Boracay is world-famous for the long white-sand beach, the rich night life and for me, it’s the water activity tourism that attracted me the most.
So, on the night that we got there, we strolled White Beach and enjoyed the sea breeze.
Watched in awe at the fire dancers, marveled at the crowded beach front and the many nationalities that flock it.
We chanced upon a few groups of activities “marketer”. We haggled (I am the official haggler of the group), but still found some packages a little bit expensive. So we walked farther back and chanced upon a very lively marketer who, among all the others, made me understand the difference between the 2 helmet diving options.
His name is Paquito, and he was pretty honest about the cheaper helmet diving option, which included air coming from a compressor, going to the the helmet, which smelled like Metro Manila traffic. It was PhP 200 cheaper per head. But that’s exactly the point, we were trying to escape the urban pollution. We opted for the the oxygen tank version of the helmet diving. So, we ended up taking up the flyfish, parasailing, helmet diving and island hopping all for PhP 2200 per head, instead of PhP 2400.
Writer’s Note: Price may vary depending on the season of the year. Expect higher prices during summer vacations, semestral breaks, and the Yuletide season.
At 10am the next day, Kuya Paquito went to where we were staying at, ready for a day of activities. It threatened to rain as we got to the back beach, where most of the water activities have been transferred since the monsoon wind (habagat) made it impossible for these activities to be done in the front beach.
The objective is to stay on top of the flyfish while we are being dragged by the speedboat, against the strong monsoon wind. And yes, it’s not called the flyfish for nothing. The fish-shaped inflated thing actually flies! And the drizzle made it doubly hard to stay atop the fish. First you have to have both hands firmly gripping the handle, but rainwater makes it hard for us to keep our eyes open. And yes, Kuya driver made 3 rounds of high-flying fish, as we exhausted ourselves gripping and trying to keep our eyes open. When you fall off, the speedboat driver will continue to do his thing and won’t come back for you until the next round. These photos were taken by the boat rider from Joe-B’s underwater camera (pre-gopro days):
Imagine how slippery the boat became during this stance:
Helmet diving’s objective is to go 20 feet below the surface, feed the fish, and stay down for about 15 minutes. The most challenging part here is the pressure on the ears, which we were told to equalize to lessen the pain. The guide said to sneeze really hard while holding your nose shut, once we feel the pain so our ears would pop. Bren, our beach buff, advised to also try to swallow, or yawn. The helmet weighs 25K above the surface and only 2K below. I was the first to go down, and gosh. My ears were really painful for the first 2-3 minutes. Equalizing didn’t help immediately.
There were a few fishes (yes, fishes) down there, and true enough, Bren’s skyflakes idea worked. Because it’s wrapped and hard, it eventually gets softer the longer you stay underwater. You press it a little bit and the fishes would be delighted to eat it. The word was, pusit-pusitin, or pisil-pisilin. Just press press it. =)
Going back up, the sun was already rising, and we decided to also do the parasailing within that same day after taking lunch nearby so we could queue back for the last activity for the day.
I heard so much fuss about this before going to Boracay. But when Bren and I were finally hoisted in the middle of the sea, it was…well,a zen moment. See, even a 5-year old can do it.
It was quiet up there, relaxing, and. After the adrenaline-pumping flyfish, this is a welcome respite.
HENNA TATTOOING The price largely depends on the size and difficulty of the design.
MASSAGE While the girls had fun time getting inked, Bren was relaxing with a massage offered at PhP 350 at the beach front.
CHASING SUNSETS And while they all did their own stuff, I just stood in awe at the beauty of this place, notwithstanding the fact that when I first tried the beach, it was kind of dirty (saw coffee mate wrappers, twigs, leaves, etc). The beach walk was long, it stretches for almost 2 kilometers of white sand from station 1 to 3 (the island is 4 km long). The sun that day didn’t show as the clouds were thicker. But you know what they say about faith, right? Not because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. So I still pleasured my eyes with what sunset I had.
PARAW-SAILING is a good way to chase sunsets too. You get to ride a non-motorized bangka (boat), where your sail and the boatman’s rowing skills will determine how long and far you can go.
