The Korea Herald


Paradise found

Emerald sea, powdery sand make Philippine island a tropical wonder

By Lee Woo-young

Published : July 26, 2013 - 20:26

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A white-sand beach in Boracay, Philippines (Department of Tourism of the Philippines) A white-sand beach in Boracay, Philippines (Department of Tourism of the Philippines)
Boracay was named the best island in the world by Travel+Leisure Magazine in 2012. The small island in the Philippines’ Visayas archipelago boasts clean beaches, tropical palm trees and crystal clear waters.

The 4-kilometer stretch of White Beach makes for some of Boracay’s most iconic photos. Its powdery fine sand and warm climate make it a perfect destination for honeymooners, families and friends.

Bulabog Beach features large waves and strong winds year round, making it a hot spot for windsurfing and kite boarding. 

The tropical island can be reached from Manila or Cebu through Caticlan and Kalibo Airports. Caticlan Airport, located at the closest harbor in Malay, receives more than 30 flights a day. Tourists can board a boat from Caticlan Airport to Boracay, which takes about 15 minutes, and from Kalibo Airport, which can last from 30 minutes to an hour.

The best season to visit the island is between September and early June. The rainy season starts in July and lasts until October.
A swimmer snorkels in Boracay, Philippines (Department of Tourism of the Philippines) A swimmer snorkels in Boracay, Philippines (Department of Tourism of the Philippines)

Land and sea adventures

Boracay Island is known for its snorkeling spots, gentle waves and water that never gets cold. The island also offers opportunities for scuba diving, windsurfing, kite boarding and cliff diving.

Some of the most visited snorkeling and diving spots include Crocodile Island, which is only a stone’s throw from Boracay, and Coral Garden, a popular fish-feeding area ideal for beginners and trainee divers. One can see batfish and butterfly fish crowding together. Then there is Yapak, one of the most famous diving spots of Boracay. One can expect to see gray reef shark and the spectacular napoleon wrasses, alone making it worth bringing an underwater camera.

On land, Boracay Island offers plenty of outdoor adventures. Tourists can explore the highest mountain Mt. Luho in a four-wheel all-terrain vehicle and climb to the top. More adrenaline-pumping experiences include zip-lining through lush forests and zorbing ― sliding down a hill in a transparent ball.

Nature is at closer view in Boracay. Tourists can explore the Crystal Cave, home to indigenous fruit bats, fox bats and cave bats.

Festivals and events are held all year round in Boracay. At the Ati-Atihan Festival, held in the third week of January to commemorate the young Santo Nino, participants paint themselves in black and parade the streets to the beat of drums.

Top resorts with luxurious spa facilities

On top of all the activities, the island offers ultimate relaxation at luxury resorts on the beaches. Boracay Regency Beach Resort near D’mall Boracay welcomes guests to its luxurious spa treatment facility, outdoor swimming pool and fitness center. The resort features six restaurants that cater to different palates of tourists from all over the world while the guest rooms offer comfort with pillow-top mattresses and state-of-the-art amenities.

Boracay Garden Resort, run and owned by a Korean, is favored by Korean tourists as it serves Korean food for breakfast and has Korean staff. The guest rooms are even equipped with Korean electronics.

Mandala Spa and Resort is famous for its spa facility. Named one of Asia’s fine spa resorts, it offers a wide variety of spa treatments, including the Hilot message, a recommended traditional Philippine treatment.

As in any part of the Philippines, food is very diverse on the island. The country’s history of being colonized by Spain, Japan and the U.S. has yielded fusion cuisine that is loved by tourists from all over the world. At night, the beaches turn into a lively scene with pounding disco music enjoyed by tourists over cocktails and beer.

By Lee Woo-young  (