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Five Things Budget Travelers Should Know Before Going to Boracay
Boracay is now starting on its high tourist season. It starts this October and ends in May. Before you book that plane ticket to Caticlan or Kalibo, you better know what budget travelers need to know before going to Boracay.
Beach Island Destination
Boracay already earned its status as one of the best beach island destination in the world. True to its claim, all you can think of possible in a beach paradise is offered in Boracay.
Boracay, a 7-kilometer long island, is located in the northwestern tip of Panay Island, Philippines. Aside from its beach renowned for clear turquoise waters and powder white sand, it boasts of luxury hotels, restaurants offering local and international cuisines, land, water and air activities, and what it is famous for, "nightlife".
Enjoying this island destination need not break your bank. Here's a tip on how you can save a great deal but still feeling like a happy islander.
Things You Should Know
1. Low, High and Peak Season - Low and high season is determined by the wind direction blowing into the island.
Low Season - May to October, hot and humid weather, frequent heavy rainfall, lower prices on accommodation, cheaper plane fare
High Season - October to May, moderate temperatures and little or no rainfall, back to regular prices on accommodation
Peak Season - Christmas, New Year, Chinese New Year, Holy Week, 10 to 25% premium on accommodation
Despite low season providing you lower accommodation rates and cheaper plane fare, most of the tropical depressions occur during low season. If you plan your vacation during this time, make sure you provide leeway in your schedule in case your flight will be cancelled. Other than that, you can enjoy the island as much as you want.
To have a glimpse of Boracay Island during low tourist season, read Budget Travel To Boracay Island During Low Tourist Season.
2. Location vs. Convenience - Most of the accommodation in Boracay are located in the White Beach area. This is a 4-kilometer stretch of beach and white sand lined with accommodations from 5-star hotels to the thrift lodging houses, restaurants and tourism-related business. The center of the action is at Station 2. Those in a really tight budget and don't mind walking, you can find accommodation at Station 3. But in case you are already enjoying the night and too tired to walk back home, you may consider a reasonably priced accommodation which some of the hotels at Station 2 provides.
3. D'Talipapa food experience - For those travelers whose itinerary includes a gastronomic experience, dining at D'Talipapa should be a "must do". But be prepared to do the buying of ingredients and practicing your haggling skills. You get to buy fresh market produce and have it cooked the way you want it. This is at a price much cheaper than those fancy restaurant fronting the White Beach.
Getting to D'Talipapa is quite tricky. You have to go through an alleyway because it is in the middle of the Main Road and the White Beach in Station 2. There are signs to guide you. But in case you don't know where to go, the friendly locals are there to help you.
4. Never miss the Land Tour via tricycle - Tricycle is basically the main transportation around Boracay Island. If you don't mind the crowd or sharing your ride, you can get from point A to point B for only $0.6. But did you know that the driver's are also tourist guides? For a mere price of P200 ($5) you can have the tricycle to yourself and they will take you to the tourist spots around the island within two hours. This is the cheapest land tour you could ever avail off. The best point to start the tour is from Tambisaan Port, to Bulabog Beach and then around the rest of the area.
Most definitely they will take you to the Mt. Luho's viewpoint. Mount Luho is the highest peak in the island. For a fee of no more than $1.5 per person, you can see a breathtaking 360o view of Boracay from the top. Next on top of the list should be Puka Beach where there's no entrance fee and you can gather shells on the beach. For the rest of your time, you can inform the driver where to take you or you can ask for their suggestions. Be polite to turn them down. They are eager to offer them to you because they get commission when you avail of the activities.
5. Book your water activities directly to the operators - Of course you can haggle with souvenirs, that's already given. But the ultimate test of your haggling skills is when you avail of the water activities like jet ski, island hopping, banana boat, fly fishing and many more water activities. There's nothing wrong with availing of these services from people who come up to you at the beach front. That's their source of living. But if you are still scouring for a few dollars to save on your trip, this one is for you.
The service providers for water activities are located at the Bulabog Beach. You go to them was walk-in and politely ask for a discount on a particular activity. Most of the time, in my experience, they will offer a bargain.
So I guess you are now excited to see the fire dancers. Better pack some vitamins and medicines to keep you going. Frequent weather fluctuation could strain you during the trip. Better be prepared.