Best places to stay in Boracay
Also known as Puka Shell Beach, Yapack is the second largest beach on the island, after the busy White Beach area. The beach is picture perfect, with plenty of photo opportunities to make your friends back home exceptionally jealous. Yapack is an alternative to the busier beach resorts, making it the perfect place for couples and families to stay. Think long days by the pool, a massage at the hotel spa, dinner on the beach and then a few Weng Weng cocktails to finish off your evening. The following day you can go for a long swim in the calm seas or head out for a spot of diving, then repeat, repeat, repeat. Diniwid Beach is another notable quiet spot to head to, just down the road from Yapack, where you can enjoy unspoilt loveliness at its best.
Accommodation in these areas is top-end, with luxury hotels and serviced bungalow style apartments catering to your every need. Most hotels will have their own restaurants attached, to cater for the all-inclusive crowds but there is a growing number of food places popping up in and around the beach, mixing modern European dishes with traditional Filipino fayre. There is a long strip of gift shops and food stalls on the main stretch of Yapack beach, where you can pick up souvenirs to take back home and have a try out with something new that you have never eaten before.
Manoc-Manoc is a quiet beach area, situated in the southernmost part of the island of Borocay. The beach is not completely unspoilt but is relatively underdeveloped compared to other areas. Divers and water-sports fans frequent the area, giving the beach has a great community feel, with like-minded people sharing tips in and around the beach side cafés and dive shops and congregating at popular bars at night. Manoc-Manoc comes alive at night, with many bars catering for the younger crowd. If you do not like loud music or hustle and bustle, this may not be the best place to stay but you will always find a nice beachside restaurant and more laid back shacks in which to enjoy a beer. The views from Manoc-Manoc are magnificent, with rolling hills to one side and the Catician port in the opposite direction. Due to the size of Borocay, most of the island’s hotspots are within walking distance, so you will not be too far away from the central White Beach, where you can enjoy many traditional beach holiday activities. Business people in Manoc-Manoc are enjoying a surge in demand and will bend over backwards to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
Hotels and restaurants offer great one to one service and can arrange the best tours and diving expeditions, so that you get the most from your stay. Manoc-Manoc is a place that can cater for many guests, ranging from couples on a honeymoon or single backpackers looking to explore unspoilt parts of the world.
Like Manoc-Manoc, Balabag is also situated in the Aklan Province. Located near Willy’s Rock, one of the most recognisable attractions on Borocay that consists of a volcanic rock topped with a statue of The Virgin Mary. The Virgin Mary statue may seem out of place but The Philippines is a religious island and you will find many quaint churches, like the Holy Rosary in Balabag, to wander around. Stay in Balabag if you want the perfect place in which to enjoy great beaches, good diving opportunities and a nice mix of relaxation and entertainment. There is always a beach activity to enjoy in the day, with kitesurfing a popular choice for locals and tourists, or you can simply lie back and enjoy the sunshine. Diving schools can be found all over Borocay, with Balabag one of the most densely populated in terms of diving tours and instructors. As the area is popular for water-sports, it can get windy so care needs to be taken if children or weak swimmers want to head out for a swim in the sea.
Luxury hotels nestle next to budget accommodation for backpackers, meaning there really is something for everyone in Balabag. If you want a lively night out you can stroll along to White Beach, which is within walking distance, or you can enjoy a more reserved night of entertainment at your hotel or a local bar. Balabag is another great spot to enjoy local food, with good restaurants popping up all the time, as well as traditional street food stalls and popular shack cafés that are common on most beach holidays.