Carabao Island is an underrated destination just a stone’s throw from the more popular island, Boracay. There are so many fantastic things to do in Carabao Island including beach hopping, cliff jumping, panoramic viewpoints and more!
Many tourists that stay on Boracay Island often take day tours to Carabao Island. However, in my opinion, it is worth to stay on Carabao Island for a couple of days to enjoy its serene vibe, white sand beaches and turquoise blue seas away from all the crowds on Boracay Island.
I have put together this complete travel guide of the 7 Best Things To Do In Carabao Island to help you craft together your own Carabao Island itinerary!
Also in this Carabao Island Blog, I have included useful information on how to get to Carabao Island, where to stay in Carabao Island, getting around and the best time to visit.
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7 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN CARABAO ISLAND
Lanas Beach is one of the best beaches on the island and should definitely be added to your list of things do to in Carabao Island Philippines.
Lanas Beach is located on the western side of Carabao Island, which is around 15 minutes away from the port. From Lanas Beach, you’ll be able to see Puka Beach on Boracay Island in the distance.
Lanas Beach is very calm and peaceful which makes it the perfect place to relax. It also offers one of the most romantic and relaxing sunset viewing spots.
There are not many resorts and accommodations on Carabao Island which means most of the time you’ll have the beach all to yourself and can enjoy the tranquil atmosphere surrounded by golden sand beach and turquoise water without being disturbed.
If you want a bit more action you can go to Lanas Beach Resort or to The Beach House and order your favorite cocktail at the bar whilst listening to the sound of the waves and enjoy the stunning ocean views.
Lanas Beach Carabao Island
Drone shot of Lanas Beach – Carabo Island Blog
Lanas Beach – Carabao Island
CATHEDRAL CAVE CLIFF JUMP
On the west side of Carabao Island, you will find the Cathedral Cave Cliff Jump. Cathedral Cave has become a popular tourist spot on Carabao Island which offers numerous activities such as cliff diving, snorkeling and cave exploring.
The entrance fee at Cathedral Cave Carabao is 100 pesos.
Many day tours from Boracay Island include the Cathedral Cave Cliff Jump on their itinerary which makes it one of the most popular and crowded spots on Carabao Island. Even if you don’t enjoy cliff diving I highly recommend adding this to your things to do in Carabao Island list.
The cliff jumping area around Cathedral Cave is man-made and all the diving boards are connected to each other by bamboo walkways and bridges, which makes this location a perfect spot to just walk around and explore the cliffs.
There are local food huts available where you can order food and drinks for lunch. It’s also quite entertaining to watch people build up the courage to take the leap off the diving boards.
Cathedral Cave is divided into two different sides. On the left-hand side, there are two diving boards, which are about 3 meters and 5 meters high. On the right-hand side, you will find the higher cliff jumps. Some of the jumps on this side range from 8 meters up to approximately 14 meters.
Once you land safely in the water you can explore the pristine blue and turquoise waters and discover the colorful corals under the water. When you’re done exploring, there are bamboo ladders in place making it easy to climb back up to the top of the cliffs for another jump.
You’ll also find the big caves on the right side which are worth exploring. There are helmets laying right outside by the entrance which are required to be worn when you enter.
It’s a good idea to get a guide to come along with you when you go exploring Cathedral Cave Carabao Island as there are several small tunnels, smaller caves inside the main cave and some sharp rock formations in the water which tend to be slippery. You’ll find the guides right by the entrance of Cathedral Cave Carabao.
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Cathedral Cave Cliff Jump – Carabao Island
Cathedral Cave Carabao Island
Exploring the caves on Carabao Island
Turquoise waters – Carabao Island
NGIRITON CAVE CARABAO ISLAND
Ngiriton Cave is one of the more interesting spots to check out on Carabao Island, located at the top of a hill and hidden in the forest at Sitio Lindero.
The way to the cave passes through local farmland and you’ll most likely have to stop and ask someone in the small village to point you in the right direction.
When you reach the jump-off point, it’s a short 5-minute walk along a dirt trail and up at a set of stairs to the entrance of Ngiriton Cave. There is a fork in the trail and you will have the way to the left to find the entrance.
The huge opening of the Ngiriton Cave welcomes you with a huge swarm of bats hanging from the ceiling and hummingbirds circulating on the inside. When I visited the bats were going crazy and flying in every possible direction.
The Ngiriton Cave had quite a bad smell to it probably because of all the bats so we decided to not spend much time here and continued on to the next Carabao Island tourist spots.
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Inside Ngiriton Cave on Carabao Island
On the search for Ngiriton Cave
Ngiriton Cave – Carabao Island
KODING KODING CLIFF JUMP
Koding Koding Cliff Jump is another must-visit spot on Carabao Island. The Koding Koding Cliff Jump is about 3 to 4 meters high and a much smaller jump than the Cathedral Cave Cliff Jump. The entrance fee is 100 pesos.
It’s possible to swim around the area however, the sea can sometimes be a bit rough and you should be prudent in the water. You can also chill out on a bamboo raft or just sit in one of the cottages and admire the crystal clear water.
