We sort of repeated the same itinerary we did before and I figured that the place hasn't change that much since then! It is still the same o' humble island with beautiful long white sandy beach but with countless choices of activities available right there at the doorstep of your hotel!
Oh, probably the list of countless of choices seems to have gotten even longer lately. But anyway, I'm going to share with you the 8 things to do in the lobsterpaints' traveling way! Or if you still love my usual travelogue writing style, you can read my November 2011 travelogue series on Boracay here! :D
Before I start with the list...
HOW TO GET THERE
Once you get from wherever you are to NAIA in Manila, you have two options to get yourself to Boracay. Either way, it will take approximately one hour by flight.
Via Kalibo Airport
Kalibo Airport during my first trip to Boracay in November 2011!
The catch about flying from Manila NAIA to Kalibo Airport is that you have to get yourself a land transfer to take you from the airport to Caticlan Jetty that is about two hours drive away...
To me, I would rather spend the two hours on Boracay itself although you can get really beautiful ocean view at some point during the land travel that weaves through the suburbs.
Hop onto a domestic flight headed for Caticlan (Boracay) Airport and experience flying in a teeny plane with only two seats on each side, propellers that takes 10 to 15 minutes before flight to warm up and passengers strictly reminded again and again to stick to their seats assigned so that the aircraft can maintain balance.
This is definitely not a world class experience as compared to most international flights but this hell of an experience takes you closer to the Caticlan Jetty. That said, it is just 10 minutes drive away in contrary to the two hours from Kalibo airport and that definitely saves you lots of time.
As mentioned, land travel between Kalibo Airport to Caticlan Jetty will take you two hours and only 10 minutes from Caticlan (Boracay) Airport to Caticlan Jetty.
3. Bangka/ Ferry Transfer @ Caticlan Jetty
I had travelled across from Caticlan Jetty to Boracay Island via bangka and ferry. And I have got to say it doesn't really matter as long as it gets you across, it is just about 10 minutes ride anyway!
And with that, here's presenting to you...
8 things to do in Boracay!
I know I had preached at the start of my writeup that Boracay is an island with an endless list of things you can do starting from the door steps of your hotel. So, why even bother to hop around to the other islands near Boracay?
There might be a long stretch of beautiful white sandy beach on the island of Boracay, but you have got to get your bums around 15 minutes off the island to snorkeling spots around Crocodile Island and Crystal Cove! That's if you're into snorkeling and checking out those marine life.
On board a bangka... All excited to meet the fishy fishes! :D
Out to the sea we go! :)
I don't own any underwater cameras (I want one for the longest time ever actually...) to be able to show you how awesome the snorkeling spot near Crocodile Island is but I surely can show you how amazing Crystal Cove is!
And presenting to you... CRYSTAL COVE!
I remember when I first embarked on the shores of Crystal Cove, I can't help but to get mesmerized by the crystal clear waters that you can see through to the sea bed from up above. It might be a really small island but I think I don't mind living there and waking up to such a beautiful scenery every morning.
Really scenic, don't you agree?
While walking to get to one of the coves... Some of the travel buddies and me!
When I visited one of the coves at Crystal Cove in November 2011, it was a nice quaint cove with calm and warm waters where you can swim in. But the trip in November 2013, because of the typhoon Haiyan that is expected to hit Philippines in the coming days... This is how it ended up to be like!
The tide was really high, the waves were strong and it crashes mercilessly upon the sides of the cove and us. It was such a contrary to my first trip there and all we can do is to perch ourselves on the rocks high above and stare in disappointment! :(
The island hopping trip inclusive of a stopover at Crystal Cove will take you about two to three hours and I won't give up! I will go back to Crystal Cove again for that breathtaking view and experience as long as I land myself in Boracay! :)
The island of Boracay is about 7km long and goes up to 1km width on its widest at the northern part of the island. And along the entire island, there are a grand total of 12 beaches and the most magnificent one? White Beach that stretches 4km on on one side of the island!
Yes, I ain't kidding. 4km worth of white sandy beach with crystal clear and calm waters!
Station 2 on White Beach...
Station 1 on White Beach...
The beach is widest at Station 1 (near the northern end of the island) and you can pick your spot on the spacious beach to suntan, take a shot with the iconic Willy's Rock on Boracay Island or simply swim in the undisturbed waters (because the boats just doesn't pass by or stop there).
And you know what else that makes this spot the best spot to beach bum in my opinion? It is because that's where the awesome Jonah's is located!
Jonah's at Station 1 that is so colorful and such a cheery place to be in!
Banana Peanut Chocolate Shake!
