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Palaui Island Travel Guide: Explore the Mystical Island of the North

Palaui Island Travel Guide

Discover Palaui Island

Palaui Island lies on the northeastern tip of mainland Luzon under the jurisdiction the town of Sta. Ana, a special economic zone bustling with modern industrial establishments and blessed with beautiful coastline. Despite the developments, Sta. Ana is still rural and laid back, projecting contrasting features that add to its mystique.

Palaui Island Travel Guide
Cape Engaño Lighthouse

But what makes Sta. Ana more beautiful is Palaui, the island off its shore that offers so much – white sandy beaches and panoramic coves, a century old lighthouse, hidden waterfalls and lovely people, all in a scenic ragged terrain surrounded with huge waves and echoing wind.

With a land area of more than 3,000 hectares, Palaui Island is made up of volcanic debris. It is home to a fishing community without electricity and commercial accommodation. Its main attraction aside from its beaches is the Farol de Cabo Engaño, an 18th century lighthouse built by the Spaniards that guides ships entering and leaving Sta. Ana specially those using Port Irene and San Vicente, as well as those traversing the Babuyan Channel and Philippine Sea.

Palaui Island Travel Guide
Engaño Cove

Palaui Island is a place built by wind, sculpted by waves and nurtured by time. Discover the distinct charm of its scenic ragged terrain; chorus with the howling music of its gigantic waves; explore and experience the mystique of Palaui Island.

Palaui Island Travel Guide
Cape Engaño’s rolling hills and roaring waves.

How to Get to Palaui Island

Tuguegarao – Santa Ana

Make your way to Tuguegarao, the capital city of Cagayan Province. From there, ride a bus (~P240 as of December 2016) or van (P250 as of February 2017) going to Santa Ana, travel time is around three hours.

Santa Ana to Palaui Island

In Santa Ana, proceed to PASAMOBA office in San Vicente port for registration and to charter a boat to the island. San Vicente port is a short trike ride from Sta. Ana town proper (P15 per passenger).

Standard Boat (As of 2023)

Single Destination

Destination Standard Rates Remarks
Cape Engaño, Palaui Island P2,000 Maximum of 5 hours. Additional P150 for every succeeding hours. Maximum 8 passengers.
Anguib Beach P1,800 Additional P500 for overnight. Maximum 8 passengers.
Punta Verde P1,500 Maximum of 4 hours. Additional P150 for every succeeding hours. Maximum 8 passengers.
Crocodile Island P800 Maximum of 2 hours. Additional P150 for every succeeding hours. Maximum 8 passengers.

Combination

Destination Standard Rates Remarks
Cape Engaño, Anguib Beach, Crocodile Island, Punta Verde (Special Trip 1) P4,500 Whole-day tour. Additional P500 for overnight. Maximum 8 passengers.
Cape Engaño, Crocodile Island, Anguib Beach (Special Trip 2) P4,000 Whole-day tour. Additional P500 for overnight. Maximum 8 passengers.
Cape Engaño, Anguib Beach P3,500 Whole-day tour. Additional P500 for overnight. Maximum 8 passengers.
Cape Engaño, Crocodile Island, Punta Verde P3,500 Whole-day tour. Maximum 8 passengers.
Punta Verde, Crocodile Island, Anguib Beach P3,500 Whole-day tour. Additional P500 for overnight. Maximum 8 passengers.
Cape Engaño, Crocodile Island P2,500 Maximum of 5 hours. Maximum 8 passengers.
Anguib  Beach, Punta Verde P2,500 Maximum of 5 hours. Maximum 8 passengers.
Anguib  Beach, Crocodile Island P2,300 Maximum of 5 hours. Additional P500 for overnight. Maximum 8 passengers.
Crocodile Island, Punta Verde P1,800 Maximum of 5 hours. Additional P500 for overnight. Maximum 8 passengers.

 

Palaui Island Travel Guide
Dos Hermanos Islands

Manila to Tuguegarao

By Plane

Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific fly to Tuguegarao from Manila, travel time is approximately an hour.