DAY 2: ISLAND HOPPING From the back beach (which at first I thought Paquito said Pack Beach), we headed to the eastern side to snorkel. Just a tip, if you have your own mask, by all means bring it, or buy one, if budget permits. Bren had his own so there was no hesitation in using it. As for us? Well, it was a lesson learned.
Anyway, there were a lot more fish here than when we went helmet diving. Bigger, more colorful, and friendlier. We had more than one skyflakes there. I think they were hungry as it was only a little past 7am.
A man also sold buko while we there, and that killed the saltiness of our lips, and palate as we may have gulped a few glasses of salt water, trying to get a good underwater photo.
The island hopping was only limited to 3 hours, so we hurried our way to Puka Beach, which was a lot more tranquil than the main white beach of Boracay. It was about 20-25 minutes from where we snorkeled at, and we passed by some bat turfs. The waves are a lot larger here, since to our right, we were already facing the ocean. Another tip, bring water proof bags, or, in our case, sturdy plastic bags.
Puka Beach is super clean and only a few people were there. It can also be reached by land through a tricycle ride, which could cost PhP200 per tricycle as per our boat man.
ILIG-ILIGAN BEACH We were supposed to snorkel again in Ilig-Iligan, but we opted to have lunch first. They have 3 beach food places there, all offering the same thing, at the same price. So your deciding factor could be the friendliness of the staff, and the location – which one was less crowded, has more shade, etc.
The food there was generally less expensive that in stations 1 and 2, but if you buy the whole fish about a foot long, would cost you PhP 1200. For food in Boracay, a separate blog will be posted. And since we were near our 3-hour mark, we didn’t have the chance to snorkel again, which was okay since it was around 1pm then and the sun was scorching hot.
ATV The Zetro offered the ATV package we took from Paquito. It was PhP 800 per pax to do it with Zorb. But I haggled again and got it at PhP 650 each.
Shuttle ride was free back and forth but because we wanted to do it right away, we took the tricycle going there, which was a little uphill, and cost us PhP 100. They also have The Bug, a four-wheel drive much like a go-kart for a more challenging terrain, and Segway, which is a two-wheel stand up drive that would cost PhP 2000 since it was the only outfit which offered it. So we didn’t take it.
We had to go up to Mt. Luho for a 360-degree view of Boracay Island, on board our ATV. The rough road was less than 500 meters and then we took off on a paved way going up as the part of the rough road for the ATV’s was under repair.
That made the ride less of all-terrain, but more of, a simple motorcycle ride, with 4 wheels. A little bit boring because there was no mud and all.
ZORB You may have already seen it in photos, and so have we. So, we fit ourselves in a ball, with about 2 pails of water inside to make us slide, unstrapped.
TIP: Obviously, you’d get wet while inside the ball, and after getting out of the ball. Bren and I landed facing uphill, in full reverse mode as our positions got switched while going down.
Then we rode the ATV again back to the base, and as if on cue, the rain started its daily afternoon routine.
At the end of it all, after the activities and the over-all savings we had as a group (PhP 1400), we gave Paquito a PhP 200 tip. He made sure we were first on queue, and if not, then he’d joke around to pass the time. He would endorse us to his friend boat-man, he was there on time, and he played it really cool. He even had a lot of good shots using any camera we handed him. So, again, thank you, Kuya.
OTHER STUFF YOU MAY TRY THAT WE DIDN’T: Wall climbing inside the D-Mall compound – didn’t have the chance to ask how much it was. Kite and wind surfing, scuba diving, renting motorcycle for the entire day / stay, mountain biking, banana boat, and clubbing.
(Writer’s Note: I came back to Boracay with a different set yet equally adventurous set of friends and cliff-jumped. Click here to read the blog about that adrenaline-pumping activity)
Thanks to Joeb and Brennan for your photos. Till our next trip!
68 thoughts on “Boracay Series: Water Sports and Other Activities in Boracay”
Im going to Boracay this week and glad I stumble upon your post. Thanks for sharing your experiences. 🙂
You are very welcome. enjoy your vacation and and i hope i helped you planned it in any way. =)
i just wanna ask kung saan kayo nagstay na hotel?
fat Jimmy’s it’s not as classy as station1 hotels, this one’s more of a resort, so you could spend more on food and other activities.
