When National Geographic Travel compiled the 20 must-see places for 2016, the Philippines made it on this prestigious list. NatGeo’s writer said this Asia pacific country has an island for every taste.The NatGeo writer wasn’t lying. When I went to the Philippines, I was in awe with the number of things I could do there. The hardest part is choosing which of the 7,100 islands to explore. So I’m going to share advice about my favourite island and my tips on the best time to visit Boracay to suit all your travel needs.
Being a regular tourist, I went to the most popular destination: Boracay. This island is only 7 kilometers long, but the media attention it’s been getting rivals that of the beaches in the Caribbean and those of the Philippines’ neighboring countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. The hype is real, though. Boracay’s powdery white sands and clear turquoise waters are hard to beat, and its party scene is also one of the best in the Pacific.
Check out our Philippines travel guide.
Traveling to Boracay is possible all year because it has a warm climate and it’s seldom affected by typhoons, even in monsoon season. This means the best time to visit Boracay will depend on what activities you plan to do on the island.
Visiting Boracay in Summer Season
Boracay is the place to be seen in summer. From March to May, locals travel to the island to escape the heat and get a tan. With almost guaranteed sunshine throughout these months, Filipinos take the opportunity to visit this famous destination and enjoy the waters. This may mean that the main beaches will be crowded and noisy, but if you like parties and social events, this is the perfect time to go.
During this season, you can expect the beach to be busy with tourists lounging around on the sand, colorful paraws (outrigger sailboats) dotting the waters, and adventurous parasailing folks decorating the skies during the day. After sunset, the island comes alive with fire dancers, dance parties and musical performances that last until the wee hours of the night.
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Boracay Dive Olympics is one of the most popular events in summer. It’s usually held anytime from last week of March to the first week of April, and it attracts both local and foreign competitors. The Sand Lantern Festival is held on the same dates. It features the magnificent creations of sand castle artisans from all over the world.
If you are a reggae music aficionado, the Beach Reggae Festival is the perfect treat in May. Local reggae artists gather to share their music with everyone, and this sets a good ambiance for some laid-back beach lounging with a drink in hand. Foodies will surely enjoy Boracay Food Festival, also in May, as they will get the chance to sample delicacies from all over the Philippines.
Sports buffs will also find that summer is the best time to visit Boracay. During this season, the island plays host to the annual Nestea Beach Volleyball competition, which features the country’s collegiate and professional athletes. It’s also the venue of the Boracay Beach Soccer Cup in April, and the Dragon Boat Festival in May. Golf tournaments and triathlons are also scheduled around summer months.
Since summer is the island’s peak season, make sure to book hotels and flights in advance, especially during the Lent. This is a week-long national non-working holiday for Filipinos (Catholicism is the religion of majority of Filipinos), and it provides the perfect opportunity for folks to go out of town with their friends and families. While Boracay offers accommodations for every budget (as long as you know where to look), get your wallet ready for higher prices.
Visit Boracay in Holiday Season
December to February is also considered peak months for the island. Boracay is a popular destination for foreigners seeking warmer climates during winter, and some locals who are on a week-long vacation from Christmas to New Year will choose to go there around this time. Just like in summer, expect high prices and relatively crowded beaches.
If you happen to find yourself celebrating the New Year in Boracay, you’ll be treated to spectacular fireworks and NYE parties. Also, starting the second Sunday of January, one of the Philippines’ biggest festivals, Ati-Atihan, is celebrated in the province. Tribal dances, festive music, and colorful costumes are typical of this event, which is held in celebration of Santo Niño, or the Child Jesus.
January is also the best time to visit Boracay if you are a watersport enthusiast, as the Boracay International Funboard Cup is held during this month. Local and international windsurfers compete annually in Bolabog Beach, which is the perfect venue because of the ideal sea condition and steady winds. Spectators of the event will have a ball watching the participants showcase their agility during the competition. They will also get a chance to enjoy the parties that will come after it.
Best time to Visit Boracay – in Off-Peak Season
Same with other countries, lean season is ideal for people who don’t do well with crowds, and July to November marks the island’s off-peak season. Don’t get your hopes up, though. Even in these months, it’s still impossible to have the beach all to yourself. Boracay is a world-renowned tourist destination, and even bad weather doesn’t deter people from going there. The good part is, these months guarantee that there are fewer tourists, and hotels are cheaper and easier to find.
Of these off-peak months, we recommend going to the island from October to November. There are fewer people in these months, and it gives you the perfect weather for kitesurfing, a favorite activity in the area. Sunsets are also spectacular during these months.
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Months to Avoid Boracay
Monsoon season in the Philippines is at its peak from July to September. While Boracay itself is not as severely affected by typhoons as compared to other parts of the Philippines, the rainy weather may cause canceled flights and bigger waves.
That wraps up our recommendations regarding the best time to visit Boracay! This little island is a beauty all year long, and we know you’ll enjoy your stay no matter when you go.
Do you have a memorable Boracay experience? Share it with us in the comments!
Author Bio: Jessica Kim is an ultimate travel enthusiast and the founder of Justanomadiclife.com. She is a 26 year old, fun, passionate and free-spirited individual who set up ‘justanomadiclife’ blog as her public diary to document all of her amazing personal travel experiences which hopes to provide answers to your travel questions and (hopefully) inspire you to go places.