In the Northern part of the Philippines, you’ll find one of the hidden gems of our country. Here’s the Guide for Tuguegarao and Palaui Island
This place will amaze you with it’s beautiful landscapes, caves and lovely people too. I’m sharing this DIY Travel guide hoping that this will inspire you to visit this wonderful place.
If you opt to take the bus, to ensure you get a seat of your preferred departure time, reserve a ticket at Victory Liner, Kamuning at least a week ahead.
Depart at 5 AM from Tuguegarao to Santa Ana to make the most out of the day. Take a van instead of bus for a faster travel.
To save boat rental fee, travel in groups. The boat can accommodate up to 6 passengers.
Bring insect repellent. It may also be hot inside the room in a home-stay. If you are sensitive, try to look for other beach resorts in the islands nearby or stay in local Inns in the mainland of Santa Ana.
Break-away from social media. The island can offer only fair signal for Globe network subscribers.
For first time trekkers, bring water and trail food to quickly replenish your energy. Bring packed lunch. Or if you don’t feel doing the hiking, you may ride the boat up foot of the hill of Cape Engano. But still you have to climb this hill to see the best view of the island.
NOTE: This budget is for each person, group of 2.
Total amount of Expenses for the trip PHP 7,425
Buntun Bridge, Palaui Island, Anguib Beach, Crocodile Island, Camalaniugan Church (Oldest Bell), Tuguegarao Cathedral
To experience both worlds, we begin this trip by taking a 13-hour bus ride to Tuguegarao City. As we arrived in the city at noon time, we had lunch at Koby Kubo and immediately checked-in at Hotel Joselina, which is just about 10 minutes away from the bus terminal and airport. (TIP: Bring out your haggling skills. Tricycle drivers may offer you a pricey fare. Regular fare is only Php10 each for very short trips.)
There is only one place I wanted to visit here – Callao Cave. The cave may not be exciting for spelunkers. This is like walking in a park. But what stands out in this place are the teenager guides, who had it as a summer job. They are very polite and well-versed about the cave. Entrance fee is only Php20 while the guide is free.
Next, we went to Buntun Bridge for picture taking. The bridge is the second longest bridge and the longest river bridge in the country. It passes across Cagayan river and it connects Tuguegarao to Apayao and other municipalities.
We took a 3-hour ride by van going to Santa Ana. Our boatmen fetch us at San Vicente port. Boat rental is Php3800 for an overnight stay, and we’ll visit 3 islands. There are other combination trips available at the tourist information in San Vicente port. You will also have to go here and register if you have not yet called a boatman beforehand.
We choose to stay at a home-stay offered. Our host also cook meals for the guests as advised beforehand.
Our adventure began with a 3-hour trekking at the beach side of Punta Verde up to the hills of Cape Engaño, where the lighthouse stands. I am an avid fan of hiking, so I really enjoyed this part. The view is very rewarding; from the calm beach side, the lively hills, and up to the 360 view of the island on top of the hill. It was as if a different country up there.
We spend our afternoon swimming in the shores of Anguib Beach. This charming white-sand beach has preserved its untouched beauty. (TIP: Be mindful where you would dip. Some parts of the beach collect fees from Php30-100)
Our last stop was in Crocodile Island. This is a small island which has mainly the crocodile-shaped rock formation. It’s also a good place to swim in.
We had our last photo-shoot here in Santa Ana at the last kilometre mark up North Luzon.
Before heading back to Tuguegarao City, we stopped by Camalaniugan church to see the Oldest Bell in the country. This can be reached by van of Tuguegarao or Aparri route.
As we get back in Tuguegarao City, we check back in at Hotel Joselina. We had our late lunch at Barako Boy Cafe, which is just across our hotel. The cafe serves a variety of coffee blends in hot and cold brew.
As we only have a half-day more to spend here, we had quickly visited Tuguegarao Cathedral. The church can be reached in 10-15 minutes via tricycle.
Before leaving, don’t forget to try the famous Pancit Batil-Patong at Jomar’s Panciteria. This delicious and meaty pancit meal is made up of miki noodles topped with carabao beef, pork liver, mung bean sprouts, crushed chicharon and poached eggs.
About the Contributor:
I’m a full-time accountant and a part-time marathoner, traveller and blogger. I’m an introvert and won’t speak much. It’s a surprise that I actually enjoy exploring things, places, and people.
Name of the Country: Philppines
Date/s of your Travel: April 16 – 20, 2015
City / Places Visited and Number of Days:
- City / Place #1Tuguegarao (1st & 3rd night )
- City / Place #2 Palaui Island (2nd night)
Follow Polen’s adventure at www.getoutdear.com