Carabao Island was indeed a paradise waiting for us in the Philippines. On our trip, we were coming from Boracay Island which was full of people and great nightlife. And then suddenly, we were in a super quiet place in Carabao Island! In this Carabao Island Travel Guide, we will tell you how to get to Carabao Island and what to do in Carabao Island for your next trip.
Carabao Island is located in Romblon Province has beautiful beaches, cliff jumping spots and our favorite, the best sunrises ever in the Philippines. We were able to get an amazing sunrise from our bed in Carabao Island. It made us start our day so early everyday.
Carabao Island Travel Guide
Best time to visit Carabao Island
There are 2 seasons around Romblon Province- wet and dry season. The wet season starts from June to November. And the rainy season can start as early from June to October. The best time to visit Carabao Island would be in the months of January and February. You can click here for updates on accurate weather in Carabao Island.
How to get to Carabao Island from Boracay
If you will be coming in Boracay Island before going to Carabao Island like we did, you will have to wake up early in the morning to go to Caticlan port from Cagban port in Station 3 in Boracay Island. The boat ride will last for about 10 minutes in a pump boat and it will cost only 25 PHP plus the Terminal fee which is 100 PHP.
Once you are in Caticlan port, you have to get a tricycle for a 10-minute ride for 100 PHP to Sambiray port were boats leave to Carabao Island. There is no exact time the boats leave to Carabao Island from Caticlan. They told us it was around 8 30 am but our boat left at around 10 am. I would say it’s safe to get to the boat around 9 am to not miss the boat since it’s the only boat leaving to Carabao Island during the day. The price of the boat is 100 PHP per adult and kids 5 years old and below are free.
There are two options in the boat going to Carabao Island from Caticlan. First option is by going to Lanas port where daily boat trips for island hopping from Boracay go. The beach isn’t so beautiful here like the other parts, in our opinion. Our choice was Said port where a beautiful and peaceful beach San Jose is waiting for you with clear blue water, white sand and amazing sunrises. We would love the beach if it was cleaner and has lesser algae.
The boat ride from Caticlan to Carabao Island was little bit wavy and so crowded, and water might splash on you, so make sure you put your belongings in a proper place to prevent them from getting wet. The boat ride wan’t the best but also wasn’t the worst that we had in the Philippines, like what we experienced from Bacolod to Guimaras Island.
How to get to Carabao Island from Boracay (other alternatives)
There are boats that leave from Bulalog Beach at around 4-5 pm for people working in Boracay Island and going back home. We didn’t find them, though. We just read that it’s possibly around that time and I guess price would be around 100 PHP per person for a 1-hour boat trip. You can check it out and update us if you get the accurate information.
Other option to get to Carabao island from Boracay is a private boat from Bulalog or ask in White Beach, but prices will be more expensive. I guess it will be possible if you can join a few people to make it affordable. Expect to pay for a private boat from Boracay Island to Carabao Island for around 4000 PHP.
Island hopping in Boracay Island includes visiting Carabao Island for cliff jumping but just for a day trip. We totally recommend to spend at least 2 nights in Carabao Island to explore around.
How to get to Carabao Island from Tablas
There are boats that leave from Santa Fe port. We did the reverse way from Carabao Island to Tablas Island. The trip will last for 45 minutes at 6AM. So, the boat will leave from Tablas to Carabao Island around 9 am. Prices are 100 PHP for adults, kids up to 5 years old are free, and kids from 6 up to 12 years old are 50 PHP.
You can see in the pictures above the epic sunrise and how they put the motorbikes on the top of the boat.
Travel Tip: Click here to know prices and schedule to book your bus/boat tickets online with 12Go Asia.
Things to know about Carabao Island
Since you already know how to get to Carabao Island, which is the trickiest part for us, let’s talk about things to know before going to Carabao Island.
ATM’s in Carabao Island
Are there ATM’s in Carabao Island? There are no ATM’s in Carabao Island. So make sure you have some cash if you want to avoid these problems. There are places where you can exchange money. Don’t expect the best exchange rate. Click here to know the exact exchange rate!
Internet Connection in Carabao Island
We found strong internet wifi in our guesthouse only from 2 pm to 6 am. However, we got 4G signal around San Jose Beach area anytime with Globe and Smart. Sometimes, the connection can be little bit intermittent, but for us in general, it worked great.
Read here if you want to know more about the best Filipino Sim for tourists.
There is No Electricity in Carabao Island
There is no electricity in Carabao Island from 6 am to 2 pm. So, be ready for this just in case you want to charge your devices for pictures or you have to work online during the day like us.
Lanas Beach or Said Port
When going to Carabao Island from Caticlan, you have two choices. As we mention before we liked Said port more where you can get the boat to Tablas Island or Caticlan. Also the beach there is so beautiful! There are accommodation in both areas so you won’t worry about this. Just make sure to choose best what you prefer, having the view of Boracay Island and close to the cliff jumping or staying in a paradise beach. Anyway, no worries because Carabao Island is so small and you can rent a motorbike and you’ll be able to get to the places you want to be in less than 30 minutes.
Entrance Fee in Carabao Island
The entrance fee in Carabao Island is 50 PHP for adult but kids under 6 years old are free.
Daily Budget in Carabao Island
For food in Carabao Island, a meal in a local carinderia costs 70 PHP, a cup of rice included. For transportation you can go walking almost everywhere unless you decide to explore the island, then you have to rent a motorbike. Renting a motorbike or hiring anyone to tour around for a few hours can be around 500 PHP.
There are entrance fees for a few tourist spots in Carabao Island like Cathedral Cliff jumping or visiting the caves but it will only cost you 100 PHP each.
Prices for accommodation in Carabao Island are around 800-2000 PHP for a room for yourself.
