Boracay is a small beautiful island in Aklan. Its seven-kilometre length has no airport, so travellers touch down at either the Caticlan or Kalibo airport in mainland Panay Island in order to reach the pristine beauty of Boracay Island.
Let us start out with the booking of the ticket to Manila.
When I travel, I do not always go with the least expensive ticket; I consider the time it will take to get to my destination. For instance, if the cost difference between a direct and connecting flight is not much, I take the former for it does not have long stopovers; and because this leaves me ample time on the first day of my holiday, plus the jet lag is more tolerable.
Speaking of jet lag, I found out over the years that drinking plenty of water and no alcohol and eating minimally helps reduce the effects of jet lag. But I also take the added precaution of taking a few sleeping pills, which I get from my doctor.
I have travelled back and forth to Asia more than 30 times, and some of these were milk runs (those really long trips that could take around 40 hours) that are so tiring. Well, now when I fly to Manila on a direct flight, it just takes 13 hours for an extra 300 US dollars or more. Upon arrival, Manila airport customs would not hold you long; they are fast and do not cause too much hassle when you go through them.
You’ve arrived in Manila and are looking for a taxi
If you are staying in Manila, you will have to hail a taxi. One tip: airport taxis do not always automatically turn on their meters. Although taxis are dictated by law to turn on their meters and not give a set price to the passenger, sometimes you have to point it out to them. Being a constant traveller, I have solved this issue in one of two ways: One, I take the more expensive yellow taxi because they turn on their meters in practice. Two, I look for a white taxi and ask the driver if he will turn the meter on. If I got in and found the driver was nice, I would give a good tip. From the airport, it is about 300 pesos to most hotels.
What’s the best time to fly when travelling to Boracay?
I have flown to Boracay and Kalibo more times than I want to think of, and one thing I am absolutely convinced of is that early flights back and forth are the best to book. I have noticed that as the day goes on, flights may get delayed; by mid-afternoon, some may even get cancelled or diverted to Kalibo even if you booked for Caticlan! For your return flight home, also choose early flights to ensure you can catch your connecting flight, even if you have to wait in Manila. The Mall of Asia, which is just a short taxi ride away from Manila airport, is a great place to spend a few hours.
What is the cheaper option of flying to Boracay?
Flying in or out of Kalibo is cheaper, but as it is further from Caticlan Jetty port, it takes two hours longer. I only take this option when I am not in a hurry. Once in Caticlan or Kalibo, you have a number of options for getting to your accommodation if you have booked one. Check out our article Cheap, Fast Ways to Fly to Boracay for more tips on travelling to Boracay.
How do I get to Caticlan Jetty Port from the airport?
Some hotels offer a service where a hotel representative will meet you at the Boracay Caticlan Jetty port. But you would have to first make your own way from the airport to Boracay Island. From Kalibo airport, this means a van or bus to Caticlan Jetty Port, or from Caticlan airport you take a Php50 trike ride to the Caticlan Jetty Port. Then, pay approximately Php300 to cover the jetty port fee, environmental fee, and boat fee before getting on the next boat heading to Boracay Caticlan Jetty Port; porters will carry your extra bags onto the boat for Php20 to Php50 depending on size and weight. It is about a 10-minute boat ride.
How do I get to my hotel in Boracay?
Upon arrival in Boracay from the Caticlan Jetty Port, you can rent a tricycle; the price is Php20-50 per person to share a tricycle to D’Mall. Or take a tricycle on your own for Php120-150 to your hotel. If your hotel is at the far end of the island, it will cost a bit more.
How do I manage my money on Boracay?
There are banks, automatic teller machines, and money changers on the island. I secure my money in three ways. Cash is always good, for you to get the best exchange rates on most currencies. I recommend bringing cash and exchanging it at a bank on Boracay. You need your passport for this. Debit cards are what I use mostly; you can withdraw a maximum of Php10,000 for a Php200 charge per transaction. ATMs that accept debit and credit cards are mostly located near to the D’Mall. Credit cards are honoured in some places and banks, but it mostly depends on the provider.
When going to Boracay, it will help to keep a lot of small bills like 20s, 50s, and 100s; 5- and 10-peso coins also come in handy. For foreigners, it is very important to inform your banks about your travel abroad, because they might cut off your card if they detect that it is being used overseas. It has happened to me and a lot of my friends over the years- it is a hassle that is best avoided!
Traveling to Boracay indeed takes some experiential learning, so if you are a first-timer, hopefully, these tips have been helpful.