Crystal Cove Island
Decked out with colorful bridges, man-made pools, a shell museum, and a wealth of Insta-perfect viewing spots, Crystal Cove Island Resort was once a popular lunch stop on Boracay island-hopping tours. Some travelers opted to spend the entire day navigating cliffs and sea caves and soaking up the rays. With the resort shuttered but the island still privately owned, few travelers visit now, although you can admire the island from the water on a sunset cruise or island-hopping tour.
Things to know before you go
- While Crystal Cove Island looks close enough to swim to, heavy currents and shipping in the narrow channel between Boracay and Panay make this impossible.
- The sea caves on Crystal Cove Island involve a lot of stairs, which may challenge travelers with mobility issues.
- Access to Crystal Cove Island is by outrigger boats. These are not adapted for travelers who use wheelchairs.
How to get there
Crystal Cove Island sits off Boracay island’s southeastern corner, close to the much larger island of Panay. It’s about a half-mile (800-meter) boat ride from Tambisaan Beach on Boracay, or around 800 feet (250 meters) from Tabon Port in Caticlan on Panay.
When to get there
The private island has been closed to visitors since 2018, but sunset is a great time to cruise past. Boracay cruises can be challenging between July and September when the monsoon can bring rain and big waves.
When Boracay Shut
In 2018, the Philippine president shut down Boracay for six months as over-tourism was polluting the waters with raw sewage and damaging coral and marine life. As part of the clearout, the government shut down beach vendors, unlicensed hotels, casinos, and any business that couldn’t prove it was connected to the sewage network. Today, Boracay operates with much-reduced visitor numbers and a series of strict environmental rules.
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