The island of Panay is the most westerly of the central group of Philippine islands, collectively known as the Visayas.


The island is famed for its Spanish Churches, concentrated along its southern shore, most notably the UNESCO World Heritage Miagao Church, dating back to 1787. Other heritage churches can be found at nearby Guimbal, Tigbauan and in the island’s main city, Lloilo.

Inland, Bulabog Putian National Park is a wildlife sanctuary and rock-climbing centre, offering some of the Philippines’ best rock-climbing routes. The park also contains a number of caves, the most impressive of which are Maestranza and Guiso Caves, home to many Bat species.

The northeast coastal town Kalibo is the centre of Panay’s Pinya weaving, a fine cloth derived from the fibres of pineapple leaves, a traditional craft dating back to the eighth century.

To the south of Panay, the island of Guimaras is accessible from Lloilo and its southwest coast is littered with hundreds of scattered beaches, only a few of which have as yet been developed.


What brings most visitors to Panay, however, is the small but breathtaking island of Boracay, the best known of all Filipino beach resorts, just offshore from its northern tip. The main attraction of this beautiful island is its aptly named White Beach, a four kilometre stretch of powdery white heaven on its western coast, with the most upmarket of its plentiful accommodation choices at its northern end.

The island has many other beautiful beaches. Diniwid, Balinghai, Punta Bunga, Banyugan, the private preserve of the luxury Shangri La Resort, Puka, Llig-lligan, Santoyo, Sanbaloron and Lapus-Lapus Beaches encircle the northern end of the island and offer quietude away from the nightlife and bustle of White Beach.

Activities available on Boracay include Sailing, Kitesurfing, windsurfing, parasailing, snorkelling and diving.

Just offshore from Boracay's southern shore, a collection of small islands, including Laurel Island are worth the trip.

A little north from Boracay, Carabao is the southernmost of the Romblon Island group, and provides additional fine beaches for day trips.

The Romblon group consists of the islands of Tablas, Romblon and Sibuyan, the latter famed for its unique wildlife, found in the best-preserved forest of the Philippines, which can be explored in its Mount Guiting-Guiting National Park.  

The mountain, at 2058 metres (6,752 feet) is one of the best climbs in the Philippines, and the surrounding park is one of Asia’s most diverse and important ecological areas, with an astonishing array of endemic animal and plant species, brought about by its ice-age isolation from the surrounding islands.