9 AWESOME THINGS TO DO ON SIBUYAN ISLAND: THE BUCKET LIST

trekking mt guiting guiting g2 sibuyan island

Sibuyan Island is a tough place to reach by boat but once you are there it’s time to enjoy some magnificent natural wonders. Mt. Guiting Guiting is the headline act of this island with its arduous trek. Cresta de Gallo is the other main drawcard, one of the most spectacular white sandbars in the Philippines. Waterfalls and viewpoints top off an amazing island, which seems to fly under the radar. These are my favorite things to do on Sibuyan Island in Romblon, Philippines.

HOW TO GET TO SIBUYAN ISLAND

Sibuyan Island is quite remote and is the hardest island to reach out of the main islands on Romblon. This is purely because it is the furthest from Tablas, the main port in Romblon Province. However, it just takes a few ferries from Tablas to reach Sibuyan. Things to consider are that the ferries often leave once per day at 8 am or early in the morning. This means if you try and skip from Tablas to Sibuyan in one day it could be impossible as you need to get to Romblon on the first ferry and then there are no more for that day. Therefore identifying the ferry schedule is important.

My advice and what we did is to stay on Romblon Island for a few days, (which you should anyway) and then take the morning ferry over to Sibuyan. Going back from Sibuyan you can take a morning ferry to Romblon and then the midday ferry to Tablas. We even took it one step further and took a sunset charter boat to Carabao, so we made it all the way from Sibuyan to Carabao in one day. Things are possible in Romblon Province but once you go past Romblon Island and are looking for transport to and from Sibuyan it seems that the once-daily ferry is the only real option on most days. It costs only a few USD and takes about an hour to cross over to the other island.

WHERE TO STAY ON SIBUYAN ISLAND

Magdiwang: The port is quite near where you will want to get an accommodation for before and after trekking Mt. Guiting Guiting. The best town to stay in for your Mt. Guiting Guiting trekking base is Magdiwang.  From the port, you can take a tricycle to Magdiwang for just a couple of dollars.

In Magdiwang you have a few options of where to stay. We originally had been told to stay at Sanctuary Garden Resort. It was fully booked so we instead managed to find a room at a little hotel called Ranchers Place. Our friend on Romblon Island organized it and there is almost nothing online about it if you do in fact, wish to stay in the same place. This is a short bio about Ranchers Place on Lonely Planet, which includes the phone number.

Ranchers Place did the job for us. It was a private room for $20 USD. The room was pretty basic but had a working A/C, a small private bathroom and that’s about it. You don’t come to Magdiwang to enjoy a resort. We stayed one night before our trek and one night after so we just slept and prepared for our trek. There is pretty much no WIFI on Sibuyan Island and if you can get 3G/4G anywhere thank your lucky stars. We did grab a few bars from time to time but for the most part, just enjoy the nature because you won’t be spending much time online!

San Fernando: We arrived at San Fernando after a long, bumpy journey and stayed at the Seabreeze Inn. The owners were super nice and it was right on the beach. The rooms were pretty basic, which was fine as it only cost about 800 pesos per night for double occupancy with a/c. They also rented us a motorbike for $10 USD per day.

SIBUYAN ISLAND TRANSPORT

There are lots of different types of transport on Sibuyan Island and it’s likely that at some stage you will need to use them all.

  • Motorbike: For about $10 USD you can rent a motorbike, which is great for visiting waterfalls, sunset viewpoints our touring around. We used the motorbike for out waterfall adventure days and when we weren’t visiting Cresta de Gallo or trekking up Mt. Guiting Guiting.
  • Tricycle: For short trips into the markets, from ports to the accommodation, the tricycle is a good choice. We could fit both myself and Nic and all of our luggage in the tricycle. They usually cost about $2-3 for a 20 minute or so ride.
  • Jeepney: To get between towns it is best to go with the Jeepney. For example from Magdiwang to San Fernando, the Jeepney takes about 1-2 hours. Be prepared for some bumpy roads. We always chose the roof.

