Bunny Hops: Boracay, Philippines

Hey, hey, hey!

I know it’s Monday… and no one is supposed to give a “throwback” on a Monday.

It doesn’t make any sense.

We’re supposed to look forward and start the week with a desire and vigor to make fresh, new memories.

Right?

Right.

Okay.

Let’s have a throwback, then. Huwahaha.

Since I have been blissfully dreaming of white, sandy beaches, and calming waves, after my Survivor-esque Calaguas trip (which I will be posting soon), I have decided to talk about traveling to Boracay along with my experiences there.

I went there with my previous partner, and we were able to try out many things in the island that you can also give a shot.

If you are planning to go there for summer this year, I hope this post can help you in some way.

How We Got There

Boracay's location in the Philippines
Boracay’s location in the Philippines

The island of Boracay is located around 300 – 400 kilometers south of Manila, despite that, it is relatively accessible.

Direct land travel to the island is not yet available, but don’t fret, there are other options to get to paradise:

  • BY AIR – The fastest way to get there, no doubt. Flying directly to the island os not possible as it has no airport. Choices given would be to fly to the airport hubs of Caticlan or Kalibo. For those coming in from foreign countries, there’s an option to arrive and depart from Cebu. Flight durations are as follows:
    • 60 minutes – Manila to Caticlan (26+ flights / day)
    • 65 minutes – Manila to Kalibo (14+ flights / day)
    • 65 minutes  – Cebu to Caticlan (2+ flights / day)
    • 45 minutes – Cebu to Kalibo (3 flights / week)
Hello Boracay! Photo taken at Boracay Airport, Caticlan, Aklan, Philippines
Hello Boracay! Photo taken at Boracay Airport, Caticlan, Aklan, Philippines
  • BY SEA – Slow, but definitely, the more romantic and adventurous choice of the two. It’s best  to try this option during summer months (March to May) to be able to maximize the view of the seas as well as avoid possible mishaps and inconveniences due to typhoons during rainy season. Ferry routes are as follows:
    • 15 hours – 24 hours: ManilaDumaguitCaticlan
    • 15 hours – 24 hours: BatangasRomblonCaticlan
    • 10 hours (approximately) : Direct route via 2GO: BatangasCaticlan
  • BY LAND & SEA  – The travel time is very much like using a ferry. The only difference is while being on board a bus we’ll also be on board a ship. Kewl.
    • 15  hours (approximately): RO-RO “Roll On – Roll Off” route (bus + ship travel) via Philtranco, ManilaMindoroCaticlan

After landing Caticlan or Kalibo airport, rest and relaxation is only a few minutes away, so let’s move, move, MOVE!

caticlan
Caticlan (Godofredo P. Ramos) Airport to Caticlan Jetty Port directions via Google Map

From Caticlan (Godofredo P. Ramos) airport:

There are three (3) options to get to Caticlan Jetty port:

  • Less than 5 minutes – Van
    • Pros:
      • Air conditioned
      • Safe from torrential rains and the burning sun.
      • There are van + ferry transfer packages available, some of which even includes a van transfer to the hotel’s doorstep — most convenient since it eliminates the need to fall in line to pay for fees at the terminal, and the need to find a hotel transfer after reaching the island
      • We have personally tried the van + ferry + hotel drop-off package and we were able to conserve a lot energy that we then used to party come nighttime
    • Cons:
      • We pay for the convenience so it’s relatively more expensive than taking a tricycle and paying the fees ourselves
Leg room inide a van enroute to Caticlan Jetty Port.
Leg room inide a van enroute to Caticlan Jetty Port. I’m petite, 5’0″, while my travel partner’s 5’11”.
  • Less than 5 minutes – Tricycle
    • Pros:
      • Cheap, most blogs nowadays say it costs 50 pesos. When we went there, we paid 70 pesos for two, and we shared the tricycle with two other people.
      • The tricycle system is quite organized – there’s a ticketing booth and dispatcher.
      • The ride is short and smooth.
    • Cons:
      • Cramped space. It’s a tricycle that tries to fit 4 – 6 people plus luggage. Suck it in.
      • If it’s rainy, expect to get wet
Lady in blue dispatching tricycles enroute to Caticlan Jetty Port. Some tricycles, such as this one, have seats at the rear of the vehicle. Awesome.
Lady in blue dispatching tricycles enroute to Caticlan Jetty Port. Some tricycles, such as this one, have seats at the rear of the vehicle. Awesome.
  • 10 minutes (approximately) – Walking
    • Pros:
      • Fat burner. It does not hurt to lose a few extra calories before hitting the beach.
      • There are many stores lined up along the road that sell all kinds of things. There’s a fat chance that they have some of the stuff you might need once you are in the island. Take advantage! — We did, and during that time, we were able to buy snacks and water when we went walking around the area. Goods are around 30% cheaper than the island’s.
      • It’s free! All the better for you to save money for other things you might want to do or eat  in the island.
    • Cons:
      • Weather exposure
      • We were forced to carry our heavy luggage around while walking. It wasn’t an easy feat.
Walking around Tabon Port, Caticlan, Aklan, Philippines
Walking around Tabon Port, Caticlan, Aklan, Philippines

