The Complete Aklan Adventure
The Complete Aklan Adventure Travel Guide
Welcome to Aklan “Home of Boracay and Ati-atihan Festival”
(population: 81,598 to 95,984 as of 2015)
Local Language: Aklanon
Welcome to Aklan “Home of Boracay and Ati-atihan Festival”
(population: 81,598 to 95,984 as of 2015)
Local Language: Aklanon
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Aklan is a province situated in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. It is composed of 327 Barangays grouped into 17 Municipalities of which the Capital Town is Kalibo.
Aklan is the country’s oldest province, established early in the 13th century. This destination of scenic wonders with waterfalls, beaches of powdery white sand, and a mangrove forest is alive with outdoor adventures. Meanwhile, inside its towns are cultural treasures to explore.
Local Language and Culture
Aklanon is the language spoken in this province which is a language of the Bisayan subgroup however not to worry as most of the population in this province speaks and understands English and Tagalog. Striking a conversation and sharing some laughs with the locals in this province won’t be a problem as the locals here are known for being humble, friendly, and most cheerful people which Filipinos are recognized for.
This province is famous for the immaculate exquisiteness that nature has to offer. It’s a remarkable place in the Philippines that has made a mark on the world map when it comes to luring in tourists, beach lovers, and adventure seekers. This province is known for Boracay, an island that can be found approximately one kilometer away from the north-western tip of the province and is considered among the best beaches well known globally for its white powdery sand, sapphire waters, amazing coral reefs, and exceptional seashells. Besides the white sand, the island of Boracay is well known for its fun and exciting nightlife.
Best Time to Go to Aklan
When planning to go to Aklan, it is important to consider the season. Aklan, like the other parts of the Philippines, experiences two seasons, the wet season and the dry season however the temperatures in Aklan vary very little.
The ideal time to visit this province is between the dry and wet seasons, which is usually in October to December where you’ll still enjoy the nice weather as well as beat the crowds and rate increases before the holiday season.
January through May is considered as the busiest months or the peak season as the humidity and temperatures combine to make this season feel warm which is great when getting a tan and getting sun-kissed however this also means rate increases and crowded places.
June through September is seen to be the most with the most rainfall thus this is considered as the slowest season for tourism in this province.
Aklan like other tourist spots in the Philippines is considered a safe place to travel. However, there are always safety tips that you need to consider when enjoying this province.
Since Aklan is well known for its beaches, always be careful and cautious of the high tide when swimming and when climbing the grotto.
Also remember that there are no lifeguards on call in most beaches and since the island of Boracay is very close to the equator, the sun burns not only quickly, but can be very hot during the early afternoon hours
Beautiful festivities begin with thankfulness and prosperity. Celebrations among different cities, municipalities, and provinces occurring everywhere in the Philippines. One town/city has its own festival to celebrate their town’s patron saints and bountifulness.
A festival in Aklan is held every third week of January. The term ati-atihan is said to mean “to imitate or make like Ati’s” Ati being the local name of the Aeta people, who are also the first settlers of Panay Island in Aklan. Similar to Cebu’s Sinulog Festival, and Iloilo’s Dinagyang Festival this event is celebrated to honor the Child Jesus, Santo Niño. The Ati-atihan festival is known as the Mother of all festivals in the Philippines. It consists of many varieties of events and activities such as the Aklan Festival Parade, Higante Contest, religious processions, loud marching bands, street parades, and the key major activity being the native dance competitions of different participating tribes with their full gear and their primitive drum beat and lastly, partying on the streets. One of the traditions in celebration of the Ati-atihan festival is also the smearing of Soot to darken their face and body and to dress up in tribal finery in honor of the Aetas.
Aklan Piña and Fiber Festival
An annual week-long celebration starting on the 25th of April which is considered as one of the major events that will highlight the series of activities celebrating the Aklan Day Anniversary. This festival showcases different products like gifts, housewares and furnishings, processed food and pasalubong products and craftsmanship using indigeous materials such as pina fiber, abaca and many more from various municipalities and industries in Aklan. This festival is held in hopes to establish Aklan as the Handloom tourist destination of the country it helps promote and preserve the loom-weaving industry of Aklan.
Kalibo Food Festival
An event in Aklan celebrated from June 12 to the 23rd in commemoration of the Feast of St. John The Baptist. Under just one venue or location, a variety of signature dishes and foods traditional and modern are served for the guests and alongside a live music band that plays great music for the purpose of entertainment.
Feast of St. John The Baptist
Celebrated on the 24th of June every year. This festival is celebrated with the people of Aklan going to the beach for picnics and swimming. Different sports activities are also held, examples being boat racing and parlor games in celebration of the Feast of St. John The Baptist.
