Sitting on white sand beaches lapped by crystalline waters, sipping brightly coloured cocktails in the shade of palm trees, sun-drenched Boracay is the stuff of dreams. At only 7km long, this tiny island in the Philippines has long been a drawcard for those planning a Southeast Asian getaway.

But with so many options in such a small space, it can be difficult knowing which place or area to pick over any other. That’s where our travel pros come in, with this insider guide to help you decide the best area to stay in Boracay. We’ve made it easy to decide, based on your interests, budget and style.

So get reading and you’ll soon be confident you know exactly where to stay on Boracay. You’ll be able to get on with the more exciting planning, like whether to pack a paperback or e-reader? Order a Pina Colada or Mango Daiquiri? Decisions!

Quick tips – Where to stay in Boracay

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

FIRST TIME IN BORACAY

White Beach Station 1

White Beach is divided into three stations, named for the stops the longtails take when dropping people off. Each station has its own flavour about it, and it’s Station 1 we’ve picked as the best place to stay in Boracay your first time.

Places to visit:
  • Climb Willy’s Rock and marvel at the minds that put that, there.
  • Hire a SUP and skim over the waves.
  • Get out the snorkel and mask and see what you can see.

Where to Stay in Boracay

Not focussed on where you’ll stay on the island and just looking for a fit for you? Have a look at our top picks for Boracay as a whole!

Best Hostel in Boracay – W Hostel Boracay

Situated between Bulabog Beach and Station 2, W Hostel Boracay is in the heart of all the island has to offer. In fine weather, an outdoor terrace offers a nice spot to relax. Guests can also unwind in the homely sitting area.

Sometimes the best way to experience a destination is from a good dorm room with good people. Book one of these sweet hostels in Boracay and get ready for the time of your life!

Best Airbnb in Boracay – Incredible room in villa 

Staying on Boracay for the first time, you should have a look at this Airbnb. The private room in the villa is stunning, very clean and extremely spacious. It’s surrounded by nature and has a beautiful garden. The beach is only a short walk away. You can enjoy breakfast in the morning before heading out to explore the island. The hosts are also known to be very kind and helpful.

Best Hotel in Boracay – The District Boracay

The District Boracay is a five-minute walk from White Beach and features an outdoor pool. This highly rated 4-star hotel offers a kids pool, a coffee bar and massage services. Family amenities include babysitting/child services.

Boracay’s Area Guide

FIRST TIME IN BORACAY
White Beach Station 1, Boracay
FIRST TIME IN BORACAY

White Beach Station 1

White Beach is divided into three stations, named for the stops the longtails take when dropping people off. Each station has its own flavour about it, and it’s Station 1 we’ve picked as the best place to stay in Boracay your first time.

ON A BUDGET
White Beach Station 3, Boracay
ON A BUDGET

White Beach Station 3

White Beach Station 3 is the furthest south of the three stations and is famously easier on the wallet than 1 or 2. There is a whole bunch of backpacker options here, catering to those who’d rather spend a dollar on an activity than accommodation.

NIGHTLIFE
White Beach Station 2, Boracay
NIGHTLIFE

White Beach Station 2

Station 2 is, unsurprisingly, smack-bang in the middle of Station 1 and 3. It’s the centre of all things happening on Boracay. Here is where you’ll find the biggest shopping area, D’Mall, and seafood market.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Bulabog Beach, Boracay
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Bulabog Beach

Bulabog Beach is on the east side of the island, just over from Station 2. It’s known as the centre of all things aquatically adventurous and is home to a bunch of watersports shops.

FOR FAMILIES
Diniwid Beach, Boracay
FOR FAMILIES

Diniwid Beach

A ten-minute walk north of White Beach Station 1 will have you on the beautiful stretch of sand known as Diniwid Beach. The walk itself is semi-hidden and goes around the cliffs.

Boracay is a tiny island in the middle of the Philippines, just off the northern tip of the much bigger Panay Island. It’s topped lists of island destinations in the world over and over, in a range of publications.

It’s what ‘paradise’ means to most people: white sand beaches lined with palm trees, sparkling water lapping gently at the shore. It’s undisputedly one of the top destinations for tourists in the Philippines.

So much so, the government have put new regulations in place to ensure the sustainability of tourism on the island. This has the benefit of making Boracay an even nicer destination for those visiting, with overcrowding no longer a concern.

It packs a massive punch for its size, and can provide the ideal holiday for any traveller if they know where to look!

