Sail into Paradise: A 2023 Guide to Paraw Sailing in Boracay
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Have you ever dreamt of gliding over crystal-clear waters, with the wind in your hair and the stunning sunset painting the sky with hues of orange and pink? Look no further than Boracay, the Philippines' most famous island destination, and experience the magic of paraw sailing. In this guide, we'll take you on an unforgettable journey through the enchanting world of paraw sailing in Boracay, sharing tips, insights, and everything you need to know to make the most of this incredible adventure. Whether you're a seasoned sailor or a first-time visitor, this article is worth reading for an extraordinary and immersive experience on the waves.
Discovering Boracay: An Island Paradise
Boracay, often hailed as one of the world's best islands, is a tropical paradise that offers pristine white shores, warm azure waters, and a vibrant beach scene. Located in the Philippines, Boracay has become synonymous with relaxation, adventure, and breathtaking views. The island boasts a perfect blend of natural beauty and modern amenities, making it an ideal destination for travelers seeking both tranquility and excitement. From thrilling water sports to just relaxing by the white sand beach, Boracay has something for everyone.
What is Paraw Sailing?
Paraw sailing is a traditional sailboat activity that originated in the Philippines. The paraw is a native outrigger boat that features two outriggers and two sails. Locals have used paraws for centuries for fishing and transportation, but today, these boats offer visitors an authentic and exhilarating sailing experience. The sails, often adorned with vibrant colors (often in bright blue), capture the warm tropical breeze, allowing you to glide gracefully through the crystal-clear waters of Boracay.
Setting Sail: The Paraw Sailing Experience
When you embark on a paraw sailing adventure, get ready for a one-of-a-kind experience that brings together the thrill of sailing and the expertise of professional local paraw sailors. Paraw sailing is not a solo endeavor; instead, you'll have the pleasure of being guided by skilled local sailors who will control the boat and ensure a safe and enjoyable journey for you.
To maintain balance and stability, two floaters or logs are attached to each side of the boat. These floaters, also known as outriggers, serve as counterweights, preventing the paraw from tipping over while allowing it to gracefully glide over the water's surface. One of the most appealing features of the paraw is the netting on each side of the boat. The nets are securely fastened to bamboo pegs, creating a comfortable sitting area where you can relax and take in the mesmerizing views as the paraw sails around Boracay's famed island. It's the perfect spot to unwind and appreciate the surrounding beauty of the azure sea and the sun-kissed beaches. As you sit back on the comfortable netting, you'll have the opportunity to interact with the friendly and knowledgeable local paraw sailor. They are often eager to share stories and insights about their beloved Boracay, enriching your experience with a deeper understanding of the island's culture and history.
As the paraw sets sail, you'll experience the gentle (or not so gentle) rocking of the boat and the soothing sound of the waves. The overall atmosphere is incredibly relaxing, allowing you to let go of any stress and immerse yourself in the serenity of the sea. Bear in mind that sometimes, the winds can be rough, depending on the wind conditions, which adds on to the experience. It can be a very exhilarating but no need to worry, the paraw sailors and very experienced and you'll be in safe hands.
Is Sunset Paraw Sailing Better?
Whether sunset paraw sailing is better than regular daytime sailing ultimately depends on personal preferences and what you're seeking from the experience. Both options offer their own unique charm and beauty.
During regular daytime sailing, you can fully appreciate the vibrant colors of Boracay's landscape under the bright sunlight. The azure sea, pristine beaches, and lush surroundings are still a sight to behold. Daytime sailing also allows for better visibility, making it easier to explore the underwater world through snorkeling or enjoy various water sports activities.
On the other hand, sunset paraw sailing holds a special allure. The magical atmosphere created by the setting sun, the warm glow over the water, and the changing colors of the sky add a romantic and tranquil touch to the experience. I would prefer sunset sailing since the experience is personally more magical than the usual daytime sailing. Even if the winds are stronger during sunset, for some reason, I found it more peaceful and relaxing. Anyway, if you sail during the daytime, the experience isn't at all different from when you are on an outrigger boat during your island hopping.
