While backpacking may be my traveling style of choice, I also get the urge to take a break once in a while so I can relax and clear my mind especially after a long backpacking trip. Despite the thousands of tourists flocking to Boracay every summer, there’s still a lot of space for relaxation. It’s only a matter of looking for the right spots.

Puka Beach, Boracay Island

Most people would think of Boracay as crowded with tourists and packed with resorts, restaurants, and bars with no place to get some peace and quiet. Then again, most people who visit Boracay, as I’ve noticed, spend too much time inside their hotel rooms and almost never venture out of White Beach. Outside White Beach, the rest of Boracay is surprisingly not as chaotic and provides ample space for some privacy. One such place is the northern part of Boracay Island called Yapak. Last summer, me and a few other bloggers were invited to stay in Alta Vista de Boracay, located on the hills of Yapak, to experience the “other side” of Boracay.

Alta Vista de Boracay

The first time I went to Alta Vista de Boracay, I can already feel a sense of privacy … which is a rare occurrence if I were staying in White Beach. Their carefully landscaped gardens and Malayan inspired architecture is also a pleasant treat for the eyes. At the highest point of Alta Vista de Boracay is their spacious reception area, restaurant, and gorgeous infinity pool. It’s a great spot to lounge around for hours on end to read a good book, listen to your favorite tunes, dip in the pool for a refreshing swim, or just enjoy the view and watch the play of warm colors during sunset.

Firedance Show and Poolside Dinner

During the evening, we were treated with a sumptuous dinner buffet at the poolside and entertained with a flaming firedance show set to the beat of tribal drum music.

Palassa Spa

After allowing the delicious food to set, it was time for the in-room massage courtesy of the Palassa Spa at Alta Vista de Boracay. They have a variety of massage and spa treatments available. I decided to indulge in their signature Palassa massage. It wasn’t long after the soothing massage that I entered a deep relaxing sleep. Next thing I knew, it was already morning. The sunny weather was so nice and inviting, I couldn’t that wait to go out and spend time at the beach.

Quick Visit to Shangri-la Boracay

I didn’t actually visit Shangri-la Boracay during this particular trip but the luxury resort is just next door from Alta Vista de Boracay. Everyone (even if your not a guest) is welcome at Shangri-la to try our their multiple dining options. Last time I was there, I had a delightful taste of their signature Hainan Chicken and made a tour of their sprawling resort complex. I particularly loved their hilltop loft villas and the bar on top of a rock cliff dividing their two private beaches.

Picnic Lunch at Puka Beach

Puka Beach is just a few minutes away from the resort. It is known for its Puka Shells, which is used to make shell crafts and jewelry. The beach is largely undeveloped and offers a glimpse of Boracay in its more pristine form when tourism in the island was still in its infancy stages. We had a picnic BBQ lunch on the beach and had a wonderful time soaking up the beautiful tropical scenery.

Parasailing in Boracay

We went to White Beach for some water activities after lunch. At the top of our list was to try parasailing. It was my first time and I was so excited! I didn’t realize that it was such a great endorphin rush.

Fun fact: Endorphin is known as the feel good hormone released by the body during feelings of exhilaration brought on by pain, danger, or other forms of stress.

Please excuse the excessive bleeping

Paraw Sailing in Boracay

We mellowed things out, later that day, by taking a leisurely paraw cruise off the coast of White Beach to enjoy Boracay’s famed sunset. A paraw is a type of traditional sailcraft in the Philippines. The sunset was perfect and the soothing cruise at the coast made for a great experience.

Nightouts in White Beach

Next up was another buffet dinner, but this time we were at the beachfront area of White Beach. Afterwards, I met up with a few of my other friends and stayed for a few more nights in Station 3. There’s nothing better than being with close friends. Our evenings were packed with nightouts in White Beach chugging down ice cold beers at the beach under the bright stars and  flickering disco lights.

Places to go in Boracay to Escape the Tourist Crowd

Here’s a few places in Boracay outside the crowded White Beach if you’re looking for a place where you can escape the crowds and enjoy the comfort of peace and privacy:

Puka Beach – located at the northernmost tip of Boracay. It is accessible by a 20 minute tricycle ride from the highway.

Mount Luho – the highest point in Boracay located at the northern part of Boracay. Accessible by a 15 minute tricycle ride from the highway.

Bulabog Beach – located on the central part of Boracay, opposite  White Beach. It is a short five minute walk from D* Mall in Station 2 of White Beach

Southernend of Station 3, White Beach – accessible on foot and is the least crowded area in the four kilometer White Beach

Lapuz-Lapuz Beach – a series of beach coves located near Fairways and Blue Waters golf course on the northeastern side of Boracay. It is accessible by boat from White Beach.

My summer getaway in Boracay was a much needed time to rest my worn down muscles and soothe my mind from the overwhelming experience and demands of backpacking. It was a total treat for the senses, a recharge before moving back to the usual affairs of daily life. In addition, it was such perfect timing that I had the chance to visit Boracay last summer after a hectic 3-week trip to Manila (for the Aliwan 2010), Thailand, Cambodia, and Banaue.