Palaui Island, Cagayan Valley

PH, Philippines

Videos

Palaui Island | Cagayan Valley
Trekking to Cape Engano at Palaui Island
A Trip to Palaui Island | Cagayan Ilocos Ep. 3
The Amazing Palaui Island of Sta Ana, Cagayan, Philippines!

About Palaui Island

Palaui Island is an offshore island located at the northwestern part of San Vicente, Sta. Ana in Cagayan province. The island was declared a national park in 2018 under Republic Act No. 11038, also known as the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System (ENIPAS).

Palaui Island is home to a diverse marine life with 21 species of fishes and 50 hectares of corals calling its water as their home. It also serves as a sanctuary for the 105 species of rattan, 25 classifications of shrubs, and 90 migratory birds.

One of its most famous tourist spots is the Cape Engaño Lighthouse, also known as Faro de Cabo Engaño. The lighthouse, built by the Spaniards in the 18th century, served as guides for ships going and leaving Sta. Ana and traveling through the Babuyan Channel.

With its undisturbed, natural beauty, the island continues to attract tourists all over the world. It even served as one of the locations for the American reality series Survivor: Blood vs. Water. In 2013, Palaui Island also made CNN's list of 100 Best Beaches in the World in 2013.

 

FAQ

When is the best time to visit Palaui Island?

According to locals, the best time to visit Palaui Island is during the summer season, particularly between March to August. The water is calm, making it suitable for island hopping trips. There are also little to no rains expected during this period, so you can fully enjoy the sights and other aquatic activities on the island under fair weather.

 

How to get here

By Air

There are no direct flights from Manila (or any known points of origin) to Palaui Island. To reach the offshore island, you'll need to take a one-hour flight from a nearby airport in your point of origin to Tuguegarao. The following airlines offer flights to Tuguegarao:

  • Philippine Airlines
  • Cebu Pacific

After landing in Tuguegarao, take a bus or van going to Sta. Ana, Cagayan. Once you arrive at the Sta. Ana Commercial Center, take a tricycle going to San Vicente port where you can rent a boat going to the island. You'll need to pay PHP 50 at the Tourism Visitors Office at the port first before traveling to Palaui.

By Land

You can take a direct bus trip from Manila to Sta. Ana, Cagayan Valley. The trip will take around 14 hours, and the fare will cost around PHP 700 - 1000.

As of now, only the GV Florida bus line in Sampaloc offers a direct trip to Sta. Ana. They offer two trips daily and depart at 12:30 PM and 3:00 PM every day.

Alternatively, you can take a bus going to Tuguegarao from Manila. The trip will take around 10 hours and may cost around PHP 600 - 1000, depending on the bus class. The following bus lines offer Manila - Tuguegarao trips:

  • GV Florida
  • Victory Liner
  • Kamias

Once you've reached Tuguegarao, take a bus or van going to Sta. Ana, Cagayan. Once you arrive at the Sta. Ana Commercial Center, take a tricycle going to San Vicente port where you can rent a boat going to the island.

You'll need to pay PHP 50 at the Tourism Visitors Office at the port first before traveling to Palaui.

If you're coming from the north via land

There are bus trips available in Ilocos, Abra, and Baguio going to Tuguegarao. From Ilocos and Abra, you can take a GMW Liner or Florida Liner bus. If you're coming from Baguio, you can take a Dalin Liner bus at the bus terminal near SM Baguio.

 

What languages do the locals speak?

Local residents speak Ilocano and Tagalog. Some locals also understand English, at the very least, in bits and pieces.

 

How much does it cost to travel in Palaui Island?

The bus fare from Manila to Tuguegarao costs PHP886 ($18.24) for regular aircon bus and PHP 936 ($19.27) for deluxe, while the direct bus trip from Manila to Sta. Ana costs PHP 680 ($14).

If you're taking the plane, an indirect flight from Manila to Tuguegarao costs PHP 1200 ($24.71), more or less, while a direct flight costs around PHP 2500 ($51.47). The fare for the van or bus going to Sta. Ana is PHP 250 ($5.15), and the tricycle fare going to San Vicente port is PHP 15 ($0.31) /pax.

For a group of four or less, you can hire a tour guide in your Palaui Island tour for PHP 300 ($6.18). You'll need to hire two tour guides if you're a group 6 and three if you're nine or more in the group.

If you're visiting these following destinations, check out these entrance fees and other miscellaneous fees:
Cape Engaño Lighthouse - no entrance fee, but you're required to hire a guide to enter. A guide costs PHP 300 ($6.18).