Planning Your Tour: Cost, Schedule and Duration
How much does paraw sailing cost?
- The cost of paraw sailing can vary depending on the provider and the package you choose. For instance, one provider offers a paraw sailboat rental suitable for 5-6 people at Php 5,500, which includes a half-hour sailing escapade accompanied by experienced crews.
- Additionally, some providers may offer private tours, and the cost can be tailored to your specific preferences.
- When you book through Klook, the price will depend on whether you are doing this solo or with a group, and how big your group is. For example, solo paraw sailing will cost you PhP 2,000 - 2,200 (US$35-40) but a group of 4 will bring the cost down to PhP 750-800 per pax (US$13-15 per pax).
- Sunset sailing is also more expensive than normal daytime sailing. For a group of 4, normal daytime sailing costs PhP 3,000-3,200 per group (US$55-60 per group), while sunset sailing costs PhP 3,500-3,800 (US$64-70 per group) for the same group size.
- If you would look to book online ahead of time through Klook, click here: Boracay Sunset Paraw Sailing
What's the schedule of paraw sailing?
- Paraw sailing activities are typically available throughout the day, from the morning to the afternoon.
- However, it's worth noting that the exact schedule might vary depending on the provider and their availability. Certain providers of private tours offer convenient pick-up services from your accommodation between 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM.
- Regular daytime sailing starts at 9:00 am and the last departure is at 2:00 pm. Sunset sailing starts at 3:00 pm and the last departure is at 5:00 pm.
- If you are doing sunset sailing, I personally recommend knowing the exact time the sun will set so you can pick the perfect time for your sunset sailing.
How long is the trip?
- The standard duration of a paraw sailing experience is approximately 30 minutes.
- Within this timeframe, you'll have the perfect opportunity to savor the joys of sailing, soak in the breathtaking views, and partake in the traditional art of sailing in Boracay.
Keep in mind that the schedule and availability of paraw sailing experiences may fluctuate depending on the provider and the time of year. To ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience, it is advisable to check with the specific provider or booking platform for the most up-to-date information and make reservations in advance if necessary.
Tips for a Memorable Sailing Adventure
- Dress comfortably: Prioritize comfort by wearing appropriate clothing and footwear suitable for the weather and the possibility of getting wet. Don't forget to bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to shield yourself from the sun's rays.
- Follow the boatman's lead: The boatman is a seasoned expert in paraw sailing. Listen attentively to their instructions and follow their guidance for a safe and enjoyable journey on the waters.
- Embrace the experience: Immerse yourself fully in the allure of paraw sailing. Feel the wind gently caressing your hair, listen to the soothing rhythm of the waves, and relish the breathtaking views surrounding you.
- Opt for a sunset sail: If possible, schedule your paraw sailing adventure for the late afternoon to relish the mesmerizing sunset while aboard the boat. It's a magical moment that enhances the beauty of your sailing trip.
- Relax and let the boatman steer: Leave the sailing and navigation to the capable hands of the boatman. This allows you to unwind and enjoy the cruise fully. Moreover, they may assist you in capturing stunning photos, ensuring you immortalize the memories of your paraw sailing journey.
- Consider a private tour: For a more extensive and personalized experience, consider arranging a private paraw sailing tour. This offers greater control over the itinerary and allows you to spend more quality time on the water.
- Sail with friends and family: Paraw boats have ample space for up to 6 people, it can even go higher depending on the size of the paraw, so consider inviting friends or family to share in this delightful experience together.
Capturing Memories: Photography Tips
For those looking to capture unforgettable photos during their paraw sailing experience in Boracay, we have some expert tips to help you achieve the best shots:
- Time it perfectly: Opt for a late afternoon paraw sailing activity to make the most of the awe-inspiring sunset views. The tranquil sea during this time creates a picturesque setting for photography.
