When one talks about the beaches in the Philippines, Boracay is always included in the list. The beauty of this incomparable island in Aklan is renowned worldwide and tourists keep on coming in to experience this slice of paradise in Southeast Asia. Over the years, Boracay has become so mainstream that some people start to question if it’s still worth visiting. If you ask both locals and foreigners alike, the answer is still a resounding yes. It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-timer or you’ve been to Boracay Island numerous times, this magical island is still worth the plane or boat ticket many times over. Tourists from all over the world will tell you countless reasons why Boracay is still worth the visit.
Puka_beach by Johnycanal – Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Image:Phuka_beach.jpg. Licensed under CC BY-SA 1.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Boracay still is, and will always be, full of surprises, even if you’ve been here several times. The island is more than just lounging in the powdery white sand or partying from sunset to sunrise, especially if you know how to choose the best travel destinations. There are lots of other things to do here if you make the effort to explore the island and interact with the locals. If you’re ready to experience a different type of Boracay vacation, here are some of the new things to see and do to make your vacation worth your while.
Get over your fear of heights and go parasailing
Not everyone has the stomach to go up in the air with the vast ocean at their feet. But if you’re raring to do something truly memorable, get over your fear of heights and try parasailing. You will be strapped to a seat in a parachute and whisked off to the sky for around 15 minutes minimum.
Parasailing in Boracay by Vilson V. Venezuela – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Safety is not really an issue since countless tourists have tried it. If you start to get cold feet before your 15 minutes is up, you can signal to the operator using your arm and he will pull you down immediately. But it’s recommended that you maximize your time; the ride’s going to cost you around PHP 2,200, an amount that not all tourists can afford.
Try different accommodations
If you’re planning to visit Boracay again, forget about staying in one of those luxury accommodations and try something new. You’ll never run out of clean and affordable accommodation in the island, which should be good news for your wallet. Watch out for booking deals and early bird rates to get great deals on lodging and transportation. Try looking for rooms at the quieter parts of the island if you’re tired of the party crowds in Station 2.
Get a tattoo and a hair braid
Get a Tattoo in Boracay
This may sound too tourist-y, but it’s just part of the beach vibe. If you haven’t tried getting a henna tattoo or your hair braided, now is the perfect time. Fortunately, there are lots of artists offering their services all over the island so you can shop around for the best prices. Better yet, ask a friend or two who’ve done it before and get recommendations. Prices for henna tattoos vary depending on size and intricacy of design, so this will be on the 150-600 peso range. Haggling is totally welcome and most artists will gladly offer discounts.
If you have longish hair, then try getting your hair braided. You can sit and stare peacefully at the beach while the artist works on your hair. This is actually a very relaxing experience so enjoy and get your Zen on.
With the help of a boatman, you can visit the Crystal Cove Caves, where you can go snorkeling and trekking. You have to rent a boat that is good for six persons so it’s best to do this with a group. The breathtaking view inside and outside the caves is already worth the trip. Make sure to wear beach sandals since there are rocky areas you have to walk through. Schedule your trip properly so you can watch the sunset during your visit.
Enjoy a bumpy ride
ATV Ride in Boracay Island
If you’ve had enough of lazy sunbathing, then it’s high time that you do something that will jolt your adrenaline. Test your instincts and reflexes and hop on an ATV or buggy car. If this is your first time, you’ll be given instructions first before you’re allowed to ride on a car. You’ll need a driver’s license for this. You can rent the car by the hour and use it to explore the rougher portions of the island. Prices range from 500-1500 per hour of ride, depending on the season.
Enjoy the view from Mount Luho
What better way to enjoy a magnificent view of the island than way up on a mountain? Mount Luho is great for those who are looking for an easy to moderate climb, in which the reward is a panoramic view of the whole of Boracay. The view deck gives climbers unobstructed view of the island. You can schedule your trek or climb by inquiring at the front desk of your hotel or asking a travel center. Make sure to take pictures of the cute and harmless animals you’ll meet along the way.
View from Mount Luho
Check out the corals without getting wet
If you want to see the lovely corals but you don’t have the courage to dip into the deep waters, then riding a glass-bottomed boat is the next best thing. The captain will take you around the best spots to see corals and other marine life. The boat can accommodate 20 people and the ride costs around PHP 650.
Go skin-diving in Crocodile Island
No, it doesn’t involve diving into croc territory. The island is called such because the rock formation looks like a resting crocodile when observed from afar. Here you can see more corals, rocks, and fishes. You can take bread to feed to the fishes – watch them swarm around you when you drop those bread crumbs. Take your underwater camera and knock yourself out taking pictures.
Sunset in Boracay by Joannerfabregas – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Don’t pass up the chance to visit Boracay again just because you’re dreading to encounter same old stuff. There’s always something new to do on the island, whether you’re looking for a more adventurous experience or you just want to chill out and relax. Boracay is the type of place that gets more interesting every time you come to visit. Be thankful that you have the opportunity to enjoy it as often as you can.