Boracay, Philippines – 2017, May 24
My wife told me our son Marcus didn’t want to swim in the beach. He seemed afraid and that perhaps we can bring him to the beach together. We had plans to go to Boracay before we separated so I agreed when she said we should bring him before his school starts.
I contacted my travel agent with TravelOnline to set us up with a Boracay trip. He first gave us a 3 days / 2 nights trip but since we were not able to confirm at once, the only thing he could provide us was for 4 days / 3 nights with an Executive room in La Carmela de Boracay given the very short notice. It’s summer time and it’s the super peak season here so we got it just so we can bring Marcus to the beach.
Total cash paid to TravelOnline = P 33,365.00.
The following were included on the package:
1) Roundtrip tickets (Manila to Kalibo – Kalibo to Manila)
2) Island Star Express Transfer – they took care of the transfer when we landed in Kalibo, the Bus ride to Caticlan, the boat ride and van to La Carmela and going back when we left.
3) 4 days / 3 nights with La Carmela the Boracay – Executive Suite with Breakfast
4) Villa de Oro meal Voucher for Three – can be claimed 6pm-10pm, these were supposed to be just set meals but if you add P50 each, you can upgrade it to their buffet and do eat all you can.
5) Carusso Pizza Voucher – we could not claim due to lack of time
6) Red Coconut Pizza Voucher – we could not claim due to lack of time
7)) Jonah’s Fruit Shake Voucher – we could not claim due to lack of time
We used TravelOnline previously a few years back when my wife and I went to Palawan so I was confident that they are legitimate.
While I was checking our flight bookings in AirAsia, I noticed that we are not seated together. Marcus was seated with my wife but I am either at the back or at the other aisle. I was glad that the second to the frontmost Premium / Hot Seats were still available but I encountered an issue when I could not change the seats on our bookings myself since it was done by my travel agent. Fortunately, I was able to chat with their customer service. They reserved the Premium / Hot Seats for us and I can just pay it at the check-in counter. If I am not mistaken, I added an additional P500.00 for each seat to change our seats to their Premium / Hot Seat.
Our flight was supposed to leave at 3:30pm but our AirAsia flight got delayed and we got to leave the airpost at almost 6pm. The flight time was less than one hour. We found Island Star Express who led us to the Bus which got us from Kalibo Airport to Caticlan ferry terminal. The bus ride took about 2 hours.
After paying some environmental fees in the terminal, we rode a big boat that ferried us to Boracay. The boat ride took about just 15-30 minutes. Once we were in Boracay, a van transported us to our hotel in La Carmela. It was almost midnight and we were tired and hungry. The closest from that hotel that we found to be open to have our dinner on our first night was Mini-Stop.
The following morning, we ate our breakfast at La Carmela and strolled the beach of Boracay. This is where we met Kuya Jimboy. He became our tour guide and has helped us on the activities. Gladly, Marcus becamed fond of him as he was always there to assist us and help Marcus when needed.
We ate fruit snacks at Boracay Sands. Their fruit servings may be a bit pricey but they have huge servings. The sun was up high and swimming was out of the question at that time so we thought about other activities that perhaps we could do while the sun is still raging from above. I remembered the Helicopter ride, thus, I contacted Jimboy and asked him to set us up with it. It was supposed to be P 12,000 but I was able to get it for P10,000 for a private ride of 15-30 mins up in the air.
They picked us up with a taxi on our hotel and brought us to the Helipad area.
After registration, we waited for our turn. After some pictures, we took off. The Helicopter gave us a tour of the whole Boracy Island. We went around it and got close to show us the wind mills. We saw the whole island from above and the scenery was majestic. It wasn’t long but it was one of a kind experience riding a private Helicopter around Boracay. After we lande, the same taxi took us back to our Hotel. Marcus was skirmish during the ride but when we were in the taxi, he said “Everybody, that was super awesome!”
When the sun was about to set, that’s when we went out to to the beach. Marcus was hesistant at first but as soon as he got the feel of the water and the sand. We could barely control him rolling, running around, swimming and playing with sand. I took a swing at the paddle board which cost P500 an hour.
After dusk, we went back to our hotel and crossed paths with a parade being held on the street. We also got invited to a free dinner at Astoria Current. They said it was to tour the place and we just need to attend a short program after. The place and the food is really nice but it turns out the tour and short program after was for a Timeshare offering.