- Gear up wisely: Ensure you have the right equipment by bringing a waterproof camera such as GoPro or keeping your camera safely stored in a dry bag to protect it from water splashes. You can also buy waterproof cases for your mobile phones in case you don't plan to bring a camera during your trip. To capture the surrounding beauty, a wide-angle lens or your phone's wide-angle mode is highly recommended.
- Rely on the boatman's expertise: The boatman is an experienced paraw sailor and knows the prime photography spots. Don't hesitate to seek their guidance; they can assist you in taking amazing photos that encapsulate your journey.
- Explore unique angles: Experiment with different angles and perspectives to capture one-of-a-kind shots. Whether from the boat's deck or even in the water (before you set off sailing or upon arrival to the shore), creativity knows no bounds.
- Embrace natural lighting: Make the most of the enchanting natural light during sunset to create stunning photos. Avoid using flash, as it may disrupt the scene's natural ambiance.
- Unleash your creativity: Don't be afraid to think outside the box and get creative with your shots. Consider capturing the boat's reflection on the water or focusing on the intricate details of the boat's rigging and sails.
- Refer to Instagram: Before going sailing, you can check out other people's instagram or Facebook photos during their paraw sailing so you have an idea of what shots to make.
Island Hopping and Beyond
While paraw sailing is an enchanting experience on its own, consider complementing your adventure with an island hopping tour. Explore nearby islands, hidden lagoons, and pristine beaches for an even more immersive experience of the Philippines' natural beauty. To book your island hopping tour in Boracay, click here: Boracay Island Hopping Tour Package
What to Expect: Cancellation and Weather Policies
Before setting sail, familiarize yourself with the operator's cancellation policy in case of unforeseen circumstances. The weather conditions play a significant role in sailing trips, and the operator may cancel or reschedule the tour in case of force majeure. Be prepared for such possibilities and plan accordingly.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Paraw Sailing in Boracay
1. Is paraw sailing safe for everyone, including non-swimmers?
Paraw sailing is generally safe for all ages and skill levels, including non-swimmers. Life jackets are provided for all passengers, and the boatman is experienced in ensuring a safe and enjoyable sailing experience.
2. Do I need prior sailing experience to go paraw sailing?
No prior sailing experience is necessary for paraw sailing. The boatman will handle the sailing and navigation, allowing you to relax and enjoy the ride.
3. How many people can the paraw boat accommodate?
Paraw boats can typically accommodate up to 6 people, it can even accommodate more depending on the size of the paraw, making it an ideal activity for both individuals and groups.
4. Can I bring my camera or phone on board during paraw sailing?
Yes, you can bring your camera or phone on board. However, it's advisable to keep them in a waterproof case or a dry bag to protect them from water splashes.
5. What is the best time to go paraw sailing in Boracay?
Paraw sailing is available throughout the day, but many people prefer the late afternoon for the enchanting sunset views. However, you can choose a time that best fits your schedule and preferences.
6. How long does a typical paraw sailing experience last?
A standard paraw sailing experience usually lasts around 30 minutes, providing ample time to enjoy the journey and take in the views.
7. Can I book a private paraw sailing tour for a more personalized experience?
Yes, private paraw sailing tours are often available, allowing you to customize the itinerary and enjoy a more intimate and personalized sailing experience.
8. What should I wear during paraw sailing?
Dress comfortably and wear appropriate clothing for the weather, such as light and breathable fabrics. Don't forget to bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun.
9. Are there any age restrictions for paraw sailing?
Paraw sailing is generally suitable for all ages. However, it's essential to check with the specific provider for any age restrictions or guidelines.
10. What happens in case of bad weather or strong winds?
In case of adverse weather conditions, paraw sailing tours may be canceled or rescheduled for safety reasons. It's always best to check with the provider for their cancellation and rescheduling policies.
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