Travel Guide To Palaui Island

Everything You Need To Know About Palaui Island

Whether you like it or not, the school holiday is fast-approaching and finally, summer's definitely back! Although the dry season starts in late November and ends in May, most of us think that it is always summer here in the Philippines. During this time of the year, the sky is at its bluest and the water at its clearest, making every photo an Instagram-worthy. 

Most of us, during summer, travels to Boracay, Puerto Galera and Palawan. However, Palaui Island located in Santa Ana, Cagayan is amazingly beautiful and the island hopping here is spectacular. This travel guide to Palaui Island will blow your mind and will eventually trigger to plan your visit here the soonest possible time.



Palaui Island, Santa Ana, Cagayan, Philippines

Palaui Island, a protected landscape, is stunningly beautiful as it offers creamery, white sandy beaches, hidden waterfalls, breathtaking and panoramic views including a century-old lighthouse. Amazing, right?

Palaui Island, located at the northeastern tip of mainland Luzon, specifically in Santa Ana, Cagayan, is made up of volcanic debris with a land area of more than 3,000 hectares. Santa Ana, a second-class municipality in Cagayan, houses the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and the Naval Base Camilo Oasis, also known as the Naval Operating Base San Vicente.

Politically, Santa Ana is subdivided into 16 barangays with a total population of almost 33,000 people based on the 2015 census. Fishing is the most common livelihood here. In fact, Santa Ana is dubbed as the "Fishing Game Hub" here in the Philippines as it hosted international decathlons, where athletes run through the rugged terrain of Punta Verde to Cape Engano then dipped in the crystal water of the Philippine Sea. 

ALSO IN SANTA ANA: DISCOVERING SINAGO COVE


Dos Hermanos Islets, Santa Ana, Cagayan, Philippines

Anguib Beach, one of Santa Ana's prides, is known as the paradise for kite boarders and windsurfers. In 2015, the Philippine Windsurfing Association and the Philippine Kiteboarding Association organized a kiteboarding and windsurfing competition here, bringing Santa Ana on spotlight.



In 2017, I've visited Santa Ana for many times. We even brought here Together We Share for a series of outreach programs, helping an Aeta Community in Sitio Rapuli. And, we're going back here next month for the third leg of #TogetherWeShare where we will be conducting tree planting activities since we're adopting this community for a longer period of time.

To date, Palaui Island is my favorite destination. I can stay here for months! This is the perfect place to get relaxed, soul search or just to be at peace with nature. For me, Palaui Island is the most serene destination I have been to. 

Santa Ana, Cagayan, Philippines

HOW TO GET TO PALAUI ISLAND

To get here from Metro Manila, ride a Victory Liner bus heading to Tuguegarao City. Victory Liner terminals are located in Kamias, Quezon City; Sampaloc, Manila; and Caloocan. Fare is around Php 700 and the travel time from Manila to Tuguegarao is approximately eight to ten hours. 

From Tuguegarao City, ride a tricycle heading to the van terminal. Fare is around Php 10. Then, ride a van heading to Santa Ana. Fare is around Php 180 and the travel time is approximately four hours. Once you reached Santa Ana, ride a tricycle heading to San Vicente Port and meet your tour guides for briefing and assistance.

In case you missed it, there are direct trips from Espana, Manila to Santa Ana, Cagayan via Florida bus. Daily trip schedules are at 12:30 PM and 3 PM only. Travel time is around 13 hours.

Cebu Pacific Air and Philippine Airlines has daily flights to Tuguegarao City. Regular fare starts at Php 3,000 to Php 4,000 and it varies from time to time.

Jerolynda White Beach Resort, Santa Ana, Cagayan, Philippines



WHERE TO STAY IN SANTA ANA, CAGAYAN

Just in case you arrive late in San Vicente Port and unfortunately missed the last boat heading to Palaui Island, consider staying to a beach resort near the port and enjoy a day or two before exploring the beautiful Palaui Island.

Jorelynda White Beach Resort, located in San Vicente, is such a good place for family fun and team building. I absolutely love staying here as it offers several fun things to do: from walking barefoot to swimming to playing volleyball. The resort has three buildings and a restaurant, making it as the perfect location for a beach wedding, conferences, baptismal, team building and other occasions.

Kids enjoying the nature instead of video games!

Luckily, I've got a copy of their room rates including their restaurant menu. You better save this post for future reference. And yes, you can mention my name and ask for a discount. I'm just kidding!☺

The first building is dedicated for solo backpackers as it has a double deck with electric fan. A group of four can share the room and split the rate of Php 1,500 per night. Very affordable, right?