Hi!! gusto sana namin itry yung mga activities pero medyo mahal.. any advice naman kung paano kame makakatipid…
Thank you very much
Mas marami kau, mas maganda. Mas maraming activities, mas makakamura. Tawaran nyo ung kuyang nagaalok. Wag na kau mag tip. I think i saved our guide’s number sa blog. Si paquito. Nkasave kame kc xa lahat nag arrange nun. Pang dinner na un natipid namen. Good luck, and let me know. Enjoy bora!
Hi. Thanks sa post mo. 🙂 2200 na lahat per head? Yung lahat na activities? :)))))
yup. try nyo kontakin si Kuya na nakalagay sa blog ko. sya ung natawaran ko eh. 4 pax kami nun. cgro if more than 4 kau, mas malaki matatawad nyo. we also added ATV and Zorb the day after. pero different price na un. if you also want to do the 2, i-negotiate nyo na with the water sports. 🙂
I’m so happy to come across your blog. Am planning on a trip to boracay for 1yr anniversary with spouse. We’re just young couple and wanna get away to somewhere relaxing, romantic, beautiful and more affordable. Noticed that you mentioned paying PHP 2200/pax for flyfish, parasailing, helmet diving and island hopping. Just to check if there Is there any minimum requirement? e.g minimum group size of 3 or 4pax? By the way, does Mr Kuya Paquito speaks English or Tagalog? Which hotel you would recommend to stay? Looking forward to your reply. Cheers!
Hi there Berline. There were 4 of us then so we got to haggle a little bit more. So the price might be higher if it’s just for 2 pax. However, you may find it helpful to go with other couples if you dont mind. Paquito can understand and speak broken english, very conversant in tagalog and can take your picture using any kind of camera. Good luck and happy anniversary!!
Hi man thank you po sa pag post ng number ko po sa blog malake pong naetolong skin..tank you very much po…
Kuya Paquito. May mga nagtatanong sakin about sayo, na pupunta din jan sa Boracay. Ikaw na bahala. Kapag bumalik kami jan, discount ah? Hehe.
Hi. Can i get his number too? My friends and i are visiting boracay this march. 😉 thanks in advance 😀
Hi Noriel, it’s 09498925954. Good luck.
09498925954 – he’s very friendly and even cracks jokes. =)
hi, i cant contact paquito can i if he has any number
Hi Jayzelle, which number were you calling? I dialed his number just now and it’s ringing (but didn’t want to wake him as it’s only 5am MNL). 09498925954.
He might have just lost connection when you were calling but I’m sure the number is working. If you still cant, please leave your number and I will call him again to call you instead.
di ko makita yung number ni kuya paquito. possible ba na dun sa package nya, say, yung helmet diving.. tanggalin namin yun. [wede ba yun?
yes that is very possible. you can customize your package the way you want. =)
Punta kayo? Kelan?
very informative i spend vacation there on march.. looks very enjoy 🙂
wow..nice blog on boracay….im gg there next week friday..thanks anw fr the prices stated….shall call him when im there…btw any booth or specific location where i could find him??
No he’s just there in that area at night, tours during the day. but you can always reach him on the phone number i indicated. I hope youi enjoy your Boracay trip. Is this your first?
Footloose.. I now have read your blog twice and find it very informative. This person, Kuya Paquito, is just one person so I am sure he is very busy. I have done a little research and found several things I want to do. Does Paquito market everything or has a special selection that he can work with? Is it possible to get a person there that will be ongoing help to find things and arrange things sort of like a personal guide/concierge? I am taking my GF with me and hoping to make this the best vacation she has ever had but a American going to Philipeenes I will be like a fish out of water. Thanks for any help.
Hi Doug, well Paquito knows a lot of people in the area and Im sure that even if your request is not in his list, he can find somebody else to help you with it. he might even help you find a personal guide for you for your entire stay. Im sure you and your GF will have a grand time there. when are you going? Good luck.
