Aklan is a province in the Western Visayas Region. Its capital is Kalibo. It is in the northwestern portion of Panay Island, bordered by Antique Province to the southwest, and Capiz Province to the east. Aklan faces the Sibuyan Sea and Romblon Province to the north.
Aklan is considered as the oldest province in the country and is believed to have been established in the 12th century by settlers from Borneo ruled by the chieftain Datu Dinagandan who traded with its neighboring islands.
Aklan is famous for Boracay, a resort island one kilometer north off the tip of Panay. It is known for its white sandy beaches and is considered as one of the most prominent destinations in the country. Because of this, there is frequent air travel to the province's airports in Kalibo and Caticlan.
Farming is the basic livelihood in the interior, while fishing is the basic livelihood in the coasts. Poorer inhabitants also migrate seasonally to other provinces and islands, particularly Negros, to work mostly in plantations. Some of these migrants include minors.
Despite its vibrant tourism industry and substantial agriculture, the province is still considered as one of the poorest provinces in the country, with more than 30% of the population living below the national poverty line.
Tourism in the Philippines is a major economic contributor to the Philippine economy.
Several species endemic to the Philippines are found in the province. Examples include endangered animals such the Philippine Spotted Deer, the Visayan Warty Pig, and the Tarictic Hornbill. As of 2007, conservation efforts are being made by the Aklan State University and the DENR with varying success.
Aklan depends greatly on agriculture. The massive and sustained education and research in agriculture production, the implementation of national program in agriculture, well-established marketing strategies, as well as the support of the agribusiness industry and other private and non-government sectors, result to better production and higher income of the farmers.
- FREEDOM SHRINE
Dedicated to the 19 martyrs of Aklan who started the revolt against Spain.
- KALANTIAW SHRINE, Batan
Once the seat of government of Rajah Bendahara Kalantiaw, promulgator of the famous Code of Kalantiaw.
- INGUS-INGUS HILL, Buruanga
In Spanish time, it served as a lookout for approaching Moro pirates who used to maraud coastal villages. Underneath the hill is a cave, which, according to folk tales, was used as an ambuscade of English pirates, buccaneers, and other plunderers of Spanish galleons carrying precious cargoes.
- AGTAWAGON HILL, Balete
Served as a camp and the last line of defense of Filipino soldiers and guerillas during World War II.
A repository of antiques dug up in Aklan, which trace the province's rich cultural and historical past; also houses famous works of arts.
- MANDUYOG HILL AND AKLAN STATE COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE (ASCA), Banga
Named after Datu Manduyog, successor of law-giver Kalantiaw III. It is 500 feet high with life-size stations of the cross winding up the hillside and a chapel at the summit overlooking the countryside. Down the hill is the ASCA, an agricultural institution spread on 69 hectares. Tropical fruit trees such as rambutan, mangosteen, and lanzones abound in the school campus, as well as pasture land and sprawling rice fields.
- OB-OB HILL, Bgy. Songcolan, Batan
Stands 200 meters high like a lighthouse facing the Sibuyan Sea. At the foot of the rocky hill is a fine beach.
- TINAGONG DAGAT, Batan
"Hidden Sea", approximately about 8 kms. long and 4 kms. wide, between Altavas and Batan, partly hidden from the Batan Bay by two islands, fringed with mangroves, thick undergrowth, and rocky beach.
- TIGAYON HILL, Kalibo
A solitary mountain of solid rock amidst stretches of flat lands. One of the side is a shallow cave with an arched entrance. Inside is an altar-like rock and two bench-like rock formations on its side.
- IGNITO CAVE, Bgy. Tigum, Buruanga
Locally known as Elephant Cave due to its appearance. This and other nearby caves are managed by the San Lorenzo Ruiz Farm Eco-Tourism Cooperative. Beautiful limestone formation of stalagmites, stalactites, and other crystalline structures abound. It has a "skylight" in one of its chambers that lets in a soft glow of light at noontime.
- LILOAN CITRUS FARM, Brgy. Liloan, Malinao
A place where various fruits abound, interspersed with colorful anthuriums and heliconias.
- TIGIS FALLS, Buruanga
Secluded in an area, good for summer hideaway for its cool surroundings.
- BASANG AND HUROM-HUROM COLD SPRINGS, Brgy. Laserna, Nabas
These alternative summer destinations offer the beauty of fresh water gushing from nature-hewn rocks and an exhilarating adventure down the Gibson River in a kayak.
Paradise Island of the Philippines. It is world-famous for its fine and lovely palm-fringed sugar-fine white sand beaches, azure waters, coral reefs, and rare shells. Its area is 1,083 hectares, consisting of three barangays namely Balabag, Manok-manok, and Yapak.
- AGNAGA FALLS
A scenic view awaits visitors as they swim in its clear waters. It is a perfect getaway especially during summer as its cool water beats the heat.
- TIGWATI-AN ISLAND (Crystal Cove), Sitio Tabon, Caticlan, Malay
Shells of varying sizes and kind lie on its predominantly white sand beach. Caves with interesting crystalline formations abound the island.
- JAWILI FALLS, Tangalan
Has seven basins tiered about 20 feet apart. The highest basin is about a 100 feet high, oval-shaped, around 240 sq. ft. in area, and 12 feet deep, with clear water almost like a small lake. The other basins are of similar shapes from 130 sq ft to 240 sq ft in area and 8-10 feet deep, except the sixth basin which has a swimming area of around 540 square feet.
- TULINGON CAVE, Nabas
Believed to be one of the longest caves in the Philippines. It stretches 20 kilometers from Bgy. Libertad, Nabas, Aklan to Bgy. Patria, Pandan, Antique with enormous guano deposits.
- Altavas Underground Cave
The undergroud cave is located in the town of Altavas, Aklan.
- FATIMA HILL, Kalibo. Stations of the cross on the hillside culminate in a chapel made of marble atop the hill.
- PINK SISTERS CONVENT, New Washington. Everything here is pink, from the convent's facade to corridors and to the nun's attires.
How to get there
Via Caticlan Airport
Caticlan Airport or Godofredo P. Ramos Airport offers sophisticated facilities catering domestic flights from Manila/Cebu to Caticlan and vice versa.
Airlines that fly to Godofredo P. Ramos Airport:
- Air Philippines
- Asian Spirit
- Cebu Pacific
- Philippine Airlines
- South East Asian Airlines
Via Kalibo Airport
Kalibo Airport is classified as minor commercial class domestic airport. It also caters few international destinations.
- Airlines Services
- Philippine Airlines
- Cebu Pacific
- Pacific Pearl Airways
- Asian Spirit
- China Eastern Airlines
Public transportation around the province and the city is by tricycle, taxi, multicab, and jeepney.