How to get to Boracay from Manila: Easy and Convenient Transfers

Travelling during the pandemic has been a proper pain in the backside. Aside from all the safety risks involved, there are so many health protocols that need to be followed. However, in recent months, restrictions have eased significantly, and it is now much easier to move around and cross borders.

Personally, I have not yet travelled outside of the Philippines since COVID happened and have only just taken my first domestic flight this month. Here’s a guide on what it took for me to get from Manila to Boracay in October 2022.

Step 1: Documentary requirements:

  1. Hotel Booking: All visitors to Boracay need to have a confirmed hotel booking for the duration of their stay. This is not new though, as the same has been enforced since before the pandemic started.
  2. Flight booking: Obviously, one needs to get to the island from somewhere, and round-trip tickets are required.
  3. QR Code: Visitors to the island also need to secure a QR code which will be presented at the ferry port before going to Boracay. In order to get this, one needs to have a valid government-issued ID and proof of vaccination (vax cert, vax card etc.). The QR code itself may be obtained from here:
  4. It’s also a good idea to book transfers ahead of time so that you are not jostling with other tourists when you arrive at each point of travel. It also helps you control costs instead of having to haggle at every point. Most hotels offer this service for a fee. This time, I booked my transfers with Ken Boracay Watersports for Php1,600 per person round trip. This includes all the fees (environmental fee, terminal fee, land and water transpo, guide) to get me to and from the island. They also helped secure the QR code for my family. All I needed to do was send them our details and they sent back a document that was ready to print and bring with us for our trip. The most important part for me was that they offered exclusive vehicles that we did not need to share with other tourists during land travel so that we can minimize exposure.

Note: PCR testing is no longer required but mask-wearing is still a must especially while inside the flight and enclosed vehicles as well as inside terminals.

Step 2: Taking the flight

Naia Terminal 3
As usual the gate at NAIA Terminal 3 was crowded

It is best to take a flight to the  Caticlan airport (40 mins from Manila) as it is much closer to the ferry port. If you choose Kalibo airport, you will need to travel another hour by land to get to the jetty port.

We took a Cebu Pacific flight from NAIA Terminal 3 to Caticlan. Upon arrival, we followed the instructions that were given and found our private van.

Step 3: Land travel

Exclusive van from airport to jetty port
Exclusive van from airport to jetty port

From the airport, we took a 10-15 minute road trip to the jetty port. When we got there, we were met with a guide, Kuya Marlon, who guided me to where I needed to show our QR codes and other documents.

He then proceeded to get us our ferry tickets and paid for the environmental fees etc. We were also given dedicated seat numbers, which is their new policy to make sure that each ferry only carries the correct number of passengers.

QR Code Verification
QR Code Verification

Step 4: Ferry to the island

Finally, we leave Panay “mainland” to touchdown on Boracay island. The ferry carries a maximum of 60 passengers and goes back and forth on a regular basis.

The entire trip takes only about 15 minutes.

Boracay Ferry
Caticlan to Boracay Ferry

Step 5: Another land trip

Upon arrival at Boracay island, all passengers disembark at a port that is on one end of the island that is away from the swimming locations. Because of this, another land transfer is needed to finally get to your resort.

However, some hotels especially at New Coast or Station 0 have their own boats which pick up their guests from the jetty port to take them directly to the hotel’s beachfront. This only works for the hotels which have their own private beachfront, which means there is no risk of crowding the area with boats and posing a danger to swimming guests.

Exclusive Electric Minibus
Exclusive Electric Minibus

Ken Boracay Watersports got us an exclusive electric minibus to take us to our hotel.

Over all, the entire trip coming from Caticlan airport all the way to our hotel took us about an hour to an hour and a half.

I hope this helped and you will have a hassle free trip to the island when you make the trip! Watch the full video of our trip from Manila to Boracay in the video I shared above.