Cagbalete Island

Mauban, Quezon

Cagbalete Island
4.5 Stars

21 Reviewers

  • 5 stars 13
  • 4 stars 7
  • 3 stars 1
  • 2 stars 0
  • 1 star 0
  • 22 Reviews
  • 46 Recommend
  • 21 Reviewers
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Most Recent Reviews

Yew J.
4.0 Stars

Meeting this amazing hermit in this island using tin can in place of salvaged empty seashells for shelter and protection from predators.

  • No. of Comments: 4
Bee M.
5.0 Stars

If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and be in an island that has white sand, pristine waters and of course away from the crowd without having to spend much, then Cagbalete island is the place to be! 127754
I wouldn't get into details of how much we spent because I really can't remember every details as this is another late review but I'm pretty sure that we didn't exceed 2k each to think that we were only just two. 128521
I assure you that the long hours of drive and almost an hour of boat ride just to get into this island will all be worthy! You can ride a bus going to Lucena Grand Terminal from Cubao and Pasay. We took the 3am trip of JAC Liner to Lucena Grand Terminal. We got there around 7 and had our breakfast before heading to Mauban. From Lucena Grand Terminal, we took the bus going to Mauban which is around 1hr travel time. And oh, those buses going to Mauban are just the good old mini ordinary bus which I call as the "killer bus" (lahat kase ng lumang bus na hindi aircon nakasanayan lang namin tawagin na killer bus. Hehe) As far as I know, there are no ac buses going to Mauban, but there are vans in SM Lucena if you don't wanna ride the bus. But for me, sayang ang adventure if you wont try the ordinary bus. 128521
Upon arrival to Mauban, we were directed to pay for the environmental fee. There are only 2 schedules for the passenger boat ride going to the island, if I remember the first one departs at around 10am and the other one is around 3pm. Going back to Mauban port is around 7am and 1pm I think. There are private boats as well but that will cost you a lot and I think that will be better if you are with a big group to lessen the expense. Since we still have plenty of time before the boat departs, we took the chance to go to the public market to buy everything we need. One more thing, I suggest you bring your own eco bag dahil bawal ang plastic sa Mauban! (Bakit parang may conviction yun?! Haha) But you may also buy some of the things you need like ice on the town proper.
After almost an hour of boat ride, I can finally get a glimpse of the island! Grabe! Sa town proper palang ang ganda na ng beach!!! 128525 There are a lot of locals that will offer to accompany you to your preferred resort. It took us around 25mins of walking under the scorching heat of sun getting to Villa Noe Resort. It is mostly low tide during lunch time but Cagbalete Island is mostly know for their sand waves.
There is no electricity supply in the island during the day, but it gets back at around 6pm-6am I think. Which is good for me because you wouldn't really need electricity during the day. And at night, ahhh! The night is just perfect, bonfire under the stars and moon is just perfect! 128076🏼128521
We met local kids namely, Edward and Jefferson. They are really nice and magalang. They even helped us with getting woods for our bonfire. In return we had them join us for dinner and breakfast. If you guys happen to be in Cagbalete and want a local to accompany you, look for these two kiddos. 128076🏼9786
I'm rating this 5 stars because of the really nice locals. 128077🏼

Okaaay, ang haba na pala! Haha! That's it!

  • No. of Comments: 6
Casey D.
5.0 Stars

For our team outing we decided to go to Cagbalete Island. We were so excited when it got finalized. For 1500php budget each person including private transpo, banca, accommodation, food and tour its already sulit! Everyone's excited. I wasnt able to focus working as my mind was already in Cagbalete. Hahahha went there right after our shift. It took us around 4-5 hours including the banca ride. It was not an easy breezy banca ride. We were already wet yet still not in Cagbalete island. We were mesmerized by the crystal clear water. Their docking area is clean. Not that fine sand but it was okay. We walked for like 20mins to reach our chosen resort. It was low tide when we arrive. We wasted no time and immediately roam around the area and even went to the bonsai part. it was a long tiring walk but all worth it. We saw lots of small fishes, crablets and "umang". The electricity was not running all day so its not recommended to rent an aircon room unless you have ur kids with you. It's better to go camping to really feel the Cagbalete vibe. 128514 We rented a boat to go to the other sand bar but we were unlucky, it was already high tide when we arrive. No sand bar. But the water is clear so we just went swimming. We woke up early to see the sunrise. It was really beautiful!!!! before heading home, we spoiled ourselves and went swimming again. It was very refreshing. Good thing we have beautiful beaches near manila. No need to splurge much money to see some of mother nature's beauty. Hoping for the residents to take care of this precious gem.

