It was supposed to be another weekend on two wheels for us but we decided to hit the beach instead. Since we are a thrifty bunch, we packed our stuff, rolled our tents, and headed south to dig our itchy feet in the white sands of Cagbalete Island.
Located along Lamon Bay and the Pacific Ocean, Cagbalete Island is under the municipality of Mauban Quezon and is only about 3 hours away by bus from Manila followed by a less than an hour boat ride from Mauban to Sabang Port.
It was a holy week and the thought of road tripping through traffic-less roads was pure pleasure! We decided to get to the port via car and enjoy the almost empty roads of SLEX, the winding slopes of Cavinti, and the open roads of Lucban to finally reach the town of Mauban.
After parking inside a public school as pointed by a friendly traffic enforcer, we hired a tricycle and headed to the local market to buy three days worth of supplies. We then headed to Mauban port to get a private boat bound to Cagbalete Island.
The water was a refreshing sight after leaving the busy mainland of Mauban. I couldn’t help but take a quick nap as the cool, summer wind hit my face and the refreshing sea spray from the waves against the boat’s hull got to us.
The island’s green, foresty figure and white sand could be seen from afar which made us more excited, and after about 45 minutes, we have finally reached the sandy shores of Cagbalete Island.
We arrived during low tide so we had to walk all the way to the shore. It was amazing to think that the vast land that we were walking on is filled with clear, blue waters during high tide.
The long walk and the heavy load was worth it as we made our way to the resort while marveling at the views. From the crystal clear water, the mountain ranges, powdery white sand, and the vibrant tents that just popped out as we approached the resorts.
We wanted a quieter place so we made our way to the southern part of the island. It was there that we found Paradiso Amadeo. This resort is still in the works but they are already accommodating guests. Their location is ideal for people who wants a more laid-back and tranquil island life vibe. Perfect, just what we were looking for!
We found our sweet spot and pitched our tents. Good thing the staff lent us a picnic table for our stuff.
I explored the whole place after settling and what they did to the property is just amazing.
We were planning to take a stroll within the area after preparing for dinner but the place made us stay a bit longer. The small huts facing the beach are one of Paradiso Amadeo’s fascinating features. With canopies, curtains, and small mattresses, it will make you just throw yourself on it and take a well-deserved siesta.
I have finally recuperated from the long hours of travel and setting up our camp to finally stroll around the beach front. I also walked towards Pansacola Beach Resort right beside Paradiso Amadeo. Both of the resorts’ owners are siblings who share the same warm welcome to visitors and their friendly nature can easily be felt. This is evident to the staff of both establishments every time I take a walk to and from the vicinity.
We had a comfortable camp that evening. I decided to walk along the shores after a sumptuous dinner and take snapshots of the beach’s night life.
The vibrant island life was pure eye candy. There was also music to spice things up but the crowd and the atmosphere aren’t the partying type which I also find relaxing.
We woke up on a high tide the following morning. It astounded me to think that the ground that we walked on was already filled with turquoise waters.
Despite the scattered rain showers, we still spent the rest of the day by the beach. No activities. Just a cookout by the tent, doze off lazily along the shore, and just bask in the summer sun (and rain).
If you’re planning to live the island life for a long weekend, then Cagbalete Island is an ideal place. With its proximity from Metro Manila and its easy access, it is a perfect budget friendly trip. Another upside is that it is not too crowded compared to other popular summer destinations.
With its secluded location, calm waters, accommodating staff, friendly locals and resort owners. I can say that Cagbalete Island is an ideal getaway for both families and barkadas alike.
How to get there:
From Manila to mauban Port
By private vehicle:
- From South Luzon Expressway, take Calamba Exit and head past Los Banos.
- Take the National highway going to Santa Cruz, Bay, and then Pagsanjan.
- Head straight to the winding road going to to Cavinti. You will then pass by Lucban and Sampaloc
to finally reach Mauban, Quezon.
We parked in an open field inside one of the public schools in Mauban. It is being served as a parking spot for tourists during the summer break. (200php per night)
There are also several gated parking areas all over Mauban, just ask a local to direct you to one of the parking lots.
By Public Vehicle:
- Take a JAC Liner bus from Buendia or Cubao bound to Lucena Grand Terminal. (210- 240php/pax)
- You can then ride an NCR bus (54 php) from the Grand Terminal or a rented van in SM City Lucena (70php) bound to Mauban.
*Tricycle to Mauban Port is 10php per person.
From Mauban to Sabang Port / Cagbalete Island:
Before the boat ride, an environmental fee of 50php should be settled in the registration area.
Via Public boat: 100php one way
Via Private / Chartered boat:
|No. of Passengers||One Way||Round Trip|
- We took a private boat which I think is more practical because we carried 3 days worth of food and water supplies, cookwares, utensils, clothing, and two tents.
- Public boats will drop people off in Sabang Port. It will be 10 to 30 minutes of walk depending on where you made your reservations.
- Private boats will drop you off exactly on the beach where your resort is located.
It was five of us but two were kids so we evenly divided the expenses in to three instead:
- Gas and toll fees: 500php/pax
- Parking fee: 135php (400php per night)
- Tricycle: 10php
- Private boat: 835php (2,500php)
- Camping fee: 400php (200php per night per person)
- Groceries/food and water: 500php
- Butane x3 and other utensils: 65php
- Coconuts x6: 43php
- Contact number: +63 917 825 4333 (Look for Ms. Riza)
- Email: email@example.com
- Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/paradisoamadeo
- Contact numbers: (0917) 546-5901 & (0928) 505-8633
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pansacolabeachresort
Other things to do
Cagbalete Island is an ideal place to take a pause from the city life, but for the curious and the itchy feet, the following are some of the activities that you might want
- Island hopping: 1,500/boat
- Hike along the shores and visit the neighboring resorts.
- Visit Bonsai Island during low tide.
- Go to the Mangrove forest in Villa Pilarosa.
- Walk your way to Sabang Port and see the daily activities of the locals.