Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the vibrant beach destination known as Boracay is the quiet mainland of Caticlan. A haven of relaxation where you can indulge in outdoor activities or just lounge around in sunbeds laid out by the river. The destination? Nabaoy River. A known escape for those that live on the island who want to get away from it all. Given that I have lived in Boracay for three years, Nabaoy River has been a place where we island folk went to in order to get to grips with nature. Naturally, during our visit to Boracay with Tom’s family, we jumped at the chance to experience the mainland adventures that My Boracay Guide was offering.
Our Mainland Adventure with My Boracay Guide
We were promptly picked up from the house that we were renting for a week by one of their tour guides, Mark Anthony. From there, we received a quick briefing and made our way to the mainland to experience a glimpse of what the real Philippines is all about. Before heading to the river where we would set up camp, we stopped by the Eco Park which boasted of a cool little butterfly garden and a fantastic viewpoint of Boracay Island.
Although this was a little bit touristy for our liking, as soon as we stepped foot into camp, all qualms were settled. We knew this would be a great day. The compound of My Boracay Guide set the tone for a chilled out yet adventure filled day for everyone to enjoy. Bamboo huts were spread all over the place, creating cool little structures of shelter. Naturally, there was a bamboo bar and a large grassy area next to the river where you can opt to play games, lounge on a hammock, or lie on one of their beach beds laid out by the river.
While the rest of the family explored and lounged around, I grabbed a cold beer and headed straight for the river. We were informed that a BBQ picnic would soon be ready. The river was calm despite the rainy weather that we had been experiencing. Our itinerary for the day would consist of caving and river tubing which were our top picks amongst the many activities to do in the mainland. After an hour or so of relaxation, lunch was served.
Our compliments go to the chef who prepared a delicious Filipino BBQ which we all thoroughly enjoyed. A tasty fare of grilled chicken, pork bbq, grilled fish, mussels, vegetables, salad, and the star of the meal, a fantastic banana heart salad. A perfect medley of Filipino flavors which everyone raved about. With the faint sound of reggae music playing throughout the compound as the sun shone upon us, that meal was one of the highlights during our entire stay on the island.
After a few minutes of rest and relaxation, we were informed that we would be caving soon. Given that I was still recovering from my sprained ankle, I chose to stay behind and indulge in a few more rum cokes while lying in the river. Hard life right? When everyone got back from the cave, I got a full recount of what everyone saw and immediately felt a tinge of jealousy. Cool cave, bats, snakes, and a whole lot of fun. However the caving was pretty tough to walk through so I was relieved I didn’t attempt it with my foot being the way it was. In certain sections you had to really crawl to get through and most of the walk was slippery, making the whole thing even more adventurous. Everyone came back pumped and ready for the next adventure for the day which was river tubing.
Together with 3 guides, we loaded the van with our river tubes and drove further up from the base camp. The water level in the river was quite low which made tubing a bit difficult, but everyone still went for it. We cruised down the river for an hour or so, running into a few tumbles and turns along the way. Overall, the tubing was great fun but we would definitely recommend wearing life jackets to help protect your back from the rocks. During that hour, all you could hear were pleasant conversations and a lot of laughter as we cruised down the river.
The Mainland Adventures Package
The mainland adventures provides you with good value for money as it is a full day excursion that starts at 10am all the way until sunset. My Boracay Guide provides full roundtrip transfers to the mainland and includes entrance fees, a BBQ lunch, fresh coconuts, and free tasting of traditional Filipino coconut wine. There is a bar in the campsite where you can purchase beers and rum cokes at very reasonable prices (Can I get a hell yeah for $1 beer and rum cokes!). From there, you can add on adventure activities according to what you feel like doing, such as taking a motor bike or a doom buggy for a spin.
Add On Base Camp Packages:
- Massage: Php500.00 per person for 30 minutes
- Jeep Rental: Php1,500 for 2 persons
- Mountain Bikes Rental: Php300 per bike
- Motorcycles: Php600 (Honda110 cc), Php800 (Honda XR 200cc)
Add On Guided Tours:
- Cave Tour: Php600 per person
- River Trekking: Php300 per person
- Motag Living Museum: Php600 per person
- Waterfalls: Php1,000 per person
- Ocean Kayaking: Php500 per person
- Wild River Tubing: Php300 per person (seasonal)
Mainland Adventures Cost
The cost of the whole experience is 1,900 PHP per Person (check out My Boracay Guide for up to date prices). Admittedly, the price is a bit steep but considering it was a whole day affair, it is definitely worth the price tag for families and people on holiday.
We got back to the campsite ready to relax and unwind as we gathered by the bonfire which was started by our guides to help warm us up. We sat on this bamboo ledge of one of the huts and watched the bonfire burn as the sky turned dark. Before we headed back to the island, we had one adventure left for us to do. Naturally, what better way to experience the true Filipino lifestyle than the challenge of learning how to climb a coconut tree. Tom, his brother and his sister had a go while the rest of us cheered them on. Although they had harnesses to guide them, the struggle was real and both of them were came down impressed at the Filipino art of climbing coconut trees.
Our Experience of the Mainland Adventures
Although the white sandy beaches and turquoise clear waters of Boracay is what people go there for, experiencing the mainland made everyone see the island in a completely different light. When we were there, we were away from the hoards of tourists and vendors. We felt connected to nature but most of all, I felt like I was able to let Tom’s family see what life in the Philippines is really like. Make sure you put this on your list of things to do in Boracay!
Please note that despite receiving complimentary services from My Boracay Guide, all opinions are ours and remain completely unbiased.
Contact Information for My Boracay Guide
Telephone: (+63) (36) 288-9999 (International can be found on their website)