Palaui Island Travel Guide: Explore the Mystical Island of the North

Palaui

I guess no other place in the Philippines radiates so much mystique as Palaui Island, a small yet fascinating island off the coast of the town of Santa Ana in the province of Cagayan. The northwestern part of the island reopens to tourists last March 8, 2022. Let this guide bring you one step closer to fulfilling your dream to visit the island. Provided in this Palaui travel guide are latest information on travel requirements, hot to get there, accommodation, activities, sample itinerary, budget and more.

Palaui Travel Requirements

  • Fully Vaccinated Individuals
    • COVID-19 vaccination card or certification issued by LGU, vaxcert.doh.gov.ph or legitimate vaccinating establishment
    • Traze App
    • Valid ID
  • Unvaccinated or Partially Vaccinated Individuals
    • Negative Antigen (swab) test result, conducted within 72 hours prior to entry
    • Traze App
    • Valid ID

Discover Palaui Island

Palaui Island lies on 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. 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 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 the mystique of Palaui Island.

Palaui
Cape Engaño’s rolling hills and roaring waves.

How to Get to Palaui Island

Tuguegarao – Santa Ana

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

Santa Ana to Palaui Island

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 per passenger).

Palaui Island Boat Rate (As of 2019)

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
Puzo Rubo 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

P3,500.00

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 starts from P886 for regular airconditioned bus andP994 for deluxe bus (as of March 2022).

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

You can book your bus or flight from Manila to Tuguegarao and vice versa below.

BOOK YOUR BUS/FLIGHT FROM MANILA 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.

Where to Stay in Palaui Island

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.

Where to Stay in Santa Ana (Cagayan)

There are numerous hotels, inns and lodges in Santa Ana. here are some:

Top-Rated Budget Accommodations in Santa Ana, Cagayan

Jotay Resort

Jotay Resort
Palawig, Santa Ana
Starts at 1,000 PHP (2-person sharing)

BOOK NOW

Edens Lodging House

Edens Lodging House
Centro, Santa Ana
Starts at P1,000 PHP (2-person sharing)

BOOK NOW

Top-Rated Middle Rate Accommodations in Santa Ana, Cagayan

RAI Atrium Suites

RAI Atrium Suites
Diora Zinungan, Santa Ana
Starts at 2,500 PHP (2-person sharing)

BOOK NOW

Party Beach Resort

Party Beach Resort
Rapuli, Santa Ana
Starts at P2,500 PHP (2-person sharing)

BOOK NOW

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

BOOK ACCOMMODATION IN STA. ANA (CAGAYAN)

Palaui Island
Engaño Point and Lighthouse as seen from Pananacpan

Activities in Palaui Island and Nearby

  • 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 equipment)
  • Fishing (bring your own equipment)
  • Bird Watching
  • Hiking
  • Camping/Picnic
  • Beach Volleyball/Frisbee
  • Skimboarding (bring your own board)
  • Watch the sunrise and sunset
  • Visit Anguib Beach, Nangaramoan Beach, Pozo Robo 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

Palaui Island Weekend Itinerary

Day 1: Enroute to Tuguegarao

2100H Assembly in Florida Bus Sampaloc
2130H Bus from Manila to Tuguegarao

Day 2: Welcome to Palaui

1000H Arrive in Tuguegarao / Brunch / Proceed to Van Terminal
1100H Van: Tuguegarao to Santa Ana
1300H Arrive in Santa Ana / Shop for food, snacks, drinks / Proceed to San Vicente Port
1330H Arrive in San Vicente Port / Register
1400H Boat to Crocodile Island
1410H Arrival in Crocodile Island
1500H Boat to Punta Verde
1510H Arrive in Punta Verde / Setup camp/ Free time
1800H Prepare dinner
1900H Dinner
2030H Socials
1400H Boat to Crocodile Island

Day 3: Morning in Palaui + Travel Bacl

0530H Call Time / Sunrise / Breakfast
0700H Trek to Cape Engaño and Lighthouse
0900H Arrive in Cape Engaño / Proceed to Lighthouse / Free time
1030H Trek back to Punta Verde
1230H Back in Punta Verde / Break Camp / Boat to San Vicente
1330H Arrive in San Vicente Port / Proceed to Santa Ana / Lunch
1430H Van: Santa Ana to Tuguegarao
1700H Arrival in Tuguegarao / Proceed to Bus Terminal
1730H Dinner
1800H Bus: Tuguegarao to Manila

