AKLAN | Boracay Island Hopping During the Amihan Season | Lakad Pilipinas

Boracay  Island Hopping Tour

When the boatman tells you to jump—roiling waters or not—you jump. And I did, donning a full-face snorkeling mask, feet with fins, and one hand grappling an action camera . I hit the cold waters of Boracay in all its murky glory and surfaced a few seconds after. The sea was very choppy and the current was a bit strong, but I swam nonetheless, stabilizing myself with my fins every now and then to watch schools of small colorful fishes swirl around on unexpectedly lush coral beds. I was expecting a calmer swimming experience since it was almost summertime in Boracay, but it seemed that this was worse than our Boracay island hopping during Habagat season.

Boracay  Island Hopping Tour Boats
ISLAND HOPPING BOATS AT STATION 3

We booked our tour via Eagle’s Eye Travel & Tours at the Galleria de Boracay. Rates were at a discounted fee of PHP500.00 per person for a sharing boat with a capacity of forty people. We were given an option to avail of a private boat by adding a hundred pesos each, but we declined, thinking to save a bit of moolah for dinner later.

Boracay  Island Hopping Tour Punta Bunga Beach
PUNTA BUNGA BEACH AT THE SOUTH WESTERN SIDE OF BORACAY

During the Amihan Season, the boat stations transfer from Bulabog Beach to the Station 3 of the Boracay White Beach. Our tour operator fetched us from our inn a little after nine in the morning and led us to the docking station where throngs of tourists were awaiting their turn to board their respective island hopping boats. To be fair, even with the crowd, there was a sense of order within the chaos.

Boracay  Island Hopping Tour
ONE OF THE BEACHES WE PASSED EN ROUTE TO TAMBISAAN BEACH

While waiting for our turn, I rented a pair of fins from a local dive shop along the beach for a hundred pesos. If you’re planning on also renting one, I advise you deal with them directly as the touts roaming the shore charges more if you ask them about fin rentals. For the snorkels and masks, we brought our own, so no problem on that front.

Boracay  Island Hopping Tour Boat
ABOARD A CRAMPED OUTRIGGER BOAT

Finally it was our turn to board, sloshing through the algae-ridden waters of the White Beach and into an almost full boat. After taking a quick look at the seats, which we were told were good for two persons, I wished that we booked a private boat instead. It can indeed seat two people, but the person on the corridor side can only put half an ass cheek on the small wooden bench.

Boracay  Island Hopping Tour Diniwid Beach
DINIWID BEACH DEVELOPMENT

Note, however, that this is no fault of the tour operator, since, from what I can glean from the going-ons at the staging area, the boats are organized for all the tourists going on the tour as they go. The operators have no control what boats their clients would be boarding.

 

 

SNORKELING


Since the waves are relatively much calmer at the White Beach side of Boracay during this time of the year, the snorkeling area is on the waters fronting Diniwid Beach. When I say relative, it’s still quite choppy. It took about twenty minutes for our boat to reach the site, which is right in the middle of the sea, before our boatman stopped the engine and told those who wanted to snorkel to jump.

It was actually quite wavy and those with lesser swimming skills would definitely have a hard time on the water. I was the first one to jump, and it would’ve been a challenge to swim too if not for the fins I rented. My mom tried to go down, but even with a floating vest, she came back up after a minute into the water. The current was just too strong.

Underneath, clarity was also quite bad due to the waves and the cloudy skies above, but I can see glimpses of how promising this snorkeling site would be on better weather. After a few rounds of circling our boat, I also went back up.

Boracay  Island Hopping Tour Diniwid Beach
DINIWID BEACH DOCKING AREA

Boracay  Island Hopping Tour Snorkeling
SNORKELING ON THE WATERS IN FRONT OF DINIWID BEACH

 

 

PUNTA BUNGA BEACH


Our next destination should’ve been Puka Beach, but our boatman advised that the waves were too strong that day. Instead, he steered us towards Punta Bunga Beach where Shangri-la Boracay is located. Before this trip, I thought Punta Bunga Beach is exclusive for resort guests only. Well, I thought wrong. Cos, here we were, our boat docking on the resort’s expansive beach with no security guards shooing us off.

