(Last Updated On: January 26, 2018)

Calayan is the only island municipality among the Group of Islands of Babuyan which is situated just several miles north of Aparri in Cagayan Province. It is considered the center of trade and the beacon of tourism among these secluded islands. While it became quite popular recently, this island is still devoid of commercialism and has stayed at its most natural state over the years. All Thanks to the tideous and difficult journey one has to go through in order to get there which essentially helped limit the number of tourists and manage its impact.

What made Calayan Island so appealing is its mystic and unearthly charm which I believe could even give Batanes a run for its money. While Batanes indeed offers the most surreal views out of the more than 7500 islands of The Philippines, Calayan Island however is the best of many worlds. It has long stretch of fine white sand beaches, the bluest lagoons, majestic waterfalls, stunning karst mountains and panoramic views that would hardly settle for second best.


HOW TO GO THERE


Two of the best ports to hire a boat or board a public lampitaw to Calayan Island are Claveria and Aparri. Here are ways to get there using these two routes.

  • Via CLAVERIA – This route is the nearest jumpoff. Boat ride will only last up to 5 hours going to Calayan Island but in some cases it may take longer depending on the weather and sea condition.
  • —–From Manila, ride a GV Florida Bus in their Sampaloc Terminal going to Claveria, Cagayan (12Hrs ; P850). Another, more convenient option is to fly to Laoag, Ilocos Norte (Check Cebu Pacific Air for schedules) and ride a bus going to Claveria. Kindly check this link for updated bus schedule and fare.
  • —–From the bus station in Claveria, ride a tricycle going to the port (P20).
  • —–From the port, ride a lampitaw going to Calayan Island (5Hrs ; P500/way). You can also hire a private lampitaw if you are travelling with a big group.
  • Via APARRI – This is the next more convenient route considering weather and sea condition but boat ride to Calayan may take up to seven (7) hours.
  • ——From Manila, ride a GV Florida Bus in their Sampaloc Terminal going to Aparri, Cgayan (14Hrs ; P750). Another, more convenient option is to fly to Tuguegarao (Check Cebu Pacific Air for schedules) and ride a bus going to Aparri. Kindly check this link for updated bus schedule and fare.
  • —–From the bus station in Aparri, ride a tricycle going to the Veteran’s port (P20).
  • —–From the port, ride a lampitaw going to Calayan Island (5Hrs ; P500/way). You can also hire a private lampitaw if you are travelling with a big group.



PLACES TO VISIT IN CALAYAN ISLAND


  • Nagudungan Hills – Talk about views, Nagudungan Hills actually took them to a whole new level. Scenic views of the vast blue ocean, sprawling grasslands dotted with some pinetrees and stunning limestone cliffs overlookin Sibang and Caniwara Coves await you atop its peak.
  • Sibang Cove – The Philippines is indeed blessed with beautiful beaches. Some are even considered the best in the world and Sibang Cove is definitely on top of the list. Being the shining star of Calayan Island, it boasts of long stretch of fine creamy white sand shores and pristine turquoise water and is is utterly breathtaking. Twenty two hours of journey would be meaningless without something sweeping you off your feet in the end and I seriously think Sibang Cove is doing quite a great job.
  • Caniwara Cove – Just beside Sibang Cove is the equally stunning Caniwara Cove. While her close neighbor boast of long stretch of white sand shores, Caniwara Cove on the other hand have several rock formations dotting its shoreline.
  • Bangaan Hills – Another spot where to get the best views in Calayan Island is Bangaan Hills. This is situated nearer to the town center and an hour walk to Nagudungan Hills.
  • Lusok Cave – Lusok Cave can be reached after an hour of boat trip from the port near the town center. This cave is home to some Nido birds and a lagoon where it’s best to do some cliff jump.
  • Tapwakan Cliff – Another spot where it’s best to do some cliff jump is Tapwakan Cliff. This piece of paradise boast of a lagoon with pristine and refreshing turquoise water one would hardly get enough of.
  • Malangsi & Bataraw Falls – Although we didn’t get to see these two amazing waterfalls since it was summer, I still feel that these two would make a great spots for adventure.

SAMPLE ITINERARY FOR EXPLORING CALAYAN ISLANDS IN 3 DAYS


Day 1: Nagudungan Hills, Sibang & Caniwara Coves

There is no need to keep yourselves waiting for the climax as it is best to explore the pride of Calayan Island as soon as you get there. Rent a boat to get to Sibang Cove. Frolic under the sun as much as you want. Challenge the waves. And simply enjoy the views and let the hours pass you by. Not that these spots are easy to get enough of. Before the sun sets, climb you way up to Nagundungan Hills and bask at the remarkable view only Calayan Island can offer. If you still haven’t had enough, then go pitch a tent and gaze at the starry night until the break of dawn. Just make sure to clean up after your mess. During unfavorable sea condition where travel to the cove is impossible, don’t fret. These spots are barely an hour of motorcycle ride and an hour of trek away from the town center.


