Feel the love: 9 romantic things to do in Boracay

From a sunset ride on a traditional paraw sailboat to a candlelit dinner for two right on the beach, Boracay resident Freida Dario-Santiago shares her tips on romantic Boracay

By Freida Dario-Santiago, with additional reporting by Monica De Leon. Cover photo by Jack Jarilla

1 Book a romantic stay

Diniview Villas

Diniview Villas
A homey “home away from home”, perched on a hillside off Diniwid Beach, Diniview Villas offers self-catering villas with breathtaking views of the ocean. Each of its Asian tropical-themed villa with Scandinavian design touches is unique, with towering trees providing privacy. Amenities include airconditioning, hot and cold showers and Wi-Fi. Solar panels provide backup power, and guests are encouraged to respect nature by observing simple eco-friendly practices.
Visit Diniview Villas

Mandala Spa & Resort Villas
Tucked away within a lush tropical hilltop sanctuary off Boat Station 3, Mandala Spa & Resort Villas remains a Boracay favorite for its rustic charm and luxuriant grounds, giving you a sense of calm. Each of Mandala’s detached 100sqm villas is surrounded by greenery and offers the utmost privacy. The 300sqm Pool Villa, located high on a cliff, overlooking the South China Sea has an infinity pool, an outdoor rain shower, a verandah and offers a breathtaking sunset view. The spa-resort is also known for its award-winning spa treatments. Book the Romantic Mandala Spa Journey, a special two-hour pampering treatment for couples. 
Mandala Spa & Resort Villas is located at Station 3, Manoc-Manoc, Boracay Island, tel +6336 288 5857, email [email protected], visit Mandala Spa & Villas. Mandala is offering the “Lovers’ Delight Getaway” this February. 

The Premier Suite at Discovery Shores Boracay
Treat yourself to a room or suite at the 87-room Discovery Shores Boracay, a beachfront address along Boat Station 1, Boracay Island’s quieter side with the widest beach area and the best spot for viewing the island’s sunset. The resort's suite is spacious and includes a receiving area, dining area, bedroom with king-size or double queen bed, bathroom on two levels, and a balcony that offers a fantastic view of White Beach. The resort can arrange a private candle lit dinner, in-room massage, or any other leisure activity on the island.
This Valentine’s, Discovery Shores has a little surprise for guests, revealed on the day of their stay. Visit Discovery Shores Boracay.  

2 Explore the island's beaches
Puka Beach. By Carlos Legazpi

Boracay Island’s famous White Beach is but one of over a dozen beaches and coves on the island. Take your pick among the more remote and quieter beaches such as Diniwid, Puka, Ilig-Iligan or Balinghai. 

Balinghai Beach, a tiny beach cove at the northern tip of the island, is protected by rock formations that hide it from the rest of the island. Stay for the day and go for a swim or snorkel. The reef, just a few meters from the shore, has a rich and diverse marine life. Balinghai Beach Resort on the cliffs within the private cove has a beach bar and café, a perfect spot for watching the sunset. Or why not stay for a romantic candlelit dinner and a bonfire?
To get to Balinghai Beach, book a special chartered tricycle ride for P150 from Boracay's Station 2, or get a regular tricycle ride from the corner of Balinghai Road. But if you'd like to score high on the romance front, book a paraw outrigger boat to take you on a leisurely ride to Balinghai Beach. Balinghai Beach Resort  is located at Yapak, Hagdan, Boracay Island,  tel +63 36 288 3646. Visit Balinghai Beach Resort on Facebook.

Puka Beach on the island's northern coast has a white sandy beach and is less crowded than White Beach. Travel blogger Estan Cabigas describes it as "pristine and undeveloped, despite it being in popular Boracay."  Freedive Boracay owner Cat Craciun says, "Puka Beach is a great place to watch the sunset and find some of the best value hotels."

The 200-meter long Diniwid Beach is also a convenient getaway. It is easily accessible through a footpath carved along the rocky cliff at the northernmost tip of White Beach. Relatively quiet compared to White Beach, Diniwid has a life of its own, with excellent restaurants and bars.

For more information, visit Boracay's Department of Toursim Office on Boracay Main Road, Balabag or call tel+63 36288 3689. For tourist facilities and services, visit Tourist Center Boracay.