By Bus

From Manila, Victory Liner and Florida Liner have daily trips to Tuguegarao everyday almost every hour. It is around 485 kilometers north of Metro Manila; travel time is about 11 to 12 hours and fare starts from P886 for regular airconditioned bus andP994 for deluxe bus (as of March 2022).

If you are coming from Tabuk, jeepneys are available in Kalabaw Intersection (in front of St. William Cathedral), fare is P70 (as of 2016). From Ilocos and Abra, GMW Liner and Florida Liner have trips to Tuguegarao.

You can book your bus or flight from Manila to Tuguegarao and vice versa below.

BOOK YOUR BUS/FLIGHT FROM MANILA TO TUGUEGARAO

Manila to Sta. Ana, Cagayan (Direct)

Florida Liner is the only bus company that goes direct to Sta. Ana, Cagayan. Daily trips to Sta. Ana leave Sampaloc at 12PM and 3PM.

Where to Stay in Palaui Island

There is no high-end resorts in Palaui Island. Tourists who opt to stay overnight in the island can look for home stays or pitch a tent in Punta Verde. A local government resolution restricts camping in any other areas in Palaui Island except in Punta Verde.

Homestays in Punta Verde, Palaui Island

Dream Island E Tabucol Homestay
Punta Verde, Palaui Island
P500/person (Kids under 10 years are free)
Contact No: Kuya Edwin Tabucol at +639161165850/+639657845332

Palaui Island Travel Guide
A meadow along the trail to the lighthouse.

Where to Stay in Santa Ana (Cagayan)

There are numerous hotels, inns and lodges in Santa Ana. here are some:

Top-Rated Budget Accommodations in Santa Ana, Cagayan

Palaui Island Travel Guide 

Jotay Resort
Palawig, Santa Ana
Starts at 1,000 PHP (2-person sharing)

BOOK NOW

Palaui Island Travel Guide 

Edens Lodging House
Centro, Santa Ana
Starts at P1,000 PHP (2-person sharing)

BOOK NOW

Top-Rated Middle Rate Accommodations in Santa Ana, Cagayan

Palaui Island Travel Guide 

RAI Atrium Suites
Diora Zinungan, Santa Ana
Starts at 2,500 PHP (2-person sharing)

BOOK NOW

Palaui Island Travel Guide 

Party Beach Resort
Rapuli, Santa Ana
Starts at P2,500 PHP (2-person sharing)

BOOK NOW

List of accommodations in Santa Ana, Cagayan:

  • Balai Cagayano
  • Cagayan Holiday Resort
  • Ceza Guest House
    Centro, Sta. Ana, Cagayan
    Contact: (63)-78-585-1021
  • Country-Inn By The Sea
  • Costa Carina Beach Front
  • Costales Lodging House
  • Jotay Resort
    Centro, Sta. Ana, Cagayan
    Contact: +63906-4781270
  • Tres Rosas Beach Resort
    Diora-Zinungan, Sta. Ana, Cagayan
  • Orquidia Beach Resort
    Diora-Zinungan, Sta. Ana, Cagayan
  • St. Anthony’s Resort
    Rapuli, Sta. Ana, Cagayan
  • El Cortez Beach Resort
    Diora- Zinungan, Sta. Ana, Cagayan
  • Eden’s Lodging House
    Centro, Sta. Ana, Cagayan
  • Lordwins Beach Resort
    Sta. Cruz, Sta. Ana, Cagayan
  • M&E Lodging House
    San Vicente, Sta. Ana, Cagayan
  • Mel & Jay Lodge
    San Vicente, Sta. Ana, Cagayan
  • Jerolinda Beach Resort
    San Vicente, Sta. Ana, Cagayan
  • Phil. Game Fishing Foundation
    San Vicente, Sta. Ana, Cagayan

BOOK ACCOMMODATION IN STA. ANA (CAGAYAN)

