Friday, April 24, 2015

Boracay Island Review 2015 compared to 2005

I recently took a short holiday on Boracay, which I first visited back in 2005. Quite a lot has changed in that time so I thought I would do a kind of review combined with a comparison between now and then.

First of all for those that have not heard of Boracay; it is an island fairly centrally located in the Philippines. This means it is hot most of the year, with clearer skies between December and May. The rest of the year is rainy season, but I believe it can be sunny for a week or you may even get caught in a typhoon.

The main drag is called White Beach and the name is prefect. The sand is very white and the water very inviting, with an azure color thanks to the lack of seaweed or coral, and a shallow depth in most places.

I went in March and this is not the perfect time, due to algae. This is especially unpleasant when the tide is out. Take a look at the photo below which I took near Diniwid beach, just north of White Beach:

Algae on rocks north of White Beach 2015

The algae seemed much worse than in 2005 and other years that I have visited. It used to just be a strip of green perhaps 2-3 meters wide at the shore line. This meant you could swim through it or walk around if there was a gap. However this time the algae seemed to be evenly spread in the water, making swimming very unpleasant compared to the past.

The biggest change that we noticed is that north of White Beach is eroding big time! The beach has disappeared in some places, threatening some villas and resorts. If it continues like this the north end of White Beach will soon be very different and some resorts will have to close or at least move back.
Boracay White beach seems to be sinking

The restaurants and hotels that I remember from the past are generally still there, but there is a noticeable increase in larger, more high class resorts. There is also plenty of construction going on. The main area felt rather tired because of this, it doesn't have the fresh feeling of yesteryear.

One thing we always do on the island is take a sunset cruise on a sailing boat. This time we managed to get a spot on the Tamarind, which is a real yacht. Click sailing Boracay for more on this yacht. It is highly recommended as there was around 20 people on board, plus drinks which made it a lot of fun.

Sunset sailing is great on Boracay
Overall we really enjoyed our trip, although Boracay does seem to be a little overcrowded now. The erosion on Station 1 was not a pleasant sight too. Perhaps there is too much development? 

Nevertheless Boracay is still a wonderful place to visit. Next time we shall avoid the algae season (February to April). When it comes to options of accommodation, food and activities, Boracay is by far the best place in the Philippines and still one of the best destinations I have visited in the whole world. Click here fore more about Boracay.

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