How to get to Aklan
Kalibo Airport is the premiere aviation gateway to Aklan and caters to the bigger aircraft which the Godofredo Ramos Airport in Caticlan cannot accept. The local government is busy constructing an extension to the current structure to be able to fully realize its goal of having an airport of an international standard in the province. Currently, Kalibo Airport is the only domestic airport in the Philippines that receives and sends off international flights. It is the only airport in Western Visayas to have international flights, basically because of its proximity to Boracay. Kalibo Airport serves direct flights to Incheon, South Korea and Taipei, Taiwan through Zest Air, Mandarin Airlines, China Eastern and Pacific Pearl Airways. More destinations are in the pipeline – Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, and Hong Kong solidifying Kalibo’s reputation as the international gateway in the Western Visayas region. Domestic flights to Manila through Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Zest Airways as well as occasional flights to Cebu are also available.
The Godofredo Ramos Airport in Caticlan meanwhile serves domestic flights – to and from Manila, Cebu, Busuanga (seasonal), Naga (seasonal), Puerto Princesa (seasonal) through PAL Express, South East Asian Airways, Zest Airways and Cebu Pacific. Also check Corporate Air (+63.2.8525504) and Interisland Airlines (email- email@example.com) for their schedules. Caveat still stands for Cebu Pacific, who besides being delayed a lot of times, has not refunded the ticket I bought for Hong Kong since July of last year. Shame on you Cebu Pacific!
Aside from Kalibo, Caticlan Airport is also poised to become another international airport – with Aklan the only province that can claim to have two international airports that actually caters to international flights outside of Manila.
Flights to both Caticlan and Kalibo take about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Ships sail to the nearby ports of New Washington and Dumaguit (travel time from Manila is usually around 17 hours). Check Negros Navigation’s, Moreta Shipping’s and Superferry’s websites for more information. MBRS Lines sails to Cajidiocan town on Sibuyan Island and Romblon town (+63.36.2686850).
From the Caticlan Jetty Port, boats sail to Boracay, Mindoro, and Romblon. Your best bet of available schedules, one can ask the police in the area for the assistance of checking boat schedules for these companies: MBRS Lines (Lipata, Odiongan, Manila); LSGA Ferry Corporation (Odiongan and Looc Romblon); and Maharlika, Montenegro and Starlite (Roxas, Mindoro). Usually last trip leaves around 5PM but don’t push your luck. Inquire beforehand if you plan to take any of the boats. And yes, check the freaking weather.
There are buses plying to Kalibo daily from Manila (Cubao and Pasay Stations) through the RORO or the Roll On Roll Off – Philippine Nautical Highway. Buses (Ceres Bus Liner is the most reliable) can be found off Osmeña Avenue and usually these are bound for Iloilo and Roxas Cities.
Noisy motorbikes with sidecars (tricycles) are the primary mode of transportation in Kalibo and most towns of Aklan. Kalibo basically chokes from the exhaust of these junks and without any proper enforcement of the Clean Air Act; one wonders whether its government officials are too blind or too immune on this environmental issue. Jeepneys, and minibuses ply between towns. If you plan to commute, it is best to get a road map of the province from National Bookstore.
Ryan supports socially and environmentally responsible and sustainable tourism, as well as the promotion of the Philippines as an alternative Asian tourist destination.
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