If you find yourself wanting to go to Batanes but can’t do because of a tight budget, I recommend exploring Palaui Island of Cagayan Valley. And I can assure you, the experience is one of a kind and worth the money.
Palaui has been known destination because of the TV series Survivor last 2013.
How to get to Palaui?
Two ways to get to Tuguegarao
- Book a plane via PAL or CebuPacific. Plane fares depend on the season you’ve booked. Travel time is 1hr.
- Book a bus via Florida or Victory Liner. Bus fare cost P600/ person. Travel time is 14hrs.
From Tuguegarao, ride a tricycle from Tuguegarao airport and just tell manong driver to drop you off on van/ shuttles that are going to Sta.Ana.
Take note that all shuttles here don’t have any aircon. So make sure to bring water and fan with you. Travel time to Sta.Ana is 4hrs.
The last stop of the shuttle we’ve had is almost near San Vicente port. Just tell manong driver to drop you off the nearest location where the port is. You’ll just need to walk for 7-10 minutes and you’ll see the port with boats en route to Palaui island.
You’ll also see the 642km marker .post which means it’s the last marker up north.
We were directed by boatmen on their office where we sign up an island entry form and P50 fee. We avail a tour package of P3,500 (selected island hopping tour). You may contact kuya Edwin 09269064 or 09161165850 for your choice of itinerary.
For our homestay in Punta Verde, you may contact Ate Elsa 09052832559. It was P250 a day (food not included yet). The house is not fancy as you expect near beaches.
No aircon, no warm shower, a limited supply of water and electricity, no tv and fan (well it’s cold anyway) and no fancy bed. The below motolite photo is what we’ve used to charge our phones since they don’t have any outlets. And our restroom is the typical filipino way with tabo and timba. They usually fill water on it during the afternoon so we can have water on the next morning. If you worry about drinking water, there is a nearby sari sari store for your necessities.
And these are just some of the meals ate Elsa prepared to us for our dinner – comfort lutong bahay meals.
But you know what? It was a memorable experience to be able to live on the side of the beach with Palaui locals. And the warm welcome of Ate Elsa and people living in the neighborhood makes it more unforgettable 🙂 If you opt for hotels, there are some located in Sta. Ana.
Now let’s jump into our itinerary:
Day 1 (afternoon): Arrival at Punta Verde (homestay)
Day 2: Snake island, Anguib beach, Puzurubo and Crocodile
Day 3: Cape Engaño, Siwangag, Pogomoro
Day 4: Back to Tuguegarao bound to Manila
First on our island hopping is Snake island and we’re the first one to get into the island that day. It’s a small island with a lot of pebbles and stones. It was named after snake because yes there are really snakes in the area as what kuya mentioned. Luckily I didn’t get to see one.
Next is Anguib beach. Entrance fee for Anguib is P100. We were dropped off on the side of the island since there are events held in the main area. But then, I guess it’s really our lucky day because for some reason the event was canceled and was transferred to another venue. So the result, we have the island for ourselves again. More time for us to enjoy the clean and clear blue sea and take photos of ourselves! The beach is really clean and well maintained. Kudos to the people in charge. The clear sea and white sand are what makes Anguib beach a well deserved on your itinerary. We spend most of our time here because we really like it 🙂
This is where we ate our lunch as well provided by our friendly kuya boatmen. Lunch is included in our travel package.
Next island was Puzurubo. Another katakot-mamangka moment haha. But then the sea relaxes as we approach the near island because it’s already low tide. From here, you can see residents go for fishing.
To cap our island hopping day, the last island we went to is Crocodile island. The name of the island came from the stone mountain that is shaped like a crocodile. It’s like a dessert in the middle of the sea. And the lighting here is really good, so take a lot of photos.
And that’s how wrap up our day one stay here at Palaui. Reminder also guys, bring what you brought to the island, please throw your trash on the garbage cans. Let’s help the locals and retain the beauty of Palaui island 🙂
Next activities will be on my next post – Trekking to Cape Engaño.