WIFI AND MOBILE DATA CONNECTION ON SIBUYAN ISLAND

Come with no expectations. Both Globe and Smart struggle big time here as of 2018. It may improve soon. In Magdiwang we could hardly connect and same in San Fernando. We got a few pockets of data connection but definitely never any WIFI. Lucky there are lots of things to do on Sibuyan Island!

 

9 AWESOME THINGS TO DO ON SIBUYAN ISLAND

TREK TO THE SUMMIT OF MT. GUITING GUITING

Mt. Guiting Guiting is one of the toughest hikes in the Philippines and is actually the training ground for Filipinos before they head to Nepal to attempt Mt. Everest! Don’t get scared off yet, although it is a big peak for the Philippines, it stands at 2048m above sea-level, which isn’t a huge peak as far as mountaineering goes. G2 as Mt. Guiting Guiting is often referred to, is a hike for everyone and is a great team activity or solo experience with views you can’t dream up.

The hike to the summit can be done in just one day but most do it over 2-3 days to enjoy the entire experience. We stayed one night at the campsite before returning the following day. The ridges are incredibly epic and it is definitely something to travel to come to Sibuyan Island to accomplish!

View the full blog post: TREKKING MT GUITING GUITING (G2)

trekking mt guiting guiting g2 sibuyan island

 

EXPLORE CATAJA FALLS

Cataja Falls is a series of cascades and we thought the first one was impressive. Our guide said don’t stop let’s keep going because he knew this was nothing compared to the falls at the end. We continued to pass by beautiful waterfalls and crystal clear pools. Despite the searing heat, we continued all the way to the top waterfall and when we did, we were blown away.

Many different streams of water flowed down the huge rock face, channeling into lots of different rock pools. It was immense and in the middle of the jungle! The entire journey to the waterfall took over an hour and was quite strenuous but what a place to end up at!

Cataja Falls is so unique, with its wall of waterfalls. I couldn’t imagine how epic this region would be after heavy rains, although the guide said it would be too dangerous to trek up to the top of the waterfalls were flowing heavier!

View the full blog post: 4 EPIC WATERFALLS ON SIBUYAN

 

ISLAND HOP TO CRESTA DE GALLO

Cresta de Gallo is one of those places you hear about while you are traveling. Oh, you are in Romblon? You HAVE to go to Cresta de Gallo they would tell us. We always had it in the plans, but you know it is going to be special when it’s on the tip of the tongue of everybody who visited Sibuyan Island!

When we got dropped off at 11 am there were a few other boats there but hardly anyone at all. We sat down and realized we had 7 hours until we were leaving. I think we came a little early! We chilled in the sun for a while and then when the clouds passed through and the skies cleared we sent up the drone to capture some photos of the epic, epic sandbar that connects the two sides of Cresta de Gallo Island together.

This sandbar is the highlight of the island and really is a sight to see not only from the air but from the beach itself. I think there is something special about being on a small island in the middle of the ocean, far away from the mainland. It is that remoteness that makes the vibe quite unique to an ordinary beach.

View full blog postCRESTA DE GALLO ISLAND

cresta de gallo island

 

CLIFF JUMP AT CATINGAS RIVER

Cantingas River is the source of 90% of the water for the island of Sibuyan. It is also the source of some pretty gnarly diving boards! This spot is incredibly popular for families on the weekend, where the adults and the kids come to play and hang out. The crystal clear water and the diving boards make it one of the most popular sites on Sibuyan.

The kids starting jumping from the middle platform and then even from the top. I watched a few older guys jump from that high before I decided, I better jump as I’m probably never coming back!

Off I went to the big platform, hoping I would land in the right spot that was deep enough. Bombs away. I landed and didn’t even touch the floor, which was a relief.

