Whenever I travel, I tried to get the most out of my trip by visiting multiple destinations in a single flight booking with return. For instance, I went to Boracay Island through the Godofredo P. Ramos Airport (also known as Caticlan Airport and Boracay Airport) and back to Manila through Iloilo International Airport. I did this because I wanted to see Tanke Saltwater Lagoon in Isla Gigantes, Carles, Iloilo.
This would be my second time flying and I am still a bit scared. We were in the aircraft waiting for our departure. However, the other propeller of the ATR is not working. The other passengers have noticed it as well and were probably thinking what I am thinking– what the **** is going on? –haha!
At last it started spinning and we took-off few minutes after. I have read so much about ATR and it was my first time flying with it. Although I have high confidence with the airlines in the Philippines, I still cannot take it from my mind possibilities of “you know”. We experienced turbulence, which is normal when passing through clouds. Finally, we landed safe in Caticlan Airport. Of course, I needed to take selfies first before getting out from the airport–smiles.
Armed with Google Maps, I navigate toward the main road then to the Jetty Port. Though there are transportation services being offered at the airport, I decided to just walk because the port is just about 10 to 15 minute walk away from the airport.
Upon arrival at the Jetty Port, I paid for boat, environmental and other fees at the counter located outside the building. I then proceeded inside and I was guided by security personnel where to go. I boarded the boat along with other passenger. The travel time is just short, around 20 minutes.
I thought the beach is just near the port in Boracay Island. Based on the blogs that I have read, boats dock on the station where you would like to go. There are 3 stations in Boracay Island where the beach is located, namely, Station 1 , Station 2 and Station 3. I walked all the way through Station 2 from the port in Boracay Island. I was wearing a slipper and my feet developed callus where the rubber bands touches my skin. It was a mistake– a terrible mistake.
When I reached Station 2, I have had a hard time locating my accommodation. I was searching for it for about 30 minutes. It turned out that their signage for direction in the main road is broken and the landmark on the provided map on their website no longer exist.
I check-in at the hostel and went out to check the beach and look for a place to take take my lunch. While I was walking along the establishments in the beach, I was approached by a representative of Astoria Hotel. I was invited to take lunch with their prepared buffet and in return listen to their short presentation and a short tour in their hotel. I agreed and took my lunch there.
After I finish my lunch, I was approached by a guy who will conduct the presentation and tour me around. I was expecting a movie presentation and not a one-on-one presentation. Right off the bat, I told him that if he is trying to sell something to me, I am not interested as I do not have the money. More about this experience on this blog. Be sure to check it out when you plan to visit Boracay.
After with the Astoria Hotel, I continue checking Station 1 and took photos and more selfies! I then walk along the shore for few more minutes and decided to go back to the hostel. In the early evening, I checked out the other stations. I went as far as Station 3. Since I am on a budget and traveling solo, I just took my dinner in Andok’s Restaurant. I spent couple of hours just walking the shore and enjoying the fresh air.
I woke up early to catch the sunrise but I was a bit late for that. I went to the other side of the island and enjoy the beach there. Based on Google Maps, the name of the beach is Bulabog Beach. The sand is far better on the on the Stations 1 to 3 but it is worth it to check it. The water is cold and I get a chance to take selfies with the accommodations / hotels in the area as a background–haha!
In the past, I never mind of stepping something whenever I go to a beach until the incident in Coron, Palawan where a tourist stood on a sea urchin. Due to lack of medical facility in the area where the incident happened and the lack of first aid training of the boatmen, this incident had took the life of the tourist. I strongly suggest that you wear an aqua shoes with a good sole. Stonefish spines for instance can easily penetrate a shoe sole if jump upon. For the record, I was weary an aqua shoes when I go to Boracay because I was not aware that it could happen.
I took my breakfast at the nearby carinderia or eatery. After that, I headed to Puka Beach which is located in the north of the island. I tried riding a tricycle but it seems that almost all of the tricycle driver I ask do not go to that area. I decided to just walk all the way to reach it. I do not recommend that you follow my footsteps on this. Please ride a tricycle if you plan to go to Puka Beach as it is about 5.4 Km from Station 2. Just look for a tricycle with a “Yapak” signage on it and be sure to tell the driver that you are going to Puka Beach.
I spent about an hour in this beach, mostly by taking selfies and enjoying the shore. There are just a handful of tourists in the beach. There local vendors along the beach but not too crowded as compared to the beach found in Stations 1 to 3. However, unlike with the beach in Stations 1 to 3, Puka Beach swash zone is just short and the waves can pull you to the sea. Be sure to take precaution when swimming in Puka Beach. If you do not know how to swim, it is better to wear a life vest.
There are tricycles waiting at the entrance of the beach but you need to hire the whole trip. They do not wait for other passengers until it is full. What I did is I walk to the nearby school and waited for a tricycle from there. I shared the fare with other passengers and it save me a lot compared to hiring the whole tricycle.
I went back to the hostel and took a bath. I just realized that my skin got sun burnt. I was wearing a sleeveless shirt and in effect, I was like wearing one even if I took it off. I recommend that you apply a sunblock lotion and wear a rash guard or a sun protection arm cooling sleeves. I took a nap and spent the rest of the day by strolling to the beach.
The next day I head to Kalibo for Bakhawan Eco-Park but before that I dropped by at the D’Mall and bought some pasalubong (something that you give to people back home; it can be a keepsake or foods).
Here is a quick look of Boracay when I visited it on June 30, 2015. It is windy and cloudy during my 2-day stay in the island due to Low Pressure Area (LPA) within the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR). I have heard that you can see Boracay at its best during summer so be sure to plan your trip in the summer.