Destination Guide: Boracay Island, Caticlan, Aklan
Seductively charming, festive, and glamorous, Boracay Island is the epitome of a tropical paradise. Located in Central Philippines, it is surrounded by immaculate, white-sand beaches and tranquil, azure waters. It’s no surprise that most newcomers instantly fall in love with the island, once they’ve set their eyes on it. And upon leaving, always vow to return. If you’re planning a trip here soon, below are some useful tips.
The province of Aklan has two airports, Kalibo and Caticlan airport. From Manila you can fly to Kalibo airport and take a 90-minute shuttle ride to Caticlan Jetty Port. Another option is fly to Caticlan airport and take a tricycle or shuttle to Caticlan Jetty Port. (flights to Caticlan Airport are generally more expensive since it’s closer to the island). At the Caticlan Jetty port, you will go to several windows to pay mandatory port fees. Then, pass through security and finally take a 5-minute boat ride to the island.
When you reach the island, take a tricycle at the port to your hotel. If you opted to take a shuttle at Caticlan Airport, another shuttle will be waiting on the island to take you to your hotel. The trip can take 15 minutes or more depending on where your hotel is located. From Manila the main carriers that fly to Kalibo and Caticlan are Cebu Pacific Air and PAL Express. Try to plan your trip a few months in advance to take advantage of promo fares.
NAIA terminal 3 (terminal fee) – ₱500
From Caticlan airport to the Jetty port, tricycle fare – ₱50
From Kalibo airport to Caticlan Jetty Port, shuttle van fare – ₱200
Caticlan Jetty port environmental fee – ₱P75
Caticlan Jetty port terminal fee – ₱P100
Caticlan Jetty port to BoracayIsland, Boat fare – ₱25
Boracay Island Port to your hotel, Tricycle fare – ₱25-₱50 or ₱100
Island-hopping Day tour – ₱700 to ₱800
Crystal Cove admission fee – ₱200
Crocodile Island snorkeling fee – ₱20
Food – There are several small canteens along the beach that serve meals from ₱150 to ₱200. There are eateries along the road adjacent to the beach too, and nearby the wet market.
What to See and Do
Budgeting & Extra Cash – In Boracay, hotel and restaurant options are plentiful. For accommodations, a little research will take you a long way in choosing a hostel that best suits your needs and budget. As for other expenses, there are a few things you can do to cut on costs, like; have some meals at street restaurants, join group tours instead of taking private tours, skip souvenir shops, and make flight and hotel arrangements in advance to avail of the lowest rates.
Canvass and Haggle – If you really must buy souvenirs, waltz through a few shops first to compare prices, and when you’re ready to buy, don’t hesitate to negotiate with vendors.
People Watch – Take some time to walk from one end of the beach to the other, particularly, White Beach, the most touristy beach on the island. This alluring stretch of sand and turquoise waters has three major divisions, Station 1, Station 2, and Station 3. Each area has its own character and a flock of beautiful beachgoers to survey. Station 2 is the most popular area among travelers.
Go on a Boat Tour – Your hotel can arrange your boat tour or you could approach a tour operator along the beach. The tours include visits to Crystal Cove, Puka Shell Beach, and Diniwid Beach. Joining a boat tour is a convenient and fun way to explore other interesting sites around the main island. Boat tours cost ₱800 to ₱1,000 pesos and run for about six hours. Snorkeling and buffet lunch are included.
See more of Boracay Island at the Beach Gallery.
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