Island Hopping and Snorkelling Around Boracay

Reef and school of fish Boracay

For our last day in Boracay we decided to go on a 3 hour island-hopping trip for some snorkelling and to see a bit more of the island. Island-hopping was a bit of a misnomer for the trip that we went on, as while most island-hopping cruises take you around to several different islands, this one simply took us to a few different places around Boracay. We were aware of what the itinerary was when we booked, just make sure you check what your itinerary will be if you wanted to explore more of the other islands around Boracay. Island hopping tours can be organised with one of the many tour operators on White Beach, you will have no shortage of offers! We met our guide on the beach at 1pm and headed down to Station 1 to meet our boat driver and take off on our trip.

Banca Boracay
Our trusty vessel for the afternoon!

We had organised to go on a small local outrigger boat known as a banca. We were quite lucky weather-wise as there had been rain that morning, but already the sun was shining and getting very warm – we couldn’t wait to get into the water! After cruising around Boracay for a while, we soon arrived at the first snorkelling spot. There were a few other snorkelling groups there already, but the reef was definitely not crowded, and our boat driver kindly stopped our boat some way away from the other groups. Ash and I eagerly jumped into the clear water, and were soon immersed in the beautiful underwater world. Erin snorkelling in Boracay The marine life was quite plentiful on the shallow reef, and we were soon surrounded by hundreds of colourful fish. We soon learned why – when I popped my head above water I noticed that our guide was throwing small pieces of bread in the water to attract the fish. This isn’t something that I’m really keen on, if I had known that this was the norm I would have asked them not to feed the fish on our trip (and I certainly did when we went to the next snorkelling spot). We were all too soon called back to the boat to continue on our trip.

School of fish Boracay
A variety of butterflyfish and surgeonfish
Striped Surgeonfish Boracay
A stunning Striped Surgeonfish posing for my camera!
Clownfish Boracay
Some shy little clownfish peeking out of the anemones.

Our next stop was the lovely Puka Beach, which is located to the north of the Boracay island, isolated from the hustle and bustle of White Beach. Puka Beach is much more secluded than White Beach, there were only a few other people on the entire beach when we arrived. Puka Beach gets its name as this is where the local Filipinos collect puka shells to make jewellery and trinkets that are sold on Boracay. It was a perfect place to lay out our towels and relax for a while under the gently swaying palms, having an occasional dip in the clear turquoise waters to cool off from the hot sun.

Puka Beach Boracay
Gorgeous Puka Beach

We reluctantly left Puka Beach to continue on to our last snorkelling destination of the day. Our guide warned us that the visibility may not be as good here, due to the rain that we’d had earlier that day, and he was right. There was quite a bit of fine sediment in the water that had been kicked up by the storm, and the reef was also a bit deeper below the water here, all contributing to it being a little more difficult to see the marine life. We weren’t too disappointed though as there were still things to see, and it was just enjoyable to be out and snorkelling around in the ocean. At our guide’s call, we jumped back in the banca and started on our return journey.

Butterfly fish and urchins on reef Boracay
Some colourful coral and butterflyfish at our second snorkelling site.

We arrived back at White Beach just in time to head back to the hotel, change quickly and head back out to catch one last magical sunset on Boracay. Boracay Sunset with boats Island hopping is a great way to see a bit more of the Boracay island and get some snorkelling in as well. The marine life that we saw tended to be the typical types of fish that you see in South East Asian waters, with plenty of butterfly fish, parrot fish, and the occasional shy clownfish, along with hundreds and hundreds of yellow and grey striped sergeant major fish (please let me know if I have incorrectly identified any fish, I am by no means an expert!). Try to go on a trip when it hasn’t rained for a couple of days to ensure maximum visibility underwater at all of the snorkelling sites, but if you can’t avoid going soon after the rain, don’t stress – it didn’t impact our enjoyment of the trip! If you have more time I think it would be great to go on a full day trip, so you get to see more of the islands surrounding Boracay as well. I would definitely recommend an island-hopping trip as a must do if you’re at all into snorkelling. If you’re more of a “relax on the beach” type, try to get over to Puka Beach to spend some time getting away from it all, it’s wonderfully quiet and the scenery is stunning. Have you done any island hopping around Boracay? What was your favourite part?

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