I will be arriving on 6th and depart on the 11th of May so in a couple weeks here. I am not sure I can afford a personal guide but that would be awesome as then me and GF can have fun at will and use help of the personal assistant. Not sure what I would even ask Paquito for in that case. Do you have suggestions on precontact with him so that I can get things in the works?
I will see if i can contact him, so at least he’s comfortable discussing options with me in the local dialect. then i will let you know about details like budget etc.
as preliminary questions for you, you’re staying in Boracay on the dates you mentioned? no plans of hopping to other islands like Romblon, or going to nearby Antique?
Are you already booked somewhere? He might find a place with better packages along with your “water activities”.
What activities are you planning to do, so we can negotiate?
Please know though that I am in no way connected to paquito and im only doing this because im a traveler myself and i would appreciate if i had a virtual guide like this too. also, because he was very easy to work with when we were there. just returning the favor, man.
FootLoose… First of all WOW ..thank you for your help of being virtual guide. I have traveled extensively in my life but usually for work and not with someone like my girlfriend so this is different and scary for me. With only 2 more weeks left to get organized this is coming up on me quick. Your guide here has helped me a lot and if OK with you I will post my findings from my perspective on here when I return. Yes I am arriving on the 6th at the local nearby Caticlan airport around 1:30pm but no idea of how long from there to get to hotel and drop off luggage at hotel/resort/something in station 1. Also I leave early morning on 11th as I waited too long and only flights left were the early mornings ones…arggg.
A friend of mine told me her and her husband did the Island hopping with others and had a great time so I would like to look into it. Not sure what they “did” while hoping to other islands but it is a possibility. We are there for 5 full days before we fly back and I am looking for something major that my girlfriend will really like and remember each day and then filler activities between those major things. Obviously I will never get away with your awesome 2200 php but will be happy if the lady of my life really enjoys herself. I am not a “haggler” at all as I ask a price quote and I either walk away or take it. Like you I will try to find packages as those sometimes come with pretty good discounts. Some of smaller activities I most certainly want to do are things like Pairasailing (probable a couple times) Zip Line, Segways, ATV/Dune buggy, Go Carts, Helmet Diving. Might try Fly Fish on float behind boats although the internet advertised price seems expensive for what little time you get so maybe skipped. Also if I can find a Jet ski that we can take out to look around an hour on a couple different couple days I would love to do that but seems they are pretty expensive also. Of course I have spreadsheet on cost of each item and I already know my list is bigger than my budget will allow so I must pick most fun within my financial limits. I hear there is some sunset sailing and to hire the red pirates for a sailing trip is suppose to be fun. Now all that being said I have to make sure my lady has fun and that means quiet times on beach and her sometimes laying out in the sun. Oh yeah I have to get her fed also and a few massages :). From what I learned it seems I need to find a giant beach towel and sometimes get to one of the quieter beaches.
Again I am very appreciative of any insight or help you might provide or get with your point of contacts that they might provide. I am discussing with the hotel somethings also about getting help but I am sure they will really increase the cost.
Hey Doug, may I possibly have your number? you can send it privately to my email at email@example.com so i can set you up with Paquito. thanks.
Sir, did you happen to have contact with your recommended person? I will be leaving in just a couple days and would like to get things lined up as soon as possible. I have so many things I want to do and only 4 days to do them in so excited to do some of them first day we get there. thanks again for any help Doug
Yes, i had the chance to call him. If you can leave your number, would be awesome. But if now, you may contact him directly. he already knows about your request.
Yes, I already gave him a heads up and advised that he needs to take good care of a friend. Give him a ring, he should be able to arrange your day/s. Have fun!
Hi, my friends and I are going to Boracay next week and we’re already planning the activities that we’re going to do as I stumbled upon your blog. Thank you so much for posting this 🙂
I have one question though. Can we call Paquito without any travel agency, whatsoever? And will he be the one to plan activities for us?
Thanks a bunch 🙂
yes you may contact him directly. he can make suggestions, and you can haggle after you’ve chosen your activities. have fun there!
