Tips and Facts


getting there

ARE YOU READY FOR A VACATION IN THE PHILIPPINES?

BELOW ARE LOADS OF DETAILS THAT YOU'LL WANT TO KNOW IN ORDER TO HELP MAKE FOR A SMOOTH VACATION EXPERIENCE. MAIN TOPICS INCLUDE:

 


It's always nice to pack light, but there are a few things we don't want you to forget. Due to the possibility of lost luggage we recommend that you carry-on important items whenever possible, we recommend that you carry-on important items whenever possible.

- Current Passport REQUIRED for all guests from the US and Canada (guests from other countries should check with their airline or consulate)
- A printout of your email invoice confirming full payment and this Tips & Facts webpage.
- Harness, lycra, booties, gloves, etc. (NOTE: There is a limited supply of booties and wetsuits for rent.)
- Sunglasses and chums, a visor or hat.
- High SPF (25+) waterproof sunscreen lotion (oil makes board slippery)
- PFD and/or helmet (if desired)
- Sweater or a light jacket / windbreaker just in case.
- Your nicest board-shorts for dining out in restaurants (No dress code!)
- Extra spending money (see "Currency/credit cards" below) CASH ONLY!
- Paperback books for flights and evenings (Our staff appreciates current newspapers / magazines - especially windsport related!)
- Ball-point pen, helpful for any airport forms, customs declarations, etc.)
- Ear Plugs, a good idea if you are a light sleeper and if you're practicing those forward loops!
- Aspirin or Ibuprofen for muscle aches
- Medical tape for tired hands.

What we have:

Available for sale are T-Shirts, hoodies, rashguards, and various Cabrinha goods. Don't forget your harness!

 

Location:

Everything is right on the private beachfront at Kingfisher Resort! 

Language:

English is spoken fluently by the owner, manager and the windsport center manager, but not necessarily fluently by most of the local staff and around town.

Weather:

Windy and sunny at most times but still good to bring hoodies or jackets.

Water:

Not advisable to drink tap water but purified mineral water is available in the restaurant

Currency/credit cards:

We mainly and prefer to deal in pesos, cannot process credit card transactions, and also accept Paypal payments.

Electrical voltage:

Local voltage is 220V. To plug in any 110V electronics you’ll need a voltage converter, which you can find at any electronics stores such as Radio Shack, Circuit City, etc.

Email / Phone Services:

If you want cellphone coverage, best to obtain a GLOBE sim card

Meals:

Most meals will be conveniently sourced at the Kingfisher restaurant located on-site. There are a few other restaurants in other resorts in the region, but overall commercial restaurants are not available. One exception is a German restaurant in town with a mix of German, Filipino and Italian cuisine. You are also explore options from street vendors (empanadas are a well known Ilocos Norte tradition) in town.

Other Activities available:

Standup paddleboarding, surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, sightseeing, day-trip surfaris, and more! Check with the local staff for pricing when you arrive.

Tipping:

Prices do not include service charges, so as is likely true at your hometown, it is up to you to determine how much to tip. If they are happy with the service, a standard tip between 10%-15% (or more) is appreciated.

Emergencies:

Should an emergency necessitate an early return home, we will do all we can to get refunds for you. Standard hotel cancellation fees usually exceed any unused balance, but hotels are quite often understanding of emergencies. To assist us in this you must get written verification of check-out date from your hotel front desk and also from the Vela staff.

Although most guests will arrive in MANILLA first before continuing to LAOAG, we have listed the information for making your way between LAOAG and Vela Philippines first. Make sure to read the entire section for full details about navigating your way around the busy MANILLA airport.

Airport Arrival - LAOAG:

You have 3 options when you get to Laoag:
1. Reserve taxi pick-up in advance (recommended).
2. Spend the night in Laoag, get some rest, and arrange for a ride the next day. We can assist you in looking for a hotel in Laoag.
3. Take the bus! The ride will take around 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours. The bus will drop you off along the highway, before the road going to Saud Beach. This area is called Mawini. From Mawini, you can take a tricycle taxi for about 300 pesos.

If you have taken our suggestion and have reserved a taxi service through us to reach Kingfisher, please follow these simple steps: once your flight arrives and you have claimed any checked luggage, follow the signs towards the exit. Your driver will be waiting holding a whiteboard sign with "KINGFISHER BEACH RESORT" and your name on it. From there you will walk to the taxi by van with room for up to 6 passengers and make the 45 minute - 1 hour drive with a representative from the center.

Transportation during your vacation:

Motorbikes are available for rent. If you'd rather leave the driving to someone else, ask the team at the center and they can arrange for vans to be hired for taxis or Surfaris for day-trips to nearby beaches.

