Palaui Island Travel Guide: How to Get There, What to Do, Sample Itinerary, Budget & More

Categories Luzon, Travel Guide

Palaui Island lies at the northeastern tip of mainland Luzon under the jurisdiction the town of Sta. Ana, a Special Economic Zone bustling with modern industrial establishments and blessed with beautiful coastline. But despite the developments, Sta. Ana is still rural and laid back, projecting contrasting features that add to its mystique.

Palaui Island
Cape Engaño Lighthouse

But what makes Sta. Ana more contrastingly beautiful is Palaui, the island off its shore that offers so much – white sandy beaches and panoramic coves, a century old lighthouse, hidden waterfalls and lovely people, all in a scenic ragged terrain surrounded with huge waves and echoing wind.

With a land area of more than 3,000 hectares, Palaui Island is made up of volcanic debris. It is home to a fishing community without electricity and commercial accommodation. Its main attraction aside from its beaches is the Farol de Cabo Engaño, an 18th century lighthouse built by the Spaniards that guides ships entering and leaving Sta. Ana specially those using Port Irene and San Vicente, as well as those traversing the Babuyan Channel and Philippine Sea.

Palaui Island
Engaño Cove

Palaui Island is a place built by wind, sculpted by waves and nurtured by time. Discover the distinct charm of its scenic ragged terrain; chorus with the howling music of its gigantic waves; explore and experience that mystique of Palaui Island.

How to Get There

Make your way to Tuguegarao, the capital city of Cagayan Province. From there, ride a bus (~P240.00 as of December 2016) or van (P250.00 as of February 2017) going to Santa Ana, travel time is around three hours.

In Santa Ana, proceed to PASAMOBA office in San Vicente port for registration and to charter a boat to the island. San Vicente port is a short trike ride from Sta. Ana town proper (P15.00 per passenger).

Palaui Island Boat Rate for 2017

Destination Travel Time Passengers Boat Rate
Cape Engaño 45 minutes 8 P1,800.00
Anguib 25 minutes 8 P1,500.00
Siwangag 30 minutes 8 P1,500.00
Puzurubo 1 hour 8 P1,800.00
Crocodile Island 5 minutes 8 P500.00
Punta Verde 15 minutes 8 P750.00
Pugo Moro 5 minutes 8 P500.00
Special Trip: Cape Engaño, Anguib, Crocodile, Punta Verde   8


Palaui Island
Dos Hermanos Islands

Manila to Tuguegarao

By Plane

Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific fly to Tuguegarao from Manila, travel time is approximately an hour.

By Bus

From Manila, Victory Liner and Florida Liner have daily trips to Tuguegarao everyday almost every hour. It is around 485 kilometers north of Metro Manila; travel time is about 11 to 12 hours and  fare ranges from P650.00 to P750.00 (as of February 2017).

If you are coming from Tabuk, jeepneys are available in Kalabaw Intersection (in front of St. William Cathedral), fare is P70.00 (as of 2016). From Ilocos and Abra, GMW Liner and Florida Liner have trips to Tuguegarao.

Manila to Sta. Ana, Cagayan Direct

Florida Liner is the only bus company that goes direct to Sta. Ana, Cagayan. Daily trips to Sta. Ana leave Sampaloc at 12PM and 3PM.

Palaui Island
Engaño Cove as seen from the lighthouse

Where to Stay

There is no commercial accommodation in Palaui Island. Tourists who opt to stay overnight in the island can look for home stays or pitch a tent in Punta Verde. A local government resolution restricts camping in any other areas in Palaui Island except in Punta Verde.


Palaui Island
A meadow along the trail to the lighthouse.

Here’s a list of accommodations in Santa Ana, Cagayan:

  • Balai Cagayano
  • Cagayan Holiday Resort
  • Ceza Guest House
    Centro, Sta. Ana, Cagayan
    Contact: (63)-78-585-1021
  • Country-Inn By The Sea
  • Costa Carina Beach Front
  • Costales Lodging House
  • Jotay Resort
    Centro, Sta. Ana, Cagayan
    Contact: +63906-4781270
  • Tres Rosas Beach Resort
    Diora-Zinungan, Sta. Ana, Cagayan
  • Orquidia Beach Resort
    Diora-Zinungan, Sta. Ana, Cagayan
  • St. Anthony’s Resort
    Rapuli, Sta. Ana, Cagayan
  • El Cortez Beach Resort
    Diora- Zinungan, Sta. Ana, Cagayan
  • Eden’s Lodging House
    Centro, Sta. Ana, Cagayan
  • Lordwins Beach Resort
    Sta. Cruz, Sta. Ana, Cagayan
  • M&E Lodging House
    San Vicente, Sta. Ana, Cagayan
  • Mel & Jay Lodge
    San Vicente, Sta. Ana, Cagayan
  • Jerolinda Beach Resort
    San Vicente, Sta. Ana, Cagayan
  • Phil. Game Fishing Foundation
    San Vicente, Sta. Ana, Cagayan


