January 13-15, 2017
I just learned that my friend, Michael was going to Boracay to attend a wedding of his relative. Me, being nonchalant, happy-go-lucky, hakuna matata person, words just popped out from my mouth “sama ako!” (I wanna join!) Eh ayun, he agreed. His girlfriend, Ely would also join if I come with them. Ewan ko ba, minsan kasi adik-adik din ako, bigla na lang ako sumasama sa lakad out of no good reason.
Which is better, DIY or Tour Package?
It is very difficult to find the cheapest tour package or DIY itinerary if you only have a month to prepare. Most of the tour packages were offering us at least PH₱12,000 (US$240) for 3 days and 2 nights with airfare, accommodations, and transfers but exclusive of activities. That was very expensive, so we decided that I’ll just find us cheap flights and accommodation. You may get a tour package sale for as low as PH₱3,000/pax (US$60) inclusive of roundtrip airfare, transfers, and accommodation if you happen to book early.
Flights and Accommodation
We got the cheapest flight going to Caticlan from Manila via Philippine Airlines for PH₱2,987.00 (US$59.74) inclusive of bread and water. Not bad for a month before flight booking. And our return flight was in Kalibo booked via AirAsia for PH₱2,321.08 (US$46.43). We got our accommodation for 2 nights via Dormitels.ph (Agoda.com) for PH₱622/night (US$12.44) for 2 persons, with fan, tv, but no aircon, near station 1 of Boracay. The other reason that we had that expensive airfare is because we need to travel on those dates to be able to join my friend, Michael in Boracay.
From Caticlan Airport
You may ride a tricycle going to the Caticlan Jetty Port and Passenger Terminal for PH₱50 (US$1) per tricycle for up to 3 passengers.
From Kalibo Airport
For your convenience, you may ride a van in the Kalibo Airport going straight to Caticlan Jetty Port for PH₱200 (US$4). You may also ride a bus but you need to go the central city first for very minimal fare difference.
At Caticlan Jetty Port and Passenger Terminal to Boracay
You need to pay the following (PH₱200 or US$4):
- PH₱100 (US$2) – Terminal Fee
- PH₱75 (US$1.50) – Environmental and Admission Fee
- PH₱25 (US$0.50) – Boat Fare to Boracay Island
It would take you around 15 minutes on the boat. Then you need to ride a tricycle going to your destination. It’s PH₱20 (US$0.40) each from port to station 1, 2, or 3 of Boracay (the most common destination). You can also ride the tricycle for a special rate of PH₱100 (US$2) if you don’t want to be with other passengers.
Tricycle fare in Boracay
- PH₱20 (US$0.40) per passenger per way (it usually takes longer because it fills in passengers along the route).
- PH₱100 (US$2) for special trip per way. The tricycle is exclusively yours.
We arrived in Boracay past 5pm and check-in at Dormitels.ph. The double room has only 1 fan, tv, 2 power outlets, and 1 bathroom for only PH₱500/night (US$10) at Airbnb. You don’t really need a nice hotel in Boracay because you’re there to enjoy the place, the beach, the party, and the people.
It was my first time in Boracay and I was in awe on how beautiful its sand is. It’s so white and the legend is true that its sand is powdery fine and really feels good on your feet. The downside is that, it’s also true that Boracay is already crowded.
Where to Booze?
It was a cloudy day and it rained a little at night but it did not stopped us having fun in Boracay. We looked for a bar where we can chill and drink while drenched with rain water. Unbelievably, alcohol beverages in Boracay are as cheap as in Manila. The common price for a bucket of 5 beers is PH₱300 (US$6) and comes with free pulutan (finger food) if you come in the “happy hour” from 3pm to 10pm.
Epic Boracay, the famous party place in town has also a relatively cheap beer offer during happy hour, it’s only PH₱99 (US$1.98) buy 1 take 1. Plus! You get a free gate pass if you stayed there after 10pm which is the party time in Epic and costs PH₱300 (US$6) for gate entry. We partied in Epic on the second night together with guests of PubCrawl Boracay. PubCrawl ticket costs PH₱690 to 990 (US$13.80 to 19.80).