Annually held every November 3, activities like commemorative programs and night markets are present at the Magsaysay Park in remembrance of Kalibos Foundation Day.
Iwag It Kalibonhon
Annually held as early as December 15, this festival usually starts with a lighting ceremony of the giant Christmas tree in Kalibo, Aklan that happens on December 1 that marks the festive holiday tradition. During this festival, trees around the park are also adorned with multi-colored lights, decorations, and lanterns with local choral groups singing traditional carols and a fireworks show of Mabuhay Maritime Express and Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Miles as the grand finale which symbolizes a peaceful and simply bright world for all of mankind with the intention of getting people to go out and to be able to celebrate the Christmas spirit.
How To Get to Aklan
Since Aklan is famous because of Boracay, you can reach it fairly easily by 2 airports, continuous bus & van schedules, and regular ferries schedules. Read on to check each option and decide which is the best one for you.
There are daily direct flights being offered by Cebu Pacific, AirAsia, and Philippine Airlines from Manila and Cebu that would take you directly to Caticlan and Kalibo (closest airport to Boracay and it’s within Aklan) and Roxas and Ilo-ilo City (airport within the island). If your plan is to visit Boracay then we suggest taking the flight directly to Boracay (Caticlan) as this would save you time and is more convenient but would be often an expensive option.
Saying this, if the fares to Caticlan are expensive, an alternate option is to take the Kalibo route. This is the route locals take so rates are more stable and affordable throughout the year. This route will take longer as you need an additional van ride to Caticlan.
By Ferry or Boat
Ferry via Batangas port is also an option if you would like to save money on flights, not in a hurry, and also save accommodation for one night since this combined ferry and bus ride takes about 13.5 hours and you can opt to travel most of the distance at night.
Starlite Ferries and 2Go Travel are some of the ferry operators you can find in Batangas port.
By Bus or Vans
There is a daily schedule of busses and vans to Aklan or Boracay via Caticlan from Ilo-ilo City and Roxas.
Buses and vans from Iloilo to Caticlan start their trip as early as 5 AM and even before that on weekends. It will take around 3-5 hours of travel.
From Ilo-ilo airport, you ride a taxi to Tagbac Terminal in Jaro. You could also charter a van from the airport to the Tagbac terminal or even to Caticlan but we advise that you don’t take this offer since it is very expensive from the airport. In the Tagbac terminal, there are vans and Ceres bus traveling to Caticlan.
If you are travelling during day time, we recommend that you to take the “non-stop” bus to Caticlan even if you travel in a big group because it is more convenient as it has more legroom and a portable toilet on the bus. There’s just a small difference in the fare.
Past the bus schedule, the vans still operate. I remembered travelling during night time going to Iloilo City.
How to get to Boracay
- From the airport, you’ll need to head to Caticlan Jetty Port to catch a local boat to Boracay where you’ll have the option to choose a pump boat or the bigger but pricier Oyster Ferry.
- You can go to the port by tricycle or you can opt for the more expensive van transfer. Both transport modes are available from the airport which will take you about 15mins to get to the port.
Getting Around Aklan
Adventures You Can Do in Aklan
|Tulubhan Beach||Aklan||Not Available|
|Lambingan Beach||Aklan||Not Available|
|Jawili Beach||Aklan||10 PHP Entrance Fee|
|White Beach Boracay||Aklan|
75 PHP Environmental Fee
100 PHP Terminal fee
|Balinghai Beach Resort||Malay||1672 PHP per person per night|
|Banyugan Beach||Aklan||Not Available|
|Aroma Beach||Aklan||50 PHP Entrance Fee|
|Punta Bunga Beach||Aklan||500 PHP Entrance Fee|
|Ilig-iligan Beach||Aklan||No entrance fee|
|Devora Beach||Aklan||50 PHP Entrance Fee|
|Lugutan Beach||Aklan||Not Available|
|Wasak-wasak Beach||Aklan||10 PHP Entrance Fee|
|Bulabog Beach||Aklan||75 PHP Environmental Fee|
|Hinugtan Beach Resort||Buruanga||No entrance fee|
|Solteo Beach Resort||Kalibo||Not Available|
|Puka Shell Beach||Malay||No entrance fee|
