How to Get Around Boracay Island?
Getting around one of the most popular island destinations in the Philippines is cheap and easy. Boracay is famous for its amazing white sandy beaches, breathtaking views and fantastic activities in and around the island.
If you are visiting Boracay soon, it’s best to get to know the different ways to travel around, as things have changed slightly. Boracay was reopened last year after six months of cleanup. Along with rehabilitating the beaches, new regulations are now enforced regarding the use of environmentally-friendly vehicles. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has strict rules to make Boracay air-pollution compliant, and one of these is the use of modern, clean and energy-efficient vehicles.
Basically, there are two methods of public transportation on Boracay, a jeepney, and a trycycle taxi, read more about them below. Essentially, the jeepneys are the island’s bus system with fiexed routes, and tricycle (Boracay’s answer to the tuk-tuk or rickshaw) is your taxi service to take you to sepcific destinations.
What is a Jeepney?
As you’re doing your research for your Boracay trip, you will see many references to ‘jeepneys’ as a way of getting around Boracay (and elsewhere in the Philippines). A jeenpey is basically a converted bus, sometimes an old school bus. They’re called different things in different parts of the world, for example in Guatemala they’re called ‘chicken buses.’ Typically they can be quite an experience to put it lightly, crowded and polluted. However, with Boracay’s new clean initiative, only the name ‘jeepney’ survived, as they are now modern, electric, environmentally friendly vehicles on Boracay.
To get to different shops, hotels, beaches, and restaurants on the island, tourists and locals rely on the aforementioned ever-dependable jeepney.
- They are widely used as a mode of transportation in Boracay and throughout the Philippines. They have designated routes that are usually painted along the sides of the vehicle or placed on signs and displayed on the windshield.
- Jeepneys comply with a national fare system and give discounts to senior citizens, disabled passengers, and students.
- You don’t tip a jeepney driver. You pay for your fare as you ride.
- Usually, locals would say “Bayad po!” (“Here’s my fare!”) as a way to tell the driver to reach back and take your fare.
What is a Tricycle Taxi?
The other strange refernce you’ll see when researching how to get around Boracay is Tricycle taxi. It’s the other way to get around the island. This vehicle is tough, and will carry up to five passengers and can be found everywhere.
Tricycles on the island are now environmentally-friendly.
It’s basically a motorized rickshaw, or tuk-tuk. It runs on three wheels hence the name and can carry passengers as well as luggage and allows pets as well.
Tricycles can go where jeepneys can’t. You can ask a tricycle driver to take you to a specific hotel, restaurant or shop and it will drop you off in front.
Because of this convenience, rates vary from the destination, but usually it is 20 pesos (~$0.40US) per passenger. You can also hire a tricycle for a special trip for about 100 pesos (~$1.90US). Typically you would tip the driver.
Getting to Your Hotel
Traveling with childrenIf you are moving around Boracay with children, you can ride jeepneys or tricycles. Children should sit near their parents or caregiver for safety. There are no seatbelts or child safety harnesses for kids, and you should never allow your child to sit at the back or near the driver in a tricycle.
Traveling with LuggageIf you are carrying luggage, you can hire a tricycle for a special trip to take you and your bags to anywhere you wish to go. Your luggage will be placed at the back of the vehicle or inside the carriage. Jeepneys can also hold luggage, but if you have a lot, you may need to pay extra for it. There are also private cars and private vans available from Kalibo to Boracay which costs around 800 pesos (~$15.00US). Once you are on the island, the van or car will take you to your hotel or beach resort. A family traveling to Boracay will find this a convenient alternative. Some vans offer private transportation in and around Boracay, but these have to be booked before you start your trip.
Getting Around Boracay for Smaller Trips
To visit beaches, a tricycle taxi can take you to any beach or resort you wish to go. A tricycle taxi will likely be available near your hotel or rental accommodation. You can ask your hotel concierge for a tricycle taxi service or the location of the nearest tricycle stop or station from the hotel.
To explore the different places on the island, you can ride a jeepney to reach significant destination points. A tricycle is still the most convenient and can take you directly to your destination. You may arrange for a special trip whether you are alone or with a group. You may also arrange two or three tricycles to take you and your friends or family to anywhere on the island.
To go to restaurants or shops, a tricycle will also take you there fast. You may also find tricycles near business establishments as well so you can quickly return to your hotel or rental accommodation.
Jeepneys and tricycles are efficient and certainly the fastest ways to get around Boracay. Whether you’re getting to and from your hotel, shopping or exploring the island, these modes of transportation are cheap and are readily available everywhere.