I’m very excited for our Boracay trip on May4-7. The information I found on your post is very helpful. I will surely contact Manung Paquito the moment we arrive in Boracay. Thanks for this! 🙂
Sure. send my regards to him. He’s nice 🙂
Awesome. Enjoy! 🙂
I recommend Kuya Nino rather than Paquito. I texted Paquito last week and he offered me 2,500 for Island Hopping. I told him, the usual rate of island hopping is 1k plus and he answered me “hanap nalang kayo ng ganyang rate” I answered him, halos lahat ng napagtanungan ko puro 1kplus lang ang offer. cia lang namumukod tangi na 2,500. Over pricing! Text Kuya Nino and he offers activities in very affordable rate. He gave us 1,300 for island hopping and 1,250 for parasailing instead of 1,500 which is the usual rate. His number is 09158722855.
I read the blog, aint that Paquito offers the packet which sum up to be 2200++ phd per head which includes flyfish, parasailing, helmet diving and island hopping ? Why issit so that is a individual price.
Can i ask anong cam gmit nu nung nghelmet diving kau?tnx
hi po like to ask active pah poh bah no. ni sir paquito we will go to boracay this sunday 🙂 thank you.
Yes that number is still active. Call him anytime and he will respond..enjoy your vacation!!
been to boracay last august 3 to 7 and had so much fun, thanks to our middleman uncle joe he gave us a fair deals of water activites this is his number 09498150103, he is very accomodating and he will even take pictures for you and your group
island hopping 1300 3 hours 4 pax
helmet diving 450 per pax
para sailing 1100 per pax
jetski 2000 for 30 mins
It’s nice to know you had a great time! And thanks for sharing your middle man’s details. More options, more fun! 👍👍🏊🌊🌈
Thanks for the info christian. I am planning to go to boracay in November. I might contact this Uncle Joe, you think I can haggle for the price since we will be 6 in the group?
Hi Footlooose Tomcat,
we will be in Borcay on Sept 29- Oct 2, 2014 and were a group of 4adults and 1 child, planning to have as much water activity as our time would allow. Am wondering if you can help me find a cheap bargain for parasailing, islnd hopping, snorkeling, ATV and Zorb. We will be forever grateful since its our 11th year wedding anniversry and first time in Boracay we wanted to make the most out of it, maybe with your help 🙂
We will be in Kalibo by 10am morning of Sept 29 do you have contacts on cheap transport and our flight back to Manila is on Oct 2, 2014 at 11:40am.
Also, we are selling our Bambooze Haus acomodation for 4Days 3Nights, for 1200K and our accomodtion for Seabird International for 4 Days 3Nights for 4200K, dates of stay Sept29-Oct2, 2014
My husband already purchased accomodations and we dont need them anymore, its a bargain!
Contact me if interested t firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi Erlyn! Thanks for reading the blogs. It would be best if you get the package instead of individual activities.
Ex. for individual activities: Island Hopping 1500, Helmet Diving 1200, Parasailing 650 and Flyfish 600 (a must try) = almost 3k per head but we were able to get it for 2200 per head. This package was a result of haggling (haha) and good for 4 adults. Sakto for you! (There might be some activities that won’t be good for the kid, how old is he/she btw?)
ATV is usually at 850 (with Zorb) but we got it at 650 per head.
My contact person is Paquito. No, i dont get commissions. 🙂 I just want others to have the best value for their money, like we did.
His name is Paquito (he takes nice pictures too), his number 09498925954
Let me know!
(BTW, we booked a flight for 5 to Boracay but it will be 17-20 of October. Was that 1200 PHP? I can help you sell it because I think I can’t get it for myself though it’s a really really good buy. Have fun there!)
For Bambooze no breakfast standard room with AC for seabird including daily breakfast its triple room with AC.
I tried reaching Kuya Paquito. He offered me different price “tumaas na daw”. Can you help me with that? please thanks. we are group of 4.
Hi, sorry for the late response. I’m sure by now you are back in Manila? How did it turn out?
Hi, I stumbled upon yr blog. Yr blog is really really helpful. I’m going to boracay from 9th oct to 12 oct. We be staying at boracay uptown hotel. The actvities we wanna do is more or less the same as you did. In one day how many activities can we do due to time constraints? There will be 7 of us, and do you think we can any cheaper for the package of the activities? Does this paquito have any email address? So I can liase with Him. Thanks you so much.
