Discover some of the fantastic things to do on a visit to Boracay, a tropical island pardise in the Philippines
At 23, Johanes Godoy left her 8 to 5 job to pursue the life of travel while sharing her adventures and misadventures on her travel blog, wanderera.com. If not travelling, she is usually busy playing with her dog and cats or going on a food trip with her husband.
Are you dreaming of visiting a tropical paradise? Why not check out Boracay in the Philippines?
This island may be small but it boasts a 4km long beach with powder-soft, white sand and crystal clear waters. In fact, this is Asia’s longest white beach!
Local tip: Boracay is a very popular destination in the Philippines but you may run into a few scams if you’re not careful. This guide for first time visitors to Boracay has a list of the most common scams you should look out for!
If you’re thinking of going to Boracay, here are the top things to do that you really shouldn’t miss!
Indulge in seafood paluto services
Boracay is home to a lot of fishermen and has several neighbouring fishing villages. So it’s no surprise that most of the food sold in the island is seafood. You can find a lot of restaurants with big aquariums filled with huge crabs, lobsters, and more.
Aside from freshly cooked seafood, you can also try visiting local restaurants offering paluto services. These allow you to choose live and fresh seafood which the restaurant will then cook for you. You can request what kind of dish or how you want them to cook your food.
Some of the paluto services we found during our trip were overpriced, so ask the locals which restaurants they’d recommend for the best seafood experience.
Go paraw sailing
A Paraw is a local outrigger boat that’s offered to tourists who want to go sailing throughout the day. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that you can only try in Boracay.
Plus, with how the boat is structured, you’ve got yourself a pretty awesome seat with the best views.
I’d recommend you try paraw sailing during sunset for an unobstructed view of the sky.
Tour the island by helicopter
Don’t fancy touring the island on foot, or perhaps you want to get an aerial view of Boracay? You can go on a helicopter tour around the island instead!
A tour of Boracay by helicopter will last around 10 to 20 minutes. It’s an exciting way to see the island, especially if you’ve never ridden a helicopter before. And the helicopter tours in Boracay are some of the most affordable ones you will find, costing about P4500 Philippine pesos (£75) for three people.
Explore Puka Beach
Boracay’s White Beach isn’t the only beach found on the island. If you would prefer a less crowded beach, head over to the Puka beach.
The sand here isn’t nearly as white or powdery as the sand found at the White Beach. It’s more of a pinkish-cream in color and has some pebbles here and there. There are no resorts here – only you, the sand, beach, and a few locals selling some drinks and snacks.
Budget Tip: Bring your own food and water. The ones sold in Puka Beach are nearly three times more expensive than the prices in shops!
Learn how to swim like a mermaid
If you’ve ever dreamt of becoming a mermaid, now’s your chance!
Boracay has a Mermaid Swimming Academy which offers you the chance to swap your legs for a mermaid tail.
With the help of instructors from the International Mermaid Swimming Instructors Association, you can learn to use your tail to glide, swim, and dive into the deep sea. Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take photos!
Shop and dine at D’Mall
Boracay’s most famous mall is D’Mall, which is located in Boracay’s Station 2 just between the main road and the white beach.
Unlike usual malls, D’Mall is an open-air mall full of stalls, shops and local restaurants offering different cuisines.
This is the perfect place to find souvenirs at an affordable rate and dig into some local food. I recommend trying the coconut ice cream served in coconut husks at Coco Mama, burgers at Steampunk, and affordable but delicious local dishes at Jasper’s Tapsilog and Restaurant.
Kitesurf on Bulabog Beach
People all over the world frequent Boracay for being one of the best spots for kitesurfing.
You can learn the basics of kite surfing from professional IKO certified instructors and rent some gear from the shops along Bulabog beach.
You might see boards advertising island hopping activities and helmet diving, but I wouldn’t recommend these.
Compared to island hopping in other parts of the country, there’s not much to see in Boracay’s island hopping. And as for helmet diving, on the other hand, ou’ll be waiting in line for hours before it’s your turn. And by the time you’re under the water, there’s only a handful of fishes and only one or two corals in sight. Snorkelling is so much better than going helmet diving.
Cliff dive at Ariel’s Point
Want to add some thrill to your holiday? Why not try cliff diving at Ariel’s Point, a popular eco-adventure resort where you can also kayak, paddleboard, and snorkel.
To get there, you’ll need to rent a boat, but you can join a tour if you’re on a budget. Once you get to Ariel’s Point, you will need to climb up some rocky steps until you reach the three diving platforms.
If you’re not afraid of heights, you can head straight up to the 15m high platform. But if it’s your first time, you can always start with the 3m high platform first, and work your way up to the 15m high platform later.
All in all, there’s much more to Boracay than its powder white sand and clear blue waters. A few days in Boracay won’t be enough – I suggest staying on the island for a week or two so you can explore and have the best time!