Day 2: Lusok Cave & Malangsi Falls

BABUYAN ISLANDS, CagayanAlmost two hours away from the town center is a cave of beautiful rock formations and a pool filled with cold ocean waters. This place called Lusok cave is home to hundreds of Nido birds and is definitely a playground to the adventurous spirits and you better be one or you’ll miss on something this great. Another jewel lying not so far from Lusok Cave is Malangsi Falls. A refreshing dip in a gushing of fresh waters of the rainforest is what awaits you in this hidden jewel. Just make sure to time your visit during the wet months as she is certainly a no show during summer.


Day 3: Bataraw Falls, Tapwakan Cliff, Lagoon & Bangaan Hills

There is no better way to get the day started but with a refreshing bath in the stunning Bataraw Falls. And just when you thought you have seen what this island is made of, wait until you see Tapwakan Cliff and its lagoon. The lagoon alone is enough to instantly sweep you off your feet. But there’s absolutely more to it than just being good looking. It’s a place for adventure too. So ready your hearts and take a plunge in one of the bluest lagoons you’ll ever set your eyes on. After feeling the rush of adrenaline, ever you brace yourself and took a plunge and didn’t chicken out, hike up the hills and you will witness one of the mesmerizing views in Calayan Island. Bangaan Hills is another great spot to view the amazing collision of colors of the sunset after an eventful day.




TIPS FOR EXPLORING CALAYAN ISLAND


  • Renting a boat is the best way to go on exploring the entirety of Calayan Island. This option is best for those traveling in groups of 5-10 people. Daily rate depends on the size of the boat but normally ranges from P2500-P3000.
  • Another great option and lets you explore at your own pace is a motorcycle. Although the main mode of transpo in the island are the kuligligs, they are not powerful enough to go on uphill roads. Locals rent out motorcycles for P300/day.
  • Allot a week for your travel to Calayan Island. Other than the long hours required just to get to this island is a possibility of getting stranded due to severe weather.
  • Mobile signal in this island is intermittent in almost all areas for all networks and is limited to calls and text only. Mobile internet is not available.
  • A local guide is not required but may also come in handy especially that there are places in the island that is not easy to get familiar with. Guide fee may range from P300-P500/day.
  • There are no ATMs on the island so bring enough cash.
  • During favorable sea conditions, you may do a day tour in the nearby islands of Dalupiri and Fuga.
  • For those intending to explore the more distant island of Babuyan Claro, Calayan Island is the best place to look for a boat to rent.
  • Note that during holidays, lampitaws are hard to come by so you may not have other option than renting a big boat to explore Calayan Islands which may be priced at P20000-P25000 for 3D2N.

For others tips, check out BABUYAN ISLANDS: A First-Timer’s Budget Travel Guide + Itinerary To The Hidden Jewels Of The Extreme North


WHERE TO STAY


Calayan Island is the ideal place to stay at among the Islands Of Babuyan due to its proximity to the other islands as well as it has most of the things you might need when exploring i.e boat, guides, provisions etc. Hence the list of the most affordable and easily accessible transient houses and inns below.

  • San Jose Inn  – Situated within the town center, this inn is easy to get to. It has an eatery that serves affordable food, a grocery store where you can buy pretty much your essentials and a bakery that sells freshly baked breads. For updated rates, reach them via mobile at 0907-544-7692.
  • Villa Innocencia Inn – This is where we stayed during our 3 days in Calayan Island. This two-storey cabin is of rustic design and is amazingly situated by the beach. The only downside is that it’s kinda far from the town center which is a painstaking 25-minute walk under the sun. For updated rates, reach them via mobile at 0949-600-1931.
  • Apollo Beach Resort – Another place that’s several walks away from the town center but offers that much needed serenity. For updated rates, reach them via mobile at 0999-7151-283 | 0947-8939-619.
  • Pagdagusan Homestay – This place is a 5-minute walk from the beach in the town center. It offers visitors both food and accommodation package at a reasonable price. For updated rates, reach them via mobile at 0998-510-0621.
  • TPS Homestay – This place is one of the popular choices while in town as it is strategically located within the town center and offers accommodation, food and tour packages at affordable rates. For updated rates, reach them via mobile at 0939-915-8667 | 0929-837-5737.

If you need a place to stay at before or after your journey to Babuyan Islands, here are some affordable hotels in Tuguegarao and Aparri.

  • Hotel Dian Aparri – Located along Maharlika Highway, Macanaya District, Aparri, Cagayan. Check Rates in Agoda.
  • Holiday Plaza Hotel – Located 1/F Holiday Plaza Hotel,  Arellano Cor Blumentriit Sts. , San Gabriel, Tuguegarao City.  Check Rates in Agoda.
  • Mango Suites – Located at Rizal Street Corner Balzain Road Centro 8, Annafunan, Tuguegarao City. Check Rates in Agoda.
  • Hotel Joselina – Main – Located at 52 Aguinaldo Street, Tuguegarao City, San Gabriel, Tuguegarao City. Check Rates in Agoda.



