Cagbalete Island Resorts- A Secluded, Quiet, Natural and Inexpensive Vacation Island
Why Choose Cagbalete Island
Why did Lea and I specifically choose to go to Cagbalete Island on our honeymoon? Above all, we wanted to go to a place that was secluded, quiet, natural and inexpensive. For these reasons, we chose Cagbalete Island for our honeymoon. We specifically wanted to get away from the urban hustle and bustle.
Lea had been to Cagbalete Island before with a group of friends from work. When we discussed what type of place that we wanted to go to for our honeymoon, Lea said “I know just the place. Cagbalete Island.” I was surely not disappointed. In fact, it was exactly as Lea described.
Without doubt, Cagbalete Island is our recommendation for the most quiet, natural and inexpensive vacation island in all of Luzon. Here you find a secluded, quiet, natural and inexpensive vacation island with small resorts, beautiful beaches, blue water and lots of nature.
Cagbalete Island is also known for its clean blue water, diverse ecosystem with many types of birds and rich marine life. Take a boat ride and see beautiful corals, schools of fish and many starfish.
Cagbelete Island is no Boracay. In contrast, there are no large hotels. Likewise, it’s not a party scene. Truly, it’s purely a quiet place to relax and enjoy the scenery and nature.
If you are on vacation or live in Manila, Cagbalete Island may also be for you. Manila is a fun place to visit or life in. There are great restaurants, shopping and lots of things to see or do. However, it is very noisy, crowded, and especially, there are no beaches. In fact, Manila Bay is one of the most polluted waters in the world.
Just 3.5 hours from Manila, Cagbalete Island is a place to relax and get away from the noise and crowded city life.
Cagbelete Island is specifically found in Lemon Bay of the Pacific Ocean. It is off from the Town of Maubon, Quezon Provence, Luzon, Philippines.
See the map below for the location. The map is zoomable to both zoom in to see nearby features or out to see how to get there.
How to Get to Cagbalete Island
Cagbalete Island is about 3.5 hours south of Metro Manila in Quezon Provence. It is off from the port City of Maubon. Public transportation from Manila is available by bus. Another way to get there is by car or hire a van service.
Option #1: Jac Liner > Mauban
Terminals & Schedule:
a. Cubao Terminal: 5am and 12nn
b. Buendia Terminal: 12nn
Fare is 270 PHP. Ask the bus driver to drop you off at the Mauban Public Market.
Option #2: Jac Liner > Lucena Grand Terminal > Mauban
I. Jac Liner > Lucena Grand Terminal
If you miss the 5 AM trip to Mauban, ride a bus going to Lucena Grand terminal from Cubao or Buenda stations. There are daily and regular trips going to Lucena Grand Terminal that leave every 30 minutes starting at 2 AM. Travel time is about 3-4 hours and fare is about 210 PHP.
Terminals & Schedule:
a. Cubao Terminal (24 hours operation Fri-Sun): 2am to 10pm
Midnight Trips: 11pm and 12mn
b. Buendia Terminal (24 hours operation): 2am to 10pm
Midnight Trips: 11pm and 12nn
II. Lucena Grand Terminal > Mauban
Ride a mini bus or Mauban to Mauban
If you are taking this route, from Lucena Grand Terminal, ride another bus bound to Mauban. Travel time is one hour and fare is is only about 50 PHP. Get off at Mauban Public Market.
From Mauban Port, there are daily scheduled trips returning to Manila at 4:30 AM and 2 PM via JAC Liner buses. Make sure to catch the 2 PM trip back to Manila or you’ll be stuck there until the next morning.
Car or Van
If you opt to have a road trip using private cars, travel time is approximately 3-4 hours to Mauban Quezon. You can park your cars at Doña Aurora School along Quezon Street or at the Church at the end of Quezon Street. Both parking places have security and parking fee of fifty (50) pesos per day per vehicle.
Boat Transportation to and from Cagbalete Island
From Mauban Public Market, walk a few meters towards the Mauban port and ride an outrigger boat going to Cagbalate Island. Tourists are required to register at the tourism office and pay for a 50 PHP environment fee.
The tourism office also facilitates boat rentals going to the island. A small boat costs about 1,500 PHP for 2-3 passengers and big boats good for 8-10 passengers cost about 4,000 PHP. These boats bring you directly to your resort.