  • No. of Comments: 2
Martin A.
5.0 Stars

Looking for a getaway place? Where the police can't find you? Jk. This is the place to be, very relaxing. Very long travel time, but paradise are always worth traveling for. (Late, but worth a review)

Cagbalete Island.
We travelled this place. Rode a bus going to lucena. Around 5am we were at San Pablo City, Laguna. Then hour after, we were near Lucena. But the driver forgot to drop us at the Grand Terminal :(. So, we went to SM Lucena, there was a van/shuttle going to Mauban Quezon it was around 7:47am I think. Then the driver of the van, was kind enough to drop us at Mauban Port. If you're on a budget be early and wait for the passenger boat (Capacity: 50-80 people not sure) ride for 50 pesos. But if you'd like a private boat. They'll offer you prices. P1000 pesos above. They'd bring you to whatever resort you'd check in to. One of the very popular resort there was the Villa Noe Resort. There are other resorts like Doña Choleng, Villa Cleofas, Pansacola, Joven and more. You could bring your own tent or rent. The island is more of like a boracay but stil not yet developed, electricity would run only 6pm upto 6am. You could also do a bonfire (but not on your own. There are caretakers, and boatmen who would accompany you and guide you, you just have to pay them. If you'd like to buy food, you'd go to the barrio, a ten minute walk from your resorts. Very cheap prices! 128077 If you'd like to have a sweet escape with someone, treat yourself and relax. This is the place for you.

  • No. of Comments: 2
Jon B.
4.0 Stars

I went to this wonderful island alone.I left home at 2:30 PM to catch the 3:30 bus trip going to Mauban, Quezon Province via Jac Liner bus in Cubao. There are many resorts in the island one of which is the Pansacola Resort where I stayed for two nights. Beach itself is okay not as white and fine as Calaguas and Boracay. The next day,rented a boat to explore the whole island,I asked Kuya Bangkero to tour me around and he said, I can take you to the mangrove place, which is a beautiful place. But you have to reach there during high tide to enjoy your experience. There is no electricity source here.

  • No. of Comments: 9
Cynthia L.
4.0 Stars

This place is so adventurous and kinda test your patience in your travel going there however the place is like a paradise and the sunrise is as lovely as the sea ...

  • No. of Comments: 0
Ofel L.
4.0 Stars

Cagbalete Island is 30mins away from Mauban port in Quezon. The best way to get there from Manila is via Antipolo then Sta. Cruz Laguna going to Mauban Quezon. There are lots of resorts that can accommodate you from single pax to a large groups. Its a small island and i think its not yet spoiled because I didn't see any water activities the time when I was there. Its really amazing to see the shore gets wider and wider during low tide. The place also helps for those wants to travel alone or needs some peace of mind.

  • No. of Comments: 2
Kwokie K.
4.0 Stars

If you're looking for a affordable getaway from Manila and you appreciate places in their raw and pristine state - you can head to Cagbalete in Quezon.

3hours road trip to Mauban, Quezon then 45 mins from the port to the island lies Cagbalete. You can park your car in the private parking slots in town, these are parking spaces of the home owners there. Php150 for our Friday to Sunday trip. The province charges a Php50 environmental fee, which i don't know the purpose of, a head. You can choose to wait for the ferry for the trip to the island, or rent your own boat. We chose the latter for Php2000 round trip for the 4 of us.

We booked the resort room ahead, choosing the aircon room (Sasag Deluxe) at Pansacola Resort. They also offer full board meals for the convenience. If you're on a budget, camping is allowed and you can opt to buy from Mauban Market the food you're going to cook in the island. Grilling spots and shared shower areas are part of the camping fee. There are also other resorts in the area, there are new ones being constructed too!

The sand is fine, water is crystal clear. You can get to a mangrove 15 mins away by boat and snorkel. Good trip to just relax, catch up with friends and enjoy the scenery. The beach is full of kermit crabs so that's an indication why it's still pristine!

  • No. of Comments: 3
Ara H.
4.0 Stars

I have never been to any white sand beach EVER! That's why I was so inlove with this beach the moment I stepped into its SMOOTH, soft sand when I alighted the boat. My feet wanted to just play with the sand and the SUPER CLEAR water. Omg. Such a paradise! 100841008410084

Too bad, I was not able to check the looloo reviews before going there, we ended up spending quite more than what others have been telling so. It was also peak season so we have no boat rides going to this island that made us took the special boat trip.

But, whatever that happened, thanks to the beach it was still worth it! I am now starting to love beaches! It won't be my first and last beach stop, for sure! 128077

Note: I kinda enhanced the photo's contrast, hehe.

