17 THINGS TO DO ON ROMBLON ISLAND, ROMBLON: THE BUCKET LIST
Romblon Island is the hub of the Romblon Province and home to the famous Bonbon Beach. However, there is a slew of other attractions just waiting to be discovered. Romblon had arguably the best beaches of all the islands in the Romblon Province, which made it a much more relaxing island. However, it also had its fair share of waterfalls, island hopping, and epic viewpoints. I put together this list of the highlights from our stay on Romblon Island.
Don’t be confused Romblon is the province, which is made up of Romblon Island, Sibuyan Island, Carabao Island, Tablas Island and another 15 or so smaller land masses. So when you hear Romblon, people may be talking about the province but generally, people call it Romblon, Romblon when they are referring to the Island of Romblon itself. Bloody confusing stuff!
HOW TO GET TO ROMBLON, ROMBLON ISLAND
Romblon Island is a little tricky to get to but that’s a good thing. It keeps the masses at bay. We flew from Manila to Caticlan and then took a ferry to Tablas (where we explored for a week) and then a ferry to Romblon Island. There are multiple options for you to get to Romblon but no real airport. The closest airport is on Tablas Island.
- Fly into Tablas and then catch a ferry to Romblon Island. (Check the ferry times because sometimes it is only in the morning or only on Thursdays and Tuesdays or some other random schedule. It can be quite hard to do a double transit within one day and you may need to spend a night and catch the ferry the next day if you don’t time it well.)
- Catch a ferry from Tablas or Sibuyan Island. A direct ferry from either Sibuyan or Tablas goes straight to Romblon
- From Manila, you can take an overnight ferry to Tablas and then a ferry to Romblon.
It really depends on where you re coming from but getting around Romblon Province can be quite tricky. The best way to do it is to book while you are there so that way you can ask the locals the best way and route. Obviously, you may need to book your in and our routes beforehand but you can work around those as we did. I wish I could give you more solid advice but it’s a bit hectic and depends where you are coming from.
TRANSPORT ON ROMBLON, ROMBLON ISLAND
Transport is pretty straightforward on Romblon Island. There aren’t many cars and most people get around by moped/motorbike. We found them in the town for 500 pesos, which is about $10 USD per day. It might sound expensive but it was pretty similar throughout Romblon so we just rolled with it. In Tablas it took us 15 hours just to find a damn motorbike!
Our accommodation staff actually organized our motorbikes for us and were super helpful. The contact info is the paragraph below.
WHERE I STAYED ON ROMBLON, ROMBLON ISLAND
We stayed at Stone Creek House, which is a boutique apartment in the middle of the town (Poblacion). You can check it out by clicking this link to the AirBnb listing for Stone Creek House. It was our base for our five days on Romblon Island and Carlos, the owner, also organized our motorbikes and island hopping experience.
You can actually rent out the entire apartment building, which is a huge studio and smaller bedrooms. Carlos gave Nic and I the top studio, which was insane. We had a private rooftop, bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and a huge, huge living room. We lived like kings for five days!
THINGS TO DO ON ROMBLON ISLAND
Okay, that is all the logistics above about transport and accommodation. Time to get into the fun stuff. These were my favorite memories and what I recommend as some of the best things to do on Romblon Island.
Bonbon Beach on Romblon Island in the Philippines is one of the most beautiful stretches of sand in the world. It’s definitely the best beach in the Romblon Province and the sandbar makes it an iconic location in the region.
Bonbon Beach in Romblon is located only 3km from the Poblacion (main town). I even jogged here one morning from my accommodation, Stone Creek House. There aren’t too many epic beaches like this one on the doorstep of the main town and the ferry port!
The main drawcards for the beach are the crystal clear water but mostly the sandbar, which links the island of Romblon to a Bang-og Island. It is possible to cross the sandbar to the island at low-tide but you must be careful not to get stuck out there when the tide rises and the sandbar becomes submerged. At high tide, the sandbar is about waist deep and at low tide, it is obviously full exposed.
Flying the drone at Bonbon beach was incredibly fun. To see the sandbar from the air was just one of those travel moments you never forget. For me the picture defines paradise. Crystal clear water and a sandbar leading to a mysterious, uninhabited island. It doesn’t get much better and is definitely drone heaven.
View the full blog post here: BONBON BEACH SANDBAR
FORT SAN ANDRES
Fort San Andres is an imposing lookout over the Poblacion (Main town) of Romblon Island in Romblon Province. The 17th century Spanish Fortress is now a crumbling reminder of the rich history of Romblon.
