A small island on the Philippines, Boracay is more than just its powdery white sands and turquoise seas – its nightlife scene is just as legendary. At just 7 km long and 500m wide, the island is divided into three sections – Station 1, Station 2 and Station 3. And for such a small island, it sure offers an overwhelming amount of nightlife options. Listening to a jazz band while enjoying a candlelight dinner and dancing to electronic beats are just some of them.
Because of its seven-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year type of nightlife, everyday is a Friday on Boracay. And once the sun goes down, the island sheds the face of a tropical island paradise and reveals its alter ego with laser lights, music, party crowds and plenty of alcohol to go around.
Mostly expensive resorts and five-star hotels, Station 1 is mainly geared towards families and couples on honeymoon, but that’s not to say that it has a lack of nightlife options. Whether you’re looking to party hard or have a chill night, you’re sure to find something to suit what you like.
Cocomangas Shooter Bar
First established in 1987, Cocomangas is one of the oldest and one of the more popular bars on Boracay. Known for their infamous shooter challenge ‘Still Standing After 15’, anyone who remains on their feet after downing the 15 shots will score one for their country, have their name engraved on a brass plaque and put up on the wall of fame. There’s no time limit for drinking the shots, so if you’ve got a healthy liver and are up for a challenge, head over to Cocomangas for a night you won’t forget.
Not much of a drinker? They’re just as well known for their pizzas… And they deliver anywhere on the island for free!
Located on the White Beach and directly opposite to Cocomangas, Club Paraw has risen up to meet the challenge of getting people to move north of the island to party in Station 1. And its efforts have well paid off – if you ask locals today about the best club on the island, you’re likely to get ‘Club Paraw’ as a reply.
For a beach club, Club Paraw is huge. A two-storey affair, the establishment features two separate dance floors, one being on the sandy ground at ground level and the other being a wooden dance floor upstairs. There are also mats and beanbags for those who just want to lounge about. So whether you just want to kick back and relax or dance till the early morning, you’ll get the best of both worlds at Club Paraw. The party scene generally starts late in Boracay, and at around 2 am is when you’ll find the crowd of Cocomangas migrating over to the dancefloors here.
Bom Bom Bar
Not exactly on Station 1 but more accurately between Station 1 and 2, if you’re into live music you’ll definitely have to spend some time at Bom Bom Bar. Weaving together native Filipino music with reggae, aboriginal, and caribbean influences, the result is a truly unique tune. With its Caribbean decor, laid-back vibes and fine selection of drinks, Bom Bom Bar is a great place to spend the night.
Unlike many of the lively, loud and booming places on Boracay, the rustic ambience of Bom Bom Bar is a nice break away from the raving nightlife the island is known for. Foreigners and locals alike frequent this place not for their drinks, food or music, but primarily for its ambience. The menu and live band are the icing on the cake and tie the entire atmosphere together.
Being the center of the island, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Station 2 is the main tourist hub of Boracay. A lot of the action takes place here, and you’ll be convinced that the fun never ends. Especially for the prowlers of the night, you’ll find more than enough entertainment options to keep you going until the first light of the day.
One of the most popular bars on Boracay, Exit Bar sees an interesting mix of locals, expats and foreigners from various backgrounds. It also serves as home base for the local windsurfing and kitesurfing crowd.
Its extensive menu of food and drinks is impressive and you’ll find many people leaning towards its barbeque and grilled food. Seafood lovers will enjoy the fine selection of shrimps, crabs and fish. And although the drinks they serve up is just as great, it’s really the atmosphere that is the crowd-drawer. If you’re feeling social and want to meet all kinds of new people, Exit Bar is the place for some frantic fun.
Just up from Exit Bar, you’ll hear Coco Bar loud and clear because they make sure their music is heard. We hope you like your top 40s dance music! For some added fun, you can challenge other pub goers to a game of Jenga, a round of darts or beer pong. The bar also alternates colours between red and blue throughout the night!
Like Cocomangas, Coco Bar also has its own version of a drink challenge called the ‘Brain Train’ which consists of 10 shots of alcohol. The bar even tells people not to try it! Never been one to heed advice anyway? Chug it down and you’ll receive a free t-shirt proudly stating that you survived the Brain Train. If you want to take on the challenge, make sure to get here early because the bar closes at midnight.
