December 10, 2020 • 0 Comments
Boracay Better Than Ever: Travel Requirements and Our Boracay 2020 Experience
I love Boracay – it’s definitely one of the world’s most beautiful beaches but personally, I initially didn’t want to go – my husband had to convince me. Why? For some reason, I’ve always had a notion it was crowded and thinking of my last trip in 2009 (YES – it’s been that long!) – I remember the shores being so busy and webbed by green algae, thus I wasn’t overly excited when my husband brought up the Boracay 2020 idea.
Here is my experience returning to Boracay, almost 11 years later and of course, details on going through Boracay’s travel requirements. Was this trip a yay or a nay?
Hurrah! We made it on the island! How did we get here? Here are the travel requirements if you want to go to Boracay.
Disclaimer: Please note that this information is accurate as of writing date only (Dec 2020). Always re-confirm info with your travel agent, hotel and keep up with the local LGU news to know the latest protocols and requirements.
Here are the travel requirements you need to accomplish pre-arrival if you want to go to Boracay.
- Secure your hotel and flight confirmation – I listed this first because it’s good to initially check how your target dates align with existing flights available. The hotel we stayed at, The Lind, is very flexible too with the re-booking just incase (hopefully not!) that one of your companions test positive in the mandatory RT-PCR test.
- Get an RT-PCR test from any DOH accredited testing center as a requirement. Please remember that the extraction date of your test should not be older than 72 hours prior to your flight to Boracay for this to be valid. Initially, we had our home service RT-PCR test done by Singapore Diagnostics (results in 24 hours) and it cost us around Php15,000 for 2 people but most recently, I discovered that Zennya (you can download the app), does home service too so we availed it and it cost us around Php7,000 for 2 people. Zennya (test is processed under the San Miguel Foundation Testing Lab) promises results in 36-48 hours but we were surprised to receive our results in less than 24 hours!
- Upon receipt of your swab test results, accomplish the Online Health Declaration form on the Aklan LGU website or https://touristboracay.com.
- To secure the Tourist QR code you will need upon arriving in Boracay, the Aklan website will tell you to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org at least a day prior to your visit to Boracay with the email subject: OHDC-Family Name, First Name
Include these documents in your email:
- Soft copy of your RT-PCR Negative Result
- Copy of Roundtrip Flights
- Copy of Booking Confirmation from the hotel
- Proof of Identification
That’s it! You’re good to go! The Aklan LGU replies pretty fast and rest assured they’ll respond within 12-24 hours. They responded to me within 15 minutes last time – that’s how quick it was.
When you get your Tourist QR code, save a copy on your smartphone and also have it printed. To play safe, I printed all the documents – including swab test results, flight and hotel but print responsibly using scratch paper. Hehe!
Note: You are not required to get a swab test upon your arrival back to Manila.
Upon arriving in Caticlan airport, we felt super safe and accosted by The Lind airport representatives who assisted with the boat and land transfers going to our hotel. The travel time from Caticlan Airport to The Lind is around 30-45 minutes. Super quick! Have these safety protocols in mind when you go:
- All passengers are required to wear face masks and face shields at all times.
- The airport personnel make sure the passengers follow social distancing, proper hand hygiene, temperature check and the Tourist QR code will be checked in the airport.
- On children: Yes, kids are allowed! No swab test needed for kids below 2 years old.
Where we stayed: The Lind!
As this is my husband’s first time in Boracay, Nick and I combed through numerous hotels and checked out “Bounce Back” promos they were offering. Of course, it all depends on the type of traveler you are and your budget per night but since this is our first trip since March 2020, we definitely wanted a spacious room with a sea view (non-negotiable!), a quiet / not super busy beachfront, nice (and open!) amenities and yummy food. We’ve decided to go with The Lind located in Station 1 because I liked the promo rates too. Did The Lind tick all of our non-negotiables? We’re so happy to share that they truly did!
