Boracay | Budget Itinerary | Hotels | PCR Covid Test

Boracay

Travelling this time of pandemic has never been so rewarding after being locked down for so long in 2020. The passion of Filipinos to travel, whether for cheap or for luxury, has been halted as Filipinos follow safety protocols set by the government to prevent the further spread of the virus. By September, some provinces that rely mostly in tourism including Boracay, Bohol, and Baguio started easing their lockdown rules to allow local tourists to visit them again and stimulate the economy.

Travel Boracay

Boracay in Aklan was one of the provinces that were supported by the department of tourism. This includes the creation of QR codes, registration for visitors, cashless transactions and subsidy of RT-PCR tests with selected testing centers. The subsidy aims to reduce the burden for tourists and to allow them to use the funds for the economy of the place they will be visiting. They also streamlined the process for visitors for a seamless travel from registration up to the completion of their trip.

One of my friends, Erick Benedicto was able to visit Boracay last February 2, 2021. I asked him for the details of his trip and he will be sharing his experience from booking his airplane ticket, his flight to Boracay and his 6 days trip.

Boracay Guidelines on Travel

If you’ve already booked your flight to boracay or are looking at booking your Boracay trip, you can follow these guidelines from the Aklan local government. The steps includes filling up the health declaration form, sending your RT PCR test and other requirements via email and receiving your QR codes..

  1. Access www.touristboracay.com and  choose Boracay in the Where To page.
  2. Fill out required fields and click submit.
  3. Take a screenshot of the confirmation page.
  4. Attach a copy of the screenshot, RT-PCR Negative Result with date of extraction within 72 hours to date of travel, a copy of confirmed booking slip/form, roundtrip flight/travel details and proof of identification with Philippine Residency and send to [email protected] using the email subject OHDC-FamilyName, FirstName.
  5. Wait for the email response (successful or unsuccessful) of the Final Validator. The validation team processes the QR Code within several minutes from receipt of email and usually responds within an hour. If you have not received any response within two hours, please send another follow up email.
  6. If processing is successful, a copy of HDC with Tourist QR Code will be sent back. Keep the Tourist QR Code with you at all times. Have a printed or digital copy. The QR Code will be used in the ports of entry/exit (land, air, sea) as well as in accessing services in Boracay Island.
  7. If processing is unsuccessful,  an email will be sent to you requesting for additional requirements or clarification. Please immediately comply with this to avoid delays in the QR Code release
  8. Your Tourist QR Code has an expiry of twelve (12) hours from your accommodation checkout time. If you are extending your stay in Boracay Island, please send an email of a new booking slip showing the extension to [email protected] before your original checkout time.

Flight to Boracay

If you are flying to Boracay, your only option is to book a flight to Caticlan. Other point of entries including Iloilo, Capiz and Aklan are not permitted and they will only be used by returning OFWs, Locally Stranded Individuals (LSI), Authorized persons outside of residence and emergency travellers.

In compliance with the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT), Civil Aeronautics Board Advisories, and the Province of Aklan, only tourists are allowed to fly to Caticlan. The Caticlan Airport is the only port of entry and exit of Boracay Island tourists. All tourists must comply with the province’s COVID-19 travel requirements prior to entry to the island which includes Negative RT-PCR test results and confirmed bookings from DOT accredited hotels or resorts who have met environmental and safety requirements set by government. There are no age restrictions for domestic tourists.

Philippine Airlines

Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Asia have 2 trips each daily from Manila to Caticlan. Note that these trips may change subject to availability and demand.

Philippine Airlines MNL to Caticlan

philippineairlines.com

Cebu Pacific Air MNL to Caticlan

Boracay Cebu Pacific
Cebu Pacific

Air Asia MNL to Caticlan

Boracay Air Asia
Air Asia

Boracay Accredited Hotels

Once you have your confirmed flight ticket, you would need to book your stay in Boracay from a list of Accredited hotels and resorts. Your stay must coincide with your round trip ticket for you to be able to avail of the subsidized RT PCR tests offered by the Department of Tourism.

Here are the list of Hotels and Resorts from Station 1 to Station 3. If you know the name of the hotel, click on the name to book them through AGODA.

