I was seated on white sands when I saw this lovely couple walking dipped in the waters with their umbrella on. Looked like, 'Oh yes, I love the beach honey, but I hate the sun.' They were just so amusing to me.
Seen this dog when I was doing a night stroll along the beach. This dog has actually caught the attention of several night strollers. People would stop and take a look but the dog simply wouldn't mind what's happening around him at all.
When I was about to take this shot, another dog came to join this sleeping dog.
Another amusing sight to me... I've seen this lone American boy playing football with the locals while others just sit behind watching and cheering them. This Amboy played with great enthusiasm that he looked like he was joining a championship game.
The next day I saw him playing again, joined by some Korean visitors.
Boracay is not just about beach at all. Lucky me to find this out....Mt. Luho Viewpoint, located at the highest peak of the island, provides the visitors a whole, breathtaking view of the island. Up here, I saw the island's shape that looks like a dumbbell and the back beach is just as beautiful as the White Beach. Also, you will see Boracay's greeny golf course and the sorrounding wide and endless blue ocean.
An entrance fee of P50.00 is charged per person.
In getting here, I took the motorbike (locals call it single) for only P25, one way.
Carabao Island is off the northern coast of Boracay. It's much larger than Boracay and much less developed. I think it's a great place to visit if you want a more laid-back island to hang out on. It cost us P2000 to rent a boat to take us there for the day. The journey took about 45 minutes. Unless you're going by speedboat, the trip is not for the weak-stomached! You will be tossed about the waves somewhat violently and you will get wet! The seas here are very choppy and could make you sea-sick. With that said, once you arrive on Carabao, you can relax and enjoy the peace and silence..:) The southern part of the island (facing Boracay) where we stayed was beautiful and very pastoral. We had a picnic at the house of a very friendly family who allowed us to cook and use there table to eat at. One of them also climbed up a tree and got a few coconuts for us. Mmmm, nothing like drinking pure coconut water thru a straw :) The beaches here were not as nice as Boracay but were not bad.. There were no other tourists there for the 5 or 6 hours we stayed there and we drew a large crowd of sweet, curious children who probably wondered why we were there and not on Boracay where all the action was!
Puka Beach is in the northern part of Boracay. It is not as popular as White Beach because it's more wind- and wave-tossed. The advantage of this is that at times you may be one of the only people there! The sand is almost as nice as White Beach and I think the quietude of the place is a welcome respite from the often over-crowded, touristy White Beach. It's a great place to have a quiet picnic right on the beach with friends/family. There are also hawkers near the beach who sell various trinkets, including the puka shells (which I think are a bit overpriced).
You can go down inside a bat cave in the village of Yapak. It's a dark, humid, smelly place to be! Be careful when you step because the rocks can be rather slippery. I suggest taking a flashlight with you. The caves are full of thousands of bats and are really a sight to behold :) In the early evening after the sun goes down the bats fly out of the cave in huge numbers!
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.
Gone exploring caves at the northern end of the island is another one of our "What's more there other than White Beach?" experience in Boracay.
Getting there was by renting a motorcycle (P500 for 2 hours) and following directional signs with the help of a map. Along the road at the crossing leading to the Bat Cave via a single track trail are children from the local community to guide us for a minimal fee. The motorcycle was good for the hilly single track trail that we stopped just a few meters away from the cave for the final trek.
The place within the vicinity of the cave are limestone formations with lush vegetations all around . Into the cave, a few bats were flying and the smell of guano is in the air (not that stinky that i thought). The steps are slippery and we made sure earlier to wear our aquashoes. The prize - amazing stalactites and stalagmites formations.
... this is not really a tip for Off The Beaten Path but a recommendation coming from the depth of my heart.
The island is acutally very small and , therefore, there is no more undiscovered area.
It is just my wish that any tourist visiting this beautiful island should remember that this island was only a home to very nice families of fishermen and farmers. Many memories go back to the small boy of the fishermen's family whom I had taken along for a short go around flight and to see his parents fishing. I remember his happy laughter. Whether these families are happier now? I do not know, but I doubt! The real beauty of this island is gone with the influx of tourism.
As much as possible, take time to walk the island and discover the beautiful flowers, lizzards and birds - if they are still there....
Having gone to Boracay for more than a couple of times, it was a natural curiousity to find more about the place. The last time we were there, me and my wife rented a motorcycle and explored the other side of Boracay - or should I say "What's more there other than White Beach?"
One of the surprising destinations we visited was Mt. Luho, the highest peak of Boracay. At the viewdeck, the view gave us a better orientation of every place in Boracay and mainland Panay. Yes, indeed, a panoramic 360 deg view of Boracay with the long white sand shoreline so inviting.
Up there, it looks as if the island is not overflowing with visitors with the towering trees, mostly coconuts hiding those man-made structures. The greening of the sorroundings should be maintained and upped making Boracay a real nature hideaway.
We rented a motorcycle for P500 for 2 hours.
I have some friends who never went out of White beach but there's a whole island to explore! Do go to Puka beach and discover a vast beach all your own. There's no algae or pollution here, just some puka shell vendors. I wish i had stayed here the longest. It's included in the island boat tour but they say you can also go there by tricycle.
Enjoy it while it lasts! Locals say Shangri-la is planning to make a huge hotel here.
The Tirol museum is dedicated to one of the founding families in Boracay. Most of their descendants are active in the development/tourism area in the island. Seawind is owned by one of the grandchildren i think
Building a sand castle is an "enterprising hobby" of young locals. They build elaborate sand castle during the day and at night place lighted candles to create a romantic effect.
On my first day, I noticed a sand castle just a few steps from our hotel. I took a picture of it and moved on. But it was on my second night that I came across a well-lighted sand castle and was mesmerized by it. We had our pictures taken on top and at the bottom of the castle.
Taking pictures of the sand castle is allowed, but if you want to have your picture taken with the castle (like us!), a minimal donation is given to the builders.
White Beach faces the West and with the wide expanse of the sea before it, one can have a front seat view of the setting sun. Watching the sun goes down at the end of the day is truly an enchanting, soothing experience. No wonder Boracay's sunset is as famous now as the Manila Bay sunset.
Thus, aside from swimming and people watching, another activity I look forward to while in the island is "sunset" watching. At around 6pm, we were already down at the beach trying to catch the sunset and capture its image through our camera. Everything happened fast and since I am a "slow photographer", I barely managed to get this sunset photo :-)