You know a place is good when it’s called ‘Epic’. The brainchild of the creators of Manila’s greatest clubs, Epic is one of the largest entertainment establishment you’ll find on Boracay. By day, it is a restaurant serving up fresh and bold flavours and at night it transforms to a bar and discotheque. The party often spills out onto the beach.
In terms of atmosphere, Epic has more of a classy beach lounge and club feel rather than a crazy party zone. It seems to attract a more refined group of people, though it’s fine to be decked out in your shorts and bikinis. Epic also plays host to some of the biggest party events of the island. It has a great sound system and there’s usually a famous DJ spinning the decks.
Located right on the White Beach, Summer Place is a great place for partying until the wee hours of the morning. The admission is free until midnight, after which the price to get in is 300 pesos. With an open concept and two dance floors, the place really starts to get going at around 1 am. Don’t be surprised if the bartenders and waiters join in the party! The unpretentious vibe is what adds to this club’s appeal.
Known for staying open the latest, people who are looking to go all out often end up here as the last venue of the night. This place has earned a solid following over the years and some may even argue that it is the best nightlife spot in all of Boracay. Be the judge for yourself after spending a night at Summer Place.
The southern end of Boracay, Station 3 was the last to be developed. Home to many budget and backpackers accommodations, it remains the quietest and most peaceful part of the island. But that’s not to say that its nightlife is non-existent – you’ll find a handful of relaxed and laidback watering holes here.
Red Pirates Pub
The most well-known bar on Station 3, Red Pirates is one of the most relaxing bars on the island with its native theme, beach beds and hammocks. The music here is original and you’ll be hard pressed to hear your top 40s. Captain Joey, the owner of Red Pirates, greets his guests as if they are his old friends. You’ll be charmed by his warm nature.
If what you like is a laidback ambience, freshly made drinks and good conversations with friends and complete strangers, Red Pirates is the place for you. Even if you are in a reflective mood, you’ll feel right at home here with a good cocktail as you swing away on a hammock.
A backpacker’s resort, Treehouse also has a resto-bar that is styled and built with bamboo. If you like live acoustic music, chances are you’ll fancy this place. Featuring soft lighting, cushions with floor seating and serving up fantastic food, Treehouse and its cozy ambience is a great place for a leisurely night out.
Compared to Bom Bom Bar near Station 1, Treehouse is an even quieter place due to its location. But it is still easily accessible with a tricycle since it is located next to a road on the White Beach. Even if you are not lodging here, the servers and bartenders will welcome you just as warmly so feel free to strike up a conversation with the friendly staff.
The only club on Station 3, Boracay Stars is a relatively new player on the scene having just opened its doors in 2014. However, it has already gained quite a reputation as a great place to party on the island. You’ll find locals but not many Westerners or expats here, and it also draws in many Chinese and Taiwanese tourists probably because the boss of the establishment is Taiwanese.
Their in-house creation is called ‘Angel or Devil’ and is made up of 16 shots, delivered not in shot glasses but test tubes! Talk about being creative.
Other Parties and Events
To truly get a taste of Boracay’s nightlife, the Boracay parties are not something you’d want to miss out on. These parties are only held periodically so make to check up on their Facebook pages to be updated on when the next upcoming event.
Boracay Pub Crawl
PubCrawl is a very successful event on Boracay. They bring people together and joining in on a PubCrawl event is a great way to have fun and make some new friends. The organisation has nine bars and clubs on rotation, and they visit five each night the PubCrawl event is held. Included for every pubcrawler are ten free shooters, drink specials at each venue as well as the iconic yellow PubCrawl shirt!
Manic Monkey is a one-stop shop for all things party-related. Their events are not just confined to the night and they hold frequent day parties such as cruise trips and yacht parties. Right now their regular events are sunset sailing parties, but the crew likes to keep things fun and interesting by changing up their events every season.
Area 51 is famous for their black moon and full moon parties. They call themselves a top secret party facility and are located on the south side of Bulabog Beach, far away from other nightlife establishments. Their parties are some of the biggest parties on the island – over 400 people attend them (and even more on holidays such as Halloween and New Year!) The parties go on from midnight to sunrise and one thing’s for sure – once you’ve experienced it, you’ll be looking forward to the next time.