Caticlan is located on the northwest corner of Panay Island, and Boracay Island is located just offshore -- across a small strait. Travel between Caticlan and Boracay is done in what are called `banca' boats. These are wooden hulled boats with bamboo outriggers. The ones used between Caticlan and Boracay are typically diesel powered, about 50 feet long, and seat 20 to 30 passengers. Tickets costing about P20 are purchased at the Caticlan Jetty Port or at one of three boat stations on Boracay Island.
The Boracay Island boat stations are numbered 1 through 3 from north to south. Boat Station 3, the southernmost station, is the first stop for boats arriving from Caticlan. Boat Station 3 is the Boracay station to use if you are staying with us at Michelle's Bungalows. Some boats may not service all three stations, and it is prudent to check.
Boracay's boat stations are located directly on the beach, and the banca boats load and discharge passengers using gangplanks which are let down into the water a few feet off the beach. It is best to wear shorts and shower shoes in anticipation of this when traveling between Boracay and Caticlan. Impact of seasonal weather variations
There are two distinct seasons in Boracay: Amihan
Amihan is the prime visitor's season, and runs approximately from sometime in September or October to sometime in May or June. During Amihan season, prevailing winds are moderate and are generally coming from the east. This results in glassy smooth swimming conditions on Boracay's White Beach on the sheltered western side of the island, and in good windsurfing conditions on Bulabog beach on the eastern side of the island.
Habagat is the `off' season, and runs for the rest of the year. During Habagat season, the weather turns rainy and prevailing winds reverse direction and generally increase in force. Sea conditions which result from this cause Boracay's banca service to use alternative boat stations on the eastern side of the island, and cause the Boracay banca terminus on Panay Island to move a few miles up the coast from Caticlan to Tabon. During Habagat season, some ferry service between Manila and Caticlan terminates a bit further up the coast at Gibon instead of at Caticlan itself. Travel between Gibon, Tabon, and Caticlan is done in jeepneys or motor-tricycles.
During Habagat season, it is generally best to banca from Tabon to Tambisaan station (the first Boracay stop, and the primary boat station on Boracay's eastern side) and to travel onwards from there by motor-tricycle. Travel by air between Manila and Caticlan
Several airlines fly two and four engine propeller driven aircraft between the Manila Domestic Airport and Caticlan Aiport. Among these are Asian Spirit, Seair, Corporate Air, and some others. Typically, the airlines operate several flights per day at a price of approximately P2500 per seat each way.
In general, baggage limitations range between 10kg and 20kg per person and excess baggage charges might range between P20 and P40 per kg. Policies regarding baggage limitations and excess baggage charges vary from airline to airline and may vary from flight to flight. Contact individual airlines for details.
We will be happy to meet your party at Caticlan airport and help you get from there to Michelle's Bungalows. Travel by air to Kalibo, then by road to Caticlan
Several airlines fly B737 or DC-9 jet driven aircraft between the Manila Domestic Airport and Kalibo. Among these are Philippine Airlines, Air Philippines, Cebu Pacific, and some others. Typically, the airlines operate several flights per day at a price of approximately P3000 per seat each way. In general, baggage limitations range between 10kg and 20kg per person and excess baggage charges might range between P20 and P30 per kg. Policies regarding baggage limitations and excess baggage charges vary from airline to airline and may vary from flight to flight. Contact individual airlines for details.
An Aircon tourist bus makes scheduled trips by road between Kalibo Airport and Caticlan in one to two hours. Alternatively, we can arrange for your party to be met at Kalibo Airport and transported via mini-van and banca boat to Michelle's Bungalows for a nominal per-person charge. Travel to Caticlan by overnight ferry
MBRS Lines operates two passenger ferries between Manila and Caticlan: MV Virgin Mary and MV Mary the Queen. Both ships operate from Pier Eight in Manila's North Port. Both ships offer several classes of service, including "Deluxe", "Tourist", and "Economy". Both ships also offer "Cabin" service, which is one bunk in a four-bunk cabin. Both ships have cafeterias and Karaoke bars on board. Both ships convert one cafeteria into a late-night disco during the voyage.
MV Virgin Mary is an ex New Zealand Cooke Strait car ferry which has been in Philippine service since about 1999. It departs Manila at 5PM on Mondays and Fridays and arrives in Caticlan the following morning. It departs Caticlan about noon on Wednesdays and Sundays and arrives in Manila very early the following morning. On MV Virgin Mary, a few two-person "Suites" are available. Each Suite has a single approximately queen-size bed and shares semi-private toilet and shower facilities with another Suite.
MV Mary the Queen is an ex UK Isle of Man ferry which has been in Philippine service since about 1995. It departs Manila at 5PM on Wednesdays and arrives in Caticlan the following morning. It departs Caticlan about noon on Fridays and arrives in Manila very early the following morning.
Day-of-sailing tickets to Caticlan are sold on an as-available basis at MBRS Lines offices on Pier Eight in Manila's North Port. Future date tickets are sold on the pier or through MBRS Lines agents.
Following are some phone numbers for MBRS Lines offices and agents in the Manila area:
243-5888 - MBRS Office on Pier 8, North Port
749-1661 - MBRS Agent in Bambang, Santa Cruz
921-6716 - MBRS Office in Cubao, Quezon City
413-0233 - MBRS Agent in Oliviros, Quezon City
HSF Lines sometimes operates one passenger ferry, the MV Florinda, between Pier six in Manila's North Port and Caticlan. The ship is perhaps one third to one half the size of the MBRS Lines ships. Limited food and beverage service is available in an onboard canteen/karaoke. You should contact HSF Lines to verify their fares and their sailing schedule. The Manila number for HSF Lines is 245-4202.
WG&A Lines operates one of their Superferry vessels between Manila and the port of Dumaguit, about 10km east of Kalibo. The Superferry vessel Our Lady of Lipa normally departs Manila at 2PM on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays; arriving in Dumaguit at 5:30AM the following morning. Superferry passage can be booked online at the WG&A Lines web site (http://www.wgasuperferry.com
), or by phone in Manila at 528-7000.
We can arrange for your party to be met at Dumaguit Port and transported via mini-van and banca boat to Michelle's Bungalows for a nominal per-person charge.
Travel by Philtranco bus between Manila and Caticlan
In April of 2003, the Strong Republic Nautical Highway (SRNH) was opened. The SRNH is an integrated network of highway routes and vehicle ferries running from Manila through Caticlan and onwards to Iloilo, Bacolod, Dumaguete, and points on Mindinao Island. The Philtranco bus company offers bus transportation between Manila and Caticlan via the SRNH.
Philtranco buses are scheduled to depart Cubao and Pasay in Metro Manila at about 11PM daily and arrive in Caticlan at 1PM the following day. Returning buses depart Caticlan at 3PM daily and arrive in Cubao and Pasay at 4:30AM the following day. To verify schedule information and book reservations in Manila, phone Philtranco at 853-3218, 853-3222, or 851-0974. For cellphone users, Philtranco information is also available by SMS text messaging. Send PTRANCO HELP to 2333 (Globe) or to 211 (Smart). c/o Michelle's Bungalows