Important Note: When we traveled to Boracay during the rainy or typhoon season (July – October), we were dropped off at Tabon Port, Caticlan. It’s a port located around 15 minutes away by tricycle from Caticlan airport. So just add around 10 minutes to the previous travel durations (Caticlan airport to Caticlan Jetty Port travel durations) that I have posted here.

Bancas / Ooutriggered boats docked in Tabon Port, an alternative port to Boracay island. Photo taken at Tabon Port, Caticlan, Aklan, Philippines
Bancas / Outriggered boats docked in Tabon Port, an alternative port to Boracay island. Photo taken at Tabon Port, Caticlan, Aklan, Philippines

From Kalibo airport:

There are two (2) ways to get to Caticlan Jetty port:

  • 120 minutes (approximately) – Bus
    • Pros:
      • Comfortable — most are air conditioned
      • Convenient — some buses provide packages that include ferry tickets + jetty port fees; some even include hotel drop-off in their packages
      • There are non-air conditioned buses from Kalibo town proper which would be probably be a lot cheaper if the budget’s really tight
    • Cons:
      • It takes a wee-bit longer to depart — some buses need to fill in the empty seats, so when we tried a bus transfer, we bought snacks and took a nap
      • It takes a bit more time (a few minutes) to arrive at Caticlan Jetty port. The roads to Caticlan from Kalibo are sometimes curved and uphill, so buses sometimes take it slow.
Inside a bus enroute to Caticlan. We tried the package that includes bus fare to Caticlan + ferry ticket to Boracay island + fees.
Inside a bus enroute to Caticlan. We tried the package that includes bus fare to Caticlan + ferry ticket to Boracay island + fees.
  • 75 minutes (approximately) – Van
    • Pros:
      • Fastest means of traveling from Kalibo airport to Caticlan.
      • Comfortable — vans are air conditioned
      • Convenient — most van service companies also provide ferry transfer services, or even hotel drop-offs
      • For groups of 10 or more — there’s an option to reserve a van for 2,000 pesos or less. Haggle!
    • Cons:
      • Cramped space — for tall people, the leg room’s sometimes not enough; my partner had a bit of discomfort due to the cramped seating area
      • For people who bring more than just backpacks, the storage area at the rear is sometimes not enough for their luggage
      • Some vans are old and their air conditioners do not work as efficiently — it can sometimes be like you’re in a sauna, especially if it’s summer
      • It’s more expensive than a bus
Reservations booths for vans and buses to Caticlan. They can be seen around Kalibo airport's grounds.
Reservation booths for vans and buses to Caticlan. They can be seen infront of Kalibo airport.

After reaching Caticlan Jetty Port (or Tabon Port), we had to pay fees:

  • Terminal fee
  • Environmental fee
  • Ferry fare (if it’s not yet included in the bus / van transfer or tour packages)

Woohoo! After paying our fees we were able to go aboard the bancas or outriggered boats decorating the shores of the port.

