Eight Awesome Activities in Boracay

  • 01 of 08

    Island-Hopping in Boracay

    Paraw lining White Beach, Boracay Island, Philippines.
    ••• Paraw lining White Beach, Boracay Island, Philippines. Image © Dayanetang / Creative Commons.

    Boracay is best appreciated when you venture out into its waters. There are several ways to explore the sea and smaller islands around Boracay, ranging from the traditional to the tres chic.

    Paraw are traditional sailboats with outriggers, and are available for rent from freelancers on White Beach or by inquiry with your Boracay resort. One paraw can accommodate up to six passengers, taking them to remote Boracay beaches like Puka Shell and Balinghai Beach, combining snorkeling trips with a barbecue dinner. These boats can also venture as far out as Panay Island and the neighboring Carabao Islands.

    Red Pirates (Phone: +63 36 288 5767; mobile +63 915 203 0790; red-pirates.blogspot.com) rents out paraw, and charges US$13, or PHP 600 per hour.

    Chartered yacht. If you have something grander planned, rent a that lets you go further afield in style. Charter a yacht for extended sailing trips around Boracay and neighboring islands, or just enjoy the sunset from the deck.

    The good ship Maha...MOREl is a 42-foot cruising catamaran that offers far more comfort and safety than the paraw - it has four double cabins and two heads, spacious saloons, and comfortable seating above decks. Contact D’Boracay Sailing Experience for charter. Prices available upon request - call Steve +63 906 308 8614, or contact Lilyan at +63 927 396 7772 or Lilyan@boracay-sailing.com Visit their website at boracay-sailing.com for pictures and specifications.

    The Waling Waling Beach Hotel (Station 1; Phone: +63 36 288 5555; waling.com; walingboracay@yahoo.com) offers a private yacht for charter. About US$138, or PHP 6000 per hour, minimum of two passengers, plus US$4.60 or PHP 200 per additional person. The yacht is popular with Boracay visitors who want to see the sunset from out in the sea.

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  • 02 of 08

    Boracay Kiteboarding

    Kiteboarder off Boracay Island, Philippines.
    ••• Kiteboarder off Boracay Island, Philippines. Image © Angelo Juan Ramos / Creative Commons.

    Kiteboarding is one of Boracay’s most popular watersports. Kiteboarders use a large kite to travel across the water on a small surfboard. From November to March, kiteboarders swarm Bulabog Beach to take advantage of the gusty habagat winds.

    The secret is out, and kiteboarders from all over the world now know about Boracay’s kiteboarding scene. If you’re a veteran kiteboarder, you can join other enthusiasts on Boracay’s waves, even compete in events like the Neil Pryde Boracay International Funboard Cup (boracaywindsurfing.com). If you’re a newbie, you can begin lessons on Bulabog Beach - kiteboarding centers offer introductory classes from US$67 or PHP 2,900 up.

    Local kiteboarding centers rent out good-quality equipment at reasonable prices, along with skilled instructors to guide new kiteboarders through their first few hours at sea.

    Freestyle Academy Kitesurf Center offers a 1.5 hour introductory course for US$69 or PHP 3000. They can be found between 7Stones & Alice in Wonderland...MORE on Bulabog Beach. Telephone: +63 920 900 1634; info@freestyle-boracay.com; freestyle-boracay.com.

    Hangin Kite Center has 2 kite shops on Boracay - one each on Bulabog Beach and White Beach. 2-hour discovery kiteboarding lessons available at US$65, or EUR 45. Telephone: +63 36 288 3663, +63 36 288 3766, +63 36 288 6043; kite-asia.com.

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  • 03 of 08

    Parasailing in Boracay

    Parasailing off Boracay, Philippines.
    ••• Parasailing off Boracay, Philippines. Image © Anjum / Creative Commons.

    Boracay doesn’t have an airport of its own, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fly around the island. You can take wing for at least fifteen minutes when you go parasailing above Boracay. Parasailers are attached to a parachute and towed behind a speedboat; the speed creates lift, and the parasailer flies over a hundred feet above the sea.

    The parachute is usually deployed about half a mile away from White Beach to minimize accidents. But we’d be lying if we said this was totally safe - a couple of deaths have been reported in Boracay from parasailing expeditions gone wrong, so take appropriate precautions. Parasail operators will refuse to serve you if the weather is too rough for a safe ride, but if the sky looks doubtful, play it safe and reschedule.

    Parasailing rates vary depending on the season; Diamond Watersports (+63 36 288 6621 / +63 36 288 6681 / +63 36 288 5711) charges US$57, or PHP 2500 per person during high and peak seasons, but only US$ 23 or PHP 1000 during low...MORE season.

    Boracay Garden Hotel (Phone: +63 36 288 6672; seraphboracay.com) charges about US$45 or PHP 1800 per person; the rate is the same all year round.

    A few pro tips - you can bring a camera to capture the moment, but be sure to inform the handlers beforehand, as some parasail operators like to slow down and “dip” their guests in the water.

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  • 04 of 08

    Boracay Diving

    Under the seas off Boracay, Philippines.
    ••• Under the seas off Boracay, Philippines. Image © Free Willy Diving, used with permission.

    Boracay is beautiful, both above and under the water. The seas around Boracay harbor more than thirty amazing diving spots, with a surfeit of reefs, wrecks, and rare tropical fish.

    Expert and newbie divers alike are well-served in Boracay, given the diversity of diving sites and the number of dive shops on the island. You can choose a diving package with length and intensity depending on your budget and expertise.

