Philippines’ Beaches: What’s Not to Love?

The Philippines, being an archipelago, is dotted with innumerable pristine, sparkling beaches. Some white, others black, a few brown, and surprisingly pink too! We have beaches that are as fine as talcum powder to gritty, sandy ones, while others are pebble lined. Majority of these tropical paradise boasts off crystal clear water that comes in azure to turquoise colors. Regardless of the color and texture of beaches’ sand and water, Philippines’ seashores will make one’s “beach escapade” memorable and fun!

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Besides the obvious aesthetics of our beaches, here are other reasons why bumming around the beaches of the Philippines is a must doPhilippines’ beaches have a laid-back vibe, especially the small-town beaches and the off-the beaten ones. They are the ultimate relaxation zones perfect for experiencing serenity and peace of mind. One can go for an afternoon walk along the shoreline or sit down under shady palm trees while reading a book. Or just lie down, let the crashing waves touch your feet and the gentle wind kiss your lips. Totally relaxing and an awesome escape to a stressful life!

Philippines’ beaches have a laid-back vibe, especially the small-town beaches and the off-the beaten ones. They are the ultimate relaxation zones perfect for experiencing serenity and peace of mind. One can go for an afternoon walk along the shoreline or sit down under shady palm trees while reading a book. Or just lie down, let the crashing waves touch your feet and the gentle wind kiss your lips. Totally relaxing and an awesome escape to a stressful life!

Philippines’ beaches are home to various water sports and activities. From surfing, to snorkeling to SCUBA diving, kitesurfing, kayaking, island-hopping and many more. Plus, the marine life is teeming with wonders.  One will never run out of things to do. These activities can keep you fit and make your vacation more fun-filled.

Philippines’ beaches showcase some of the most jaw-dropping sunrise and sunset views. Everything turns into a picturesque, surreal nature art once the sun starts to rise. It is even more dramatic during sundown. Sunset by the beach is one thing I look forward the most.

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Philippines’ beaches are generally cheap. While some of our beaches are becoming more and more commercialized, I want to believe that majority of our beaches are still inexpensive, and some even for free. One could spend some time along the beach without worrying about spending much – paying for entrance fees or buying pricey food because again, the cost isn’t really high.

Philippines’ beaches are home to good and hospitable Filipinos. I want to think that Filipino hospitality is evident in almost all parts of the country – whether at the mountain villages, to seaside towns, and various rural areas. Most Filipinos are willing to lend a helping hand in whatever ways they could. Some families would invite you their homes, some would even cook the freshest sea catch of the day for their visitors to have a sumptuous meal.

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They say “life is a beach”. Whether you have a beach bod, dad bod or whatever kind of body figure you have, the beach is one welcoming place for you to experience life, to live life.

Don’t be a wasted soul, be Juanderlust. Take it easy everyJuan.

Romblon, PH

It’s a pretty lazy Sunday. So I opted to go through my Facebook photos and saw this Romblon album. It brought back memories of my stolen hard drive where all of my 2005 to 2013 HD travel photos were stored. Twas one of the most heartbreaking things that happened to me.

So I am reposting here the photos from my Hambil Island, Romblon in June of 2013. The photos were just downloaded from my FB so quality may not be very good.

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San Jose is a fifth-class municipality in the province of Romblon, Philippines. It is more commonly known as Carabao Island, or Hambil Island, and is located the southern tip of Tablas Island. It is in close proximity to the world-renowned Boracay Island, separated by a narrow body of water called Hambil Channel.

In June of 2013, during a trip to Boracay, I came to see what this Romblon paradise has to offer. I stayed 2 days and 1 night in this island and I must say that it is a more serene counterpart of its neighbor, and understated in terms of its natural beauty.

Once you are in the island, you can hire a habal-habal/ motorcycle for about P300-P500 per day. You can go visit notable spots like Lanas Beach (where sunset is amazing), be brave and do cliff diving at Kuding-Kuding and Angas Cliff (with a P100 entrance fee) or just stay at Hambil Beach which can rival Boracay’s white sand beaches (plus a spectacular sunrise view). You could also rent a boat that could bring you around the island and check some hidden caves and coves.  The over-all ambiance of Hambil is pretty laid-back… Really a great way to commune with nature.