Palaui Island
Engaño Point and Lighthouse as seen from Pananacpan


  • Trek to Cape Engaño Lighthouse in Cape Engaño Point
  • Check out Siwangag Cove
  • Swimming and beach hopping
  • Find its hidden waterfalls
  • Snorkeling/Scuba Diving (bring your own equipments)
  • Fishing (bring your own equipments)
  • Bird Watching
  • Hiking
  • Camping/Picnic
  • Beach Volleyball/Frisbee
  • Skimboarding (bring your own board)
  • Watch the sunrise and sunset
  • Visit Anguib Beach, Jerolinda Beach and Buacag Falls in mainland Sta. Ana
  • See the Gotan mangrove forest and waterfalls
  • Visit the nearby Crocodile, Mapurao and Manidad Islands
  • Experience Viray Festival held yearly from May 26 to 30
Palaui Island
Pananacpan Beach


  • The best way to reach the town of Sta. Ana from Manila by land is via the night bus of Florida Liner direct to Sta. Ana
  • If you are trekking Cape Engaño Lighthouse by land, please GET A LOCAL GUIDE! Guide fee is only P300, for one to four person; P600, for five to six person; and P900, for eight to 12 person. The trek takes at least two (2) hours. There are two trails going to the lighthouse: the easier Lagunzad’s Trail and the more challenging Leonardo’s Trail.
  • All guests should register in Ecozone Visitor Center, the local government arm that manages tourism in Sta. Ana. Advance reservation is not necessary but encouraged, contact Ms. Roselyn Foronda at 0917-7809302.
  • I, highly recommend Kuya Edwin Tabucol, a local of Palaui Island. Contact no: +639269064657. He has a boat that can be rented to take you to the lighthouse and to Palaui from San Vicente. He can also guide you to the lighthouse. (All tours are now handled by the Ecozone Visitor Center, if they happen to assign Kuya Edwin to you as guide, say hello to him for me! :D)
  • If you plan to head north to Babuyan Islands, there is a ferry the leaves every morning of Tuesdays and Fridays from San Vicente Port to Camiguin. Camiguin is around three (3) hours from San Vicente Port, fare is P320.00 as of December 2010. (Schedule is subject to change.)
  • Ferry from San Vicente Port going to Batanes is seasonal and operates only during summer/calm seas and weather (usually April and May)
  • The last trip of van going to Sta. Ana from Tuguegarao is 530PM
  • The last trip of van going to Tuguegarao from Sta. Ana is 1PM
  • The 27th and 28th seasons of reality show Survivor US Edition already finished shooting in the island

*First Publication 03-Mar-2011/14-Jun-2011/01-Jun-2013/Updated 06-Feb-2014/09-Aug-2017

(Visited 401 times, 6 visits today)
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263 thoughts on “Palaui Island Travel Guide: How to Get There, What to Do, Sample Itinerary, Budget & More

  1. Cagayan have a lot to offer. I am hoping that each of those resorts has its own webpage for online reservation. This can make to attract more local or even the international tourist.

  2. very inviting. I will definitely visit this place this 2012. Keep on exploring I’m enjoying your very helpful travel blog.

  3. Hi Angel, we just got back from Palaui and we would to say thank you for your blog!! 🙂 The information was really really helpful! :)Super ganda nung place!!!

  4. Hi,

    Nice blog. Very helpful. I already added this to my wander list =)

    Would you know how long the travel will be from San Vicente to Batanes?


  5. will join any group willing to go palaui any time. please get in touch if anything is brewing. thank you. you may txt me at 09179325112.need to see this place before it gets exploited and damaged by the boracay people. mwah.

  6. its so much beautiful here at sta ana..please come and visit our beautiful places..tnx and godbless

  7. This time I’ll thank you and your blogposts na. My bf and I had been to Nagsasa, Anawangin, Capones and Camarra, Cagbalete and Palui because of this breath taking pictures. 😀 Please damihan mo pa ang places because I am copying every Itinerary you have. THANKS and more places to go! 🙂

  8. hi there,

    were planning to visit cagayan export processing zone and stay overnight at sta ana, any suggestion for hotel or resort for us? (2 persons)
    how far is the town proper/poblacion/centro to cepz?


  9. hi, did you do whale/dolphin watching during this trip? we were supposed to go here before because we have read somewhere that we can do that in palaui. thanks! great posts!

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