BUDGET, SAMPLE ITINERARY & OTHER ESSENTIALS


Calayan Island alone is enough to fill your eyes with so much wonder but if you are thinking what the other islands are made of, you might find our Babuyan Islands Adventure helpful.

  
SUMMARY OF EXPENSESWe got a guided tour package from W3GO to tour Calayan and Camiguin Norte Islands. It costed us P6600 for everything for a 4D3N Tour. However, no matter how difficult the travel may be to this island, the best option still is DIY (Do-It-Yourself). Here's a sample breakdown of expenses using the sample itinerary above.

SOLO TRAVELER

2-Way Bus Manila to Claveria Or Aparri - P1500
2-Way Lampitaw - P1000
3-Day Motor Rental @ P300/day - P900
3 Nights Accommodation @ P250/night - P750
3-Day Food @ P50/meal - P150

Total - P4300

GROUP OF 13

2-Way Van @ P25k/13 - P1950
2-Way Lampitaw - P1000
Boat Island Hopping 4D @ P22k/13 - 1700
Guide Fee 4D - P300
Accommodation @ P200/pax/day - P600
Food @ P50/meal - P450

Total - P6000

Note: Always account for the possibility of getting stranded. This may look so easy but is deemed impossible during holiday and peak season.

FARE & LAMPITAW TARIFFSFare M/B Eagle Ferry

Calayan to Sta. Ana - P800
Calayan to Camiguin - P400
Camiguin to Sta. Ana - P400
Calayan to Aparri - P500
Calayan to Claveria - P500
Camiguin to Aparri - P400

Boat/Lampitaw Rental

Calayan to Aparri - P12000
Calayan to Claveria - P10000
Calayan to Camiguin - P6000
Calayan to Babuyan Claro - P7000
Calayan to Dibay - P4000
Calayan to Dilam - P4000
Calayan to Dalupiri - P5000
Camiguin to Aparri - P6000
Balatubat to Minabel - P4000
Minabel to Morol - P3000

***Additional charge of P1500/day for waiting for the passengers.
THINGS TO BRING* Flashlight/Head Lamp + Extra Batteries
* Other camping materials like stove and butane (if any)
* Clothes for 4-5 days (bring extra)
* Towel/Toiletries/Tissue/Wet Wipes
* Personal Medicine + First Aide Kits
* Powerbank + File Saving Devices
* Camera | Video | Extra battery camera/video
* Pocket money + Extra Junk Foods

SAMPLE ITINERARY (Calayan Only Tour)Day 0

1630 Assembly in Pickup point
1700 ETD Enroute to Aparri

Day 1

0600 ETA Aparri Port
0630 Port of Aparri
0645 Ride a Lampitaw to Calayan
1200 ETA Calayan Island. Lunch
1300 Rest. Settle in Hostel.
1400 Start Tour To Sibang Cove
1700 Sunset Viewing Nagudungan Hills
1800 Set Up Camp. Nagudungan Hills/Sibang Cove
1900 Dinner
2000 Socials
2200 Lights off

Day 2

0500 Wake-up
0600 Breakfast
0700 ETD Lusok Cave
0800 ETA Lusok Cave- Cliff Jumping
1200 Lunch
1300 Malangsi Falls
1600 ETA Calayan Proper
1700 ETD Calayan Proper
1800 Dinner
1900 Socials
2200 Lights off

Day 3

0500 Wake-up
0600 Breakfast
0700 ETD Bataraw Falls
0800 ETA Bataraw Falls.
1200 Lunch
1300 ETD Tapwakan Cliff
1400 ETA Tapwakan Cliff. Cliff Jump
1600 Start Trek Up Bangaan Hills
1700 Banggaan Hills. Sunset Viewing.
1800 Homestay
1900 Dinner
2000 Socials
2200 Lights off

Day 4

0400 Wake Up
0500 Breakfast
0530 ETD Aparri Port
1100 ETA Aparri Port. Wash Up.
1200 Lunch
1300 ETD Manila
CONTACT PERSONLocal Tour Coordinator:Jeffrey Umengan - 09755 225 878


There you have it lovelies! If you have questions, suggestions, violent reactions and everything else, just leave them on the comments boxes below. Until next time. Ciao!

Author

Watashi no namae wa Kezudesu! "A wanna be. Wanna do everything kind of badass" Chos! I am just an ordinary girl with nothing special other than my blabbermouth. I love to travel and share my story. I take not so great photos of the places I've been to. I'd be lucky if I will have a couple of photos to display on this blog. Basically, I am just another blogger who dreams to someday become a freeloader. (Laughs)

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