Airport Arrival - MANILLA:

Traveling to, from, and around the Philippines may seem like a confusing and daunting task. That is why we have created this page to make things easier for you. This page is subdivided into the following topics, The Terminals, Transferring Terminals, Manila Airport Shuttle Bus, Yellow Manila Airport Taxis, Flying to Laoag. If you cannot find the answer to your questions here, please feel free to contact us for more info.

- The Terminals
Manila Airport (MNL) is composed of 4 active terminals: 
Terminal 1: This is the International terminal, is where all arrivals will come through first. This terminal is also known as NAIA-1.

Terminal 2: The PAL Terminal (Philippine Airlines), also known as NAIA-2 or Centennial Terminal. This terminal is used exclusively by PAL for all its domestic and international flights.

Terminal 3: This is used by Cebu Pacific and AirPhil Express for their domestic and international flights. Also known as NAIA-3.

Terminal 4: This is known as the Manila Domestic Airport and is used by exclusively by Seair and Zest Airways.

- Transferring Terminals

The terminals are linked by direct and indirect roads. The direct way is served by a shuttle bus. The taxis have to take the longer outside road. The time to move from one terminal to the other is the most asked question. It is important to know the time you need to go from one terminal to the other. This knowledge prevents you from stress and wasted money. Plan enough time for your transfer in Manila. WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND TO SCHEDULE YOUR FLIGHTS WITH AT LEAST 3 HOURS BETWEEN CONNECTIONS FOR INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC FLIGHTS TO ENSURE SMOOTH TRANSFERS ... AND NOT TO MISS YOUR FLIGHT! Why so much, you ask? A lot of factors may contribute to lengthy terminal transfers. Your incoming flight may be delayed, there may be several heavy carriers arriving at the same time, and other unforeseen circumstances. The table below shows you the travel time from one terminal to the other. The travel time is indicated as BEST CASE and WORST CASE. We strongly recommend to set up your travel schedules using the WORST CASE time. It is much better to have some time left than to miss your flight. Add another 45 to 60 minutes for security checks, check-in and your walk to the gate.

TRAVEL TIME BETWEEN TERMINALS IN MANILA

  NAIA-1 NAIA-2 NAIA-3
NAIA-1 - 15 / 20 / 40 30 / 45 / 60
NAIA-2 15 / 20 / 40 - 15 / 30 / 45
NAIA-3 30 / 45 / 60 15 / 30 / 45 -

 

- Manila Airport Shuttle Bus

The shuttle buses are clearly marked mini-buses. The driver can help you with getting your luggage in. The only thing you have to tell him is the carrier's name of your next hop or the terminal you wish to go to. The driver will then tell you, when to get off the bus. The free shuttle bus runs every 20 to 30 minutes from 03:30 am to 01:30 am (next day)  The shuttles are located in the following areas: 

NAIA-1: Arrival level at the far right-hand side when exiting the terminal.
NAIA-2: Arrival level directly outside the international section
NAIA-3: Departure level, left-hand side when exiting the terminal.
Of course, if you are having trouble finding the shuttle you can always ask the customer information counter for directions.

- Yellow Manila Airport Taxis

If you are pressed for time, it is advisable to take the taxi. The Yellow Manila Airport Taxis are all clean and all metered. They are faster than the bus and the rates are acceptable. It ranges from 100 to 200 pesos. Rates depend on the amount of time spent in the taxi: without any traffic jams which would otherwise keep the meter running, the taxi fare will be cheaper.

- Flying to Laoag

Air Philippines, Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific fly to Laoag. Therefore, regardless of what terminal you land in, you would either have to go to Terminal 2 if you are taking Philippine Airlines, or Terminal 3 if you are taking Cebu Pacific or Air Philippines. All 3 airlines fly to Laoag once a day. During weekdays, the flights usually arrive at night. On weekends, the flights usually arrive around noon.

- Special Baggage Rates:

When you have bulky sports equipment, like most kiters and windsurfers do, you can use a Sports Equipment Fee. This allows you to check in additional baggage for a fixed fee. Only bigger planes have this option, so make sure that there is an option for additional prepaid luggage before you pay for your flight. Or avoid the hassle of traveling with your gear and count on renting at Vela instead! ;) 

*** If you need to overnight in MANILA please let us know! ***

 

Hotel Check-In:

The normal check-in time is 2PM although we can request early check-in if available. Vouchers are not required for check-in. Simply arrive at the front desk and give the agent the last name of the person who made the reservation. If there are any questions, please show them the email invoice that you should print and take with you. NOTE: If you are arriving late at night, no worries: someone on staff will be there 24 hours a day ready for your check-in.