With 17 beaches on its picture-perfect coastline, there are plenty of options to choose from. Like Puka Beach, famous for the shells that are plentiful on its sands and are said to protect travellers on their journeys. And Manoc Manoc Beach, where you can watch the kite-surfers battle the currents and winds to get some outstanding air! Or Balinghai Beach, so secluded the best way to access it is by sailboat.

Bonus fact: according to the native Ati people, the island got its name from the word ‘bora’, meaning bubbles, and the word ‘bocay’, meaning white. There are other theories, but this is our team’s favourite!

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Boracay’s 5 Best Areas to Stay in…

There’s a beach and area for all travellers here, whether you want razzle-dazzle or peace and quiet!

#1 White Beach Station 1 – Where to Stay in Boracay your First Time

White Beach is divided into three stations, named for the stops the longtails take when dropping people off. Each station has its own flavour about it, and it’s Station 1 we’ve picked as the best place to stay in Boracay your first time.

Located at the northern end of the famous White Beach, Station 1 is the most luxurious of the three, home to many of the high-end resorts of the island. If you’re backpacking the Philippines, some places here may be out of your price range!

It’s in easy reach of the nightlife of Station 2 while having access to the more secluded northern beaches as well. In saying that, it does have its own densely packed nightlife area, all within easy walking distance of each other.

The beach itself is wider here, meaning more space to chill out within being in touching distance of another sun-worshipper. The waters are shallow for a few metres, for that warm wallowing before heading out into the more chilled deeper waters.

Station 1 is also where you’ll find Willy’s Rock, a volcanic remnant. It’s also known as Boracay Grotto and is now adorned with steps and a shrine to The Virgin Mary. Though water surrounds it at high tide, it’s still shallow enough to walk there. They say that no visit to Boracay is complete without a picture taken here!

White Beach Station 1, Boracay

Things to See and Do in Station 1

– Climb Willy’s Rock and marvel at the minds that put that, there.

– Book an underwater adventure at WaterColors Boracay Dive Resort.

– Hire a SUP and skim over the waves.

– Get out the snorkel and mask and see what you can see.

– Lax out on the wide white stretch of sand that is your front yard!

Best Hostel in Station 1 – Boracay Backpackers Inc.

A new building on the border of Station1, BBI is located 1 minute from White Beach and only 5 minutes’ walk to D’mall. It offers a clean and fresh touch to the backpacking scene with a modern layout. Kick back and rehydrate around the bar and enjoy the tropical vibes.

Best Airbnb in Station 1 – Incredible room in villa 

Staying on Boracay for the first time, you should have a look at this Airbnb. The private room in the villa is stunning, very clean and extremely spacious. It’s surrounded by nature and has a beautiful garden. The beach is only a short walk away. You can enjoy breakfast in the morning before heading out to explore the island. The hosts are also known to be very kind and helpful.

Best Hotel in Station 1 – Artista Beach Villas

Artista Beach Villas offers 3-star accommodation in Malay. It provides free wireless internet in public areas and is moments from Boracay Convention Center and other well-known attractions.  In the evening, guests can wind down in the cosy lounge bar.

Best Hotel in Station 1 – The Lind Boracay

Boasting an outdoor pool, The Lind Boracay offers luxury accommodation. It is close to many of the area’s popular attractions. The hotel provides state-of-the-art facilities and premier service. It also offers a sun deck with an impressive pool, garden and sea views.

#2 White Beach Station 3 – Where to Stay in Boracay on a Budget

White Beach Station 3 is the furthest south of the three stations and is famously easier on the wallet than 1 or 2. There is a whole bunch of backpacker options here, catering to those who’d rather spend a dollar on an activity than accommodation.

The beach at Station 3 drops off more quickly too, making it the best for swimming, in our opinion.

Station 3 is a bit more in touch with nature as well, with some green complementing the blue and white endemic to the island. This goes hand-in-hand with the fact that it’s the most peaceful of the three stations, with only a handful of chilled out bars and just one club.

The best thing about an island the size of Boracay is that no matter where you stay, you’re still in reach of everywhere else. Also – the beach will always be free so that’s even better for those on a budget!

Set yourself up here in Station 3 and use it as a base to explore other attractions in Boracay if you wish, or just enjoy the serenity at your doorstep!

White Beach Station 3, Boracay

Things to See and Do in Station 3

– Get your dive ticket at DiveGurus and see what’s happening under the waves.

– Set yourself up for the day at SunnySide Cafe.

– Take the plunge into the deep, cool waters around your section of the beach.

– Make your way around the rocks at the southern end.

– Grab a drink at Red Pirates and watch the sun go down over the sea.

Best Hostel in Station 3 – My Hostel Boracay

The hostel has been recently refurbished and features a sun deck, a 24-hour reception and a library. Just moments from nearby bars and clubs, this 3-star hostel also allows guests to easily explore the best of the local nightlife.

