Martes, Pebrero 21, 2017

Summer Destinations: The Palaui Island, Sta.Ana, Cagayan

'The raw beauty of Palaui Island'

The first thing in mind when we hear the word SUMMER is outdoor. We have different preferences of places to fully enjoy this time of the year. We Filipinos as a part of our tradition would like to spend our summer vacation partying on the beach. Some of us are like going to private resorts and have an intimate time with people close to us, family, special love ones, and friends. But most of the people like adventures and sightseeing of the most beautiful hidden places here in our own mother soil. And when we talk about adventure it means the place was not yet spoiled by heavy commercialization. So for those who want an adventure this summer, consider your tour going to Santa Ana, Cagayan to visit the "Love on Top" island, the Palaui Island.

Palaui Island a not so known summer destination in the Philippines is truly one overlooked paradise located off the northeastern tip of Luzon, specifically Sta, Ana Cagayan. The island was declared a National Marine Reserve in 1994 making it a safe haven for different species of plants and birds. There are no hotels nor resorts on the island and camping or home stay for a known relative there are the only options. The island is 10 kilometers long and approximately 5 kilometers wide, offers travelers breathtaking scenery of tides coming from the Pacific, highlands and undisturbed rich forests. If you truly want to escape far away from the city and experience the relaxing and raw beauty of nature, Palaui Island is definitely a must-visit.

                Major Lazer - Cold Water (feat. Justin Bieber & MØ) 

Palaui Island: 'Raw beauty' in Cagayan

'Cape Engano Lighthouse'
The northern part of the island is called Cape Engano this is the summit of the hill where lies the ruin of Cape Engano Lighthouse. Supplies for the station were previously landed on a small cove southwest of the lighthouse. A trail and 229 steps with a concrete stairway from the cove leads the travelers to the lighthouse.

''Cape Engano'
'Slice of paradise for you!'
  The Chainsmokers - Roses (Lyric Video) ft. ROZES

'Palaui Island, Philippines'

Aside from the beauty of the lighthouse, travelers said that there are three trails in Palaui. Lagunzad trail is the longest. It was named after the late Dan Lagunzad, an ecologist who took part in discovering the flora and fauna of the island in 2007. The other trail is called Leonardo's trail, which was named after the late botanist Leonardo Co, is a forest trail that is suitable for more serious hikers. Lastly, the Siwangag Trail the shortest and passes through the primary forest. It starts at Punta Verde and ends at Siwangag Cove on the west side of the island.

'Siwangag trail little falls'
'Palaui Island beach'

'Lagunzad Trail'
'Leonardo's Trail'

How to get to Palaui Island in Cagayan from Manila

By plane: 🛬

If you're  taking a plane to Tuguegarao, you can just walk outside the airport, a few meters away is the highway leading to Sta.Ana. Across the street and wait for vans or bus en route to Sta.Ana, Cagayan.

By bus: 🚎

You can get to Palaui Island from Manila by taking a Victory Liner bus bound for Tuguegarao (fare is Php 600) from Kamias, Sampaloc, and Caloocan. At Tuguegarao City, proceed to the van terminal and ride a van to Sta.Ana, Cagayan.

From Sta.Ana Cagayan to San Vicente port:

The bus/van will stop at the Sta.Ana Commercial Center where you can buy food and water. Take a tricycle to San Vicente port. A P50 fee is required to pay before going to the island at the Tourism Visitor's Office and need to sign in the log book.

At San Vicente port, you can hire boats to Palaui Island. If the sea is calm, the boat can take you directly to Cape Engano lighthouse, no trekking required.

Palaui Island reviews via

"Little Batanes"

"Ready your butt for long travel, 18hours I guess, from Manila to Sta.Ana, Cagayan, but it's all worth it. Breath taking view ✔ Clear sea water ✔ Clean environment ✔ Accommodating Boatmen ✔ 100% Perfect getaway!! Other places to visit: Anguib (extremely beautiful) Cape Engano (little Batanes) Crocodile Island Punta Verde." - Ana Andrea (Pasig)

"Fantasy Island"

"Off northeastern tip of Luzon Island, this virgin island boasts of once being the host of Survivor Philippines. My trip is actually a revisit after six years of this place and it never failed to strike that awe -- bordering on reverence -- in the presence of Some Greater Being." - Edmar (Cagayan)

"Secret Paradise"

"I have been wanting to go to Santa Ana, Cagayan Valley since last year because I have a friend who hails from Cagayan Valley and I saw one of my churchmate's photo when they visited Santa Ana couple of years ago. Earlier this year, 2016, I started planning and WE all agreed that we would go during Holy Week." - Enitsirk (Manitoba, Canada)

"Wonderful Creation"

"Going to Palaui is not a short travel. Especially if you are from Manila. But... it is worth to travel. Different attractions await. Rent a boat for the whole trip and you can actually tell them to stop somewhere that you want to swim with fewer people. Safe as the boat provides safety float in case". - Hjiana 

