Philippines consists of over 7000 islands. We only visited four of them: Boracay, Bohol, Cebu and Luzon, the one where Manila, the capital of Philippines lies. We decided to start our Philippines adventure in Boracay island. Let´s see how to get there!
After arrival to Kalibo airport
Our AirAsia plane landed in Kalibo – Boracay airport. At the door to the building there is a person collecting your arrival card and health statement, that you get from the cabin crew and fill in during the flight.
We arrived to Kalibo airport from Kuala Lumpur by Air Asia plane. The flight took nearly four hours. During the flight you have to fill out the arrival card and health statement. Both forms you submit to the officer at the airport.
How to get to Boracay island
When we arrived to the Kalibo-Boracay airport it was just lovely. A very small building with just one baggage claim area and boards hanging from the ceiling that said “Welcome to Phillipines”. One person chcecked our passports and we took our luggage. Then another man asked for passport, turned it over and knocked on it for three times. Still don´t know what it was supposed to mean, i guess some “good luck” thing.
Prices for transportation from Kalibo to Caticlan
The Kalibo-Boracay airport is actually situated on the Panay Island, not Boracay Island so be prepared for some more travelling – and not the comfortable kind. As you walk out of the building there is a lot of locals offering you the transport to Boracay. We exchanged some money and started to make some research.
Bus, taxi or minivan?
From the airport you can take bus, minivan (from 200 PHP (PHP = phillipines peso) to 350 PHP per person) or taxi. Taxi is the most comfortable but the most expensive of course. We paid on our way back from Caticlan to Kalibo airport 1200 PHP for taxi. I used to feel sick in bus so i always try to avoid traveling by bus if possible. So we chose the minivan (250 PHP per person). It was for reasonable price but soon we realized it was probably the least comfortable way.
Difficult journey in minivan
We were in the first group of four people to get on the minivan. So we thought to ourselves: ok, another four people and we are ready to go. Such a mistake… Waiting there for at least half an hour and when there were already ten of us the driver brought another person. All people in the minivan were like “Seriously?? Where is he gonna sit?” But the driver kept collecting more and more people until we ended up in number 13!!! I still don´t understand how he managed to push those people in the van. We were all laughing at first and making jokes for like 20 minutes but then it was very exhausting for all 13 people there. We couldn´t move at all. Having our backpacks on our laps the whole time, the aircondition started to cool right into our faces and I was so cold that I had to use my scarf to protect my face… People in the back were looking at me like I was crazy because of course the aircon didn´t get to the back of the van. So they were insanely hot. You may think I´m a spoiled little girl. But I´m really not. Everyone, even big healthy men we shared the minivan with they all said they were very tired and they were looking exhausted. After two hours ride we finally got to the Caticlan ferry terminal and we were all so happy to get off the van.
BTW, if you´ve experienced this journey please let us know your experience whether it was just our bad luck with the driver who wanted to make as much money as possilbe, so he overcrowded the car so badly.
From Caticlan ferry terminal to Boracay island
When you get to Caticlan ferry terminal you have to buy tickets to Boracay island. The price for transport from the airport included also tickets for the boat (called bangka). The driver bought them by himself and handed over to us. So before buying transfer tickets at the airport check from the company you choose whether tickets includes the price for ferry (it costs 25-30 PHP).
However, you also have to pay the terminal fee (100 PHP) and environment and admission fee (75 PHP). It took about ten minutes by boat to Boracay ferry terminal. Lots of local men offered us help to carry the luggage from the boat. You give them a tip for this service of course. After such difficult journey this service is much appreciated because the stairs from the boat are wooden and slippery. You definitely won´t regret those couple of pesos (PHP).
Tricycle on Boracay island
Navigation points in Boracay
When you are finally on Boracay Island you have to take a tricycle to get you to your hotel. There is only one main road across the Island, from south to north (the port is on the south). The Island is devided into areas by the stations – Station 1 to 3. The tricycles stop there. When you make your reservation with booking.com you can find the number of station at the adress of the hotel. Therefore remember it and tell your driver the Station number rather instead of the name of the hotel. They will drop you off at the end of the concrete road. Since most of the hotels lie right on the beach, you have to walk the rest of the way to the hotel by foot.
Hotels on sandy beach
Carrying your luggage through the sand is not that easy. Remember you are still all sore from the minivan ride, boat ride and now tricycle ride – which is very shaky but a lot of fun 🙂 And you will use it there a lot so get use to it). Or you can use a bicycle ride on the beach, where there is also space for your luggage, but the distance is usualy not more than 5 minutes, so we walked and finally we got to our hotel – Hey Jude!
Finally at the hotel
When we reached the sand, the beach and saw the view we knew that the painful journey – four hours flight, three hours long way from the airport including two hours minivan ride – it was all worth it! More of our Philippines adventure coming soon! So stay tuned 🙂