Boracay, in my view, caters to almost everyone’s need – you probably want to do the least possible, in that case, relaxing on a pristine beach or swim in the crystal clear water would be your best gift ever! For those who like to do stuff, there is quite a number of things on offer – from water sports to island hopping.
We paid for a 3-hour boat trip that took us around Boracay Island and discovered great snorkelling spots. It was about 20 minutes boat ride from Boracay’s White Beach took us to Crystal Cove on Laurel Island, located in the Tabon Strait that separates Boracay from Caticlan on Panay Island. A nice view point that you could get from here. Besides, there were two caves that we explored where some people were swimming in the clear warm water.
For snorkelling, we stopped by Crocodile Island, which is the most popular place and is located about 15 minutes away by boat from White Beach. Tropical fish thrive off the coral reef and are in abundance here! It was just amazing, probably the nicest and best underwater marine lives I’ve seen so far!
When it comes to exclusivity, Shangri-La’s Boracay, which is located on the northern tip of the island has private beaches, which are only accessible by hotel’s residents. These two beaches, namely Banyugan Beach and Punta Bunga Beach. Both are golden sand beaches, not powdery as the White Beach. But, for those who like privacy, then this is for you. Shangri-La’s Boracay is about 15 minutes drive from the White Beach. There are shuttle running to and from White Beach every hour through 6pm. After six, it runs every thirty minutes through 1:30am.
My view of Shangri-La’s Boracay, if you are one of those who prefers to just stay put at this huge luxury hotel with beautiful landscape and enjoy all the facilities offered, then it thicks all the boxes. (It even has a clinic with 24-hours on call in-house doctor).
There are a few restaurants. It was a great opportunity to try out Rima, which offers Southern European cuisine in a romantic tree house setting. The Degustation Menu was, in my opinion, really good! I would imagine it wasn’t easy to source the freshest ingredients especially for Western cuisine. The execution of most if not all the dishes were pretty much exceeding expectation. It was like dining in a Michelin-starred Italian restaurant, I am besotted! I particularly loved the very beautifully presented poached veal tenderloin tuna caper sauce and crunchy vegetables. The other dish, homemade ravioli with liquid parmesan, zucchini and capsicum sauce, was as yummy as how it looked! I was more than satisfied with the quality and presentation of food.
On the map, Puka Beach is further north from Banyugan Beach Shangri-La’s, which is about 10 minutes drive away. Puka beach (the locals converge to gather puka shells from which the beach derived its name) is one of the most unspoilt areas in Boracay. We took a Tuk Tuk to this 800m beach, which remains a favourite spot for travellers and tourists who want to escape the white beach crowd and seek pure relaxation and tranquility. There are some shops at the beginning of the beach selling souvenirs. The beach is really clean (though not as powdery as the White Beach), so as the water. A nice spot to chill out for a change!