|Tambisaan Beach||Malay||No entrance fee|
|Cagban Beach||Malay||No entrance fee|
|Baybay Beach||Tangalan||No entrance fee|
|Bakhawan Ecopark||Kalibo||150 PHP Adult and 50 PHP Kids|
|Pastrana Park||Kalibo||Not Available|
|Manduyog Hill||Banga||Not Available|
|Osman, Malinao||Aklan||Not Available|
|Jawili Falls||Tangalan, Aklan||10 PHP entrance fee|
|Waterfalls Malay Panay||Malay, Aklan||No entrance fee|
|Mangayaw Falls||Libacao, Aklan||No entrance fee|
|Magic Island Boracay||Aklan||150 PHP|
|Ariel’s Point||Batason||2000 PHP package with drinks and food|
|Calypso Beach And Dive Resort||Aklan||Depending on the room of choice + additional charges|
|Fisheye Divers||Aklan||1500 PHP|
|Eclipse Dive Center Boracay||Aklan||Not Available|
|Boracay New Wave Divers||Aklan||Starting at 3500 PHP|
|Bugtong Bato||Tibia||50 PHP Barangay Entrance Fee|
|Free Willy Diving Boracay||Aklan||Not Available|
|Nasuraan Falls||Libacao||10 PHP Entrance Fee|
|Boracay Sea World Dive Center||Malay||Not Available|
|Calypso Beach And Dive Resort||Kalibo||Depending on the room of choice + additional charges|
|Boracay New Wave Divers||Malay||Starting at 3500 PHP|
|Watercolors Boracay Dive Resort||Malay||Price ranges from 1900 PHP +additional charges|
|Fisheye Divers||Malay||1500 PHP|
150 php for Adult Entrance Fee
50 PHP for Kids Entrance Fee
400 PHP- 500 PHP per hour
|Hangout Beach Resort||Aklan||400 PHP- 500 PHP per hour|
|Boracay Island||Aklan||400 PHP- 500 PHP per hour|
|Tigayon Hill||Aklan||No Entrance Fee|
|Manduyog Hill||Aklan||Not Available|
|Mount Madiac||Aklan||Not Available|
|Waterfalls Malay Panay||Malay||Not Available|
|Bakhawan Ecopark||Aklan||150 PHP for Adults and 50 PHP for Kids|
|Jawili Falls||Tangalan||10 PHP Entrance Fee|
|Mangayaw Falls||Libacao||No Entrance Fee|
|Museo It Akean||Aklan||20 PHP Entrance Fee|
|Liktinon White Rocks||Madalag||No Entrance Fee|
|Motag Living Museum||Aklan||700 PHP Entrance Fee|
|Afga Wave Rock Formation||Tangalan||Not Available|
|Kalantiaw Shrine||Batan||Not Available|
|Tambisaan Beach||Malay||No Entrance Fee|
|St. John Nepomucene Parish Church||Tangalan||Not Available|
|Simbahan Cave||Antique||50 PHP Entrance Fee|
|Mt. Balinsasayaw||Antique||No Entrance Fee|
|Malumpati Cold Spring||Antique||500 PHP for adult and 200 PHP for kids|
|Mount Luho||Aklan||150 PHP Entrance Fee|
|Mount Nangtud||Antique||No Entrance Fee|
|Boracay Island||Bulabog Beach Area||~2800 PHP per hour private lessons|
|Boracay Island||Bulabog Beach Area||3000 PHP per person|
|Boracay Island||Aklan||3500 PHP / 2 person for 30 minutes 4200 PHP for 1 hour|
|Boracay Island||Aklan||can’t find active rappelling operators at the moment|
|Boracay Island||Boracay, Aklan||Free to snorkel|
|Watercolors Boracay Dive Resort||Boracay, Aklan||Price ranges from 2000 PHP +additional charges|
|Calypso Beach And Dive Resort||Boracay, Aklan||Depending on the room of choice + additional charges|
|Fisheye Divers||Boracay, Aklan||Starts at 1500 PHP|
|Eclipse Dive Center Boracay||Boracay, Aklan||Not Available|
|Boracay New Wave Divers||Boracay, Aklan||Starts at 3500 PHP|
|Tigayon Hill and Cave||Kalibo, Aklan||No entrance fee|
|Sapsapon Cave||Buruanga, Aklan||2,500 PHP per head (inclusive of Hacienda Maria tour)|
|Bat Caves||Malay, Aklan||100 PHP entrance fee|
|Pangihan Cave||Malay, Aklan||50 PHP entrance fee 250 PHP guide fee|
|Reef RidersWindsurfing, Kitesurfing and SUP School||Bulabog, Boracay||SUP only starts at 1000 PHP SUP with river tour starts with 4500 PHP|
|Funboard Center Boracay||Bulabog, Boracay||Not Available|
|Malumpati Cold Spring||Antique||500 PHP for the adults 200 PHP for the kid entrance fee|
|Hurum-hurum Cold Spring||Nabas, Aklan||20 PHP entrance fee|
|Fern Valley Cold Spring Resort||Laserna, Nabas, Aklan||50 PHP for an adult’sentrance fee 20 PHP for a kid’s entrance fee 40 PHP for a senior citizen entrance fee|
|Basang Cold Spring Resort||Nabas, Aklan||40 PHP entrance fee|
|Boracay Island||Boracay Island, Aklan||Starts from 4500 PHP + Instructor fee of 500 PHP|
|Boracay Island||Boracay Island, Aklan||Starts from 2400 PHP|
|Bakhawan Ecopark||Kalibo, Aklan||150 PHP for Adult’s Entrance fee 50 for Kids Entrance Fee|
|Pastrana Park||Kalibo, Aklan||Not Available|
Other Things To Do When in Aklan
Known as the top producer of piña fabric in the Philippines, you can see for yourself how the locals patiently weave piña fiber at the Piña Village in Barangay Buswang.