For a group of five, you can share the second building which has an air-conditioned room for Php 2,700 and a basic room with electric fan for Php 2,400 only. The third building can accommodate at least eight people. For the air-conditioned room, rate is Php 3,000 and basic room, Php 2,700 per night.

My favorite spot in Jerolynda White Beach Resort

Also, Jorelynda White Beach Resort is offering a package deal for companies conducting their team building in the North. For a minimum of 15 persons, the package deal is up for grab for only Php 1,100 per person. The package includes an overnight accommodation with three set of meals and two snacks; and a boat transfer. Lobsters, crabs, shrimps and local delicacies will be served during meal time. Life's a beach!

For inquiries and reservations, you may contact: 0915 516 1584; 0927 823 7977.



View from Sunrise Palaui Homestay

WHERE TO STAY IN PALAUI ISLAND

If you have been following my blog for months now, I'm sure you know that I'm recommending specific tour guides who can bring you to my favorite hostel in Palaui Island.

Last year, I've discovered a perfect place for an overnight stay (even longer), offering serenity and an amazing view of the sunrise. If you're up for a beautiful jump shot while the sun is rising, then you better stay at Sunrise Palaui Homestay. The standard homestay rate in Palaui Island is Php 250 per night.

Food here is super delicious!

Undeniably, Sunrise Palaui Homestay is one of the most serene places I have ever been to. Food here is super delicious and healthy. Kapitana Rona Ugale, also known as Kapitana Orang, the homestay owner, is very friendly and accommodating. By the way, there's a waterfall within the area. Kapitana Orang calls it the Rona Falls. Guys, it's worth-staying here. Swear!

Accommodation: Php 250 per night
Meals (Breakfast): Php 150
Lunch or Dinner: Php 250 (seafood, vegetables, meat)

Of course, you can bring your own food.

For reservation, please contact: 0926 960 6138.

View of the sunset from San Vicente Port



WHO TO CONTACT IN PALAUI ISLAND

I've been to Palaui Island for several times already and I'm always being pampered with so much love and excellent service. People here in Santa Ana are very friendly and accommodating. I'm so grateful meeting the Cabutin's. I super love this clan!

Of course, I'm highly recommending these tour guides coz they're simply the best. Many of my readers who have visited Palaui Island have rated these tour guides as excellent. Now, it's your turn to find out why.
  • RONALD CABUTIN; 0916 158 2259
  • DANNY CABUTIN; 0935 894 4860
  • NANDING CABUTIN; 0947 634 0986; 0935 996 6744



Also, I'm adding here another contact here in case you need to hire a tricycle driver. You may contact Kuya Salswit at 0997 534 5336. 

BOAT RENTALS & PALAUI ISLAND COMBINATION TOUR RATES

As what I've mentioned earlier, Palaui Island offers breathtaking views and the best thing to enjoy these views is through an island hopping. A certain boat can accommodate a maximum of eight passengers. The island hopping can be done in six hours. Please note that there is an additional fee of Php 100 for every extended hour of service and an additional of Php 300 for an overnight stay in Punta Verde.

Below are the most updated tour rates in Palaui Island. Again, the rates here can be shared by at least eight persons. Still cheap, right?
  • Cape Engano; 45 minutes; Php 1,800
  • Anguib Beach; 25 minutes; Php 1500
  • Siwangag; 30 minutes; Php 1,500
  • Puzurubo; 1 hour; Php 1,800
  • Crocodile Island; 5 minutes; Php 500
  • Punta Verde; 15 minutes; Php 750
  • Pugo Moro; 5 minutes; Php 500
  • Special Trip: Cape Engano, Anguib Beach, Crocodile Island & Punta Verde; Php 3,500




TOP THINGS TO DO IN PALAUI ISLAND

Sunrise Viewing In Sunrise Palaui Homestay

  • Sunrise Palaui Homestay offers the best sunrise in Palaui Island. That's one of the reasons why I'm highly recommending you to stay here. Tip: Before you call it a night, charge your smartphones and cameras. Get up early and enjoy a morning coffee. Yes, you can take your mugs with you while enjoying your morning walk. Just make sure you return it after your mowdelling stints! 

View from Sunrise Palaui Homestay
Photo courtesy of Cathleen dela Cruz

Early Morning Trek To Panamanaham


  • I'm glad you're reading this blog because you're about to discover a new destination in Palaui Island. Not all tourists visiting Palaui Island knows where Panamanaham is located. Also, this destination isn't included on the published places to visit in Palaui Island. And yes, not all locals know where  it is located. Again, make sure you're staying in Sunrise Palaui Homestay so that Kapitana Orang will guide you in visiting Panamanaham. Trekking to Panamanaham from your homestay is approximately 30 minutes. Not bad for a morning walk, right? When you get back to your homestay, breakfast is ready. Lucky you!

