The island paradise of Boracay is set to open again on October 26, exactly six months after the Philippine government ordered its closure to pave way for environmental rehabilitation. Several airline companies and travel agencies are already offering special promos and discounts to entice travelers and beach bums to visit the island.
The timing could not be any more perfect because the following month has at least two long weekends, November 1 to 4 (Thursday to Sunday) and November 30 to December 2 (Friday to Sunday). The second one is Bonifacio Day, which also stretches to the first day of December.
Whichever you choose, a Boracay long weekend will surely be the reset button you need. Let us help you plan your three days and two nights stay in the island, and around the province of Aklan.
DAY 1: Arrival and hotel tour
Arriving at the hotel should be an event on its own. It is going to be your home for the weekend, after all. Boracay is home to all sorts of accommodation, from budget to luxury. Several hotels were demolished after being found that they don’t have permits to operate, don’t adhere to environmental laws, and are built too close to the shore. But don’t worry, the good ones are still there.
Alta Vista de Boracay is nestled atop one of the island’s highest peaks and has amenities that will convince you that it deserves to be part of your Boracay itinerary for the weekend. After settling down in your rooms, go to the view deck that offers a 360-degree view of the island. Lounge by the pool and see what they offer at the bar and restaurant.
Fresh seafood lunch
You know that you will have an epic stay when your first meal upon arrival is fresh seafood cooked and prepared exactly how you like it. Boracay’s D’Talipapa seafood market is a favorite food destination because of its several paluto restaurants that will cook your freshly bought fish and shellfish to your liking.
Stroll at the beach
With the beach newly rehabilitated, and after a gastronomic lunch, take a minute to just take it all in and marvel at the majestic view at the White Beach. Take it easy and spend an hour or two by the beach while reading a book, sipping fresh fruit juice, or planning the rest of the day with your family. Walk barefoot and feel the powdery white sand between your toes. Let the sun kiss your shoulders.
Explore by bike or ATV
In the afternoon, after you have fully rested, explore the island by mountain bike or ATV. You won’t have much time to do water activities so it is advisable to go land-based first. You can hop on a rented bike and explore the off-beaten paths in Boracay. Plus, this is also a good exercise prior to trying all those water activities. All-terrain vehicles (ATV) may also be rented if you want to explore the rugged parts of Boracay.
Watch the sunset
Just before it gets dark, sit by the beach and watch the gorgeous sunset. The Boracay sunset is one of the most photographed scenes in the island, and for good reason. This romantic scenery is also why Boracay is a favorite getaway for couples. Take some romantic photos, or some jump shot silhouette photos if you are with friends.
Dinner with a view
Cap your first day with a nice dinner overlooking the beach. Different restaurants offer a wide variety of dishes to satisfy your cravings. Some offer dinner by the beach, and if that is still going to be allowed after the reopening, it is definitely worth a try. If not, there are restaurants that offer good food and a good view.
Hit the sack early so that you’ll have energy for the next day.
Whether private or part of a group tour, island hopping is definitely a must. It starts early in the morning so be sure to be up at sunrise to have your breakfast and then get ready for a good two to three hours of island hopping. Boracay island is home to a dozen other beaches, and each one is charming and unique. They are less crowded, too.
Swim at Puka Beach
One of the stops during island hopping is Puka Beach. The waters are very cool and clear and perfect for an early swim. While the sand remains fine, it is also abundant with puka shells from which the island got its name. There are huts that you can rent, and you can sip fresh buko juice while relaxing. Be warned though that it could be very pricey.
Take the plunge
If you are fearless and love thrilling adventures, you might want to try jumping off a cliff. That’s right, you can do that in Boracay. Go to Ariel’s Point where you can choose to jump from different platforms that range from three to 15 meters high. Going to Ariel’s Point on its own can take a half day so it might be wise to just include it in your itinerary when you go island hopping. This also comes with lunch on an island.
Up in the sky, under the sea
What is the point of going to Boracay if you are not going to explore its rich and diverse marine life? After lunch and an hour of rest, it is time to explore the best part of the beach, or the marine sanctuaries that lie under water. You can go snorkeling, but if you want to go deeper, opt for scuba diving. There’s also helmet diving for beginners.
Your Boracay itinerary must also include doing something for the first time. Parasailing will give you a different perspective of the island as you are hoisted several meters up in the air. There’s also stand-up paddling, riding a jetski, and kite surfing. This is also the perfect time to do some fun activities with the group. Banana boat rides and fly fishing are just some of the activities that prove Boracay is for friends.
Get a massage and henna
After a full day of beach activities, catch the sunset while getting a massage, or traditional hilot, by the beach. For only about Php300, you can have an hour of relaxation. You may also get a henna tattoo like a true island girl.
Party the night away
After dinner, crawl the different pubs in Boracay. Some bars may no longer be there once it reopens, but the epic parties will surely remain. Dance, drink, and make friends with a stranger. You have a flight the next day, so make sure to do everything in moderation.
Shop for souvenirs
After breakfast and before checking out, shop for some souvenirs. The D’ Mall is where most shopping usually happens, and while things may be different after the closure, there will still be establishments selling souvenir items. Be a responsible traveler and make sure you don’t bring home stuff obtained illegally or those that hurt the environment.
Quick Aklan sightseeing
Before heading for the airport, especially if your flight is scheduled in the evening, it would be nice to see some sights in the province of Aklan. Just a short tricycle ride away from Caticlan port is the Malay Eco Park. There are cottages where you can have a picnic. It also has a butterfly garden and some animals on the loose like goats and rabbits. At the highest point of the park, you can take in the amazing view of the town as well as Boracay Island.
Depending on the time you have, you can also take a trip to Aklan’s several mangrove forests and waterfalls.
Your three days, two nights itinerary does not have to feel rushed. Have down times in between and moments to just take in the natural beauty of the island.