You may also buy beers from the convenience store and just find a spot along the beach. But be sure to drink the beer quickly before it gets to room temperature. And you can drink there if it’s not raining.
G-Max is the reverse bungee that will take you off 60 meters high for a speed of 200kph. It was really terrifying and very expensive. The experience costs us PH₱1,250 (US$25) but the good people gave us a free video which usually costs PH₱500 (US$10) per copy.
Was it worth it? I don’t know, I hate heights but it was an achievement for me that I survived. It’s also the only reverse bungee in the Philippines that’s why it’s that expensive. It’s worth a try for once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Puka Shell Beach and Punta Bunga Beach
We got up early in the morning to visit Michael and his family at Boracay Ecovillage Resort and Convention Center. From station 1, we rode a tricycle to Ecovillage for P20 each. We had our breakfast there for PH₱160 (US$3.20), I had a cornsilog. Lucky for us, Michael’s family’s having a tour that day going to Puka Shell Beach.
I really don’t know why people are so happy in their photos when they’re in Puka Beach. Because it’s really misleading that the beach is really pleasant. The beach sand is made from shattered puka shells that made it so sharp that is itchy and sometimes painful to your skin. The waves are also strong during our visit and it is scary to swim because it instantly gets deeper.
Punta Bunga Beach on the other hand is just a walking distance from the Ecovillage through a private road. It is the same beach where Vintana at Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa is located. The beach is really pleasant compared to station 1, 2, & 3 because it is more exclusive and less people because you need to access a private road to get there and there’s a guard that prohibits unauthorized visitors. The sand is also white and powdery fine similar to station 1 but with less activities. It is the best place if you want the Boracay vibe minus the crowd. Rate in Ecovillage starts at PH₱1,600++ (US$32++) per night for 2 persons.
We were lucky enough to see the Miss Universe 2016 candidates during our visit. But we’re only able to see them from afar because of the tight security.
ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) Experience
We paid PH₱800 (US$16) for ATV going to Mt. Luho View Deck. If you go there via tricycle, you need to pay another PH₱100 (US$2) to enter the view deck.
It is an overlooking view of the entire Boracay Island. The entire experience is limited to 30 minutes. Well, you don’t have anything to do after climbing the view deck.
Other activities would range from PH₱500 (US$2) depending on the package inclusions you’ll be getting
- Parasailing starts at PH₱1,500 (US$30)
- Helmet diving starts at PH₱500 (US$10)
- Banana boat
- Island hopping starts at PH₱700 (US$14)
- Jet ski
- Flying fish
- Scuba diving
- Party boat Boracay SunCruiser starts at PH₱1,000 (US$20) if prebooked
Where to Eat
There are plenty of restaurants in Boracay to choose from, there’s no really local restaurant that I could say that you must try. It would vary from your taste because most of the restaurants there are already commercialized. You can dine-in in McDonald’s if you’re on a budget, it would cost you from PH₱70 (US$1.40) for a meal. It was my first time to dine-in in McDo in swmming trunks! Haha!
Going back to Caticlan Airport (PH₱175 or US$3.50)
- PH₱100 (US$2) Terminal fee
- PH₱25 (US$0.50) Boat fare
- PH₱50 (US$1) Tricycle fare
Going back to Kalibo International Airport
- PH₱250 inclusive of terminal fee, boat fare, and van fare going back to Kalibo
|Our Activities||Budget Savers|
|Manila to Caticlan via PAL||2,987.00||–|
|Kalibo to Manila via AirAsia||2,321.08||–|
|Average airline sale via Kalibo RT||–||1,500.00|
|Accommodation for 2 nights||622.00||500.00|
|Tricycle Caticlan Airport to Jetty Port||50.00||–|
|Van Kalibo to Caticlan||–||200.00|
|Environmental and Admission Fee||75.00||75.00|
|Tricycle Port to White Beach of Boracay||20.00||20.00|
|Tricycle to Ecovillage RT||40.00||–|
|Brakfast 2 at Kalibo Airport||80.00||80.00|
|Boracay to Kalibo Airport van transfer||250.00||250.00|
|TOTAL||PH₱9,710.08 (US$194.21)||PH₱3,050.00 (US$61)|