The first time I visited the island paradise of Boracay, I was with a large group of people that consisted mostly of gung-ho “Bora Virgins.” For our motley crew, this basically meant that all the island activities you could think of—jet skiing, windsurfing, parasailing, flying fish rides, ATV adventures and a horrendous ill-timed stormy paraw ride (you had to be there)—these were all squeezed in during our three-day, two-night stay.
Needless to say, the next few times I stayed in Boracay, I had run out of new things to do. I was beginning to think that the island has finally gone where forgettable resorts have gone before: old, stale and boring. That is, until I discovered the ultimate adrenaline fix that convinced me otherwise: Cliff-diving at Ariel’s Point.
A resort cozily perched atop a limestone cliff in Buruanga, Ariel’s Point is a 30-minute boat ride away from the busy and bustling stretch of White Beach. Owned by Ariel Abriam, a retired US naval commander, the place holds the key to unleashing its visitors’ inhibitions. And it’s quite the cheap thrill, too!
For only P1,200 per person, guests are afforded a six-hour day trip that consists of a round trip boat ride, a sumptuous lunch buffet that features lip-smacking barbecued goodies, unlimited drinks (iced tea, rum coke or beer—whatever gets you on that plank) and, of course, unlimited access to its numerous cliff-diving spots.
My group’s Ariel’s Point experience begun at the Boracay Beach Club, where we met with others joining the tour an hour before lunch. We were quite the diverse mix of people—visiting locals, teachers from South Africa and the States, a big group of vacationing Fil-Ams—and this made for pretty interesting drunken conversation.
The moment we arrived at the resort in Buruanga, our attentions were immediately drawn toward the numerous diving planks jutting out different parts (and heights) of the cliff. To go up the resort, you have to go down a small pier below it and climb up a man-made stairwell leading to resort proper. When our group made it to the main area, we were greeted with the wafting smell of what promised to be a really hearty barbecue lunch. But that was not enough to distract us from what we all really came here for: throwing ourselves into the ocean.
Cliff diving is definitely not for the weak-willed—which is probably why most of us grabbed a drink or two (nothing like liquid courage) before taking that much-anticipated walk to the plank. Most of us were obviously first time cliff divers, what with the string of obscenities we were screaming the moment we reached the end of the plank. Some of us took the big leap from the highest part of the cliff, while others retreated to check out the planks on the lower part of the cliff first, slowly building up to take The Big Kahuna of cliff jumps.
If, like me, you have what I call a “selective” fear of heights, then Ariel’s Point will help you conquer that fear. Jumping off that cliff was definitely bucket list material. It will earn you bragging rights—I definitely felt like I winner the moment I plunged into the sea. The adrenaline rush was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. It was like flying. It was feeling the full force of the earth’s gravity. It was facing fear in the face and telling it to suck it.
The next time you come to Boracay, you must visit Ariel’s Point. Cliff diving may sound like a totally nerve-wracking experience—and it definitely is—but by the time you leave the resort at sunset, you’ll feel like a total winner after making that incredibly awesome jump!