View full blog post: CANTINGAS RIVER CLIFF JUMP ON SIBUYAN

 

COOL OFF AT BUSAY FALLS

Busay Falls seemed to be the most popular waterfall on Sibuyan island amongst the locals. Lots of groups of friends were hanging out and eating a picnic lunch while we were there.

A small pool at the base of the falls was the perfect place to refresh after the short but hot journey in. I really enjoyed these falls. One huge stream of water poured down into the pool. The trees surrounded us in what was almost a canyon, a long thin open stretch. It felt very enclosed and magical. We even managed to climb the sides of the pool for a few cliff jumps with the local kids.

View the full blog post: 4 EPIC WATERFALLS ON SIBUYAN

 

ENJOY IPIL POINT FOR SUNSET

The viewpoint hill was right there but there was no path. We just made our own path and clambered up the hill, much to the shock of the family of goats chilling halfway up. We weren’t expecting too much from the small viewpoint, to be honest, but it was actually really nice. We had 360-degree views.

On one side we had the ocean with a decent drop down from the cliff we stood on. On the other side were layers of palm trees, covering the village. Eventually, the mountains put a stop to the palms and towered over Magdiwang. We could see Mt. Guiting Guiting, where we would be attempting the overnight trek the following day.

View full blog post: IPIL POINT SUNSET VIEWPOINT ON SIBUYAN

ipil point viewpoint sibuyan

 

RELAX AT DAGUBDOB FALLS

Dagubdob Falls was the second waterfall we visited on our day motorbike adventure while we stayed in San Fernando. It was a little tricky to find again as there were a few roads closed but is right next to the huge channel.

When we arrived we couldn’t believe how beautiful this multi-tiered waterfall system was. Striking emerald water cascaded down and down into the next pool. As we climbed up and up we were surprised that it just never seemed to end. There were at least 6 pools you could swim in if not more. I, of course, found a few you could even jump into.

This is a great place to bring a packed lunch, hang out on the rocks in the sun and chill out for half a day!

View the full blog post: 4 EPIC WATERFALLS ON SIBUYAN

 

VISIT LAMBINGAN FALLS

Lambingan Falls is probably the most commonly visited waterfall by tourists on Sibuyan Island. It is right near Magdiwang town and only takes a 10-15 minutes to reach by car or motorbike from the town. We visited Lambingan Falls on the same day as Cataja Falls. You won’t need a guide for this one it is signposted and there is no trekking involved.

The falls are quite small but still very peaceful. It was a great place to hang out and chill for a while on the bamboo platform. There was a disappointing factor at Lambingan, which was the diversion pipes sticking straight out of the waterfall. I think these kinds of diversions should be done upstream if they are necessary for the local community.

There is a little cliff jump at the bottom falls, which is also a great spot to sit in the huts and have some lunch, as we did.

View the full blog post: 4 EPIC WATERFALLS ON SIBUYAN

 

WATCH SUNSET AT AZAGRA LIGHTHOUSE HILL

We originally set out to find Cauit Point Tower, which if it does exist is very small because we didn’t see anything tall near Cauit Point! We did see a cool lighthouse behind Cauit Point in Azagra. We made the short trek up the hill and found that the Lighthouse was locked and we couldn’t enter but we did get to enjoy the sunset from high up on the hill.

On the right, we had the setting sun and the coast near San Fernando and on the left was the coast of Cauit and hundreds of palm trees. It turned out to be an epic sunset and while not our original plan it was a great location to finish the day. If you are in the area and don’t have plans for sunset, I suggest heading up the hill with a beer and watching the sun go down!

 

 

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4 Discussion to this post

  1. Uriel says:

    awesome awesome… purely great article!

  2. Jayson Tangco says:

    Congrats friend jackson Thank you thank you for visiting island romblon.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wow! Thanks to visit our pristine and serene Island Sibuyan.. !!

  4. Dax ignatius andrade says:

    Thank you jackson groves for visiting our enigmatic island hope u can drop by again.godbless!#cheersmate!

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