Day 4: Back in Manila

0600H Arrive in Manila

Budget Estimate: ~P4,000/person

Tips

  • 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. Registration fee is P50 per person, 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 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
Palaui
The other side of Palaui

*First Publication: 03-Mar-2011 | Updates: 14-Jun-2011; 01-Jun-2013; 06-Feb-2014; 09-Aug-2017; 14-Aug-2018; 20-Feb-2020; 07-Apr-2022

Comments

  1. KC

    Hello, my friend and I are planning to go there n april or may, we’re planning to avail special trips, since we’re only two, are there interested n joining us?,thank you 🙂

    1. joy

      kelan nyo balak pmunta?basta sat ang target n tour nmin ng bf ko.fridy nayt p kc kmi pwd bumyahe frm mla.tnx.tx me 09155587300

    2. joy

      hi,dlwa lng b kyo?join kyo samin s apr16.tnx.wil b frm mla,so fridy nayt kmi bbyahe going sta.ana.,

  2. […] For more information on Palaui Island, check out my Palaui Island Travel Guide. […]

  3. Odil

    Going there this Saturday until Tuesday. Who’s going there too on these days?

  4. Evol

    Wast able to visit there last august but anyway. Anyone interested to go there during the apec summit nov 18-21. Please feel freen to leave a msge or comment. Thank u!

    1. Nina

      Hi! What time will you possibly leave on the 18th? Manila based? 🙂

  5. jaypee

    Do you have any contact numbers for the homestay in Punta Verde particularly Mang Jony’s Place?

  6. Rie Rojo

    Hi, is anyone going this October 17 or 18? I’ll be going alone. Maki-join sana sa mga pupunta din on these dates. You may text me at 0917-8865021. Thanks!

    1. Donna

      we’ll be there on the 17 (noon flight via cebupac) but our tour proper is on 18-21. are you interested?

  7. Hello po. Itatanong ko lang po kung alam nyo yung last trip ng van sa Tuguegarao papuntang Sta. Ana? Maraming Salamat!

  8. jo_

    hi! kanino po pwede makijoin? by august or september? pm me pls joanna050692@gmail.com. thankyouuu

  9. kristiana palms

    please support our goal po na magkaroon ang mga isla ng babuyan ng all year sea transportation po para sa mga lokal ng cagayanon at sa pag asenso ng bayan tunggo sa abot kayang paglalakbay sa pinaka magandang parte ng luzon
    mag lalakbay po kami sa july 9 to 12

  10. Anyone goind to Palaui this July? Baka pwede maki join… Solo lang po ako… 😀

    1. Patricia Moran

      Planning to go there july 16-17! Solo lang din haha. Anyone i can group with? 🙂

      1. Grace Manalo

        Hi Pat! I’m also planning to go on Jul 16-18. Can we join?

    2. kristiana palms

      kami po private research ng mga isla po , para sa mas mura sasakyan pandagat

  11. Melanie

    Hi Guys! pupunta kami ng friend ko this coming May 29-June01. Friday night ang alis namen from Manila..We are also looking for a group to join.. Thank you 🙂

  12. red

    Meron paba ferry from san vicente port going to batanes?

  13. Rome

    My boyfriend and I are planning to go in Palaui on May 20. Anyone here na gusto sumabay?