Best Airbnb in Station 3 – Cute private room close to beach 

This private room in a guesthouse is ideal for travellers on a budget. The beach is only 1min away, while the Airbnb is located in a quiet and private area between other homes. The room is very clean according to previous guests, and the hosts are happy to help with recommendations for the hot spots of the area and even show you around (not promised, but you could ask nicely)

Best Hotel in Station 3 – Hampstead Boutique Hotel

Hampstead Boutique Hotel is close to local sightseeing spots, such as White Beach. It is moments from Boracay Convention Center, restaurants and nightlife options. Guests of the 3-star hotel can soak up the sun on the terrace or enjoy a beverage at the bar.

Best Hotel in Station 3 – Casa Fiesta Hotel

Casa Fiesta Hotel, rated 9.0 on travel sites, provides 8 air-conditioned rooms to ensure an enjoyable stay. The 2 and a half star hotel is located in the heart of Malay’s entertainment district with restaurants, cafés and nightlife on the doorstep.

#3 White Beach Station 2 – Best Area to Stay in Boracay for Nightlife

Station 2 is, unsurprisingly, smack-bang in the middle of Station 1 and 3. It’s the centre of all things happening on Boracay.

Here is where you’ll find the biggest shopping area, D’Mall, and seafood market. Here is also where you’ll find the nightlife. After all, that’s what you’re here for, right?

There are heaps of bars, pubs, lounges and nightclubs packed into this section, which extends back off the beach as well. The new regulations have outlawed beach parties but there are still plenty of places to get your groove on into the wee hours. Whatever your party style, Station 2 has your entertainment covered and is definitely the best area to stay in Boracay for nightlife.

And for the day time, the beach here is less shallow than Station 1, but not as deep as Station 3. This makes it perfect for the kind of dip that clears the cobwebs: you can stay mostly submerged while keeping your feet on the ground and eyeing up your next evening’s itinerary!

It’s like a combination of the other two stations when it comes to accommodation as well, having more mid-range options than the others, but still catering to the extreme ends of the scale, if so wished.

White Beach Station 2, Boracay

Things to See and Do in Station 2

– Get yourself on a Boracay Pub Crawl. You know you wanna!

– Soothe your tired muscles from all that dancing with a beach massage.

– See things from a bird’s eye view with a para-sail above the sea.

– Fuel up for the evening ahead with an epic burger from Steampunk Boracay.

– Go shopping for inflatables at D’Mall.

Best Hostel in Station 2 – Frenz Resort and Hostel

A family-run award-winning hostel in an excellent location, here you’ll have great opportunities to meet new people and have a good time. If you just wanna relax, you can use their designated beach chairs in a prime location at White Beach.

Best Airbnb in Station 2 – Bungalow in beachfront resort

You want to experience the nightlife of the island but you’re not ready to sacrifice your good night’s sleep? Then this Airbnb is perfect for you. You can enjoy your private bungalow, which comes with a garden, in a quiet and peaceful resort. The place is very stylish and clean, providing everything you might need during your stay. The lively bars and pubs are only a short walk away.

Best Hotel in Station 2 – Hue Hotels and Resorts

This comfortable hotel in Malay, rated 9.6 on travel sites, offers a coffee bar and a ticket service. It provides 3.5-star accommodation with air-conditioned rooms. All the rooms at Hue Hotels and Resorts provide a refrigerator, a mini bar and bottled water.

Best Hotel in Station 2 – Shorebreak Boracay Resort

The hotel has 6 rooms and has been recently refurbished. The garden is a peaceful spot to sit and relax. After a day of discovering the nearby region, guests can unwind in the comfort of their air-conditioned rooms. The Shorebreak is rated an impressive 10.0 on travel sites!

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#4 Bulabog Beach – Coolest Place to Stay in Boracay

Bulabog Beach is on the east side of the island, just over from Station 2. It’s known as the centre of all things aquatically adventurous and is home to a bunch of watersports shops.

The beach is windier than the west, which makes it a hit with the kite-surfers. There are worse ways to spend a day than basking in the sun watching the dare-devils fly through the air. Come to think of it, why not join them? There are schools set up for this purpose!

Bulabog is also a good option for those looking for a place to stay that’s not going to cost an arm and a leg. It’s not ON White Beach so the prices are lower, and the tourists are fewer. And it’s got entertaining watersports going on throughout the day. What’s not to love?

The added bonus is that within 15 minutes walk, you can be over on White Beach for the superior swimming, or the nightlife if that’s what you want. Just up the road, or across the island, so to speak!

