Boracay’s Unspoiled Sister


It’s a fact: at any given time, Boracay welcomes thousands of visitors. With the island’s ultra-fine sand, turquoise waters, variety of dining options and crazy parties, Boracay has everything visitors/tourists need for a vacation.

During summer, Boracay hits its “super peak season” with record breaking number of visitors and of course the famous and (infamous) #LaBoracay. At this time of the year though, Boracay’s algae bloom is also at its peak- not to mention accommodations are sky-high rates and hordes upon hordes of people wanting to have their good time in the world-famous beach.


Carabao Island: Boracay’s Virgin Sister

Forty minutes from Caticlan port is the still pristine and unspoiled Carabao Island. Locals say the island got its name from the carabaos grazing in the island back then.

San Jose is only town in Carabao Island and several beaches can be found in the island. From Boracay, visitors can either choose to stay in Barangay Lanas or in Poblacion San Jose (or Hambil). I prefer Lanas though because the place is more quiet.


A local walks along the shore in Lanas


Care to Chill? Azure and blue waters of Lanas in Carabao Island


The stretch of the beach in Lanas


Other activities in Carabao Island

Carabao Island also has a cliff diving spot akin to that of Ariel’s Point in Boracay (not that high though) but without the crowd or people falling in line.
Kuding-Kuding, which can be reached via a 30-minute motorcycle ride from San Jose, has a cliff diving site good for beginners and also for thrill seekers. It’s easy to jump from the low points of the cliff up to the highest points.
Kuding Kuding Cliff Jumping Site


A visitor dips in the cool waters of Kuding Kuding


Locals of Carabao with some visitors in the island


San Jose (Hambil) Beach

San Jose town is the only town in Carabao Island. In the Poblacion area, a wide stretch of beach can be found and the best thing about this beach is that it’s free! No entrance fees and environmental fees are collected and the beach has the same (or almost) kind of white fine, polvoron-like sand of Boracay.

Locals enjoying the beach


Fine, white sand and the clear waters of Hambil


How to Get to Carabao Island

Getting to Carabao Island is fairly easy from Caticlan. At the Caticlan Jetty Port (the jump off to Boracay), ask the tricycle drivers to take you to Tabon Port (10 mins, 20PH/pax)
There are only 2 boats from Tabon that leaves for CARABAO ISLAND at 900AM so better be there before 9AM. Fare is 100 Pesos and trip lasts for 1 Hour.
The boats can either take you to Lanas or Hambil. Hambil is where the Poblacion is while Lanas is a Barangay 30-minutes from Hambil via motorbike. Hambil has more options for lodging but we stayed in Lanas as it is more quiet. In Lanas, stay at CARABAO BACKPACKERS (Php350/pax/night, dorm type). Food choices in Lanas are only those in carenderias and local bakeries. Hambil, on the other hand, has restaurants located along the beach.



Written by your Amigo,

Paul Vallar


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