to haggle with the rate or ask for discounts. The longer you stay, the higher chances you will get a discount.
In order for you to get the best value for you money, take advantage of reserving a room on-line through the Resort’s official websites. Transact only with the resort directly and not through a website which is not at all affiliated with the hotel. If the website does not give you the resort’s direct phone numbers of emails, then we advise not to transact with them.
You can contact us for assistance but before you do consider some thoughts about how you want to stay down here, what are your primary needs. The needs of a travelling family are different from a couple having their romantic honeymoon. A good description of what you need or want, gives us greater possibilities to find a hotel that will provide the optimal experience for your vacation / visit / stay down here.
The international brands such as Nivea and Hawaiian etc. are available in the island. The price level is the same here compared to Europe or in Tax Free shops at the airports.
Sunglasses are a must. The combination of the white sand and the reflection from the sea will make you look for a pair in case you forgot to bring one. Optical Shops here on the island sell the most well-known international brands for a very low price, and even if you need sunglasses with prescription, you can get quality sunglasses around $50 to $100 here. If you are in a shopping mood, you might consider buying a new pair here. Sunglasses sold by the merchants along the walkway on the beach are pirated copies. Locals sell these to foreigners between PHP100 to PHP150 ($2-$3). We remind you that the Customs in Europe and the Philippines have a high-commitment to stop the counterfeit brands, so that no one should bring pirated products back to their countries.
Furthermore, any motorised traffic is prohibited on the beach, both from the sea and from land, so it is very quiet on the White Beach during the day, until about 16:00 when the restaurants are allowed to begin to set out the tables at the beachside. This is the same with the sound level of music, depending what part of the long stretch of the beach you are. The closer you are at d*Mall, the livelier it will be.
There are a number of clothes, souvenir, diving equipment shops, etc., both along the beach, d*Mall and d*Talipapa. A number of "brands” being sold here are pirated copies and of poor quality. When the price is too good to be true, these might not be original products. High quality products have a different price level but be assured that the merchandise will last longer. There are numerous art and crafts stores that sell high quality souvenirs or products.
In some places pirated DVDs that are often collections of 12 movies are for sale. These are pirated copies and often are of very bad quality. In addition, sellers try to sell these for a price of PHP 450 (about $10) to tourists, while the "market price" is approximately PHP 120 (about $3). In addition to the fact that this is unlawful and prohibited to sell, it is often recorded with a video camera in movie theatres then mass copied. If you want to relax with a good film early in the morning or after a dinner while the children are sleeping, etc. it is recommended to buy films in your country or in the Tax Free shop at airports, but be aware that DVD players in the Philippines are manufactured in Asia hence most DVDs bought in Europe will not work because of different codec. Some hotels have DVDs that you can borrow which are of good quality. The same applies computer games.
There are some Second Hand bookstores in Boracay, in which a pocket book of well-known and less-known authors can be purchased. Literature is recommended to be included in your luggage.
Health and helthcare
The island has a "hospital", clinics, laboratories, dentists and opticians. Teeth treatment in particular, and opticians are cheaper (and the same or higher quality) than in the west. The "hospital" is of a completely different standard than what we are used to in the west. If you get seriously ill or some of your companions, be prepared to take them down to Kalibo, Iloilo, or up to Manila, where hospitals are better equipped. There are numerous hospitals in the capital that has the same standard like that in the west. Both the Kalibo and Iloilo have completely new hospital.
If you are on medication, it is best for you to buy them from your country of origin. It may be difficult to get a hold of the same brand that you take. Buy a little more than what you think you will need just in case of travel delays and the like.
It is not necessary to take malaria vaccines when travelling to Boracay or other Philippine cities. Unless you are planning to visit the tropical rain forest of Palawan and the other jungles of the Philippines, then you need to get vaccinated against malaria.
Boracay is a tropical island with a lot of vegetation and high humidity. It is therefore necessary to use mosquito repellent / sprays. Insect repellents here are of the same strength and as effective as the repellents we have abroad. Most widely used here is the “OFF” mosquito repellent. It comes with different variants, lotions, sprays, even something for kids. Every kiosks and shops have this repellent.
The period of June to September is the season of Dengue Fever which is the same case as any tropical country in the world. This is a virus that is transmitted to humans via mosquito bite, which is active early in the morning around sunrise and before sunset in the afternoon. This is a sickness, with high fever then later evolves into muscle and bone pain. Dengue virus impairs the body to produce red blood corpuscle which causes inner and outer bleeding in severe cases. The illness is not much prevalent in Boracay, but it exists here and we recommend using mosquito repellent along with the sun cream in this period of the year (June-September). This sickness does not manifest its symptoms until after 6-8 days from the moment you got bitten. One should therefore be aware of this disease when you get the symptoms after you arrive back in your country.
The high temperature and humidity requires you to have a lot of drinks, especially water or Gatorade. A lot of fluid prevents dehydration and other diseases in tropical climates. Tap water is safe to drink but is not recommended because of high chlorine content.
Telephone and internet
International calls, especially using your mobile phone is expensive. A good solution for those who also took with them their Lap Top is to buy SMART Prepaid SIM cards here and use this, for it is somehow cheaper to call from the Philippines to your country, than the opposite. SMART also has a solution with the Internet; you can pay 10.00 pesos (about $0.30) per 30 minutes. It works pretty easy, even if it is not exactly achieving broadband speed. SMART has an automatic configuration, which most new mobile phones have.
Most of hotels here at Boracay offer free Internet connection included in the room rate. Otherwise, it is relatively inexpensive to use a local internet shop.
Buying a cheap mobile phone with a local SIM card and loading it with prepaid credits allows you to call and text for a very low cost (it costs practically nothing). So let your latest mobile phone locked at your safe in the hotel, for when it is daytime here, most of your friends, colleagues and family members in your country are sleeping. In addition, there will be lower possibility that your new and expensive mobile phone be lost / "drowned" / stolen, and the like.
Note: Phones that are operator locked should be unlocked in advance of your holiday. It might be impossible to use a local SIM card without first unlocking it.
If you are going to travel by Manila on your way home, drop by in a second hand shop for mobile phones which you can find in almost every mall and department stores if you wish to sell the old phone before departure. I sold my old Sony Ericsson K700 to 5,000 pesos (about $120) during the fall of 2006.
For those who have a Lap Top, we recommend using Skype. Skype works very well in Boracay and it is then free to make calls to other Skype accounts and make calls to landline by Call Out in Skype, it costs less compared to mobile phone and landline international calls. We use it all, we who are here!
Boracay is the Philippine’s hottest tourist attraction. The government have invested significant resources to keep away outlaws, professional law breakers, and terrorists. Commotions arise from time to time but it often involves foreigners either very drunk or because of other matters/ heated discussions. When this happens, police are quick to respond to settle the dispute.
You should not be alarmed when you often see security guards, police and elite forces with their guns. It is a common sight here.
Even though the island is much secured, we want to remind tourist that you should still keep an eye on your personal valuables such as cellular phones, cameras, jewelleries and the likes. Petty crimes can still happen mostly when you leave your valuables at the beach while you swim. Furthermore leaving these valuables at plain sight might be too great of a temptation for people who have scant capabilities to feed themselves and their families.
Beachfront hotels have beach beds/ chairs for their own guests. These beds are guarded by security guards, and keep your valuables safe. If you do not stay at a beachfront resort, it is possible to rent a beach chair for about $2.5 a day/chair. Also beachfront bars/ restaurants offer beach chairs for free, however you must order something from their menu in return.
if you have any questions!