Boracay 2013 Part 1: Getting There

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Boracay is world famous for its powder fine white sand beach. Located in the town of Malay province of Aklan, tourists from around the world come to enjoy the scenic beauty of the clear blue water and white sand shores of Boracay. Some come as backpackers; some come for total rest and relaxation, while others simply just enjoy lying on the sand and have the sun kiss their body.

But just how do we actually go to Boracay from Manila? There are so many options now, both for Filipinos and foreigners who wish to bask in this beautiful beach.

It depends of course on your budget and your purpose in going there.

The fastest way to go to Boracay is via the Caticlan Airport (MPH), which will soon be named Boracay Airport (so I heard). In the Philippines, two airlines carry flights to Caticlan Airport. You have Philippine Airlines and PAL Express (formerly Air Philippines) and Cebu Pacific. The flight is approximately one hour.

I have taken flights via both airlines. I must say that the better between the two is PAL because the planes that they use look and feel more presentable compared to the ones I have taken via Cebu Pacific.

Since Caticlan Airport is a relatively small area, planes are the Dash 8-300 (DH3) type. In layman’s term, small planes that can sit two persons in a row on either side of the plane. So expect that it will be a little uncomfortable especially for those who are not fond of riding air crafts.

Apart from Caticlan Airport, you can go to Boracay island via Kalibo International Airport (KLO). More airlines carry flights to this airport. Apart from PAL and Cebu Pacific, Tiger Airways via Seair, Air Asia (formerly Asian Spirit) and Zest Airways can also take you to Kalibo. Fly time is approximately one hour. Air crafts used sometimes are bigger – air buses that sit three passengers on either side of the plane.

From Kalibo, you will have to take a van or bus that will take you to Caticlan Jetty Port. This land transportation will take at most 90 minutes, depending on the traffic in the town of Kalibo.

Either from Caticlan Airport or Kalibo Airport, depending on the accommodations that you availed, you will be going through either of the two: a) hotel personnel will pick you up, take you to Caticlan Jetty Port where a boat will take you to Cagban Jetty Port, one of the ports in Boracay Island. From there the hotel’s service will pick you up and take you to the hotel; b) personnel of the airport transfer/service such as Island Star Express will pick you up in Caticlan Airport then you will go through the same process as indicated in “a.” If you did not avail of any airport transfer service, then you have to take a tricycle ride going to Caticlan Jetty Port, pay for a boat ride going to Cagban Jetty Port, take another tricycle or mini-van ride going to your accommodations.

Airfare for Caticlan is relatively more expensive compared to that of Kalibo. Depending on the timing of your booking, the price for the two sometimes becomes the same.

Also, outbound flights to Manila from Caticlan and Kalibo are more expensive than the inbound flights to Caticlan and Kalibo. Still, the cheaper of the two is the Kalibo route though it will entail a 90-minute land trip.

If budget is a concern, you better watch out for those promos of different airlines for both Caticlan and Kalibo-bound flights.

Cheaper options are the RoRo and ferry routes.

RoRo means “roll on-roll off”, a program started by former RP President Gloria Arroyo that aims to intensify tourism in the country. Basically, what happens in this trip is you take bus and the bus will be rolled into a ferry that will take you straight to Caticlan Jetty Port.

Ferries are now managed by 2GO Travel. 2GO Travel is a conglomeration of various shipping companies that cater to sea travel in the whole country. The shipping line offers several kinds of accommodations. Most costly yet most comfortable of these is the State Class accommodation, followed by Cabin Class, Tourist Class, Mega Value Class, and the most affordable Super Value Class. You can visit the website of 2GO Travel to learn more of their tour/trip packages.

The sea travel will last for roughly 10 hours. If you are the type who would like to kill some time cruising the seas, then this route will definitely be enjoyable for you.

Apart from the travel expenses, some other fees need to be settled before you enjoy the refreshing scene of Boracay Island.

You have to pay the following fees when you reach Caticlan Jetty Port: Terminal Fee (100 pesos), Environmental Fee (75 pesos), and Boat Fare (25 pesos). Residents and workers in Boracay need not pay the first two fees, though.

Usually these fees are already included in the airport transfer service should you wish to avail of such. But you better ask if it they are included so you won’t be surprised that you have to she’ll out money even before you land in the island.

Now that you have safely arrived in Boracay Island, it is time to start enjoying the white sand beach. But you gotta ask yourself, where will I stay in Boracay?

Watch out for the next post.

Paalam.

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Sunset in Boracay.

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