Experience to explore the whole island of Boracay and the small neighboring islands by motorboat. Stop by the crocodile island for snorkeling and fish feeding. In the Island Cove, there is a cave and watch towers where you could see the whole island of Boracay in a bird’s eye view. Explore different beaches of Boracay. White Beach is the central part of Boracay where most of the hotels and other establishments are located. White beach measures 4 km in length – a very good place for sun-bathing and water sports such as jetski, parasailing, banana boat, and kayaking. Puka beach is located at the end of the island where there are few people, almost no hotels are in sight, only white sandy beach, tranquility and breath-taking nature. This is the place for those who prefer relaxing ambience away from hustles and bustles of central Boracay. The Bolabog Beach is the best place for surfers and kiteboarders because the waves and wind in this side of the island is ideal for these types of water sport.
Sail boats: A very unique and romantic way to sail around Boracay is to ride the “Paraw” – a sail boat, which moves by means of wind. Explore small islands surrounding Boracay and see different places in the mainland “Panay”. Or try to sail during sunset, for a romantic experience with your loved-one.
Glass Bottom Boat: Another exciting and informative way to sail around Boracay is by means of glass bottom boat. From the name itself, this boat has a fiber glass bottom which would help you see the diversity of Philippine sea flora and fauna as you pass from one island to the other: beautiful and colorful corals, sea anemones, fishes in different colors and sizes and Philippine turtles.
Another way to explore Boracay and its neighboring islands is through air by helicopter. The helicopter is a R44 Raven – for three passengers plus the pilot. They have Caticlan to Boracay transfer service, White Beach tours, Island Tours, inter-island tours, sunset tours and charter flights.
For the active, sporty and fun-loving people, try these extreme water sports: parasail, jetski, flyfish, banana boat, waterski, wakeboard, kneeboard and tuberide. See photos.
There are many things to do in Boracay aside from sun-bathing. And we also encourage the tourists, especially the foreigners to explore the nearby mainland “Panay” to have an impression about Philippine culture, history, tradition and people. Panay island is blessed with lush tropical forests, waterfalls, crystal clear rivers, mystical bat caves and large rice fields.
AKLAN VILLAGE TOUR: The route starts from Caticlan in the mainland. Just a few kilometers from Caticlan is the Pangihan Cave. While traversing the way to the cave, you will get to know the way of life in a typical Philippine village while crossing a lush forest. Inside the cave, you will see thousands of fruit-eating bats, beautiful stalagmites and stalactites, and if you are lucky you’ll see hermit crabs.
Next stop is the Hawili Waterfalls. This waterfall has 7 pools which vary in sizes and deepness. Kids could swim in the first and lower pool where it is not too deep. The higher pools are ideal for diving. You can also trek along the river on the top of the waterfalls.
Not so far away from the restaurant is the mangrove forest. Explore this 150 hectare forest planted with mangrove trees. Mangrove trees are unique because they grow only in brackish water. See and learn the importance of this forest for the local community and its contribution to ecology. For exotic food lovers try to eat the local delicacies in that area, ask your guide about it!
Last stop is a visit to a local factory for weaving native costumes from pineapple fiber. Here, you can also buy souvenir products made of materials indigenous in Aklan. For example there are fabrics, table cloths, scarves, pillow cases, etc. made from pineapple leaves and banana fiber. In fact, the Philippine national costume (the “barong tagalog” for men and “saya” for women) are made also from these materials. Furniture made of bamboo and local native woods with export quality are also available. And other home accessories and decors made from “nito” a species of indigenous vine and “abaca” strong fiber which is used for ship ropes and cables are also available.