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How to Reach Hambil:

From Caticlan Port: One may charter a tricycle to take you to Tabon Baybay, it is where you can find the port of boats going to Hambil (San Jose). A passenger boat leaves for Poblacion or Lanas, daily between 8AM to 9AM. So make sure you don not miss it. The travel time is around 1 hour (depending on the waves (which by the way can be really scary. The fare is P80-P100 per passenger. The trip back to Caticlan is between 5AM to 6AM. It is pretty early so you have to be early as well so you won’t be left behind.

Another option is from Boracay. In here, one may charter a boat good for 10 people for aboutP3,000 to P4,000 round trip day tour. Make sure to practice your acting and haggling skill. The travel time is about 45 minutes to an hour. Again depending on the sea condition. The boat will either dock at Brgy Lanas or at the Port of Said in Brgy Poblacion on the eastern side where Hambil beach is.

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be Juanderlust. Take it easy everyJuan.

Why Travel?

On October 15, 2008 – I made my very first blog about why I got hooked with travelling. It was a Taglish write-up. And today, to celebrate the 1st year anniversary of my travel blog here in wordpress, I am sharing several paragraphs of that writing about why I travel. Going over my reasons then, it seems to me that they are still the answers to why I continue to travel. Read along 🙂

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I like to travel because of the following reasons:

Una sa lahat, exciting bumyahe. Some people term it as stepping out of their comfort zone. Iyong iba naman, naniniwala na its a way of pushing boundaries and exploring; but it all boils down to the same thing — to take a trip is EXCITING! EXHILIRATING! ELECTRIFYING! (isipin niyo na lahat ng naguumpisa sa letter E). Hindi ba at nakakaexcite na you get to see new things, experience new sensation, o kaya eh makatikim ng pagkain na bago sa panlasa mo. Isipin mo, kapag naglalakbay ka — every step you take is something you’ve never taken before, especially on places less traveled. Sometimes, you don’t even know what to expect. And that, makes it more exciting…

Ikalawa, travelling (especially kung mag-isa ka) is something ENLIGHTENING. Kung bumibiyahe ka, mag-isa man o may kasama eh paniguradong marami kang malalaman tungkol sa sarili mo (at pati na rin sa mga kasama mo). Ika nga ng isang quote — “The best way to know somebody is to travel with them”. Totoo ito. Naniniwala ako dito. To travel is to learn about your limits, your strengths, your weakness and even discover things you have never imagined that you can actually do. WE LEARN ABOUT WHAT WE CAN BE, BUT HAVEN’T BEEN THUS FAR. We learn about emotional stress one can deal with, what we dare, what we don’t. Ngayon, mas masasabi ko na mas naging flexible ako sa maraming bagay…. Narealize ko na mabubuhay ako kahit walang mga luho… na marami akong kayang gawin na mga bagay-bagay na once I would not dare do or thought I can do.

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Ikatlo, EXPERIENCE. Bukod sa masayang isipin na may bago kang lugar na mapupuntahan o bagong taong makikilala — doing all that new stuff is something extremely educational. Experiential learning sabi nga sa Pschology. The places, the people, the things you do are not those things that one will be forgetting soon. Hindi gaya ng mga inaral mo sa exam na pagkatapos ng pagsusulit, kinakalimutan na. Ung mga naeexperience sa mga ganitong lakad, usually stays forever or would leave a certain mark to you. An experience may change the way we think about things – again from people to culture to places. In some cases, some will even change our own life. It usually brings things into perspective.

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The fourth reason is something very different for all of us who like to travel. It is because, the third reason is considered to be something VERY PERSONAL. May kanya kanya tayong espesyal na dahilan kung bakit gustong gusto nating maglakbay. Yung iba, they love how simple life is on the road, iyong iba naman eh dahil sa gusto nilang matuto ng iba’t ibang bagay tungkol sa isang lugar (ie history, culture)… Others do it to capture their stolen youth, or to make up for some precious time… For some, it is a must because if they don’t travel, they wouldn’t feel satisfied or complete. Yung iba siguro, its a form of escape, a form of searching for something missing…  Well, I share most of these reasons most of the time. But if there is one thing I have come to realize after several years of traveling around my beautiful Philippines eh heto iyon. I like travelling because i wish that others traveled more. Totoo iyan. Proud ako na panay ang hikayat ko sa mga kakilala ko na sumama sa akin… I feel extremely happy everytime I get the chance to share my experiences and stories. It feels good pag may nakoconvince ako to travel and see places — malayo man o malapit.

