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5 Hidden Jewels in Aklan Worth Exploring

Gush over cold springs, white rock formations, and beaches sans the crowd.

By: Karen Bermejo | July 06, 2020
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hidden places worth exploring Aklan

Let Aklan enchant you!

Image by writer

When you mention Boracay, people will immediately think of an island with fine white sand and wild night parties. With its fame, the small island sometimes overshadows its mother province of Aklan. But locals know that Aklan is more than just Boracay. It is a land with so much more to offer.

Mainland Aklan is home to many other paradise-like destinations aside from Boracay like beaches and other exciting places for travelers. Should you have a day or two to spare during your Boracay vacation, you can (and should!) visit these paradise-like destinations, which are just within reach.

Ariel’s Point and Hinugtan Beach in Buruanga

hidden places worth exploring Aklan

Travelers can release some endorphins at the adrenaline-rich cliff jumping site of Ariel’s Point.

Images by writer

For its turquoise waters and verdant environment, Ariel’s Point in Buruanga town has become a popular cliff-jumping site and as a daytrip destination from Boracay. Ariel’s Point is, more or less, a 30-minute boat trip away from Station 2. The spot can host up to more than 100 people at a time.

Tourists have options to jump off the cliff board on different levels: three, five, eight , and 15 meters at the highest. Even non-swimmers are allowed to do cliff jumping following precautionary measures. There are lifeguards who will assist you upon jumping.

hidden places worth exploring Aklan

The tranquil waters of Buruanga are perfect for snorkeling, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding.

Image by writer

Aside from cliff jumping, you can also enjoy snorkeling, kayaking, and stand-up paddle board at Ariel’s Point. Ariel’s Point is operated by a private company, thus, guests must book a day trip tour online or at Ariel’s House in Station 1, Boracay. A day trip tour costs PhP2,500 which includes a boat ride, lunch, snacks, unlimited drinks, and free use of all water sports facilities.

hidden places worth exploring

Travelers can enjoy the white sand beach with a smaller crowd at Hinugtan Beach.

Image: hinugtanbeach.com

Meanwhile, for those who just want the beach sans the crowd, Buruanga is also home to Hinugtan Beach. Hinugtan Beach is a private area with white sand comparable to Boracay. A day trip to the area costs PhP2,500 which includes a Filipino buffet lunch, local cocktails, and drinks. Beach beds, hammock, and bamboo houses are also available for guests.

Manyuko and Hurom-Hurom Cold Springs in Nabas

In less than 20 minutes from Caticlan Port, you can also visit the cold springs in Nabas town. You can ride a van to Nabas town, then a motorcycle ride to reach the cold spring area. There are three cold springs to choose from—Basang, Hurom-Hurom, and Manyuko.

hidden places worth exploring Aklan

Guests can beat the heat by taking a dip at the cold springs in Nabas.

Image: June Dale Lozada

Manyuko Cold Spring is about two kilometers from the highway. Manyuko offers a Rasta vibe for its Bob-Marley-inspired theme. The place has cottages and rooms for those who want to stay overnight. You can dip in their pool which serves as a large basin for the icy clear spring water coming from the mountains of Aklan.

hidden places worth exploring Aklan

Reggae-inspired cottage at Manyuko Cold Spring

Image: June Dale Lozada

A little further from Manyuko, you will reach Hurom-Hurom Cold Spring Resort which is more open to the public. There are also tents for rent which starts at PhP150. Bringing of food is allowed in the area so you can have a picnic while having a dip in the cold spring water.

Beach, Waterfall, and Rock Formation in Jawili

If you prefer a less crowded place, you can go to Jawili town, which is about 30 minutes away from Caticlan. From the town proper, a 10-minute tricycle ride will bring you to the long coastline of Jawili, to its stunning rock formation and seven-tiered falls.

hidden places worth exploring Aklan

The seven-tiered water basin of Jawili as seen from top

Image: June Dale Lozada

Jawili Beach may not have powdery sand like Boracay but it offers a serene environment. If you are lucky, you can actually have the two-kilometer beach sprawling with coconut trees by yourself.

At the far end of the beach, you will see the unique Afga Wave Rock Formation. The rock formation was shaped by the waves that struck it through the years. There is also a lighthouse in the area which offers a picturesque view of the coastline.

hidden places worth exploring Aklan

Some water basins at Jawili Falls are deep enough for diving.

Image: June Dale Lozada

About 10 minutes away from the beach, you’ll find the Jawili Falls. The place is known as Seven Basin Falls since each ascending pool basin catches the flowing waters from the mountain. Guests are allowed to swim on the cold water of the pool basin. Diving is likewise allowed for those who are skilled divers. The entrance fee to Jawili Falls is PhP40.

For those who want to rest and have a picnic, there are cottages for rent in the area. Native rooms are also available for those who want to stay overnight.

White Rocks of Madalag

For a more adventure-filled trip, you can go a few more kilometers and visit some of the farthest municipalities of the province.

Madalag is a one-hour jeepney ride away from the capital town of Kalibo. Upon reaching the town proper, there will be another 30-minute jeepney ride to Barangay Galicia where the trek to the White Rocks will start. The White Rocks is located in Barangay Maria Cristina. From Barangay Galicia, there will be a trek for at least two hours to reach the spot of the White Rocks.

hidden places worth exploring Aklan

The White Rocks of Madalag surrounded by the lush forest

Image by writer

To reach the destination, you have to cross the tributaries of Aklan River using a bamboo raft for about five times. For each boat transfer, there will be a trek for approximately 10 minutes to cross the other side of the river. For those who cannot endure long treks, you can reach the destination using a small non-motorized boat, but it will take some time.

Despite the lengthy travel to reach the place, you will be rewarded with the gigantic white rock formation surrounded with the green scenery of the forests. You can also take a dip on the turquoise green and icy spring water flowing between the smooth huge white rocks.

hidden places worth exploring Aklan

Trekkers can take a dip in between the gigantic white rocks.

Image by writer

There are no vendors in the area so bringing your food is advisable. However, there are locals who sell fresh coconut to help quench your thirst.

Staying overnight in the area is still not advisable, so you must trek back to Barangay Galicia before sunset to catch the jeepney back to Kalibo.

With so much to offer, a day is not enough to explore all the wonders of Aklan. There are 17 municipalities in the province and there are lots of places left undiscovered yet which could be at par with the wonders of Boracay. If you have enough time, don’t miss exploring the other hidden jewels of Aklan.

Go to Yoorekka to discover more hidden destinations in the Philippines!

Prices are subject to change without prior notice.

Stay safe as you travel! Make sure to follow social distancing protocols and observe health precautions wherever you go. Have a great trip!

This article was originally published in Yoorekka on February 11, 2017.
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About Karen Bermejo
Karen writes to earn a living, tell stories and promote her advocacies. She’s a traveler and a volunteer. Her adventurous soul makes her more comfortable to sleep on the couch of a stranger than pay bucks for accommodation. Her ultimate dream is to travel the world, master a foreign language and learn how to swim. To keep her sanity while chasing her dreams, she chases waterfalls on weekends.
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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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