This is a pretty late post, but here goes: I visited Boracay in September 2019 (rainy season) and I thought I wouldn’t be able to fully enjoy it because it was raining non stop up until a few days before my trip, but the weather suddenly had a change of heart and allowed me to travel with summer-like weather, and I even made a ton of new friends! well, not really a ton, but a lot! 🙂
Upon arrival at Caticlan Airport, I instantly felt the rush of excitement that I am once again going to set foot in one of the world’s most beautiful islands and among the top 5 in Asia: Boracay. It’s no wonder why tourists from around the world are in love with the Philippines – and I can confidently say that everyone is hospitable, our food is just amazing, and our pristine islands are among the best in the World.
Boracay has undergone a massive 6-month rehabilitation in 2018 to address multiple issues: sewage problems, building permits, and deteriorating conditions of establishments. It’s good that I mentioned this for everyone to be aware of the effort the Philippine government has put in to make future travellers/tourists appreciate and contribute to making Boracay more livable and eco-tourist friendly.
READ: Before any visitor can enter Boracay Island (including Filipinos), you must show a confirmed hotel/resort booking (either print-out/screenshot/email) at the port of Caticlan, and they should be accredited by the Department of Tourism (DOT). There are more than 300 hotels and resorts that are already certified, so you shouldn’t have issues with this. Just make sure you arrange everything before flying to Caticlan or Kalibo to avoid any inconvenience. To find out if your hotel/which ones are included, click here. If you’re booking airplane tickets in the Philippines, all major airline websites will inform you of this when you select Caticlan or Kalibo as the destination.
If you don’t have prior tour/transport arrangements before landing in Caticlan or Kalibo, you’ll have a few options to choose from at Caticlan Airport. You can get priority transfer (recommended for families travelling with elderly, PWD or children), or if you’re adventurous like me, just stick with the basic Bus transfer to Caticlan jetty port and boat ride to the island of Boracay.
This is the bus that will carry you to Caticlan jetty port (locally known as Tabon Port) from Caticlan Airport. I wasn’t able to verify how much it will cost if you’re coming from Kalibo Airport. Bus design may vary, make sure to ask the personnel at the airport to make sure you’re boarding the correct bus.
It’s at Caticlan jetty port where you have to show your hotel booking confirmation (click here to check the updated list of accredited hotels/resorts) and if you can’t show any, don’t worry – you won’t be thrown out of the port, just book on the spot! The process inside the terminal was pretty basic, just fill-up the arrival form, show your booking confirmation, purchase boat tickets, and you’re off.
All visitors will have to complete this arrival form for proper documentation.
Take note of the above fees: Environmental & Admission Fee, Terminal Fee, and Boat Ticket (day time & night time price difference) – these are the ONLY FEES you should pay at the terminal. (unless of course, you paid for VIP Transfer at the airport).
You should get all these receipts and data sheets after payment, and you will have to surrender the vessel copy of the boat ticket just outside the terminal before boarding to Boracay. Here’s where you will head to next, where just a stone throw away, your boat is parked, ready to depart for Boracay =)
Always wear your life jacket – Safety first! Here’s what a typical boat looks like, and you can sit anywhere. Remember to always be mindful of your belongings to avoid any losses.
If you are a tourist/foreigner and have been travelling in the Philippines for quite some time now, you’d know that smoking cigarettes are not allowed in all public places. Hotels and Resorts are also following this rule and strictly enforces no smoking in all of their rooms and vicinity. So make sure to follow this rule or find smoking areas (if there are) to prevent being fined, or worse, jailed.
It is mandatory (recommended) to stay in Boracay for more than two nights to fully enjoy what the Island has to offer – plan that much deserved vacation leave, guys! – pristine white sand beaches, palatable and eclectic food choices, exciting land and water activities, world-known nightlife, endless shopping, and interaction with locals. Again, this is a late post, so there may be changes not shown in the photos I took below:
– Boracay as of September 2019 –
I noticed the clean-up of the before crowded and dirty shoreline, no more random stinky stench while walking by the shore, better waste management, and 100% police & lifeguard visibility.
I had a small chat with police on duty you see above who shared that Boracay is still undergoing rehabilitation to properly address all issues, and they’re doing everything in their power to strictly enforce all new rules on the island to preserve and maintain order.
Check out this New Boracay first impression vlog made by my VLOGGER friends Finn Snow & Sherlyn Doloriel:
I actually watched the video above while I was transit to my accommodation and it made me want to buy a drone for my future travels lol – don’t we all!.
It will be an everyday process and task to preserve the beauty of Boracay, and I believe that we can achieve that if we work together and show support to our local government’s vision and goals.
I also made a travel video! check it out:
How to get here:
- All major airline carriers in the Philippines fly to Boracay via Caticlan or Kalibo. To check current airfare, click this link: https://www.google.com/flights
Where to Stay:
- Chillout Hostel (Budget-friendly/Private rooms/Dorm rooms/Restaurant/WiFi)
- Or click here to check other accommodations in Boracay. Just make sure that you book with a Department of Tourism accredited Hotel/Resort to avoid inconvenience.
Best time to visit:
- Sunny months: March – June
- Cool months: November – February
- Always make sure to plan ahead and avoid going here during regular or special holidays (unless you are in for huge crowds)
What to do/Activities:
- Food Crawl
- Island Hopping
- Pub Crawl (for 18+)
- Water activities such as Diving, Snorkeling, Parasailing, Banana boat, and a lot more!
If you have any questions, clarifications, if you found details that are incorrect, or you just want to share something, please feel free to comment below and I will respond ASAP.
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