Cagbalete Travel Guide: Mauban’s Ultimate Island Escapade

Cagbalete

Cagbalete Island is one of the jewels of Quezon Province. Located off the coast of the town of Mauban, it is a small island paradise in the province surrounded with cream sand that exposes significantly during low tide.

The 1,640-hectare privately owned island is home to a diverse ecosystem. With unique variety of birds, rich marine life, and the abundance of unique species of plants, the island is a complete paradise for adventurers and nature lovers. Similar to Jomalig Island in Northern Quezon, a part of the Cagbalete’s beach is dotted with Agoho trees, a family of pine tree.

Cagbalete
Low tide in Cagbalete Island

Just three hours away from the Philippine capital, Cagbalete Island promises an unforgettable and picture perfect island getaway you will truly remember.

How to Get to Cagbalete Island

Manila to Lucena Grand Central  Terminal

Cagbalete Island is under the jurisdiction of the town of Mauban, Quezon. To go there, catch a Lucena bound bus in Kamias, Cubao, Alabang or Buendia. Jac Liner, Jam Transit, Lucena Liner and Ceres Transport have buses bound to Lucena Grand Central  Terminal. Buses leave almost every hour every day for approximately three hours bus ride from Buendia, fare is as low as P210.

You can book your ferry tickets from Manila to Lucena and vice versa below.

BOOK YOUR FERRY FROM MANILA TO LUCENA

Lucena Grand Central  Terminal to Mauban

From Lucena Grand Central Terminal, catch a van or local bus to Mauban for almost two hours travel time, fare is around P60-70 with last trip is at around 6PM. Alternatively, vans and air-con buses to Mauban are located in SM City Lucena for P80-90, with trip up to 9PM, travel time is faster at around an hour.

Cagbalete
Sunset in Cagbalete Island

Mauban to Cagbalete

Upon getting off the bus in Mauban, it is only a short walk to the port where passenger boats to Cagbalete Island are stationed. Trips are scheduled at  10AM and 4PM daily, for P100 per person. The boats can ferry around 50-60 people. They usually drop off passengers at “Sabang”  although they sometimes drop off their passengers directly to the south eastern part of the island where the resorts Villa Cleofas and MVT Sto. Nino are located. You may also arrange a private boat through your resort, rate starts at P4,000 two-way (Mauban-Cagbalete-Mauban) and can ferry up to 25 people.

If you are going to the Pansacola, Villa Cleofas or MVT Sto. Niño from Sabang, you can hire a small banca there for around P400.00 one way or you can take the 1.5 KM walk.

Cagbalete
Southern part of Cagbalete

Where to Stay in Cagbalete Island

Tourists usually stay on the south eastern part of the island. There are three known resorts in the area – the Villa Cleofas, Pansacola Beach Resort and MVT Sto. Niño Beach Resort.

Villa Cleofas

Villa Cleofas has various cottages and rooms for rent ranging from P900 (for an open cottage that is good for eight people) to P4000 (big cottage with rooms that can accommodate up to 25 persons).

Fan Rooms

  • Big cottage (35 people capacity) – P10,000/night
  • Big cottage (20 people capacity) – P5,500/overnight
  • Big cottage (15 people capacity) – P4,500/night
  • Medium cottage (12 people capacity) – P3,500/night
  • Small cottage (8 people capacity) – P3,000/night
  • Duplex cottage (5 people capacity ) – P2,000/night

Air-con Rooms

  • Studio Type (2 people capacity) -P2,500/night
  • Studio Type (4 people capacity) -P3,500/night

They have good facilities and offers different activities like beach volleyball, table tennis, karaoke, horse back riding, boat rental. They also allow camping along the beach for as low as P250 per tent plus entrance fee of P50. They also offer tent rental for as low as P400/tent. For more information, visit their website at www.cagbalete.com or contact:

Contact Info: +63919-2205000/etjacob11@yahoo.com (Ed Jacob); +639178395852/+639178143475/treyeg01@yahoo.com.ph (Tonet Reyeg / Tess Reyeg)

MVT Sto. Niño Resort

MVT Sto. Niño Resort is located beside Villa Cleofas. They have rooms and cottages and offer a more quiet atmosphere. Small cottages along the beach costs for as low as P1,000 good for up to four (4) persons; Standard fan room starts at P1500/night good for two (2) persons; Deluxe room with air-con is at P2000/night good for two (2) persons. Camping is also allowed, you may rent their tent for as low as P350/night good for two (2) plus entrance fee of P150/person.

Contact No: +63917-6787080

Pansacola Beach Resort

Pansacola Beach Resort offers great beachfront be it high tide or low tide. They have private cottages but for those in  a budget, you may opt to camp for P250/head. They have tents which can be rented at P300/night good for 2-3 people, you may also bring your own tent.

