While relaxing in Boracay’s magnificent white sand beaches, you are most likely to be approached by locals offering three common services: island-hopping boat trips, henna tattoo and hair braid, and massage and spa.
Boracay is the most popular beach in the Philippines. It is located in the province of Aklan, which is just a 45-minute plane ride away from Manila. From the Kalibo airport in Aklan, shuttle buses and vans await to take travelers to Caticlan for a ferry ride to Boracay island. Boracay offers the paradise get-away people on vacation always dream of.
Massage and spa services are one of the easiest ways for the native women to earn money and benefit from the popularity of the island they call their home. Getting a massage from them is not just an act of charity because they do perform their services very well. They can communicate in English and are very friendly and hospitable.
This is called budget massage, and you can get it while slouching on a cot or lying on the beach while watching the sunset. Walk-by masseurs often carry some towels to place on the sand for you. They can also carry surprisingly interesting conversations while kneading your tired muscles. They can talk about the history of Boracay, the culture of its people, and even tips on how to make the most of your stay.
Other budget massages are available in massage stations along the row of stores and shops by the shoreline. Tourists normally walk along White Beach back and forth throughout the day and will notice these. Two of the most head-turning shops are the blind massage station and draped massage booths in front of the Nigi Nigi Beach Resort in Station 3. They are always packed with mostly Western tourists. Budget massages there cost from Php300 (USD6.80) to Php500 (USD11) per hour.
Travelers and tourists will not have a difficult time finding a masseur or massage station for their beach-side massage. They are everywhere along the While Beach and even inside Boracay island’s interior. In fact, three of the most popular massage and spa centers in Boracay are not located near the beach at all.
Mandala Spa is located on a hill that is accessible by the local tricycle-taxis. It is about 30 minutes on foot from White Beach. An hour-long massage costs USD75. Mandala’s other services include body scrubs, wraps, facials and baths.
Deeper into the interior is Tirta Spa, about 10 more minutes on-board a tricycle-taxi from Mandala. Tirta’s mysterious-looking compound offers Indian massage and treatments for the tired tourist. It’s a bit less expensive than Mandala.
A little closer to the beach is Caesar’s, located along the main road near Station 3. Ceasar’s offers a 90-minute Thai massage for USD50.
If you’re too tired from all the fun activities in Boracay and are too lazy to leave your room, most major hotels offer in-house massage and spa. If not, the local masseurs also offer hotel services but are a bit more expensive than what they normally charge. Enjoy different kinds of massage such as Swedish, Shiatsu, Indian, oil, aromatherapy, Thai and even acupressure in the comfort of your own hotel room.