Boracay has long been touted as the best beach in the world. In 2018, it was closed for six months for rehabilitation. The following year, it welcomed over two million visitors, a record high for an island that is only seven kilometers long.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, Boracay was in the throes of one of its best summers. Extended shutdowns and quarantine restrictions would mar the island’s tourism campaign for the next two years. Despite this, the relative quiet of the COVID-19 pandemic has done nothing but reinforce the island’s natural wonders. And while a few things have changed since (for one, alcohol is no longer allowed near the shoreline), Boracay still holds the crown as far as beachgoers are concerned.
Here is a shortlist of why Boracay remains the best beach in the world:
Boracay Island comprises 10 square kilometers of pristine white sand.
White Beach requires no introduction. Four kilometers long, the beach is the main draw of Boracay island. It is subdivided into three sections: Stations 1, 2, and 3. Station 1 is on the north side of the island and home to five-star hotels, such as Shangri-La Boracay, Discovery Shores, and The Lind. The four-cheese pizza and oyster sisig in Two Seasons is a rite of passage. Station 2 is the epicenter of island life. Most of the island’s restaurants and bars can be found here. Station 3 is relatively quiet, with backpacker hotels tucked in between endless palm trees.
In recent years, Station X was built along the boundary of Stations 2 and 3. Marketed as a lifestyle and community hub, Station X prides itself on its community spaces. The colorful building houses a pool, a terrace bar, and a turf area. Original dining concepts encourage guests to stay all day and all night.
If you’re looking for a quieter experience, Boracay also has you covered. Walk past Station 1 and around a cliff-bottom footpath, and you’ll find yourself on Diniwid Beach, which boasts the best sunset views on the island. Settle in at DiniBeach Bar & Restaurant. Their amaretto sour is sweet and strong – as all beach cocktails should be. Or book a stay at one of Diniview Villa Resort’s eight villas. Each villa was built into the rockface overlooking Boracay, giving you a spectacular view of the entire stretch of White Beach. In for an adventure? Bulabog Beach on Boracay’s eastern coast receives consistent winds that are great for kiteboarding and windsurfing year-round.
You can eat to your heart’s content – and then some.
Boracay is a veritable foodie destination. While several businesses have closed because of the pandemic, the thriving competition on the island meant that the remaining restaurateurs upped their game. Sunny Side Café is the flagship restaurant of the Sunny Side Café Group, which is also responsible for the life-changing fried chicken at Spicebird and the fresh seafood fare at Percy’s. Since opening in 2014, Sunny Side Cafe’s bright yellow interiors have had tourists coming back for its shakshuka, foie gras toast, and ube and cereal milk pancakes.
Other newcomers to the Boracay food scene include Salsa Fusion, a Mexican-Spanish fusion restaurant in Serene La Playa hotel. Do yourself a favor: Order their surf and turf tacos with a side of rosti fries, and don’t skip out on dessert. The champurrado!!!! deserves its four exclamation points. Fat Rice in Station X serves a mean cha ca la vong that will bring you right to the streets of Vietnam. And Mama’s Fish House serves a loaded seafood paella that can also be made with adlai upon request.
Understandably, vacations to the best beach in the world were once incomplete without a chori burger. Short for chorizo, the chori burger is a Filipino hamburger made with sweet sausage, pickled papaya, catsup, and mayonnaise. That said, the chori burger outside of Exit Bar is a must. Served on red buns and with a secret sauce, these sandwiches were our best discovery on a recent trip and the perfect match for a sweaty bottle of Pale Pilsen. Supermagic offers a decidedly more refined version. The soda shop in Hue Hotel serves pure-beef burgers ground to order.
Midday and tired from the heat? The island has more than its fair share of treats. Sugar Cloud serves its bingsu with generous spoonfuls of lychee cream. As its namesake suggests, Coco Mama makes excellent coconut ice cream served in thematic coconut half-shells. Jonah’s has been mixing its banana choco fruit shake since 1983.
The locals know exactly how to quench your thirst.
There is no shortage of bars in Boracay, but Prisma might be on top of the really long list. Helmed by the same team behind Makati’s ABV, once named the 14th best bar in Asia, Prisma is a modern tropical bar with the largest rum collection in the country. We highly recommend the Dark & Tan – a dark rum drink mixed with homemade berry puree and ginger beer. Itching to get on the dance floor? Epic Bar remains an institution. Restaurant by day, and club by night, Epic Bar is one of the few remaining places in Boracay that can throw a mean party.
Prefer caffeine to alcohol? Coffee lovers will find their new favorite drink in Little Wave’s cult-famous Death Cream, a double shot of espresso sweetened with custard cream. Their pistachio affogato is also a must try. And the Fruit Bomb – a refreshing mix of citron tea, hibiscus, honey, dried strawberries – is the newest addition to their stellar drink roster.
Boracay – The Best Beach in the World
In case you still aren’t convinced, Boracay is as beautiful as everyone says it is. The sand on White Beach is incredibly soft that walking on the beach sometimes feels like walking on sugar. Paraw boats continue to sail aplenty, especially during sunset. And the waters are always an impossible turquoise blue.
Come to the Philippines and see why Boracay has long been called the best beach in the world. This dog bone-shaped island in the middle of the Philippine archipelago cannot disappoint.