One of the most popular beach destinations in the Philippines, Boracay Island is famous for its fine white sands and lush tropic scenery. Tourists from all over the world have found solace in this tiny piece of paradise, making it a place people come back to again and again.
Following Boracay’s closure and clean-up, the island is set to welcome back tourists onto its shores. Here are the 10 best things to do to make the most of your visit.
Boracay’s powdery white sand never fails to captivate. But while you should definitely enjoy the beautiful one-kilometer stretch of White Beach on your visit, you’ll be missing a lot if you don’t explore Boracay’s other beaches. At Puka Beach, colorful puka shells mix with the sand to create a gorgeous natural blanket. Visit Bulabog Beach and find out why it’s the country’s top kitesurfing destination. Then, find your way to the quaint little beach of Ilig Iligan, which offers adventure seekers a treasure trove of coves, caves and patches of jungle to explore.
Boracay is not only a natural beauty, it also offers a wide selection of gastronomic delights to suit every taste and budget. You can opt to go local and try traditional home-cooked Filipino food or splurge on the must-eat foreign dishes on the island. Whichever you prefer, don’t leave Boracay without trying the boodle fight — where people share a giant banana leaf loaded with food and use their bare hands to go at it! This also gives you a glimpse into why Filipinos see kamayan as the best way to enjoy a meal.
It’s only on Boracay Island where you will actually get to fulfill your dreams of becoming a mermaid. Let the Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy teach you the basics, complete with a glittering fish-tailed outfit. Be warned that it is a bit of a workout as it teaches swimming techniques that involve a lot of core movement and upper body strength. If that’s something you’re not ready to try yet, you can simply have your picture taken on the shore while wearing your favorite mermaid tail.
The island’s not only a trip about beaches and water sports. In fact, there’s so much to see and discover within the island. Take Boracay’s two-hour inland tour that goes through the 220-hectare Mangrove park. Visit the local Ati Community, which have lived on the island for decades (long before tourism emerged), and at the end of the tour enjoy an incredible panoramic view of the island from Mt. Luho. If you hire a local guide, you might have the chance to hear interesting stories and secrets about Boracay too.
To get the most out of your stay, step away from White Beach for a half-day and go island hopping. Boracay’s neighboring islands are beautiful natural gems well worth exploring. You’ll get the chance to set foot upon unspoiled beaches, see breathtaking seascapes and snorkel in between your beach stops. Find your way to Crocodile Island (where there are no crocodiles in sight), trek Crystal Cove Island and jump off a cliff from Magic Island.
Challenge yourself by taking the G-Max reverse bungee experience on Boracay. Originally from New Zealand, this thrilling ride is the first attraction of its kind in the country. Experience what it feels like to be shot up into the sky as the capsule reaches up to 60 feet above. While the entire ride only takes less than 10 minutes, this adrenaline-pumping activity will definitely be one of the main highlights of your trip.
These days, the phrase “pictures or it didn’t happen” has been the firm rule of the Insta-culture era. In Boracay, the most photographed landmark is Willy’s Rock — an oddly-shaped volcanic formation with a statue of the Virgin Mary perched in its corner. Located near Boat Station 1, this is the only land mass seen along the stretch of white sand and it has become a favorite of Instagram lovers.
Don’t leave Boracay without seeing its picture-perfect sunset view. Apart from the spectacular sunset view seen along Manila Bay, Boracay is another top location in the Philippines where you can catch sight of a stunning sunset. Head over to Diniwid Beach to watch the sun dip below the waves from an elevated point or go to Manoc-Manoc Beach for a gorgeous backdrop of Caticlan’s mountain ranges. The most popular view is in White Beach, where you’ll get a silhouette of boats and people amongst the waves.
One of the many reasons why tourists keep coming back to Boracay is because it’s often dubbed as ‘the island that never sleeps’. After the sun goes down, the beach becomes a giant outdoor club where you’ll witness fire dancing, loud parties and drinking until the wee hours of morning. While it may not have the same ambiance (as the government plans to ban smoking/drinking on the beach), restaurant and club owners might have something under their sleeves as a different gimmick for night owls.
After a long day of island hopping and water sports, a massage might be the cheapest and most relaxing way to reward yourself. While there are a number of spas and wellness centers where you can splurge on massage treatments, you can opt for a beachside version under the coconut trees. It’s a unique and refreshing experience while feeling the sea breeze. But, if the passers-by are distractions to your relaxation, find one of the island’s many nipa rooms instead.