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. Bisaya

    Thank you for your very informative article on Cagbalete Island. It is indeed helpful to us who are interested in visiting the place. However, I did find some inconsistencies that you might want to address to make you article more excellent than it already is:

    “Just three hours away from the Philippine capital, Cagbalete…”

    “Buses leave almost every hour every day for approximately three hours bus ride from Buendia, Pasay [to Lucena].”

    “From Lucena Grand Central Terminal, catch a non-air con mini bus to Mauban for almost two hours travel time…”

    Based on these slightly incongruous statements, Cagbalete would have a typical land-based travel time of at least 5 hours, without even figuring the boat or ferry ride to the island itself.

    Sorry for pointing these things out but I am hoping to provide you insights for the betterment of your article. Think of me as an unsolicited auditor hehehe. More power to you and your website and thank you again for all of your insightful information :-).

  2. discover!!! Dona Choleng Camping Resort…….CAGBALETE ISLAND

    http://www.cagbalete island
    for booking call 09108823346

    TOURIST PARKING…available
    WIFI available
    SECURITY available
    Restaurant available
    boat available
    transfortation, manila to mauban AVAILBLE

    1. aivher

      hi.. just wanna know how much it will cost us from manila to the resort.. including accomodation.. tnx

    2. ave brana

      pls email me details of your packages .. thank you..aveponbrana@yahoo.com

  3. pwede b mgcamping na walang bayad sa cagbalete island….

  4. Marami talaga pwepde punta along Laguna Batangas Quezon area.

    Thanks for the rather comprehensive guide!

  5. Jeff

    Hi,

    ask ko lang po kung yung way ba is nde dumadaan sa gilid e bangin.

    Thanks po

  6. […] For more information on traveling to Cagbalete Island, check out my Cagbalete Island Travel Guide. […]

  7. […] given that its just “supposedly” a stone throw away from Manila. How to get there? Here is a very comprehensive guide. Personal note : Due to our schedule, we did not make it on time for […]

  8. Mat

    If ever mg rrent kme ng open cottage . pwede ba mg camp ng overnight ? thank you 🙂

  9. grace

    Hi, we’re planning to bring a car, do you know if there’s a safe parking near the port? 🙂 Thanks!

  10. Anell

    My boyfriend and I went there last year and we were lucky that we got stranded cause we got a chance to know some of the locals. They told us about the history of the place, partied at the center of the island with the other locals, introduced us to almusal tigre and drowned us with lambanog. Anyway, I kinda asked one of the locals who gave us all the info to send me a copy of some of the things that he said. I think it would be great if I just share this with you and everyone else. 🙂 I really love and treasure the place and were going back laterrrrr! Awwyeah!
    —————————————————–
    Dasi or bonsai island, whatever..

    Cagbalete Island is blessed with a ridge or an outcropping of rock, coral rocks and sand formed at the eastern side of the island particularly in front of Villa Cleofas Resort. Just like a mid-tidal flat, the formation is submerged for roughly half of the tidal cycle, reason why it became host to abundant marine life and a couple of mangrove trees whose top is shaped flat by nature. Although unnoticed most of the time, it is also home to a meteorite-like rock about a cubic meter big that fell at the middle of the ridge. Its shape, texture and deep black color suggests that the hardened rock is alien to the island.

    Locals call the place Dasi, the meaning of which, in vernacular, is surf or foamy waves. It also indicates the roaring sound as wave hammer through shallow water. Online, however, the formation is known as Bonsai Island.

    Old folks consider Dasi a hallowed ground. They believe that encantos have the power over the place. Intruders or those who get there without saying tabi po get punished by way of illness or other kind of chastisement. Residents of all the shoreline settlements think that Dasi became the site of several shipwreck because all of the seafarers who got involved in previous accidents confused Dasi as a harbor. They all say it glimmers during night time just like any harbour does. It is in view of this that the islanders respect the place so much.