Hotel Check-OUT:

Check out time is 12 noon. Make certain to go over your final bill carefully. Personal charges such as meals. bar tabs, laundry, telephone calls, and such are your responsibility. DO NOT let the hotel charge you any tax or service fees on accommodations prepaid by Vela. We always prepay tax and service charges for you. Should an emergency necessitate an early return home, we will do all we can to get refunds for you. Standard hotel cancellation fees usually exceed any unused balance, but hotels are quite often understanding of emergencies. To assist us in this you must get written verification of check-out date from your hotel front desk and also from the windsurf staff. Important note: If you have an early flight, make arrangements for a taxi to the airport the day before your departure and leave plenty of time to get to the airport. If you are leaving on a late flight, sometimes there is a courtesy room available for storing luggage and taking a shower. Late check-out is possible if no new guests are expected to arrive and take your room.

Getting To Vela Philippines:

As a guest of Kingfisher Beach Resort you are RIGHT THERE at the Vela center! Simply roll out of bed, head out the door, and you are on the beachfront of Vela Philippines!

Checking In To Get Started:

Our staff will be anticipating your arrival and will plan to greet you at our beachfront equipment center. You can find our staff members at the equipment area wearing T-shirts that say "Vela" or "Staff". Give any team member your name and they will set you up with an orientation. A security deposit may be required.

Kitesurf Equipment:

Vela Kitesurf Philippines, our integrated Vela kiteboarding school is powered by the latest Cabrinha equipment with a range of kites to match the local conditions ... meaning nothing bigger than a 9m. If you are an independent kiter we encourage you to travel with your own gear, and we will help to keep on eye on you when out on the water.

Conditions and Safety:

Beautiful, warm, crystal-blue and clear water with combination of sandy bottom and seaweeds. After the reef you get closer towards the more exciting conditions outside with rolling swell and a bump & jump playground as well as the potential for big surf, Strong side-shore winds are often already getting started by the time we open our doors, and building throughout the day. Winds are a bit lighter inside allowing beginners to catch a break even on the windiest of days. About waves: the reef 250 meters off shore can hold a swell as big as 5 meters on HUGE days, though these are not common. *NOTE: A jetski is on stand-by for any necessary rescues* When the waves are over your head, keep inside the lagoon and out of the break. High Season begins mid-October through mid-April, with a combination of the best and most consistent winds plus solid swells out on the playground. The most common sail size is your normal "Maui Quiver", with either 4.2, 4.5, or 4.7 ... just perfect. Spring / Summer from mid-April to June is an ideal for surfing, kayaking and SUP when light-wind days are on the menu. The spot is tide sensitive but during low tide you can walk to the reef area to sail or simply plan a day-trip to explore one of numerous spots in the region.

Damage to equipment:

You will be asked to leave a deposit of $100 when you rent equipment. Once in your care, it is your responsibility to return it in the same condition. To minimize the possibility of damage, please choose equipment that suits your ability level and conditions, and handle equipment carefully at all times. Items that need replacing will be charged at cost plus 10% for parts and labor. For items that can be repaired, standard charges will apply. This must be paid directly to the center in full upon return of the damaged equipment.

Kitesurf Lessons:

If you have already booked lessons please make sure to check-in at Vela the day before your lesson. All lessons are water-based from the first day.

Complete Beginner:

Hoping for just a taste? Take a 1.5 hour lesson for $80 and learn some of the basics on land. Hoping to commit learning how to get up and get your first rides on this trip? The Complete Beginner Course comes with a total of 9 hours spread out over 3 days with all gear included during instruction for $580.

Continuing Student:

Students who are ready to get more time on the water without formal instruction but who prefer more dedicated supervision time will be able to sign up for the supervision course – progress with a coach, available for $70 per hour. Or, if you prefer to have a more formal lesson upgrade to the an Advanced course istead to improve your skills and / or learn new tricks for $80 per hour.

 

Windsurf Equipment:

Vela is equipped with the latest in high performance gear featuring NeilPryde rigs and sails (3.2 - 5.5) and JP Australia boards (68L - 120L). At the small center there is a limited amount of gear compared to the big Vela centers at other locations, so plan to reserve sapce and a specific board size from the beginning. If you have not selected a board choice yet please contact us to take care of this before you arrive. Please help us maintain the high quality of our fleet by handling with care.

