Monday, 29 June 2015

How to get to Boracay, Philippines


Getting from Kalibo Airport to the white sandy beaches of Boracay can be a little intimidating if you're going there for the first time. Hopefully this guide will help you!

Landing at Kalibo Airport, don't be shocked at the size of the international airport. It's small, with only one luggage belt and two customs officer desk. The desk is like those open spaced concept, and it's merely just a desk and a laptop.

To get to Boracay, you need to take the following:

  • 1.5 hrs Van ride to Caticlan Jetty Port
  • 15mins boat ride in traditional Bangka boat to Boracay Island
  • Depending on the location of your hotel, about 10-15mins Tricycle ride. 

There are travel agencies who are able to arrange airport pick ups and send you straight to the resort's door step such as My Boracay Guide (750 pesos/pax) or Southwest Tours Boracay (650 pesos/pax). Personally, I find that quite expensive, but if you're looking for someone to assist you all the way with luggages and arrangements of everything, that is the way to go!

Now, I will teach you to go on your own.

After clearing customs and collecting your luggage, you step out to a wet market scene where people under tents are trying to get your attention endlessly. Generally, the shared van to Caticlan Port Jetty will cost you around 200 pesos per person. What happens is you sit in the van until it's full and the van leaves the airport. So, find one offering you 200 pesos to the jetty (no point haggling here as it's all the same and they won't budge) and make sure they don't charge you more for any boat tickets.

people offering different transportation to Boracay
After 1.5-2 hours of winding through Kalibo's mountains and padi fields (very scenic!!), you'll arrive at the Port Jetty. We visited during low peak period, and they brought us to this jetty. I understand Caticlan is a nicer, well established jetty, but they only open that jetty during high peak.

check out this jetty
At the terminal, you will have to purchase your boat ticket (25 pesos), environmental fees (75 pesos) and terminal fee (25 pesos).

At this point of time, I regretted immensely not backpacking. I was not expecting a pier like this nor the ferry to be the traditional Bangka Boat (think Batam).

for once we didn't backpack, and regretted
At the end of the pier, we had to walk down this ladder/slope which the locals fashioned out of bamboo and wooden planks. It would have been quite amusing and fun if we didn't have the burden of carrying the bloody luggages.

I was so scared that the old lady will fall into the water.
To get on the Bangka boat, we have to cross the narrow gangway (yes, the narrow blue one in the middle of the picture) which was swaying with the tide. I wasn't afraid of falling into the water, but my electronics will die and I was afraid of that!

trying to cross the gangway
 Again, we had to wait for the ferry to fill up before we could leave the port. It wasn't long though, as the boat filled up pretty fast.
waiting for the boat to leave
After disembarking using the same narrow gangway, we had the challenging task of looking for a tricycle. Follow the crowd and walk along the road  till you find many tricycles waiting for tourists! It cost us about 100 pesos for two to get us from the jetty to Station 2. It was a private tricycle as our luggages occupied the back and no one else could sit anyway.


Cost to get from Kalibo Airport to Boracay Island:
As of June 2015. Subjected to changes.

As you can see, you save almost half of what you have to pay the travel agents if you do everything yourself. Bear in mind, we traveled as a duo and the cost above is per pax. If you're a solo traveler and take the entire tricycle, it will cost you 100 pesos instead.

It may seem like such a hassle of going through 2.5 hours of unknown journey, but once you arrive at the white sandy beaches and clear waters of Boracay, it is all worth it.


Click here to find out what you can do in Boracay!

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