My Thoughts on the Sea Premier Room
As mentioned, we definitely wanted to book a sea view room because… Boracay! The Lind was kind enough to upgrade us to a Sea Premier Room with a roomy balcony on the 4th level. My initial thoughts upon entering the room was it was very spacious, I liked the bathroom amenities (for the hair products, body wash and lotion, they use Malin+Goetz – a brand I super love!), speedy WiFi and there were a lot of plugs for all our gadgets. My favorite part of the room of course was the huge balcony that gives you a birds eye view of the resort and white beach. Super stunning! We were also greeted by merienda and a delicious ube ensaymada upon arriving in our room.
My favorite spot in the hotel? The infinity pool overlooking white beach. Nick and I would chill here to watch the sunset while ordering Lind’s famous fresh and hot brick oven pizzas. Super sarap! If you’re not staying in The Lind, that’s no problem. You can still come and avail a Beachfront Hangout pass priced at Php2,000 and this is actually consumable. I highly recommend food items from Crust!
Station 1 Serenity
Do note that The Lind is located towards the end of Station 1. I personally found that appealing for us because it was less crowded and when you chill on the beachfront, it felt very private. My husband loves the sun so you can find us on the beach even during the hottest hours. Haha! Look at the shoreline – soooo clean and no trace of green algae at all.
Another idea you can sign up for when you stay at The Lind is to book a special romantic dinner for two at the hotel’s pool deck! Do you see that well-lit tent overlooking the sunset and Boracay’s White Beach? Yep – that’s where the Lind team set-up a romantic dinner for Nick and I. We were treated to delicious meals specially prepared for us. Wish we could do it again!
Suggestions on Where To Eat:
- Aria Cucina Italiana in D’mall – Nick and I super enjoyed the authentic Italian dishes in this place. The pasta is so good!
- Two Seasons in Station 1 – I personally didn’t like the famous 4-Cheese pizza and funny enough – I love their sinigang here and Nick enjoyed the cheeseburger.
- Crust Bar and Resto in The Lind – you must try their fresh brick oven pizzas. So good! Nick could finish 1 by himself. Haha!
- Discovery Shores in Station 1 – on one of our nights, we were able to enjoy jumbo prawns and halo halo by Discovery. So good!
Wherever you decide to eat, it would be such a big help and I’m sure the locals would appreciate the boost and help in their local Boracay businesses. So eat, eat, eat! :)
Suggestion on day time activities:
One thing you’ll notice when you go (and understandably), you will be constantly approached by tour operators if you’d like to do any activities such as island hopping, paraw sailing or renting a paddleboard. If you have the extra budget, please support them. Nick and I are very chill people and happy just on the sand so the most we’ve done is to sign up for an island hopping tour to puka shell beach. We hired a private boat to take us there for a couple of hours and it was sooo nice! So if you will do an island, I recommend puka beach.
What To Bring With You:
The hotel provided these cotton totes complete with masks, hand sanitizer and wet wipes which I appreciated. There is also no shortage of hand sanitizing stations, disinfection mats and thermal checks so here are some additional tips on what to bring to your next Boracay trip:
- We got a bad attack on sandmites so please load up on sunscreen, citronella / mosquito spray and another tip given to me was to place coconut oil on your legs after the sunscreen to avoid the sandmites.
- Re-usable water bottle. Each morning, I’d have our hotel fill this up with cold water and that’s what I’d take the whole day. Avoid single use plastics as much as possible.
- A small torch because it gets dark after 6PM and you’ll need this if you go for a stroll to nearby restaurants.
- Loose bills – if possible, please support the beach vendors selling coconuts, snacks and trinkets. Pay with loose bills!
I found it incredibly touching upon entering our room and seeing this. It was so sweet of The Lind team to gather our photos and wished us a Happy Anniversary. My husband and I were both so surprised that we both asked, “Did you arrange this?!” It was indeed such a sweet surprise from The Lind. Thank you Joaquin, Ana, Bryan, Fed, Angelo, Rommel, etc of The Lind for such a lovely stay! Nick and I felt so taken care of the entire time and we will definitely be booking The Lind again on our future Boracay stays. For the latest info on The Lind promo room rates, check out The Lind’s official website or follow them on Instagram via @thelindhotels.
If you’d like to see a full on room tour and more details, make sure you check out my vlog for more information! Enjoy your trip to Boracay!