Feel the summer vibes all year round on Boracay, a small island in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. This tourist destination is primarily known for its white-sand beaches and vibrant nightlife, as well as for being a haven for watersport enthusiasts. Diving, snorkelling, kayaking, and windsurfing, you name it and you’re sure to find it in Boracay!
Boracay’s main beach, often referred as White Beach, is divided into three parts: Station 1, Station 2, and Station 3. At Station 1, you will find expensive hotels and other luxury facilities, while Station 2 is known as the food and party hub. If you are looking for privacy, the quietest part of the beach is located at the southernmost corner of Boracay, which is Station 3. There are also small islets nearby, which you can visit via a short boat ride.
If you’re planning your first trip to the beautiful island, check out this Handy Guide for first time travelers to Boracay by The Daily Roar.
Ready for an exciting beach trip? Whether you are looking for adrenaline-pumping activities or you’re just aiming to have a relaxing vacation, Boracay has something great in store for you. Read on to find out about the top 10 things to do in Boracay, one of Philippines’ most popular beach destinations:
1. Jump off a cliff!
Let’s go straight to the most thrilling activity there is: cliff diving! At Magic Island, a popular cliff-diving site just a few minutes away from the beach proper, there are diving boards that stand 15 to 30 feet (4.5 to 9 meters) high, which you can access with a minimal entrance fee. The fee includes unlimited use of the diving boards, but excludes the use of protective gear such as life vests. Guests are advised to bring their own or rent from shops at White Beach.
Address: Magic Island, Boracay
Entrance fee: 3 USD
Opening Hours: 6 am to 6 pm
Duration: 2 to 4 hours
Access: Boats that depart from Station 1
For a fabulous meet and greet with Boracay’s underwater residents, go scuba diving! There are 14 dive sites in the area with varying difficulty levels and features. For beginners, you can try Angol Point, which is characterized by reefs with sea grass, or Coral Garden, where you will find shoals of plenty of colourful fish. Meanwhile, Balinghai and Bat Cave are for more experienced divers since these sites possess moderate to strong currents. For advanced divers, some of the suggested dive sites include Camia Wreck, Virgin Drop, Yapak, Laurel Islands, and Channel Drift. Customized scuba diving tours can be arranged for visitors; just ask your hotel or your local tour provider.
Boracay Island New Wave Divers
Address: Malay, Aklan, Philippines
Price: from 34 USD
Opening Hours: 8 am - 8 pm
Duration: around 4 hours required
Access: Located along Station 1 of White Beach
Contact: +63916 423 5552
Website: Boracay Island New Wave Divers
Beginners need not fret. There are tours with the option of getting an instructor that will coach you on the basics before letting you explore the deep end!
WaterColors - Discover Scuba Diving in Boracay
Duration: 3 hours
3. Paddleboarding and kayaking
Located 30 minutes away from Boracay’s Station 1, Ariel’s Point offers an array of water activities for beach lovers. It is a protected and unspoiled area along Buruanga, a perfect starting point for kayaking and exploring nearby deserted beaches. You can choose from either a single kayak or a tandem kayak. The fees include the use of life jackets for the guest’s safety. Another water activity you can do on the beautiful waters at Boracay is stand-up paddleboarding. Even beginners in paddleboarding are welcome here. In fact, their brand new boards are specifically designed for novice users. Meanwhile, the main beach is also teeming with water activities, if you don’t want to go too far. You can ride jetskis, go parasailing, or try windsurfing!
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Frolicking at White Beach is satisfying on its own, but Boracay’s less-crowded corners and the nearby islands are also worth exploring. If you wish to see other parts of Boracay, you can join an island-hopping tour. Most of these tours visit Puka Shell Beach, sometimes referred as Boracay’s Hidden Gem, for its unspoilt and uncommercialized shores. Another must-see is Crocodile Island, aptly-named because it looks, from a distance, like the head of the reptile. Other quieter beaches you can visit are Ilig-iligan Beach and Lapus-Lapus Beach.
You can book a tour to bring you around the island too!
Boracay Island Hopping
Price: from 26 USD
Duration: around 6 hours required.
