(Travel Feature) What to do in Boracay

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So you’ve seen the breath-taking possibilities of Boracay, and taken down notes on where to stay. Finally, it’s time for some itinerary planning. Here’s a list of activities you can consider filling your days and nights in Boracay with, on land and at sea.

The tempting crystal-blue waters surrounding the island beckons for a relaxing dip –but before you dive straight in, do remember to keep your electronic devices safe from drowning.

There are plenty of street vendors selling waterproof casings (we got them at P150 each after some mettlesome bargaining), but do keep in mind that they’re mainly safe from splashes but not absolutely safe from water seeping in when submerged underwater for a prolonged period of time.

To best experience the pristine waters of Boracay, venture further out into the deeper waters with your trusted boat guide. Put on your snorkelling gear or a pair of goggles, and lifejacket for less confident swimmers, take a leap off the edge of the boat (or take the ladder), and submerge your body in the clear crystal-blue waters.


Photo by Jerome

Snorkelling requires little training and minimal equipment, suitable for all ages, and provides both action and relaxation. This was one of the highlights of my trip.


Snorkelling with Catherine and Karen (taken using the iPhone 4S under the waterproof casing)


Pictures from HanJoo


Island Hopping (P1,500 per person)

Island Hopping is one of the most popular activities in Boracay. This is an opportunity to cruise the sea, tour the islands, go snorkelling at Tulubhan or Tambisaan Reef, visit Crystal Cove Island, explore its two caves, and feast on a spread of seafood (buffet-style) at Tambisaan Beach.


Arriving at Crystal Cove Island…

There’re some pretty intriguing sculptures over at Crystal Cove Island. Time for some touristy photos!

As you explore further into the island, it’s almost akin to stepping into another era. Bucolic wooden huts and castle-like stone pavilions grace the vast green patch of well-maintained grass that extends from one end of the island to the other.

Accommodating an intimate party for barbecues and picnics, visitors can take shelter and revel in food and drinks while enjoying the ravishing view.

For an admission fee of just P200, you get to enjoy an entire day of activities on the island such as snorkelling, trekking, cove adventures and more.

For more information on Crystal Cove Island, visit http://www.crystalcoveisland.com/island-tour.html

Here’s bidding Crystal Cove Island goodbye, and eagerly anticipating our next adventure.


Photo from Valyn

The Island Hopping tour also brought us to the secluded Puka Beach, where one can spend some quiet time basking in the sun, swimming in the clear blue waters, and relaxing without much disturbance.

Puka Beach has gotten its name from the puka shells abound in the sands along the beach. Hence the sand feels rough and rugged on one’s feet.

Other water activities include wake boarding, wake surfing, water skiing, stand-up jetski, scuba diving, and many more.

What I would consider an absolute must-try when you visit Boracay is the Helmet Dive!

A boat ride from the main land takes you to a small floating platform, where your helmet diving experience begins.

The instructors will first go through some basic “do’s and don’ts”, ensuring that all first-timers are versed in the hand gestures for communicating underwater.


Helmet Dive (P800 per person)

Helmet diving gives non-certified scuba-diving enthusiasts a chance to promenade the ocean floor.

As you climb down a ladder from the platform, the instructor will place a helmet over your head. It weighs 22 kilos on land but it feels like 2 kilos underwater. Air is pumped into the helmet so we can breathe normally despite being underwater. If you’re experiencing some discomfort in the ears from the pressure, pinch your nose and blow hard. We are told to keep our heads upright and hold onto the helmet; do not tilt the helmet or water might just gush in.

Descending about 10 ft. below the water surface, your feet will soon reach the seabed. You will be provided with some bread to feed the fishes; expect a swarm of fish to gather around where the food is. It was quite an overwhelming experience for someone who’s never come in contact with live fishes before, but an unforgettable one nevertheless.


Banana Boat Ride (P250 per person)

The highlight of the banana boat ride is not merely the speed and thrill, but more of the breath-taking sights we marvelled at as we cruise the sea.


Cliff Diving (P1,600 per person with boat transfer; minimum age of 18 years)

Cliff Diving will entice thrill-seekers. Considered an extreme sport to some, cliff diving involves a slight risk of danger, susceptible to weather and tide conditions.

Ariel’s Point is a popular spot for cliff diving in Boracay.

Visit http://www.arielspoint.com/ for more information.

While the other venturesome bloggers take on that spine-tingling sport, I stayed on the boat as a spectator –watching them, one by one, leap off a plank that protrudes from the cliff, some hesitantly, some rather swiftly.

It was to my surprise that the boatman managed to reel in a number of colourful fishes I’ve never seen before.


Segway (P800 for 30 min, P1,500 for 60 min, P2,000 for 90 min)

Land activities at Fairways & Bluewater Newcoast include the Segway and Horseback Riding.