The journey up was not incredibly hard but it was a very steep, long set of stairs. Along the way, the gardens on either side of the stairs are magnificent and well manicured. Statues and hedges create a magnificent entrance to Fort San Andres.
When we reached the top the guard was just about to close the gates. We had just made it up in time to catch the sunset out over the ocean. You are allowed to climb to the roof of the Fort and from the roof, we sat on the walls and watched the sun disappear into the horizon.
View the full blog post here: FORT SAN ANDRES SUNSET VIEWPOINT
TALIPASAK BEACH (SAN PEDRO BEACH)
Talipasak Beach also known as San Pedro Beach Resort is one of the gems of Romblon Island. Hidden away down a side road, this beach has a real peaceful atmosphere. A cafe sits amidst the trees behind the beach while benches and hammocks are ready for you to laze away the day in the shade of the beautiful trees overlooking the crystal clear water.
Talipasak is just down the road from Bonbon Beach and while it doesn’t have the sandbar it makes up for that with its unique atmosphere. We really liked hanging out at Talipasak having a coffee in the cafe before setting up a spot in the shade of the trees. Only one other group joined us while we were at the beach.
The water was crystal clear and contrasted spectacularly against the palm tree-lined hills behind the shore. If you go for a short swim you can even find a small bay, which you really will get to enjoy entirely to yourself!
View the full blog post here: TALIPASAK (SAN PEDRO) BEACH
Just around the corner from Bonbon Beach is another little gem called Tiamban Beach. It has more crystal clear water, few crowds and palm trees. It’s a classic Philippines beach that ticks all the boxes. We hung out for quite a while and chatted with some locals, enjoyed a coffee from the small cafe and really soaked up that causal Romblon beach vibe.
REGGAE VIBES AGPANABAT SEA TURTLE SANCTUARY
We drove south from the main town for about 30-40 minutes when we passed a place called Reggae Vibes. Nothing much was going on out the front but it seemed to be some sort of shop or cafe. We decided to check it out and walked in. A lady yelled and welcomed us in. She had recognized Nic from his photos of Tablas and Romblon on Facebook! She introduced herself. It was Rose!
From the shore, the ocean looked great but it’s hard to tell how good a snorkeling spot will be from the surface. Rose lent us a mask and we went out one by one to check it out. It turned out to be one of the best snorkeling spots in the whole Romblon Province! The coral was huge and the clarity was insane. From the surface, I could see the coral over 15 meters away with ease.
The area is part of a sanctuary and some of it is sectioned off by buoys to protect the corals and marine life. However, a big part of the ocean is open for snorkeling. A small wooden hut sits out in the ocean and is used as a lookout during the evening and overnight to make sure no one is fishing in the sanctuary.
View the full blog post here: AGPANABAT SEA TURTLE SANCTUARY SNORKELING
LAHUNG ROCK FORMATION
The Lahung rock formation is an epic little spot hidden off the road. It is the site of the old Pawikan ( Sea Turtle) sanctuary, which is temporarily closed. A small hut sits right on the edge of the shore with a big drop down and out to the right is a beautiful rock arch. The sun sets right over the arch, making for an epic sunset viewpoint!
Libtong Falls is an off the beaten path waterfall on the island of Romblon in Romblon Province. We found out about it from a local and set off in search of the waterfall for a morning adventure.
We walked along a beaten path for about 10-15 minutes up a slight incline. All the while we could hear the sound of running water to our left as we followed the flow upstream. We made a short descent, still following the path and made our way down below the canopy. Before us was beautiful, it’s layered seemed to go on forever.
View the full blog post: LIBTONG FALLS AT SABLAYAN POINT
COBRADOR ISLAND HOPPING
The island has so many amazing beaches like Bonbon, Tiamban, and Talipasak but if you want to get on a boat and go exploring, there are some true gems nearby if you head out on a Romblon Island hopping tour to Alad, Cobrador and Lugbon.
Our island hopping tour was 1500 pesos for the entire boat and a day of island-hopping at our leisure. The price of the boat was fixed. We were only two people but if we had of brought ten people the price would remain the same. 1500 pesos was equivalent to $30 USD, which made it $15 each for an entire boat to two of us! Pretty good for not having a group. This included a pick-up and drop-off to the port, which was only a 10-minute walk anyway. Lunch wasn’t included but we bought some fried chicken, rice and drinks in the town before we left for just a few dollars.
