Tour packages for Carabao Island offered in the Island of Boracay are too pricey for me especially if wanted to stay in the island for couple of days, the reason why I better choose to go there with a Do-It-Yourself Escapade. If you don’t want a paid package too, then keep reading to have an idea on how.
FIRST THINGS TO KNOW:
1. Electricity is not 24-hours available unless your resort has its own generator set.
2. “Said” is the name of its seaport and Habal –habal or single motorcycle ride is the mode of transportation. Expect rural kind of living despite that it is a town. Remittance Center is available in the town proper.
3. Carabao – is the name of the Island
4. Hambil – is the term of locals for the island
5. San Jose – is one of the towns of Romblon and it is within the island of Carabao/Hambil which composed of 5 barangays: Busay, Combot, Lanas, Pinamihagan and Poblacion (Agcogon).
HOW TO GET THERE:
The Nearest Airport if coming from Manila or Cebu will be the Caticlan-Boracay Airport in Malay, Aklan. Then hire a Tricycle leading to Tabon Baybay Port (A separate one; not the Tabon Port bound for Boracay). Negotiate first with the Tricycle Driver, they are nice but others might have overpriced fare. Same transport scheme will be used if traveling by Sea via RORO to Caticlan.
Take note that the departure of commuter boats from Tabon Baybay to Carabao Island is only 9AM-10AM Daily and it’s suggested to go there at least 1 hour ahead. Locals said that there is another daily trip at 3 in the afternoon but i haven’t tried this one yet.
Same boats will return the next morning by 6AM and second trip at 9AM (to be confirmed if still active). The fare is 100 pesos for 45-minute one-way ride.
According to locals of Carabao there is another sea route from Island of Luzon to Odiongan Port. From Odiongan, Romblon, take a jeepney to Santa Fe and ride a motored banca going to San Jose for about 45-minutes. Meanwhile, there are boats going to Hambil from Boracay Island (Station 1 or Diniwid Beach) operated by locals who are doing business in Boracay. It normally leaves as early as 2pm.
WHERE TO STAY:
Tents are allowed in the beach but Carabao Island is lined with resorts and home-stay already available. Republic of Inobahan is quite the most well-known but you can ask the locals where the other best to stay is.
I recommend Kameo Lodge in baranagy Poblacion. It offers Fan Rooms and Air-conditioned Rooms. Rate ranges from 250 to 1,500 good for two to four pax. As we want an adventure in our second Carabao Escapade, we stayed in a Family Owned Resort in Barangay Busay with 3 fan rooms, own comfort room and overlooking pebbled beach. Cooking service is also available upon request.
WHAT TO SEE:
Renting a Habal-habal for a day-tour might be the best option when visiting the tourist attractions in Carabao Island. Price is Php 500.00 per head but also negotiable depending on your itinerary.
Hambil Beach – located in barangay Poblacion. This is the best beach in the entire island with views closely similar to Boracay’s White Beach. Sunrise is great in here.
Tagaytay Point – located in barangay Combot overlooking Carabao Island’s Twin Sister – Boracay.
Ngiriton Cave – is a private property yet opens for visitors in barangay Busay just near the proposed Airport. 100 pesos Entrance fee is being paid when going inside inclusive of Fresh Buko. The deep cave is closed for tourist.
Koding-koding Point – is the newest attraction in the island with Cliff diving as its best feature. Entrance Fee is Php. 100.
Lanas Beach and Dive Site – is a Scuba Diving site and best place for sunset viewing.
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