Palaui Island (Cagayan, PH)
If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere. – Vincent Van Gogh
How much are you willing to undergo just to see a piece of paradise? For an adventure junkie like me, nothing can stand my way to see something that will satiate my wanderlust.
Palaui Island – a sliver of delight in the Babuyan Channel Northeastern Luzon, seemingly awaits any travel-enthusiast for it to be explored.
This 2,439-hectare island offers nearly unscathed landscape of verdant meadows and farm lands; lush stifling forests, strewn with stretches of white, coralline beaches, mangroves and toothed volcanic rockscapes. The entire island is an epitome of nature’s raw beauty indeed.
Palaui Island of Santa Ana town in the province of Cagayan has also been chosen by the reality TV series as a location shoot. This is not very surprising as the island has alot to offer. Several islets abound the surrounding shores of Palaui. This includes the small islet of Escucha, the rocky yet picturesque Dos Hermanos, the Gran Laja Island – a low rock islet surrounded by breakers; and the reptile shaped, Crocodile Island. The waters around the island boast off about 50 hectares of undisturbed corals.
The most visited part of the island is its northern point called Cape Engaño. The luxuriant hill in this area is reminiscent of the rolling hills of Batanes. Perched atop the highest point of the hill is the ruins of the of Cape Engaño Lighthouse – the island main attraction. There is an easy trail plus a 229-step staircase from the Engaño Cove that leads the visitors to the lighthouse. From here, allow yourself to be mesmerized by Palaui’s beauty as a 360-degrees view can be seen.
Other interesting spots in the island besides the mentioned islets include Siwangag Cove, the Baratubot Falls and the beach of Punta Verde (ideal for swimming, snorkelling and viewing both the sunrise and the sunet).
Due to the island’s seclusion, it has become the home to more than a hundred species of rattan (Calamus spp) and related commercially important timber producing wood species; and is a shelter for various migratory birds
The best way to experience the island is to stay their overnight. The accommodations offered are simple and modest. There are no luxurious hotels or resorts. At the moment, the Nature Village – a 2,100-square-meter open space in Punta Verde, is open for people who desire to spend a night or 2 in the island. The place served as the Survivor series’crew hub while shooting the reality show in the island. There are four cottages in the village. It was then donated to the islanders by the producers of “Survivor.” During my stay in the island in 2010, my friends and I pitched tents in the same area surrounded by coconut tree, with the beach a stone throw away.
How to Reach Palaui Island:
The fastest way to reach Palaui Island from manila is to take a commercial flight to Tuguegarao City (capital of Cagayan Province). Another way (long way) is for you to endure a 14-16 hours bus ride to Tuguegarao City, Cagayan. Recommended Bus Companies are Victory Liner, Dalin Bus and Florida Bus Liner. (Terminal of these bus lines can be found in Sampaloc and Cubao).
From there, take a three-hour van or bus ride to the fishing town of Santa Ana. From the town of Santa Ana, you need to ride a tricyle (P15 per passenger) to reach the port of San Vicente. Hire an outrigger boat that usually costs around Php1000 for 6 pax (larger boats are also available). Depending on how rough the waves are, the boat ride to the island may take 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Tourists are required to visit Punta Verde to register and pay P50 for the environmental fee.
If one decides to have an overnight stay in mainland Santa Ana, the following are your possible accommodations:
|Avalon Beach Club||09163944095|
|Jerolinda White Beach||09341195897, 09068648227|
|Jotay’s Resort||0906 478 1270|
|Lordwin’s Beach Resort||09197010036, 09283904518|
Don’t be a wasted soul, be ‘juan’derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’.