2020 Ultimate Travel Guide to Cagbalete Island
Mauban, Quezon, Philippines — People are into traveling, specifically backpacking nowadays. One major reason for this leisure is that it brings them a sense of escape and freedom from the constant stresses in life without breaking the bank. If you are about to embark on this kind of activity, we suggest you go solo or tag your friends along and enjoy an escapade like no other.
Here’s one backpacking destination you should visit with your friends – Cagbalete Island in Mauban, Quezon Province.
Where is Cagbalete?
Cagbalete Island is a secluded and tranquil place surrounded by white sand beaches and is famous for its sandbar. Cagbalete is an island in Southern Luzon, the Philippines, on Lamon Bay. It is administered by the municipality of Mauban in Quezon Province.
This island, 3 – 4 hours away from Metro Manila, is somehow compared to Boracay’s white shores. The 1,640-hectare property also features rich biodiversity, which makes it a must-see paradise.
In this Cagbalete Island Travel Guide, we have rounded up some amazing things to see and do, recommended places to stay, best restaurants, and a sample itinerary to make your Cagbalete Island trip a memorable one.
Best time to visit Cagbalete Island
First of all, if you plan to visit Cagbalete Island, the best time would be during summer. You can go camping with your friends and chill with your friends on the beach.
How to Get There (from Manila)
By Private Car
If you are commuting via private vehicle, take the Calamba Exit in SLEX and go straight to Los Banos. From Los Banos, you need to pass through Pila, Santa Cruz, Pagsanjan, and Luisiana, then turn to Mauban Port.
By Public Bus
If you are commuting via public transportation, there’s a JAC Liner bus terminal in Buendia and Cubao. Ride a bus bound to Lucena; travel time will take about 3 to 4 hours.
When you arrive from the Lucena Grand Central Bus Terminal, ride a mini-bus going to Mauban Port. Travel time from Lucena to Mauban Port is around 1 to 2 hours.
Once you arrive at the Mauban Port, the first thing you need to do is register in the tourism office and pay for the environmental fee of 50 pesos per person. From there, a passenger boat will take you to Cagbalete Island.
Basically, when you arrive at the Lucena Grand Central Terminal, there are buses bound for Mauban. There are also vans and air-con buses there. You can go to the Tourism Building via tricycle.
Places to Stay: Cagbalete Island Resorts
There are plenty of recommended places to stay on Cagbalete Island. Check out some below:
Pansacola Beach Resort
Contact Number: 0917 546 5901
This is probably one of the famous budget resorts in Cagbalete. This is also where the famous Cagbalete sandbar is located. If you and your friends are into sports, the wide beach is perfect for beach volleyball, soccer, ultimate frisbee, and skimboarding.
Dona Choleng’s Camping Resort
Contact Number: Mobile 0910 882 3346
Make the most out of your Cagbalete adventures by staying here at Dona Choleng’s. Its location is surrounded by a lush setting and has types of rooms depending on its number. Room ranges from their Bali Jewelm Casa Mikhail, Casa Maybel, Glass House, Bali Bobby, Bali Nicolas, Casa Gaettha, and Casa Marisyl.
Visit their: Facebook Page
Here at Villa Cleofas, you’ll get to enjoy the white beachfront of Cagbalete Island. It is one of the most affordable places to stay on the island. Imagine paying Php 6,000 for a room that fits up to 20 people. They also provide pillows and mattresses, too, in their cottages. Plus, you can choose whether to stay in a fan or airconditioned room.
Telephone Number: 0915 211 7037
Visit their Facebook Page
Here at Nilandingan Cover, there are villas, cottages, and tents, in which they also provide mattresses, beddings, and pillows. One of the most famous spots in this place is the Magic Tree, which is said to be enchanted. There’s also Nature’s Jacuzzi, which looks like a cluster of pools, where you can bask in the sun and just chill.
Best Places to Eat in Quezon Province
Here are some restaurants you should go and try if you are on your way to Quezon Province.
If there’s one go-to restaurant when searching for the best pancit, that would probably be Buddy’s Restaurant. You’ll be able to taste its mouthwatering signature dishes from pancit, bihon, palabok, sizzlers and steaks, barbeque, and grills, to name a few.
This dining place in Quezon Province is famous for its experimental and Instagram-worthy dishes. Mug Café is located at the Pacific Mall in Lucena City. An example of their wide array of pasta and experimental dishes include sizzling balut and alcohol-based drinks.