  • No. of Comments: 5
Cin D.
5.0 Stars

Magnificent! Its worth the heat and hours of travel going there. 10084128526128089127946🏽128675🏿

  • No. of Comments: 0
Jam M.
5.0 Stars

Cagbalete Island is so breath-taking! I am at loss of words. 128525

  • No. of Comments: 0
Justin J.
3.0 Stars



Well I was surprised too. This was my third visit to the island and I was so shocked to see so many people at the tourism area making their way to the island.

I was here during the same time (April) of last year and August this year and you could only count how many tourists there are. I guess Cagbalete is just so popular now.

So here's why.

1. The line to pay for the environmental fee is sooooo long. And the people are sooooo slow.
2. Best of luck trying to get a ride on the passenger boat.
2.1 The passenger boat prioritizes the locals.
2.2 First come first serve. So unless you're already there before sunrise, then bad luck. You're gonna have to wait hours for the next boat.
3. You're most likely to end up renting a private boat which costs a lot extra. Out boat for a group of 8 was P3000 back and forth.

Actually, sa Buendia pa lang, ubusan na ng bus papuntang Lucena sa dami ng papuntang Cagbalete.

But In return, the beach is still beautiful as fuuuuuu....

It's like something I would say to my future wife when we retire:

"You're still as beautiful as the first time I laid eyes on you" 128525128525128525128514128514128514

  • No. of Comments: 14
Lady J T.
5.0 Stars

First of Summer 2015 with the family.

✔️ Always Low tide.
✔️ Clear blue water.

  • No. of Comments: 6
Joicy B.
5.0 Stars

Wanna get away in the hassle and buzzle of busy Manila? Can't decide where to go? Cheaper and affordable vacation your looking for?

I suggest pack your things and head out Cagbalete Island situated in near Mauban,Quezon. 5-6hours travel by land and 1hr by water. We left Manila around 2am and arrive to Cagbalete at 10am.

The sand is clear as white but not that powdered form. But I may say it was so relaxing just to bask in the sun and feel the wind in your face. Less travelers that time because it's off season that means less noise (just the noise of the dog barking all night 128555128054).

Activities you can do are as follow:
9973️ Island hopping (Bonsai, Mangrove and Lighthouse Island *sorry forgot the name of the island)
127946 Snorkeling
128029 Firefly watching around 10pm at the back of the beach resort near the (as one of the local)

If your in a tight budget for island hopping. Wake up as early as 6am. Low tide start around 7am till 12am depends upon the weather. Infront our resort (Villa Cleofas) there's a sand bar. Like 2kilometers away from the island.

Lucena bus 418
NCR Lines 104
Public boat 100
Flat boat transfer 20
Small room (Good 4) 500
Food (estimated) 300
Total: 1442/head

127744Public Boat (Mauban Port - Cagbalete) leaves at 9am, 11am at 1pm. If you missed all 3 scheduled trip you have to avail the special trip that cost 2-4 thousand depending on the capacity of the boat.
127744I suggest you bring your own utensils and liters of water. Because everything you borrow in the resort cost a price.
127744Power supply in Villa Cleofas start at 6pm to 6am
127744 If you choose to camp in the resort beware of stray dogs. So secured your foods.
127744Before leaving the Mauban port make sure to shop for your food resources. But if you happen to forget just like us. You can ask the locals where you can best buy fresh fish and veggies in the port of Cagbalete.

Me and my best bud enjoy this travel. The best place we end our January 2015 and started the FebIbig month. 128522128525 #HelloSingleGals #JoicyTravels15 #OneOutOfManyTravels2015

  • No. of Comments: 6
Cheska R.
5.0 Stars

Best beach vacay ever!!! Water is so clear! Definitely going back here!

  • No. of Comments: 0
Emji L.
5.0 Stars

One of the cheapest yet beautiful vacation :) i was able to organized an outing with my officemates and our budget is less than 1500 per head all in. Includes the transpo, food and lodging. Cagbalete didnt failed us to relax and unwind! Definitely worth it! Will come back! During 12 pm. It becames low tide and you can see the streak of the ocean. 127946

  • No. of Comments: 3
Abegail H.
5.0 Stars

Ok guys hold on cause I will talk you through most of the highlights on our trip going to and coming back from Cagbalete.

Cagbalete Island is a 4 hour drive from Manila plus another 45 minute boat ride from Mauban Quezon to Cagbalate.