The next morning, we started with our Island Hopping with Kuya Jimboy. While in the boat, Kuya Jimboy pointed to us the different islands as we pass by them such as, the Crocodile island, the Turtle island, the Starfish island and the Magic island where you can do cliff diving of up to 20 feet.
We stopped by Crystal Cove Island to explore it. There was an entrace fee was P200.00 each. After we entered the place, we saw the wishing well and several art statues. There were also a lot of pidgeons in which Marcus had fun playing and trying to feed and catch them. There were also a Mini-museum that features arts, seashells, sculptures, and others. We noticed the cottages are neatly made out of bricks with great designs. We explored the Trail View, View Deck, Bay Watch area and took pictures. We also visited Cove 1 which is an underground river. The water is so clear to look at. I took a dip and it was cold and really refreshing in the skin. We didn’t proceed down Cove 2 as the stairs was really steep and we have a child with us. Going back, we saw the blossoming of lotus and rested a bit before we go to our next destination.
Our next destination was Puka beach. The first thing we noticed is the sand. It was white sand, really thin and soft. It was amazing. It’s definitely better than the one near our hotel. It’s probably since there are no hotels in there but just stores with beach chairs and shades. You can use a beach chair with shade and enjoy the view and the beach if you order drinks on the store that takes care of it. P250.00 for a mango juice for example.
While relaxing on their beach chairs, we were swarmed by those selling trinkets and souvenirs. We bought a few from them and after they left, I had a massage. P350 for one hour whole body massage on that beach chair. It was so relaxing that you would wish to just stay there to enjoy the place and scenery.
We had sumptous lunch and took some rest. At about 3pm, Kuya Jimboy picked us up to go to our next activities – parasailing, jet ski, and banana boat riding.
We rode a big tricycle which brought us I believe to the other part of the island where we can do the activies.
After we registered by the shore, since it was low tide, we were pulled via Banana boat to where a ferry is waiting to shuttle us to a floating big raft area a few hundred meters from the shoreline. The place seems to be where they start the activities.
The first thing we did was Parasailing. We asked if Marcus (3 yrs old) can join us and they said that he is big enough to join us regardless of his age. We rode a speed boat and there they set us up with gears. Once they have set up the big parachute and attached them to us, the parachute was made to fly and as it rises higher, we were pull up in the air. The chute was being pulled by the speedboat to maintain our direction and altitude. We were shouting and having fun up in the air. It began to rain but we kept on flying, screaming and enjoying the view and experience from up above till our time was up. When they began to reel us in, before they pulled us over the speed boat, they made sure we splashed in the water first and pulled us up, pulling us in till we got on safely on the boat. We were above in the air for about 15-30 minutes.
Parasailing cost – P2,500 each.
Next, JetSki! They wanted to ferry is around the jetski but I decided to try it first by myself and see if I can control it. Luckily, it was easy to control. When i came back, I got Marcus behind me and my wife behind Marcus. They held close to me while we went three rounds the area for jetskiing. The funny thing is, with all the noise, up and downs, splash of water here and there, even with our speed and excitement, Marcus was able to sleep in the middle of our jetski trip.
Jet Ski cost – P2,500 per 30 mins.
Unfortunately, it was late in the afternoon and we could no longer do the other activities we were supposed to.
Here are the prices of the other activities you can enjoy:
1) Flyfish – P3,000 per person (minimum of 3)
2) Banana Boat – P300.00 per person (minimum of 5)
3) Band Wagon – P600.00 per person (minimum of 3)
The next day, we enjoyed the beach again in the morning. My wife tried the paddle board and we decided to also try the hotel swimming pools.
Check out time of La Carmela is 1pm. However, our flight was moved from 9:45pm to 11:30pm. So I decided to extend up to 4pm. (Extension was P400 per hour). At 4pm, we were picked up on our hotel by Island Star Express, ferried to the bus and was dropped off in Kalbo Airport. Luckily there weren’t much more delays and we left Kalibo airport before 12 midnight.
Now, we know why Boracay is the most visited destination in our country. Though their highways are small (almost just one lane each), the beach and places around it are really beautiful. Add the activities and the warmth of the place and people, we surely would love to go back.