Happily, we hopped from our boat and into the algae-free waters of the beach. The sand isn’t as fine as those at the White Beach, but it is good enough. It stretches for almost a kilometer, with its eastern part broken by a rocky outcrop before continuing on for a few meters to a wall of karst set with hardy trees. There’s a trail where you can climb which would bring you to the smallish Balinghai Beach at the other side.

Swimming at Punta Bunga was also a challenge since the waves aren’t exactly calm either. Still, it was a far more pleasant than our earlier snorkeling session.

Boracay  Island Hopping Tour Punta Bunga Beach
DOCKING AT PUNTA BUNGA BEACH

Boracay  Island Hopping Tour Balinghai Beach
THE MINI BALINGHAI BEACH WHICH YOU CAN ACCESS FROM PUNTA BUNGA

Boracay  Island Hopping Tour Punta Bunga Beach
PUNTA BUNGA BEACH IS WHERE SHANGRI-LA BORACAY IS LOCATED

Boracay  Island Hopping Tour Punta Bunga Beach
WAVES AREN’T THAT TAME EITHER

 

 

BUFFET LUNCH AT TAMBISAAN BEACH


Most, if not all, island hopping tours in Boracay are inclusive of a buffet lunch for their guests. Like on my previous tour, ours was also held at Tambisaan Beach.

It was almost deserted except for a couple of kids playing near the shore. Most people were busy having lunch at one of the open-aired restaurants along the shore It was actually quite perfect, the water was azure and very calm. But since we, like most others, were on a limited time—just enough to raid the buffet table and eat—no one was able to swim on the beach.

Getting there was quite rough though. Since it’s on the northwestern part of Boracay Island, the waves are much bigger. Our boat, however, rode it out like a rodeo champion, to the hoots and cheers of the passengers on board.

But on to the food. The buffet spread consisted of pork barbecues, two vegetable dishes, chicken curry, rice and watermelons. Unlike before, there’s absolutely zero seafood. You can actually order for some, but they’re quite expensive. Everything, except for the superb barbecue, was average. Good thing iced tea drinks are included on the buffet, else, we would’ve died of thirst as we forgot to bring bottled water with us, lol.

Boracay  Island Hopping Tour Tambisaan Beach
TAMBISAAN BEACH IN BORACAY

Boracay  Island Hopping Tour Tambisaan Beach
THE BEACH IS DESERTED EXCEPT FOR A COUPLE OF LOCAL KIDS

Boracay  Island Hopping Tour Tambisaan Beach
TOO BAD WE DIDN’T HAVE TIME TO SWIM

Boracay  Island Hopping Tour Tambisaan Beach
ONE OF THE KIDS SHOWING OFF HIS DIVING SKILL

 

 

CRYSTAL COVE & MAGIC ISLAND


And just a few minutes away from our lunch beach was two of our last destinations for the day. These are actual islets near Boracay. The first one, Crystal Cove, is a pay resort with some swimmable caves inside its gated wall. I actually haven’t been inside this place yet, thinking that the PHP200.00 entrance fee isn’t worth the admission.

What we usually do here is simply spread our banig beach blanket on the sand outside the gate, laze and swim around until our boatman calls everyone back on board. To be honest, the beach isn’t that great too.

Magic Island, on the other hand, is a much more fun destination, especially for bolder travelers. The place actually looks a bit like a primitive islet, with bamboo structures protruding from every space off its rocky surface. Every time I pass this island, it’s almost always full of caucasian backpackers waiting their turn to jump on its many platforms extending into the sea.

Our boatman asked if anyone wants to jump so he can steer our boat to its dock and let those brave enough to land. No one raised their hands. Well, I guess I was wrong, you really don’t need to jump every time your boatman asked you to, especially if there’s a PHP200.00 entrance fee too.

Boracay  Island Hopping Tour Crystal Cove
CRYSTAL COVE ENTRANCE GATE

Boracay  Island Hopping Tour Crystal Cove
CRYSTAL COVE BEACH

Boracay  Island Hopping Tour Magic Island
MAGIC ISLAND’S CLIFF JUMPING AREA

 

 

Boracay Island Hopping Tour
Eagle’s Eye Travel & Tours
Address: Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan
Contact Number: (0948) 355-7252 | (0915) 115-5890
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► BOOK A BORACAY ISLAND HOPPING TOUR ONLINE






Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Tuesday, April 25, 2017

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