Carabao Island 2020 - One day Itinerary in a Hidden Treasure of Romblon

Prior to the enhanced community quarantine in the Philippines, I was able to cross off one of my travel bucketlist, the mysterious Carabao Island.
Carabao Island  or Hambil called by the Locals is situated in the province of Romblon, just below the Tablas Island and above Boracay Island. Carabao Island is actually bigger than Boracay, however this island is less developed and more of a province vibe. As a result, less tourists come here even though it is just one hour away from Boracay.

Chillen in Cathedral Cave, Romblon 

Every time I was chilling in Puka Beach, Boracay, I always set eyes on the island across it. I asked the locals back then what island it was, and that's when it aroused my curiosity about Carabao Island. Years have passed and finally this February 2020, we spontaneously and immediately, after transferring to another hotel, decided to rent a private boat and off we went to Carabao Island. This might not be the best option as we didn't get to compare the pricing and didn't do enough research on what to really expect and do in Carabao Island. Anyway, charge to experience. And experience can be quite expensive sometimes, but I hope my blog can help others on how to plan this thoroughly and better than me. Also, since we decided on the spot, we arrived after lunch in Carabao Island. I would suggest if you want to include this in your itinerary when you're in Boracay,  plan this a day before leaving for Carabao Island and meet up with your boat man at 8 or 9 am.

Here is our one day itinerary in Carabao Island with pictures:

12:30 : Pick up point Station 3, Boracay

Pick up Point for island hopping, Station 3, Boracay

Prior to meet-up with the boat man/ tourist guides, we bought some snack and water to bring it with us. Bring also extra clothes and towels. Don't bring too much stuff though as you will need to ride a motorcycle.

13:30 : Arrival in Carabao Island

Carabao Island, here we come

Upon arrival, we got on our tour guides' motors as there are no other means of transpo to explore Carabao island. Foreigners and Tourists were not allowed to drive.

14:00 : Cathedral Cave

Cathedral Cave, Carabao Island 

It took us about another 30 minutes to arrive in Cathedral Cave. You will need to pay 100 Php for the entrance fee and because of the Corona there were no tourists except for a few locals. This was the best part to be honest, we got a paradise for ourselves and got unlimited cliff diving. Well, atleast for my boyfriend as I am afraid of heights huhu.

15:30 : Visit at our tourguide's house and family

with Locals of Carabao Island 

One thing I also love doing when travelling is to meet the locals living in that area. That is why we decided to meet and greet one of our tourguide's family and were able to see where they live. They live in the middle of the jungle and it was quite interesting. Aljon, one of our tourguides, works in Boracay as a pedicab driver and he was actually the one we asked how to get to Carabao Island.

16:00 : San Jose Palm Beach

San Jose Palm Beach, Carabao Island 

Next stop was San Jose Palm Beach, the sand here is not as fine and white as in Boracay I have to admit. But there's that iconic coconut tree where everyone has to have a picture of. One of our tourguides took a picture of me and this was the result, please don't laugh! haha joke :)

My iconic shot, Carabao Island 

17:00 : Bamboo Bar and Restaurant

Dinner with our tourguides at Bamboo Bar and Resto, Carabao Island

I highly recommend this Bamboo Bar and Restaurant in Carabao Island. Everything just tasted great here. We ordered a lot such as grilled fish, adobo, chopsuey, prawns, adobong kangkong. Every order was doubled as I was quite hungry and it turned out that I wasn't the only one. We paid around 2,650 Php (50euro) for all the delicious food and I have to say it was all worth it. I also got to meet the owners and they were so nice and friendly.

18:00 : Departure from Carabao Island

Sunset in Carabao Island
It was getting late and dark and I wished to have stayed another night to explore more but our journey was coming to an end. At first, I was a bit worried as I have never went island hopping at night in Boracay. However, the ocean was quite and more calm going back than the first trip going to Carabao Island.

19:00 : Back in Boracay, Station 1

on the boat with my tourguides, Carabao Island

It was dark when we arrived in Boracay and I wasn't able to secure a picture as  I was also a bit tired, so I decided to post the one above when we were on the way to Carabao island. The best part of this pic was that I was holding a beer which I needed after that exciting experience.

Total Expenses : 

Private Boat : 4,500.00 Php
Motor with Driver : 800.00 Php ( one Person per motor only) x 2 = 1,600.00 Php
Entrance Fee at Cathedral Cave : 100.00 Php x2 = 200.00 Php
Dinner at Bamboo Restaurant : 2,650.00 Php
Total : 8,950 Php 

How to get there :

In all honesty, it is quite expensive to go with a private boat from Boracay, but they offer also day tour with other travellers. This is definitely a lot cheaper, however you will need to follow the scheduled time of the tourguides which is totally okay if you're travelling on a budget. 
Another way of getting there is to go to Caticlan jetty port and take a boat to Carabao Island. From Boracay  Jetty Port take a tricycle and tell them to take you to the jetty port going to Hambil or Carabao Island. 

Contacts :

Boat Kuya Israel: 09304289271
Tour guide Aljohn: 09091608285

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  1. The experience is worth the price I guess.

    1. agree but there's an option to have it cheaper :)