View the full blog post: ISLAND HOPPING TOUR: ALAD, COBRADOR, LUGBON
- ALAD CAVE
Our first stop was to cruise along the coast of Alad, an island about 20 minutes from Romblon Island. We had heard about some caves but like all good things in the Romblon Province, we had no idea where they were. I don’t think we found the caves we had been told about but we snorkeled along the coastline and found some pretty cool caves of our own! We jumped off the boat and climbed deep into the back of this cave that seemed to go on forever!
- MARAKAY MARAKAY CLIFF JUMP
I think I found heaven. Marakay Marakay cliff jump was an island purely dedicated to a diving board. Our boat pulled up right next to the island, where cement stairs are built into the island. Normally with cliff jumping in the Philippines, it is a battle to get back up the cliffs and to avoid cutting yourself on the sharp rocks. At Marakay Marakay it can’t get any more convenient. From the boat, a pathway leads right up to the diving board. Jumping off, swimming to the stairs and climbing back up to the board was a circuit I completed multiple times. This was a spot I wasn’t expecting on our Romblon Island hopping tour but what an epic spot to enjoy all to ourselves for over an hour!
- COBRADOR BEACH
Cobrador Beach was beautiful, with crystal clear water and mountains in the distance. Cobrador Beach is often referred to as Naguso Beach, which is the local name. It was eerily quiet, no people on the beach, no vendors, no one at all. We almost didn’t know what to do! We took a seat and just took it all in. Island hopping to a remote island, from an already pretty remote island. Sun is out, water is transparent and life is good.
Our boat docked and at a small beach and there was a bit of a rock wall and some cliffs. We couldn’t quite figure out what the situation was. After jumping out of the boat we climbed through a small arch and into a bit of a lagoon. We then headed through a cave, which opened up into a tiny lagoon or ‘Hidden Sea’. It was amazing to sit in what is essentially a natural hot tub in peace while listening to the waves smashing into the walls on the outside.
- LUGBON BEACH
It was time for lunch and we had circled back to be close to the Romblon Island Port. However, we stopped off at Lugbon Beach to chill under the palm trees. We had brought our fried chicken and rice for lunch. Sitting under the palm trees on the sand, we chatted with some locals who were selling coffees and pastries, which made for a perfect dessert.
The palm trees on Lugbon were epic and reminded me of some of the island hopping in Coron. Further down the beach was a cool bamboo pier that I believe was being used for supplies to the massive hotel that is under construction.
The entrance to the Kipot River is literally someones front yard. We walked through their yard as the kids played and the parents said hello. Wandering past huge pigs and other farm animals, we began to wind our way down to the river. It is a very short trek but quite steep and slippery. At the bottom of the trail, we had our first glimpse of the Kipot River. The emerald color of the water was stunning and the atmosphere was quiet and relaxing.
View the full blog post: KIPOT RIVER
On any other island, it would be known as the top beach but Dolphin Beach comes well out of the top 3 on Romblon Island. But you can’t overlook cool spots just because you have a Bonbon around the corner. Dolphin Beach is still a great spot to check out for an afternoon hang session.
MARBLE QUARRY AND WORKSHOP
In a matter of unplanned events, we visited a remote marble quarry in Lio Bay and then went to check out the marble being crafted by the talented artists. I’ve documented the whole random adventure in a full blog post, which I have linked below. Basically, we ended up in a random village, stumbled upon an epic marble quarry, became friends with the whole village, flew the drones and then checked out the finished marble products on the way home!
View the full blog post: ROMBLON MARBLE QUARRY AND WORKSHOP: SELF GUIDED TOUR
CAJIMOS POINT SUNSET
This is another sunset point we found thanks to our trusty friend Google Satellite Maps. We always look for cool viewpoints and reefs and this inlet looked pretty interesting. Once again we drove through a village who had no idea what the hell we wanted driving down a dead end. Intrigued they watched on as we had a good old time flying over a pretty epic spot. Sunset wasn’t bad either!
DRONE HILL WITH THE KIDS
I won’t throw the location of this place up, because it was literally someone’s backyard. We thought we had found an epic spot to drone from at sunset, which we had but it was on someone’s property. We asked them if we could jump in and hang out on their hill. The kids of the neighborhood joined us out on the hill as we drained battery after battery shooting outrigger boats, sunsets and the palm trees. These are the sunsets you remember!