Are you looking for another place to explore in the Philippines? In this blog post, we’ll talk about a beautiful but not a well-known spot in the Philippines, Tablas Island. Tablas Island is located in Romblon Province in Luzon. It is a long island and there are different possibilities on how to get to Tablas Island, either by plane or by boat. Tablas Island is a quiet and like we have said, not a very touristic place but it’s easily accessible by boat and by plane. We will let you know in our full Tablas Island Travel Guide a few things like what to do in Tablas Island, the best time to visit Tablas Island, and to enjoy one of our favorite Provinces in the Philippines: Romblon.
Just a quick fact, most of the tourists going to Tablas Island are from Boracay who spent a few days in one of the most popular summer destinations in the country. There are also regular ferry trips everyday and 3 weekly flights going to Tablas Island.
Read here how to get to Carabao Island!
Tablas Island Travel Guide
Best Time to visit Tablas Island
There are 2 seasons- 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 Tablas Island would be in the months of January and February. You can click here for updates on accurate weather in Tablas Island.
How to get to Tablas Island
How to get to Tablas Island by boat
There are daily boats getting to Looc (a marine sanctuary in Tablas Island) from Caticlan which comes at around 1PM and it also leaves Looc in the morning if you are planning to go to Caticlan.
Also, there are boats from Carabao Island heading to Santa Fe port in South Tablas Island at 7AM and these boats also leave Carabao Island at 12PM (this boat doesn’t leave daily at the time we were in Carabao Island, only alternate days). To get to Looc Fish Sanctuary from Santa Fe port, you will have to ride a jeepney to Looc which takes around 30 minutes. It will cost 100 PHP per person. The jeepney is usually full (like overloaded full) that some people have to ride on top of the jeepney, along with the pieces of luggage.
There are also ferries from Batangas going to Odiogan in Tablas Island. Ferries arrive at Odiogan at around 11AM from Batangas. If you are going to Batanas from Odiogan, ferries leave at around 12PM and it will take 7 hours to reach Batangas port. Prices of the ferry are around 800 PHP per person and it includes one meal and bed to rest on during your trip in the economy class. From Odiogan port, a jeepney ride to Looc will take around 40 minutes and it will cost 150 PHP per person.
From Roxas, a boat departs daily at 10AM to Odiongan and returns on the same day at 1PM. It will take 2 hours. Daily ferries from Romblon going to San Agustin port in Tablas Island leave at 8 am and 1pm.
How to get to Tablas Island by plane
Tugdan Airport offers weekly flights to and from Manila by plane. It is located 20 kilometers away from Looc. The flight lasts 1 hour and 30 minutes and the departure days from Manila to Tablas Island is Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from 1 pm to 2 30 pm. Coming back to Manila is scheduled on the same days- Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 3 pm and getting to Manila International Airport at 4 30 pm. Prices of the flight ticket can be around 3000-5000 PHP.
Transportation around Tablas Island
There are a few ways to move around the island like renting your own motorbike for around 500 PHP per day. Or you can go by jeepney to Looc, Odiogan and San Andres from Santa Fe.
Rent a motorbike in Tablas Island
Prices are around 500 PHP per day. You can even get cheaper price if you book for a whole week or a month. The distances from place to place will be far and if you want to move on your own, we recommend you to ride a motorbike around Tablas Island.
Jeepneys in Tablas Island
Most of the schedules of the jeepneys in Tablas Island are matched with the arrivals of the boats to the port. It’s usual to ride the jeepney on the top since they are full of passengers. From South Tablas Island, you can go to Looc and Odiogan from Santa Fe. Once in Looc, there are a few jeepneys during the day going to Alcantara and Ondiogan. From Odiogan, there are jeepneys heading to different destinations like Looc , Santa Fe and San Andres.
Tricycles in Tablas Island
There are tricycles that move around Tablas Island. For short distances, prices are 100-150 PHP for 3-5 kilometers. Sometimes, there are long rides by tricycle for 1-2 hours and prices can be around 700-1000 PHP like if you are traveling from Odiogan to North part of Tablas Island. You can also rent tricycles for a day tour visiting different beaches or tourist spots in Tablas Island. Prices go from 800-1200 PHP depending on the distance and the amount of time that you are renting the tricycle.
