Carabao Island is a BEAUTIFUL 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.
I have put together this complete travel guide of the 7 Best Things To Do On 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.
CARABAO ISLAND PHILIPPINES – OVERVIEW
Before talking about all the best things to do in Carabao Island, let’s discuss the essentials, such as getting there, the best time to visit, and more.
HOW TO GET TO CARABAO ISLAND ROMBLON?
Carabao Island (also known as San Jose Island Philippines by locals) 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 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, Romblon, is 250 pesos (including the environmental fee) and it takes approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.
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HOW TO GET AROUND CARABAO ISLAND?
There are 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 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.
WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT CARABAO ISLAND PHILIPPINES?
The best time to visit Carabao Island Boracay, 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 which is typically between August and October.
CARABAO ISLAND MAP
7 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN CARABAO ISLAND
Now that you have a better understanding of Carabao Island, let’s go through the best activities on the island, from hitting the beach to cliff jumping and more.
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 enjoying the stunning ocean views.
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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.
The BEST Hotel in Carabao Island
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 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 there and continued on to the next tourist spot.
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.
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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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BUSAY CLIFF JUMP
Busay Cliff Jump is one of the newest cliff-jumping spots and you won’t find too many tourists at 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 three epic rock jumps ranging from 1 meter, to 3 meters, and the 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.
Don’t forget your quick-dry travel towel, you’ll definitely need it!
You can also rent lifejackets if you’re not a competent swimmer and light refreshments are available for purchase at the tour desk.
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 many people as there are no day tours from Boracay Island that land here on San Jose Beach. You can even go snorkeling, which is great!
And of course, you will want to take your GoPro, the best item you can include in your backpack.
When I was on the island I saw no more than half a dozen tourists during the entire two days that I was there. This makes San Jose Beach a very quiet and tranquil place to explore.
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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.
WHERE TO STAY IN CARABAO ISLAND
There are dozens of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in Carabao. See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Lanas Beach Resort
Located in Carabao Island San Jose Romblon, Lanas Beach Resort is the best property on the island, with luxurious rooms as well as dorms for budget travelers.
All the rooms are modern and cozy, it’s nestled steps away from the beach, and they have an on-site restaurant which is great to have breakfast or a meal before exploring around.
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 and spacious and are fitted with air-conditioning, large comfortable beds, a wardrobe, a private bathroom, free wifi, and a minibar.
Affordable place to stay for couples, friends, and families.
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WHAT TO PACK FOR ROMBLON CARABAO ISLAND
When visiting Carabao Island, here is a list of items I highly recommend bringing with you:
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FINAL THOUGHTS – THINGS TO DO IN CARABAO ISLAND
I hope you enjoyed reading this article about what to do in Carabao Island, and if you have any questions at all, please leave me a comment below this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
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THANKS FOR READING
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