Station 1 Boracay Hotels and Resorts

Station 2 Boracay Hotels and Resorts


Station 3 Boracay Hotels and Resorts

Subsidised PCR Test

The Department of Tourism announced back in October that they will be subsidizing 50% of the cost RT-PCR test for domestic tourists including Boracay with valid round trip flight and hotel booking from accredited hotels and is supposed to run until June 30, 2021.

Currently, there are two hospitals namely UP PGH and Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) that are accredited and can do 100 subsidized tests per day. A minimum of 5 days prior to the scheduled departure date is required otherwise, the request will be declined.

Note that UP PGH testing is closed on Sundays so if your trip falls on tues, your option may be PCMC. The schedule given will be 3 days before your scheduled trip and the result will be available within 48 hours.

Click the photos below to schedule your RT PCR tests or visit https://www.tpb.gov.ph

Check out Tourism Board of the Philippines FAQ here

Apart from the subsidized PCR tests offered by the department of Tourism, travellers can also pay in full for their PCR tests with DOH accredited testing centers. Note that rapid tests are not accepted by Boracay.

Travel to Boracay

Once you have completed all the preparation for your trip, then it’s time to enjoy Boracay in its full glory. I have outlined the steps and things to prepare for your trip, budget and itinerary.

Pre Flight Checklist

On your day of departure, make sure to have all documents ready and the QR code has already been sent to your email. Here’s a checklist before you leave your house and going to the airport

  1. Download the Traze app for Android / IOS on your phone.
  2. Print a copy of your QR code.
  3. Print a copy of your Round Trip Ticket
  4. Online checkin and print boarding pass.
  5. RT PCR result and receipt of payment for swab test.
  6. Hotel Reservation print out.
  7. Bring a set of facemask good for your trip duration.
  8. Extra Face Shield
  9. Ballpen for manual contact tracing
  10. At least 2 government issued ID

You can have the printed copy downloaded to your phone and keep it offline as sometimes, you may lose internet access in some areas.

Commute to Naia

Arrival in Boracay

Upon your arrival in Caticlan airport, you can take a tricycle for ₱100 good for 2 pax to Caticlan Jetty Port. Upon your arrival at the port, you will be asked to present your documents

You will be paying some fees including but not limited to

₱150 – Environmental Fee
₱100 – Terminal Fee
₱40 – Boat
₱40 – eJeep to hotel

Upon Arrival in Cagban port in Boracay, travellers can take an ejeep, tricycle or shuttle service to their hotel and check in with their luggage. They accept cash payment here.

Boracay 2021

Here are some photos taken in Boracay during their trip c/o Erick Benedicto last February 2021

Sample 4 days 3 Nights Boracay Budget

₱750 – subsidized RT-PCR test
₱150 – Environmental Fee
₱100 – Terminal Fee
₱80 – Boat Round Trip
₱80 – eJeep to hotel
₱3900 = 1300 per night for 2 x 3 nights
₱2000 = Round Trip seat sale ticket
₱2000 = Budget for activities
₱1500 = 4 days 3 nights food and drinks

₱8610 =Total per Passenger for a group of 2

If you are travelling on a budget, there are cheaper options for hotel. You can check the list of hotels here. You can also find a hotel sale. Erick’s group was able to book Henann Regency for 2500 per night

You can also opt not to do the activities and just stroll along the beach and relax

Things to do in Boracay

There are several enjoyable things to do in Boracay including Parasailing, Helmet Dive, Scuba Diving, and Island Hopping. Check out the discounted rates below.

Boracay Rehabilitation

The island took a six months breather from tourism during the lockdowns from March until September 2020. Unlike before, the island is no longer littered with trash and the countless people selling goods and services at the beach front have been reduced. The sea is now bluer than ever and no longer crowded with boats offering island hopping and other recreational activities.

Back in 2018, President Duterte ordered the closure of Boracay for a 6 months long plan to rehabilitate the island. At first, A lot of tourists were against the closure but a lot of Filipinos supported the move as the island was slowly becoming unsustainable.

On its reopening, people were amazed on how the island almost reverted back to its former beauty and the island was now void of goo and excrements from the hotels who did not have proper waste sewage facilities. The roads were widened and the shoreline was cleared out from unnecessary facilities that ruins the shoreline.