A Travel Guide on Boracay's Twin Sister, Carabao Island, Romblon: Part 3 (What to do?)


Carabao Island, or Hambil in the early years, is located between Romblon's Tablas Island and the world-famous island of Boracay. Its proximity to the famous white beach and the opening of the Tablas airport opened its doors to tourists. What's more, a 650-room resort and casino, and an international airport are said to rise there soon. So, before everyone flock to this tranquil island, we had decided to explore its natural wonders last month on a backpacking trip.

What to do in Carabao Island?

1. Beach bumming
I must admit that what had lured me to this destination is its pristine beaches. As I've said in my previous posts, I have seen this island on several features on TV, showcasing its palm-fringed shorelines and azure waters. So, when we finally decided to see the island ourselves, I made sure to check out the beach first. Our boat docked at Said beach, the most beautiful and pristine of the two main beaches on the island. We were there on Good Friday, and no one was on the beach. Not even a soul. It is as if we had rented the entire stretch of powdery white sands. We had the same scenario the next day. No one was swimming nor having picnics by the beach. Whereas, we were in Boracay the day before and we couldn't even swim because not only it was too crowded but the water was so dirty!


Just a tip, high tide on Said beach is usually in the mornings, and the waves can really get crazy during this time. It is also advisable to go to this side of Carabao Island during the start of Habagat (southwest monsoon) season when the sea is calmer, except of course when there's a storm.




You might wonder how close is the sand in Said beach to Boracay's. Above is a photo I took of the sand up close. It is as powdery as Boracay's but not as fine as Calaguas'.


There is a marine sanctuary at the other end of the beach in front of the Tourism office. However, it is impossible to snorkel there not until around 4:30pm because of the strong current. We were there during Amihan (northeast monsoon) but the scenario can be the opposite during southwest monsoon season.




At the end of the beach where the marine sanctuary is, the sand gets more coarse and pebbly. Think of the difference between Boracay's stations 1 and 2. See photo below.


Past the other end where the Port of Said is, the shoreline is narrower, with more boats parked during the afternoon.



2. Sight-seeing

From Said beach, the town proper is just a few meters away. We had explored the town on foot and it took an hour more or less. From Ate Luzvie's house, we walked past Republic of Inobahan and finally arrived at this ark before we reached the public market. In Carabao Island, there are only a few multicabs and tricycles. Motorcycles are the major mode of transportation.


Just a few steps after the welcome ark is Marlice Eatery and mami house, a simple carinderia that serves chicken mami, batchoy, and other viands. We first visited this eatery on our first night but we just bought two cups of rice. The eatery was full then. So, we checked it out the next day, and sampled their version of chicken mami.


Ate Alice, the owner and cook of this eatery is so accommodating. Her chicken mami is good, thanks to its hearty broth, toasted garlic and chili oil. For Php 20, we had a delicious early dinner!



Not so far from Marlice's is the Municipal Hall and the San Jose Chapel. You actually have to enter an alley to go to the chapel.



3. Chill out by the sunset

When we asked Edison, our guide, that we want to view the sunset, he recommended that we go to either Tagaytay point or to Lanas beach. The Tagaytay point is a view deck on top of rolling hills, and going there via a motorcycle scared me, so we decided to watch the sunset at Lanas beach instead.


Lanas beach is about four kilometers away from Said beach and is accessible via motorcycle. You will pass by lush forests and zigzag roads on the way, so make sure you are game for this kind of adventure. Edison contacted our motorcycle driver and tour guide, Leo, who agreed to bring us to Lanas beach and wait for us until we finish taking our sunset photos at Php 300 (roundtrip, for 2 pax). One way costs Php 60 per pax but it is wiser to get roundtrip deal as it is kinda hard to just hail a motorcycle


Lanas beach is far from being a white beach, with its rocky shores and grayish sands. From Lanas beach, you can already see Boracay's Puka beach. It is in Lanas where you can find more established resorts like Ivy's Vine Resort, Nipa Hauz, and The Beach House. Rates here are more expensive than in Said beach, and food can be a bit overpriced.


We lounge at Ivy's Vine Resort and ordered drinks (a glass of ice-cold Coke for Php 30 each) while waiting for the sunset. True enough, the sunset here is so vivid and dramatic. The view is spectacular! The moment the sun started its descent, we couldn't help but take photos nonstop. Below are some of our sunset shots.





Overall, Carabao Island is nothing short of impressive. The simplicity and tranquility of the place, plus the hospitality of the people beckons us to return.

However, I must say that three days and two nights is enough to explore this island. Anything beyond that can be a bit dragging already. When we were there, we slept in between our tours as if it was Sunday every single day. An overnight stay is actually doable, if not for the early schedule of the boats going out of Carabao Island. But if you're renting a boat back to Boracay or Caticlan, I see no problem at all.

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Edison Manuel (Guide) - 09183303718
Ben Merque (Boatman) - 09499423668/09153616586
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Comments

  1. Dear blogger,
    Thank you for sharing your experience in Romblon.

    If you're planning to visit again Romblon and want get an updated information.
    Contact Romblon Provincial Tourism Office at:
    Landline: (042) 567-5145
    Mobile: 0920 629 5838 / 0926 718 8286
    Email: info.romblonislands@gmail.com
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/RomblonIslands

    In Romblon, one can find paradise...

    ReplyDelete

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