If you told me years ago that I can visit Romblon in one day, I wouldn’t believe you. Surprisingly, you can do it from Boracay Island. Since I’ve been going back and forth to the most popular island in the Philippines for many years and have already exhausted both familiar and unknown parts of the island, I researched the nearby destinations you can visit in the area.
I saw from another traveler’s blog that near Boracay is Carabao Island in Romblon. It’s merely a short boat ride to get there and you can see the entire island in a day. We went there in December 2019 before the world shut down due to Covid-19. I booked a hostel in Station 2 with my mom so we can have both Stations 1 and 3 easily accessible.
We found a tour guide in front of our hostel who was offering trips to Carabao Island coincidentally and booked a day tour for our second day. Since the rates we got were from 2019, I’ll try to give you updated pricing for 2022 via this link and I also included my vlog on YouTube below so you can watch it for yourself why it’s worth visiting this tiny island in Romblon.
What to do on Carabao Island?
Make sure you do some research on previous travelers who have tried a trip here to know the price range of boats from Boracay to Carabao Island. Currently, it’s at Php800–1,500 per person two-way which includes a lunch buffet. You can also get a boat from Caticlan, Antique for only Php100 per person one-way.
We left Boracay in the morning along with other groups of tourists joining the day tour. Not many know that apart from joining the group to visit the tourist spots, you can request and hire a private motorbike trip for Php 700 per person to take you to other parts of the island for an additional fee. I’m glad we found out about it from our tour guide in front of our hostel because it made visiting Carabao Island in Romblon much more worth it.
Upon arriving at Carabao Island in front of Carabao Rocksbay Resort, we were told by our tour guide to go first so we are ahead of the rest of the group to do our motorbike tour so we can arrive at the Kuding-Kuding Point to see the cliff jumping site and go inside the Cathedral Cave. There was another route for those only doing the regular island tour and not doing a motorbike tour, so he said we’ll get to the first destination faster and when the group arrives, we can be on our way to the additional lesser known spots in the island.
I want to do cliff jumping, Kuding-Kuding Point is for you as it has different jump-off boards with different heights you can choose from then swim off towards the other tourist spot here, the Cathedral Cave, where you can go inside too. But if you don’t like heights, you can go straight to the cave since it’s just right beside each other. Since I have no plans to cliff jump that day, we just took some photos of the Kuding-Kuding Point and went inside Carabao Island with our tour guide.
It’s quite smaller than the other caves I’ve visited in the Philippines but it was still charming like the others. Going inside is a bit steeper and has smaller entrances considering the cave is smaller compared to those in Sagada or Quezon, Palawan. Our tour guide was pretty comical and a good storyteller, guiding us safely through each passageway until we reach the inside of the cave which has an opening at the end you can climb up so you can see the beach outside.
After visiting the Cathedral Cave, we hopped on our bikes and off we go to Poblacion San Jose where a very beautiful quiet beach called Hambil Beach is located that was unknown to most tourists back then. Hopefully, until now, it’s not yet commercial like other white sand beaches.
Hambil Beach is a so-called twin sister of Boracay rivaling its long stretch of white sand, turquoise blue sea, and coconut trees lining the shore, minus the commercial aspect of the party island. In 2019, there was only one hostel you can rent a room for a night if you want to stay there. If you want to stay on the island, upon research there’s now Kameo Lodge you can stay at or if you prefer a different location you can check out Oceans Edge Resort (a more private resort perfect for honeymooners) or The Beach House.
Afterwards, we hopped on our bikes, and off we went to Tagaytay View Point which is said to be the highest peak on Carabao Island. It was a thrill going up the hill with its green slopes under the blue skies and fresh air, a depart from the usual beach and small island houses trail you’ll see along the way.
There’s a Php100 entrance fee per person which the caretaker will collect from guests at the entrance. We were once again alone here when we visited so we enjoyed having the place to ourselves to enjoy the majestic view of Boracay Island from afar. Photos don’t justify how beautiful the view is, you’ll have to see it in person like Hambil Beach.
After taking in the majestic view of Carabao Island, we went back to where we landed to have our buffet lunch at the Carabao Rocksbay Resort with the rest of our group where we were served delicious seafood, barbecue, and vegetables with dessert. We joined and bonded with the other travelers over lunch and also had some beer before heading back to Boracay.
I highly suggest if you want to do a side trip during your stay in Boracay, visit Carabao Island in Romblon for a four-day trip but if you prefer quiet scenery or you’ve already exhausted things to do in Boracay and prefer lesser crowd, why not try spending overnight in this quaint little island of Romblon.