Contact No: +63917-5465901

Cagbalete
Low tide in Cagbalete

What to do in Cagbalete Island

  • Swimming and Beach Hopping
  • Island Hopping: Yang-in Sandbar, Fish Sanctuary and Ilog Bukana
  • Snorkeling/Scuba Diving (bring your own equipments)
  • Fishing/Camping/Picnic
  • Bird watching
  • Horseback riding
  • Beach Volleyball/Frisbee
  • Walk to the nearby Bonsai Island and see the century old bonsai plants
  • Visit the neighboring Baliscar Island and its lighthouse
  • Surfing/Skim boarding (Oct to Feb – bring your own board)
  • Watch the sunrise
  • Explore the attractions of mainland Mauban: Chasing Waterfalls in Mauban: Dahoyhoy Falls, Hagdan-Hagdan Falls, Alitap Falls, etc.
Dahoyhoy Falls
Dahoyhoy Falls of Mauban.

Sample Cagbalete Weekend Itinerary

Day 1:
0230H: Assembly at Buendia
0300H: Bus from Buendia to Lucena Grand Central Terminal
0600H: Arrival in Lucena Grand Central Terminal / Breakfast
0700H: Van or Bus from Lucena Grand Central Terminal to Mauban
0800H: Arrival in Mauban / Register at Tourism Office / Shop for supplies
0900H: Boat from Mauban Port to Cagbalete Island
1000H: Arrival in Cagbalete Island / Proceed to resort / set-up camp / rest / prepare lunch
1130H: Lunch
1300H: Island Hopping: Yang-in Sandbar, Fish Sanctuary, Ilog Bukana & Snorkeling
1800H: Back at resort / wash-up / fix-up
1900H onwards: Dinner / Socials / Lights out

Day 2:
0530H: Call time / Sunrise / Breakfast
0700H: Free time / swimming
0900H: Wash-up / break-camp / proceed to port
1000H: Boat from Cagbalete to Mauban
1100H: Arrival in Mauban / Proceed to Dahoyhoy Falls
1300H: Back to Mauban Proper / Lunch
1430H: Van or Bus from Mauban to Lucena Grand Central Terminal
1600H: Arrival in Lucena Grand Central Terminal
1630H: Bus from Lucena Grand Central Terminal to Buendia
2000H: Arrival in Buendia / Dinner

Cagbalete
Varied hues of Cagbalete Island

Logistics / Expenses

Particulars Cost
Bus: Buendia to Lucena P210/person
Van or Bus: Lucena to Mauban P70/person
Boat: Mauban to Sabang (Cagbalete Island) P100/person
Entrance at Resort P100/person
Accommodation at Cagbelete  P1000/night (2-person sharing)
Island Hopping:Yang-in Sandbar, Fish Sanctuary, Ilog Bukana & Snorkeling P1,000/boat for 3 hours (6-person sharing)
Miscellaneous Expenses (food, souvenirs, personal expenses, etc.) ~P1,000/person
Boat: Cagbalete Island to Mauban P100/person
Van or Bus: Mauban to Lucena P70/person
Bus: Lucena to Buendia P210/person

Tips

  • No electricity in the island but resort offers generator from 6PM to 6AM.
  • Boat ride from Mauban to Cagbalete Island can be rough at times and generally rough during the ‘ber’ months up to February, so prepare to be wet.
  • Entrance fee at Villa Cleofas is P50, P100 for MVT Sto. Niño and P250 for Pansacola. If you are staying in Villa Cleofas, you can arrange them to prepare meals for you or you can use their kitchen, dining hall and their facilities for cooking and dining, usage is on first-come-first-served basis and you have to clean the area and wash all utilities you used.
  • Mobile signal is available in the island
  • Estimated budget for overnight in Cagbalete: P1,500 – P2,000

Originally Published: 27-Jun-2011 | Updates: 21-May-2014; 05-Dec-2017; 10-Aug-2018; 12-Feb-2020

Comments

  1. Vanessa Noriel

    Hi, good day..! Is it safe if we will travel to Cagbalete during holy week? May I know the port’s situation during this season? We are planning to visit this March 30, 2018.

    1. Lakwatsero

      Expect the port and the island to be crowded during this time of the year 🙂

  2. bert tuason

    agricultural land for sale @ cagbalete 1.

  3. […] Read this for directions to Cagbalete Island. As for accommodations that offer snorkeling services, check out the Pansacola Beach Resort. […]

  4. […] Read this for directions to Cagbalete Island. As for accommodations that offer snorkeling services, check out the Pansacola Beach Resort. […]

  5. Such a nice paradise and you don’t have to spend so much. Plus, it’s very near. Such a nice read. Sharing mine here, too:
    http://www.hellosheena.blogspot.com/2015/06/eternal-sandbar-at-cagbalete-island.html

  6. rsff

    Cagbalete is quite far considering i am from central luzon but the place is really beautiful..we had a NICE overnight stay at Donya Choleng’s resort last may 13-14. resort staff were kind and accommodating.