"Survivor Palau"

"One of the best beaches in the Phils! This is where Survivor USA shot their Survivor Palaui season. But it was such a pain to get here. Took us almost 22 hours of loooong drive, then 45 mins boat ride. Whew! There are no resorts here and camping is the only way to go." - Bugbabe (Manila)

"Worth the Long Travel"

"Forget about Boracay and its white sand; this one is trumps them all for its sheer purity. The long, dangerous boatride showcases picturesque mountains of the islands, lush greenery of the rolling hills reminiscent of New Zealand or United Kingdom. And then one lands on its various white beaches ranging from islands with crude corals and seashells (Crocodile Island) to smooth coastlines with powdery white sand (Angib beach). It is the site of one of the "Survivor" Seasons and the ruins of the camps can still be found at the foot of Cape Engaño, the famous lighthouse." - Trittle L (Quezon City)

"The view from the top of the island will take your breath away"

"Going to this island is not easy! You will go through one of the most challenging waters. But after the bumpy ride, you will definitely enjoy the scenic view from the top. It's really worth your time to visit this wonderful island on the north. =) Definitely the next best IG posts to Batanes!" - Meg (Manila)

"Untouched, unspoiled island"

"The island is beautiful. True, it is quite a pain to get there, but it's all worth it. The island itself is very close to the mainland, but if you want to go to the northern tip of the island, which is where Cape Engaño is, the boat ride would take around 45 minutes. And it's the Pacific Ocean so get ready to be wet. The waves are big, but the boat men looked like they knew what they were doing so we weren't worried at all. There is no reception so don't bother trying to text while you're there. Just relax and enjoy the view." - Marielle (Quezon City)

"Best part of our road trip"

"I didnt expect that we would really go to this place. Akala ko rsearch rsearch lng ako. Sobrang gnda ng place! Ang babait ng mga tao. Ang virgin ng place na to. Walang resorts whatsoever. In touch ka talaga sa nature. Kahit cell reception mahirap! Ang simple ng buhay dun. Solar powered lang electricity nila. We spent the night here with my partner. We hiked for 3 hrs going to Cape Engaño lighthouse. Ang ganda ganda!!!!!! Kahit na hingal na hingal kami. May guide naman, tapos very articulate sila. The views at the lighthouse were breath-taking. Ayaw ko na bumaba. Ang hangin. Kahit san ka tumingin, laging wow. Ang ganda ng phils. Nung pababa na, 2 hrs na lng hike. Ung trail talagang forest na forest ang dating. Moist. I recommend wearing long sleeved shirts, cap, and shoes with a good grip. Ilang beses akong nadulas. Hahahaha bring a liter of water too. And some snacks. Hirap mghike ng gutom! Take lots of pictures. When hiking, pause for a while and savor the moment." - Kaye (Dagupan)


"When I set foot on this island, I can't even believe if what I am seeing is real. The landscape is very surreal and beautiful. The water is so clear (blue) and it is very ideal for snorkeling. We traveled by land and it took us almost 18 hours to reach this enchanted island. Worth the travel time. Will definitely go back! The place is isolated and not yet commercialized. No electricity in the house where we slept. Bring power bank. Bring insect repellent as there are mosquitos when you will stay outside the tent. The STARS are very visible on the island since there was no source of electricity. I love nights in this place. Stargazing at its finest." - Mariel (Baliuag, Bulacan)

"Instagram-worthy island"

"There are many beautiful islands in the Philippines and Palaui Island of Sta. Ana, Cagayan is definitely one of them. The highlight of the island is the Cape Engaño Lighthouse. We arrive at the beach and do a short trekking to the Lighthouse. Going up to the lighthouse is not that easy despite its short distance as the heat of Cagayan sun is very different from what I've used to in Manila. It is very dehydrating. Make sure to bring lots of water." - Sandy

"The Quiet Unspoiled Hideaway on the North!"

"The unspoiled hideaway on the north! We went there March 2015. Please, please visit this place. This island a variety of experience. Also, while being there, take the time to savor the moment and the enjoy richness of the place. There are many things to see, but all in all, prepare to be in awe and amazed. This is one of the places that took my breath away. I'd recommend the Cape Engano Lighthouse because it was built during the Spanish era 1887. Also, the location of the lighthouse would allow you to get a 360 view of the islands that surrounds it. It's the location took my breath away so I'd recommend you not to skip it. " - Hael (San Pedro, Laguna)

"Palaui, a heritage island"

"An unspoiled island home to a few hundred locals including some Dumaguete nomads. It includes the remains of a Spanish lighthouse from the late 19th century offering fabulous views of the area." - J Vanhoorn (Victoria, Canada)

"Breath taking view, unspoiled beaches"

"For me, this is the best thing Cagayan can have - its unspoiled beaches, particularly in the Palaui Island. It has a feeling of Batanes but not much. The view is great. Trekking up Cape Engano made the trip more thrilling." - LakbayLoyd (Cavite City)