Carabao Island is an underrated destination just a stone’s throw from the more popular island, Boracay. There are so many fantastic things to do in Carabao Island including beach hopping, cliff jumping, panoramic viewpoints, and more!
Many tourists that stay on Boracay Island often take day tours to Carabao, however, it’s worth staying on the island for a couple of days to enjoy its serene vibe, white sand beaches and turquoise blue seas away from all the crowds on Boracay Island.
I have put together this complete travel guide of the 7 Best Things To Do In Carabao Island to help you craft together your own itinerary!
Also in this post, I have included useful information on how to get to Carabao Island Philippines, where to stay, how to get around, and the best time to visit.
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7 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN CARABAO ISLAND
Lanas Beach is one of the best beaches on the island and should definitely be added to your list of things do to in Carabao.
Lanas Beach is located on the western side of the island, which is around 15 minutes away from the port. From Lanas Beach, you’ll be able to see Puka Beach on Boracay Island in the distance.
Lanas Beach is very calm and peaceful which makes it the perfect place to relax. It also offers one of the most romantic and relaxing sunset viewing spots.
There are not many resorts and accommodations on the island which means most of the time you’ll have the beach all to yourself and can enjoy the tranquil atmosphere surrounded by golden sand beach and turquoise water without being disturbed.
If you want a bit more action you can go to Lanas Beach Resort or to The Beach House and order your favorite cocktail at the bar whilst listening to the sound of the waves and enjoy the stunning ocean views.
Drone shot of Lanas Beach
Lanas Beach Carabao Island
CATHEDRAL CAVE CLIFF JUMP
On the west side of the island, you will find the Cathedral Cave Cliff Jump. Cathedral Cave has become a popular tourist spot on the island which offers numerous activities such as cliff diving, snorkeling and cave exploring.
The entrance fee at Cathedral Cave Carabao is 100 pesos.
Many day tours from Boracay Island include the Cathedral Cave Cliff Jump on their itinerary which makes it one of the most popular and crowded spots on the island.
The cliff jumping area around Cathedral Cave is man-made and all the diving boards are connected to each other by bamboo walkways and bridges, which makes this location a perfect spot to just walk around and explore the cliffs.
There are local food huts available where you can order food and drinks for lunch. It’s also quite entertaining to watch people build up the courage to take the leap off the diving boards.
Cathedral Cave is divided into two different sides. On the left-hand side, there are two diving boards, which are about 3 meters and 5 meters high. On the right-hand side, you will find the higher cliff jumps. Some of the jumps on this side range from 8 meters up to approximately 14 meters.
Once you land safely in the water you can explore the pristine blue and turquoise waters and discover the colorful corals under the water. When you’re done exploring, there are bamboo ladders in place making it easy to climb back up to the top of the cliffs for another jump.
You’ll also find the big caves on the right side which are worth exploring. There are helmets laying right outside by the entrance which are required to be worn when you enter.
It’s a good idea to get a guide to come along with you when you go exploring Cathedral Cave as there are several small tunnels, smaller caves inside the main cave and some sharp rock formations in the water which tend to be slippery. You’ll find the guides right by the entrance of Cathedral Cave.
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Cathedral Cave Cliff Jump
Cliff Jump at Cathedral Cave
Exploring the caves
Going for a dip
Ngiriton Cave is one of the more interesting spots to check out on Carabao Island, located at the top of a hill and hidden in the forest at Sitio Lindero.
The way to the cave passes through local farmland and you’ll most likely have to stop and ask someone in the small village to point you in the right direction.
When you reach the jump-off point, it’s a short 5-minute walk along a dirt trail and up at a set of stairs to the entrance of Ngiriton Cave. There is a fork in the trail and you will have the way to the left to find the entrance.
The huge opening of the Ngiriton Cave welcomes you with a huge swarm of bats hanging from the ceiling and hummingbirds circulating on the inside. When I visited the bats were going crazy and flying in every possible direction.
The Ngiriton Cave had quite a bad smell to it probably because of all the bats so we decided to not spend much time here and continued on to the next tourist spot.
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Inside Ngiriton Cave
On the search for Ngiriton Cave
KODING KODING CLIFF JUMP
Koding Koding Cliff Jump is another must-visit spot on the island. The Koding Koding Cliff Jump is about 3 to 4 meters high and a much smaller jump than the Cathedral Cave Cliff Jump. The entrance fee is 100 pesos.
It’s possible to swim around the area however, the sea can sometimes be a bit rough and you should be prudent in the water. You can also chill out on a bamboo raft or just sit in one of the cottages and admire the crystal clear water.
There are food, snacks and soft drinks available for purchase on-site if you wish to grab something to eat and chill out in one of the huts.
Koding Koding Cliff Jump also features a small cave and an underground lagoon.
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Swimming area at Koding Koding
Cliff jump at Koding Koding
Koding Koding Cliff Jump
BUSAY CLIFF JUMP
Busay Cliff Jump is one of the newest cliff jumping spots and you won’t find too many tourists at to this location. The entrance fee is 100 pesos.
When you get to Busay Cliff Jump it seems at first like you are stepping into someone’s backyard. Be aware that in the surrounding areas of the Busay Cliff Jump there are monkeys that are quite curious so hold on tight to your belongings.
Busay Cliff Jump features 3 epic rock jumps ranging from 1 meter, 3 meter and this highest being 5 meters.
Other than cliff jumping you can make use of the rubber rings and kayaks, or go swimming around the area and enjoy the crystal clear waters at this location.
You can also rent lifejackets if you’re not a competent swimmer and light refreshments are available for purchase at the tour desk.
