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The island comprises the barangays of Manoc-Manoc, Balabag, and Yapak in the municipality of Malay, in Aklan Province.The island is administered by the Philippine Tourism Authority and the provincial government of Aklan.

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In around 1900, a certain Sofía Gonzáles Tirol and her husband Lamberto Hontiveros Tirol, a town judge on the Panay mainland, took ownership of substantial properties on the island, and planted coconuts, fruit trees, and greenery.In June 2011, it was reported that Megaworld Corporation, a real estate development group led by Andrew Tan had earmarked PHP20 billion to develop tourism estates "featuring an integrated, master-planned layout and world-class resort offerings and amenities" in Boracay and Cavite.The planned Boracay project, Boracay Newcoast, involves four hotels with 1,500 rooms, a plaza and an entertainment center.Boracay's main tourism area, White Beach, is on the western side of the island and is sheltered from the wind.During the Amihan season, the water off White Beach is often glassy-smooth.Boracay is divided for land use and conservation purposes into 400 hectares of preserved forestland and 628.96 hectares of agricultural land.

Weather in Boracay is generally divided into two seasonal weather patterns known locally as the Amihan and Habagat seasons.

Others followed the Tirols, and cultivation and development of the island gradually spread.

Boracay Island is located off the northwest corner of Panay Island, and belongs to the Western Visayas island-group, or Region VI, of the Philippines.

One story says that it is derived from the local word "borac" which means white cotton with characteristics close to the color and texture of Boracay's white sugary and powdery sand.

Another credits the name to local words "bora," meaning bubbles, and "bocay," meaning white.

As a rule of thumb, Boracay will be in the Amihan weather pattern from sometime in October to sometime in June and in the Habagat weather pattern for the remainder of the year.