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What you should know while on Boracay Island and Philippines

To make life easier we made a list of Boracay Philippines facts who should keep in mind if you decided to travel to here. It includes some basic information as well as some tips from foreigners who has been living in Boracay for a long time.

Boracay Philippines Facts

It’s important to remember that in order to enter the country you should have return ticket otherwise you might not be allowed to get on the plane. The ticket could be also requested from you when you go thru immigration control. Citizens of most of countries currently can stay in the Philippines up to 30 days without visa. Come nationalities can stay up to 14 days without visa, others will need visa from Philippines’ embassy in their country. You can find out whether no visa entry is applicable to your country here.
If you want to stay longer than allowed period of time you can obtain visa in Immigration Office in Boracay (located next to main road, Station 3, across from Paradize resort). The first time the visa will be extended for up to 59 days including no-visa period. After 59 days you can extend your visa every two months for up to 14 months without leaving the country. Every extension (except the first one) will cost you about 4000 pesos with some additional charges from time to time. The costs may vary by country.
If you stay in Philippines longer than 6 months, you will have to het Exit Permit from Immigration Office (500 pesos in Boracay). You cannot get it in the airport, so you should make sure to go to Immigration Office at least couple of days before your departure. If you stay in Philippines longer than 12 months you can only get Exit Permit in Manila.

Another important thing to remember is that there are airport fees not included in international ticket’s price. Make sure you have enough cash to pay for it. It’s about 800 pesos in Manila and a bit less in Kalibo.

Philippines have 3 seasons – Dry season (December – April), Summer (May – June) and Rainy season (July – November). Months of January and February are much cooler with temperature dropping to around 25 at night. If you come to Boracay Island to kite and are planning to spend a lot of time in the water, it’s better to have 2-3mm wetsuit with you as it could get quite cold in the water especially in gloomy days.

Summer brings super hot days with no wind on either of sides of the island. The temperature could reach 35 degrees celsius, and the feel temperature could be even higher.

The rainy season brings storms and typhoons at times and it could be raining for few days in a row. But don’t be scared, most of time the rains are short and bring the relief for the heat plus you can enjoy much emptier island. What is important to remember that during rainy season wind comes from White Beach side (Habagat wind) which means there will be wave breaker on White Beach.

The best time for kitesurfing lessons on Bulabog Beach, Boracay is December – March. October, November and April are usually windy as well with less kiters on the water but with some days without wind. In Habagat season (rainy season) the wind is on another side – White Beach. The sea has waves and it’s more suitable for experienced kitesurfers, but you can still learn kitesurfing there but in a bit more difficult conditions.

The national currency of Philippines is Philippine Peso (PHP). Dollar costs about 44.5 PHP, while Euro is about 50 PHP. Find out the current currency exchange rates here.

The exchange rates in Boracay are far from being the best. So if you travel thru Manila it’s better to change money there. It’s also nearly impossible to exchange pesos to the other currency.

There are several ATM machines in D’mall area. In ATMs of BPI bank you can usually withdraw up to 20,000 pesos in one take with additional fee of 200 pesos. During the peak season the maximum amount could be decreased to 10,000 or even 5,000 pesos in order to accommodate more people.

There are many business establishments accepting payments by credit and debit cards, but remember that some of them charge additional 3-4% per transaction in order to cover bank fees.

The water in most of areas of Philippines is not suitable for drinking. Water quality in Boracay is quite good and many expats and locals drink the tap water without any problems. But it’s advisable for tourists to drink bottled water. If you don’t to spend too much money on water we recommend to use one of the water refill stations. Bring your bottle and refill it with purified water for the fraction of cost of new bottle.

Be careful with ice here in smaller establishments because some of them might use tap water for ice.

Local filipino food is generally not spicy but in cheaper establishments is could be quite oily, with a lot of sugar and MSG use.

There are a lot of restaurants with different cuisines all around the island but especially on White Beach. In our blog we will be giving our advises about the places which worth visiting. If you are fan of sea food we don’t recommend to have it in beach restaurants (especially those with buffets). The best would be to go to sea food market (D’Talipapa), choose your own fresh sea food, which you can cook in the little restos on the market or request your hotel’s restaurant to prepare for you.

Overall in Boracay the are places to eat for any budget stating with tiny local eateries, where you can get a meal for 50-60 pesos up to very expensive restaurants.

No special immunisation is needed for Boracay. The one thing to be aware of here is Dengue, especially during rainy season if you stay in residential areas. Dengue is carried by mosquitos, so to protect yourself from it make sure you apply mosquito repellant when outside.

There are currently no proper hospitals in Boracay, therefore make sure to have good insurance especially if you do kitesurfing which will cover transportation costs to Kalibo, IloIlo or Manila. The minor health issues could be handled in the local clinics.

There two national languages in Philippines – Tagalog and English. In Boracay you will easily get by speaking English which could be different case in other provinces. Locals here also speak Visayas.
The most common means of transportation on Boracay Island is tricycle – motorized vehicle which can fit 4 people comfortably and up to 7. In the past couple of years some tricycles are been replaced by e-trikes, which are more comfortable and don’t harm environment as much. We hope this trend will continue.

The private tricycle ride along White Beach and near by areas costs 75 pesos, while to get to Diniwid beach or Jetty Port will cost you 100 pesos. If you commute by yourself and want to save money you can take public tricycle which costs 10 pesos per person around White Beach area.

You can also take motorbike ride, but those are not legal here and considered to be more accident prone.

Rentals of motorbikes are quite expensive here in comparison with other parts of Philippines as well as other asian countries. Boracay Island is quite small and you can easily go around using public transportation.