Babuyan Island : The Ultimate Northern Adventure

Where’s the best place in the Philippines? If you ask me, you are going to get a prejudiced answer. I made up my mind long ago and while I’ve seen plenty of other amazing places in this beautiful country. I think Babuyanes is the best for me, let me share to you why it is and will always be the best place for me.

kids in babuyan island
Kids in Babuyan Island

A part of it must be the difficulty of getting there. From Manila it takes at least fourteen hours by land to get to Aparri and then another four hours by boat to Camiguin Island. From there, it’s just a hop, but it never gets easy. Nor does it get boring, or ugly, or crowded with tourists. Ah….I love the Babuyanes!

bahay kubo
Typical House in Camiguin

The Babuyanes are five islands in Cagayan province. To the south- Isabella Province. To the East – The Sierra Madre. To the West – the Cordillera Mountains. The Islands are north of Aparri and are mostly without electricity or phone service. The residents are mostly Ilocano speaking but they can also speak Tagalog.

fishermen in Babuyan
After Fishing

The Islands are Calayan, Dalupiri, Fuga, Camiguin, and Babuyan Claro. Camiguin Island of the North have no resorts, no super ferries, no tour groups, and no man-made tourist attractions – only untouched nature and friendly locals. These islands are a place where you live the dreams of island life. There really isn’t anyplace else like them. The island doesnt have a public market, Why? Coz they catch their own fish!

sunset in babuyan island
Sunset in Camiguin

I know, I haven’t quite told you how to get to Babuyan Claro yet. I told you how to get to Camiguin Island and that’s probably where you will have to stay the first night. There are casitas available in Barangay Balatubat, and chances are that you will already be exhausted and in need of them when you arrive.

best beach
Clear Waters of Fuga Island

When you wake up, I know you are going to be all excited and crazy to rush straight to Babuyan Claro, but hold on a minute and take a second to stop and smell the fresh air. Since you’ve already come to Camiguin Island, don’t miss this great opportunity to do some bird watching or to take a whale watching cruise. Babuyan Claro is awesome, but so is watching a whale do a dorsal flip from a punch boat! There are Humpback whales and many other kinds. You can spot them on the horizon by watching for the spouting water. The best time to see them is during the winter when they migrate south from Alaska to breed and calve. In addition, there are a huge number of migratory and non-migratory birds in the area for you to feast your eyes on.

pamuktan beach
Virgin Beach in Pamuktan Island

Humpback’s are one of the most exciting whales to watch because of their size, energy, and acrobatic skills. Some of their killer moves are 1) The Breach – jumping out of the water 2) Lob Tailing – that’s the move where they arch their backs so the tails go high into the water 3) Flipper Slapper- the move where they slap a dolphin…no, just kidding…it’s really the move where the whale rolls and uses it’s side flippers to make huge watery splashes. The Humpback mating song is used by the whales to attract females. There is nothing quite like snorkeling and hearing the sound of humpback singing. The songs can last for hours and each song is unique to the male singing it.

dalmatian piglets
Sweet Dalmatian Piglets:)

While you are out watching the whales, ask your boat captain if they can take you to Fuga Island. It’s a long beach island with plenty of snorkeling, diving, and gorgeous sand to relax on, but the main reason I recommend you go there is because it makes a great place to have lunch. In fact, we’ve stayed there overnight when the weather or timing wasn’t right to reach Babuyan Claro. It’s a great place for driftwood campfires, scary stories, and looking up at the stars without having to look through the glare of city lights. After your lunch or in the morning head from Fuga Island and keep your eyes on the sea. No matter what time of the year it is, things can change rapidly here. You may be surprised at how much bigger the waves will get as you near the open sea.

rocky pamuktan beach
Pamuktan Beach

Fronting Camiguin is a tiny slice of paradise called Pamuktan Island, probably one of the most beautiful island I’ve seen so far. While we are heading to the small island, we already saw a couple of jolly dolphins, performing handful of show offs. The happy mammals are known to show off a little bit in this area. Don’t be surprised if you are scanning the horizon for them and you look down and see one of them looking up at you with a big smile! They usually find you before you find them. Usually they don’t mind if you get in the water and swim with them either. It’s a lot better if you have your snorkel and mask coz believe me, Its a whole lot of fun!!

Babuyan Island adventure is all about dreaming a vacation after it was over. It will give you a never-ending discovery, almost impossible to forget.

  1. Micamyx says

    I want to go to Fuga Island!

    The piglet pic made me smile 😛 gawin kong wallpaper dito sa work para di na ako inaantok LOL

    1. melo says

      That piglet keeps on following me but when i stopped and looked at him… he laid down as if I dont know hes following me hahahaha… sweet dalmatian piglet…

  2. aldam23 says

    it’s really nice to read blogs featuring roads less traveled. The pictures capture the unspoiled beauty of Babuyan Island. I hope relevant government departments help the island boost its tourism sector.

  3. jeff says

    Hi Can you tell me if theres a person that I can contact in babuyanes island as tourist guide. kahit yung bangkero siguro mas maganda. anong buwan ba maganda magpunta dyan para makapag camping? at safe po ba?

  4. Nunalsafeet says

    Hope to visit the Babuyan Islands in March, 2011 🙂

    1. melo says

      best of luck:) on your Babuyanes trip:)

  5. Ruth says

    Hi, planning to go to Aparri-Babuyan Islands on a whim this weekend. Would you recommend any hotels in Aparri (currently booked in Ryan Hotel)?

    Also, do you have a contact person for a boat we can rent the whole day to visit the islands? Which islands would you recommend if we only had a day or a day and a half?

    Lastly, how far is take-off point of the boat from the hotel area?

    Thank you!

  6. holiday Italy says

    The world is too big to be completely visited!! what a wonderful place is that…I’ve been throghout Europe, great places to visit, but this is a far different culture and structure!! magic place…

  7. mces says

    hope you have detailed information oh how to get in babuyan and fuga island it’s a great place with great food. you can also check my site and look for more native recipes.

  8. mikeagainstme says

    Contrary to the ones hoping that the government departments should help the island boost its tourism sector, trust me, such majestic place should remain as is to preserve its beauty. Once big company make investment to that, it will be the start of the desctruction. People there don’t need a high paying job, peace and harmony is enough. Look at Baguio right now, as well as Boracay for example.

  9. archie says

    wow. is there any contact for babuyan island hopping? ano ba magandang months pumunta.kasi i think may months na sobrang alon dyan.thanks

  10. mak says

    Great story! i never thought it’s this beautiful. I just hear “Babuyan Island” in weather reports. haha.

  11. Joy says

    Hello, would you please tell me how to get to Babuyan island from Manila? I’m planning to go there for Charity purposes…

  12. Kim says

    Wow… ang ganda ng Babuyan Island… pwede po bang makahingi ng travel itinerary na ginawa mo… much better kung meron ding expenses na list… hehehehe
    Joy anong klaseng Charity purpose ang gagawin mo doon?

  13. Leslie Dizon says

    where did you stay in these islands? can we get a banca to rent for the day?

  14. dina Junio Baculi says

    i plan to go to Babuyan next year probably march or april i’ve heard that, is the best season to see whales.
    but the problem is this home staying,is it simple as that to ask? i know there must be some kind of trade.
    how about the boat, is it regular?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: