ROMBLON | Carabao Island, a Boracay Daytour | Lakad Pilipinas

Carabao Island Romblon Beach

“It’s like a never ending swimming pool!” One of my friends exclaimed. With a tinge of green, the water, indeed, was unbelievably azure. We were still moving, our boatman steering the vessel towards the shore, but everyone on the boat can’t help but stand to admire the water surrounding us. Most of our companions work at Boracay, it was definitely something to be impressed by another beach, even with their home island’s beauty.

The weather wasn’t as sunny, it was actually drizzling, the morning we left Boracay Island to visit its neighbor, Romblon’s Carabao Island. From Ferra Hotel, it was just a few minute’s walk towards Bulabog Beach where a motorized outrigger boat from Boracay West Cove awaited us.

Carabao Island Romblon Beach
CHARTERED BOAT FOR OUR CARABAO ISLAND DAY TOUR

Normally, we’d take the public transport to wherever we want to go, but since there’s only one scheduled boat ride going to and from Carabao Island from Boracay—and at an ungodly hour at that (5:30AM, PHP80.00)—we decided on simply chartering a boat for a daytrip to the island (PHP1,200.00). It’s much more expensive, but we have it all for ourselves and we can decide exactly where to go.

Carabao Island Romblon
ROCK FORMATIONS ALONG CARABAO ISLAND

About thirty minutes to an hour away from Boracay, Carabao Island is huge; about twice the size of Boracay. Its pre-colonial name was Hambil, and most locals still use this name. In reality it is, in whole, the municipality of San Jose. The name Carabao Island came to be after the Spaniards renamed it Isla de Carabao, for they said it resembles a water buffalo when viewed from a boat.

Carabao Island Romblon
NUMEROUS BEACHES ALONG THE COAST

We really didn’t see the resemblance since we were busy chugging on beer and sleeping in between en route to the island. When I awoke, our boat was already docking on an unnamed beach nearest Boracay in Barangay Pinamihagan [GPS MAP: 12.035830, 121.942325]. It wasn’t the Carabao Island we had in mind, so we told the captain to move back and find a more picturesque beach.

Carabao Island Romblon Beach
SECOND BEACH WE DOCKED ON

Rain lashed at us as we navigated the western side of the island. The first beach our boatman saw, he docked on. And right as we were sliding into shore, the rain abated. We were at a stretch of beach somewhere in Barangay Lanas [GPS MAP: 12.061590, 121.912133]. There were open huts right by the shore, but it still wasn’t to our liking. It was a pebble beach, but to be fair, its water was very clear.

Carabao Island Romblon Snorkeling
IT WAS BEAUTIFUL BELOW!

We went for a quick swim, and clarity was indeed magnificent. I didn’t see much corals, since I didn’t venture that far, but marine life was quite abundant—passing a school of small fishes as I languidly swam parallel to the shore. Our swim was cut short by a bloom of jellyfishes—that made us decide to move and postpone our breakfast again.

Carabao Island Romblon
MOVING TO OUR NEXT BEACH

Not wanting to waste more time, we took to Google Maps to find the best stretch of beach on Carabao Island. It turned out we were circumnavigating the island wrong, should we gone eastward, we could’ve been on our destination sooner!

But since we were too far west, we decided to simply circle the island, just so we can have a look-see of its periphery.

Carabao Island Romblon Hambil Beach
HAMBIL BEACH’S WATERS

It took us about half an hour (of drinking), passing through numerous beaches with head shrugs, before we finally saw what we were looking for, Hambil Beach. The sand was blinding white, the water absolutely blue, and there’s a bent coconut tree perfect for selfies to boot too!

Carabao Island Romblon Hambil Beach
THIS IS THE CARABAO ISLAND WE PICTURED

The water is astounding azure; it actually looked very similar to Kalanggaman Island and those we saw on our eight days Maldives trip from the previous year! We were oohing and aahing as the boat docked on the beach’s mid-side [GPS MAP: 12.052426, 121.958638].

Carabao Island Romblon Hambil Beach
FANTASTIC WATERS

Surprisingly, Hambil beach is actually where the Hambil Pier is, one of the two passenger docking areas on the island, and is near to the island’s poblacion or main town. There are already a few resorts on its northern side and a market where our companions bought some fishes to grill.