    Newbies can try discovery dives that require no PADI certification, or take PADI certification courses. Experienced divers can pursue night diving, wreck diving, and advanced open water dives around Boracay and its neighboring islands. If you have the cash and time to spare, go on a multi-day dive safari on a liveaboard cruise to explore everything that Boracay has to offer.

    Rates vary depending on the duration of the dive - a short discovery course may cost as little as US$69 or PHP 3000, while a two-day safari might cost US$346 or PHP 15000.

    Free Willy Diving (Phone: +63...MORE 918 706 0137 / +63 36 288 5337; fhreewilly@yahoo.com; freewillydiving.com) north of Station 2 offers 10% discount for reservations made over email.

    Blue Mango Dive Center (Phone: +63 36 288 5170; info@bluemangoinn.com; boracaydive.com) operates next to the 14-room Blue Mango Inn on Station 3.

    Victory Divers (Phone: +63 36 288 3209; info@victorydivers.com; victorydivers.com) offers Nitrox diving with no extra charge.

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  • 05 of 08

    ATV/Off-Road Buggies in Boracay

    ATV parked on the trail in Boracay, Philippines.
    ••• ATV parked on the trail in Boracay, Philippines. Image © Paul Michael Cruz, used with permission.

    ATVs are four-wheel buggies that can be rented by the hour to explore the dirt roads criss-crossing the hills in Boracay’s north end. Places like Tanawin Viewpoint and an aviary can be reached via ATV - these vehicles are not permitted to operate on the Central Highway.

    Off-road providers may give you a choice of ATV (one-seater) or “Bugcar” (2-seater); G1 ATV (Phone: +63 36 288 4235; facebook) charges about US$14 or PHP 600 per hour for the “Bugcar”, and only US$7 or PHP 300 per hour for the ATV. You can also try Red Coral Best One (Phone: +63 36 288 4273; rano4019@nate.com) for a comparable ATV experience.

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  • 06 of 08

    Dining in Boracay

    Jammers Restaurant at D’Mall, Boracay Island, Philippines.
    ••• Jammers Restaurant at D’Mall, Boracay Island, Philippines. Mike Aquino, licensed to About.com.

    Boracay’s international crowd has enriched the island’s culinary scene. Cyma serves authentic Greek cuisine, while Moroccan food lovers should try Kasbah. Ole excels in Cuban, Mexican, and Spanish food altogether, along with an excellent wine and drink list. (The pretty serving girls do not hurt its prospects at all.)

    Jonah's Fruit Shake & Snack Bar serves a mango fruitshake unparalleled in richness and texture. Lemoni Café serves excellent (strong) coffee and the island’s best lemon tarts. For coffee with a more folksy atmosphere, try Real Coffee & Tea Café.

    Boracay is heaven for meat lovers. Paraiso Grill serves great Filipino grilled food right on the beach. Two options in D’Mall cater to hardcore carnivores - Bite Club, with its oversize burgers, and Slammers, a beachfront burger and fries joint.

    Most of these places are right on D’Mall on Station 2.

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  • 07 of 08

    Nightlife in Boracay

    There’s always a party on at Boracay, Philippines.
    ••• There’s always a party on at Boracay, Philippines. Image © Getty Images.

    At night, Boracay comes alive with people homing in on the island’s bars’ cheap drinks and delicious food. The bars are game for gimmicks: Boracay’s most enduring challenge belongs to Cocomangas, whose "Still standing after 15" challenge is a rite of passage for many first-time Boracay visitors. (Winners must finish 15 shots to get a t-shirt and their name on a plaque on the wall.)

    Bom Bom Bar is a Filipino-style beach bar with live music and a nice laid-back air. Nigi Nigi Nu Noos offers great international food AND a place to watch beachgoers while enjoying a beer under the stars. Hey Jude has a long happy hour and the best thin-crust pizza on the island.

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  • 08 of 08

    Boracay Spas and Massage Treatments

    Spa treatment at Mandala Spa, Boracay, Philippines.
    ••• Spa treatment at Mandala Spa, Boracay, Philippines. Image © Mandala Spa & Villas, used with permission.

    The burgeoning spa industry in Boracay caters to travelers who want to relax when on the island. You can have a massage done right in front of your beach resort; roving masseuses offer their services and provide massages out in the open for about PHP 300.

    If you want a real, professional treatment, full-service spas like Mandala Spa are ready to oblige; their award-winning Hilot Trilogy(about US$88, or PHP 3850) adapts traditional Filipino massage treatments into a thoroughly relaxing, trance-inducing one-hour spa session. Read our full review of the Spa (and their treatments) here: Review of Mandala Spa & Villas in Boracay, Philippines.

    Tirta Spa (+63 36 288 6841 / +63 36 288 6481 / +63 920 918 4857; info@tirtaspa.com; tirtaspa.com) is a full-service spa with a decidedly Balinese atmosphere. Male spa enthusiasts will appreciate its men-only treatments.

    Lava Stone Spa (Phone: +63 36 288 6862 / +63 916 539 1969; lava-jeremy@hotmail.com) is near Kingfisher’s...MORE Farm in Barangay Manoc-Manoc south of Boracay, and specializes in warming two-hour lava stone massages.

    Boracay Yasuragi Spa (Phone: +63 36 288 5006 / +63 36 288 5049; boracaysurfside.com) is attached to Boracay Surfside Resort on White Beach, Station 3, and offers relatively inexpensive spa services. Their basic relaxation package begins at about US$11 or PHP 500.