350 kilometers south of Manila lies the island of Boracay, a picturesque getaway and stop rarely excluded from a traveler’s Southeast Asia itinerary. The island offers something for all kinds of travelers: 5-star resorts with expensive spa packages and private beaches for honeymooners, cheap hostels with daily beach raves for backpackers, and a lot of adventure such as trekking, cliff jumping, water sports and more for the adrenaline junkies. There are also some things you can do in Boracay that are quite uncommon in other parts of the world.
Take your sightseeing to another level
Ever wanted to fly on a helicopter? Here’s your chance. With Boracay Helicopters, you are able to take a tour of the dog bone shaped island and witness from above the majestic white beaches, turquoise waters, lush tropical forests full of life, and the surrounding islands.
The rate is surprisingly affordable and you can choose between three different packages depending on your plan and budget. Prices start at 5,200 PHP ($102 USD).
Pro tip: When making your booking, request for the most scenic view possible and you may end up scouting out some hidden gems you wouldn’t otherwise find on foot.
Fly Superman-style, arms stretched and everything
If you are even more of a thrill-seeker, then get your birds-eye view of the island as you zip down Boracay’s stunning landscape in the superman position. The zipline starts from the highest point of the island, is about 620 meters (2,034 ft.) long and hangs 100 meters (328 ft.) above sea level. It will take you a total of about 3 minutes to reach the bottom.
Unlike other ziplines where you sit upwards and have complete control of adjusting your speed and stopping yourself during the course, this time the harness will be strapped in a way that you will be lying down on your belly, with your arms outstretched. There are also two lines running parallel to one another which means you can share this experience with a buddy! Don’t worry about slamming into a wall at the end, there are numerous methods implemented to slow you down, including a trained professional.
Become a mermaid for an hour or so
Every girl dreams of becoming a princess. While you can’t really become a princess in Boracay, you can become a mermaid. Ariel was a princess, right?
This mermaid course is done by the Mermaid Academy that has certified mermaid instructors who will coach you to move, pose and swim as gracefully as a mermaid would. You get to put on beautiful mermaid tails and flippers and within the 90 minute course and you will learn three different swimming techniques. Don’t forget to bring a waterproof camera and capture some once in a lifetime photographs as you do this in front of a background of lively and colorful underwater creatures. Maybe you’ll find Flounder.
Pro tip: Try to book your course around sunset so you can capture the spectacle on camera while being a pretty beached mermaid.
A human slingshot experience
Tick off another bucket-list item by signing up for the G-Max reverse bungee experience. You and two other friends (or complete strangers, up to you) can get strapped onto a chair inside an orb and then get catapulted into the sky at 200 kph before bouncing back. We don’t really wanna say that you are guaranteed to get amazing views of Boracay because your eyes will probably be squeezed shut in fear.
Go for an underwater walk
Don’t have a scuba diving certificate, not a good swimmer, yet want to try some sort of diving? Helmet diving is a great option for those inexperienced swimmers and divers to explore the underwater world of Boracay. Just put on your helmet and you’re ready to go – you don’t even need to remove any eyewear you may be needing.
Take a stroll along the seabed and enjoy blending in with the colorful marine life. Blending in my be hard with the… kind of stupid looking helmet, but you can try. Book your tour with Mad Monkey Hostels and you will be in the safe hands of PADI qualified dive instructors. Tickets are cheap too: Around $20.00 USD for a session.
Tackle a Zorb obstacle course
Zorb riding is also known as “orbing” or “globe-riding”, and is a fun activity that involves stepping inside a multiple humans-sized transparent, inflatable bouncy ball. Once you are in, you get pushed down a hill towards a group of people who likely have never been run over by a giant ball, but are keen to know what it’s like: Also known as your friends. Once that’s done, you can try to partake in the Zorb obstacle course. It’s crazy.
If you think you feel confident, then try the orbs without the harness. These can carry up to three people inside, who will tumble over one another as the zorb rolls on and on. If the idea of this worries you, then opt for the harness-type zorbs where you will be secured in position as the zorb rolls on and on. To be honest, we’re not quite sure it’s much better than the other.
Try your luck at fly-fishing
Fly-fishing is the more extreme cousin of parasailing. What happens is that you will be sitting on an inflatable raft (at the start) as a speedboat revs up its engine and pulls you across the water. This is very similar to the banana boat experience, but instead of a banana shaped raft, it looks almost like a jellyfish. Plus, you don’t remain in the water for much longer as the boat speeds up.
As soon as the boat hits maximum speed, the boat takes off and begins to sort of… fly. You will be pulled up, down, sideways, over and under and the challenge is to hold on as much as you can during these turbulent times. It’s actually quite fun letting go and falling into the water. There are floaties all around for you to grab on to and wait until the speedboat driver makes a turn and picks up everyone that has fallen.
As for why it’s called “fly-fishing” – we’re not so sure.
Normal things to do, with normal people
There are plenty of other normal activities you can do while in Boracay. The island really is tailored for any kind of traveler. You can try some other watersports such as scuba diving, snorkelling, parasailing, stand-up paddle boarding, cliff jumping and more. There are around fifteen different dive sites around the island, but this depends on high or low tide. You can also hop on a catamaran or a sailboat and sail between islands.
If you prefer to stay closer to land, away from the water, how about driving around an ATV? All Terrain Vehicles are able to endure rough terrain. So head over to the northern part of Boracay where you get a bit more bang for your buck when the ATV encounters what it is made for – rocky and muddy uphills. Beyond this you can also do a little bit of hiking at Crystal Cove or try the Indiana Jones Eco Hiking Tour.
After such a rough, tiring holiday (sarcasm), add the cherry on top with some delicious seafood and Filipino cuisine, an aromatherapy spa session and a fun pub crawl. A day in Boracay will surely keep you busy!