Boracay has been known for its pristine waters and white sand beaches. The best time to travel there is usually December to May, when the waters are much clearer. But that usually means more tourists. We opted to go when we did (September) because we were badly in need of a vacation. We haven't gone to the beach at all this year, can you believe that?
I was praying for good weather since rain and floods have been hitting Metro Manila like crazy during this monsoon (habagat) season. We were blessed with good weather when we left Metro Manila. No rain during our flight to Caticlan.
Flight To Boracay
We booked our flight a month before traveling. I searched for flights using Skyscanner. Interestingly, PAL Express offered the cheapest rates to Caticlan. My husband and I hate airports. The process is such a hassle. But I am so glad we got PAL Express because the terminal we went to was Terminal 3, the one right in front of Resorts World. For me, it is the most convenient airport here in the metro.
If you haven't been to Boracay, you should know that there are two airports serving Boracay -- Caticlan and Kalibo. Caticlan is nearer but much smaller than Kalibo. That means smaller aircrafts are used going to Caticlan. The airplane we rode only fits two seats on each side of the aisle.
I love the Caticlan airport. It's so simple, modern and clean. I like that it's mostly white and they used the Century Gothic font (or something similar).
Tip for mommies: When choosing your schedule, go with a flight with departure at around 10:30 am. This means you don't have to wake up too early. Your toddler (and your husband) gets enough sleep. You get to Caticlan at around 11:30 am, go to the port and ride a boat to Boracay island, just in time for your resort check-in.
Land and Water Transfers
Resorts usually have land and water transfers included in their packages. They also offer them separately, albeit more expensive. The hotel we stayed at offered roundtrip transfer fees at P1800 per person. I figured we'll just be adventurous and find a way to get to the hotel once we arrive.
I'll share with you things you need to know if you're feeling adventurous too.
a. When you land at Caticlan airport, go to the counter at the arrival section. There's just one. Register as a tourist. You fill up something like an immigration card, with information on where you're staying at Boracay and who your companions are, things like that.
b. Buy your land and water transfer vouchers on the other end of the counter. It's pretty cheap. Our land transfer via tricycle was just P50, and the boat ride was P25 per person. We also paid an environmental fee of P75. Kids travel free. At least a two-year old does.
c. Outside the airport, go to the queue of tricycles. It will take you to the jetty port. It's just a 5-minute ride. Give the driver his copy of the voucher.
d. At the jetty port, go to the hall marked "Boracay" (pay the terminal fee first outside); it will take you outside where the boats are. You are going to take the "catwalk" going into the boat. Don't worry, people are going to assist you. The ride to Boracay island probably took around 10 minutes. I'm not sure though. It seemed short to me.
The boat will drop you off at the end of the long beach, although you can't see it from there. You know, a long time ago, the boats dock at the shores of the long beach depending on your resort station. I'm so glad they made a universal jetty port already. At least there were no jetties on the shore.
e. Okay, now at this jetty port, there are no vouchers. Trikes are P125 each. If you want, you can get individual fares at P25. We were really feeling adventurous so we got the individual fares. Haha. The ride was about 15 minutes from the jetty port to Station 1, where our resort was.
Tip for mommies: If you're traveling with kids, try and get an air conditioned vehicle or at the least, get a tricycle all to yourself. It will limit the number of times the tricycle will stop and lessen the possibility of your child throwing up like Allie did.
to be continued...