Over the past 10 years, Boracay has became something of a backpacking Mecca. This tiny island in the Philippine Visayas has some of the best beaches – and nightlife – anywhere in South East Asia, and combined with the extremely cheap way of life over here, it is perhaps no surprise that so many backpackers come here searching for the good life. But how can you make the most of this potential once-in-a-lifetime experience in
Heaven Boracay? Here are 8 things that all self-respecting backpackers MUST experience when they travel to the island.
First things first, everybody comes to Boracay for the beaches. There are some amazing beaches on the island, and none more beautiful than White Beach. It may get busy in high season, but so what?! You have just as much right to use White Beach as everybody else (and all other beaches, for that matter), so lay down your towel, put on that sun lotion and enjoy!
Secondly, every true backpacker worth his or her salt must attempt the cliff jump at Ariel’s Point. It is something of a right of passage for backpackers to this part of the Philippines and while there is no real danger you still don’t want to act chicken in front of your new Filipino friends, right?
Ok, so now we have taken up most of the morning. While the sun is at its hottest, you don’t want to be sunbathing on the beach, so let’s go and find something more interesting to do. How about rolling through the jungle in a plastic ball or taking a quad bike tour around the roads (and off-road)?
It’s now lunchtime, and you’ll be feeling hungry. Boracay is known for the most amazing seafood pretty much anywhere in the Philippines. I dare you to try the king prawns in coconut milk! But whatever takes your fancy, you can find it somewhere on the island, and usually for great prices. This means you can return to the beach in the afternoon having just attained a full stomach! Now go and burn off those calories…
When your food and drink has been washed down sufficiently (and after more sunbathing on the white sandy beaches) it is time to partake in watersports. The traditional backpacker favourite – the banana boat – can be seen everywhere in Boracay and can be hired ad hoc rather cheaply. Jet skis and parasailing are also ways to prove your manliness, although scuba diving is a great way to enjoy that turquoise water and perhaps spot some fish (before the locals grill it).
When all is said and done for the day and you cannot have any more fun, it is time to spend the last little bit of your daytime budget in the various souvenir shops on the island. Boracay is a great place for a souvenir, and the more tacky the products are, the more likely backpackers are to buy them (oh yes, you know this is true)!
Maybe after a quick shower (and a few more bottles of San Miguel) to wash off that sand and sea salt, it is time to regroup and get together with fellow backpackers from your hostel and head down to one of the many bars and clubs on Boracay. It is a great time and place to meet other people and share a few stories and a few beers (and maybe more…). The action will last until the early hours of the morning, as clubs in Boracay stay open til late.
If you’re backpacking in Boracay and you wake up BEFORE MIDDAY then I am afraid you are not a real backpacker! After a long lay in, it will be time to head back down to the beach, and preferably a different beach to yesterday – but can you even remember which one you were at yesterday?!