5 Best Sights in Boracay, Philippines

Ariel's Point

One of the most popular day trips from Boracay is an outing to Ariel's Point, a spectacular outcrop of rock around 3 miles away, or 30 minutes by outrigger, on the neighboring island of Panay. Excursions here include canoeing, kayaking, snorkeling, and simply enjoying the views. The more adventurous can also try their hand at cliff diving from one of five platforms, which range from 10 to around 45 feet above the turquoise sea. Packages include a barbecue lunch buffet, afternoon snacks, and unlimited drinks. Boats depart daily from Ariel's House, near Station 1 on White Beach, at 11:30 am, returning shortly before sunset. Buy tickets in advance from the Boracay Beach Club Hotel, located just behind Ariel's House.

Bulabog Beach

While White Beach on the west coast seems aimed at the massage, snorkel, and sunbathing set, this counterpart on the east side of the island is relatively undeveloped and has largely been adopted by a sportier crowd. The bulk of visitors here come armed with kiteboards and windsurfing boards (both can be rented on the island) and spend their days skidding over the wavelets. Given that most visitors spend all their time on the water, your reward for making the short hop across the island (it's less than one mile wide at its midpoint) is the good chance that you'll have a large stretch of fine white sand all to yourself. During White Beach's rainy off-season (in the northern summer months), Bulabog also offers shelter from the sea breezes that can blow stiffly onto the western shore.

Diniwid Beach

Just a few hundred yards north of the far busier White Beach and separated by a craggy headland, little sister Diniwid is almost a world away in atmosphere. Far smaller, some say even more beautiful, and much quieter, the beach sees fewer parties and has no discos. Even electricity only arrived relatively recently. Some stay away for those very reasons; others prefer the tranquility. Either way, you can still enjoy a fruit smoothie here, and the sunsets are just as spectacular. You can reach Diniwid via the busy inland road, or on foot from White Beach by following the rocky path around the headland.

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Island Hopping

In Boracay terminology, "island hopping" means not so much traveling from island to island, but rather more circumnavigating Boracay aboard a local "banka" motorized outrigger, making various stops for sightseeing and activities along the way. Half-day excursions usually head first for Crocodile Island, where you can snorkel in the crystal clear water and admire the marine life (don't worry, crocodiles are not included). Also normally visited is Crystal Cove—an island with two sea caves—and a secluded Boracay cove known as Puka Shell Beach. Island hopping trips can be arranged through most hotels and guesthouses, or through one of the travel agencies in the area around D-Mall (near White Beach Station 2). Prices start from around 1,500 PHP per person, depending on how many people join you.

White Beach

Put simply, this is the reason you came to Boracay in the first place. One look at this 5-km (3-mile) unbroken stretch of beautiful fine white sand, gently lapped by tropical seas and fringed by coconut palms, and you quickly understand why it appears on so many "World's Best Beaches" lists. This is what most folk think of when they conjure up an image of paradise. Such beauty hasn't been a secret for years, and the strip of bars, restaurants, hotels, and souvenir shops just behind the palm trees that caters to the millions of tourists does shatter the illusion somewhat. But while planning laws (just about) keep paradise and purgatory apart from one another, you can still live the fantasy—in the daytime, before the discos start up, at any rate. The beach is divided into three sections from north to south: stations 1, 2 and 3. Station 1 has the widest stretch of sand and the priciest hotels, while Station 2 is where most of the shopping and eating takes place. Station 3 is the place to go if you are looking for quiet.