Hi nazzy, this is what we did with all the 6 activities.
Day 1 7am – fly fish (sometimes you have to queue so the time you spend in one event may be more than an hour)
830 – helmet diving and picture taking (this includes a short seminar)
10 – parasailing
Afternoon – inland activities like biking, massage, food trip, Pasalubong buying, etc
Day 2 7am island hopping of 3 hours
1pm atv and sorb
Pretty much you can squeeZe all in a day depending on the weather condition. No parasailing during the rain, and we didn’t want to island hop in the afternoon bec it was too hot.
Good luck! Paquito has no email pls contact him at the phone numbers I jndicated in the comments. Thanks!
i am scheduled to bring my family to boracay next year (april 7 to april 11). We are 5 in total. how many activities included in the package costing 2,200 each? thanks
the 2,200 package i mentioned was the rate for when we there in June 2013. It might already be slightly higher by the time you get here. However, my friends and I will be back there next week so I will let you know. 🙂
Hi !! Thank you for your informative blog . Me and my wife with friends will go there next week . i hope mr. paquito still have the same rates till now. Pls keep us updated.
Im also selling some of my friends promo airfair tickets dated october 16-19, 2014 for only 1,200 . If interested you can email me at email@example.com just leave your mobile number. Thanks!
Hi there Jeff. Apparently, we will also be there that same weekend! Nice. Hope to see and your wife there. 🙂
Heloo there, apology for the late late reply.
Went to Boracay (9oct -12oct) and met Paquito. Indeed he was a nice guy and he was patience with us and even help us take photo too.
I love boracay and hope to go again and thanks to Paquito he gave a us a good deals too!! and thanks to u too for sharing yr blog that i stumbled upon and getting the info abt Boracay :))
Have a good day ahead!
I am glad yoiu liked how he assisted you. We came back a week after you went there and he told us about you guys. Come back next time!
Thanks to this blog. I was able to meet Uncle Joe, nakita ko name nya before dito sa site. I called Sir Paquito first but he is not as friendly as Uncle Joe, isang tanong isang sagot lang. Walang explanation. Pero si Uncle Joe, pinapaliwanag nya. Dumating ako sa bora and he was already there waiting for us outside the hotel. He was courteous, friendly, soft spoken and will go the extra mile just to make your trip enjoyable and memorable. On the second day, binilhan pa nya ako ng bonamine tablets just because I became nauseous on the first trip, at hindi ako pina bayad. para kang boss pag kasama ka nya, he will take your videos and photos also. He will not rush things, but he’s priority also is your safety. For those who want to go to bora, and gusto nyo masulit ang activities nyo, I highly recommend you get Uncle Joe. Di po sya nag papa bayad. Pero sa akin, I gave him something at the end of the trip, because I believe he deserved it.
Super fun activities here! I feel like going back to Boracay right now. By the way, if you want affordable Boracay trip, you can get cheap Boracay packages on http://www.Boraccaygo.com.
Good day, thank you for your recommendations , and tips, my name is Paul , I have been in the island for 20yrs now. My job for 12yrs is a guide, iI just earn my badge as a licensed guide for 2yrs , trained by the Department of tourism and municipal tourism. My job is to give professional guiding . thank you.. My contack number is 09152726377
hi FootlooseTomCat. thank you so much for your very informative blog. I am planning to go to Boracay with two other friends within January. I would probable contact uncle Joe. thank again! 🙂 God bless
by the way, what hotel did you stay? how much per night?
Good day guys,I want to thanks to Kuya paquito for helping us,it’s so good and nice too,amazing place to go there,anyone going to boracay find Kuya paquito to tour any awesome activities with him,just contact his no.09498925954,again thank you so much Kuya paquito,see you soon in my next visit,take care and God Bless,.
Iam going to Bora on may5-7 with my friends, we were 3 then. I’m just confused who should we look for so that we could get a better rate and service? Kuya Paquito or Uncle Joe? Thank you! 🙂
Kuya Paquito for the activities pls. Hope you enjoy. His number is mentioned in the blog and comments. 😄 share your experience here if you like.