Believe it or not, Boracay has other beaches that are almost as pretty as White Beach, if not quite so endless. A scenic walk around the headland at the island's north end brings you to lovely and secluded Diniwid Beach, where you'll find excellent accommodation and dining. On the north tip of the island, pretty Puka Beach is popular in the off-season and has a few eateries. Some of the best puka jewellery (popular necklaces, anklets and bracelets made from the tiny shells of the cone snail) is found in the handicraft stalls here. Other northern beaches are well off the package-tourist radar and nearly deserted. The formerly hard-to-reach Ilig-Iligan Beach, in the northeast, looks on to a couple of scenic limestone islets that are snorkelling distance from shore. However, much of it is now essentially property of the Newcoast development.

Carabao Island

If you need a vacation from your vacation on Boracay, tiny Carabao Island awaits. Here the narrow streets are so quiet that on a long walk past rice fields, over hills and through shady coconut and nipa stands, you may only pass an eponymous carabao (water buffalo). Hiring a motorbike is the best way to get around, allowing stop-offs at various beaches and caves. For accommodation there are two beachfront resorts: Lanas Beach Resort with spacious cottages and an excellent restaurant and Carabao Island White Beach Divers which offers sea-facing cottages and professional dive services.

The easiest way to reach Carabao is to hire a bangka at Station 1 (or Bulabog Beach in low season) for about P2500 round-trip. However, Carabao Island locals who work on Boracay commute back and forth every morning and afternoon. You can hitch a ride on one of these boats for only P60. Don't try this journey in high winds, especially in a small bangka. Otherwise, a pumpboat leaves daily at 9am (P200, two to three hours) from the Tabon jetty in Caticlan (different place than where Boracay-bound boats leave). However, as these public boats leave Carabao at 6am daily you'll have to spend the night.