3 Get away from it all on a Hinugtan beach tour 
Hinugtan Beach is a 45-minute boat trip from Boracay Island

If you feel like a mobile tech detox for a day, the Hinugtan Beach Getaway Tour may just be for you. It's an all-inclusive day trip to neighbouring Hinugtan Beach in the municipality of Buruanga, a 45-minute boat trip from Boracay Island. Offering ultimate privacy, a gorgeous sandy beach, thatched beach huts, sun loungers, and a great snorkeling spot, Hinugtan takes chill to the next level. There's no Wi-Fi, so it's just conversations with your loved one. Visit Hinugtan beach, tel +63926 268 0369. 

4 Go on a Boracay helicopter tour 
View from one of the aerial tours of Boracay Helicopter Adventures. Screengrabbed from @agcnn

Whisk your loved one away on a quick helicopter tour of Boracay for something a little different. Or choose a longer tour, overflying the windmills of nearby Nabas, Aklan.
Boracay Helicopter Adventures offers a 10-minute helicopter ride, which gives a tour of the whole Boracay Island and costs P5,200 per person; and a 15-minute-ride, which adds to the tour a fly over the windmills of Nabas, Aklan and fetches P7,450 per person. But might as well go for the VIP tour (P9,200 per person), a 20- to 22-minute helicopter ride, which takes you to see the whole Boracay Island, the windmills of Nabas, and the off-track Crystal Cove and its dramatic cliffside. Rates include pick up fromand drop off to the resort you’re staying at. Tel +63917 589 7750, visit Boracay Helicopter Adventures

5 A romantic ride on a paraw
Sunset paraw sailing. By Jack Jarilla

Book a romantic ride on a paraw, the island's double outrigger sailing boat with nets that serve as hammocks. Relax, gaze at nothing but sky and sea as you cut across the waters. Red Pirates Boracay Sailing Tours and Bar operates paraw rides for up to 12 people, usually taking passengers to secret spots around northern Panay and Carabao Island, with picnic packages and the thrill of a lifetime. Couples can rent a paraw for a private afternoon of island hopping and a delicious grilled lunch cooked just for you on the beach, served with a chilled bottle of wine. Time your return back to Boracay to catch the sunset and see the island drenched in pink and blue light.
For paraw sailing, contact Red Pirates at tel +63998 182 0575. Visit Red Pirates on Facebook.

6 Charter your own love boat 

Onboard the Boracay Suncruiser. By Jack Jarilla

You can have Boracay's party boat—the 65-foot Boracay Suncruiser— for a romantic day out, enjoying cruising in style with good onboard music, full bar service and onboard dining served by dedicated crew and stewards. The boat's spacious lower and upper decks have sunbeds and beanbags, and thrill toys such as the Super Slide and Jump-off Launch Pad for childlike fun hitting the water. The boat charter includes a lifeguard on duty. 
P38,000 for three hours excluding food and drinks. A cheaper alternative is to join the “ROCK THE BOAT” bikini sunset cruise party, which features a guest DJ curating the music onboard as you cruise. Tel +6336 288 9079, email [email protected], visit Boracay Suncruiser. 

7 Table for two

Boracay's popularity has seen a number of restaurants open on the island, serving a variety of local and world cuisine. Here's a list to get you started...

Hilltop dinner at Asya Premier

Asya Premier can arrange a romantic private dinner for two on top of a hill overlooking the sea, your favorite music playing in the background, and no one else around.
There are three package options available, one is P6,500 for two people, which includes two soups, salad, main course (choice between grilled prawn or Brazilian beef tenderloin), dessert (butter rhum cake or warm choco brownie a la mode) and a bottle of wine. Asya Premier is at the tailend of White Beach on Boat Station 3. Tel +6336 288 1790, email [email protected], visit Asya Premier

Rima at Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa
Rima at Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa
Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa’s RIMA restaurant is perched on a treetop with sweeping ocean and sunset views, and just a few tables to make things cozy. The luxury resort's location is quite private, tucked away in its own beach cove. Chef de Cuisine Omar Ugoletti is on hand to recommend the best wine to go with your meal. Recommended dishes are yellow fin tuna tartar sandwich for starters, the 16-hour roast suckling pig for the mains, and the chef’s personal favorite, Seafood Stew with herb croutons, and for dessert, Limoncello.
Book the four-course dinner menu on Velentine’s Day at P3,250 per person. Tel +6336 288 4988, email [email protected], visit Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa

Kasbah Boracay
This beachfront restaurant on the more pleasant part of White Beach brings the colors and flavors of Morocco to the shores of Boracay, with its open air set up, low tables and floor cushions, and Arabic music. The menu is extensive, from mezze (appetizers) to main courses to gyros (wraps). Specialties include kebabs and lamb tagines. To complete your indulgent Moroccan experience, give the shisha a try.
Boat Station 1, Barangay Balabag, Boracay, tel +6336 288 4790, email [email protected], visit Kasbah Boracay

Dos Mestizos Tapas & Bar's lavish spread, which includes squid ink paella and cochinillo
Dos Mestizos Tapas & Bar
Dos Mestizos Tapas & Bar on Calle Remedios is the best place to go for authentic Spanish-Filipino cuisine, from tapas, paella to slow-cooked cochinillo. Try their famous Sangria.  
For Valentine’s Day, the restaurant is setting up candlelit tables for two, with dinner specials prepared by Chef Andre Malarky, and live string music provided by Mikhail. Tel +6336 288 5786, email [email protected], visit Dos Mestizos Tapas & Bar. 

La Cozina
La Cozina, a Latin bistro specializing in tacos and churros, has tables set up right on the beach for a casual, laidback dinner. If you're booked at its sister Zuzuni Boutique Hotel, La Cozina can arrange a romantic private dinner for two on the balcony of your guest room, complete with torches and flowers. 
La Cozina is located at the beachfront of Zuzuni Boutique Hotel, Station 2, Boracay Island, mobile +63917 324 9051.

Caruzo Ristorante Italiano
This restaurant's specialties are woodfired pizza and authentic Italian cuisine. Dinner is set up on the beachfront with tiki torches and table lamps for lighting, providing a casual yet romantic mood. 
Caruzo Risornate Italiano is at The District Boracay, Boat Station 2, Boracay Island, tel +6336 288 2324 to 27, visit Caruzo Ristorante Italiano

Prana Restaurant at Mandala Spa & Resort Villas 
The restaurant serves delicious healthy cuisine and adheres to a “farm-to-table” philosophy, using herbs and fresh produce from the Mandala Natural Garden and what is locally available.
For Valentine’s Day, executive chef Peter Montemayor will be serving healthy Valentine's Day chef's special for lunch and dinner, with the menu to include beetroot with feta cheese, orange, mint and arugula; summer rolls with cashew sesame dip; and tofu in bulgogi sauce. Pair your meal with a Camas Rose or choose from the French organic wine selections and enjoy a special Valentine’s Day discount of 10% on premium international wines and 15% on sparkling wines.  Tel +6336 288 5858, email [email protected], visit Prana Restaurant

8 Party at Epic Boracay
Epic Boracay

In Boracay, the days are hot, but the nights are even hotter! Boracay’s skyrocketing popularity can perhaps be attributed to its party scene as much as its four-kilometer stretch of powder-white sand beach. For a romantic night of music and dancing, head to the ultimate party place, Epic Boracay, in time to enjoy the sunset with drinks in hand. Try the Epic Mojito or Lychee Martini and delicious Epic Baby Back Ribs and Grilled Tiger Prawns by Chef Carlo Miguel. The place turns livelier later in the evening when the giant disco ball lights up and the DJs take center stage. If you'd like a break from the crowd and all that dancing, all you need to do is walk a few steps to the beach and sit under the stars.
“Love Potion” cocktails where ladies get to purchase cocktails for only P100 from 10pm to 1am, is available for the whole month of February. On February 10 and 11, Epic Boracay will host “Free Love”, a pre-Valentine’s Day party series, which will feature guest DJ Jena along with Epic resident DJs Acidburn, and Freddy M. And on Valentine’s Day, a special “Half on Us” promo offers diners half price on the second dish they order from 5pm to 10pm. After dinner at 10pm, the resto-bar opens the place without door charge for ladies. Tel +6336 288 1477, email [email protected], visit Epic Boracay

9 All-day breakfast
The Sunny Side Cafe

Start the day right with your loved one with breakfast by the beach. The Sunny Side Cafe serves all-day breakfast (7am to 7pm). We highly recommend the bacon & mango grilled cheese sandwich with house-made bacon and mango jam, the Sunny Side Cafe choriburger, espresso-caramel pancakes and the avocado-bacon smash, all perfect for any time of the day! 
The Sunny Side Cafe is located at the beachfront of Boracay Sands Hotel, Station 3, Boracay Island, tel +6336 288 2874, email
[email protected], visit The Sunny Side Café

Published February 2017