Island Hopping, Boracay Island
Brings you to Crocodile Island (for snorkling) and Puka Beach (for swimming and lunch). Costs approximately 1000-1500 pesos per banca, am not sure how many people can ride though. When you get to crocodile island, the boatman will anchor for a while, then some guy will approach and charge a snorkling fee (?). we paid 20 per person i think. bring some bread so you can feed the fishes. touching of corals are not allowed (but of course to preserve marine life)
Last stop: Puka Beach. Here, you?ll find the world famous Puka shell. Shoreline is filled with coconut trees as far as the eye can see. Water level is deeper and waves are bigger since it faces the open sea. I savored the calm surroundings by basking topless. Mang Totong was very discrete not to look my way, which made me appreciate his tour even more. It is quieter in this part of Boracay. No intrusive hawkers and noisy boats. Tranquility at its peak! :) :) :)
Going back to our hotel near boat station 2, the kids were shrieking in delight as they dangled their feet while the boat managed 3-feet waves. Of course, they were wearing their orange jackets and holding on to the boat center poles while seemingly riding the liquid roller coaster. I, on the other hand smiled to them while muttering prayers for the boat not to break apart. Oh well, wearing life jackets and plenty of other boats around to rescue in case anything happens (Murphy?s Law), I savored the last leg of our trip instead of worrying too much. :)
As we landed onshore, my kids begged for banana boat rides costing PHP150/person with a minimum of 4 people/trip. I was 6pm already and told them that we?ll do it the following day. From 10:30am ? 6pm, amazing sea life, and the pasted-constant-clown-delight-smile of my kids were all worth the PHP1,000 I paid Mang Totong.
We reached Cave 2 after a longer walk up & down pathways filled with birds, plants & statues. I dared walk in a cave filled with bats because the floor was partially submerged in sea water otherwise it would be saturated with yucky bat guano. Ewwww!!! There was another smaller cave leading to another cave where we crawled in. It was dark & slippery but the kids had loads of fun doing it. Beware that this can be done only during low tide to ensure you can readily crawl back out. Lunch was absolutely delicious! We invited Totong and his kids to feast with us. He even thought of making lemon-water solution to clean our hands before and after feasting on the food. How proactive, dont you think so? Drinking water and soda 25/bottle. We brought water which the hotel (NigiNigi) packed with lots of complimentary ice for our boat trip. 2nd stop: Crocodile Island. I was still stuffed with the delicious margarine grilled yummies dipped in lemon-soy sauce. This island was really shaped like a crocodile floating on clear blue-green water. As soon as we dropped anchor, my kids shrieked in delight over the neon blue tipped corals and the green,black,orange fishes swimming about. We brought our own goggles and snorkel set so did not have to rent ones. With bread in our hands, the fishes lunged. It was truly awesome to see considering the only congregation am familiar with is metropolitan traffic. We quickly ran out of bread so we used left over rice to feed the fish. They seem to happy to see us, probably because people = food feast for them. I was amazed at the variety of corals, anemones, sea urchins, and fishes I saw. Swimming around the boat for hrs gave me peace as well as conviction that all is not lost in this country. A fresh coconut vendor instantly relieved my parched throat with his artfully concocted drink 25/coconut. Wow! Sipping fresh coconut amidst corals and fish. A cellphone ringing brought me down to reality. At least, even as far away from civilization, my cell provider (Smart Com) is still efficient.
One important thing not to be missed out when you go to Boracay is to check out the other islets around it. How? by hopping into a small boat, that takes you around the other islets for a certain amount, anything from 2000- 3500 pesos or more, depending on how many people are going on the tour and the size of the boat to be used, or the amount sometimes depends on your haggling capabilities.
This is a must-do activity while in Boracay. I experienced this on our first visit to Boracay, so I didn't put it in my priority list for my recent visit anymore...but seeing so much changes in Boracay, I'll probably go for it with my grandson on our next trip.
The itinerary usually includes Crocodile Island, Crystal Cove, Puka Shell Beach and Panoly Beach (some don't go to Panoly anymore). Price would depend on the number of persons and the size of the boat. Boatmen will usually give you this pricing: "For 3 hours of hopping, a small boat (with a capacity of 1-8 persons) costs PhP 2,000-2,500.00; a medium boat (with a capacity of 6-12 persons) costs PhP 3,500-4,000.00; and a big boat (with a capacity of 17-25 persons) costs PhP 6,000.00. There is an additional of PhP 500.00 per hour in excess of the 3 hours." BUT based on what I have canvassed, you can get it for a much lower price: For 3 hours of island hopping, you can get have the activity for P1,200 for a group of 3 to 4 or P1,500 for a group of 5 to 6. You can even request the boatman to accompany you to the market, buy some seafoods, and let him grill the food for your lunch. For that, I have no doubt you'll find it in your good heart to give him a tip and of course, share in the food.
In our recent trip, I learned that boat owners/boatmen are now prohibited from dealing directly with guests and sailing without passing through "lamesa". Literally, "lamesa" means table, but passing through "lamesa" means the guests have to pass through the registration table before sailing. They will have to log in the registration book so they will be insured (insurance costs are already included in the boat rate), and the name of the boat and boatmen will also be registered. The "lamesa" system (registration and insurance of tourists also apply to other watersports like jetski, helmet reef walk, parasailing,etc.
