Wind or Algae?
I have never been to a beach as pretty as that of Boracay. I have seen Boracay in May2003, January2004 and September2006. In all those months, the beach was crystal clear, only problem was occassional strong wind and waves (and some rain). Because of this we decided to give boracay a visit during the summer, to check out the water during calm weather. We went April of 2008 and to my surprise, the water was no more blue but greenish due to algae. You may swim past them but still, my baby and I prefer playing near the shore in the shallow waters. Only a few parts of the stretch are free of algae, some parts of station 1.
We'll definitely go back to Boracay, but during off season, I'd rather have some wind (as long as there's no typhoon) than a lot of algae!
Boracay Tourist Center is located on White Beach, between boat stations 2 and 3. As well as booking/confirming flights, changing travellers cheques and money (beware of the steep charges for these services), and withdrawing cash, the tourist center offers a postal service, internet cafe, photo lab and safety deposit boxes.
There is also a shop selling overpriced clothing, souvenirs, imported cigarettes, grocery items, refrigerated goods and beer/wines. You can buy shampoos, mosquito repellant and sun screen here, but you'll find these items much more reasonably priced elsewhere on the island.
t-shirts and towelette
bring extra t-shirts or suffer washing t-shirts in the lavatory. since the weather is balmy, try to bring at least a few more t-shirts (sleeveless or camisetas), or buy at "d mall" if you ran out of tees. they have nice designs and affordable prices. just try "hardest" to haggle for prices. or bring a towelette in case to wipe the perspiration off.
i bought towelettes in the island, and they were so expensive. i bought a set of 5 pc towelettes in SM for a price of 1pc in boracay.
Bike to the TOP!
It's the highest peak in all of Boracay, everybody should visit Mount Luho. It gives you a sweeping view of Boracay. The good thing is that not a lot of tourists know about this place, so you're most likely to enjoy unobstructed views.
There are monkeys on Mount Luho. They're friendly, and they don't bite. But if you're afraid of them, you need not worry as they're on a leash. Some are let loose, though---they're the friendly ones.
And don't worry if you get thirsty on your hike up---they sell water at the top.
There's an entrance fee, though. It's cheap at PhP50/person (about a USD1).
You can get there by riding an ATV for quite a hefty hourly fee. But if you're adventurous like I am, you may opt to take the difficult climb up and ride a bike. The trail is rocky and difficult, steep in other areas. Many times I had to drag my bike up the trail because I just couldn't do it! (I haven't been on a bike in years, and I've never biked for more than an hour---on a paved road) But if you think getting up there is difficult, imagine going down hill on the same terrain. It was the ride of my life.
You can hire a mountain bike for PhP150/hour (about USD3). If you want a local guide, just ask any of the tour operators. We just paid for our guide's bike rental and gave him a tip.
Malling in Boracay
D'Mall is a cluster of boutiques, bars, restaurants, and specialty stores at the heart of the island. Contrary to its name and what it connotes, the shops are housed in Bali-inspired single-level buildings instead of a multi-level building. The shoppers are treated to a blue sky, soft breeze and fine white sand when moving from one shop to the other. I went to Heidiland, a deli shop managed by Santi's. It offers an international selection of cheese, cold cuts, snack food, chocolates, and fresh vegetables.
Being a cheese freak, I immediately walked to the cheese counter and bought mozarella. I also got 2 boxes of salted pretzels. The price is "very Manila". I'm sure I would have gotten the same price if I bought them in the city.