The Palaui & Tuguegarao Adventure

Palaui Island is in Cagayan Valley Region, northeastern part of the Philippines. So, how did I learn about Palaui? Thanks to the ‘Survivor’ US TV Show! 🙂

A Reminder: Do not forget to bring your sunblock, hat or a cap, and mini fans! It gets really HOT at this part of the country! 🙂

How did we get there?
Manila – Tuguegarao – Sta. Ana Cagayan – Palaui Island

– Manila to Tuguegarao via Cebu Pacific (for a low cost due to seatsales of course and my GetGo points!)

– Tuguegarao Airport to Van Terminal: there are tricycles waiting outside the airport. Cost is Php100 per tricycle (for 4 pax). Travel time is about 5 to 10 minutes. – Take the van going to Cagayan. Cost is Php180 per head. We were dropped at Country Inn Suites (our hotel for 2 nights).

– Boat ride to Palaui and other islands. Boat rental is Php3,500/day + Php750 for the pick-up and drop off from Country Inn (we did not go to San Vicente port anymore) + Php70/head for the Environmental Fee.
Contact Person: Edwin Tabucol – 0926 9064657 or 0916 1165850

There are also buses going to Tuguegarao, however, this will take a longer travel time. Though, it is definitely cheaper without the seatsale.

Stayed At? 
We had 2 nights in Sta. Ana, Cagayan and a night in Tuguegarao.

Country Inn Sta.Ana is a beach front accommodation. It is very affordable for what it has to offer. The rooms were clean and spacious and so is the restroom. We were a group of 7 and got a family room. Php2,800/night good for 5 pax + Php 150 for an extra person.

Mango Suites Tuguegarao  is located in the city proper. They also free shuttle service going to the airport which is near the hotel.  We got 2 rooms, 1 family room and 1 Matrimonial. Family Room is Php2,650 good for 5 pax (inc. of Php200 for the extra person) w/ free breakfast for 3 pax.

Initally, we planned to stay at Palaui Homestay for our 2nd night but my friends preferred to stay again at Country Inn. Anyway, Ate Elsa (the contact person for the homestay) offers 2 rooms good for 8 pax or a tent. Both are at Php250/head.  Since there are no restaurants on the island, she also prepares lunch and dinner Php150/head for a meal (rice, veggies, meat) and Php250/head for adding seafoods such as shrimp, lobster, etc. Just make sure to let her know at least a day before.

Ate Elsa – 0905 2832559

Day 1

Departed Manila in the morning (1 hour flight) and had a quick lunch in a carinderia near the van terminal. Travel time to Sta. Ana Cagayan is about 4 hours so we arrived at the hotel at dusk. We explored the surroundings and met with the boatman for our 2-day itinerary.

Day 2

Cape Engaño – Siwangag Cove – Crocodile Island – Punta Verde – Anguib Beach

Cape Engaño Lighthouse
Is also known as Faro de Cabo Engaño. I think it is best to go here in the morning since it can get really really hot plus the hike going up. The scenery was simply breathtaking. For me, it was a mix of Batanes and Calaguas. 🙂 At the top, you will get to see the lighthouse and a view of the Dos Hermanos (Two Sisters) islets.

Every group should have a tour guide (1 guide for 4 pax at Php300). There are sari-sari stores available so make sure to grab a bottle of water before going up. The short hike I think takes around 15 to 20 minutes. When we got back, we had some halo-halo and mais con yelo to cool down the heat. 🙂

Siwangag Cove
We just dropped by at the area since it was one of the places in our itinerary. It’s swimmable but there’s nothing really much to see so we decided to move to our next destination.

Crocodile Island
So, from a far I guess you already have an idea on what to see. 🙂 It is a rock formation that looks like a crocodile. We went down for a while and took some pictures then headed to Punta Verde.

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Punta Verde
This is where Palaui Homestay and Nature Village is located, the only places where tourists can spend an overnight. We had our lunch prepared by Ate Elsa and went on our next stop.

Anguib Beach
is a public beach in Sta. Ana and called ‘The Boracay of the North’! As a beach person, I was happy to see the clear bluewaters and white sand. We stayed here for the rest of the afternoon and had some drinks. Entrance Fee is Php100.

We went back to Punta Verde to get our dinner and headed back to Country Inn.

Day 3

Snake Island – Anguib Beach – Back to Tuguegarao (Sidetrip: St. Philomene Church | Alcala Teano Milk Candy | Iguig Church & Calvary Hills

Snake Island
It is called as such because of the sea snakes that are found there. Luckily, we did not see one. I really didn’t want to see one anyway. There were a lot of hermit crabs though. 🙂

As the beach bums we are, we went back to Anguib beach for another swim. Since it was only a half day tour, we headed back to Country Inn to pack our stuffs and do a sidetrip on the way back to Tuguegarao. We rented a van for Php2,000.

St. Philomene Church
Is a red brick church located in Alcala, Cagayan. It is also the biggest and widest church in the region.

Alcala Teano Milk Candy
Unfortunately, it was closed when we arrived at the store. 😦 Maybe it’s something you want to try in case you get to pass by.

Iguig Church & Calvary Hills
Here you will see lifesize images of the stations of the cross. The place itself gives a feeling of serenity.

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We were dropped at panciteria and we tried again the Pancit Batil. After, we rode a tricycle to Mango Suites.

Day 4

Since our flight is still at 1pm, we decided to go to the famous Callao Caves and get some pasalubongs. The receptionist at our hotel helped us contact a tricycle for our ride to Callao. Php700/tricycle good for 3 pax.

Callao Caves
Going there from the city is about 45 minutes. The seven-chambered cave is located in Penablanca, Cagayan. Entrance Fee is Php20/head. Our tour guide did not charge as a specific amount so we just gave him Php300. Unfortunately, I forgot his name but he was able to explain every chamber of the cave and took our pictures as well. He even made us do poses for camera trick photos 🙂

Before heading back to our hotel, we dropped by at a store for pasalubongs. A must try is their Chicha-rabao which is Php37.00.

We went back at the hotel to get our bags headed to the airport for our flight back to MNL.

(Travel Date: April 2016)


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