Carabao Island Romblon Hambil Beach Hut
GRILLING AND COOKING AREA

Carabao Island Romblon Hambil Beach Hut
A TREE HOUSE OF SORTS

We proceeded to the small huts right by a limestone cliff where an old man welcomed us. For a minimum fee, we have our own grilling area, cabanas where we could rest and eat, an open wooden balcony built right on the trunk of a talisay tree, and it even has a curious cave on the side of the cliff, that one with a separate entrance fee.

Carabao Island Romblon Hambil Beach
OUR PLAYGROUND FOR THE DAY

We did the requisite photo ops, and then quickly ran down the beach. The water was extremely clear! And the seabed, totally devoid of any rocks to mess your feet up, it was pure white sand! The descent was not that steep, but just right for swimming. It was just as what D said, like an unending infinity pool. It was perfect. More than perfect, actually.

Carabao Island Romblon Snorkeling Hambil Beach
SNORKELING GALORE!

Carabao Island Romblon Picnic
FRESHLY GRILLED FISHES BOUGHT FROM THE LOCAL MARKET FOR LUNCH

Carabao Island Romblon Snorkeling Hambil Beach
WE FOUND A SMALL SPOT SHADED BY A LIMESTONE WALL

We did nothing but swim, horse around the rocky area of the waters, snorkel, and chase small fishes. And in between, we lunched on freshly grilled fishes, smoky chopped pork liempo, fruits, and Red Horse Beer. Nothing but this, for hours on end, until there was nothing left on the table and we were all swam out.

Carabao Island Romblon Hambil Beach
PARADISE AWAY FROM PARADISE

I know Carabao Island holds more beautiful places to see; ragged cliffs to jump off on, more fine beaches to frolic on. But we were contented with what we had then. We found paradise away from paradise. Or shall we say, we found paradise an hour away from paradise.

~ BORACAY WEST COVE & FERRA HOTEL HOSTED OUR ROMBLON ISLAND HOPPING TOUR. VIEWS & OPINIONS, ALL MINE.

 

Carabao Island Boracay Day Tour
Address: Hambil Beach, Poblacion, San Jose,
              Carabao Island, Romblom
GPS Coordinates Map: 11.977473, 121.909972

HOW TO GET TO CARABAO ISLAND FROM BORACAY
Public Transport: Sails once a day from Caticlan Port at 5:30 AM, fare PHP80.00. Local chance boats at Bulabog Beach, 5:00 PM, fare at PHP50.00 to PHP80.00
Boat Charter from Boracay: PHP1,500.00






Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Saturday, July 29, 2017

14 comments:

  1. Does the boat to Romblon depart daily? Ang ganda ng beach nila!

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    1. There are boats going direct to Carabao Island from Boracay daily at Bulabog Beach, but I don't think there's a fixed schedule. There's also another from Caticlan, but it leaves quite early.

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  2. Grabe ka! Sinama mo talaga yung photo ni atty. Hahaha. Ang kyot!

    Di naman mukang kalabaw yung carabao island. Pauso talaga mga Kastila. #triggered

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    Replies
    1. Haha, natuwa naman yata si Atty! :D

      Mga Kastila talaga, ang hilig mag rename ng mga isla haha

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  3. Tama nga sabe nila sa Maldives "Ang Carabao Island ng Maldives"

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    Replies
    1. Very true, hahaha. Maisingit lang ang Maldives

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  4. Sobrang ganda naman ng Carabao Island. Maldives nga! :)

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    Replies
    1. Haha, baka mapagalitan tayo pag sinabi natin Maldives of the Philippines :D

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  5. hello sir..very nice blog po!I would just like to ask kung my contact number po ba kayo ng any budget hostel or place to stay po sa hambil beach?
    thank you very much..

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    Replies
    1. Hi, unfortunately we didn't stay overnight at Carabao Island. I don't think there are hostels in Carabao Island, but I'm sure there are a lot of homestays and budget hotels. There aren't that many tourists in Hambil so you can just look for one when you arrive.

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  6. Hi. Do you have a contact number nung na rent nyong boat? Also want to do a day tour sa carabao island and yung nacocontact ko, they are charging us 3k for the boat. Thanks in advance!

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    1. Hi Nicole, we booked our Carabao Island Boracay daytour from Ferra Hotel. They charge about P2,000++, if I remember correctly. You can get lower ones by haggling with tour operators along the beach. :)

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    2. Hi. Thank you!!!! Btw, are the boats by Bulabog beach?

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  7. Hi! May contact number ka nung boat na nirent niyo? Nag ask kasi ako, 7k chinacharge sakin.

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