Cruising Romblon – What’s Missing in Carabao Island
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It has to be said, Boracay sets the bar as the poster child of a massively successful and internationally acclaimed tourist destination. It’s a tall order but I always knew that someday I would stumble upon a place that would rival Boracay’s white shoreline.
Carabao Island in San Jose, Romblon is a welcome finale. What a way to end the Cruising Romblon tour by discovering something that will compel you to go back as frequently as you can in the future.
Here’s a list of what what’s missing in this soon to be world class beach-bumming mecca:
1. Crowded Beaches
Since it’s still moderately commercialized compared to Boracay, having the vast shoreline all to yourself is absolutely priceless and a staple here. Make no mistake, the white powdery sands of the beaches here are reminiscent of Boracay a decade or two ago.
Thanks to proprietor Merelyn Gonzaga (09994074225) for making us that sumptuous lunch! Included is a glimpse of their menu.
2. Urban Comforts and Connectivity
There are no food chains, malls, hi-end hotels nor tourist traps in here. Instead you’ll find home grown establishments oozing with local vibe and a tongue-in-cheek nature experience.
Puka beach down yonder – taken from the Tagaytay Point viewing deck.
It’s P5 per viewing using their nice binoculars. Carabao island is just a stone’s throw away from its more popular sister Boracay island.
From Tablas Island, it’s only 45 mins. to an hour of ferry crossing towards the Port of Said in San Jose. Fare is at P100 per person.
You can catch a pump boat going to Carabao Island or ‘Hambil’ as the locals would call it near Bulabog beach in Boracay and brave the seas for 30-45 minutes. Note that the connectivity in San Jose / Carabao Island is way better than the rest of the Romblon group of islands due to its proximity to Boracay. You can enjoy HSDPA from time to time and the constant 3G and EDGE.
3. Congested road infrastructures
The roads here are relatively small though there’s massive construction on-going thanks to the efforts of the LGU and the local Department of Tourism here. This in turn creates an access to local attractions that are best experienced riding on two wheels such as:
Situated atop of a hill surrounded by forest at Sitio Lindero. There’s a white big rock at the opening of the cave which serves as a landmark. Only few bats inhabit the cave these days.
Kuding Kuding subterranean cave
Aside from the exciting ride going to this place, this tourist hotspot will give you breathtaking views and a thrilling cliff diving experience.
4. Expensive Luxury stays
No 5-star hotels here yet but each accommodation available here are mostly backpackers style and can only accommodate less than 25 guests at a time. Room charge ranges from Php500 to Php1,500 (good for 3 people) Will the price change? I hope not. Do note that the electricity in the island is rationed. At an additional P300 can get you 24 hours of electricity from generator sets.
Half of our group stayed at the Republic of Inobahan Beach Resort. Rooms are homey with fan or a/c options. They also have a convenience store named 5-13 which are the names of their dogs Sinko and Trese. Cute eh?
We stayed at Terraza de Isla Carabao Resort and our room is directly opposite the DOT office shown above.
After what’s said and done, what’s missing in Carabao Island? It’s you. Pack your bags and share with us how you find this gem of an island.