CARABAO ISLAND TRAVEL GUIDE: 5 THINGS TO DO

carabao island things to do

Carabao Island is a bit of unknown gem right around the corner from Boracay in the Romblon Province. Many people take the awesome day trip from Boracay at some stage but it’s actually a perfect spot for a multi-day adventure stay, away from the crowds of Boracay. If you like cliff jumping, you need to get yourself to Carabao. There are two awesome spots to send some backflips but it’s not just cliff jumping there are loads of other things to do on Carabao and I’ll show you what they are in this article.

Less than 10,000 people live on Carabao and its capital is San Jose. There are hardly any cars on the island, with motorbike and boat the popular form of transport.

 

Wondering what Camera and Photography Gear I take all my photos with while traveling around the world?  Click Here to view my detailed guide about all of the gear I use and recommend for travel photography.

My travel insurance: One last thing before you get started! Have you got your travel insurance yet? You can Click Here to find out how I get the best deal on travel insurance, which insurance recommend using in Southeast Asia and why I never travel without it. *This blog post involves photos of my bike crash.

What to pack for the Philippines?: After four trips to the Philippines, there are some items you NEED to pack. You can Click Here to view my recommended Philippines Packing List.

 

HOW TO GET TO CARABAO ISLAND

Carabao Island is just above Boracay and below the island of Tablas. To the right, across the ocean is Roxas. This means, there are many ways of getting to Carabao island but at some stage, they all involve a boat.

From Tablas: You can rent a private boat for $20 USD or whatever you can negotiate with a local fisherman, boatman. You can also take the morning/daily ferry, which departs around 8 am in the morning. There is no nightly ferry.

From Boracay: There are many day charters but also boats that will happily leave you on Carabao. Expect to pay anywhere from $5-10 for the private transfer depending on the size of your group.

From Caticlan: The ferry from Caticlan to Carabao leaves daily at 9 am

From Roxas: From Roxas, you will need to take the ferry to Tablas and then another ferry to Carabao.

From Manila: You can fly into Caticlan or Tablas and then take the ferry as mentioned. There is no airport on Carabao.

 

BORACAY TO CARABAO ISLAND DAY TRIP

The most popular way to visit Carabao Island is from Boracay. Many visitors to Boracay will book a day trip tour to Carabao Island. This day trip involves several of the best cliff jump sites and a beach hangout. You will get to visit the diving boards at Koding Koding and also the BIG cliff jumps of Cathedral Cave. Exploring those caves is worth the trip alone as they are insane! To book the tour online you can Click Here to check the rates and availability of the top rated tour to Carabao Island from Boracay

cathedral cave carabao

 

CARABAO TRANSPORT

There are hardly any cars on Carabao and no public transport. If you need a ride you can jump on the back of a motorbike. However, the island is so small you can walk to most places locally. We rented a motorbike one day to visit San Jose and Cathedral Cave but other than that we walked everywhere. The motorbike cost $9 USD for the entire day with gasoline included.

 

WHERE TO STAY ON CARABAO ISLAND

We stayed at a local homestay. It was a beautiful family who had a few kids. We hung out with the kids every day and the family cooked breakfast, lunch, and dinner for us local style. It was a great way to do the stay. There are also a few nice resorts nearby such as Oceans Edge Resort, which will have you right on the beach and within walking distance of the cliff jumps and viewpoints!

 

CARABAO ISLAND MAP

Carabao is a small island so you can probably walk to Koding Koding cliff jump depending on where you are staying or you can hire a motorbike for about 500 pesos give or take depending on your negotiation abilities.

 

 

5 AWESOME THINGS TO DO ON CARABAO ISLAND

KODING KODING CLIFF JUMP

Koding Koding on Carabao Island is one of those places you walk into and just get so excited you almost panic.  Crystal clear, vibrant blue water lay in waiting for you from several diving platforms at this epic hangout spot. There are several diving boards of only about 3 meters in height so it is a great spot for families, kids, and travelers alike. There are also rafts to hang out on in the water. Ladders make it easy to get in and out of the water but reef shoes are advised.

I suggest visiting Koding Koding cliff jump and Cathedral cliff jump on the same day if you have the energy as they are both nearby and definitely both worth visiting!

Carabao is a small island so you can probably walk to Koding Koding cliff jump depending on where you are staying or you can hire a motorbike for about 500 pesos give or take depending on your negotiation abilities.

There are tables inside little huts to chill and take cover from the sun after cliff jumping. Food and drinks are also available but nothing too extensive just basic snacks.

View full blog post: KODING KODING CLIFF JUMP

 

 

carabao island photos

 

CATHEDRAL CAVE CLIFF JUMP

From the road, we found the small Cathedral Cave sign and walked down the winding, muddy trail through all of the trees. After a few hundred meters we reached the entrance and paid 100 pesos to enter. That is just $2.50 USD. There has been a lot of bamboo construction of walkways and diving boards so you aren’t just paying to jump off a regular cliff, which justifies the fee.