5. Go on a hike!
Boracay is not just about the sand and the waters. Hiking enthusiasts would surely be thrilled to know that the island’s highest point, Mount Luho, is open to the public for outdoor activities. On the way up, you can visit a wildlife park where you will find a Philippine eagle, different species of birds, snakes, monkeys, and wild cats. The entrance fee is just 1 USD. Afterwards, you can continue to the viewing deck, boasting a 360-degree view of the whole island. It’s a nice reward after conquering the trails leading up to the summit. If you don’t like walking long distances, you can rent an all terrain vehicle (ATV) or a buggy car, which you can take to Mount Luho instead.
6. Mermaid swimming
If you dreamed of being a mermaid when you were younger, the Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy in Boracay can make such a fantasy come true. They offer mermaid swimming lessons that aim to familiarize participants with the mermaid tail. Classes last for 90 minutes and also include a directed mini-photoshoot. From mid-October to June, the mermaid workshop is held at White Beach. Meanwhile, from July to early October, they conduct it in a private pool due to the southwest monsoon that causes strong winds at the beachfront. If you decide to take it to the next level, you can even continue with an Advanced Mermaid Swimming Lesson and a Mermaid Performer Course!
Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy
Address: Victory Divers, Boracay
Price: from 43 USD
Opening Hours: 9 am - 5 pm. Classes currently by appointment only
Duration: around 3 hours required
Access: Station 2, beside Nigi Nigi Resort
Contact: +63917 324 3947
Website: Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy
7. Mangrove Nursery
Mangrove Nursery, although not located along Boracay’s main thoroughfare, is still worth a visit for its refreshing views and admirable efforts in conserving the trees along the coastal swamp. Since it is not yet a mainstream tourist destination, you can have the place practically to yourself, especially during weekdays. Enjoy walking on the wooden planks serving as a boardwalk and then quench your thirst with a serving of local coconut juice. Sit-on-top kayaks are also available for rental. You can use these to further explore the narrow waterways.
8. Pub crawl
Your Boracay vacation wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the nightlife on the beach. One of the most exciting ways to do this is to join the Boracay PubCrawl, a bar-hopping tour branded as a “moving party on the beach.” More than 50 people from all over the world join the fun each night, where they enjoy discounts on drinks, free entrance to bars, and, of course, new friendships. Interested participants are advised to book in advance through Boracay PubCrawl’s website.
Address: Balabag, Boracay Island
Price: 21 USD (discounts sometimes available)
Opening Hours: 7.30 am - 1.30 am
Duration: around 4 - 5 hours required
Access: Located along Boracay Station 2
Contact: +63906 207 5343
Website: Boracay Pub Crawl
9. Feast on seafood
Since you’re already in Boracay, why not grab the chance to enjoy freshly-caught seafood? Traditional Filipino wet markets still operate on the island, the most popular of which is called D’Talipapa. Here, you can buy the freshest of fish, shrimps, crabs, and other kinds of seafood, as well as meat products, vegetables, and other basic cooking ingredients. After buying, you can bring these raw items to a restaurant known locally as a Paluto and there, they’ll gladly cook the meal you want for a minimal fee. This dining experience is preferred by budget travelers since it is cheaper than buying a meal at a hotel restaurant. It is also a great opportunity to get closer to the local culture.
10. Try local delicacies
Speaking of food, there are some other local delicacies you shouldn’t miss when in Boracay. First, there’s the chorizo burger, which is basically a grilled chorizo sandwiched in a bun. You can choose from a sweet or a spicy sauce, or enjoy it plain. It is sold along the food stalls at White Beach, along with other grilled food such as dried squid and chicken liver. For drinks, head to Jonah’s Fruit Shakes, a famous refreshment store with various branches scattered throughout the island. They serve sweet smoothies made from fresh fruits such as mangoes, bananas, and strawberries.
Jonah's Fruit Shakes & Restaurant
Address: Balabag, Boracay Island
Price: from 3 USD
Opening Hours: 9 am - 6 pm
Access: Located along Station 1 of White Beach
A summer to remember
Boracay is a well-loved tourist destination both by locals and foreign travelers. The island doesn’t run out of interesting activities, whether along the shores or inland. You have to come and experience them for yourself at least once in your lifetime!
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