Lastly, traveling is LIVING. Lahat tayo gusto natin yung pakiramdam na WE ARE FREE, that WE ARE ALIVE. We want to live life to its fullest. My travels made me realize that communities are boundaries. Boundaries, somehow, have invisible walls. I want to break these walls, I want to break these boundaries. Sabi ko nga sa 4th reason ko, I like the idea that everyone gets to travel. Bukod sa masaya ung pakiramdam na may nahikayat ka, it feels even better to see them appreciate also the things that captured your heart. Most importantly, they to are able to break boundaries.  Gusto ko ‘to dahil naniniwala ako na mas magkakaintindihan tayo kung nakita mo rin ant naranasan mo rin ang mga nakita ko at naranasan ko.

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Ikaw, ano mga dahilan mo? Bakit gusto mong naglalakbay? Kung hindi ka mahilig, bakit hindi mo subukan? You will never know, it might unlock something new in you.

I don’t know what the future holds for me. But one thing is certain, I will continue going to places. Kahit saan pa yan. Meron o walang pera. Marami pa akong gustong mapuntahan. Marami pa akong gustong malaman. At sana, sa susunod, kasama ko pa rin kayo… kasama ko na kayo…

Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. take it easy ebriwan.

Yay! Happy 1st anniversary to my travel blog, No Juan is an Island!!!

 

 

Bakhawan Eco-Park (Kalibo, Aklan, PH)

The province of Aklan gained world-wide recognition primarily because of the island of Boracay. But, aside from the enormous financial gains brought by the paradisiacal island through the years, this Visayan province has also contributed an immensely triumphant eco-tourism project through its mangrove reforestation.

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During  a 2011 visit in Aklan, I was fortunate to have seen this promising tourist attraction in Kalibo, Aklan’s capital. The Bakhawan Eco-Park is a 220-hectare mangrove forest that was once a mudflat. (The word bakhawan is a local term for mangrove). Since then, this amazing project contributed in the prevention of flood and storm surges in the community.

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The ecopark, which was created in 1990, now serves as a safe haven for diverse types of avian and marine creatures. The centrepiece of the park is a 1.3-kilometer bamboo trail that takes every visitor a leisure walk into the mangrove forest. Other features of this sanctuary include a watchtower, boat rides, souvenir shop, canteen, picnic huts and a Center for International Mangrove Studies. To date, this eco-park has set a standard for a more ecologically-sound Philippines and is even hailed as the country’s most thriving mangrove reforestation project.

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Looking back at my experience, I must say that it was indeed an invigorating stroll along the forest. As a nature-enthusiast, I was very happy to see verdant vista and feel nature’s fresh air. I still could imagine how ecstatic I was capturing the place. It was picture-perfect, it was romantic, it was amazing! Certainly recommended for both local and foreign visitors; for the young and the young at heart. Kudos to Kalibo, for this awesome project!

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Bakhawan Eco-Park

Brgy. New Buswang, Kalibo, Aklan, PH

Entrance Fee:  Php20/ adult and Php15 for students and Senior Citizens.

The park is open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

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How to Go to Bakhawan Eco-Park:

From Manila, fastest way is by plane bound for Kalibo, Aklan. Once in Kalibo, one may take a 15-minute ride to the Mangrove Forest. You have the option to hire a tour guide for P200 as you walk through the bamboo trail or you can also explore the mangrove via boat at P80/hr.

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’.

Hinugtan Beach (Aklan, PH)

Found at the westernmost part of the province of Aklan is a quiet coastal town with natural wonders waiting to be explored. And if you adore off-the-beaten beaches and you are up for a little (mis)adventure, then Hinugtan Beach in Buruanga would probably charm your wandering soul.