It’s all of these factors combined: watersports, lack of crowds, young vibe, proximity to the Stations; that earned it our title of the coolest place to stay on Boracay!

Bulabog Beach, Boracay

Things to See and Do in Bulabog Beach

– Head to Area 51 for a full moon party, if you’re visiting at the right time.

– Take kite-surfing lessons and soar above the waves.

– Go snorkelling on the reef surrounding Bulabog Beach.

– Get a game of beach volleyball going on the sand.

– Catch a ride at Zipline Boracay, just north.

Best Hostel in Bulabog Beach – Mad Monkey Boracay

Mad Monkey Hostel Boracay is a resort-style party hostel equipped with a massive pool, bustling bar, and DJs every night of the week! If you have come to Boracay looking for a good time, look no further!

Best Airbnb in Bulabog Beach – Hillside apartment

This Airbnb is located a bit higher up on a hill so prepare for a short walk (nothing too crazy though). Once you got up, you can enjoy a peaceful and calm area. Your apartment has an aircon, a kitchen and a great balcony. The apartment is designed in a native style which makes you feel like you’re living in nature. There’s also a shared pool – great for relaxing.

Best Hotel in Bulabog Beach – La Casita Bed and Breakfast Malay

Located amongst well-known tourist hot spots, boutiques and eateries, La Casita Bed and Breakfast Malay is ideal for guests wishing to explore Malay and its surroundings. Those staying at the 3-star hotel can enjoy the property’s gardens.

Best Hotel in Bulabog Beach – Palm Breeze Villa

Guests of this modern 4-star hotel will appreciate the seclusion of its private beach and on-site spa, all just a quick drive from the centre of Malay. It also provides an outdoor pool, a beauty centre and free Wi-Fi. Guests have access to a terrace and a barbecue area.

#5 Diniwid Beach – Best Area to Stay in Boracay for Families

A ten-minute walk north of White Beach Station 1 will have you on the beautiful stretch of sand known as Diniwid Beach. The walk itself is semi-hidden and goes around the cliffs.

It’s not on White Beach so the numbers of visitors are significantly reduced, but it’s within striking distance of all the awesome activities that White Beach does have to offer.

We consider it the best place to stay in Boracay for families as the lower tourist numbers and shallow waters of Diniwid Beach mean you’ll feel at ease letting the kids loose to run across the sands and bathe in the sandy shallows.

There are a couple of cool viewing platforms as well, where kids can get excited at spotting the next islands over, fishing boats going about their business, or… was that a whale!?

Diniwid combines the exotic paradise nature of Boracay with a sense of peace and privacy lacking in other areas of the island.

For the adults, there’s even a bamboo elevator that can take you up to a scenic spot to enjoy the champagne they’ve had chilling for you. Who says the kids get to have all the fun?

Diniwid Beach, Boracay

Things to See and Do in Diniwid Beach

– See what you can spot from the clifftop viewing platforms.

– Catch a trike taxi that can take you anywhere on the island.

– Relax under the palms while the young ones explore.

– Swim around the northwest rocks and corals.

– Go snorkelling in the crystal waters and spot a nemo or twenty!

Best Hostel in Diniwid Beach – Chillax Flashpackers Boracay

Chillax is a new and unique Container Concept property. They have 6 Dorm Rooms and 5 Private Rooms all with ensuite bathrooms and balconies. Using containers, water recycling and vertical gardens, Chillax was designed from the ground up as an eco-project.

Best Hotel in Diniwid Beach – Kikkos Boracay Beach Resort

Kikkos Boracay Beach Resort provides comfortable 4-star accommodation in Malay. It is steps from Diniwid Beach and is close to the area’s popular attractions and dining spots. The hotel has 30 rooms, all of which have all you could want for a comfortable stay.

Best Hotel in Diniwid Beach – Punta Rosa Boutique Hotel

This elegant hotel in Malay provides free Wi-Fi, as well as a private beach and a sun deck. It is ideally positioned for guests wanting to visit local attractions. Guests can make the most of the sun on the terrace or have a drink at the bar. Family amenities include babysitting/child services.

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Boracay

Boracay is a literal dream of a destination, and just goes to show that we can all have our own personal paradise, our way!

Thanks to our guide, you’ll now be assured that you know exactly where, on this Eden, you belong.

Sending your nights, and part of your days, at our best hotel overall The District Boracay will ensure the perfect trip. Exceptionally family-friendly, while private enough for those without littlies, it’s perfectly situated as a central point to explore the island.

That’s it from our travel team for where to stay in Boracay. Safe travels, and make sure you get that picture at the grotto!

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