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Nearby Paradise: Places You Can Explore Close to Boracay

With its powdery white sand, turquoise water, and wild parties, it’s not impossible for a small island in the heart of the country to win the hearts of millions of tourists each year. No wonder, it’s always dubbed as one of the best islands in the world.

boracay bulabog beach

With its paradisiacal beauty, Boracay, an island of only over 1,000 hectares is getting enough attention from the world. However, it often overshadows its mother province of Aklan and its neighboring islands. Yet, some of these places are also worth a visit and surely could be at par with the island’s beauty. When you think you need a little extra experience during your beach holiday, keep an eye on these nearby places you can explore.

Motag Living Museum

motag living museum

Photo by: https://motaglivingmuseum.wordpress.com

Most people know Boracay but only a few know its mother town. Boracay, composed of three villages is actually part of Malay town. And in a small village on the mainland, you can actually travel back in time.

Malay is really more than just Boracay. It is actually home to the only interactive cultural museum in the Philippines – the Motag Living Museum. It is located in Barangay Motag, about 10 minutes away from Caticlan. It is an interactive farmer’s village where tourists can witness and likewise experience how people of Malay lived before.

Old and young local people of Malay showcase the different stages of the farming cycles to visiting tourists. Guests, on the other hand, can try plowing, harrowing, and other farming methods and even or ride a carabao. Guests are also treated to folk songs and can even learn how to dance the tinikling (a traditional Filipino bamboo dance). Of course, local delicacies such as suman or rice cake are also served to guests.

They open from Tuesday to Sunday. Entrance fees are at PhP700 for adults and PhP300 for children or PhP1,600 for a family ticket (two adults and two children). A half day tour to the place is possible so why not give it a try. The place is even recommended by the Philippine Carabao Center and the Philippine Conservation Society.

Other mainland Malay attractions

nabaoy malay

Mainland Malay is also home to one of the cleanest rivers in the country. About 30 minutes away from Caticlan Jetty Port, you will find Nabaoy River – a crystal clean river stretching the village. Along the riverside are huts and restaurants that offer native dishes and delicacies for tourists. With its calm water, the river is a favorite spot for swimming and even rafting for some.

The mainland also has its own touristic eco-park. Tourists will surely enjoy a walk inside Malay Eco-Park located in Argao village. The sanctuary is planted with fruit bearing trees and surrounded by colorful butterflies. The park likewise houses the distinct flora and fauna only endemic in the town. On its highest peak, one can have a view of Boracay from afar.

Photo by: Don Rye Sistorias

Carabao Island

carabao island

Carabao isn’t an island of water buffaloes, but you’ll definitely see one when you visit the tranquil neighbor of Boracay. Known as Hambil for locals, Carabao Island is actually part of the municipality of San Jose, Romblon. It is just a 25-minute boat ride from Boracay and just 10 minutes if you take a speedboat.

Carabao’s proximity to Boracay makes it an ideal destination for an island-hopping activity. You can even have a glimpse of it when you are at Puka Beach, located at the northernmost part of the island.

For those looking for powdery white sand, Carabao also has it. The island’s San Jose Beach is often compared to the White Beach of Boracay with white sand and azure waters but with a lesser crowd and a limited number of establishments.

On the opposite side of San Jose Beach is Lanas Beach. Lanas, which is facing Boracay, is the main tourist area of Carabao. Lanas Beach is meanwhile compared to Puka with pebbly white sand but with clear waters as well, perfect for swimming. This side of the island has numerous front beach resorts and restaurants.

One thing you can try when in the island is also riding a motorbike. They have fascinating viewpoint where you can have a breathtaking view of the neighboring islands of Tablas, Romblon and Boracay.

Its pristine beauty is always compared to what Boracay was like before it became a busy tourist destination. So experience its natural grandeur before people start flocking to this quiet paradise.

Nabas Wind Farm

Nabas wind farm

When you set foot in Boracay, the wind turbines of Nabas Wind Farm is a sight you’ll instantly notice. The giant turbines are actually generating 32-megawatt of electricity. Currently, there are 18 turbines that are standing strong in Pawa village in Nabas and some portions of Malay.

Aside from being a clean energy source, Nabas Wind Farm is gaining much attention from tourists. Yes, tourists are allowed to enter the site and have their photos taken with the big electric fan as their background. A little tour of how a wind farm is working is worth a try.

From Caticlan, you can reach the location of the wind farm in less than 30 minutes. A service vehicle is needed when visiting the place since public transport isn’t allowed to enter in the farm’s premises.

For Boracay alone, one or two days are not enough to explore enough what the island can offer. So it is always better to spend long days in the island. Of course, giving these nearby destinations a little bit of your time and money is a must. You can actually create your own itinerary to visit these places. But if you prefer a hassle-free travel, just approach your hotel and arrange a special tour to these nearby destinations.