ANTIQUE ECO-TOUR: About 45 minutes from Caticlan airport is the Malumpati Resort where Bugang River is located. The river has been awarded for 4 consecutive years as the cleanest river in the Philippines. The river is about 6 km in length, the end opens to the sea of Sibuyan. From the resort, you will ride the bamboo raft downstream. The river banks are teeming with a wide variety of tropical trees, some can only be found in that island. For example is the “bariw tree” from which leaves are made into beautiful bags and wallets. There are also over a hundred year-old trees with trunks so large and roots so big that it is being made into different furniture. There are nipa trees, a kind of small palm tree, from which leaves are used for roofs of cottages and farmers’ houses, while their fruits are gathered to make vinegar. Fruit bearing trees can also be found along the river banks, among which is the catmon tree which fruits are used to make the famous Philippine sour soup called “sinigang”. Aside from bamboo trees which are used as building materials for native Philippine houses called “bahay kubo” and coconut trees which is also called “the tree of life” because all parts of the tree from the roots to the leaves have beneficial uses, there are lots of other tropical trees that can be found in the area. You can stop in a station where you can try the freshest coconut milk and coconut meat gathered from a palm tree right before your very eye. In another station, you will be transferred into your own separate canoes. You will also be provided with your own boatman. Try to paddle and beat the others by making it first to arrive in the sea where the river ends. In a nearby village, there is a cooperative shop where the locals are making native bags from bariw leaves and abaca fiber.
Next stop is the village of Tibiao. Upon arrival to the village, you will walk by the forest passing rice fields, small rivers and pineapple plantations. Here there are many fruit bearing trees like cashew, star apple, “duhat” – the Philippine version of grapes, jackfruit, avocado, mango and pomelo among others, also aromatic and herbal plants like laurel, pandan and anato. Up the hills is where the “money tree” could be found. It is the tree which is used in making the Philippine money – peso. At the end of the trekking trail are the beautiful waterfalls called “Bugtong-bato” meaning stone.
Locals believed that during the early days, a great famine and drought strike the land. In search for water, a prince hit a big stone from where water gushed rapidly until it formed into warerfalls. Nowadays, the big stone is still can be found in the middle of a creek near the waterfalls. Overall, there are 7 beautiful waterfalls here with different heights and deepness, but tourists could only yet climb until the third. The first and second falls which are on top of each other are good for swimming especially for kids because the water here is not too deep. Further top is the third falls which has a deep basin and is good for diving. The remaining falls on top of the third falls are for those who seek extreme experience. There are native huts on the creek near the foot of the first falls. Here, a sumptuous lunch awaits the tourists: grilled fish or meat, vegetable stew, chicken stew in soy sauce, pork soup with bananas and sweet potatoes or fish sour soup – a version of Russian “ukha”, Philippine rice, fruits of the season and of course coconut milk.
ATV SAFARI (ALL TERRAIN VEHICLE): Explore Boracay by riding individually into these four-wheel ATV vehicles. Each vehicle could accommodate one or two passengers. Ride up to the highest point in Boracay – the Mt. Luho. There is a viewing deck on top of this mountain, where you can see the whole island of Boracay in a bird’s eye view. There is also a mini-zoo in Mt. Luho where you could see snakes, eagles and monkeys. Ride a little bit further and pass through a butterfly garden where you could see different species of Philippine butterflies and flying foxes. Pass through villages and see typical lives of Filipinos.
As a whole, the Philippines boast of its wide variety of marine species, hence the country has some of the best dive sites in Southeast Asia. Approximately, the Philippine coastline measures 20,000 km, coral reef – 40,000 km2 and has over 500 different types of coral and more than 2,400 types of fish.