The tourism office looks out for your safety with the private boat owners. Register at the tourism office and pay the boat fee to the office attendant. The tourism office pays the boat owner upon your safe arrival back to Mauban directly after your return trip. Therefore, in order for the boat owner to get paid, he must ensure that you reach Cagbalete Island and back safely. Any tips are given directly to the boat captain.
A public ferry boat is also available from Mauban Port to the Sabang Port on Cagbalete Island. The public boat is a 60 seat boat and only costs 40 PHP each way. However, if you take the Public boat, you must walk to your resort through the island trails.
Sanbang Port is very close to the Aquazol Hotel & Resort.
We chose to take a private boat and get dropped off directly at the beach of our resort. The crew was kind to put all of our things in plastic bags so that they would not get wet. The crew helps you on the boat and to put on and adjust your life jackets
It was a particularly rainy and foggy day when we took the boat from Mauban to Cagbalete Island. In fact, the boat captain could not see more than 20 feet in front of him. We went along like this for a almost a half an hour in the fog. There was no compass on the boat so we wondered how the boat captain was navigating.
Finally, an island appeared out of the fog. The captain got his bearings and proceeded directly to the beach of our resort. We could see the beautiful island and no big high rise resorts.
One recommendation we have about taking the boat ride is to wear water shoes or sandals. Do not wear sneakers or socks. We also recommend not to wear pants.
The boat cannot make it all the way to shore. You will get your feet and legs a little wet getting off the boat.
The crew helped us to bring our things to the resort. Therefore, a nice tip was surely in order. The tip was also deserved for getting us there safe through the fog.
Going back to Mauban Port, the scheduled trips are at 7:30 AM and 1:00 PM. If you hire a private boat, you set your own time for pick-up.
When we went home, the captain and crew arrived at our resort on time.
On the way back, it was a beautiful day and we could see why the captain could not have missed the island. The crew was also helpful in loading and unloading our things again.
Cagbalete Island Resorts
About the Resorts
There are several private resorts around Cagbalete Island. All of these resorts are, in fact, owned by different people of the same family.
Each one of the resorts are have different accommodations. For example, there are villas, lodges, cabins, rooms, and nipa huts available. Some also have air conditioning and some have fans. Check the web pages or facebook pages for each resort below to pick the resort that has the best accommodation for you or your group.
The resorts on Cagbalete Island are very affordable. Prices typically range from 1,200 php for a nipa hut to 3,000 php for an air-conditioned room depending on the resort and type of accommodation. Tenting is another way to stay affordably on Cagbalete Island. Tent camping sites are typically around 600 php per night depending on the resort. Check with each resort specifically for their actual rates and additional fees.
During the off-season (September – February), some resorts offer lower rates. There are also fewer people during the off-season. We went to Cagbalete Island in January for our honeymoon. We received a 1,000 php discount for the off-season.
Also, we were the only ones at our resort. We had the entire resort to ourselves. We felt special. This provides much more quiet and relaxation.
Electricity is only available on Cagbalete Island specifically from 6 PM to 6 AM with the use of generators. When there are few tourists around, electricity is only available until 12 midnight. Cellular signals are reliable, but 3G network connection is weak.
Because these are smaller resorts, you cannot find them on internet booking sites. Alternatively, you need to go to their website, Facebook page, call or just stop in. Also, most of these resorts will only take cash.
In summary, pick the resort that fits what you are looking for and your budget the best.
Actually, there is only one hotel on Cagbelete Island. Namely, the Aquazol Resort & Hotel. This hotel and resort is located right in This is the only resort on Cagbalete Island with a swimming pool.
- Aquazol Hotel & Resort- www.aquazulresortandhotel.com
Here is a list of the smaller, less expensive resorts:
- Agoho Playa- www.aguhoplaya.com
- Dona Cloleng Camping Resort- www.donacholeng.com
- Joven’s Blue Sea Beach Resort- Facebook @jovenresort +63 917-854-5024
- This is where we stayed for our Honeymoon. Lea also stayed here with friends before. Click here for our review specifically of Joven’s Blue Sea Resort.
- MVT Sto. Nino Resort- www.mvtstoninoresort.net
- Nilandingan Grove Beach Resort – www.cagbaleteisland.com.ph
- Pansacola Beach Resort- Facebook @pansacolabeachresort +63 917-546-5901
- Villa Cleofas- www.cagbalete.net
- Villa Noe Beach Resort- www.villanoe.com
Things to do on Cagbalete Island
There are many things to do on Cagbalete Island. Here things to do involve relaxation and nature. See below for our top 15 things to do on Cagbalete Island.
