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Aklan Travel Guide

Itinerary, Things to do, How to get there and more

One of the 4 provinces of Panay Island, Aklan is a mountainous province in the Western Visayas. It is an independent first class province with 17 municipalities. Aklan is considered to be the oldest province in the country, with earliest background that traced back in the 12th or 13th century. One of the remaining provinces in the country that has maintained a good total area of virgin forest, Aklan is best known for its beautiful island paradise, Boracay and the yearly grand Ati-atihan Festival. Tourism and agriculture are the main source of livelihood for the locals who are called Aklanon. The province is the top producer of ‘abaca’ and ‘pina’ cloth; the latter happens to be the prime product of Kalibo, Aklan’s capital.

Where to go in Aklan

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Afga Lighthouse

Afga Point, Afga | Panay Island, Visayas Tangalan, Aklan, Western Visayas, 5612, Philippines

Aklan Freedom Shrine

XIX Martyrs St. Kalibo (capital), Aklan, Western Visayas, 5600, Philippines

Balinghai Beach

Hagdan, Baling Hai Rd, Boracay Malay, Aklan, Western Visayas, 5608, Philippines

How to Get Here

Getting Here
Getting Around
Tricycles, jeepneys and L300 vans are the means of transportation in the province. Minimum fare for tricycle is Php 10.00 while Php 7.00 for jeepneys. A ride from a town to another starts at Php 20.00 and can go up depending on the distance.

Accommodation
Kalibo has good numbers of hotels and inns that offers affordable stay as well as pricey accommodation.
Budget – Php 350.00
Reasonable – Php 800.00 – Php 1,100.00

Expect a more pricey accommodation when in the island of Boracay.
Bed & Breakfast accommodations starts at Php 990.00.

Food
Php 70.00 – Php 250.00 per meal

Tourist attraction entrance fee
Starts at Php 5.00

Average price per day
Php 1,500.00 - Php 2,000.00
Getting Here
The province of Aklan is within reach via air, land and sea travel.

By air: Aklan has 2 airports – the Godofredo Ramos Airport or Caticlan Airport in Malay and the Kalibo International Airport in Andagao, Kalibo, the only international airport in the country that is located outside of a major city.

Kalibo is only 45-50 minutes by plane from Manila and 30 minutes from Cebu. The following airline companies fly to Kalibo daily:

Cebu Pacific
Philippine Airlines
Philippine AirAsia

Kalibo International Airport services international flights going to Taipei, Shanghai, Hongkong, Busan, Seoul-Incheon, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Depending on the date of travel, Manila-Kalibo airfare starts at Php 2,700.00 one way. Once in Kalibo airport, there are tricycles and L300 vans that can be hired to take you to your destination. Fare rates starts at Php 50.00 for tricycle and Php 100.00 for the L300 van.

By land: From Iloilo to Kalibo, there are buses and vans as mode of transportation. Air-conditioned buses can take 3 to 3.5 hours of travel while the regular ones can take up to 4 hours or more.

From Roxas City, Capiz, bus travel is around 2 hours; while from Antique, depending on the place of origin, may take from 3 hours to 6 hours.

By sea: Boat trip from Batangas Pier to Caticlan Jetty Port is approximately 9-11 hours. Shipping company servicing this route is 2Go. Boat fare, depending on the date of travel and the accommodation, starts from Php 900.00 and up.


The Caticlan Jetty Port also caters to RORO shipping lines. Bus companies have terminals in Cubao and Pasay with ticket price that starts from Php 1,300.00, depending on the season.

Popular Food

Being a staple food in Asia, rice is usually the based for the various rice cakes and ‘suman’ in Asian country. Such is an example of Aklan’s favourite suman, the suman latik. The only difference with the other suman is that suman latik is topped with ‘bukayo’, a sweet mixture of caramelized sugar and coconut strips.

(c) @patrcklwrnce / instagram.com

‘Ginamos’ is a salted and fermented “sawsawan” or dipping sauce for boiled ‘saba’, steamed vegetables or green mango made from anchovies or krill (small shrimps). It can also be added to dishes such as pinakbet and kare-kare to enhance the flavour.

(c) @ejra_solove / instagram.com

A signature dish of Aklanon, ‘inubarang manok’ is a tasty dish consisting of native chicken, coconut milk and banana pith (ubad). It is a stew like dish that has a bit sweet, gooey soup because of the coconut milk and the lemongrass in it.

(c) @ely_g24 / instagram.com

Another popular coconut-based dish in the province is called ‘tinumkan’. Made from freshwater crab or shrimp, wrapped in ‘gabi’ or taro leaf and cooked slowly with coconut milk.

(c) @themak420 / instagram.com

Best Time to Go

BEST TIME TO GO
The surge of tourists in the province of Aklan is mainly because of the island paradise, Boracay. Peak and off peak season, Boracay is a stunning charmer for all. Visitors flock to the island on the months of December all the way to May. Christmas season until summer vacation is the best time to hit the beach and party all night.

For divers and snorkelers, the summer or dry months are preferable to visit the island because the weather is favourable for such activities. It is also good for exploring other hidden and not-so-hidden attractions of the province.

The annual Ati-atihan Festival, held in January at Kalibo, is also one reason for the influx of tourists during the dry months. Known as the oldest festival in the country and dubbed as the “Mother of All Philippine Festivals”, Ati-atihan is Aklanon’s biggest display of culture and pure merriment both locals and tourists’ enjoy.

Light clothing is advisable when visiting this province. It is also good to bring sunblock and sun-hats when checking out tourist spots.

What to Do

Explore the other parts of the province
There’s more to Aklan aside from the world famous Boracay. Take for example, the town of Tangalan. An austere municipality 20 minutes from Kalibo, Tangalan boasts of an ancient church constructed for a period of 28 years through “polo y servicio” (forced labor) during the Spanish era, the classic St. John Nepomucene Church.

Also in Tangalan is the unique Jawili Falls and the quiet Jawili Beach.
Learn about mangroves
Aklan has several mangrove parks one can visit. Experience a touch of nature and learn a thing or two about these kinds of project. The bamboo walkway offers a moment of solitude whilst showing the significance of the thousand of mangroves protecting the area.
Experience Christmas anytime of the year
The beautiful Sampaguita Gardens, owned by the creator of Precious Moments dolls Sam Butcher, is a popular side trip when in Kalibo. The highlight of this boutique-resort is the Victorian Cottage, Jojo’s Christmas Cottage. It is an edifice that offers ‘Christmas Everyday Experience’. It’s a happy Christmas 24/7 here!
See the province’s landmarks
There are a number of interesting landmarks to see and discover in the province’s capital such as the neoclassical Kalibo Cathedral in front of Plaza Pastrana, the center of the festivities during the Ati-atihan Festival; the Museo it Akean, the province’s museum located across the church; and the Aklan Freedom Shrine that honors the 19 martyrs of Aklan.