This little island is quite amazing. The emerald, sea green ocean, the long stretch of white sandy beaches paralleled with an abundance of restaurants of various cuisines …. and of course, buffets with “bottom-less iced teas” that try to under price and out smörgåsbord each other (we found one for as low as PHP 250).
One restaurant in particular where we had some of the best Greek dishes was at the Cyma Boracay Restaurant (the calamari and moussaka was awesome). Watch out for anyone who orders the flaming cheese as the staff screams out “Opa” as soon as they light the fire (scared the crap out of me).
We stayed at the Le Soleil de Boracay – a delightful beach-front resort with excellent rooms and services (no complaints here, well except for the included breakfast, I wouldn’t recommend their salads from a can – eat out).
Of course, as soon as you step outside your hotel you will be “politely” bombarded with people trying to sell you sailing, ATV, and water sport activities, pearls, sunglasses, and even on-the-beach massages and pedicures (hmm, that sounds like a good idea). For PHP 2,500 (a little over 40 bucks, yeah, I overpaid) I got my own sailing boat tour and crew.
Tour guide cuya Don-Dong and crew members Jun-Jun, and Eric (yes, Eric has the weird nickname) took me out for a spectacular sail and snorkeling tour around the island. It was indeed a little “hardcore” as the four of us manned a single-driver, dual sail outrigger. Each of us had to periodically balance-out both sides of the boat as we “raced” around the island, jumping over whatever waves that we could find (the crew noticed I was having a pretty good time dangling off the edge).
Crocodile island, one of the sights the tour guides will say you have to see, remarkably looked exactly like a crocodile floating on the sea. Crystal Caves is the other tour highlight but unfortunately I wasn’t able to see them due to the high tide (Cuya Don-dong failed to mention that high tides part). My rented snorkeling gear kind of sucked but I managed and was able to see many tropical fish (even a 2-foot long sea snake). The tour shortly started after 9:30 and I was back just in time for lunch. It was definitely worth it.
If you are interested in a “physical challenge” (for which the BG boys would appreciate) try swimming from one end of the beach to the other (Station 1 to Station 3). I managed to swim from our hotel at station 2 to station 3 and got totally wiped out by the end of it.
The 3 days-two night package offered by Zest Airways was a pretty good deal and the airline has many more options for travel in the Philippines as well as in Singapore and Korea.
…scratched that off my tabo list (offline, my own Filipino joke).