Cagbalete: The Cheapest Weekend Island Getaway

TRAVEL GUIDE TO CAGBALETE ISLAND
Mauban, Quezon Province, Philippines

I kicked off my travels this year in an island!
Yes, you read it right. Two days after the holiday season, I and my friends headed to Cagbalete Island in Mauban, Quezon Province for a weekend getaway.
Cagbalete Island, located in the Lamon Bay, fronting the Pacific Ocean, is considered as the Boracay of The Pacific because of its clear waters and fine, white sand. The white sand is being exposed during low tide. Beautiful, right? The island is esily identifiable as going to Boracay without hopping on a plane. This is what we need fellow backpackers!
Cagbalete Island, Mauban, Quezon Province, Philippines
Cagbalete is also known as home to a diverse ecosystem with unique variety of birds, rich marine life, and the abundance of unique species of plants.
This 1,640 hectares privately owned island is a complete paradise for nature lovers and those who are up for adventures. Activities include camping, island hopping, swimming, snorkeling and enjoying a bonfire.
Trekking is also possible in the island. Low tide is until past noon time. Swimming is not a good idea during this period of time. Instead of swimming, start your island hopping early in the morning, visiting the sandbars and other islands. Snorkeling is possible in between these activities.
Cagbalete Island, Mauban, Quezon Province, Philippines
To get to Cagbalete Island, from Jac Liner in Cubao, Quezon City, ride the 4 AM bus trip to Mauban Public Market. Make sure you're at the bus terminal an hour before the scheduled trip. We missed this direct trip even we're at the terminal 15 minutes before 4 AM.
Once the bus is fully occupied, the bus leaves. So, we ended up taking a trip from Cubao going to Lucena City. We paid 210 pesos each for our fare. Travel time is around 4 hours. Aside from Jac Liner, you can also take trips from Jam Liner which is located opposite the Jac Liner terminal in Cubao, Quezon City.
Cagbalete Island, Mauban, Quezon Province, Philippines
From Lucena Grand Terminal, we transferred to a bus heading to Mauban. Fare is 50 pesos. Make sure you get off at Mauban Public Market. Travel time is around 45 minutes. From Mauban Public Market, walk for at least 10 minutes until you reach the Tourism Office and pay the environmental fee of 10 pesos. Yes, 10 pesos contrary to the 50 pesos environmental fee posted on previous blogs about the island. Along with your environmental fee ticket, you'll receive a leaflet about Cagbalete including the activities you can do in the island.
The leaflet provides information about hotels, rates and other helpful information about the island. Keep your tickets as a tourism officer will check it before the boat leaves the port. If you're in a hurry, riding a tricycle is another option to get to the Tourism office. Fare is 10 pesos per person.
Cagbalete Island, Mauban, Quezon Province, Philippines

Leaving Cubao early in the morning provides you the guarantee of catching up 10 AM passenger boat from Mauban port to Cagbalete Island. Fare is 50 pesos. Here, you'll be with the locals so expect them having bulk baggages, groceries, etc. Everyone is required to register and please make sure you wear the provided life vest before the coast guard's inspection. Travel time is around 45 minutes.
Just in case you didn't make it to the 10 AM passenger boat, no worries coz the next scheduled trip is 1 PM and leaves the port by 4 PM.
Instead of waiting and wasting your time at the port, visit Mauban's Rizal Park where you can have an overlooking views of the town. Entrance fee is 10 pesos.
Cagbalete Island, Mauban, Quezon Province, Philippines
Aside from the passenger boat, you also have the option of renting a private boat. Pay 2,000 pesos for a two way trip while they charge 1,500 pesos for one way trip from the port to Cagbalete Island. The boat is good for 2-3 person. If you don't have that much courage, I'm not recommending this option as your boat will head to head with the waves coming from the Pacific Ocean.
There are boats available near the Sabtang Port for hotel transfer. Regular rent is 400 pesos. The boat is good for 5 to 10 person. While heading to the island, I started making friends so we have someone to share the boat rentals for boat transfer and island hopping. I gained four friends. Lucky me!
Cagbalete Island, Mauban, Quezon Province, Philippines

Bring food as it is pretty difficult to get food on the island. You can bring rice cooker and electric kettle if you intend to stay longer. We stayed at Donya Choleng. Entrance fee is 50 pesos. Check out my review about this resort later. As expected, food at the hotel is pricey. Put up your tents and have a bonfire. Bonfire package at Donya Choleng costs 500 pesos. Just a heads up, you'll experience intermittent cellular signal. Electricity is only available at night.
Cagbalete Island, Mauban, Quezon Province, Philippines

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