Palaui Island Tour | Cagayan Valley Travel Guide

Palaui Island Tour | Cagayan Valley Travel Guide

Palaui Island is one of the northernmost part of the country. No wonder the Survivor franchise had shot 2 series in this beautiful peninsula. It is a combination of modest waves and an alluring paradise. To give you a better picture, this is a place where Batanes meets Calaguas. Two dazzling destinations in one locale. Now, that is what you call sulit, right?

Must read: Cagayan Trip for less than Php 5,000 ($107)

Jump-off point

From Manila, the fastest way to get to Palaui Island is by plane via Tuguegarao City. Cebu Pacific flies daily directly to Tuguegarao and is only an hour plane ride away.

From Tuguegarao City, take a tricycle to van terminals going to Sta Ana. Land travel will take at least 3-4 hours.

What We Did

We landed in Tuguegarao around past 12 nn and after having our lunch there, we went straight to Sta Ana. After merely 4 hours, we finally arrived at our Palaui hosts’ house. At that time, it was raining non-stop. Actually, our flight to Tuguegarao was moved the day after because of the late arrival of amihan (winter monsoon).

I was praying for the rain to stop so that it will be sunny the next day where we plan to do the island hopping. This did not happen and I was even wearing a rain coat while inside the bangka because of the cold wind. What really happened was mas basa pa ko ng ulan kesa sa tubig dagat. But the rain did not stop us from exploring the island, the weather might be a bit cold but our fuel of wanderlust was very much alive. Naks. And with that, I vowed to go back to Palaui Island during their summer time to enjoy the scenery better.

(Also read: our Callao Cave tour)

Spots to visit:

Cape Engaño Lighthouse
Our first stop was the famous Cape Engaño. The rain momentarily stopped and we took advantage of it by starting to walk the trail going to the top where the lighthouse was situated. The trek will take around 30 minutes and please do note that a tour guide is a must.

The Cape Engaño Lighthouse was said to be built as a gateway to incoming ships during the Spanish colonial period. What you can actually see is the lighthouse’s ruins since the other parts of it was destroyed by strong typhoons over the years. Walk more further to the left and you will have a 360-degree view of the Dos Hermanas Island and the Babuyan Channel.

Switching to the scenery on the right though gave me chills. Literally. Felt like I was in Batanes all over again. Vayang Rolling Hills to be exact and the resemblance was overwhelming, to be honest!

Palaui Island (25)

After checking out the lighthouse, we were told that there is a waterfall nearby. We walked for another 30 minutes and we arrived at our destination. One good thing about the rain? Dameng tubig sa falls! Plus, it might be raining that time but the water wasn’t really that cold. Conducive for showering, ika nga.

Siwangag Cove
Blessed with long stretch of shore line, this beach is the ‘landing’ area when you get to Cape Engaño, The full view will only be seen when you get to trek the lighthouse trail and photographed from above. We didn’t get to swim in this area but it got clear waters even though it was raining.

Palaui Island (27)

Siwangagan Island Beach
This is a destination not really much being introduced to tourists during the island hopping tour. But since, we have Kuya Nanding as our boatman, they let us set foot in this vicinity. The beach was a stretch of gray, rocky sand so ensure that you have slippers on when you try to walk on the shore.

Palaui Island (28)

A 5 minute walk will let you see the division of sea and an underlying flow of the river bed. It was really amusing to watch. You don’t get to witness this kind of beauty of nature on every trip.

Crocodile Island
Next up was the Crocodile Island. Why? The locals said that the rock formation in the island formed like a crocodile. However, at the time we visited, the head was not that visible as a typhoon somewhat destroyed it. We also couldn’t get a full photo of the whole island as the waves are getting bigger and was literally rocking the boat.

Gotan Mangrove Forest
Since the rain was getting stronger, we passed through the mangrove forest as to break away from the immense waves. It was like a 10-minute boat stride along the seascape. In all fairness, ang haba nung mangrove pathway!

Palaui Island (19)

Anguib Beach
Now, this is the reason why I wanted to go back to Palaui. I already mentioned that it was raining when we went, yes? But for some reason and well, without the aide of the sunlight, the sand is still white! Powdery white! The water was no longer seafoam green but almost white because of the sand.

We couldn’t believe it either! All I can think was, grabe! Anguib Beach is indeed a hidden gem of the north. Hope tourists and locals won’t make it the next Boracay.

Punta Verde & Baratubut Falls
The beach area is nothing near the beauty of Anguib Beach but the 30-minute (muddy) trek to Baratubut Falls made us drawn in this place. Plus, the crossing of the hanging bridge to get to the other side made our trekking more adventurous.

Palaui Island (1)

Upon nearing the falls, I was in awe. I am not a falls kinda traveler but this one would really be on top of my best waterfalls list. Water was everywhere! And I mean it in a good way. For the first time, I didn’t know where to go first. Ganun kadameng lagusan. Naloka ako!

Palaui Island (30)

Where We Stayed

We stayed at our hosts’ humble home in San Vicente port. They were kind enough to accommodate us for 2 nights (for free) and without asking anything in return.

Palaui Island (13)

Thank you Cabutin Family!

Food Recommendations

>> Pancit Batil Patong – Our lunch after we landed in Tuguegarao. We went straight Jomar’s, one of the famous panciteria in the city, to try this local dish. We only did one mistake though, we ordered two separate  meals. One is actually enough for 2 persons. With the never ending sahog, pairing it with sukang Iloco and poof, you got yourself a one delectable super food.

>> Tinola – My favorite ulam in the world! This dish however has been cooked by our host’s wife, Ate Nova, using a  native chicken. And I must say, she can really cook! One of the best I have ever tasted.

Travel Tips

• Make sure that you go to Palaui Island during their summer time to which the locals are in an agreement to be from April to June. We were unlucky that the amihan season got us when we went there. But we’ll be back for sure!

• You can opt to bring your lunch and just eat it in one of the islands. Don’t forget to bring water. Hydrate yourself at all times.

**Our Palaui Island tour has been done during our Cagayan Valley-Tuguegarao trip last Mar 3-6, 2016. Pics were taken using Nikon D3100 and Sony Cybershot TX30.

Travel Expense Summary

Day 1 & 2 Expenses

Total

Divide by 2

Trike from airport to Jomar’s

50

25

Lunch at Jomar’s

206

103

Trike to van terminal to Sta Ana

20

10

Van fare to Sta Ana terminal

360

180

Trike to Palaui accommodation

40

20

Dinner c/o our Palaui hosts

free

free

Boat rental

3,500

1750

Tip to boatman

500

250

Cape Engaño tour guide + tip

300

150

Breakfast & Lunch c/o Palaui hosts

free

free

Baratubut Falls tour guide

50

25

Day Pass & Environmental Fee

140

70

TOTAL

Php 5,166

Php 2,583

Contacts

To our boatman and Palaui host, Kuya Nanding, who entertained us the best that he can, maraming salamat po! Really couldn’t thank you and your family enough. I highly recommend him. Contact him at 0935-996-6744. If you happen to avail his services, kindly say hi for me!

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Written by Tody Dino

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