My friends and I stayed in Boracay – Station 2 for four days, which we found was enough time to do most of what we wanted to. I would highly suggest staying at a hotel at Station 2 if you want to have convenient access to all the restaurants, vendors, day activities, and night life.
1) Sunbathing on the beach (of course!)
Relax and bring some music with you as you enjoy the warm rays! Remember to wear facial and body sunscreen (and some tan spray if you want to quicken your tan!). Beachfront hotels (such as Boracay Garden Resort, the hotel my friends and I stayed at) usually have lounge chairs set up along the beach, just a few steps away from the hotel entrance.
*Note: While walking or laying on the sand, or going anywhere in Boracay, you’ll be approached by vendors to buy jewelry, fresh fruits, ice cream, sunglasses, or a nice massage. This can get quite annoying, but as long as you ignore them if you’re uninterested (as rude as it may sound), you can get used to the vendors.
2) Check out the nightlife
Boracay’s night life shines with beach front live music performances, shows (such as fire dancing), restaurants, bars, pubs, and vendors. Unfortunately, I saw only one nightclub at Station 2, despite reading online that there were many. The nightclub is called Hey Jude, I believe. My friends and I did not check it out but we passed by it every night.
Caution: Although Boracay has a wide range of restaurants to choose from, the food was subpar compared to Vancouver’s standards. Try to avoid ordering pasta or western food, as it does not taste the same as those you may be used to eating. I cannot say that I ate any mouthwatering food during my stay. Also, if you’re in a hurry, put your order on rush as the food may take a very long time to come.
The following activities are offered by dozens of companies lined up on the beach front. You can ask the hotel receptionist for a list of activities to use as a price point, but do not go with the company suggested by the hotel right away. Make sure you go out, look around, compare prices, and haggle before going with a company if you want to save money. Most companies offer an array of activities so you can book and do them all in one day (if you’d like). Make sure you check the tour guide’s ID to ensure he is legit.
3) Island Hopping at Crystal Cove
Crystal Cove is an ideal place for taking pictures as it offers a panoramic view of the South China Sea. The tour guide we hired was very patient with our photo-taking and took photo after photo of us. I guess he is used to snapping those ‘Kodak’ moments for tourists.
There is an island fee (P100) when you enter the island. You will be taken to see statues, native huts, and two caves/coves, all worth checking out!
Be prepared to literally ‘fly off’ the inflatable raft, especially if you sit at the side or back. For those who do not want to fly into the water or are scared of swimming (although life jackets are provided), sit in the middle. You will be safe there! If it was not for my swimwear malfunction (I did not tie my bikini bottom tight enough and let’s say some embarrassing things happened when I flew into the water), I would have enjoyed the activity more.
5) ATV (All Terrain Vehicle)
My friends and I did both the ATV and Zorb (read below) on the same trip to Station 3, where the activities are offered. It was my first time riding an ATV and it was great. It would have been more fun if we did not have to follow the 10 km speed limit. Tour guides will drive in front of you to guide you along the scenic route and to 2 stops:
Stop 1 – Bird aviary. It was not anything out of the ordinary.
Stop 2 – Ocean tower to view the Mt. Luho Viewpoint
It is one of the highest points in Boracay Island and offers a 360 degrees view of the entire island. Remember to take photos!
Note: Similar to the ATV, you can try the buggy ride (which my friends and I did not go on). The ride is for 2 people, lower in height than the ATV, and just like riding a bumper car but with the freedom of your own control.
6) Zorb involves rolling downhill in an orb, generally made of transparent plastic. I am guessing the activity is called “zorb” instead of “orb” because it was invented in New Zealand.
7) Aquawalking (Helmet Diving)
Try aquawalking if you do not know how to swim. In my view, it is not as exciting as snorkeling as you do not see as many underwater sea plants and creatures, but it is a good alternative. Be prepared to get photos snapped by an on-site camera person. A CD copy of a video and photos of your aquawalking experience will be delivered to your hotel/place of stay (if you so choose).
8 ) Get your hair braided (in cornrows) or a henna tattoo
There are a number of vendors that offer these services along the beach. However, do one or both of these on the last day of your stay. If you plan to wash your hair or do water activities (in which your hair may get wet), your cornrows may get messed up. Although they are securely braided and tied, and according to the braider, last for five weeks, it is better to be safe than sorry. (I got nice side cornrows done for P70 which my friend helped me bargain for.)
For henna tattoos, be aware that many hotels do not allow them as the dye may rub onto bed sheets and linen. Hence, it’d also be best to get your tattoo on the last day of your stay.