We got off from Manila around 9:30, slept for 3 and a half hours then we were their. Note: traveling through any route (either passing by Laiya Batangas or Lucban Quezon) requires patience because of the tricycle drivers taking the inner lanes thinking they are that fast. Laiya Batangas route has fewer though.

Mauban's town is small and so as the streets that leads you to the port. Thanks to our GPS, she (Pertaining to the voice) lead us to a faster route but hell of a narrow street. Grrrrr! Only to find out that there is another route with a wider street. 128548 another Grrrrr! So just a tip when traveling with your car ask the locals instead of listening to your gps.

As we entered the port, we saw this small booth area where we were greeted by a staff, he was also in charge with collecting fees. Kaya pala ang bait niya, nyek! Haha there is an environmental fee and terminal fee of 50/head, car parking isn't a problem they have staffs who will join and guide you to a public school where you could park your car for a fee of 100/day. Payment is settled together with the environmental fees. Make sure to park your ride near a tree or where there is a shade cause the parking is an open oval area of the school, definitely safe as there are guards assigned. A tricycle would be your next ride going back to the port, costs 20 pesos.

There is only two scheduled boat trips in a day going to Cagbalate, first is at 10am and last is at 4pm. If any of the schedule doesn't fit your arrival time and if you have more money to spare then you could get your private bangka that will get you to your resort, the fee depends on your haggling skills but it ranges from 1k to 2k depending which resort you are staying. Since we were only four and we were on a tight budget we had to wait for the 4pm trip. We had a lot of time so we decided to purchase our meals in Mauban market instead in Cagbalate, yes there are some stores in Cagbalete that sells stuffs (tourist needs) from Ice cubes to Fish but I doubt it if there were always available so it was another thing that made us decide to go buy in Mauban.

The market is just a few walks away from the port, but since it was already late we were only left for a few choices of fish and chicken. Surprisingly pork meat was unavailable, another pointer if you're traveling with a car and still got some room for coolers, better purchase your needs from Manila, hassle here. There is a 711 in Mauban where you can refill your ice cubes before crossing Cagbalete, that is if you need more but as I've said you can get ice cubes in Cagbalete. What we did was we brought our uber useful snr bag where we placed all our market goods (cause they ban plastic in Mauban) 128079 and one cooler which was empty and was filled with ice in Cagbalete to avoid carrying heavy things but Don't be scared of carrying heavy items because there are friendly porters in the area that are not money suckers. We were gladly assisted even by the boat crew.

Out butts got stuck with the boat from 1:30-4pm. Omg! We were the first passengers to ride in, it was very humid. Waiting was a crash for us, since we were all excited to get to Cagbalete. The trip was delayed for 20minutes because of some a-hole tourists who were late to be on board. Grrrrr! Everyone was already hot tempered even the residents of Cagbalete who were already shouting to the crews. My friends were already hungry so earlier before the time they went to the port and bought some pancit habhab and banana-q from the street vendors. There were also some kids boarding the boat who are selling ice candy and popsicles, for a few minute of anger interference.

Finally!!!! After 45 minutes of butt shaking boat ride we could already set foot on the island of Cagbalete but too bad it was low tide that we have to ride a small boat on a standing ovation just so they could maximize the space, it was pulled by the crew to the shore, luckily, we were fast enough to get the first ride. After buying some more stuffs, we hired two kids to guide us and even carry some our stuff going to the resort we booked. If walking doesn't give you a thrill then a boat ride to the resort for 50 pesos per head is another option. For just a few minutes of sweating, este, walking pala and a 50 pesos fee for each of the kids you'll then find yourself in your resort enjoying the fine white sands and clear gleaming waters of Cagbalete.

This island is another proof that it is so much fun in the Philippines, you'll find yourself smiling even just by looking at the beautiful scenery. I love how I could walk meters away from the shore without worrying how deep it could get cause it really wasn't. I enjoyed looking at my feet under the water and even just searching for colorful fishes though there was hardly one. Just by looking up in the sky while relaxing on the clear calm seas of Cagbalete, letting the water take you wherever they are going is a treasured moment. Let the sky peek on you while your having fun. I remembered reading a blog who described it's sand as white and creamy, I laughed but she was definitely right. I could walk barefoot without worrying hurting my feet. No trace of pollution here.

