By: Victor Jeffery
Now open, and ready to welcome you, Boracay is a tamer but more sustainable version of its former self. The gorgeous beaches remain and the ocean is once again teeming with exotic marine life and colorful reefs with incredible underwater clarity.
Serene white sand beaches aren’t rare in the Philippines. In fact, they’re par for course. So what makes White Beach the most famous in Boracay, and one of the top in the island nation? The soft, powder-like sand drifts up between your toes as you step along her majestic shores. While the turquoise water glistens under the bright sky, the sand steals the show.
White Beach is four kilometers long and is broken up into three sections, the first with high-end resorts, the second with beachfront restaurants and bars. Lastly, the third is quiet and family-friendly.
Things To Do
Encased in beautiful beaches and almost entirely flat, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Boracay is not for hiking. But there is one exception. Mount Luho. More of a hill than a towering mountain, the peak is still a lovely distance above the Sula Sea and the winding coast. The trail is mostly made up of stairs that guide you to the summit 112 meters above sea level. Along the way, you’ll hear monkeys play in the distance and a great number of birds traversing the canopy.
Mount Luho has three viewing platforms in which to admire the beauty of Boracay. The main one is the Mount Luho View Deck, which has three levels of its own. The first level has an Insta-worthy heart exhibit The trail is mostly made up of stairs that guide you to the summit 370 feet (112m) above sea level. Along the way, you’ll hear monkeys play in the distance and a great number of birds traversing the canopy. Despite its diminutive stature, Mount Luho has three viewing platforms in which to admire the beauty of Boracay.
Travelers can reach the exciting destination of Ariel’s Point via a memorable journey on traditional outrigger boats. The trip will take around 40 minutes, guiding you south from Boracay to the northern tip of Panay Island. As you get closer to the point, you’ll see several diving boards jut out of the cliff above the sparkling sea. Ariel’s Point has developed a reputation among adventurers and thrill-seekers. There are five heights from which you can dive and complete the hair-raising experience. The highest platform is 15 meters above sea level, with the shortest three meters.
Like any island paradise, Boracay is teeming with water adventures. Perfect for first-timers and exciting for veterans who have been there and done that, the gorgeous Bulabog Beach is the place to kite-surf in Boracay. Under a mile from White Beach, it’s a simple walk to arrive at this kite-surfing mecca. Behind the beach you’ll find a row of rental outfits ready to set you up for a day on the water, whether that be for a lesson or with your own gear.
Shopping At d*mall
More of an island bazaar than a mall, D’Mall is the place to go for some retail therapy while on Boracay. Behind Station 2, on White Beach, the mall has everything you need for a day of browsing from endless local boutiques to charming souvenir stores and restaurants. If you’re searching for a swim suit or a fresh pair of flip-flops, you’ll find them here. While you can let your inner-child out while perusing a variety of inflatable watercraft and elaborate buckets perfect for your best sandcastle. But you can’t leave without picking up a fridge magnet souvenir for your folks back home.
Iconic Willy’s Rock
To the end of White Beach, you’ll find a popular natural landmark and one of Boracay’s most unique attractions. From the sand, you can easily spot the volcanic island off in the distance, standing quietly above the ocean, adorned with several trees. From Station 1, you can take the brief trip to Willy’s Rock by swimming in the shallow waters. Or, if the tide is out, you can make your way there on foot. The tiny island now features its own staircase cut into the ancient rock and it even has its own Catholic statue. It all combines to make Willy’s Rock a photographer’s dream with its cragged edges jump out of the blue water and the palm trees somehow finding life where not much else has. Naturally, it’s a popular tourist spot, but come early morning you can enjoy it before anyone else.
For generations, Boracay residents have used their paraws to sail around the coast, to fish and to explore neighboring islands. The vessel is a small boat with two sails and an outrigger on either side. The sail's triangular shape stands out on the water and its nimble size makes for some fast and exciting sailing. With the water lapping the boat right beneath you, there’s something spectacular about exploring aboard a paraw. It’s rustic and without the pressing sounds of engines. One of the best things to do in Boracay is to enjoy a private sail along the coast aboard the authentic vessel. You’ll find plenty of them set up and ready to go along the island’s west coast beaches. Whether you’re after a short cruise in front of White Beach, a sunset experience or an adventure around the island, a paraw trip will provide it.
So whatever you decide to do whilst on Boracay, enjoy it to the utmost, and please respect our local community and simple rules like keeping the Island and beaches clean and disposing of rubbish appropriately.