There’s nothing like flying into Caticlan and knowing that you’ll be a short ferry ride away to Boracay Island. This world famous island in the Philippines has been on many lists of most beautiful islands in the world. Most people arrive at Caticlan airport and take the bus and ferry to Boracay Island.
Your Boracay adventure starts from the moment you land at Caticlan Airport and get to Boracay Island. The ferry from Caticlan to Boracay Island is a short 20 minute ride. These ferries wait at the Caticlan Jetty Port and will whisk you away to the island in no time.
The small town of Caticlan on the island of Panay in the Philippines is commonly regarded as the gateway to Boracay Island. Caticlan's airport – Godofredo P. Ramos – is very small but also serves as a bus stop for those departing for the 30 minute ferry ride to Boracay. Choosing to ride by bus-ferry from Caticlan, Panay Island to Boracay Island is a great way to travel and alleviates a lot of the leg work and stress involved with booking separate tickets. Of course, if you're happy to travel under your own steam, you can also purchase just ferry tickets on tourist class boats. There are numerous departures throughout the day starting from as little as $4.
The ride itself is very straightforward and takes you from the airport to the jetty port in a small air-conditioned people carrier. Once you've reached the jetty you'll be invited to board a small ferry boat bound for Boracay. As it's only a 30 minute voyage, facilities are at a minimum. Seats are undercover but there are windows so you can watch the waves. It will be pretty cozy so be prepared to chat as you bob up and down on the water. Also, as the vessel is quite small, things can get a bit choppy especially during the rainy season from June to November.
On arrival in Boracay Island from Panay it's a good idea to have your accommodation and transportation booked in advance. Some resorts, hotels and hostels will send a representative to meet you at Cagban jetty port. If you've booked a bus and ferry combo ticket you can expect to be dropped off by minivan or larger bus at any hotel on the island. This is an efficient way to travel and alleviates the hassle of haggling for on-going transportation at the harbor. Alternatively, if you're just jumping on the ferry, you can expect to find a few motorized pedicab taxis hanging about at Cagban. Fares are inexpensive and drivers will be well-versed when it comes to picking up visitors.
Boracay is a truly beautiful island and provides a glimpse of paradise in the Philippines. Most travelers will try their hand at snorkeling, diving and windsurfing before they leave. For others, it's the allure of swishing palm trees and dusty white sand beaches that provide the irresistible backdrop to their vacation. Whatever you're looking to do on Boracay, make sure you enjoy each and every minute as often it whizzes by way too fast.
Ferries depart from Caticlan, Panay Island to Boracay Island very early in the morning so you can cross your fingers for a sensational sunrise over the South China Sea. Ferries throughout the day (they run until midnight) enable travelers to enjoy ocean blue hues against cobalt skies; although waves will increase with windy weather, especially from June to November.
As you cross north across the Tanon Strait from Panay to Boracay you'll witness the coastal contrasts of both islands. Panay is much bigger than Boracay and way more developed. Boracay, on the other hand, still has much of its natural vegetation and has more beach and watersports resorts, hugging certain sections of the coastline.
As ferries are small there isn't an outside seating area for sunbathing. You can, however, keep an eye out to sea through the small windows around the sides of the boat. Most travelers use the time to chat to fellow passengers or just watch wistfully from windows as surf and spray add to the fast-approaching island views. It's only a 30 minute ferry ride so don't expect too much from the voyage other than getting excited for a Philippines island adventure that you'll never forget.
Taking a bus and ferry
The easiest and most efficient means of getting to Boracay Island from Caticlan, Panay Island, is to travel by bus and ferry. You can depart from Godofredo P. Ramos domestic airport before boarding one of the frequent tourist ferries to Boracay from Caticlan jetty port. The ride takes around 30 minutes and departures run pretty much 24 hours a day.
This allows you to get to Cagban jetty port on Boracay at whatever time you choose. It's then possible to board a minivan or bus that will take you to any hotel or resort on Boracay Island. This is a great way to see some of the island without the hassle of lugging luggage around as you look for a place to stay.
Facilities on board the buses and ferries are minimal yet these are safe and secure. It's a good idea to bring your own food and drink for the journey although there should be opportunities to grab a bottle of water and snacks at Caticlan airport or at the harbor before you depart.
Taking a ferry
You can easily take the ferry from Caticlan jetty port on Panay Island to Cagban jetty port on Boracay. Ferry rides are frequent and depart throughout the day. Just be prepared to travel under your own steam and book tickets in advance. Ferry journeys only take 30 minutes however, it's a good idea to arrive at the jetty in good time for your sailing. This alleviates the stress of rushing around or having to wait a while for the next ferry crossing if you miss your designated slot.