Getting On The Water:

Equipment rental is available starting at the early morning hour of 7 am and must be returned by 5 pm. Every day that you windsurf, you must sign out yourself and the equipment that you are using. This enables us to keep track of our equipment and know that our guests have returned safely. All procedures and safety concerns will be explained during the orientation. Please note that equipment fee is per person and not transferable.

Getting Your Gear:

You will be given an orientation session before checking out your equipment. All guests must use the equipment sign-out / sign-in sheet located at the equipment area to check out equipment. If you want to change your board or rig during the day, simply return the first board or sail to the rack and use the sign in on the sheet, then sign out again, indicating your new board and/or rig choice on the sign-out sheet. All this will be covered in your "Center Orientation" on your first day sailing with us.

Conditions and Safety:

Beautiful, warm, crystal-blue and clear water with combination of sandy bottom and seaweeds. After the reef you get closer towards the more exciting conditions outside with rolling swell and a bump & jump playground as well as the potential for big surf, Strong side-shore winds are often already getting started by the time we open our doors, and building throughout the day. Winds are a bit lighter inside allowing beginners to catch a break even on the windiest of days. About waves: the reef 250 meters off shore can hold a swell as big as 5 meters on HUGE days, though these are not common. *NOTE: A jetski is on stand-by for any necessary rescues* When the waves are over your head, keep inside the lagoon and out of the break. High Season begins mid-October through mid-April, with a combination of the best and most consistent winds plus solid swells out on the playground. The most common sail size is your normal "Maui Quiver", with either 4.2, 4.5, or 4.7 ... just perfect. Spring / Summer from mid-April to June is an ideal for surfing, kayaking and SUP when light-wind days are on the menu. The spot is tide sensitive but during low tide you can walk to the reef area to sail or simply plan a day-trip to explore one of numerous spots in the region.

Rig Adjustments:

Each of the different types of sails available for check out have been rigged in a manner best suited for that particular sail. If you would like to make adjustments to the rig, we ask that you first get a short orientation to that particular sail from one of our staff. You will be responsible for any incorrect handling of the rig that damages the sail.

Damage to equipment:

You will be asked to leave a deposit of $100 when you rent equipment. Once you rent a board and sail, it is your responsibility to return it in the same condition! To minimize the possibility of damage, please choose equipment that suits your ability level and conditions, and handle equipment carefully when launching and coming in to shore. Items that need replacing such as fins, sails or mast will be charged at cost plus 10% for parts and labor. For items that can be repaired, standard charges will apply. This must be paid directly to the center in full upon return of the damaged equipment.

On-Site / Walk-Up Rentals:

If you have not paid for equipment as part of your vacation, note that rentals will only be available after the staff is satisfied that all pre-paid guests have had their first choice. Rates are subject to change. Again, we cannot guarantee equipment availability unless you pre-book with Vela with advance reservations.

Gear Storage:

Our gear storage entitles you to use the windsurf station facilities, caddies and optional free coaching. Space is limited so please plan to reserve in advance.

Vela Wind Warranty:

In the event that there are 4 or more days of non sailable wind using any of our equipment, you may request a NO-WIND CLAIM FORM that will allow you credit towards a future trip to any Vela destination. Note that you may receive higher credits if you return to the same center. You must get this form before you leave the center.

Lesson Program:

The school can help to get you sailing and meet your goals regardless of your ability level.  Wave sailing lessons are a popular attraction, though if traveling in the winter months with the potential for big waves it is ideal to already be comfortable in the surf.

Beginner Lessons:

All beginner lessons include use of equipment during instruction and are in either private (1 hour per session) or semi-private (1.5 hours per session). 

Advancing Lessons:

Ready to move your sailing up by another level? Plan on some reserved time with the local staff to help you get you there! instruction and are in either private (1 hour per session) or semi-private (1.5 hours per session).

Please note:

Unless you reserve lesson time in advance, all lessons are subject to instructor availability upon arrival to Aruba. Lessons are normally scheduled to begin on your first full-day in Aruba, though the exact lesson schedule is subject to wind conditions as well as other factors. Any unused pre-booked lesson time can be retained as a credit towards a future trip or towards additional services (tours, excursions, or other non-windsurf rental gear) while on your current trip.

Make sure to say goodbye to our staff before you go. Check to see if you have left anything at the center or if you have taken care of your final tab for additional services you may have purchased. If you have had some bad luck in the wind department, make sure to get you No Wind Claim Form before you go, and we hope that you have still had a great vacation overall in spite of Mother Nature!

 

READY TO GO? ARE YOU SURE? PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU HAVE ANY ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS BEFORE YOU DEPART. HAVE A GREAT TRIP AND DON'T FORGET TO WRITE!

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