Palaui Island Travel Guide
Engaño Point and Lighthouse as seen from Pananacpan

Activities in Palaui Island and Nearby

  • Trek to Cape Engaño Lighthouse in Cape Engaño Point
  • Check out Siwangag Cove
  • Swimming and beach hopping
  • Find its hidden waterfalls
  • Snorkeling/Scuba Diving (bring your own equipment)
  • Fishing (bring your own equipment)
  • Bird Watching
  • Hiking
  • Camping/Picnic
  • Beach Volleyball/Frisbee
  • Skimboarding (bring your own board)
  • Watch the sunrise and sunset
  • Visit Anguib Beach, Nangaramoan Beach, Pozo Robo Beach, Jerolinda Beach and Buacag Falls in mainland Sta. Ana
  • See the Gotan mangrove forest and waterfalls
  • Visit the nearby Crocodile, Mapurao and Manidad Islands
  • Experience Viray Festival held yearly from May 26 to 30
Palaui Island Travel Guide
Pananacpan Beach

Palaui Island Weekend Itinerary

Day 1: Enroute to Tuguegarao

2100H Assembly in Florida Bus Sampaloc
2130H Bus from Manila to Tuguegarao

Day 2: Welcome to Palaui

1000H Arrive in Tuguegarao / Brunch / Proceed to Van Terminal
1100H Van: Tuguegarao to Santa Ana
1300H Arrive in Santa Ana / Shop for food, snacks, drinks / Proceed to San Vicente Port
1330H Arrive in San Vicente Port / Register
1400H Boat to Crocodile Island
1410H Arrival in Crocodile Island
1500H Boat to Punta Verde
1510H Arrive in Punta Verde / Setup camp/ Free time
1800H Prepare dinner
1900H Dinner
2030H Socials
1400H Boat to Crocodile Island

Day 3: Morning in Palaui + Travel Bacl

0530H Call Time / Sunrise / Breakfast
0700H Trek to Cape Engaño and Lighthouse
0900H Arrive in Cape Engaño / Proceed to Lighthouse / Free time
1030H Trek back to Punta Verde
1230H Back in Punta Verde / Break Camp / Boat to San Vicente
1330H Arrive in San Vicente Port / Proceed to Santa Ana / Lunch
1430H Van: Santa Ana to Tuguegarao
1700H Arrival in Tuguegarao / Proceed to Bus Terminal
1730H Dinner
1800H Bus: Tuguegarao to Manila

Day 4: Back in Manila

0600H Arrive in Manila

Budget Estimate: ~P4,000/person

Tips

  • The best way to reach the town of Sta. Ana from Manila by land is via the night bus of Florida Liner direct to Sta. Ana
  • If you are trekking Cape Engaño Lighthouse by land, please GET A LOCAL GUIDE! Guide fee is only P300, for one to four person; P600, for five to six person; and P900, for eight to 12 person. The trek takes at least two (2) hours. There are two trails going to the lighthouse: the easier Lagunzad’s Trail and the more challenging Leonardo’s Trail.
  • All guests should register in Ecozone Visitor Center, the local government arm that manages tourism in Sta. Ana. Registration fee is P50 per person, advance reservation is not necessary but encouraged. Contact Ms. Roselyn Foronda at 0917-7809302.
  • I, highly recommend Kuya Edwin Tabucol, a local of Palaui Island. Contact no: +639269064657. He has a boat that can be rented to take you to the lighthouse and to Palaui from San Vicente. He can also guide you to the lighthouse. (All tours are now handled by the Ecozone Visitor Center, if they happen to assign Kuya Edwin to you as guide, say hello to him for me! :D)
  • If you plan to head north to Babuyan Islands, there is a ferry the leaves every morning of Tuesdays and Fridays from San Vicente Port to Camiguin. Camiguin is around three (3) hours from San Vicente Port, fare is P320 as of December 2010. (Schedule is subject to change.)
  • Ferry from San Vicente Port going to Batanes is seasonal and operates only during summer/calm seas and weather (usually April and May)
  • The last trip of van going to Sta. Ana from Tuguegarao is 530PM
  • The last trip of van going to Tuguegarao from Sta. Ana is 1PM
  • The 27th and 28th seasons of reality show Survivor US Edition already finished shooting in the island
Palaui Island Travel Guide
The other side of Palaui

Source: lakwatsero

Image Source: Philippine Beach Guide