Until I was invited to visit Boracay, I had honestly never heard of the place. Matt was a bit surprised when I told him I hadn’t heard of it before, because he had. This uncovered a real split among people I spoke to, half had heard of Boracay and the other half had not. As someone who had not heard of it, I had no idea where exactly it was or how to get there. I knew nothing!
After spending a few days exploring this stunning part of the world, I wanted to share with you some information and insight on how to get to Boracay, based on our experience. If this gorgeous island paradise isn’t already on your travel bucket list, I strongly suggest you add it immediately. It is, honestly, one of the most beautiful places I have been in my life and a real favourite of mine.
But first, watch this…
When to visit
Peak Season sees the little island of Boracay swell with tourists. Around Christmas, New year, Chinese New Year and Easter the resorts and island come alive with holiday-makers. If you’re thinking of visiting at this time of year, be sure to book early to make sure you don’t miss out! Speaking to one of the locals, she told us there are lots of parties and big night’s at this time of year, so it’s a good time to visit if you’re young and keen to party the night away!
High Season tends to be September/October and May/June. This is when visitors from the northern hemisphere visit, due to it being winter in their home countries. The weather at this time of year is hot and humid, 25-32°C with little to no rainfall. The high season is also another good time of year for those who love to party, the bigger number of visitors means more party nights and drink specials at clubs and bars.
Low Season tends to run from June to October and sees more rain than usual. This also means there are fewer tourists around, which is great for people like me who prefer smaller crowds. We visited early October and, while rain appeared on the forecast, didn’t encounter a single drop! It was hot, but not unbearable, and perfect weather for swimming.
Boracay is one of those idyllic destinations that is always busy, so there isn’t a time of year you can visit and see very few tourists. It’s just that beautiful that everyone wants to visit! If you’re younger and love to go out partying, the busy seasons may suit you best. If you’re looking for a quieter vacation, consider visiting during the low season.
How to get there
We flew from Gold Coast Coolangatta International Airport to Kalibo, via Kuala Lumpur. Never heard of Kalibo before? I hadn’t either. It’s the capital of the Philippine province of Aklan, in the northwest of Panay. Kalibo International Airport is the main tourist thoroughfare for travellers going to Boracay. Here’s a map of our route, departing from the Gold Coast, onto Kuala Lumpur then over to Kalibo.
We flew with AirAsia the whole way. They offer 7 flights each week to get you from Kuala Lumpur to Kalibo easily. They also have a fly-thru service, which means you don’t have to claim your bags, re-check in and re-do all the customs stuff. Fly-thru means you stay inside Kuala Lumpur’s KLIA2 airport and your bags are transited for you, your only job is to get yourself off and on the plane. Easy!
Fly-thru is available from Australia (Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney) and China (Beijing, Hangzhou, Shang Hai) via Kuala Lumpur. For more information, visit the AirAsia website here. AirAsia is the only airline that flies you directly to Kalibo from Kuala Lumpur with daily flights.
Flight Schedule for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KUL) – Kalibo, Philippines (KLO)
|Flight No.||From||To||Departure||Arrival||Flight Schedule|
|AK 608||KUL||KLO||1050 hrs||1445 hrs||Mon, Tue, Wed Thur, Sat, Sun|
|AK 609||KLO||KUL||1515 hrs||1900 hrs||Mon, Tue, Wed Thur, Sat, Sun|
Once you arrive in Kalibo you’ll need to get yourself to Boracay, which is a separate island to Kalibo. Don’t worry though, getting there is easy. Our resort arranged our transport for us, which made life really, really easy and is something I would recommend.
When you step out of the airport at Kalibo you’ll find there are a LOT of locals standing there yelling at you to come with them, that they’ll give you transport and boat rides and yelling out prices at you. Trust me, that’s an overwhelming feeling, especially when it’s hot outside and you just want to get going. Having our transport organised for us just took the stress out of everything.
We stepped off the plane, found our name on a placard, jumped in the air-conditioned van and took off. The driver will take you through winding roads, past bright green rice farming fields, through lush jungle, small villages and past schools buzzing with little kids. It’s a really cool drive because you get to see how the locals live, which is completely different from what you’ll see on Boracay. The drive from Kalibo airport to the coastline and your boat transfer should take around 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, with a rest stop in the middle to grab some water and snacks if you need to.
Once you reach the coastline, you hop aboard a boat and head over to Boracay. The boat ride takes a very short time, maybe 5 minutes or so. It’s so quick that you actually kind of wish it took longer! After getting off on Boracay, you jump in the hotel transfer shuttle and are delivered right to your hotel door. We stayed at Henann Lagoon Resort and like I said, they took care of everything for us.
Our bags were transferred for us, the drivers were there ready and waiting and it was really easy. I actually really enjoyed the process of getting there, because it makes it feel remote and tropical, like you’re a pirate discovering a new place. It was also a chance to really get into Philippines life and see how people actually live.
Overall, it’s really easy to get there and once you arrive, it’s like you’ve discovered a far corner of the Earth. It’s like arriving in a hidden paradise, a place that it’s hard to comprehend actually exists. Trust me when I say, it’s worth the journey.
Top tips for visiting Boracay:
- Fly direct with AirAsia and use their fly-thru service to save yourself time and energy in transit
- Stay at a hotel or resort that arranges all your transfers for you, like Henann Lagoon Resort
- Pack light, it’s a tropical paradise so you don’t need ball-gowns and high-heels; shorts and flip-flops will do just fine
- Choose the time of year that’s right for you; the high season for party lovers and low/shoulder season for quiet seekers
- Read my guide on ‘How to survive a layover at Kuala Lumpur Airport’
Useful travel resources for your trip to the Philippines
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