Boracay’s Beautiful Sister : Carabao Island

I recently went to Boracay to celebrate my birthday. After staying in the island for two days, partying and spending the night trying to get wasted, I felt like instead of seeking reprieve I end up escaping life itself. The pace started to get into me, parties got me weary and talking to people I barely know started to become somewhat cumbersome experience. The ambivert in me started to kick in, I know what exactly I wanted.

I wanted to escape the party, counter flow the pace, I am leaving the paradise. I headed to Carabao island.

Carabao Island

Located at the southern part of Tablas island and is within scope of the Municipality of San Jose, it is situated in between of Boracay at the northern tip of Panay and Tablas facing the vast Sibuyan Sea on the east, the Tablas straight on the west.

Carabao island is surrounded by white powder-like beaches, and significant number of palm trees.

The island got its name to water buffalos (locally called carabao) because of their abundance in the area during Spanish colonization. Moreover, Carabao Island is commonly called by local as Hambil.

How to get there:

Via Air From Manila

Option 1:

  • Fly to Caticlan via your airline of choice (45 minutes’ travel time)
  • Ride a tricycle that would take you to Tabon Baybay port – Php 20 / pax (15 minutes travel time)
  • Take a passenger boat going to Carabao island – Php 100 / pax (1-hour travel time)

*Note:  There is only one schedule boat trip from Caticlan to Carabao Island that leaves every 0800 – 0900, whereas boat from Carabao Island going to Caticlan leave at 6 AM.*

Option 2:

  • Fly to Kalibo via your airline of choice (45 minutes’ travel time)
  • Take a UV express going to Caticlan – Php 250 / pax (2 hours travel time)
  • Ride a tricycle that would take you to Tabon Baybay port – Php 20 / pax (15 minutes’ travel time)
  • Take a passenger boat going to Carabao island – Php 100 / pax (1-hour travel time)

*Note:  There is only one schedule boat trip from Caticlan to Carabao Island that leaves every 0800 – 0900, whereas boat from Carabao Island going to Caticlan leave at 6 AM.*

Via Ferry

  • From Manila head south to Batangas port
  • Take a ferry bound to Tablas Island Romblon. Fare will be around Php 800 – Php1000 including taxes. Travel time is approximately 10 hours at least
  • You’ll arrive at Odiongan
  • Ride a jeepney from Odiongan to Sta. Fe – Php 150 (at least one-hour travel time)
  • Take a ferry from Sta. Fe going to Carabao Island – Php 100 (at least one-hour travel time)

*Note: Daily passenger boat from Sta. Fe to Carabao island leaves at 0900 at head back the following day at 0500

From Boracay

  • Option 1: Go back to Caticlan and tale the passenger boat going to Carabao Island
  • Option 2: Go to Bulabog beach and commission a boat going to Carabao Island. Travel time would take you approximately 45 minutes. Renting of boat will be as low as Php 1000 good for 6 pax

THE EARTHWALKER EXPERIENCE

We, travelers are all guilty of comparing one place with another, The Earthwalker included. Carabao Island has been victim of countless comparison with Boracay. Though it is not necessarily a bad thing, however we can only appreciate the beauty of one place if we started to get to know it by itself.

My experience with Carabao island, albeit brief was totally amazing. It has definitely managed to maintain it pristine and beauty albeit the commercialism happening around the region. The beach itself if powder-like, with crystal clear waters.

THE EARTHWALKER’S RATING

If you want to experience Boracay less the party, Carabao island in the perfect option.

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