So you’ve arrived on world-famous Boracay and have fallen in love with this beautiful Philippine island. What can you do to revel in your newfound romance? Plenty, actually. Our writer shares his itinerary for an exciting Boracay adventure.
Words & Photography: Ari Vanuaranu
Spending the whole day completely on your sundeck, save for potty breaks and meals, is totally acceptable #nojudgment. But for those of you who can’t stand sitting around and digging your toes into the fine white sand when there is excitement to be had (count me in), you will find a myriad of activities on this paradise island to entertain you.
DAY 0 Arrival
6 PM – After flying in and taking the island transfer, my group reached our hotel at sunset. After a seafood dinner, I took a quick but relaxing stroll to soak in the lively island atmosphere. Then I retreated to my hotel room to get enough rest for the next day’s activities.
DAY 1 Islands in the Sun
8 AM – All excited for our island-hopping trip, we woke up early and made our way to the jetty by van. Boracay is a small island that has big fun written all over it; there are nearby islets to visit as well. We asked our boatmen for a good place for snorkelling, and Crocodile Island was the answer. There was an additional fee for snorkelling gear but we didn’t mind because we got to see all the cute little fish that seemed to appear out of nowhere.
After spending some time with our gilled friends, we continued to Yapak Beach, better known as Puka Shell Beach, for the ground puka shells that make up the coarse sand. It felt very different from the ultra-fine powdery sand of White Beach, Boracay’s most famous stretch. You could find several souvenir stalls on Puka Beach, but I was more interested to feast on the Filipino buffet!
Rates for island-hopping are based on group size: PHP2500 for 1-6 pax, PHP4500 for up to 16 pax, PHP5000-6000 for up to 24 pax.
Our guide’s description of Crystal Cove sounded so nice we decided to do a side trip there. On the island, we enjoyed the white sandy beach and two wonderful coves which are wonderful for swimming and snorkelling.
Feeling re-energized after our lunch, we were ready to take on the next challenge. Those who felt that banana boats were just too tame for their taste opted for the fast and furious flyfish. The mechanics were similar to banana boats–you have to hold on to the boat the longest you can. Beware, as flyfish can make you fly through the air and tumble into the water! Just remember that falling off is part of the experience as well.
Crystal Cove entry=PHP200. Banana boat = PHP250, minimum three in a group. Flyfish = PHP800, minimum three in a group.
1 PM – Our island-hopping adventure was supposed to end there after everyone had their share of less-than-glamourous moments falling off the boat, but we were still so psyched up to go extreme that we decided to go to Ariel’s Point, famous for its thrilling cliff diving from five platforms ranging from 3 to 13 metres. I just loved the rush as I jumped off the edge that I did it three times, including the highest one! For those who are not interested in jumping, swimming, snorkelling, and kayaking were also part of the experience.
Ariel’s Point is not a part of the usual island-hopping package. It’s a half-day excursion of its own for PHP1700 to PHP2000, inclusive of food and transfers.
4 PM – Back in Boracay, everybody was tired from all the exhilarating things we did the whole day. But that did not stop us from making every moment on the island count.
The girls in our group were delighted at the chance to make their childhood dreams come true in the mermaid swimming course. All they had to do was to grab their colourful rented tails, follow the lesson and swim away with other sea dwellers! Some who were not satisfied with our previous snorkelling session decided to try helmet diving so that they can walk on the seabed and be surrounded by marine creatures. The others who were not keen on getting wet were content onboard the glass bottom boat, happily observing the fish while munching on their snacks. There’s something for everyone!
Mermaid Swimming = PHP 1500 (2-hour introductory lesson). Helmet diving = PHP800. Glass bottom boat = PHP800 (adult), PHP400 (child).
DAY 2 In and Around Boracay
We decided to take things down a notch, sleeping in or going for a gentle morning swim as some of us were still sore from the day before.
10 AM – What better way to see the island’s interior than from the back of a horse? We set off on a relaxed pace over Mount Luho, Boracay’s tallest point, passing tropical greenery and small houses. You can also arrange for a sunset ride to the beach (so romantic!), so lovebirds do take note!
Horseback ride = PHP 900 (1-hour session).
11 AM – If you prefer to explore the island in a more rugged way, try an ATV ride. Our group had fun on our ATVs passing through both dirt and paved roads to reach the viewing deck on top of Mount Luho. Don’t worry if you’ve never tried it before because you will be given a safety briefing prior and you will be supervised along the way.
ATV ride = PHP 800 (1-hour session).
1 PM – After lunch, we were delighted to see that there were quite a few offerings around Mount Luho. One activity in particular caught our attention. Zipline, also known around the region as ‘Flying Fox,’ always brings in the crowd with its promise of an exhilarating rush as you go from a high point all the way down. In Boracay, you can do this while looking at the gorgeous beach!
Zipline = PHP 600.
2 PM – With its shallow waters, Boracay is the perfect place to learn kitesurfing (also known as kiteboarding). You might not be able to do all the tricks of the professional athletes but you can always sign up for the introductory lesson. Are you a windsailing fan? Why not try the Filipino version on Boracay’s very own iconic double-sailed boat? Experience the feeling of crashing through the waves with your own paraw!
Kitesurfing = PHP 3000 (1-hour session). Paraw sailing = PHP 500.
7 PM – Gathering around the dinner table, everyone in the group reported how they have maximised their final day in Boracay. We were entertained by a group of very talented fire dancers–the perfect way to end the day!
DAY 3 Saying Goodbye
8 AM – It was almost painful to leave the island, so I decided to personally say goodbye to a few of my favourite spots on the island: Willy’s Rock, the cafe where I heard the best rendition of the song ‘Flying Without Wings’, and of course, the shop that sells the yummiest calamansi muffins in the whole wide world! After that, off we went to Kalibo airport using the AirAsia seamless airport transfer.
Web check-in & print your boarding pass for a seamless flying experience! Kiosk check-in at klia2 will no longer be available starting 22 June 2014.