A resort in Carabao Island

Carabao Island: An Unadulterated Boracay

This untouched island has the same treasures Boracay Island boasts; the crystal-clear blue waters and the powdery-white sands, minus the hustle and bustle of its popular counterpart.

It is the perfect tourist destination for beach lovers who seek peace and tranquility. This is Carabao Island.

Part of Romblon province in the region of MIMAROPA—which consists of Occidental and Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan—Carabao Island was originally inhabited by the Aetas and was called Hambil by the locals. It was later renamed Carabao Island by the Spanish conquistadores Miguel Lopez de Loarca because of its resemblance to the back of a water buffalo.

What to expect

The streets outside the town are still bumpy, but the main road is already paved. Although there are no jeeps or tricycles on the island, guests can still get around with motorcycles, also referred to as the habal-habal. To maintain its status as an undeveloped island, electricity runs only from 1 pm to 11 pm and 4 am to 6 am.

Like Boracay Island, Carabao Island has a lot of beach resorts and hotels that tourists can choose from. Visitors who would like to swim in turquoise waters can visit Hinulugan beach and Lanas beach. For guests who prefer powder-white sands over the pebbly kind may visit Tinap-an or San Jose beach.

Other major beach resorts in the area include the White Beach (formerly known as Ivy’s Vine Resort), the Nipa Hauz Resort and Restaurant, the Beach House, and the Boracay Outlook Resort. Most of these resorts also have their own restaurants that provide a wide range of appetising dishes.

What to do

Carabao Island is also popular for its water sport activities that are unavailable at many Boracay resorts. For less than $100, adrenaline enthusiasts will love the 30-minute Flyboard. Exclusively offered by the Boracay Outlook Resort, it is a new and innovative sport wherein a tube is connected to the main jet exit. A thick, flexible 9-meter hose from this tube connects to the jet boots, which allow the rider to perform desired wild aerial tricks. Kiteboarding and windsurfing sites are also found on the island.

Because of its various marine sanctuaries, Carabao island is also a great site for snorkelling and scuba diving. The dive shops here are fully equipped and managed by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). Tourists can marvel at the colorful species of fish and kaleidoscopic corals at the Village Reef and Village Mountain. Some of the dive sites that lure underwater photographers include Cathedral Cave (which is known for its massive underwater cave), Lobster Wall, West Wall I and II, and Devil’s Shoulder.

Carabao Island also features outdoor adventures such as exploring Ngiriton Cave in Sitio Lindero or Bunayag Cave in Sitio Sugod.

How to get there

Located in the town of San Jose, Romblon, Carabao Island is just a 25-minute boat ride from Boracay. Visitors have the option of chartering a boat to enjoy an island-hopping activity in Carabao Island or taking the daily trips from Station 1 of Boracay’s White Beach. In less than 10 minutes, guests can also take a speedboat to enjoy more time on the island.

Discover Carabao Island Tour

This amazing tour provides you with the opportunity to explore Carabao Island.  Relax on the sand, go swimming or snorkelling, you choose.  After you’ve enjoyed a local bar-be-que lunch continue your exploration through the mangrove forests and marvel at the volcanic rock formations.

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