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Busay Cliff Jump
Busay Cliff Jump
SAN JOSE BEACH
San Jose Beach is the main beach area of the island featuring crystal clear waters and swaying palm trees along the shoreline. San Jose Beach is postcard-material and makes for a great spot to get an Instagram-worthy photo.
San Jose Beach is also very close to the center of the town where you’ll find several hotels, restaurants, eateries and bakeries. It’s definitely the more touristic part of the island.
Even though it’s the most touristic beach on Carabao, there aren’t too many people as there are no day tours coming from Boracay Island that land here on San Jose Beach.
When I was on the island I saw no more than half a dozen tourists during the entire 2 days that I was there. This makes San Jose Beach a very quiet and tranquil place to explore.
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San Jose Beach
Exploring San Jose Beach
Drone shot of San Jose Beach
Bent palm trees on the beach
Tagaytay Viewpoint is the best place on the island to watch the sunset and it’s not to be missed.
Tagaytay Viewpoint is one of the most well-known locations on the island. It’s surrounded by tall coconut trees and cows, horses and goats frequent the area. You will feel as though you have arrived in the countryside all whilst smelling the salty air around you.
The entrance fee is 50 pesos upon arrival to the lovely woman who owns the land at Tagaytay Viewpoint. She is very welcoming to all of her visitors and you are free to explore the area as you please. The woman and her family have taken very good care of the grounds and it’s decorated with the most beautiful shells, sheltered huts and deck chairs.
Once you stand on the highest point on Tagaytay Viewpoint you’ll be able to admire Boracay Island in the distance. There is a treehouse on Tagaytay Viewpoint Carabao from which you can watch the sky turn purple, orange and red. This was a great place to sit down, order a soft drink and unwind whilst watching the spectacle of the sky.
However, to witness the sun go down above the horizon you’ll have to venture over to the other side of the treehouse. There’s a fence that you’ll have to cross to get around to the other side of the hill.
A short stroll through the tall grass will lead you to the best viewing point to watch the sun disappear over the ocean.
I visited in the low season (September) and I was the only tourist at Tagaytay Viewpoint on this particular day, making it even more enjoyable without the crowds.
Tagaytay Viewpoint Carabao
Sunset at Tagaytay Viewpoint
Drone shot of Tagaytay Viewpoint Carabao
The treehouse at Tagaytay View
Shakas for an epic day
CARABAO ISLAND ACCOMMODATION
Carabao Island has dozens of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in Carabao to fit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers, and everyone in between.
See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Oceans Edge Resort
Oceans Edge Resort is currently the only luxury resort on the island featuring an outdoor swimming pool, well-kept gardens, in-house restaurant, a bar and a terrace. Choose from either an Oceanview Studio Villa or the Muni-Muni Cliff Villa, each fitted with air-conditioning, spacious modern rooms, private ensuite bathroom, balcony with ocean views, flat-screen tv and a minibar. Breakfast is also included for all guests. If you’re looking for a romantic or unforgettable getaway, Oceans Edge Resort is perfect for couples, families and friends!
Mid Range: The Beach House
I personally stayed at The Beach House and can’t recommend this place enough! Located a stone’s throw from the ocean’s edge, this boutique accommodation features an in-house restaurant, beach bar, outside terrace, private beach area and off-road vehicles for use. The rooms are clean, spacious and are fitted with air-conditioning, large comfortable beds, wardrobe, private bathroom and minibar. Free wifi is also available throughout the property. Affordable place to stay in Carabao island for couples, friends and families.
Budget: Carabao Guest House
Carabao Guest House is the best budget accommodation that is perfect for solo travelers, couples and friends. Located right on the water’s edge on Lanas Beach, Carabao Guest House features a restaurant, a bar and well-kept gardens. There are dorm rooms, double rooms and quadruple rooms available and fitted with air-conditioning/fan, shared/private bathroom, comfortable beds and free wifi.
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CARABAO ISLAND MAP
HOW TO GET TO CARABAO ISLAND
Carabao Island is located in the central region of the Philippines and there is only one option to get here which is by boat.
The most common route to reach the island is from Tabon Bay in Caticlan which is 10 minutes drive north of the main seaport in Caticlan.
There are local boats departing at 9 am bound for Carabao Island to either Hambil Pier on the east coast and to Lanas Beach on the west coast. Check which side of the island you booked your accommodation on and make sure to jump on the correct boat.
The cost of the boat from Caticlan to Carabao Island is 100 pesos and it takes approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.
For all other trips within the Philippines, I always use 12Go Asia to search and book all of my transportation.
HOW TO GET AROUND
There’s a couple of options on how to get around the island and they are by scooter, habal habal, tricycle, or on foot.
You can rent a scooter on the island for around 500 pesos per day and make your own way around to all of the tourist spots at your own pace. The best place to rent a scooter is via your accommodation.
If you are not confident driving a scooter, the other option is to hail down a tricycle or habal habal (motorbike taxi) along the main roads. For a 15-minute drive, you can expect to pay around 50-100 pesos.
BEST TIME TO VISIT CARABAO ISLAND
The best time to visit Carabao Island Philippines, weather-wise, is between April and July when temperatures are hot and there is barely any rainfall. This is also high season in Carabao, so expect to see more tourists during these months.
I recommend planning your Carabao trip on the shoulder months of the high season between November and March which sees a bit of rainfall but usually only lasts for a couple of hours and the rest of the day is sunny.
Try to avoid the typhoon season in Carabao Island which is typically between August and October.
Another option for accommodation is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals.
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LONELY PLANET PHILIPPINES
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Philippines Guide!
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I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions at all about Carabao Island, please leave me a comment below this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can.