  • Baratubot Waterfalls - PHP 50 ($1.03) for tour guide
  • Anguib Beach - PHP 100 ($2.06)

To explore the ocean at Palaui Island or any nearby islands, you'll need to rent snorkeling gear for PHP 250($5.15) /pax. You'll also need to hire a tour guide.

If you're renting a boat for island hopping, check out these standard rates set by the Sta. Ana Motorized Boat Association, Inc. (SAMOBA):

  • Cape Engaño Lighthouse - PHP 1800 ($37.06)
  • Crocodile Island - PHP 500 ($10.29)
  • Punta Verde - PHP 1000 ($20.59)
  • Puzurubo - PHP 1800 ($37.06)
  • Anguib Beach - PHP 1500 ($30.88)
  • Siwangag - PHP 1500 ($30.88)
  • Pugo Muro - PHP 500 ($10.29)
  • Punta Verde, Cape Engaño Lighthouse, Anguib Beach, and Crocodile Island package - PHP 3500 ($72.06) for a day trip and PHP 3800 ($78.24) for an overnight trip.

The boat can only carry a maximum of eight people. The rates above are good for six hours' worth of traveling. There'll be an increment of PHP 100 ($2.06) for extension of hours. You'll also need to pay an additional PHP 300 ($6.18) if you're planning to stay overnight at Punta Verde.

For food expenses, it's ideal to allot at least PHP 600 ($12.35) /pax a day. You can choose to buy supplies and fresh fish and veggies and cook it yourself, or ask your homestay host to cook for you for PHP 250 ($5.15).

Camping at Nature Village costs PHP 250 ($5.15) while rooms for rent are PHP 1200 ($24.71), good for 4 persons. The usual rate for homestays is PHP 250 ($5.15). Resorts and lodges in Sta. Ana costs around PHP 1,400 - PHP 3400 per night.

All in all, a 3D2N trip for two at Palaui Island can cost an average of PHP 17,080 ($351.66) or PHP 8,540 ($175.83) /pax. This is considering you have:

  • Taken a direct bus trip from Manila to Sta. Ana and vice versa
  • Hired a tourist guide and visited all destinations and islands
  • Rented snorkeling gear for two
  • Afforded the 3500 boat rental package
  • Camped or chosen a homestay accommodation

Your Palaui Island trip could cost an average of PHP 18,954 ($390.24) or PHP 9,477 ($195.12) /pax if you have:

  • Taken a bus trip from Manila to Tuguegarao and vice versa
  • Taken a van or bus to and from Sta. Ana then a tricycle to San Vicente port
  • Hired a tourist guide and visited all destinations and islands
  • Rented snorkeling gear for two
  • Afforded the PHP 3500 boat rental package
  • Camped or chosen a homestay accommodation

Lastly, you can expect your trip to cost an average of PHP 22,360 ($460.37) or PHP 11,180 ($230.18) /pax if you have:

  • Taken an indirect flight from Manila to Tuguegarao and vice versa
  • Taken a van or bus to and from Sta. Ana then a tricycle to San Vicente port
  • Hired a tourist guide and visited all destinations and islands
  • Rented snorkeling gear for two
  • Afforded the PHP 3500 boat rental package
  • Rented a room at Nature Village for 3D2N

 

Do I need to avail a tour package to explore the islands?

No, a tour package is completely optional when visiting Palaui Islands, although it is highly recommended.

How many days should I spend here?

To fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the Palaui Islands and experience all island-hopping opportunities, a 3D2N stay at the island is recommended. The travel time to reach Sta. Ana and to go from island to island are already accounted for in the three-day stay.

 

Where can I stay on Palaui Island?

There are two accommodation options you can choose from on the island. You can camp or rent a room at Nature Village, or rent a homestay for PHP250 / pax.

Alternatively, you can choose to stay at Sta. Ana, especially if you're saving the trip to Palaui the following day. There are plenty of resorts, lodges, Airbnbs, and homestays available within the area.

 

Should I get a guide if I travel to Palaui Island?

Yes. It's easy to get lost on the island, especially for first-timers. Some destinations like the Cape Engaño Lighthouse, also require you to afford a guide before you can enter the place.

If you feel like the fees you paid for your tour guide or boat rental are unfair, you can raise your concerns to the SAMOBA. The group regulates the standard rates for guides and boat rentals.

 

Are there shops or restaurants in Palaui Island?

There are a few stores in Palaui Island but no restaurants around. It's ideal to bring your own food and fresh supplies when visiting the island. You can shop for food, water, and other supplies at the Sta. Ana Commercial Center before heading to San Vicente port.

Map

18.540926588307, 122.13621895