As part of my Cagayan Tour – this is the best place of all. I just love this place simply because I have the chance to trek, swim, camp, and just enjoying the place alone or play cards with friends – yes of all I mentioned I was able to do it in my two day stay in the island. Palaui Island is where Survivor US 27 & 28 was shoot. Well – that is Survivor US who would not be excited in visiting the place? It also landed 10th CNN 100 list of worlds best beaches.
Palaui Island lies off the northwestern part of a large promontory in San Vicente, in the municipality of Santa Ana, Cagayan province. It is 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) at its longest and about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) at its widest and moderately high. The western shore of the island appears bold, but on the eastern side, a reef projects from its side for 2.4 kilometres (1.5 mi), the edge of it being 0.8 kilometres (0.50 mi) from and extending around the small islet of Escucha, east of Palaui. The Dos Hermanos rocky islets lie offCape Engaño, in the northern point of Palaui, and there are some rocks off the northeast point of the island, about 1.6 kilometres (0.99 mi) eastward of the cape. Gran Laja island, a low rock islet surrounded by breakers, is one of the rocks located northeast off Palaui.
At the southwest end of Palaui Island is Puerto Point, a high, wooded bluff. East of the point and south of Palaui is Rona Island, a low, wooded island with a white base of sand and rocks. Escucha Island is a high and wooded islet east of Palaui, and beyond Rona Island when seen from southwestward through the channel between Palaui Island and the mainland, where a few more islets are located.
Palaui island is 3 hours away from Tuguegarao City and its part of the Municipality of Sta. Ana, Cagayan. The travel of 14 to 16 hours via land for a 600 kilometer is worth it – a piece of paradise awaits you in the Babuyan Channel in Northeastern part of the country. From San Vicente Port it would take you 25 minutes to reach the island. You will be assigned with a Bankero in Tourism office and you need to inform the Tourism rep on your travel itinerary so they can compute the cost for your group plan. The system is centralized and everything is documented and fixed – so you won’t be fooled with people who takes advantage of tourist. The island can only accommodate 175 people on a single day according to Mayor Ruiz – so they limit and implement some guidelines and policies on their tourism activities.
[It is where] glorious white sands meet volcanic rocks and blue-green waters topside, while coral gardens and a rich marine reserve meet divers under the surface,” CNN said on its website.
The island is inhabited by around a 100 households and there village is called Punta Verde. This is the place where we stayed for three days two nights. The only network in the island is Globe and yes – you can still access your social media but there is no electricity in the area. The place where we stayed is like the center of the Tourism Organization – PASAMOBA Cooperative ” Nature Village. Nature Village is not in beach front but the place is so peaceful and they have a huge backyard where you can set camp and rooms. The place has also generator set that operates from 6:00 pm – 12 mid from that time period you can charge your cellphone for P10.00 and P20.00 for power banks. They also have food for guest or you can ask them to cook for you.
We arrived 7:00 pm in the island just in time for dinner – we had Adobo all the way from Manila and bought our rice in San Vicente Port. If you plan to stay longer in the island – make sure you do your grocery in Sta Ana market since they only have limited supplies in the island. Kuya Bangkero bought us 3 kilos of Fish for 200.00 only – it was 8 pcs fish good for grilling and sinigang.
The main attraction is the Cape Engano where you can have 360 view of the island, it is such a awesome view. Everything was just so beautiful, the clear water and the other side is blue water, the blue skies, the green forest, the two island at the back, the white beach, the structure of the lighthouse wow! its just WOW!
From Punta Verde you can choose if you will take a 45 minute boat ride or two hours trek – of course I took the trek and choose the easy trail – yes I over estimate. It was so easy trail , 2/9 – the trail is 40% along the shore, 40% gradual and 20% grassland and that’s it – so even if you are beginner you can do it. If you want more trill then you can take the Leonardo’s Trail. Both of these options needs a guide and that is part of your briefing in tourism center in San Vicente Port. I choose to trek because I wanted to see the other views and of course to keep away from boating under rough sea. Yes – the waves are just so terrible, I have no choice but to join the team heading back to Punta Verde on the boat and our trip was long because of the condition of the sea. We had silence on the boat and everyone were saying their own prayer and holding their breath. According to Mamang Bangkero that was normal since we are in the open water already.
There were few groups of tourist in the shore of Cape Engano – some are local tourist spending family gathering – I knew it because they speaks Ilocano. The place offers refreshments, snacks and halo-halo with caramel. I had two halo-halo while waiting for the ladies to descend. This was the only activity we had that day and after lunch we just had free time, played President, swim in front of Punta Verde. Nature Village offers snorkeling activity and it must be tried because when we arrived during our last day we saw the beauty of the corals during the low tide.
Things to Consider:
This is remote place – make sure you are self contained. Bring power bank, Food Supplies and Water. You can also ask your Bangkero to buy some stuff for you… or food or Ice.
The trek to Cape Engano is so hot/warm and humid- so bring umbrella or Sarong and trail water.
No signal for SMART Network – Globe sometimes turns to 3G – so you can upload your teaser.
Always be a responsible Traveler – leave no trace, courtesy to other travelers and respect nature.
Tour Package based on our Itinerary: 4500 for 6 pax ( boat max limit is 8 pax )
Environmental fee Php 70.00 pax
Meals & Misc in the island Php 1,500.00 for 6 pax
Accommodation 250 per night per pax ( tent of home stay same rate)
Total Budget for my Cagayan Tour is Php 4,000.00 ( Bus Fare, Van, Food, Accommodation)
Go and Visit Palaui and experience Survivor!
You may also visit (http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/154858/palaui-island-raw-beauty-in-Cagayan) for additional information.