There is a wide array of fruit shakes on their menu, from mango shakes to banana or even pineapple shakes, you name it all! And aside from drinks, Jonah's also offers an extensive food menu complete with main dishes, sandwiches and even finger food to satisfy your hunger while you are having fun there!
Groupie shot with Willy's Rock... fail!
Too many of us and we shadowed the iconic rock behind us! Haha!
We swam, we suntanned, we did Henna tattoos and gorge ourselves silly on milkshakes and finger food at Jonah's! Oh... these people makes beach bumming absolutely fun! YAY!
Helmet diving is easily available in Boracay and all of you who doesn't have a diving license yet, you should really give helmet diving a try! The approximately 20 minutes underwater experience will bring you even closer to the marine life than snorkeling.
And trust me, you will start blaming yourself for not having a diving license yet and you will seriously get motivated to be a certified diver soon!
Paraw Sailing is gradually becoming one of the most popular activity at Boracay ever since my first trip there two year ago.
Thank you to this pair of lovely lovebirds for modeling for these shots so spontaneously! :)
You basically get strapped into a life vest and allowed to sit freely on the wings of the sail boats, then let the professional sailers take you out to sea, away from the bustling beach and enjoy the beauty and serenity of Boracay in a different manner.
Each trip is approximately 30 minutes and that is ample time for you to enjoy sailing and catch the sunset at the same time! I will emphasize here that you should try and do the paraw sailing during sunset!
Sun sets starts as early as 5:00pm daily at Boracay and lasts only about half an hour, meaning it starts getting dark after 5:30pm. And every sunset is an unique experience, you miss it and you will miss it for life! So don't say I didn't warn you!
Daily routine at Boracay - Parking ourselves at the beach at 5:00pm to catch the sunset!
One of the sunset I experienced in year 2011... And it was all purplish!
Sunset on 1 Nov 2013...
Sunset on 2 Nov 2013...
If you are wondering, these shots were taken at the beach immediately in front of La Carmela de Boracay. And have you figured that I wasn't lying yet? Every sunset is indeed an unique one according to the weather conditions that day. So don't miss it for anything, enjoy the best 30 minutes of your life, everyday! :)
"Streetside" BBQ or more like "Beachside" BBQ...
These stalls, offering barbecued pig or chicken organs and innards, chicken wings, Tender Juicy hotdogs and many more, appears out of thin air while you are getting overwhelmed with the sunset every evening. Or in other words, they are only available in the evening and they are only going to be around until they are sold out for the day.
The barbecued items of your choice are coated with a special homemade sauce (I haven't got about to figuring out what is it yet!) in either spicy or non-spicy options and they were simply so awesome! My favourite pick off the stall is the Tender Juicy hotdogs! Talk about a hungry stomach after you are done with getting mesmerized with the sunset and looking forward to taste some local goodies, you seriously should grab a stick or two and give it a try! :D
Happy Hour @ Charhl's Bar
One-for-one offers from 5:00pm till 9:00pm daily for drinks like margarita priced at 180peso!
What's even happier about the happy hour, aside from the affordable drinks, is that they allow you to bring your own finger food to go along with drinks from them! Love it!
Seafood from Wet Market @ D'Talipapa
It's usually very unlike me to get lost but it just happened somehow when I was exploring the vicinity of D'Talipapa in Boracay alone. But they say, you normally will find out more or see more when you get lost. And indeed, I chanced upon the wet market!
Wet market at D'Talipapa...
Tourists picking out their choice of seafood from the various stalls at the market!
After you have made your choice and paid, they will get down to business, clean and get it prepared for you right there and then!
Aside from seafood, you can find meat and poultry at the market too...
And of course, not forgetting the greens! :)
So basically, you buy your choice and there are kitchens (mostly affiliated with the stalls in the market already) located around the market where they will prepare the food for you in the way you prefer.
When I spotted the wet market, my mind was fixed! I am so going to have the freshest seafood and other produce for dinner the same evening!
And tada~ Seafood dinner we had over happy hour at Charhl's Bar! Awesomeness!
And that... Is the way you should be enjoying Boracay in my point of view!
To be frank, this list should have gone up to 10 but it stopped at 8 because we got too carried away with beach bumming that we never got the chance to finish the last two items, namely the land activities like ATV or Buggy car and taking a trip out to Ariel's Point for cliff diving!
I know I MUST revisit Boracay and get that last two items (especially cliff diving at Ariel's Point) checked out or I will never ever forgive myself!
Till the next time, Boracay! :)
p.s. Photos in this post without my watermark are with credits to various travel buddies during the trip in year 2013! Hey peeps, yes I stole your photos! ❤