Philippines, Wander

Exploring Another Paradise: Cagbalete Island

Cagbalete is a small island located in Quezon Province under the municipality of Mauban.  We have heard amazing things about Cagbalete and saw gorgeous pictures posted in social media that is why our family decided to visit this beautiful island one weekend of February.



Going to Cagbalete

We went to Cagbalete using private transport.  We reside in Cavite and it took us almost four (4) hours to reach Mauban, Quezon.  We followed the SLEX-> Laguna (Calamba to Sta. Cruz) -> Quezon (Lucban to Mauban) route.

If you are planning to do a public commute, JAC Liner offers Cubao/Buendia to Mauban route.  You can check some details such as routes and fares in their website.

Upon arrival at Mauban Port, we parked our vehicle in a pay parking near Mauban Tourism.  The overnight fee for parking is Php200 for 4-wheeled vehicles.  We then went to Mauban Tourism to pay for the environmental fee (Php50/person, Php40/kids).


Going to Cagbalete Island from Mauban Port entails travel by sea.  You can choose either the public boat or a private one.  Public boats are cheaper but you need to follow their schedule.  The private boats are expensive but you can travel at your own convenient time.  We rode the public boat as it wouldn’t be wise to rent a private one when you are a small group.  Tip: Travel early to catch the public boat.  We were at Mauban Port at before 9AM but still were not able to catch the public boats.  We waited for more than an hour for the earliest public boat to return to Mauban.  So be early.

We rode the M/V Aquazul to Cagbalete.

There are three public boats traveling to and from Mauban Port: M/B Neneng and M/B Anthony cost Php70/person (Php40 for kids) with travel time of 45 minutes; M/V Aquazul cost Php100/person (Php50 for kids) with travel time of 30 minutes.

Wear your life vests for safety.

When you reach Sabang Port (Cagbalete’s Port) it would probably be low tide.  There will be small boats offering transport to the resort of your choice.  You can choose that or transport through a habal-habal (Php50/pax) or walk.  We chose to walk, as suggested by a tour guide, as the resort we stayed at was close to Sabang Port.  This was a very poor choice for us.  We walked through mud and dirty water that is knee-high.  Tip: Use a boat or habal-habal to transport you.  Not all tour guides offers the best suggestions.


A Place to Stay

There are a lot of resorts offering accommodations in Cagbalete Island.   Accommodations vary from air-conditioned rooms, to fan rooms, and tent-pitching areas.   Tip: Cagbalete Island has no electricity.  The resorts offer generators from 6PM – 6AM.  The night breeze at Cagbalete is cold.  For me, it is unwise to book an air-conditioned room if you will only use it during night time.


Most resorts have meal packages.  Some have cooking areas and cooking equipment for rent.  Tip: Bring your own food.  You can buy at the market place near Mauban Port and cook your meals in the resort.  This can save you a lot.

We stayed at Dona Choleng Camping Resort.  A separate review will be posted in this blog soon.



Things To Do

There is no better thing to do than to swim and relax when you are in Cagbalete.  We did just that.  But if you want to experience more, you can go island hopping and see the sand ripples and sand bars.  You can also go snorkeling.   Tip: Do this.  We failed to since we have a little boy with us, but we will surely do this when we go back again.

Good morning, Cagbalete!  Coffee in cute plastic cups are best sipped in sunrise.


How Much Does It Cost?

We traveled as three (3) adults and one (1) kid.  We spent approximately Php6500 for 2days/1night.

Transportation (gas / toll fees / parking) – Php1950

Boat Transfers – Php 900 (we use the public boats to and from)

Accommodation – Php 2150

Food – Php950

Environmental Fee – Php190

Tips – Php320


Overall Experience

We had a very relaxing and happy weekend at Cagbalete.  The place is serene.  The waters are clear.  The sand is white and fine in the shore – not as fine as Boracay but close to.  The sand in beach water is powdery.   The waves are not rough and my little boy can enjoy the water as long as he wants.  We were there on a holiday, but the place is not crowded.  Though traveling to and from Cagbalete can be very tiring, the beautiful place is so much worth it.  Cagbalete Island is every inch a paradise.  We will be back.  That’s a promise.

We will be back…




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