You always seem to have doubts:
How long will it take to get there?
All these questions and probably more, flash through your mind at some stage. Well let me tell you right now exactly what is involved in travel to Boracay.
There are two main types of transport that will get you to Boracay, in fact you really need a combination of the two.
You can either fly or take a ferry.
You cannot fly directly to Boracay, Boracay does not have an airport.
Manila to Boracay - Plane
The quickest way to travel to Boracay Island, is to take a plane from Manila domestic terminal and fly to the island of Panay in the Visayas. The two flight options you have, is to fly directly to either the cities of Kalibo or Caticlan on Panay Island.
The flight time to either city is 1 hour.
The airlines that travel to either Kalibo or Caticlan are Philippine Airlines, Asian Spirit, Cebu Pacific or Air Philippines.
The best flight is via Caticlan. The planes are smaller, maybe not so good to some, but the flip side is the planes do not fly quite as high and the view is absolutely awesome! The other benefit is that Caticlan is the jump off port to catch a ferry or banca boat to Boracay Island, so the short transfer time from plane to ferry is minimal, no more than 10 minutes.
Flights to Kalibo are by Boeing 737 aircraft. From Kalibo you have a 1 ½ to 2 hour trip by air conditioned bus or private mini van, which will take you to Caticlan.
Once you have reached Caticlan, you have a twenty minute banca trip to Boracay Island. The banca trip will drop you off at one of the three Boat Stations on White Beach, which is on the west coast of Boracay Island.
This is a traditional Banca Boat
The 3 Boat Stations, known as Boat Station 1, 2 or 3, line White Beach and are the points that designate where you will be dropped off, depending on where your resort or accommodation is. Boat Station 1 is the furthermost north, whilst Boat Station 3 is the closest to Caticlan, with Boat Station 2 is in the middle.
When you get off the banca boats, remember that you will not have the luxury of a wharf. You will be arriving directly onto the beach. Be prepared to ware footing that is easily removed or that will not be damaged if they get wet, because you will have to disembark into the water. Whilst not deep, the water can be up to your knees.
If you travel to Boracay during June to November you may encounter rough weather on the western side of Boracay, where White Beach is. This is due to the Northwest Monsoon. During this period, depending on the weather there could be a few changes to your travel arrangements. First, the banca boats leave Panay from a port to the east of Caticlan called Tabon. Second they will not drop you off at any of the 3 Boat Stations but rather will take you to the east coast and drop you on Bulabog Beach. From Bulabog Beach your resort will arrange transportation for you. If you have not arranged any accommodation then the short trip across the island can be made in one of the tricycles that are always waiting patiently for custom.
Manila to Boracay - Ferry
Travel to Boracay can also be made by ferry.For those on a budget and with a bit of time to spare the Manila to Dumaguit voyage is ideal. Dumaguit is on the north side of Panay Island just south of Kalibo. The voyage is an overnight trip from Manila.
The Ferries depart Manila at North Harbour. From Dumaguit you will have to get yourself to Caticlan. You do this by air-conditioned bus or the extremely budget conscious or adventurous try taking a jeepney.
Another way to get from Manila to Boracay is to take an air conditioned bus from Manila to Batangas in Calabarzon Region or Region 4, south of Manila.
From Batangas you can catch an overnight ferry to the island of Tablas in Romblon Province. This ferry will drop you off in the small port of Odiongan. From here it is a jeepney trip across the hills to the port of Looc or Santa Fe, where you can catch a banca boat to Boracay Island.
Please note that this route can be a bit hair raising during poor weather. There is nothing more disconcerting than watch the crew peer and point, running from one side of the banca’s outriggers to the other, searching for the island of Boracay.
Mindoro to Boracay – Ferry
For travel to Boracay from Mindoro, large banca boats leave Mindoro Island from the city of Roxas, on the eastern coastline. The regular route is to Tablas Island where they dock at either Odiongan or Looc. From here you can catch another banca to Boracay.
It is also possible to hire a banca boat from Roxas on Mindoro directly to Boracay Island.
Another warning for this trip. The body of water separating the islands of Mindoro and Tablas is called the Tablas Straights, this stretch of water can become extremely rough with high winds whipping up the waters to be quite dangerous. This route to Boracay is not recommended, ensure you know what the weather conditions are like prior to you departure.
Cebu to Boracay – Plane
The airport in Cebu, Matcan International Airport, has flights departing to Kalibo and Iloilo City on Panay Island daily.
Once at Iloilo City, which is in the south of Panay Island, you will need to catch an air conditioned bus to Kalibo and then on to Caticlan. The bus journey will take you about 4 hours to Kalibo and 6 hours to Caticlan.
Palawan to Boracay
Boracay travel from Palawan is by plane from Puerto Princesa to Iloilo City. Philippine Airlines (PAL) have flight twice a week. Once in Iloilo City you will need to catch a conditioned bus to Kalibo and then on to Caticlan. The bus journey will take you about 4 hours to Kalibo and 6 hours to Caticlan.