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Hinugtan Beach is a secluded, white sand beach fringed by coconut trees, is said to be a replica of Boracay’s, only it is a smaller version. But unlike Boracay, what you’ll stumble on is delight in solitude, enjoyment that isn’t too pricey on your pocket.

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Buruanga, being an out-of-the-way destination, does not only offer Hinugtan’s cerulean waters. It is also home to the famed Ariel’s Point( formerly called Batason Point) which is a a cliff diving spot most Boracay tourists visit. And after an entire day swimming, snorkelling or just lazing along the area, get ready to feed your eyes with an awe-inspiring sunset.

If you are planning to stay overnight, you can bring with you a tent or you may stay in one of the cottages of Tuburan Baybay Resort.

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How to Reach Hinugtan Beach:

Since the town is located nearby Caticlan Airport, this would be the nearest airport from Manila. Alternative is the Kalibo International Airport in Aklan’s capital. The most common route from there is to go to Boracay and charter a boat going to Hinugtan which is only about an hour away.

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’.

Boracay (Aklan, Philippines)

There is a kind of serenity in love which is almost a paradise.

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Boracay Island – A palm-studded island with its stretch of white, talcum powdery-fine beach, temperate weather, warm, turquoise, crystal-clear waters. This small, butterfly-shaped island at the northwestern tip of Panay in Western Visayas.

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Travel+Leisure Magazine named this postcard-perfect island paradise of Boracay as its Best Overall Island of 2012.

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The island boasts off a number of beaches where tourists can relax. Notable ones include the 4-kilometer White Beach, the secluded Puka Beach, the kite/wind-surfing haven Bulabog Beach, and others like Diniwid Beach, Yapak Beach and Balinghai Beach. Various activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, kite boarding, helmet and cliff diving, backpacking and just relaxing on the beach and watching the famed Boracay sunset will keep your Boracay stay a memorable one. More than 350 beach hotels and resorts dot the island along with restaurants, nightclubs and even 18-hole golf courses.

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How to Reach Boracay

The quickest way to travel to Boracay Island, is to take a plane from Manila domestic (NAIA 3 and 4) terminals and fly to the island of Panay in the Visayas. The two flight options you have, is to fly directly to either the cities of Kalibo or Caticlan on Panay Island, with a flight time of 1 hour.

The best flight to take is via Caticlan. This is so because Caticlan is the jump off port to catch a ferry or banca boat to Boracay Island, so the short transfer time from plane to ferry is minimal, no more than 10 minutes.

If one chooses flights to Kalibo, one will have to take a 1 ½ to 2 hour trip by air conditioned bus or private mini van, which will take you to Caticlan.

Once you have reached Caticlan, you have a twenty minute banca trip to Cagban Port in Boracay Island.

Some Fees
Type of Payment Amount
Van from Kalibo to Caticlan Jetty Port (1 hour & 30 minutes)  Php200.00/head
Environmental fee Php75.00/head
Caticlan jetty terminal fee  Php100.00/head
Boat from Caticlan-Cagban jetty port (10 minutes)  Php25.00/head
Tricycle from Cagban Port to White Beach (20 minutes)  Php100.00/trip

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Where To Stay in Boracay:

Here are some of Boracay’s budget friendly (Php 200.00 to 1600.00/night) accommodation. Rates indicated are their lowest.

Alamo Bay Inn
Address: D’Mall Station 2
Contact Number: +63036-288-6373
Rate: Php 1000/night
Website: http://www.alamobayinnboracay.comBambooze Hauz
Address: Station 1 Balabag Sitio Pinaungon, Balabag

Contact Number: 0920 219 5950
Rate: Php 1000.00/night
Website: https://www.facebook.com/bamboozehauz.boracay

 

Blue Bayou Resort Boracay
Address: Bulabog Road, Boracay Island
Contact Number: (036) 288 4740
Rate: Php 1000.00/night
Website: http://bluebayouboracay.com/

 

Boarding House Boracay
Address: 5608 Boracay Island
Contact Number: 0921 281 4357
Rate: Php 900.00/night
Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Boarding-House-Boracay/677252452285027?ref=stream

