Boracay, Philippines

Boracay is an island in the Philipines, about 215km south of Manilla. It is only 4.5 miles long and its beaches have consistently been voted some of the best in the world. Paradise.

With beautiful beaches, stunning sunsets and some of the worlds most friendly people it is somewhere you have to visit. Whether you are a complete beginner or a seasoned pro windsurfer, Boracay has something to offer absolutely everyone.

Borocay is also one of the best places in the world for non-windsurfing partners. Don’t let that put you off if you are travelling by yourself though. There is so much to do, including a vibrant nightlife waiting for you if you want it.

Put simply, the island is the perfect holiday destination. Sit back, relax and forget about the winter. Enjoy the consistent wind, bath temperature turquoise water and perfect blasting and freestyle conditions. What more could you want?

Fact File

Windy Season November – April
Water Temp In Summer 28c
Wet Suit? Boardies and rashie is all you ever need!
How To Get There

I flew with Etihad Airways, which meant flying from London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi, then Abu Dhabi to Manila. The flight cost was £630.

Once you are in Manila you have to take a connecting flight to Caticlan which is a short 40 minute flight and is only about £30. When you arrive in Caticlan you are almost there, all that’s left is a 20 minute ferry journey and 10 minute trike ride.

You can also fly with different airlines such as KLM, Saudi Airways Singapore, Malaysia, Emirates, Qatar. For the internal flights check out: Cebu Pacific, Air Phils Express or Seair.

Check out http://www.sportif.travel for some great discount packages this winter.

How The Wind Works

The best months for wind are November – April when the NE trade winds blow consistently throughout the whole day.

The Sailing Spots

Bulabog beach is the main windsurfing spot on the island. The bottom is a mixture of sand, sea grass and rocks with the odd sea urchin thrown in for good measure. It is an ideal spot for anyone from beginner to advanced freestyle / slalom sailor. It is fairly shallow, so ideal for learning to beach start and waterstart.

Water State

Depending on the tide you have a range of conditions. From mirror flat water at low tide – perfect for freeriding and freestyling, to bump and jump on mid to high tides.

When high tides and strong winds are combined the swell can get in to the bay beyond the reef and offer some nice swells and good port tack jumping.

On spring low tides it’s not possible to sail with anything more than a freestyle fin.

Instruction And Kit Hire

Reef Riders Boracay is an authorised Starboard and Severne Test Centre. They are very friendly and provide instruction from complete beginner to advanced.

Accommodation

Reef Retreat Resort, Boracay – is owned by English couple Matt and Clair. These two make your holiday in paradise even more of a dream.

The best accommodation for windsurfer and non-windsurfers, hands down. It is perfectly situated for windsurfers as the accommodation and the windsurf centre are right next to each other.

Food

There’s a wide array of food to be found on the other side of the island at White Beach, which is either a 10 minute stroll or a 2 minute trike ride. Food ranges from Local Filipino to European to Sushi. Food is incredibly good value almost everywhere. If you are on a tight budget, check out some of the local Filipino restaurants or the restaurants which are just outside White Beach.

There are supermarkets and fruit and vegetable stalls, if you prefer to make your own but it’s probably easier and cheaper to just eat out!

Check out Steak House if you want a really great steak, for a great price too!
If you can’t live without a Sunday Roast then be sure to visit Cowboy Cocina.

Nightlife

On White Beach you can party pretty much any night of the week at the bars on the beach.

The local drink is Tanduay Rum and San Miguel is widely available. A beer costs between 30 and 150 Pesos (50p – £2.50 – Sept 2011) depending on where you are drinking.

The bars in Boracay stay open until the last person leaves! Being a friendly place, it feels very safe making your lonely (or not) walk home.

Bored Of Windsurfing

There are tonnes of other things to do, from scuba diving to golf to go karting.

There are several dive sites situated around Boracay ranging from perfect first time dives to advanced dives.

A boat trip around the island is another great option – head over to White Beach to find the operators. If you are feeling a little more adventurous then why not visit one of the neighbouring islands where you can see beautiful waterfalls and scenery and get your adrenaline rush with either cliff jumps or white water rafting. For a day trip like this, expect to pay 4000Php (£70 – Sept 2011)

You can also just set about finding your own piece of paradise on one of the many idyllic beaches Boracay!

If the wind is too light for windsurfing then there is always kitesurfing. Reef Retreat is perfectly situated as they have both the windsurfing and kitesurfing centres on their doorstep. Visit Ocean Republic to join the dark side.

Hot Tips

  • Be prepared to haggle with prices.
  • The ATMs run out of cash in the evenings and on the weekends, get there early!
Conclusion

Boracay offers you the opportunity for great windsurfing in one of the worlds most beautiful places whilst also being able to offer a great variety of other activities. Combine this with the cheap prices once you are there and the unbelievably friendly nature of the locals and this quickly rates as one of the top winter destinations out there, especially December to February meaning this is one of the few spots in the world to be offering wind at this time of year.

Tourist

Name: Chris Yates
Local beach: Hill Head
How many years sailing: 7
Last windsurf move you cracked: Flaka
What you’re working on now: E-Slider/Puneta

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