Budget travel in Tablas Island
One part of your budget in traveling around Tablas Island will go to entrance fees. There are places like Looc Sanctuary that has an entrance fee for 100 PHP, places like Binucot Beach, you can enjoy for free. Island hopping in Calatrava can go up to 1000-1300 PHP per person.
Your budget travel in Tablas Island per food can be 100 PHP per meal in local restaurants but you can go higher and even cheaper depending on your budget.
Tablas Island is an affordable destination, more so if you are traveling on a budget. It is really cheaper if you stay in dorms because you can find rooms starting to 700 -1000 PHP. You can try AirBnB around Tablas Island. Click here to get a pretty sweet discount on your first booking with AirBnB!
What to do in Tablas Island
We focused more on the South part of Tablas Island. We really loved the beaches and activities here.
Looc Fish Sanctuary
We really liked the activity of swimming and snorkeling with the fishes in Looc. The price ranges from 100 PHP per adult and 50 PHP for children. It’s easy to go here, just get a boat that’ll drive you to the sanctuary for a 10-minute ride. There are masks available for rent for 60 PHP. You can buy yours to save money. (Sometimes they charge 150 PHP for a rent per mask
Catch the Sunset in Looc
Looc is very quiet and it has the most popular sunset in Binucot Beach, but we were lucky that we had amazing sunsets and sunrises in Looc, in front of the Fish Sanctuary.
Sunset Binucot Beach
If you have time we recommend you to spend the day at Binucot Beach. There are a couple of places to eat, one is a pirate boat and another is a local restaurant. Make sure that you have to wait until sunset since it’s so magical and beautiful. There are a couple of beaches here that boast almost one kilometer of white sand and blue water. On a side note, you can bring your own snorkeling gear since the water is so clean and transparent. To get here you can go on your own with a motorbike or you can also rent tricycle that is priced around 400 PHP for one way and 600-800 PHP for a round trip, they will wait for you in Binucot Beach.
Sunrise at Looc
The colors at the sunrise in Looc were so beautiful during low tide. It was worth it to wake up early to catch the sunrise, in front of Looc Fish Sanctuary. The views were insane! I’m really in awe.
Spend the day at Aglicay Beach Resort
Also, a great day plan if you spend a few days as we did in Looc is to get to Aglicay Beach Resort. It will take you for about 20-30 minutes by motorbike or tricycle. The price ranges for the tricycle ride are 400 PHP for one way and 600-800 PHP for a round trip, they will wait for you. There is an entrance fee in Aglicay Beach Resort for 50 PHP per person. The beach has white sand and beautiful to spend with your loved ones. It’s just as fine if you’d just stay for hours for swimming.
Visit Odiogan Town
If you go to Odiogan it will cost you around 100-150 PHP by jeepney and it will take around 40 minutes. There are shops and markets where you can shop and eat local food. It’s quite busy compared with Looc. Also, you can get information about schedule and prices if you are planning to leave from Odiogan port. And there is accommodation around Odiogan if you decide to spend the night.
Calatrava Island Hopping in Tablas Island
Island Hopping in North Tablas Island is great for snorkeling. The price for the whole depending on how many people are joining. But prices are around 1000-1300 PHP for the whole day. Calatrava is located in North part of Tablas Island and you will have to arrange a tricycle from San Andres or making sure that the tour includes pick up from San Andres.
Where to stay in Tablas Island
There are different areas to stay in from Alcantara that are close to the Domestic Airport. You could also stay in Tablas Island in Looc close to the Fish Sanctuary. If you want, you could also stay in Binucot Beach for a quiet area or stay in close to the port in Odiogan. Lastly. if you’re planning to explore the North part of Tablas island, you can stay in San Andres.
You can try AirBnB around Tablas Island. Click here to get a pretty sweet discount on your first booking with AirBnB! You can also book your accommodations in Tablas Island through Agoda or Booking which makes everything a lot easier!
Have you ever been to Tablas Island? Let us know in the comments below, we would love to hear your experience in Tablas Island and places that you have visited.
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