There are some 30 sites around Boracay and neighboring islands with a well established infrastructure for beginners and the more experienced alike. For all levels especially beginners, try dive sites such Crocodile island, Friday’s rock, Laurel, Balinghai, The Valley, Angol Point, Santos Place and Malabunot. The depths of these sites vary from 4 to 25 meters. These sites are also good for scuba diving and underwater photography. Species of flora and fauna that could be found in these sites are soft and hard corals, nudibranches, morays, gorgonian sea fans, anemones, feather stars, sponges, anthias, lionfish, angelfish, butterflyfish, boxfish, scorpionfish, sweetlips, pipefish, eels, sea snake, pygmy seahorses, snapper, grouper, batfish, large bass, surgeonfish, damselfish, clownfish, triggerfish, emperorfish, octopus, mantis shrimp, porcelain crabs, stingrays and hawkbill turtles. For advanced open water, try Camia II Wreck dive site at 29 meters deep. For experienced divers, try Yapak 2 at 32 meters deep you can find red-tooth triggerfish, grey reef and white tip sharks, jacks, tuna, snapper, sweetlips and barracudas. For extra adventure, try the Night Adventure Dive where the shallow shore is spectacular at night. Also enjoy the bioluminescent ‘fireworks’ by putting your torch to your chest and swishing the water with your hand.
The truth is, the local government declared the waters surrounding Boracay as off-limits to fishing activities. The ban aims to protect marine resources around the island, including coral reefs from the destruction brought by the fishing boat anchors. Unfortunately, there are operators in Boracay offering fishing to the clueless tourists.
If you are into fishing, we suggest that you seek first the advice of the Russian Information Center near Lapu-lapu Dive Center to know where it is permitted to fish and where there are actually big fishes.
When night falls over Boracay, the island bursts into fun, wacky, musical, romantic, adventurous and culinary ambience. In central Boracay – the White Beach, a long line of restaurants opens for dining. You may choose an outdoor table near the beach under the tall coconut trees. The calm and cool breeze of the sea, flickering lights from lighted sand castles under the starry night give a relaxing and romantic ambience. Or you could chill out in cafes and bars where musical bands play their pieces. Other bars have karaokes where you could sing your heart out from a wide selection of songs and playlists. Some restaurants also have night presentations of fire dance and Philippine folk dances. If you are into dancing, there are disco clubs in some bars playing latino music, hip-hops and technos until the break of dawn. For parents travelling with kids, in D*Mall you can ride the Ferris Wheel, climb walls, play basketball, shop for souvenir items and a lot more.
WHAT TO TRY
Don’t leave Boracay without experiencing the following:
MASSAGE: In White Beach there are lots of spa and massage parlors offering different services such as foot spa, oil massage, thai and Swedish massage, whole body massage and traditional Philippine massage. But above all, we recommend that you try stone massage where your body will be rubbed by warm and smooth volcanic stones. Near D*Mall, there is a petite massage parlor called Boracay Therapeutic Massage where service is excellent. They also offer in-house massage services for a total relaxation in the comfort of your own room.
HENNA TATOO: Right at the beachfront, there are stalls offering tattoo services. There are many tattoo designs you could choose from. And they are using henna (a natural plant coloring) that could be washed out after a few days.
HAIR BRAID: For a different, fun and more exotic hair style, try to get your hair braided. There are lots of stalls offering these services at the beachfront.
TRICYCLE: A fun (and extreme for some) and practical way to explore and move about the island is by means of the humble tricycle. It’s a kind of motorbike with a side car for passengers to sit in. But don’t be fooled by its humble appearance, its sturdy built could get you up and down the sloppy street of Boracay with no hassle and it could accommodate 8-20 filipino passengers at a time!
COCK FIGHTING: Since pre-Hispanic times, cock fighting has been a popular entertainment and sport in the Philippines. The combatants, known as gamecocks, are specially bred birds, conditioned for increased stamina and strength. Cocks possess congenital aggression toward all males of the same species. Cocks are given the best of care until near the age of two years old. They are conditioned, much like professional athletes prior to events or shows. The place where the fights happen is called the “cockpit”. Before the actual fight, people put bet on their favorite cock. If the cock wins, the owner wins money just as the persons who visit the fights and put their money on the winning cock. During the fight locally called “sabong”, the fighting cocks wear sharp razor blades fixed on their legs. The duel ends by the death or (bloody) flight of one of the cocks’. Take part in this traditional gambling game. Even try to hold fighting cocks and put them in a fight. Or learn how to place bet on your favorite cock by using hand signals. And if you are lucky, you could win! Goodluck!