After two years, we finally went back to my favorite island destination – Boracay. Many Boracay lovers were heartbroken yet hopeful when the news broke out that it will be closed and rehabilitated in 2018. I admit that I got a little sentimental when I first saw the beautiful white beach again, for I have so many fond (and some embarrassing!) memories in Boracay; but I was with my two toddler boys so this momma did not have time to pause and reflect, haha! So this will be a pretty straightforward post – I just want to share our Boracay experience when we went there from October 8 to 12, 2019.
We stayed at the Astoria Current in Station 3 of the famous white beach. For those traveling with families especially with small kids, I suggest that you avail of the roundtrip airport transfers from your resort or hotel because it will save you a lot of time and energy. Astoria’s transfer service is superb – we were picked up by a driver from Boracay Airport (formerly Caticlan Airport), and the van brought us to a private port where we rode the Astoria speedboat going from Caticlan to Boracay island. From there we rode another van which brought us directly to the hotel. All our luggage and bags were carried by the staff, which is a relief since we have two kids in tow. Tip: if your hotel does not have their own airport transfer, you can avail of roundtrip airport transfers via Island Star Express (we’ve used this before and it is still better than doing it by yourself without any prior booking).
Our trip was purely a recreational trip, so I promised myself that I would not spend too much time taking pictures or videos for posting, and just savor the moment with my two young boys and husband, so I am sorry if I cannot show you a lot photos of Boracay 2019, anyway you can just search that hashtag #Boracay2019 on Facebook or Instagram and you will see a lot of pictures from other peeps! I’ll just list down some of my personal observations:
- No more “lumot!” – white beach is now clean and lumot-free! You can frolick by the shore and enjoy the clear waters and clean white sand! I love how my 4-year-old Kobe describes it as a “huge swimming pool.”
- Station 1 got its beach back even during high tide – when we were there in 2017 for our friends’ wedding, many of the resorts and restaurants in Station 1 did not have a beachfront during the high tide (early morning and late at night). Now the sprawling white sand beach is back for everyone to enjoy especially in the afternoon, which is perfect to enjoy the famous Boracay sunset.
- Foreign tourists – I remember Boracay used to have a lot of Western visitors lying around in the sand until their skin got burnt red, but now most foreign tourists are Chinese and Korean. There are noticeably more Chinese restaurants along the beach road and also in the inner road. Many locals mistook me for Korean or Chinese too, hehe!
- Less of a party beach – loud music and drinking along the beach is prohibited so parties are confined in the resorts and establishments. Because of this, I noticed that many beach-goers are family groups, or maybe I only noticed this because I have kids myself. The last night we were there, my husband and I went to Station 1 for dinner, and our walk back to our hotel was noticeably more quiet than before, especially for a Friday night.
- Establishments – D’Mall is still the busiest area during lunchtime and dinnertime. Most hotel shuttles have roundtrip services going to the D’Mall so bulk of the tourists are just mingling there during mealtimes. If you want to avoid the crowds, try to look for other restaurants either in Station 3 or Station 1. A short walk from our hotel, there are chain restaurants like McDonalds, KFC, Dencio’s, Gerry’s Grill, Kuya J’s, Hapchan, and Shakey’s. I have to admit that we ate at some of these restos #becausekids haha. I noticed that the food in Boracay got a little bit more expensive, even the fruit shakes (ranging from 120 to 180 pesos). Every time we would go out we spent an average of 1,200 pesos.
- Getting around – if you have the stamina, you can just walk along the beach to go around. But since we have kids in tow, we always took a tricycle when we would go from our hotel to Station 1. If we came from Station 2, we would just walk back. A one-way tricycle ride cost us 100 pesos each way (we probably spent almost 1500 pesos on trike rides alone!); that’s for three adults and two kids.
If you ask me if I will still go back to Boracay, my answer would be a resounding “YES!” I love Boracay – its powdery white sand, pristine and calm waters, and the unbelievably beautiful colors of the sunset! The beach is perfect for kids to play in. And for me, the perfect time to visit the island is October – it’s not raining anymore and it is not cold yet. I try to avoid going to the beach during summer for it gets extremely hot and overly crowded.
Here are our pictures!