    In Cagbalete, weather plays a very important role in the lives of fishermen. The sea becomes rough during the onset of north easterly winds (amihan). During this season, fishermen cannot got out to fish, thus, there is hardly any catch that could sustain their families. Abject poverty follows. Call it coincidence, but Dasi has somewhat saved the islanders from dire straits in quite a number of time. One of which is the amihan that relentlessly battered the island during the mid 70’s when M/T Amigo IV sunk few meters away from Dasi. Going down with her were thousands of sacks of flour. Having been condemned by the insurer of the tanker, the shipment was declared lost beyond recovery so that the islanders had a field day salvaging the sacks of flour for themselves. It was a blessing the contents of each sack did not all get wet nor damaged by the sea water.

    Another occasion is the amihan of the late 80’s. At that time, the strong winds lingered on for so long when a fishermen, quite by accident, came across a rusty iron bar near Dasi. Digging further to retrieve the whole bar, it turned out that it was a train rail. Not only one bar, but a lot! And to think that the goods were just sitting there for a long period of time. Word spread fast that a frenzy of salvaging activity soon followed. This time, scrap dealers had their hands full competing with each other to pay money for the bars.

    Plan is up to build huts on Dasi for the tourist and a bridge to make is accessible anytime of the day. We, the locals, are voicing out our feelings. Call Dasi Bonsai Island. Whatever. Visit the place anytime one wants. We really don’t care but do not violate her pristine gorgeousness by constructing shed or bridge just to please a few. Leave her alone.

    When in Cagbalete, don’t miss to participate, if you can, in one of our Almusal Tigre Session. It is the island’s main event featuring our famous nipanog, a strong liquor distilled from slightly fermented sap of kibal which is the local term for the fruit of nipa or mangrove palm (nypa fruticans). What a way to get rid of that nasty hangover! .

  11. V.luna

    may kuryente at tubig b jn? if in case may dla n electric equipments or gadgets?

  12. alexi leei

    i am so excited And i just can hide it .. haha i song for a NATURE lover !! so Kahit san kapa mapunta ma E-enjoy mo yan!! Di naman kelangan maging Pinaka Famous yang pupuntaha mo ee… mga tropang lakwats !! kita kits sa Cagbalete sa APrl 27 28 …. =)

  13. Anthony Fusingan

    You are probably reading this message because you are planning to visit this place or you are curious on what others can say about this place. For me, i cannot recommend this place. I have no plans of going back this place also, even if someone invited me for free. If you have been to Coron, Boracay, Panglao or just even Anawangin cove and you want to go to a nice place where you can see nature to relax then you should not go here. You will definitely not appreciate this place. Even if you are considering a tight budget i still cannot recommend this place. Value of money you will spend here is not worth what you will see and do here. I went here this holy week with my family but had been disappointed with several things. Not that i am expecting it to level with the famous destinations we have here but i may say the place has no positive qualities at all you may consider to recommend it or to go back to it some other time. Whether considering budget, beauty of place or perhaps the people you will meet there i can’t find reason why i will go back here. If you want to go here for the sake of just visiting the place because you have been to many places then that could be a good reason.
    Just this holy week (2012), the department of tourism decided to raised the boat transportation from P80 (2-way) to P180 (2-way for adult) / 140 (2-way for children). The additional P100 would go to what they call Environmental fee (like in Boracay). Some genius tourism officer in the area or some official may have thought of a way to get easy money. This is an unreasonable price addition considering i did not see anything that may show where this money is going, even the locals there do not see any improvement with the process. The locals even think that everything now is wrong in their place. I did see several police officers and coast guards roaming around without doing anything useful. I would like to commend a “porter” who somehow care in arranging the irate tourist passengers who are waiting the boat even it was no longer his job to do so, a job that should be done by the insensitive police, coast guard and tourist officers in the area instead of just roaming around gossiping. Receipts for the boat ticket that were being issued to some tourists do not have BIR Number which makes me believe that there is red tape on going with this new boat fare. Process of the tourist office / coast guard is not organized also that made us wait for the public boat under the heat of the sun for 4 hours. I just noticed that the cost guard on duty that time (Coast Guard Luna) seems very interested with the registration form where all tourist signs, probably not of security concern but because this would determine the amount of rebates they will get. It makes me feel that the tourist office just want your P180 boat fare so they make ways for you not to learn about private boat rentals specially if your more than 15 in the group which sometimes make it more economical to hire private boat than to pay the P180/person that the tourist office are charging. Even the locals believe that there is some anomaly on going so this needs to be resolved or else there will be lots of unsatisfied guests who would not care to recommend or go back to this place. See the names of the officers managing this area.
    Anabelle Calleja – Tourism
    Ton2 Pansacola – Tourism
    Xyra Manipol – Development Center
    Rachelle Pansacola – Development Center
    James Laureles – Coast Guard
    GodoFredo Diaz – Barangay Captain

