Snorkeling in Boracay is one of the reasons why people come to the island in the first place. Unlike diving, snorkeling does not require expensive equipment and expert training. This means snorkeling in Boracay can be enjoyed by anyone at any given day.
Boracay is no doubt the most tourist-attractive island in the Philippines. The Philippine archipelago is made up of 7,107 islands and Boracay is the only tiny island that gets about a million local and foreign visitors every year. It is located in Aklan province, in a large island called Panay. Boracay Island is only 7 km long and 2.5 km wide, which makes it easy for visitors to tour it on a motorbike or on board a local tricycle in a day. A trip on an outrigger boat around this dumbbell-shaped island can take only a few hours.
Island-hopping around Boracay and nearby islands is one of the most popular activities. Local boatmen tirelessly walk along White Beach offering an island-hopping ride for Php500 or USD11. The package is good for one hour and scheduled to visit a number of stops, but travelers can request to anchor at the middle of the sea for snorkeling. Local boatmen are generally accommodating, can speak good English and are expert divers.
Hired boatmen usually carry snorkeling goggles, snorkels and fins for rent, as well as biscuits and pieces of bread with which to feed the fish. The tourist does not need to be an expert diver to see brightly colored fishes as they feast on the crumbs and occasionally nibble at the snorkeler’s fingers. This experience is snorkeling at its finest.
Boracay guests do not need to sail afar to go snorkeling. Little children and the less adventurous grownups would love snorkeling by the white, sandy shoreline of White Beach and the other 12 beaches scattered around Boracay. There are corals, shells and tiny striped fishes to see. It is also fun snorkeling by Willy’s Rock but be careful not to wonder too far since there are sea urchins deeper offshore. Willy’s Rock is that oddly shaped volcanic rock formation standing on the shallow water with a grotto of the Virgin Mary. It is at the center of White Beach and difficult to miss.
White Beach is Boracay’s main attraction. It is a 4-km stretch of fine white sand that is just amazing to see. Tourists come to enjoy White Beach, its sand and water, shops, bars, restaurants and people. Along D’Mall, the only decent mall in the island and located in the middle of White Beach, there is a row of shops that sell swimwear and gadgets that are perfect for snorkeling.
The best months to visit the island are from November to February, during the dry season when the skies are generally clear, the waves are calm and the breezes are cool. This is the perfect months for snorkeling in Boracay. The island does get hit by typhoons and storms that regularly hit the Philippines, however. In 2009, Typhoon Ketsana destroyed several establishments and resorts. Avoid visiting during the wet season, although Boracay is still quite enjoyable when under a moderate drizzle.