Cagbalete Island is a great place to just relax. It’s usually a perfect quiet place to read a book. For example, here you don’t have to run from one thing to the next. In essence, just relax and recharge.
Cagbalete Island is a very secluded island. The lack of people and noise gives you piece of mind. This is just the perfect place to feel the surroundings. Listen to the sounds of waves crashing on the shore, birds chirping and also silence. It’s a perfect get away from the city.
Loud sound systems are prohibited on the whole island past 10 PM. On the whole, this is gives all campers a peaceful, quiet, and uninterrupted sleep.
2. Lay on the beach
The sandy beaches of Cagbalete Island are white and soft. The beach is great place to relax and improve your tan. Take in the sun’s warmth. The beaches are also not very crowded.
The water is warm, clean and blue. It is perfect for swimming. Low tide is usually from noon till afternoon. Therefore, it is best to swim early in the morning, late afternoon or evening.
4. Walk to Bonsai Island
Just off the south side of Cagbalete Island is a small island called Bonsai Island. The island is called Bonsai because during high tide only a small bonsai-like mangrove is shown. Furthermore, walk out and visit Bonsai Island during low tide.
Bonsai Island was straight out from our resort. Moreover, it is beautiful to watch and visit.
5. Beach walking and beach fun
The beach is really romantic to walk along. For example, the sand is white and clean. Also, find crabs and other creatures as you walk.
The beach is also great for Frisbee, football, volleyball, and sand castles.
6. Walk the island
Go trekking around the Island and visit falls.
7. Star gaze
Cagbalete Island ordinarily does not have light pollution like the cities of the Philippines. Therefore, at night, look up and gaze at the wonderful light show from the stars.
8. Island hopping
If you want of an more adventure, hire a boatsman to bring you island hopping. For example, one destination is an island called Baliscar Island. This island is usually great for bird watching and rock climbing. If you are planning a side trip to Baliscar Island, make sure to wear proper footwear for protection.
Similarly, there are many other island and places to visit by boat. For example, one of my favorite is the mangrove sand bat on the western side of the island. It’s great to stop there and walk in the ankle to chest height water. Uniquely, there are no developments in this area. Therefore, it is very natural.
Together with island hopping, have the boatman stop at the corals. Then go snorkeling and see lots of beautiful tropical fish, sea enchants and many star fish.
The waters off Cagbalete Island are great for fishing. Early in the morning for example, you see the local fishermen fishing in their kayaks. After all, expect what they catch to be on your dinner table. For this purpose, hire a boatsman to take you fishing like the locals do.
The water off Cagbalete island is perfect for kayaking. Usually, there are no big waves. Moreover, the water is clean and crystal blue. Furthermore, kayaks are rented from the resorts for a fee.
12. Massage in your resort or on the beach
There are local massage therapists in the little town or in the resort. After all, nothing is better than a massage for you and your loved one on or near the beach. Correspondingly, set up a massage with the resort. In fact, the resort will arrange a local massage therapist for you. The cost for a massage is usually about 300 php for an hour.
13. Bird watching
14. Watch the sunrise with coffee
Lea and I love waking up early to watch the sun rise. Watching the sunrise with a cup of coffee is so relaxing and beautiful. The early morning is so nice as it is not too hot, very quiet, and peaceful.
15. Watch the sunset
The sunset is also beautiful on Cagbalete Island. In fact, there are not many places where you can see a great sunrise and sunset. However, at Cagbalete Island, both are great views. Enjoying the sunset in a quiet and peaceful place is so romantic.
In fact, there are no restaurants or grocery stores on Cagbalete Island. Therefore, bring your own food to cook and eat. Also, most resorts will a meal plan for an additional fee.. In addition, many resorts will have a kitchen in your accommodations and you can cook on your own. In brief, plan ahead on what your plan is for meals.
If you cook on your own, we suggest that you shop in Mauban before you come on the island. There is no available market in Cagbalete so it’s better to buy at Mauban. However, there are some mini stores for some small things.
If you don’t want the hassle of cooking and grilling your own meals, resorts on the island usually offer packed meal packages that are appetizing and affordable. In addition,if you plan to order meals from your resort, make sure to inform them ahead of time.
Most resorts offer a three meal plan for about 600 PHP per person per day. Each meal comes with a protein. Mostly fish caught locally. Rice and vegetables are also served.