Below is a step-by-step guide on how you can travel by bus/shuttle van between Caticlan (Boracay), Carles (Gigantes Islands), and Iloilo City.
HOW TO GET AROUND ILOILO, CARLES, AND BORACAY
A ride from Carles to Caticlan is a bit hardcore, there are a lot of transfers and can be difficult if you have heavy luggage with you. Plan your Iloilo-Boracay trip well and try to imagine if you can take the land commute.
Duration: 5-6 hours depending on traffic and bus waiting time
Tagbak Terminal (Iloilo City) → Bancal Port (Carles Town)
1. Go to Tagbak Terminal located in Jaro District in Iloilo City. There are several buses here going to different destinations. You can also go directly to Caticlan from Tagbak Terminal if you want to visit Boracay.
2. Once at the terminal, tell the barker that you are going to Carles Town. Carles Town is your drop-off destination if visiting Gigantes Island. This spot is on the northern coast of Iloilo.
The bus’s last stop is at Bancal Port so don’t worry if you’re thinking you might miss your stop. Assuming that you’ll be staying near Bancal Port, you can tell the bus conductor where you will be staying at so they can drop you directly in front of your accommodation if it’s along the way.
Duration: 5.5 to 6 hours
Tagbak Terminal (Iloilo City) → Caticlan (Boracay)
1. Go to Tagbak Terminal and take a bus ride going directly to Caticlan. This is a 6-hour ride to Boracay so make sure to bring along some drinks and snacks. You can catch a ride as early as 4 am, the last trip is at 6:30 pm. The last stop will be at Caticlan Jetty Port.
2. Once you’re at Caticlan jetty port, a long queue is visible. Register and fill out the forms asking how long and where you will be staying in Boracay Island.
3. Buy your boat ticket going to Boracay. The environmental and terminal fees will also be paid upfront.
4. When you reach Boracay Port, you will have to take another ride going to your accommodation. If you do not have a pick-up arrangement with your hotel, the cheapest option is via e-trike or tricycle. The price of the ride will depend on how far your accommodation is. As for us, we were charged Php150.
Duration: 5-6 hours depending on traffic and van/bus waiting time
Bancal Port (Carles Town) → Balasan Terminal (Estancia) → Tagbak Terminal (Iloilo City)
Going back to the city is easy, just retrace the way you traveled before. See the section above – ILOILO CITY GOING TO CARLES (Gigantes Islands).
1. Go back to the Balasan terminal. There are buses from Bancal Port going to Balasan Terminal but if you happen to catch a tricycle or bus outside your accommodation, take it.
2. From Balasan Terminal, take a bus ride going to Iloilo City. The bus will drop you off at Tagbak Terminal in Jaro district of Iloilo.
Duration: 4.5 to 5 hours
Bancal Port (Carles Town) → Balasan Terminal (Estancia) → Roxas City Transport Terminal → Kalibo → Caticlan (Boracay)
1. Take a ride back Balasan Terminal. Either take a tricycle or wait for a bus. It’s much faster to take a tricycle.
2. At Balasan Terminal, guys will immediately ask where you will be going, tell them that you will be going to Roxas City.
You will then need to transfer rides at Roxas City Transport Terminal. Tell the barker that you will be going to Kalibo. This ride is a bit longer than the last one.
3. In Kalibo, there are two ways to go from here:
a. Be dropped off at Kalibo Ceres Bus Terminal
b. Ask to be dropped where van/FX is going to Caticlan Port: This option is faster than the bus, and I much prefer this. The drivers will usually help you where and when to transfer rides, so you can breathe a sigh of relief.
4. It’s noticeable when you already arrived at the port, there are a lot of people lining up outside. Line up at the queue and register where you will be staying in. Once done, pay the terminal, environmental and boat fees. The duration of the boat ride from Caticlan Port Jetty is around 20 minutes.
And voila! You are now in Boracay Island! Of course, you will have to ride a tricycle from the port going to your accommodation.
Phew. That’s a lot of transfers! Make sure to travel in fine weather if you will be commuting by van and bus. Transferring is quite a hassle if you have a lot of things with you.
Duration: 4.5 to 5 hours
Caticlan Jetty Port → Kalibo → Roxas City Transport Terminal → Balasan Terminal (Estancia) → Bancal Port (Carles Town)
Similar to the way on how you got to Caticlan, now, you need to do just the opposite.
1. Once you get off the boat back to Caticlan jetty port, there are vans available just waiting for passengers. Ask the barkers that you will be going to Kalibo to visit Carles, Iloilo.
2. Be dropped off at Kalibo and transfer van/bus rides going to Roxas City Transport Terminal. This terminal is the main drop-off and transfer of rides for tourists and passengers alike.
3. From Roxas City Transport Terminal, ride the shuttle van going to Balasan Terminal in Estancia (ask if the ride will go directly at Bancal Port).
4. In Balasan Terminal, grab a tricycle ride going to Bancal Port. A tricycle ride might cost you around Php100 Some bus will go straight to Bancal Port, make sure to ask the bus conductor if Bancal Port or Balasan Terminal is the last stop.
Duration: 5.5 to 6 hours
Summary: Caticlan Jetty Port → Tagbak Terminal (Iloilo City)
1. Once you get off the boat going back to Caticlan, there will be barkers shouting the destinations of the van/bus outside. You can simply ask any barker and tell them you are going to Iloilo City (Tagbak Terminal).
Ride the Ceres bus liner. Bus fare is Php391 and the travel time will take around 5.5 to 6 hours. The bus will drop you off at Tagbak Terminal in Jaro District of Iloilo.
2. From Tagbak Terminal, you can take a taxi or van going to Iloilo city or your accommodation.
ILOILO, GIGANTES ISLANDS AND BORACAY GUIDE
3-in-1 TRIP ANYONE?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The name’s Fiorucci (pronounced as Fee-yoh-ru-chi), I’m not Italian but I can eat pasta for a whole week…or a month…or more. Hop on my story as I travel the world ‘one destination at a time’ while juggling with my full-time work, freelancing and building my own business to gain freedom from this monotonous corporate society.