It was hard to leave the island. As in really hard! But we have to. For us to experience boating (excuse not to walk), we hired a small boat for 200 pesos just to drive us to the port where we will ride another one going to Mauban. The ride was around 10-15 minutes it may depend if your leaving on a high or low tide because it was harder for the boatsmen to manipulate if its low tide, have to go to the open instead of staying close to the shore because there were a lot of coral. I've remembered the seas just like the island hopping we took in bora where there were a lot of corals. Other parts have star fishes and some have urchins. Cool! 128522

Arriving at the port, we waited just a few minutes since the boat we are riding is already full we even seated at the "katig" (the outside skirt of the boat), it was cool seating their facing the seas witnessing how it turns to different shades of blue. The ride going back took an hour because we were literally overloaded. I hope this helped for those who are planning for a Cagbalete trip. SUMMER NEVER ENDS!

Wooooah! Haba na pala. I just miss Cagbalete and how hospitable people are.

  • No. of Comments: 7
Eloi H.
5.0 Stars

Loved loved loved Cagbalete! Wonderful beach. White sand. Some parts are actually fine white sand comparable to Boracay. And during low tide, the beach is so wide and our dog Arwen had a blast running around. It's like Boracay in the 1980s, very relaxing feel and not a lot of structures yet. The water is cool and clean.

It's just really very far. The kilometer reading on our CRV said 180km++ but it took us about 5 hours to get there (with a few short stops). I advise you to leave Manila very early (3am 128513). Look out for several diversion roads that will bypass some towns to shorten the trip.

You can park your vehicle at the Mauban South HS but you MUST get a parking ticket (100 pesos) first at the port. They can improve this system further so we don't have to go to the port then go back to the parking place then take the tricycle to the port. The parking space at the football/track field of the school is more than enough and the place has guards.

You must also pay an environmental fee of 50pesos per head at the port. Then you take a boat ride (45mins) to Cagbalete island. We hired a boat to take us directly to our resort so we didn't have to hike from the Cagbalete port to the resort. We arrived before 12noon and it was low tide already.

There are a few resorts there already, we stayed at Pansacola Beach Resort (separate review).

I hope Cagbalete doesn't turn out to be another Boracay.

  • No. of Comments: 2
Karen C.
5.0 Stars

Breathtaking view! Super clear water!!! You will surely enjoy this place without breaking your bank! 128525128525128525128525

  • No. of Comments: 2
Justin J.
5.0 Stars

Talk about an escape without breaking the bank! As soon as I saw that blog being shared on facebook, I made sure to visit this place before it gets crowded.

After a 4-5 hour bus ride from Buendia to Mauban, Quezon and almost an hour boat ride, you'll reach the beautiful island of Cagbalete. Port pa lang nila ang ganda na.

Before you even reach the shore, kids will already approach and climb on to the boat offering to be your guide (yes, kids will be your guides to get to the resort). Why? Because a 10-20minute trek is required to get to the resort of your choice so make sure to bring lots of water and sunblock with you!

We then reached the Joven Blue Sea Resort. What I liked about the resort is that it's not one of the most popular resorts in the area, and it's in the middle of all of the resorts making it close to everything.

We opted to stay the night in a tent. What sets Joven's apart from other resorts is that their tent comes with a banig and pillows. You can also pitch your own tent if you wish. 128077

It was low tide during the time, so we weren't able to swim just yet. So we took advantage of it and explored the island. The sea will go back to as far as around a kilometer away.

There are a lot of nice things to see during low tide. You'll be able to appreciate all of the fine white sand. Lots of sandbars will appear and the so called Bonsai Island!

Food. We came with nothing!! Good thing the resort had set meals for sale which was a bit pricey at around P200-300 per meal. Good thing one of the locals offered to go to the market for us for free. So we had him buy us liempo for dinner which we had the resort cook for us for free as well! There will also be locals who will pass by selling fish. 128077 For breakfast we just had pancit canton.

The resort also has a small bar. I got drunk. The other guests kept making me take shots of lambanog on top of the red horse that I was already drinking. I didn't mind at first because I really wanted to drink and get tipsy but the lambanog was so strong. 128128128128128128

High tide happens during late in the afternoon, but will be much more appreciated in the morning. Crystal clear cold waters. Fine white sand. Had a hard time getting myself out of the water. Only thing I didn't like is that there are parts that have a lot of leaves.

So here's the budget for the whole trip already divided per person for a group of two.

Bus from Buendia to Lucena and back: 418
Bus from Lucena - Mauban and back: 108
Trike from Mauban to Pantalan and back: 28
Environmental Fee: 50
Boat to Cagbalete: 50
Resort Entrance: 50
Tent: 250
Food: 250
TOTAL: P1,204

I spent around P1700 all in all because of misc. expenses.

To conclude, this is probably one of the best destinations near manila. Still not a lot of visitors even though it's a holiday weekend. Highly recommended. If you haven't gone out yet for the summer and on a tight budget, this is the place to go!

  • No. of Comments: 30