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Are you planning a trip to Aklan, one of the beautiful provinces in the Philippines? Aklan is known for its pristine beaches, rich history, and vibrant culture. Whether you are a first-time traveler or a seasoned adventurer, this travel guide will help you discover the top destinations and hidden gems in Aklan.
In this article, we will cover:
So, let’s dive in.
Aklan is a province located in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. It is the oldest province in the region and is believed to have been founded in the 12th century by settlers from Borneo. The province was named after the Aklan river, which is the longest river in the province.
In the 14th century, Aklan was part of the Kedatuan of Madja-as, a confederation of barangays (villages) that spanned across Panay Island. The confederation was said to have been founded by a prince from Borneo named Datu Puti, who, together with his companions, settled in the Philippines and established the Kedatuan of Madja-as.
During the Spanish colonial period, Aklan was one of the first areas in the Philippines to have been Christianized. The Augustinians, who arrived in the province in 1560, established several churches and missions in the area, including the famous Kalibo Cathedral.
There are several ways to get to Aklan, depending on your starting point. The most common way to reach Aklan is by air, through the Kalibo International Airport or the Caticlan Airport.
The Kalibo International Airport is located in the capital town of Kalibo and is the main gateway to Aklan. It is serviced by several airlines, including Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and AirAsia.
The Caticlan Airport, on the other hand, is located in the neighboring province of Malay and is the closest airport to Boracay Island, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Philippines. It is serviced by Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific.
If you prefer to travel by sea, you can take a ferry from Batangas port to Caticlan port, which is the main gateway to Boracay Island. There are several ferry companies that operate this route, including 2GO Travel, Montenegro Lines, and Starlite Ferries.
Boracay Island is undoubtedly the most popular tourist destination in Aklan. It is known for its white sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant nightlife. The island has been named the “Best Island in the World” by Travel + Leisure magazine and is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Aklan.
Some of the top activities in Boracay include island hopping, snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing, and kiteboarding. There are also several restaurants, bars, and clubs on the island, making it a perfect destination for party-goers.
The Ati-Atihan Festival is a cultural festival held every January in the town of Kalibo. It is one of the oldest and most colorful festivals in the Philippines and is known for its street dancing, music, and colorful costumes.
The festival honors the Santo Niño (Child Jesus) and is said to have originated from the pre-colonial period when the Ati people, the original inhabitants of the island, would hold a feast in honor of their gods.
Today, the festival attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world and is a must-see event for anyone visiting Aklan in January.
The Aklan River is the longest river in the province and is a popular destination for water activities such as rafting and kayaking. The river is surrounded by lush forests and offers a breathtaking view of the Aklan countryside.
The Bakhawan Eco-Park is a 220-hectare mangrove forest located in the town of Kalibo. It is the largest mangrove reforestation project in the Philippines and is a popular destination for nature lovers.
The park features a boardwalk that runs through the mangrove forest and offers a unique view of the area’s flora and fauna. It also has a bird-watching tower, a butterfly garden, and a picnic area.
Jawili Falls is a beautiful waterfall located in the town of Tangalan. It is a hidden gem in Aklan and is a great destination for those who love trekking and exploring. The waterfall is surrounded by lush greenery and offers a refreshing break from the heat.
Located in the town of Nabas, Bungan-Bungan Cold Spring is a natural wonder that offers a refreshing break from the tropical heat. The spring is nestled in a lush forest and features crystal-clear water that is perfect for swimming and snorkeling. The surrounding area is also great for picnics and nature walks.
There are several amenities available at the cold spring, including changing rooms, shower areas, and cottages for rent. Visitors can also enjoy local delicacies and refreshing drinks from the nearby vendors.
Located in Tigayon Hill in the town of Kalibo, the Kalibo Ostrich Farm is a unique attraction that offers visitors a chance to interact with these magnificent birds. You can also rent ATVs and ride along the Aklan River with friends and family.
In addition to ostriches, the farm also has other animals, including lions, horses, birds, turtles and zebras. Visitors can take a guided tour of the farm, learn about the different animals, and enjoy a picnic in the scenic surroundings.
The Nabas Wind Farm is a wind power project located in the town of Nabas. It is a hidden gem in Aklan and is a great destination for those interested in renewable energy.
The wind farm features several wind turbines that generate electricity for the local community. Visitors can take a guided tour of the wind farm and learn about the benefits of renewable energy.
Aklan offers a range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. Here are some of the top hotels in Aklan:
For those planning a visit to Boracay, here are some of the top hotels on the island:
Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly option or a luxurious retreat, Aklan and Boracay have something for everyone.
There are several ways to get around Aklan, including:
Tricycles are a popular mode of transportation in Aklan. They are three-wheeled motorcycles that can accommodate up to three passengers. They are best for short distances within towns and cities.
Jeepneys are the most common form of transportation in the Philippines. They are colorful vehicles that can accommodate up to 20 passengers. They are best for longer distances between towns and cities.
Renting a private car is a good option for those who want to explore Aklan at their own pace. There are several car rental companies available in Aklan.
Bicycles are a great way to explore Aklan’s countryside. There are several bike rental shops available in Boracay Island.
Aklan is a beautiful province in the Philippines that offers a mix of natural and cultural attractions. From the pristine beaches of Boracay Island to the colorful Ati-Atihan Festival, there is something for everyone in Aklan.
Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or a beach bum, Aklan has something to offer. So pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to explore this hidden gem in the Philippines.
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