Boracay for Shopaholics
Boracay has several options for shopaholics, ranging from small boutiques and gift shops to numerous high-end stores. What is even more indulging about the shopping scene is that bargaining is possible, and so, you can get some really good deals.
Known the world over for its stunningly picturesque white sand beaches, the Boracay Island, situated just an hour's distance by flight from the Filipino capital city, Manila, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Philippines. The island started gaining in popularity from the 1970s, and since then, it has been attracting and entertaining thousands of visitors from across the globe.
To the connoisseurs of beach vacations, Boracay seems so exciting and welcoming that it, quite ably, competes with the more popular beach holiday destinations, such as some of the Caribbean islands. In fact, the island has much more to offer to its visitors beyond the beaches, which is why more and more people, of late, are seen opting for this Filipino gem. In 2012, the international travel magazine, Travel + Leisure
, declared Boracay Island as the best in the world.
What to do in Boracay
Be it just basking on the beach or indulging in water sports, or enjoying the night life, Boracay will never ever disappoint you. You will find so many unique and interesting activities that you will want to return to this tropical paradise for more. If you plan to visit Boracay this vacation season, glance through Buzzle's list of some of the most awesome things you can indulge in while you are there.
Hop the Islands
Island-hopping is, by far, one of the most popular activities in Boracay. Book a half-day tour in one of the private boats, and visit the island's numerous beautiful beaches. Some of these guided tours also include trips to several private beaches, fish sanctuary, and the island's tropical jungle. Most of these tours also include elaborate 4-course lunches, so you also get a chance to indulge in some authentic Filipino/Italian cuisine.
Explore Crystal Cove
While Crystal Cove island is one of the main stops during the island-hopping tours, do make it a point to visit this island separately so that you can spend some more time exploring it. Apart from the white sand beaches, this island is also famous for its two majestic caves, where you can take guided tours, and indulge in some spelunking adventures.
Indulge in Water Sports
If you are a water sports enthusiast or an adventure-seeker, Boracay is just the right place for you. Boracay offers a huge range of water sports activities, suited for all kinds of visitors. From Paraw sailing to scuba diving to stand-up paddling, and from cliff diving to parasailing to fly fishing, Boracay's water sports scene is just too entertaining. For first-timers, various training courses are also on offer, which can be taken at pretty affordable fees.
Try Reef Walking Instead
No worries if you are not a scuba diving enthusiast; you can still explore the underwater by trying the more relaxing and laid back option of reef walking. All you need to do is to wear an air helmet, and plunge into the medium-deep ocean waters. Walk underwater, feed the fish, or merely take in the underwater panorama, we bet, you will enjoy this activity to the core.
Don't Miss the Zorbing Adventure
Zorbing is a one-of-its-kind activity that you can do in Boracay. Get into a giant orb and roll down a hill, right into the water―sounds crazy, but believe us, it's absolute fun. This is definitely one of the must-do activities on the island―do not forget to wear your swimming costume while entering the zorb though; you will be drenched.
Swim Like a Mermaid
Mermaid is undoubtedly one of the funkiest activities in Boracay; it involves swimming in the sea while wearing monofins and a mermaid tail. While this activity is one of the major attractions for adrenaline junkies, others need not be disappointed. Free monofin swimming classes are offered by the Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy
for people of all ages, and hence, you can surely try your hands at this activity. Plus, it is a great underwater workout, and a very different kind of activity to engage in.
Enjoy the Thrilling Banana Boat Ride
Inflated, giant, banana-shaped boats keep on sailing up and down the waters of Boracay, and each have a capacity of about five to ten passengers. The speed of the boat is slow to begin with, but the real fun begins when its speed starts picking up, as it takes quick turns to knock off passengers into the water. No worries, all passengers are provided with life vests.
How About Some Beach Sports?
With such long expanses of white sand beaches, how can one not indulge in the various, fun beach sports. The beach activities scene in Boracay is spellbinding, and no matter if you are into beach volleyball or beach soccer, you will find it here. Get your own equipment or hire it on the beach, you will never ever cease to be entertained here. What's more? Most of these beach sports are free-of-cost, and hence, you won't have to worry about your budget.
Take a Glass Bottom Boat Tour
This is the way to explore Boracay's marine life without having to dive underwater, or even without getting wet, for that matter. Book a ride in a glass bottom boat, and explore the colorful marine life that surrounds the island―it will be a truly mesmerizing experience. Each of these boats have a capacity of up to 20 passengers and are colored to resemble the clownfish, so these are easy to spot as well.
Trek Mount Luho
Mount Luho is the highest peak on Boracay island, and is definitely worth a visit if you are around. It is not a very difficult trek, but it offers a peaceful retreat from the island's busy and noisy beach scene. There is an observation deck on top, from where you can get an unobstructed, 360° panoramic view of the island and its surroundings; you will never regret your decision to climb up.
Pay Homage at Willy's Rock
One of the landmark attractions of Boracay and also one of the most photographed ones, Willy's Rock on the island's famous White Beach became a pilgrimage spot when the island's devout Catholics installed a statue of Virgin Mary on its top. Most visible at low tide, you can walk up to it from the beach, and just stroll around for some awe-inspiring views.
Ride an ATV
Renting out an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) is an inevitable thing to do if you wish to explore Boracay completely and beyond the beaches. These vehicles can be hired on an hourly basis, and are most useful while exploring the northern part of the island, which comprises several dirt roads, crisscrossing the picturesque hilly terrain.
Treat your taste buds to some sumptuous seafood
Boracay features a large number of seafood restaurants suiting every kind of budget. It is something that you can never miss while in Boracay. Satiate your taste buds with authentic Filipino flavors, and you will keep craving for more. Moreover, a good number of Boracay restaurants set up nice dinners by the beach―it's like having a private, romantic seaside buffet―and with flavorful seafood to chew down on, this is yet another "must-do" on the island.
There are a lot of options when it comes to spending some "me" time in Boracay. Get a cozy beach massage, get a beautiful henna tattoo, and/or get your hair braided by one of the local girls. You can also book your massage/tattoo appointment via your hotel or resort for a little extra fee. Make it a point to indulge in one of these; it is not only physically relaxing, but it will also soothe your soul.
Watch the sun go below the horizon
With its stunning seascape, Boracay definitely ranks amongst the best places in the world to watch the sunset. Ensure that you are on the beach at sunset, and see the sky change hues from bright to dark against the brilliant backdrop of the sailing boats returning home. Take a quiet stroll along the beach till its completely dark, and return with a lot of memories, in the form of pictures.
Boracay's nightlife is seductive
If you thought Boracay's fun ceases as the sun sets, we suggest that you wait until dark. Boracay's nightlife will surely overwhelm you―the entire island tends to transform into a seaside party at night. There is loud music, drinks, and there is endless dancing. But if you are not one of the dance-through-the-night types, sit back on the sand and enjoy the performances of the fire dancers, taking place at different spots along the beaches.
What makes Boracay special is not just its picturesque beaches or beautiful sunset or its lively party scene. On the contrary, it is the wide array of activities that it continues to offer for every kind of visitor. It is the island's ceaseless ability to cater to its variety of tourists year after that makes it one of the popular island destinations in the world.