    1. Sarah

      Malaput po ba yung pagtutulugan sa mismong beach ng cagbalete??

  7. miel

    I’m excited to see the beautiful island. I hope we will not encounter complaints stated here. We are coming on May 17-18. Good luck to us. 🙂

  8. Badong

    Stay away from Dona Cholengs during peak season!

    We were here for 4 days and 3 nights. Stayed in their nipa hut for 3 days and since i’m prepping my daughter for our Pulag climb next year, brought my tent and availed their tent accommodation on our last day, I’m not sure how this resort is handled but by the looks of it, either their staff are under paid or they don’t know what customer service is all about.
    I travel occasionally, approx. 4 times a year and had some shares of bad customer service but just kept it to myself. It takes a lot for me to vent out online so this means that’s how horrible their service is, in my honest opinion. I have high regards with the hospitality of people from Quezon (and Batangas) amongst their Luzon counterparts but this ALMOST changed it.

    Things you need to watch out for:
    – Security is almost nonexistent. There are shifting roving guards (as I observe, 1 per shift) but they took it literally, yes, just roving. Swimming clothes left to dry and towels were stolen outside of our hut, which they claimed they ran after but wasn’t able to catch up. To think our hut is right infront of their restaurant where the roving guards usually stay. Later we found out that there’s another guest complaining of the same reason. The culprit was an apparent Cagbalete resident who they know but the resort did not take action about it and heck, did not even apologize for being incompetent securing their place.
    – Water smells funny and is intermittent. It takes approximately 10-15mins for them to restore water, so good luck to you when water runs out while taking a bath. For the funny smell, it resembles the smell of a septic tank (for lack of better comparison) but tolerable.
    – Restrooms are not maintained well. Few faucets are defective, clogged sink, leaking sink pipes, trash on trash bins are rarely disposed, some ventilation panel on the doors are missing / damaged leaving a hint on what you are up to to those people on queue, there were also cockroaches sharing the same bathroom with you. These are just to name a few.
    – Restaurant rates are way off mark compare to the prices they have in the port/palenke area. This I can tolerate if food quality is better than the ones in the port/palenke area. They don’t have service water which for is must when you run a restaurant.
    – In-house restaurant can’t accomodate much and not systematic during peak hours. One example is giving your orders to others in line (right away) when you are called while you stepped out real quick.
    – Lack of coordination with local authorities when it comes to cancellation of boat trips going out of Cagbalete due to inclement weather. Their typical answer to guests is, “baka payagan kayo dahil maganda ang panahon”, giving you false hopes. You need to go to the port area which is around 1km usually by foot from the resort for you to validate their claims. Well, that’s because they’re done with their business with you.
    – Unkept shoreline. I read a blog saying it’s futile for them to clean seaweeds on their shores during off peak season and usually does it during peak season but I did not see any part of the shoreline without seaweeds. Was wondering if they dont consider holy week a peak season. In addition, we saw few trash and driftwood floating but not all their fault since they share their shoreline with other resorts which I heard is also owned by their relatives.
    – And the last but not the least, after going thru these all, don’t expect to get an ice cold beer or even ice! But it’s ironic to see a halo-halo stall set up inside their resort. I have a small generator at home which runs 1 liter of gas an hour that can power up a mid size fridge during outages so I am not sure how they can’t do the same especially that they mark up their goods higher than the ones at the port area.

    1. jathree

      how disappointing. good thing u didnt hold back.

  9. anonymous

    I cannot recommend this place. People in this place are tend to take advantage of the tourist they tend to overprice almost everything. From a overpriced private boat worth 3000 php two way and 2500 for 1 way for small group (4-6 person) and the price increase as your group member increase (for instance 12 person for 5500 on way trip) imagine!!!!!!. To a very simple favor you might ask to the local…. almost everything has a price……. One thing more some people in this place trickster in nature even a kid….. But to be fare the view of this island are great…… But it is enough that I see this Islands once I will not go back anymore…….

    1. Anthony Fusingan

      I had bad experience also during my visit 3 years ago. I thought there will be improvements already but apparently they are still charging high on the boat rides.

  10. Jhun Biden

    Beautiful! I can’t wait to see it… 😉

  11. Alex

    If you are planning to go to a beach and you are from Manila, I cannot recommend this place. I suggest to go to Laiya Batangas or Calatagan Batagas instead of this far away place.

    1. Markie

      And you’re missing the very essence of this article. The adventure.

  12. Carolina Colorina

    I really admire lahat ng mga destination. ^_^ super detailed and informative para sa mga first timer bakasyonista on that particular place. I’m a fan, and hopefully and I wish that mapuntahan ko lahat ng nafeature nyu. Sobrang nakakaexcite puntahan and very inviting. ^_^ goodluck, keep it up and God bless ^_^

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