There are two areas to jump at Cathedral Cave. We first visited the site on the left. Here there are two diving boards, which are about 3 meters and 5 meters. A bamboo walkways winds across the roads leading you out to the ocean. The water was insanely clear and blue, it was such an epic spot and we actually had it all to ourselves for most of the time.

Along the boardwalks, you can stop off to the sides and explore the caves. The water glows and small fish are swimming about. If you are game there are several small tunnels and caves within the caves to explore.

The other side is where the big caves are and also where you will find the big cliff jumps. You can take a guided tour inside the caves to see all the natural formations. They make you wear a helmet and it’s quite an interesting cave to check out.

We were there for the cliff jumps so I was stoked to have a diving board, which was roughly 8-10m high directly above the crystal clear water. I sent way too many backflips as we watched on as the local visitors built up the courage to jump. Some of the local kids, however, were pros. They were jumping from the highest cliff, which had to be at least 20 meters. I decided to give it a crack and join them for a jump.

There’s no doubt that cliff jumping is one of the highlights and best things to do on Carabao Island.

View full blog post: CATHEDRAL CAVE CLIFF JUMP

cathedral cave carabao

cathedral cave carabao

cathedral cave carabao

cathedral cave carabao

cathedral cave carabao

 

TAGAYTAY SUNSET VIEWPOINT

One of the highlights of Carabao Island was hanging out in a treehouse, watching the sunset while staring out across the ocean to the recently vacated Boracay Island. At Tagaytay viewpoint, you can get the sunset and the Boracay view all in one place. It is quite touristy but it’s Carabao, it’s not busy. They have built a house and small cafe as well as a treehouse to turn the spot into a cool viewing area. It is surrounded by a lot of trees but you can get a great sunset view or the view of Boracay. From the east coast, you could walk here in half an hour or drive your bike all the way up the path.

carabao island photos

carabao island photos

carabao island photos

 

SAN JOSE PALM BEACH

One day we rented a motorbike for $10 USD and made the journey up and over the hill to San Jose Beach. This is the main beach area of the island and there are a few resorts here. It seemed to be the more touristy side of the island with lots of food options and coffee spots. The water here is much clearer than the east side or at least while we visited and the main attraction is the palm trees along the beach. Many of the palms are very bent, which makes for that classic tropical postcard photo. We found that there were some really cool palms down the far end of the beach at a spot called Sea Garden, which you can find on Google Maps. Finding these iconic palms is one of the most popular activities on Carabao Island.

carabao island photos

 

SAN JOSE HIDDEN BEACH

Once we reached Sea Garden, we continued to explore further along the coast. An old staircase and bridge were falling apart but we wandered through some small caves and found some private beaches. No-one else was to be seen and we enjoyed exploring some of the more random parts on Carabao Island. It was a very quiet place and something to treasure. Crowded beaches are becoming more and more common in the Philippines and throughout the world so to sit down on the sand and watch the ocean come and go is a beautiful thing. This exploration was one of my favorite things to do on Carabao Island.

carabao island photos

 

MORE ROMBLON TRAVEL GUIDES:

Tablas Island: 20 AWESOME THINGS TO DO ON TABLAS ISLAND

Sibuyan Island: 9 AWESOME THINGS TO DO ON SIBUYAN ISLAND

Carabao Island: 5 THINGS TO DO ON CARABAO ISLAND

Romblon Island: 17 THINGS TO DO ON ROMBLON ISLAND

Cresta de Gallo Island: CRESTA DE GALLO ISLAND, ROMBLON – EPIC DAY TRIP

Hiking G2 (Guiting Guiting): TREKKING MT GUITING GUITING (G2)

 

MORE PHILIPPINES BLOGS

I have also visited many other places in the Philippines that you may want to add to your itinerary and remove one of. the locations I visited. There is no right way to travel to the Philippines. The reality is that you will miss some awesome places no matter what Philippines backpacking route you take.  You can check out the links below to my other Philippines backpacking guides.

Siargao: 30 AWESOME THINGS TO DO ON SIARGAO

Caramoan: CARAMOAN ISLAND HOPPING

Sohoton Cove: SOHOTON COVE NATIONAL PARK TOUR – CAVES AND LAGOONS

Cebu Itinerary: CEBU 5-DAY ITINERARY – DETAILED ADVENTURE TRAVEL GUIDE

Cebu Things To Do: 16 AWESOME THINGS TO DO ON CEBU

Philippines Backpacking Guide: PHILIPPINES BACKPACKING: 2019 BUDGET TRAVEL GUIDE

Ultimate Philippines Itinerary: ULTIMATE PHILIPPINES TRAVEL ITINERARY FOR 3-4 WEEKS

Related Posts

2 Discussion to this post

  1. Chris T says:

    Hi! Did you see the Oceans Edge Resort while you were at Carabao? I would like to book there but there are no actual pictures and zero reviews. Hope you right back! I’d really like to stay there but wouldn’t want to book without knowing for sure the construction was finished.

  2. Ysa says:

    Hi Jackson! Your trip to Carabao Island looks so fun and amazing! I’m planning to go there in 2 weeks and I can’t wait to experience the beauty of this island the way you did. I was just wondering if you still have a contact in the island we can reach out to for potential home stay and island tour?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.