Carabao Island : Boracay's Equally Mesmerizing Sister

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Carabao Island or locally known as Hambil is a tropical dream island located in the town of San Jose in the Province of Romblon. Dubbed as Boracay’s sister, the island is blessed with powdery soft sand, azure water, calm atmosphere, never ending summer vibe and a beautiful landscape and  shoreline that can rival its sister island. Carabao Island is a must visit place to chill and to slow down from our fast city life. 

The picturesque beach of Carabao Island
The island is not yet highly commercialized so you can truly enjoy its serenity with few tourists. The shore is a perfect playground for a sunny afternoon and a wonderful spot to unwind and to savor every moment under the tropical sun. The picturesque shore is perfect for your Instagram goals. According to some locals the sand here is the same in Boracay but what makes Carabao Island extra special are the calm vibe and the laid-back lifestyle in the Island. 


Relaxing shore and the azure water of the island.

Aside from the beach, the island also offers different kinds of adventure that will awaken the inner child in all of us. You can rent a motorbike or locally known as “habal-habal” to explore the whole island and discover secluded and pristine beaches. The “habal-habal” cost at around Php 1000 to 1500. The Island has a wide variety of tourist attractions such as:


Before jumping on the 15 ft. dive

The sleeping baby.
CATHEDRAL CAVE and CLIFF DIVING 

If you are a cliff diving enthusiast you should visit Cathedral cave and Cliff Diving site. First, they will escort you inside Cathedral cave and take a glimpse of the different rock formations and Stalagmites and stalactites. Second, they will take you to their main attraction which is the Cliff diving site. It’s a 12 to 15 ft. from the cliff to the sea floor and another 10 ft from the bottom of the ocean to the surface. It’s pretty high and pretty deep. Nevertheless the experience was blissful and nerve wracking. By the way, I jumped 3 times and it was awesome.

Entrance fee: Php 100

Kuding-Kuding cave and cliff diving site.

The Crystal clear pool inside Kuding-kuding cave.

KUDING-KUDING CAVE and CLIFF DIVING

This is another cliff diving site in the island. The cliff diving here is perfect for beginners since it just 5ft. from the cliff to the water. They also have a smaller cave with a pool inside. I jumped here twice.

Entrance Fee: 100

The highest point in the island.

The Island of Boracay from Tagaytay View Point.

TAGAYTAY VIEW POINT

This is the highest point in the island. The spot is popular for tourist because you will have a clear view of Boracay. This is also a great place to relax after a long day of exploring and conquering rough and rocky roads. 

We discover this hidden beach in our habal-habal tour.

HOW TO GET TO CARABAO ISLAND:



By Air: 

Book a flight from Manilla to Tablas (Tugdan Airport). From the Airport hire a tricycle going to the town of Odiongan. From Odiongan take the jeepney bound for the town of Looc then from looc ride a jeepney going to Santa Fe. Travel time is 1 to 30 minutes. There are passenger boats that leave Santa Fe port at around 9am going to Carabao Island. 

  • Odiongan to Looc, fare is Php 50
  • Looc to Santa Fe, fare is Php 50
  • Santa Fe port to Carabao Island , Fare is Php 100
Alternatively, you can also fly to Caticlan or Kalibo. From Kalibo, take a van to Caticlan. From Caticlan, take a tricycle to San Jose Port (boats to Hambil), fare is around Php50. From the port take a public boat to Carabao Island. Fare is Php80 per person and the boat is scheduled to leave at 8:30AM daily. Charter a boat if you don't plan to stay overnight.

By Sea:

Shipping lines such as 2GO and Montenegro lines have direct trip to Odiongan in Tablas from Batangas Port. Make sure to buy your tickets as early as possible to avoid delays and cutting trips. From Odiongan take the first trip bound for Looc at 6 in the morning. From looc ride a jeepney going to Santa Fe port. From the port catch the earliest trip of passenger boat bound to Carabao Island. Book a ticket now!

  • Bundia to Batangas port, fare is Php 177
  • Batangas port to Odiongan Tablas , fare is Php 795
  • Terminal Fee Php 30
  • Odiongan to looc, fare is Php 50
  • Looc to Santa Fe, fare is Php 50
  • Santa Fe to Carabao Island via Passenger boat , fare is Php 100

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WHERE TO STAY:

There are hotels and transient houses in the island in a reasonable price. Since we are traveling in a shoe string budget, we decided to camp on the beach because its free.


Lanas Beach Resort

Nipa House Resort
Contact Details: 0999 407 4225


Pink sunset in Carabao Island.

About the Author:
Edss Tolentino works a s a Visual Merchandiser in a retail brand. He is an aspiring travel writer, an adventure junkie and a seeker of the unknown. His goal is to explore the 7,641 islands of the Philippines and share its beauty to the world. 

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