Me while enjoying the views in Panamanaham

Visiting Baratubot Falls
  • Baratubot Falls is one of the most visited destinations in Palaui Island. It is located near the first few parts of Leonardo Trail. Baratubut isn't that grand as the other waterfalls here in the Philippines. However, it offers a very relaxing and serene feeling while overlooking the three-tiered waterfalls. The water here is super cold. You'll love it here. Swear!
Baratubut Falls; March 2017
  • As of this writing, the standard tour guide fee is at Php 300. This amount can be shared by a maximum of five persons. Places to visit includes Baratubot Falls, Cape Engano Lighthouse and Cape Engano Falls.
Baratubut Falls; December 2017

Walking Barefoot In Mabolbol Shore
  • The Mabolbol Shore can be passed by when you're heading to Cape Engano from Punta Verde. It is a long stretch of beach at the northeastern part of Palaui Island. According to locals, Mabolbol refers to a migratory bird specie. Just in case you missed it, Palaui Island was declared a National Marine Reserve in 1994, making it a haven for different species of birds and plants. 

Mowdelling in Cape Engano
  • Undeniably, the Cape Engano Lighthouse is the most photographed destination in Palaui Island, offering breathtaking views of Don Hermanos  (two sisters) Islets and the Cape Engano Beach.

Views from Cape Engano Lighthouse
  • There are two ways to get to Cape Engano: a 3-hour hike from your homestay or simply get here through boat before settling in to your homestay. If you're up for adventure and into fitness, I highly recommend to trek for at least three hours while heading to your homestay. The trek is a bit challenging and fun. You'll surely fall in love with the views from the trail.
Oh my carabao!
View from Lagunzad Trail
  • You can leave your backpacks to your tour guides if you decide to trek from Cape Engano to your homestay. Tour guides here are trustworthy. Let your backpacks wait for you from your homestay!
View of Dos Hermanos Islets from Cape Engano Lighthouse

Trekking To Lagunzad Trail
  • The Lagunzad Trail has a vast open space covered with thin, greenly grass. Views here are comparable to those in Batanes Island. Take your best jump shots here!
The famous Lagunzad Trail
Views from Lagunzad Trail

Selfie At Cape Engano Beach

  • Few years ago, camping near or at the Cape Engano Lighthouse was allowed. Unfortunately, due to irresponsible disposal of waste from previous tourists, the management decided to prohibit such activities.
  • The Cape Engano Beach is beautiful. The water is clear and the views here are breathtaking.

Such a paradise, isn't it?

Visiting the Crocodile Island

  • The Crocodile Island, a five-minute boat ride from San Vicente Port, is also known as the Manidad Island. This island was called "Crocodile Island" because of it's shape, not because of the presence of crocodiles. It is usually the last destination for a certain day tour. The rock formations here are beautiful. 

Welcome to Crocodile Island!

  • Crocodile Island is rich in wild oysters, sea urchins and star fishes. By the way, you can climb the rock that resembles a reptile's head to get an amazing view of Palaui Island and the rest of Santa Ana.

If you're staying longer in Palaui Island, please visit the Cape Engano Falls, Rona Falls, Siwangag Cove, the hanging bridge and go back to Mabolbol Shore for bird watching activity. 

Me and the hanging bridge!



TIPS AND REMINDERS

  • Bring your own snorkeling gear.
  • You can bring your tents and other camping equipment.
  • Be a survivor-ready and embrace the island with less expectations.
  • Palaui Island has no electricity. The locals rely mostly to the solar power.
  • You will surely encounter intermittent cellphone signals.
  • Exploring Palaui Island through hiking is highly recommended.
  • The trails will teach you different name of trees.
  • Travel with your friends to split the expenses.
  • Contact your tour guides before heading to Santa Ana, Cagayan so you won't get lost.
  • Keep updating yourself with the weather in Santa Ana, Cagayan. Weather there is unpredictable.
  • Bring enough food and water including extra batteries for your flashlights and cameras. Bring your power banks too.
  • Please bring a garbage bag.
  • Before heading to Palaui Island, drop by to Santa Ana Market to buy food, coffee, etc.
  • There are at least 30 Aeta families living in Punta Verde.
  • Punta Verde is the only village in Palaui Island.
  • Palaui Island is surrounded by 50 hectares of coral reefs and is 70% covered by the forest.
  • Collecting of corals and plants are prohibited.
  • Bring mosquito repellent and first-aid kits.

This blog was first published in March 2017.
Updated: January 2018.

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