Boracay has been internationally recognized as one of the best beaches in the world. Powdery white sands and crystal clear blue waters are two of the characteristics that make it the most prominent destination in the Philippines. Located in the Visayas region, Boracay is part of the province of Aklan, also known for its colorful Ati-Atihan Festival.
Beachcombing and Swimming in the White Beach of Boracay
There are two major beaches in the island that are buzzing with tourism activities: White Beach and Bulabog Beach. The 4km-long White Beach is the most popular place in Boracay. It serves as the island's commercial center and it is where most visitors congregate.
White Beach is divided into primary boat stations-Station 1, 2, and 3-which is also used as reference as to the location of resorts, hotels and other establishments. All the high-end and mid-range accommodations are located in Station 1. It has the finest sand in the island, and it is also where the famous and well-photographed volcanic formation called Willy's Rock is located.
Station 2 at the center of White Beach is where most of the action is. Most of the bars and best restaurants are here. Travelers who want to stay close to the party scene prefer to stay in this area. The island's only shopping mall -D'Mall – is in Station Two, and tourists can find anything in the store from souvenirs to kinky underwear. Station 3, meanwhile, is for people who are after budget accommodations and a quiet time to relax.
Bulabog Beach, on the other hand, is a popular area outdoor sports like kite boarding and windsurfing.
Scuba Diving, Paraw Sailing, Island Hopping, and Helmet Diving in Boracay
Aside from swimming, Boracay also offers a lot of choices in terms of water sports. Scuba diving is very popular, and there are many dive shops that offer both introductory diving and open water courses. With 30 dive sites around the island, both beginners and expert divers will have a lot of options to choose from.
Sailing around the island in a paraw is also a popular choice for most visitors. A paraw is a single-hulled boat made of wood and bamboo. One can be rented to go around the island, and even for island-hopping and snorkeling. These small boats are safe and sturdy, and can go at high speeds on a windy day.
One can also go helmet diving in Boracay. Also called reef walking, it is unique to the island, allowing a person to dive into deep waters and walk on the seafloor. Instead of a diving tank used in scuba diving, one wears a helmet with a long hose connected to an oxygen tank in the boat.
Other Things to Do in Boracay
For those who want something different, Boracay has five cliff diving sites in Ariel's Point, located at the fishing village of Buruanga. Those wanting to go on a moderate trek can opt for Boracay's highest peak, Mt. Luho. Also located in its vicinity is a wildlife reserve. Tricycles or All-Terrain Vehicles may also be rented to get to the jump-off.
Food tripping can also be done in the island. There is a wide array of local and international cuisines, with fresh seafood as the specialty. There are Spanish, Mexican, and Greek restaurants, among others, as well as a restaurant or two for the health conscious.
Best Time to Go to Boracay
The best time to go is during the off-peak season, from June to September / October. It is a bit windy during these months, and there is moderate to heavy rainfall. With this weather, there are lesser visitors coming to the island and some accommodations and services can be had for lower prices.
Peak season is from October to May, characterized by a lot of tourists and pricier accommodations. The most popular time is during long public holidays such as Christmas, New Year and the Holy Week. Some resorts charge higher and bookings must be made in advance to ensure a hassle-free vacation.
With a wide range of activity options that provides convenience to travelers, Boracay is a haven not only for beach lovers but also for people who can appreciate the grandeur of nature that surrounds the island. Boracay is not just a destination but an unforgettable experience to be had.
For a beach and top tourist destination near Manila, check out Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro. It has a lot to offer as well, especially for divers.