Every now and then we passed these little islets, where we could see people diving into the emerald green waters. Some too brave and bold, while some needs to be coaxed or encouraged or if not pushed by their mates into the very inviting waters
You can hire a banca to take a circle around the island. On the way one can experience beautiful beaches and islands. Crystal cove is worth mentioning here. Stunning views of surrounding islands from the hill. There are also a couple of caves. Over all a nice place for an extended stop over during island hopping.
Part of the island hop tour is to visit Puka beach which is a very famous beach up in the northern part of the island. The beach is made up of puka shells bleached white in the sun. This part of the island was not developed, that is why the absence of a crowd. But still you will enjoy the 800 meter beach area it has to offer. You may dine in several eateries in the island and buy a few souvenirs made from the island.
We chartered a private banca, seats around 6 people, and for P1200 (P1800 if you hire one from the hotel), the boat will go island-hopping for 3 hours.
Why go island hopping? Well, you can see interesting rock formations, crystal blue water, corals on the seabed, stunning views of nearby emerald isles, and white-sand beaches.
We were able to visit Crystal Cove, view Crocodile Island (no crocs but shaped like a croc), and swim in Puca Beach.
Before you start your journey, you have to pay P50 for the upkeep of the environment and tell the boatmen if you're interested in snorkelling so he can rent the equipment for you.
At Crystal Cove (P100 entrance fee), you can perfect your floating skills (with the orange lifevests) while holding on to a rope (waves get rough mid-day and you might end up crashing on the rocks) or crawl inside a cave. As there's a picnic area, bring your baon or buy snack from their kiosks. Be ready with your flip flops as the descending stairs to reach the cove is narrow and slippery. You bet, this city girl, didn't crawl inside the cave!
This should be on the top of your list. Boracay is not all about the White Beach. There's more to explore. Basically, the operators have the same rate, P600/head, but we haggled Allan B for only P500/head, 10 am-5pm, including buffet lunch. Always ask the operator about the size of the boat because smaller boat (6-8 pax) may not be able to tour the entire island due to strong current on some area, better to go with at least a 20-seater boat with a group for better navigation.
1. Rent a boat and go island hopping. There are other small islands around which are less crowded. But of course the beach is far better in boracay island.
2. Go fishing then have your catch cooked in one of the stores after.
3. stroll towards Boracay Terraces.
4. Snorkel around the rocky portion just beside boracay terraces.
5. Have a game of beach volleyball
6. Go towards the market and buy some souveneirs. Boracay has lots to offer that will make you remember your stay.
Island hopping is one of the major activities to be done in Boracay. It is not to be missed!
We left at around 8:00 am and we went to Bulabog beach at the east side of the island, where a motorboat is waiting. Our first stop is the snorkeling area near Crocodile island. After, we went to the famous Puka Island where we had our lunch and did some souvenir shopping. Along the way, we passed by a couple of beautiful islets. Also, if you pay attention to the water while cruising along, you will occasionally see school of little fishes jumping in and out of the water.
Our island trip cost P1000 only but it didn’t include one of the usual spots which is the Crystal Cove Island. It is unfortunate we weren’t able to visit but we didn’t know any better then (no VT yet huhu). Anyway we still had so much fun.
Many operators offer tours around Boracay. You may opt to rent a whole boat if you're a large enough group, or you may opt to join group tours. Most group tours last the whole day. They include snorkeling gear and lunch.
Usual places include 3 snorkeling areas, including Crododile Island, and Puka Beach. If you wish to visit Crystal Cove, you will have to shell out an additional PhP100 (USD2) for the island's entrance fee. I must warn you, though, that it is not advisable to do so during the monsoon months because it'll be difficult to snorkle on the island's crystal caves.
And do watch out for the "floating market" on the waters off Crocodile Island! It's a fun sight. Entrepreneurial natives will approach your boat with either coconut or ice cream. It's a nice treat during a hot day.
Group tours average PhP500-600/person (about USD10 to 12).
Island hopping is one of the popular activities in Boracay. You can arrange the tour through your hotel or directly transact with the many "agents" along white beach. A tour ranges between 3 to 6 hours with 2-3 island stops. Further, you have the option to join a group or rent a private boat, and include lunch in the package or not.
We chose a 6-hour group tour with lunch arranged through our hotel. However a miscommunication between our guide and the boatman, compounded with very strong waves, resulted to delays, change in itinerary, and lost of valuable swimming/snorkeling time. In the end, we were able to visit only Crystal Cove though the views were worth the trip.
The island has an entrance fee of P200/head that includes free use of cottages. The cottages also serve as "watch towers" as they were located on the highest points of the island. From here, one has a breath taking view of the sea and, on clear days, the islands of Masbate, Romblon, & Mindoro. The island has 2 caves that open to the sea and ideal for snorkeling (but due to the strong waves on the day of our trip, we had to content ourselves with picture-taking).
Island hopping tours are being offered from P600-P750 per person, inclusive of lunch, snorkelling gears and boat rental. This is a must do if it's your first time in Boracay. Your Boracay experience is not complete without doing this.
Stalls offering packages can be found along the dirt road across the beach. Scout for the package offering the best menu for lunch because after the morning's snorkelling activity, you'd feel like you could eat a whole cow.
If going in a big group, renting a boat is more economical. This could range from P1500-P3000, depending on the size of the group. No meals included.