Have a weekend free or a day off and looking for beach and sand near Metro Manila? Then off you go to the town of Mauban in Quezon province where a gorgeous island is located. With beautiful white sand and sand bars, abundant trees, and a peaceful ambiance, you won’t regret relaxing here. Check out our things to do in Cagbalete Island.
Cagbalete island was bought from the Spanish government by the Pansacola family in 1859. Now, the island and most resorts are owned and named after the descendants of the owners. This island is a great place to spend time on the sea and under the sun in the CALABARZON area.
Things to do in Cagbalete Island
1. Island Hop
Hop on a boat and tour the other parts of Cagbalete Island. You can go out to see the gorgeous Yang-In Sandbar or cruise in the mangrove river. Near the Cagbalete Island is the Baliscar Islet. It’s a rocky island that offers you fantastic views and an old lighthouse. There is also Bonsai Island with bonsai plants thriving on it. You can also stop and try to snorkel to see gorgeous fishes on crystal clear waters.
2. Look for Birds!
With many trees and fewer tourists, this 1640-hectare island is also home to various types of birds. You might see wild ducks, kingfishers, or Tabon scrubfowls. It will be a wonderful sight to see!
3. Have fun at the beach
Enjoy the island life and set up a camp on the beach! You can play games with your family or friends, share stories, or stargaze. There are not many people, so you can feel that the whole place is exclusive to you.
4. See the sunrise or sunset
Wake up early morning and catch the sunrise and greet you towards a brand new day. You could also wait in the afternoon and witness the glorious color it offers when it’s off to set. You’ll surely be amazed and feel relaxed when you see such beauty!
5. Swim and Snorkel
You have unlimited clean waters and blue sea right in front of you, so don’t dare waste it. Swim in the waters with all your heart. Try renting a snorkel or bring your own so you could see the marine life Cagbalete Island offers.
Here are the expenses you might incur during your trip to Cagbalete Island:
In the tourism office, you will register and pay the following fees:
- Environmental Fee – PHP 50
- Eco-bottles for your trash – PHP 100 (refundable)
There are various resorts on the island, here are some options for you:
- Entrance fee of PHP 50 per head
- Entrance fee of PHP 200 per head for a day trip
- Corkage fee of PHP 50
- Meal Package – PHP 1,100 per person (3 meals + snack)
- Meal Package – PHP 800 – 1,100 per person for 3 meals and snack, price depends on how many you are
- Most Resorts offer package meals, so you can avail of this especially if you don’t want to hassle yourself with cooking or preparing your food (PHP 800 – 1,100 – good for three meals)
- There’s only limited electricity on the island and not many shops near the resort, you can buy items at the mainland
Tours and Recreational Activities
- Island Hopping – PHP 1,000 – 2,000 per boat
- Snorkeling Gear – PHP 100 per person
- Kayaks – PHP 200 – 300 per hour
- Paddleboards – PHP 200 per hour
How to get to Cagbalete Island
Direct to Mauban
- LRT Terminal trips to Mauban at 4:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 2:00 PM
- Kamias Terminal trips to Mauban at 4:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 2:30 PM
- Costs PHP 280 per head with about 3-4 hours of travel time
- Go to JAC Liner, Jam Liner or Lucena Lines Stations in Manila and ride to Lucena (PHP 200 per head), with 3 hours travel time, the first trip it is at 2:00 AM
- From Lucena City Grand Terminal or Lucena SM Mall, ride a van to Mauban (PHP 70 per head), with 1 hour travel time
Private Car or Van
Via SLEX Sto. Tomas, Batangas Exit
- From SLEX, exit at Sto, Tomas, go straight until you reach Sariaya
- Turn towards Tayabas until you reach Mauban
Via SLEX Calamba Exit
- Use the SLEX and exit at Calamba, and you’ll pass by Los Baños go to Lucban, however, don’t enter the main town
- Turn to Sampaloc until you arrive at Mauban
- From Antipolo, drive until you reach Pahsanjan to the Lusiana
- When you arrive in Lucban, don’t enter the town and turn to Sampaloc until you reach Mauban
To Cagbalete Island
When you are in Mauban, you will need to ride a boat to Cagbalete Island. There are public and private passenger boats. Travel time is 45 minutes to an hour.
- PHP 100 per person
- The schedule is 10:00 and 3:00 PM from the mainland, it’s 7:00 AM and 1:00 PM to return to the mainland
- It can only carry about 50-60 passengers a day
- PHP 1,500 – PHP 5,000 depending on number of persons
- Payment is for two-way trips
Travel Guide Tips to Cagbalete Island
- You’ll need to reserve or book accommodation before going to Cagbalete Island as they have a “NO booking, NO sailing” policy
- Please be responsible with your trash
- There are no disposable items in the area
- Electricity is limited, there are generators in some resort, and they are on from 6/10 PM – 5:30/6 AM
- Some resorts allow you to grill; however, you can’t bring rice cookers
- There are no public markets on the island; only in the mainland, resorts have package meals and small sari-sari stores
- Bring also mineral water for consumption to save money from buying at the resort
- There’s no wifi in most resorts, but there is still signal
Sample Itinerary to Cagbalete Island
Day 1 in Cagbalete Island
4:00 AM – Travel from Manila to Mauban
8:00 AM – Arrive at Mauban and register at the port
8:30 AM – Go to the marketplace to buy food
10:00 AM – Trip to Cagbalete Island
11:00 AM – Arrival at the Island
12:00 PM – Lunch
1:00 PM – Island Hopping / Swimming / Snorkeling
5:00 PM – Wash Up & Enjoy the beach
7:00 PM – Dinner / Stargaze / Sleep
Day 2 in Cagbalete Island
5:30 AM – Wake up and watch the sunrise
6:00 AM – Breakfast / Swimming / Free time
12:00 PM – Wash Up / Check out
1:00 PM – Trip to Mainland
2:00 PM – Travel from Mauban to Manila
I hope these things to do in Cagbalete island is helpful for your vacation to this part of Quezon. It’s not that far away, so you can enjoy a weekend trip here with your family or friends. Enjoy relaxing here and relish its beauty!
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About the Writer
Hey, I’m Lyza! I once was a person who just imagined going to places “one day” but decided to pursue my dreams. My first travel abroad was in Japan, solo, last 2018, and fell in love with the journey since. I’m aiming to visit 10 countries before turning 30 and 2 new places in the Philippines every year. Besides traveling, I love organizing trips, photography, reading, and making new friends. Follow my adventures through my Instagram.