A secluded lodging resort built into cliffs facing a private cove by the northern part of Boracay Island back in the 80’s which are inaccessible to tourists from White Beach.
How to get there: Just the usual route to Boracay Island, and then take a tricycle to Baling Hai or you can also sail there.
Budget: P3,000 to P5,000 fit for 2-3 people
Also known as the “Sunken Forest,” this attraction is caused by an event when a dam nearby broke, causing saltwater to flow, killing all the mangroves surrounding the area and they are commemorated by a collection of eerie stumps sticking out of the still water.
Location: Near Bulabog Beach
3 coves that you can explore, each holding different rock formations brought by the earth’s natural elements.
How to get there: Ride a Bangka/boat for 20 minutes from the North-eastern part of Boracay Island.
Caves full of inhabiting fruit bats, some with wing spans longer than your arms!
How to get there: From Boracay Island, go to any jetty port and ask to be taken to the Bat Caves near Ilig-Iligan Beach. There are other bat caves by Punta Buga Beach and Baling-Hai, but this one is the most accessible.
Budget: P50 to P100
Boracay Island’s quieter sister. Carabao Island is a secret escape that has some of the bluest and calmest waters in the nearby province of Romblon.
How to get there: At Caticlan Airport, ride a tricycle to take you to the port going to Hambil (San Jose) Hambil is what the locals call the island. The boats leave 8:30 AM daily, and usually have just one trip per day. The passenger boat back to Caticlan leaves at 5:30 PM.
Insider Tip: In this island, electricity runs from 1:00 PM to 11PM, and 4AM to 6AM only. You can rent a motorbike for around P200-300 per hour if you want to explore the island
A hidden cold spring in Aklan’s main province. The main pool in this spring is a basin which directly catches the cascading waters from a spring, flowing from the mountain.
How to get there: There are 4 cold spring resorts at Nabas but this spring is one of the firsts. From Caticlan, take the Ceres bus bound for Iloilo which will pass through Nabas. You need to get off at the crossing before Nabas itself and you can ask the conductor to drop you off at the highway crossing to Hurom Hurom, then from there, take a tricycle all the way to the cold springs.
Known as a smaller White Beach. This island is quieter but also offers the same blue waters and white sand.
How to get there: Take a 15-minute walk through a semi-hidden Cliffside trail, which is close to Station 1. You can pay for a special tricycle ride from D’Mall in Station 2.
This cultural hub is a must visit as it holds festivals and events that are sure to make a mark in the province.
How to get there: From Boracay Island, you can take the Aklan West Road/Western Nautical Highway until you reach Ibajay.
Needless to say, this is Josh’s favourite activity. Party like a local on Boracay’s notorious pub crawl, with a professional photographer on hand to record all that transpires. Hit pubs, beach bars, and pumping clubs, with free entry to all and a whopping 10 shots to get the party started. Bring home your very own T-shirt as a souvenir of an epic night.
Pubcrawl route: Exit Bar → White Beach → Club Paraw → Club Galaxy → Globy Traveling Chef
Book Your Adventures Here
Eat Your Way Around Aklan
Local Foods and Delicacies
You can find both local and international cuisine in Boracay since it is the most famous tourist destination in the country. From “tuyo” to “budol fight” to English breakfast, it’s all available here. There are a lot of interesting local delicacies Aklan has to offer. This is my favorite part. Kaon Eon Kita!
Must Try Foods in Boracay Island
Best Neighborhood to Stay When in Aklan
Day Trips from Aklan
Books to Read
Contributions of the Aklan Mind to Philippine Literature
This is a good book to read to understand more of the influence of Akyanons on the country’s literature. This is written by Author: Beato A. de la Cruz in 1958.
The Province of Aklan has become famous for the immaculate exquisiteness that nature has imparted to it and its people, a remarkable place in the Philippines that has made a clear-cut mark on the world map when it comes to luring in tourists. Every municipality boasts of their different attractions, festivals, and even delicacies and products unique only to their town.
It is one of the country’s priciest possession recognized in the whole world. Enjoy a vacation of cultural, historical, and underwater pursuits.
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1 thought on “The Ultimate Aklan Adventure Travel Guide”
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