Everything seems to be more enjoyable when the gorgeous sea is just a stone’s throw away.


Horseback riding (P700 per person for 1 hour)

To book the above activities, email Marsman Travel at reservations@marsmandrysdale.com or call (632) 8880228.


Crystal Boat

Ever wondered how it would feel like to paddle to the middle of the sea and be able to scrutinise every moving creature from the bottom of the boat?

The clever invention of this crystal see-through boat allows curious explorers to study the underlying corals, sea urchins and fishes, especially in Boracay’s clear seawaters; it’s fascinating what remarkable discoveries you would be rewarded with.

Sea urchins spotted!

I was amongst the first few who’s tried this activity, as they haven’t officially launched it –therefore the pricings are not yet available.

The masterminds behind this also envision fish feeding on board the boat –drawing even more fishes closer to the water surface.


Zipline (P700 per person)

I managed to conquer my fear of heights and took my first plunge down the zipline at Fairways. I was apprehensive at first but with the encouragement from fellow bloggers I found more courage to move out of my comfort zone.

The fearless can head over to Mount Luho, the highest point in Boracay, for another round of Zipline.


ATV (P800 per person)

The ATV ride was one of my favourite activities on land! I love the thrill of driving a motor vehicle without needing a license to do so.

The engine is switched on, and in our control is the accelerator and brake. There isn’t much skills required other than focusing on keeping your vehicle centred in the lane.

Helmets are provided for safety measures.

The ATV route took us to Mount Luho, where we did a little bit of trekking and sight seeing.

The view is gorgeous from the top of Mount Luho. You get unobstructed views of Boracay and its surroundings.

For the most memorable sunset view, I would highly recommend Paraw Sailing.


Paraw Sailing (P1,500 per paraw for 1-7 pax)


Photo from Valyn

The paraw is basically a sailboat with sturdy nets extending from both sides of the hull that serve as hammocks, where you can sit or lie down and enjoy the cool sea breeze, take in a grand view of the island, while your legs dangle above the water.

Wheeeeeee!

Paraw Sailing is one of the most relaxing activities in Boracay.

To book, email Marsman Travel at reservations@marsmandrysdale.com or call (632) 8880228.

Amazing Show
Boracay Station 2, Bolabog, Brgy. Balabag, Malay Aklan, Philippines
Tel: (036) 2882556

Purchase tickets at the ticket counter of the theatre at P1,000 per person.

What’s so amazing about the Amazing Show?

These beautiful ladies used to be males –what successful transitions!

The show was pretty engaging, especially with familiar catchy tunes such as Psy’s Gentleman.

There’s also a fair bit of interaction with audiences, which lightens the whole atmosphere and builds up the joviality.

The show happens every evening at two timeslots, 7pm and 9pm.

Photo-taking with performers require tipping of about USD1 or P40 each.


Photo by Jerome

How to get there: The Amazing Show is located on a pathway leading down to White Beach at Station 2. Take the pathway to the side of Red Coconut Hotel, when walking from the Beach End of the pathway. From the Main Road, take the pathway just up from Budget Mart, Past BPI Bank and the Lying in Clinic and walk towards the beach.

The action never ceases as night falls.

It’s time for shopping at the night markets!

Don’t forget to bargain.

Bars and pubs are aplenty, and drinks especially beers are inexpensive in Boracay.

As we were taking a stroll down the night market by the beach, this stall suspended with peculiar looking sacks caught my attention.

This stall packages beverages in these plastic sacks that are attached to a strap so customers can hang their drinks around their necks. How cool is that!

There are also plenty of stalls doing temporary tattoos and offering hair-braiding services.


Fire Dance at Discovery Shores Boracay

The nightlife at Boracay provides a wealth of activities, and one of which you should not miss out on is the astonishing fire dance. Their sleek and brilliant moves are a result of strenuous training and long hours of practice.

Before you embark for Boracay, here is a checklist of what to pack.

For the beach:
– Sunscreen
– Goggles
– Sunglasses
– Swimwear
– Waterproof beach bag
– Beach mats
– Towels
– Umbrella
– Beach cover-ups or roomy T-shirts
– Summer dresses (girls)
– Waterproof camera (if you have)

The usual travel necessities:
– Toiletries
– Makeup, especially waterproof eyeliner etc. (girls)
– A good novel
– Wet wipes

And don’t forget your:
– Passport
– Phone, camera and chargers
– Money


Photo by Valyn

The trip to Boracay has its rocky moments, such as minor cuts and sprains, but it was without a doubt a fun-filled one, especially with great company and generous hosts.

Thank you Philippine Department of Tourism, Tigerair and Omy for making this trip possible.

“It’s more fun in the Philippines!”