Transportation – Getting there
Boracay is off the beaten track without a commercial airport. The main gateway to the Philippines for the International traveler is Ninoy Aquino International airport near Manila.
In addition to cargo, it services over 20 million passengers on over 180,000 commercial flights a year.
Unless one is island hopping their way down, a connecting flight is the most direct way to Boracay. Nearby Panay Island has multiple airports, Caticlan being the closest and quickest. There are motorized tricycle taxis taking just 5 minutes or less between the airport and the Caticlan Boat Jetty, where boats and ferries run continuously from 5.30 am until 9 pm and have one in Boracay in 10 - 20 minutes.
There are currently around 26 flights (10 direct) a day each way between Manila and Caticlan (35 – 60 minutes) on mostly small (35 – 64 passengers) but newer planes.
The main operators are Airphil Express formerly known as Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air. An addition flight is provided by South East Asian Airlines (Seair). The cost depends on many changing factors but a rough average for early 2012, round-trip Manila - Caticlan was 295 US dollars.
Farther along the north coast of Panay is Kalibo International Airport. It has fewer flights on older but bigger planes and takes 2 hours by bus to get to the Caticlan Boat Jetty.
Despite its drawbacks, the bigger planes at Kalibo are often able to fly in rougher weather that can shut Caticlan down.
If one needs to catch a flight home from Manila during bad weather conditions one should weigh the extra time and annoyance of connecting from Kalibo against the risk of a cancellation at Caticlan.
The main alternative to flying is the overnight ferry from Manila North Harbor to Dumaguit, near Kalibo on the north coast of Panay. From there one needs a bus or jeepney to Caticlan.