    1. Ashley

      Just read this blog, kasi wala ako time magbasa, just want to clarify sir, sana kung marami po kayong mga tanong, kinausap nyo muna ang mga concern na tao dito, hindi yung ngpost n kayo ng blog dito ehh puro mali naman, mabuti pa ang mga reporter kailangan muna nila na humanap ng matibay na ebidensiya bago nila ilathala sa kanilang babasahin, do u think s bulsa namin ito mapupunta, kung inintindi nyo sana ang inilabas na resolusyon ay April 1, 2012 po ang effectivity nito, at ang pagkakaron ng environmental at terminal fee ay ginawang batas dito sa bayan ng mauban, kung mas mura po sa ibang bayan wala po kaming magagawa ito po ang batas sa bayan ng mauban, hindi po ang batas ninyo ang hinihingi namin. sana rin po nagkaron kayo ng buto at dila upang kausapin ang mga taong ito, wag kayong magtago sa mga social media na katulad nito….

      1. Anthony Fusingan

        Hahaha Buhay pa pala ang comment ko. Yung sinabi ko dito eh yung nangyari nung time na nagpunta ako. Paano mo nasabing nagtatago ako eh nakalagay nga ang full name ko ikaw ashley nilagay mo. At yung suggestion mo na dapat kinausap ko muna mga tao sa lugar eh wala ngang makausap na matino nung time na yun. Anyway tapos na yan at baka me improvement na sa lugar. Nagtataka lang kung bakit masyadong affected ka hehe. Wag kang mag internet kung ayaw mong mkabasa ng negative comment.

    2. J Reyes

      Thanks for the input, was indeed planning on going, but won’t.

  14. We went there last Saturday and Villa Cleofas’ entrance fee changed from 30php to 50php. 🙂 Smallest cottage is 1500php. Still, we had a great time there!

  15. We went there last weekend and the resort rates changed from 30php to 50php (Villa Cleofas). 🙂
    Had a great time there!

  16. aysha

    maganda ba ang signal ng globe, smart at sun?

  17. ian

    nung nagpunta ako dun, meron isang family, ginawa nila, iniwan nila dun sa simbahan yung sasakyan. masikip kasi sa pantalan…walang space para pagiwanan ng sasakyan. pati yung mga hiway…masikip..kaya, kailangan talaga secured parking.

  18. Cayin

    btw, how come mas marami nag-stay sa south eastern part nung island? mas okay ba ung tubig and scenery dun? how long ung trek? sorry andami kong tanong

  19. Cayin

    Hi there,

    Just need to know, if magdadala ng sasakyan.. meron bang parking area sa pantalan ng Mauban? Is that safe? And would you know the cost?.. Lastly, we’re planning to go there this week and since kasama parents namin, I’m leaning towards Little Prince kasi I’ve read somewhere na mas malapit na lakaran ito. Meron namang mga locals na sasalubong samin dont di ba na pwede pagtanungan I guess? kasi I’ve tried calling ung number ng Little prince pero out of service na.

    I hope you reply.. salamat!

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