You can also get AirBnB for $30-40 USD per night. Click here to get a discount on your first booking!
What to do in Carabo Island
Since you already know how to get to Carabao Island from Caticlan, Boracay and Tablas Island, as well as the things to know before visiting Carabao Island, now is the time to mention what to do in Carabao Island and why we loved it so much!
Rent a Motorbike in Carabao Island
Prices for renting a motorbike are around 500 PHP, with petrol included since there are no big distances in Carabao Island. For the same price, you can have a guide. They charge 500 PHP per motorbike for driving you around the island for 3-4 hours to the main tourist spots if you don’t know how to drive a motorbike or you don’t feel confident to do it. A motorbike is the best way to explore the island and one day is enough for exploring around Carabao Island.
Visit San Jose Beach
San Jose Beach is a beautiful beach with clear, warm water and white sand. You will find it almost empty anytime of the day. A few kids play around and fishermen go around here as well.
We spent most of the time there swimming, taking pictures, playing, and running around. It was so much fun!
Climb the Bent Palmtree
The bent palm tree is located exactly in San Jose Beach. Right in the middle of the beach, you will see the palm tree. It’s easy to climb. Take a look at the pictures of Rachel and Han.
The Secret Beach
Our little one, Han, called it the Secret Beach. It’s located just passing the beach where boats are getting to the port. You will see Sea Garden, a resort which was not opened yet at that time. Behind the rocks, you will find the secret beach with palm tress. It’s also as beautiful as San Jose Beach with blue water and white sand. It’s easy to access and it will take 10 minutes walking to the port from San Jose Beach.
Cathedral Cliff jumping
There is an entrance fee of 100 PHP per person to do cliff jumping here. You have to get there by motorbike through renting it for the whole day or getting a motorcycle ride from San Jose, which can cost you 150-200 PHP. You can go there and enjoy jumping, snorkeling and swimming if you like these kinds of adventure. You can also explore the caves around. Cathedral Cliff is bigger than Koding Kolding.
Carabao Island Sunset view point
You have to be ready at sunset time to enjoy the beautiful sunset. You will see how precious Boracay Island is during this time, being enjoyed by tourists and locals. It’s little bit crowded though! Entrance fee is 100 PHP per person.
Koding Koding Cliff jumping
It’s the cliff jumping site that you’ll have to visit during the island hopping from Boracay Island. You can spend the morning by jumping from the cliffs and swimming around. The entrance fee is 100 PHP.
Visiting Caves in Carabao Island
There are small caves that you can explore but you will need a guide for this. Ngiriton Bat Cave is where you can see bats! The entrance fee is 100 PHP to explore the cave and see the bats.
Epic Sunrise in Carabao Island
Early morning in Carabao Island is the required time to wake up to see the majestic sunrise, especially if you are staying around Said port in San Jose Beach. The colors are insane and it was one of our best sunrises ever!
As you know, Filipinos love Videoke so much! We saw a couple of videokes around San Jose Beach. Videokes in Carabao Island are active especially during the weekend. Well, if you want to have some fun, meeting locals and having a drink with them is a great idea to enjoy the local vibes.
Snorkeling and Diving in Carabao Island
Around the area of Lanas Barangay, you can do snorkeling and in any beach in Carabao island you will sea clear water. You can also organize a diving session in Carabao Island if you want to and see the colorful corals. Locals say that it’s even better than the one in Boracay Island.
Where to eat in Carabao Island
There weren’t so many places to eat at in Carabao Island. We were eating in local restaurants in the town. Our favorite one was Carabao Island Grill Restaurant where you can have Western and Filipino choices. Prices aren’t very expensive. You can get a pizza for 300 PHP, good for two people, Filipino orders around 100 PHP. Shakes cost 75 PHP, which were so delicious and they also serve cold beer that Ruben loved for 50 PHP.
Other options are mostly local places where they also don’t have many food choices. They only serve fish, burgers and a couple of dishes with rice. Prices in local carinderias are so cheap, starting from 50 PHP per order plus 15 PHP for a cup of rice. Another place that we visited and liked was Gang’s Resto. You can also visit Cafe Terraza. All of them are in the town, just a few minutes walking distance from San Jose Beach.
There are places where you can buy street food as well like barbecue, lumpia, singkamas that start from 5-10 PHP per piece.
There’s a couple of stores where you can buy coffee, noodles, cookies and snacks. Prices are little bit more expensive than in mainland but still cheap.
Where to stay in Carabao Island
There are two areas with accommodation around San Jose Beach (Said port) or Lanas Barangay.
We stayed at Reynaldo’s Place and we 100% recommend it to you. It’s a new hotel. The rooms are clean and you’ll really enjoy their new facilities, WiFi and even a restaurant. The sunrises from your own room are crazy! You can see the sunrise from your bed and all the rooms have balcony.
What’s the price to see the best sunrises in the Philippines? Our followers in Instagram, friends and family couldn’t believe that we only paid 800 PHP for a room, or just $16 USD. We had enough space in the room with furniture and a private bathroom.
If you would go to Said port, it’s only 10-15 minutes walking distance to the town and you will find a few places for accommodation such as Kameo Lodge, Terraza de Isla Carabao and Republic of Inobahan.
If you are staying at Lanas Barangay, there are a few places to stay at: The Beach House, Nipa Hauz, Carabao Rocksbay Resort, Lanas Beach Resort, Carabao Backpackers Guest House.
Travel Tip: Click here to know prices and schedule to book your bus/boat tickets online with 12Go Asia.
Hope we answered all your questions on how to get to Carabao Island, what to do in Carabao Island, where to eat in Carabao island where to stay in Carabao Island in our Carabao Island Travel Guide. If you have more questions or you think we should add something else, please let us know in the comments below.
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