Boracay is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the Philippines. It has been featured in numerous publications and surveys as one of the best beaches in the world. Its pristine shorelines, scenic views, wide array of watersports, and vibrant nightlife continue to lure all kinds of tourists: from big spenders who go for exclusivity and privacy to backpackers who are into a more affordable kind of vacation.
Station 3 in Boracay is ideal for vacationers who are on a tight budget. Situated on the southernmost section of the island, the area is not as developed as its counterparts, but it has some shores where the white sand and clear blue waters are as picturesque as the crowded ones along the White Beach strip. There are also not too many people in the area, making it ideal for those who just want to soak up the tranquility of its pristine shores.
The cheapest accommodations are, without a doubt, in Station 3. However, some hotels in the area have been lauded for its quality rooms and services even with the affordable prices. Marzon Beach Resort is one of the best reviewed hotels among tourists. It has pretty decent rooms with verandas and equipped with the basics like cable TVs, free WiFi, and private bathrooms.
For dining, Sunny Side Café is one of the popular places in Station 3. Diners have raved about the all-day breakfast meals served in the café like the various kinds of pancakes, bacon and eggs, and the Filipino silogs and champorado.
You can choose between Caticlan Airport and Kalibo Airport as your point of entry to Station 3 in Boracay. Flights to Caticlan Airport from Metro Manila and Cebu City are served by Cebu Pacific Air, Philippine Airlines, and Skyjet. Meanwhile, Kalibo Airport is served by AirAsia, Cebu Pacific Air, and Philippine Airlines. Caticlan flights take only an hour on average, while Kalibo flights usually take longer, about an hour and fifteen minutes.
Sea travel is cheaper compared to air travel to Boracay but it also takes longer. 2GO Travel's ferries transfer passengers from Batangas Pier to Caticlan Port. The cruise usually takes about 10 hours. If you're coming from Metro Manila, JAM Liner buses have trips to Batangas Pier. You can find JAM Liner bus terminals in Cubao in Quezon City and Pasay.
How to Get Around
Though most of the attractions can be reached by walking, there are also tricycles available on the island. Tricycles in Boracay have roomier sidecars which can fit up to five or six passengers.
By Motorcycle and Bike
Rent a motorcycle or bike in any of the shops on the island if you prefer having your own mode of transportation when exploring the island.
Tourists can also rent all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) for a thrilling way of exploring Boracay.
What to See
With its four-kilometer stretch of white sands and clear blue waters, White Beach is truly a wonder to behold. Station 3 is arguably the most peaceful section of White Beach, with lush vegetation adorning its paths. Most tourists visit this area to get away from the crowds of the island and enjoy the tranquility of the shores.
Aside from White Beach, Boracay also has other beaches you should see. Puka Beach and Diniwid Beach are also less crowded and more peaceful alternatives to the buzzing White Beach.
Aside from swimming in and getting a tan, there are a lot of activities to do on the beachfront.
There are many tour operators offering watersports packages. You can enjoy banana boat and fly fish rides, parasailing, and helmet diving to name a few. The prices for these activities are competitive among the operators so make sure to look for the best deal. The pure white sands are also ideal for a game of beach volleyball with your friends.
There are also some laidback activities that you can try like getting your hair braided or a henna tattoo from the many stalls on the beachfront. There are also masseurs around that offer traditional massages. But if you want a variety of relaxing treatments, you can visit any of the spas in Station 3 like Bella Isa Salon and Spa, Mandala Spa, and Yasuragi.
Events and Festivals
Laboracay is one of the most awaited party events in Boracay and outside of Metro Manila. It usually falls on the weekend closest to May 1 or Labor Day. All-night partygoers, musical performances by top artists, and free-flowing alcohol are just some of the things you can look forward to during the event.
Where to Eat
Fast Food Chains
There are several branches of Andok's in Boracay, and one of them can be found at the beachfront in Station 3. This establishment specializes in rotisserie-grilled chicken and liempo, but their menu also consists of Filipino favorites like fried chicken and chopsuey.
Station 3 is home to one of the well-loved restaurants in Boracay—Sunny Side Cafe. This all-day breakfast joint serves big portions of comforting breakfast meals such as pancakes and bacon and eggs.
Another popular restaurant is Cowboy Cocina. The restaurant's name is fitting since it offers hearty meals for carnivores such as ribs and steaks. Meanwhile, Supermagic Burgers offers delicious burgers and sandwiches for tourists craving for American dishes. Make sure to order their famous Umami Bomb Burger and one of their milkshakes.
For those who have a flair for Japanese cuisine, Nagisa Coffee Shop offers a wide selection of Japanese meals that won't burn a hole in your pocket.
Bars and Clubs
Station 3 has several options where you can grab a nightcap. Red Pirates Pub is the most popular bar around. It resembles a nipa hut to exude a tropical feel and its quaint ambiance lets guests enjoy a drink or two while mingling with other tourists.
Congas' claim to fame is its great music. They've got a great line-up of DJs and performers. They also have a fine selection of cocktails and liquors.
If you want to dance the night away, you can head to Boracay Stars, the only club in Station 3.
Where to Shop
You can buy the freshest seafood at Talipapa Bukid.
Just like in other stations, there are several vendors and stalls in Station 3 that offer all kinds of souvenirs. From souvenir shirts, jewelry, and trinkets, there are a lot of items to choose from.
ATMs and Money Changers
You'll find several banks and ATMs all over the island if you need to withdraw some cash for your expenses.
Fare: PHP 1,200.00 (By ferry); PHP 2,000.00 to PHP 4,000.00 (By plane)
Traveling by sea is cheaper, but it is also the longer route to Boracay. If you're coming from Metro Manila, the bus ride to Batangas Pier will cost you PHP 175.00, followed by a 10-hour ferry trip to Catriclan via 2GO Travel which costs more or less PHP 1,000.00.
As for flights, airfare for Kalibo Airport is cheaper than Caticlan Airport. A one-way plane ticket from Manila to Kalibo costs around PHP 2,000.00 to PHP 3,000.00, while a ticket to Caticlan is about PHP 3,000.00 to PHP 4,000.00. Bear in mind that prices are at their highest during the peak season of October to June, which is referred to as the Amihan season.
Food: PHP 100.00 to PHP 300.00
Budget meals at a fast food chain start at PHP 100.00. Meanwhile, restaurant meals start at PHP 200.00.
Shopping: PHP 100.00++
You can buy small items like keychains, bracelets, and fridge magnets from any of the stalls for about PHP 50.00 apiece. Meanwhile, a souvenir shirt ranges from PHP 200.00 to PHP 300.00, depending on the design.
Accommodation: PHP 500.00 to PHP 4,000.00
Station 3 is known to have the cheapest accommodations in Boracay. You'll find many hostels and inns that offer overnight stays for as low as PHP 500.00. There are also some luxury hotels and beach resorts with rooms for PHP 2,500.000 to PHP 5,000.00 per night.
Activities: PHP 300.00++
If you want to get a henna tattoo, a medium-sized one costs about PHP 200.00. Beachfront massages, on the other hand, cost PHP 300.00 to PHP 500.00. ATV rentals range from PHP 300.00 to PHP 1,000.00 per hour depending on the size of the vehicle. Lastly, for watersports, you may want to place a budget of PHP 500.00 to PHP 1,000.00 per activity.