 

Bonzai Resort

Address: Station 3, Manggayad, Boracay Island

Mobile: 0917-723-7064 / Landline: (036) 288-5694
Room Rate: Php 550/night

Website: www.bonzairesort.com

 

Boracay Actopia Resort
Address: 1194 Cagban Jetty Port Brgy. Manoc-manoc Barangay / Manoc-Manoc Boracay
Contact Number: (036) 288-2099
Rate: Php 800.00/night
Website: http://actpia.jimdo.com/

 

Boracay Breeze Resort
Address: Brgy. Balabag, Station 1, Boracay
Contact Number: (036) 288 5846
Rate: Php 1,250/night
Website: http://www.boracaybreeze.com/

 

Boracay Courtyard Beach Resort
Address: Station 2, Manggayad, Boracay
Contact Number: (036) 508 5850
Rate: Php 1,000/night

 

Boracay Kite Resort
Address: Bulabog, Boracay
Contact Number: (036) 288 6043
Rate: Php 1,010/night
Website: http://www.boracay-kiteresort.com/kiteresort/

 

Boracay Tourist’s Inn
Address: Balabag, Boracay Island
Contact Number: (036) 288 3957
Rate: Php 1,200/night
Website: http://www.boracaytouristsinn.com

Boracay Tree House

Address: Station 3, Angol, Manoc-Manoc, Boracay Island

Contact Number: 0918-661-9640 / 0916-341-4031 / (036)288-3601
Rate: Php200.00/night

Website: www.boracaytreehouse.com

 

Ernest Place Boracay Resort
Address: Bolabog, Boracay Island
Contact Number: (036) 2881965    (036)5063150
Rate: Php 1,500/night
Website: http://www.ernestsplaceboracay.com

 

Escurel Inn
Address: Station 3, Boracay Island, Malay 5608
Contact Number: 0942 843 2328
Rate: Php 800.00/night
Website: https://www.facebook.com/escurel.inn

Frendz Resort

Address: Station 1, Boracay Island

Contact Numbers: Mobile: 0939-324-2789 / Landline: (036) 2883803

Rate: Php 250-500.00/night

Website: www.frendzresortboracay.com

 

G Suites
Address: Station 3, Ambulong, Manocmanoc, Boracay
Contact Number: (036) 288-26-05 / 288-33-00
Rate: Php 1,500/night
Website: http://www.thegsuitesboracay.com/

 

Galleria de Boracay Hotel 
Address: Old Talipapa, Boracay Island
Contact Number: 0920 920 0553
Rate: Php 1,500/night
Website: https://www.facebook.com/galleriadeboracay?ref=stream

 

Hangin Kite Resort
Address: Bulabog Beach, Boracay
Rate: Php 1,500
Website: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.551821544832623.142012.339828319365281&type=1

 

Holiday Homes De Boracay Hotel
Address: Station 3 Manggayad, 5608 Caticlan
Contact Number: (036) 288 5803
Rate: Php 1000/night
FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/holidayhomesboracay

 

Isla Kitesurfing Guesthouse
Address:  Boracay Bulabog Rd, Boracay
Contact Number: (036) 288 5352
Rate: Php 800.00/night
Website: http://www.islakitesurfing.com

 

La Bella Casa De Boracay
Address: White Beach, Station 1, Balabag, Boracay
Contact Number: 0917 964 1456
Rate: Php 1,200/night
Website: http://www.labellacasaboracay.com/

 

La Oviedo Villa Boracay
Address: Bulabog, Balabag, Boracay
Rate: Php 1,300night
Website: http://laoviedo-boracay.com/

Lakbayan Hotel Boracay
Address: Station 1, Balabag, Boracay, Boracay Tambisaan Jetty Port Rd, Boracay
Contact Number: 0917 853 1770
Rate: Php 900.00/night
Website: http://www.boracay.lakbayanhotel.com 

Levantin Hotel
Address: Bulabog Beach, Boracay 5608 Balabag, Aklan, Philippines
Contact Number: 0939 937 9052
Rate: Php 1,300/night
Website: http://www.levantinboracay.com/

 

