Boracay is well worth considering as a destination for digital nomads. The small island is home to a beach which consistently appears in the top 10 worlds best beaches lists. The sand is white and the water is clear. There is a thriving kiteboarding scene on one beach, plus plenty of other activities such as scuba diving.
The island is the number 1 tourist destination in the Philippines, so it does get busy. You can avoid the crowds by steering clear of the area known as Boat Station 2. You can really get away from it all by staying away from White Beach altogether, for example Diniwid Beach which is a beautiful little cove just north of White Beach.
The upside to the crowds is that there are lots of restaurants and bars to choose from. Plus plenty of public transport via tricycles. The island is big enough that you can get away from the crowds if you like, but busy enough that there is always something going on.
Internet connection isn’t great on Boracay, but you can find at least a stable connection. Just don’t expect to be able to download movies quickly. Expect to pay around 2,000 Pesos (approx. $45) per month for broadband. You can pay as low as 1,000 Pesos but it is worth paying the extra, especially if staying away from White Beach or Bulabog Beach where signals are weaker. Most restaurants along the beach offer free wifi.
Accommodation comes in the form of small apartment blocks or bungalows. It is not easy to find low priced options online, so your best bet is to book a hotel for a week and then spread the word and explore when you arrive. A basic studio apartment should be around 15,000 Pesos ($340).
We paid 12,000 at Diniwid Laundry which was great value but I am unsure whether they are renting out their 4 apartments any more. We also stayed a year at Casa Camilla in Station 3, which was very cheap but I recommend avoiding this one. There are a few places on Bulabog Beach (the rear beach for kiteboarders) and various other options dotted around.
The above prices exclude utilities, which can be expensive. We paid over 6,000 Pesos per month for electricity, caused by having the aircon on most of the time in the day. There are regular brown outs where the electicity goes off. So it is essential when looking for a place to stay that you make sure they have a back up generator. Allow for 30,000 Pesos per month for accommodation and bills, just in case the cheaper places aren’t up to scratch, or if they are full.
Getting There is easy. You just take a one hour flight to Caticlan airport from Manila. If funds are tight it is cheaper to fly into Kalibo airport, then take a bus (more comfortable than the vans) for 2 hours to Caticlan port. There are some international flights starting to emerge now too. Check out Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines and Zest Air for flights. Once you are in Caticlan you take a 10 minute boat ride across to Boracay.
The Weather is best between December and May. June marks the start of the rainy season. Boracay doesn’t usually experience the strongest typhoons, but it did get blasted by the recent big one (Yolanda). I don’t think there were any casualties but there was some disruption like no electricity for a while.
Visas can be renewed every 2 months for 2,810 Pesos (ish) at the immigration office on the island. It costs more at first and you will need to get an ID card too. You can wear shorts at this office and I advise going early as it can get quite hectic and busy. After being in the country for 6 months you will also need to get an Exit Clearance Certificate for 500 Pesos, when leaving. You will need 5 photos for the exit clearance and possibly for the ICR ID card too.
Let me know if you have any questions.