When you first visit the tiny island of Boracay (7km long from tip to tip) the unforgettable experience forces a jaw-drop. It’s no wonder this Filipino paradise is ranked as one of the world’s most beautiful beaches by Conde Nast Traveller and the World’s Best Island by Travel + Leisure. I’ve traveled the globe extensively and visited beaches from Bora Bora to Bali and still have yet to find a beach experience as sublime as Boracay.
I first visited Boracay in 2008 during a solo backpacking adventure through southeast Asia. I immediately fell in love with the soft white sand, outrageous happy hour specials (two cocktails for 2 USD? Yes please!), romantic seafood BBQs on the beach, serious scuba for underwater adventure fans and al fresco disco dancing under the twinkle of the night sky.
Boracay is a honeymooners dream and beach lovers Nirvana. Gracefully sail on a pretty paraw at sunset and you’ll find yourself bounding with bliss.
Here are 12 Things to Do in Boracay:
Sweet Suite at Discovery Shores
Perched over iconic White Beach, Discovery Shores offers a perfect home away from home for beach bums and tan fans. Located at the islands hip and trendy Station 1, Discovery Shores ranked as one of the top 500 hotels in the world by Travel + Leisure readers in 2012. The resort’s choir of smiling staff offer top notch service while visitors looking to enjoy a slice of paradise soak in the pool or skip along the islands world-famous icing sugar-soft sand.
Discovery Shores’ 87 luxurious guest rooms are tucked behind the beach offering a quiet calm a short stroll from Boracay’s lively restaurants, bars and nightclubs. My sister and I were traveling together so were happy that our junior suite was furnished with two plush queen size beds. Upon arrival guests are offered a tour of their room followed by a welcoming foot bath. VIP treatment fit for a King! The bathroom is outfitted with chic amenities by celebrated Italian fashion icon Roberto Cavalli which will keep you smelling fresh on the daily.
Terra Wellness Spa
After spending a long day walking on the beach your muscles may just need a moment of rest and relaxation. Terra Wellness Spa at Discovery Shores offers a tranquil oasis surrounded by breezy palms. Terra’s spa menu features facials, scrubs, wraps, foot therapy and massage. Romance your muscles via Terra’s Touch, a deeply relaxing massage which combines slow and graceful gliding strokes that are applied to various pressure points of the body to relieve tension.
Sand Bar Swim on White Beach
The best spot to enjoy a thirst quenching swim is a hop, skip and a jump from the beach. Discovery Shores is located a stones throw from Boracay’s famous warm, turquoise waters which are world renowned for their long and shallow sandbars. You can walk out into the sea for almost 300 metres with the water reaching no higher than your waist, a perfect spot to wade for novice swimmers, or an ideal perch to sip an ice cold beer while waving back at your bartender.
Sunset Cocktails at Shangri-La
The island’s most iconic spot to sip fine champagne and craft cocktails is at the Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort‘s Solana Bar, perched over a scenic cliff side. Gather for drinks around the fire pit, or lounge in a cabana and watch the sun disappear over the horizon. Fun and refreshing cocktails along with an Asian tapas-inspired menu are a perfect way to bid the day adieu.
The diving around Boracay is world renowned with nearly two dozen sites. Scotty’s Dive Centre is located a short stroll from the Shangri-La’s jetty and offers private scuba and snorkel tours for guests keen to explore life under the deep blue sea. We motored around the island on a traditional Banka Boat for a three hour snorkel tour which had us smiling at a choir of tropical fish at three unique coral reefs.
Mermaiding Disney Dreams Come True
The Philippine Mermaid Swimming Academy is the first in the world to introduce a school concept for mermaid swimming. If you’re a mer-newbie register for the school’s Introduction to Mermaid Swimming class. During the 90 minute session you’ll familiarize yourself with the Mermaid tail while learning basic Mermaid strokes in shallow water.
Sunset Beers at Willy’s Rock
Probably one of the most recognizable attractions on the island of Boracay, Willy’s Rock is an oddly shaped volcanic formation featuring a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The wee “island” got its name from the nearby Willy’s Beach Club Hotel, situated across from Station 1 of the island. Each evening around 5:30pm a gaggle of visiting photo fans stand on the sand to take photos at sunset of Willy’s Rock. Grab a San Miguel brew for $1 and dig your feet into the sand while the sun splashes across the horizon.
Paraw Sailing at Sunset
Sailing fans gather at Boracay’s White Beach each afternoon to hop on local Paraw boats for a spectacular sunset cruise. The outrigger, two-sail boats have become an icon of the island, offering postcard perfect moments for camera fans as a rainbow of colours splashes across the horizon.
Halo Halo at Mang Inasal
Filipino’s love sweets so be sure to sample the national dessert at Mang Inasal in D-Mall. Halo Halo (“mixed together) is a popular local dessert featuring shaved ice and evaporated milk which are mixed together with boiled sweet beans, coconut, sago, gulaman, tubers and fresh fruit.
Tesebels at Puka Beach
This long-standing restaurant is nothing fancy to look at, but people go back for the delicious fresh seafood and classic Filipino dishes. The restaurant is located on Boracay’s north coast at Puka Beach, which is famous for its white seashells. Tesebels’ two must-try signature dishes are classic Chicken Adobo and Garlic and Honey Shrimp, best enjoyed with a plate of steaming garlic rice and a few glugs of beer.
Live Music at Bom Bom Bar
If you’re a live music fan looking to check out what’s hopping on the island be sure to grab a drink at Bom Bom Bar. It’s an atmospheric little chilled-out beach hut, with seats on the sand where you can listen to local musicians come together for a jam session under the stars.
Late Night Dancing at EPIC
From the creators of Manila’s hottest superclubs: Encore, Manor, and Republiq, Boracay’s premier hotspot, Epic Boracay, treats Epicureans to an experience like no other.
The place gets packed at night, when the spacious main dining room transforms from a tranquil yet stylish hangout, into a full-on Beach Club, with an exhilarating energy. It’s the go-to spot for younglings looking to drink themselves silly until the wee hours of the morning. If you’re a fan of bartending theatrics be sure to order the Flaming Lamborghini which seriously wows!