Melinda’s Garden

Address: Station 3, Boracay Island

Contact Number: (036) 288-3021
Room Rate: Php700/night
Website: www.melindasgarden.com

Merly’s Place Hotel Boracay
Address: Station 3 Ambulong Manoc Manoc, Boracay
Contact Number: (036) 288 3117
Rate: Php 1000.00/night
Website: http://www.merlysplaceboracay.com

 

MiSueno
Address: Bulabog Beach, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan
Rate: Php 1,500/night
Website: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150275492017914.331498.268776317913&type=1

 

MNL Beach Hostel 
Address: Road 1A, Bulabog, Barangay Balabag, Boracay
Contact Number: 0917 702 2160
Rate: Php 400.00/night
Website: http://www.mnlhostels.com/

 

Morenos Cottages
Address: Station 3 Ambulong Malay
Rate: Php 1000.00/night
Website: http://www.morenoscottages.1stboracay.com

Ocean Breeze Inn Boracay
Address: Station 3, Boracay, Angol,, Boracay Island
Contact Number: 0917 484 6727
Rate: Php 1,100/night
Website: http://oceanbreezeinn.info/pageID_5051572.html

 

Orchids Resort Boracay
Address: Station 3 Boracay Island
Contact Number: +63 36 288-3313/5079
Rate: Php 600.00/night
Website: http://www.orchidsboracay.com/

 

Panorama Sunrise Resort
Address: Road 1-A, Banwa it Malay
Contact Number: (036) 288 4437
Rate: Php 1,300/night
Website: http://www.panoramaboracayhotel.com/

 

Patrick’s Home Boracay
Address: Bolabog, Balabag, Boracay, Boat Station 2, Boracay Island
Contact Number: 036 288-2883 & 0918-9994678
Rate: Php 998.00/night
Website: http://www.patrickshomeboracay.com

 

Q Lodge Boracay
Address: Sitio Bulabog, Balabag, Boracay Island
Contact Number: (036) 288 4243
Rate: Php 1,300/night
Website: http://www.theqlodge.com/

 

Sandra’s Place

Address: Station 1, Boracay Island

Contact Numbers: 0921-240-4600 or (036)288—3246

Rate: Php 250-500.00/night

Website: www.sandrasplaceboracay.com

 

Seabird Boracay Resort
Address: Road 1-A, Balabag, Boat Station 2, Boracay

Contact Number: (036) 288 3047
Rate: Php 1,600/night
Website: http://www.seabirdboracay.com/

 

Secret Garden Resort 
Address: Station 2, Boracay Island
Contact Number: +63-036-288-5411
Rate: Php 1,500/night
Website: http://www.secretgardenboracay.com/

 

Star Fire Resort
Address: Boracay Highway Central, Banwa it Malay
Contact Number: (036) 288 3030
Rate: Php 1,300/night
Website: http://www.starfiremainboracay.com/

Surfers Home Boracay Cottages 
Address: Bulabog Beach, Boracay (Aklan) 5608
Contact Number: (036) 288 4787
Rate: Php 1,300/night
Website: http://www.surfershomeboracay.com/

 

Trafalgar Cottages
Address: Boat Station 3, Manoc -manoc, Boracay Island
Contact Number: (036) 288 3711
Rate: Php 450.00/night
Website: http://www.trafalgarcottages.com

 

Villa De Oro
Address: Station 2, Brgy Balabag, Boracay Island

Rate: Php 1,100/night

Website: http://villadeoro.boracayresort.info/

 

Villa Romero De Boracay Hotel
Address: Station 3, Manoc Manoc, Boracay
Contact Number: (036) 288 4421
Rate: Php 1000.00/night
Website: http://www.villaromerodeboracay.com

 

Wendy’s Apartelle
Address: Station 3, Boracay Island
Contact Number: +63036288 1267
Rate: Php 1,250/night
Website: http://www.wendysapartelleboracay.com/

 

White Beach Divers Hostel
Address: White Beach Divers White Beach Station 3 Off Angol Road Boracay

Contact Number: +63 36 288 3809
Rate: Php 600.00/night
Website: http://www.whitebeachdivers.com

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