  14. mj

    im looking into going to Palaui Island this May7-11 since nka leave ako. Im a solo backpacker. Sino kaya pwedeng mksama or kanino pwedeng makijoin para mas mura ung mga boat rentals. Just send me a message at 09156297016. thanks guys

  15. Junie

    Hello there,

    Any one who’s planning to go to Palaui on June 12 to 14? 3 lang kasi kami eh 😉 Maraming salamat

    1. inday

      kmi po 🙂

      1. Junie

        Hi Inday 😉 tuloy pa rin kayo ng Palaui this coming June 12-14? Thanks

    2. Queen

      HI Junie! My partner and I are planning to go too on June 12-14. Mind if we tag along? 🙂 please email me at qmmanejero@gmail.com

      1. Junie

        Hi Queen! I did send an email to you…Sorry kinda late ang response ;( Thank you

      2. JM Rodriguez

        Hi! Can we join too? 🙂 please email me at jmdgrodriguez@yahoo.com.ph

    3. Erika Sheena Dela Cruz

      Kami po ng hubby ko.. 🙂

      1. Junie

        Hi Erika 😉 ok pa kayo for Palaui on June 12-14? Thank you

        1. tina

          hi! can i still join d group? solo lang po ako. thanx.

        2. Jimbo

          Hi puede pa po ba sa June 12-14? Gusto ko po pumunta ng Palaui with my friend 3 po kami.

    4. JM Rodriguez

      Hi. By land po kayo? How much is the budget po? Thanks!

  16. Lhe

    Hi guys! this april 30 to may 2 pupunta kami ng friends ko sa palaui 4 lang kc kmi Baka my gusto maki join para mas masaya..

    1. marie

      hi lhe! balak ko din pumunta ng palaui this april 30 to may 3 kaso mag-isa lang po ako. makikijoin sana ako sa group niyo kung okay lang. thank you 🙂

      1. melanie

        Hi Marie, solo backpacker din ako plan ko pumunta this April 30 ng gabi ang alis, maybe i can join sayo.

        1. Clang

          Hi Melanie and Marie,

          My 3 friends and I are travelling to Palaui on the same dates Apr 30 ng gabi alis namin.
          We can probably meet up para mas marami mas enjoy 🙂

      2. mj

        postpone mo sya for nextweek. im planning to go there ng May7-11 sana since im on leave. solo backpacker din ako. text me nlng 09156297016. by the way mj here

    2. Genna Marla

      My cousin and I want to go too on those dates. How should we coordinate with you?

    3. melanie

      Hi Lhe, solo backpacker here, planning to ride with you guys.. what time alis nio ng April 30?

    4. james

      ituloy ba kayo ng April 39? sama sana kami ng wife ko

  17. Elizabeth del rosario

    Hello angel ,
    How about month of July or August ok pa ba mag travel sa palaui island , Hindi ba malakas Ang waves during that month ?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Ms. Elizabeth , are you planning to go to Palaui this July? baka pwede maki join… 😀 solo lang po ako…

      1. Elizabeth del rosario

        Hello ,

        Polo what date balak mo sa July Kasi mag boracay kami ng July 5 to 8 kaya if matuloy kami sa palaui medyo last week na ng July pede Siguro kami 3 Lang , and anu plan mo saan Tayo mag meet mag bus Ka ba or plane going to tuguegarao ?

  18. shayne

    Sa april 11 dating plane namin ng lunch time. Derecho na kami sa sta. Ana. Tapos early morning ng april 12 island hop na. Lemme know if we can share the boat. Thank you 🙂

    1. Tere

      Hi, me and a friend is also planning to go there on weekend. Yun special trip din ba kayo and overnight?

    2. Kami ng friend ko June 12-June 14. Sino sama? Hehe

      1. JM Rodriguez

        Hi Rose! By land po kayo? 🙂

      2. Ann

        Kindly txt Me if pwedeng maki join, solo backpacker. 09056882631.

        1. Yes po by land. 😀
          Tom na yan!

        2. joy

          looking for companions going to palaui on sept 5,2015 ….tnx.,il be wd my boyfie
          u may contact me also thru fb: Sagun Joy Belo
          belo_maryjoy@yahoo.com

      3. Rose

        Yehey.. Natuloy kami ang saya! Super ganda ng place! ☺☺☺
        Ang sarap bumalik!! 😀

  19. Jeff Soriano

    May I know if there’s a 3G globe mobile data internet signal at Palaui Island and/or Sta. Ana, San Vicente?

  20. April

    Hi! My friend and I will be having the trip on March 27-29. We’re planning to avail the special trip on the 28th (Sat). We’re only two, so we’re willing to join small groups. Thank you! 🙂

Comments are closed.