Such bestsellers you should try to include Seafood Chowder, Mug fried chicken, and Quezon sausage pasta.
The Kinabuhayan Café is a must-visit restaurant in Dolores, Quezon. It is owned by a movie production designer, Jay Herrera.
The set meal in this café costs less than Php 1000, making it a perfect restaurant for those traveling in big groups. Bestsellers you should order include risotto al Funghi, rolled lasagna, salad, and chicken finger with osso buco pasta.
Telephone: (042) 710 5753
If you are into lutong Bahay, especially seafood specialties, then head over to Catalino’s Restaurant in Lucena City. They are also famous for their signature chocolate drink and Filipino-inspired pasta and sandwiches. Other bestsellers you should try is their tulingan, adobo, and laing.
Things to do and See in Cagbalete Island
Cruise in the Mangrove River
Immerse in the rich settings of Cagbalete Island and cruise along the Mangrove River.
Explore Sitio Buntis
This particular place in Cagbalente features amazing rock formations. Fortunately, if it’s low tide, you’d be able to see the formation. You can also make a side trip to the Butas-butas Beach
where you can also see natural rock-forming arches, thus the name “Butas-butas.”
Because of Cagbalete’s pristine and calm waters, a topmost activity mostly done here is snorkeling. You can rent some snorkeling gears for Php 150 to Php 200.
Stroll Around the Sandbar
Put on your best summer wear and have your pictures taken at the famous Cagbalete Sandbar.
Tour the Famous Baliscar Island Lighthouse
Tourists who usually visit Cagbalete Island include touring the famous Baliscar Island Lighthouse as part of their itinerary.
WiFi and Internet Access
Getting connected with your friends and family via online will always be a requirement when you travel. But here in Cagbalete Island, it’s best if you bring a portable wifi device, so you can update your social media pages or check out your email wherever you go.
Or better yet, before you head over the island, drop by at the Pacific Mall or SM in Lucena City, and buy some WiFi and sim cards for internet connection.
Best Places to Shop in Quezon Province
Mauban Public Market
Drop off point before you go to the island would be the Mauban Public Market. From there, you can buy various eats, from snacks, cooking supplies, and basic necessities as well.
Lucena Public Market
If you are thinking about where to buy and haul some pasalubongs, drop by at the two-story Lucena Public Market before you go home.
SM City Lucena
Buy everything you need before and after your trip here at SM City Lucena. You can either buy some pocket wifi, sim card, or anything you need for your Cagbalete trip only here at SM City Lucena.
One of the most challenging parts before and during traveling is taking control of your budget. Yes, you already have your travel budget with you and ready for the Cagbalete Island getaway, but the question is, how would you save money while on vacation.
- Plan your Cagbalete Island getaway in groups. In that way, you’ll be able to share the expenses and transportation costs with your friends.
- Book some tour packages for Cagbalete, so you can assess and take control of what to only pay when you get there.
- Don’t splurge on an expensive meal while on your way to the island. It’s best to eat some locals delicacies instead, plus you get to save some money on your next days on the island.
- It is best to withdraw the right amount of cash before heading to the island. Some even left their ATM cards behind to avoid overspending.
- Choose a budget-friendly accommodation. Visiting Cagbelete Island is more of being with nature and less on the luxury side.
Sample Cagbalete Island Itinerary and Budget
Check out this sample 3 days and 2 nights itinerary for the Cagbalete Island getaway.
- 5 AM- Leave Manila going to Lucena Terminal (Php 200 one way)
- 9 AM- Arrival from the Terminal, then ride a mini-bus going to Mauban Port (Php 60 to Php 70)
- 11 AM – Travel time to Cagbalete Island
- 12 NN- Arrival at the Island and lunch at your chosen resort (Php 6,000 for a huge room). There are kiosks and stores on the island where you can buy some snacks and drinks.
- 1 PM – Beach Volleyball and free time
- 6 AM- Breakfast
- 7 AM – Island hopping (Php 350 each for a private boat)
- 11 AM – River Cruising in Mangrove River
- 12 NN- Lunch
- 1 PM – Tour at the lighthouse and free time
- 6AM – Breakfast
- 8 AM – return to Mauban Port
Have you been to Cagbalete Island in Quezon Province? Help us improve this 2020 Travel Guide to Cagbalete Blog by sharing your personal travel tips and recommendations.