Boracay is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the Philippines and of course it’s in my travel bucket list. I was very curious to see what the fuss was all about this small island. I discovered from seat sales that tickets to Caticlan Airport go very fast. So I opted for the alternative which was to book tickets to Kalibo International Airport and figure out how to get to Boracay from there.
Originally, there were around 10 of my friends booked for this trip. They even hit the gym to get into shape worthy of Boracay. But plans have a way of changing and the number of people who actually went to the island was six, including myself.
The Flight: AirAsia
When I booked our tickets for this trip, AirAsia was still operating in Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark, Pampanga. A few months before our trip, they moved to NAIA Terminal 4 and it meant that our flight got rescheduled. There was no issue with this because it was more convenient for us to go to Terminal 4.
I was a little disappointed though when I saw NAIA Terminal 4 for the first time. It really looked like a budget terminal. It was small and boasted only of few facilities and shops.
Our flights arrived and left on time. I couldn’t find fault in their no-frills service this time.
How we got to Boracay from Kalibo
One day before our trip, I asked our hotel about the best way to get to Kalibo from Boracay. I already researched on this and wanted to know if there is a better and faster way. They suggested we avail of the door-to-door service transfer of Southwest Tours. When I inquired, the round trip service costs Php 975. This was a bit more expensive than the cost if we were commuting but the convenience was what convinced us to avail this service. We no longer had to look for transportation, haggle and pay the different fees to reach Boracay. I gave our flight details and the number of people in our group and a reservation was made. I was supposed to make a deposit to confirm our reservation, but Southwest waived it because I was calling a few hours before we landed in Boracay. LOL.
From Kalibo Airport, a kiosk of Southwest Tours can be easily found near the entrance. There was a signboard bearing my name bearing my name when we arrived. We registered, waited for the other guests and our journey to Boracay started.
It is a 2-3 hour bus ride to Caticlan Jetty Port where you’ll have to ride a ferry to reach Boracay Island. The ferry travel only takes 15 minutes. Upon reaching Boracay, a van was waiting for us to drop us off at our hotel. The service was really door-to-door. It was a bit of a walk from the main road to our hotel and the staff helped us locate it. Before they left, I was advised on what time they would be picking us for our return flight to Manila. So happy with their service!
I found Isla del Mar by searching for Boracay accommodations on Trip Advisor. It had very good reviews, was affordable and located in Station 1. It was only a short walk from the beach. The location was quiet and clean.
We went to Boracay in October so Isla del Mar gave us the off-peak season rates. We reserved a room for 6 pax for Php 3650 per night. The room that we got was originally for 5 pax only. There were 2 double beds, 1 single bed and an extra mattress. There were 2 bathrooms which I really loved because we didn’t have to fight over shower times. Aside from this, our room was equipped with a small fridge, cable TV, AC, hot and cold shower and wifi.
I also loved the staff in Isla del Mar. They gave us tips on where to find delicious and affordable food and what activities we could do. They were all smiles whenever we see them while leaving or arriving from the beach. Continue reading