  • 20 minutes (approximate travel time)Caticlan to Boracay
    • The boats are well-equipped with life vest / floating devices for everyone’s safety and peace of mind.
    • The boats are capable of transferring 40++ people at a time.
Enroute to Boracay! Photo taken onboard a banca or outriggered boat departing Caticlan, Aklan, Philippines.
Hello fellow travelers!
Enroute to Boracay Island! Photo taken aboard a banca or outriggered boat departing Caticlan Jetty Port.
Enroute to Boracay Island! Photo taken aboard a banca or outriggered boat departing Caticlan Jetty Port.

WHEN did we visit

This is a photo taken in Ilig-Iligan beach. A secluded beach included in our island hopping tour.
Photo taken in Ilig-Iligan beach. A secluded beach included in our island hopping tour.

Our first trip to the island was back in October 2013.

The timing was crazy.

Aaaaand not because it’s such a good time to go but because there was a low-pressure area within the country’s vicinity and it’s evolving into a typhoon. Lovely.

Seaweed also plagued the stretch of White beach in Boracay during that time, and according to locals, they are swept in by the strong current during the months of August until early November.

This was Boracay’s White beach back then:

Photo from my post: https://bembunny.wordpress.com/2013/10/11/hello-boracay-wild-waves-and-algae/

So, if you are planning to go to Boracay during the months of August ’til late October, STOP!!!

In the name of love, my beauty, and all that is glorious… save yourself… and just save some money to go there during the summer season.

It can be a little too crowded or even a little too expensive to go during summer, visiting during the months of May ’til July or even December ’til February, would be fine.

As proof, here is a photo from our trip to the island last May of 2014.

Station 3, White Beach, Boracay, Philippines
Station 3, White Beach, Boracay, Philippines

Ahhhh, so perfect, no?

Clear, blue water… White, powdery sand… Cool, misty breeze… Damn, I can almost taste its saltiness on my skin.

Before I zone out here, let’s move on.

WHERE did we go

Boracay is not only home to world-class beaches, it also boasts of many tourist attractions that people from all walks of life would be able to enjoy.

From the fine-dining aficionado to the streetfood-munching cowboy, or from the party animal to the laid back with a book, the island has something for you.

  • Pubs and Bars

BORA036
Charlh’s Bar, Between Stations 2 and 3, Boracay, Philippines

If you find happiness in good music and a beer bottle, the island has pubs and bars lined up along its stretch of pristine white sand for you.

  • Restaurants and cafes

Real Coffee and Tea Cafe, Boracay
Real Coffee and Tea Cafe, Station 2, Boracay, Aklan, Philippines

Restaurants and cafes offering various types of cuisine will surely satisfy the gastronomic adventurer in you.

  • SHOPPING CENTERS AND MARKETS

A souveniir store in D'Mall, Boracay, Aklan, Philippines
A souvenir store in D’Mall, Station 2, Boracay, Aklan, Philippines

For the shopaholic and the souvenir-hoarder, the island has shopping centers — from E-mall to D’mall — and markets — D’talipapa to Talipapa Bukid — for you.

  • BEACHES

BORA055
Puka Beach, Boracay, Aklan, Philippines

You might be surprised that there are a few other beaches that the island offers apart from the famous White beach.

Last year, me and my travel partner used up most of our time in the island lounging around in Puka beach, a stretch of white sand in the northern part of the island, that is nothing short of paradise.

If your stress medicine is the sand, salt, and sea — you’d be surprised to know that Boracay has more than 10 beaches tucked in its corners. Go crazy.

  • SCENIC VIEWPOINTS AND PRIVATE RESORT COMPLEXES

Fairways and Bluewater, Newcoast, Boracay, Aklan, Philippines
Fairways and Bluewater, Newcoast, Boracay, Aklan, Philippines

(To be continued)

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Sunkissed for the summer,

Processed with Rookie

Bembunny

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Get to know me more by following me on social media:

FB: Bem Adem

Instagram: @bemadem

Twitter: @bembunny

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Related posts:

https://bembunny.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/bunny-preps-boracay-2013/

https://bembunny.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/bunny-boo-boos-buying-and-fitting-into-a-bikini/

https://bembunny.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/bunny-shops-a-beach-y-sale/

More information about Boracay:

http://itsmorefuninthephilippines.com/boracay/

Didn’t like my post?

https://bembunny.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/first-harvest/

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