Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

The great Boracay attraction

Dezsa C. Rubio - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - In the long sunny days of summer, anticipation fills the minds of people. The endless possibilities for fun and adventure can make one restless. What’s next to experience? Where to go next?

It is true that one of the things that one has to deal with in summer is the itch to get away. In a country which has an abundance of great destinations, it can be difficult to choose. The smart way to make the most out of a holiday trip is to pick a place that offers many things in one stop. One possibility would be to head to one of the country’s finest beaches: Boracay.

Among the hundreds of beautiful beaches that line the Philippine coasts, Boracay is undoubtedly one of the most popular – if not the most popular. Famous for its pristine fine sand and clear waters, Boracay is a big favorite of local and foreign tourists alike. Many Filipinos, in particular, have it in their bucket lists to visit the island after having read about it in travel books and seeing it on postcards.

The trip to Boracay can be fairly smoother, compared to the stressful daily commute in Cebu City. Especially now with AirAsia having daily direct flights from Cebu to Caticlan, getting to the island is made easier. On the 45-minute flight, travelers experience the warm service and enjoy a healthy Santan rice meals combo. From Cebu, AirAsia has added new daily flights to Davao direct and to Palawan and Boracay via Caticlan.

From Caticlan’s airport tour groups may opt to arrange for pickup by their chosen hotels. The more adventurous travelers may take a five-minute ride to Caticlan Jetty port, from where to cross to Boracay Island itself. It’s a mere15-minute boat ride to Boracay, where it’s easy to manage getting to the resorts from the seaport.

Food along White Beach can be expensive, and so booking at a hotel that offers serviced apartment-style lodging equipped with a small kitchen is suggested. Azalea Hotels & Residences provides kitchen, dining and living facilities in their spacious rooms, fit for a family or group getaway. This 238-room hotel is near the beach strip and malls.

These days Boracay offers a wide selection of activities for tourists – from sea escapades to mainland excursions. But among the variety of choices, three activities are recommended for families or even for solo backpackers.

Cliff Diving at Magic Island

For those seeking for an adrenaline-pumping adventure, Magic Island will quench the thirst for excitement and thrill. To get to Magic Island, day-trippers can rent a boat at Station 3 for a 15-minute trip to this tiny island south of Boracay.

For only P150 each, tourists may enjoy unlimited jumps from five dive boards, each with varying heights of three, five, seven, nine and 10 feet.  The faint-hearted may simply opt to lounge at the cottages available and spend peaceful time away.

Exploring Crystal Cove

Crystal Cove is somewhere near Magic Island, but a separate islet itself. It takes a five-minute boat ride to cross over to more activities there.

It’s a 2.5 hectare private island with its own private beach and two coves which tourists may explore. A daytrip at Crystal Cove is even made educational with a small museum that showcases shell collections, artist’s gallery, 3D paintings, optical illusions and Philippine history. Visitors can also enjoy a delectable lunch of grilled seafood or hearty snacks while relishing the spectacular island panorama.

ATV and Buggy Course

If wanting for a change in landscape, the traveler may head back to the Boracay mainland and have fun riding buggy carts or ATVs, which are available for rent at Red Coral. But before hitting the road, he or she may want to spend some time getting acquainted with different avian species and butterflies at the Red Coral aviary. After seeing birds and bats, it’s time to proceed to the 15-minute uphill drive to Ocean Tower. With its high location, Ocean Tower ushers in an exhilarating 360-degree view of the whole island.

At the end of an adventure-filled day, Boracay lights up as the White Beach strip comes alive with music and performances against the magnificent sunset. Boracay’s night life is also something not to miss. And capping off the great Bora experience cannot be better than dancing the night away, meeting new friends, and creating fun memories.

Boracay attracts a good number of tourists year after year. Many of these tourists keep coming back. There is just a lot there to fall in love with. And the great Boracay attraction is not showing any signs of fading in the near future – instead, for now, it’s getting more!  Photos by Dezsa C. Rubio and Ace Perez

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