There are food, snacks and soft drinks available for purchase on-site if you wish to grab something to eat and chill out in one of the huts.
Koding Koding Cliff Jump also features a small cave and an underground lagoon.
Must Read → 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary
Swimming area at Koding Koding – Carabao Island
Koding Koding – Carabao Island
Cliff jump at Koding Koding Carabao Island
Koding Koding Cliff Jump – Carabao Island
BUSAY CLIFF JUMP
Busay Cliff Jump on Carabao Island is one of the newest cliff jumping spots and you won’t find too many tourists who go to this location. Therefore, you should definitely add the Busay Cliff Jump to your Carabao Island itinerary. The entrance fee is 100 pesos.
When you get to Busay Cliff Jump it seems at first like you are stepping into someone’s backyard. Be aware that in the surrounding areas of the Busay Cliff Jump on Carabao Island there are monkeys that are quite curious so hold on tight to your belongings.
Busay Cliff Jump on Carabao Island features 3 epic rock jumps ranging from 1 meter, 3 meter and this highest being 5 meters.
Other than cliff jumping you can make use of the rubber rings and kayaks, or go swimming around the area and enjoy the crystal clear waters at this location.
You can also rent lifejackets if you’re not a competent swimmer and light refreshments are available for purchase at the tour desk.
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Busay Cliff Jump on Carabao Island
Busay Cliff Jump – Carabao Island
Busay Cliff Jump Carabao Island
SAN JOSE BEACH
San Jose Beach on Carabao Island is the main beach area of the island featuring crystal clear waters and swaying palm trees along the shoreline. San Jose Beach is postcard-material and makes for a great spot to get an Instagram-worthy photo.
San Jose Beach is also very close to the center of the town where you’ll find several hotels, restaurants, eateries and bakeries. It is definitely the more touristic part of the island.
Even though it’s the most touristic beach on Carabao Island there aren’t too many people on the beach as there are no day tours coming from Boracay Island that land here on San Jose Beach.
Only tourists that stay on the island will beach bum around San Jose Beach and frankly, there aren’t many tourists that stay on Carabao Island at all.
When I was on the island I saw no more than half a dozen tourists during the entire 2 days that I was there. This makes San Jose Beach a very quiet and tranquil place to explore.
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San Jose Beach Carabao Island Philippines
San Jose Beach Carabao Island
San Jose Beach Carabao
Bent palm trees on this Carabao Beach
Tagaytay Viewpoint is the best place on Carabao Island to watch the sunset and not to be missed during your adventures around the island. Tagaytay Viewpoint is one of the most well-known locations on the island so I am sure it’s already on your list of things to do in Carabao Island.
To reach the Tagaytay Viewpoint you’ll get to enjoy a scenic ride through the local villages and up to the highest point of Carabao Island.
You will have to pay the entrance fee of 50 pesos upon arrival to the lovely woman who owns the land at Tagaytay Viewpoint. She is very welcoming to all of her visitors and you are free to explore the area as you please. The woman and her family have taken very good care of the grounds and it’s decorated with the most beautiful shells, sheltered huts and deck chairs.
Once you stand on the highest point on Tagaytay Viewpoint you’ll be able to admire Boracay Island in the distance. There is a treehouse on Tagaytay Viewpoint Carabao from which you can watch the sky turn purple, orange and red. This was a great place to sit down, order a soft drink and unwind whilst watching the spectacle of the sky.
However, to witness the sun go down above the horizon you’ll have to venture over to the other side of the treehouse. There’s a fence that you’ll have to cross to get around to the other side of the hill.
A short stroll through the tall grass will lead you to the best viewing point to watch the sun disappear over the ocean.
I visited Carabao Island in the low season (September) and I was the only tourist at Tagaytay Viewpoint on this particular day, making it even more enjoyable without the crowds.
The Tagaytay Viewpoint is surrounded by tall coconut trees and cows, horses and goats frequent the area. You will feel as though you have arrived in the countryside of Carabao Island all whilst smelling the salty air around you.
Tagaytay Viewpoint Carabao
Tagaytay Viewpoint Carabao Island
Drone shot of Tagaytay Viewpoint Carabao
The treehouse at Tagaytay View
Shakas for an epic day on Carabao Island
CARABAO ISLAND ACCOMMODATION
Carabao Island has dozens of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in Carabao to fit the needs of budget backpackers and luxury travelers.
See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Oceans Edge Resort
Oceans Edge Resort is currently the only luxury resort on Carabao Island featuring an outdoor swimming pool, well-kept gardens, in-house restaurant, a bar and a terrace. Choose from either an Oceanview Studio Villa or the Muni-Muni Cliff Villa, each fitted with air-conditioning, spacious modern rooms, private ensuite bathroom, balcony with ocean views, flat-screen tv and a minibar. Breakfast is also included for all guests. If you’re looking for a romantic or unforgettable getaway, Oceans Edge Resort is perfect for couples, families and friends!
Mid Range: The Beach House Carabao
I personally stayed at The Beach House and can’t recommend this place enough! Located a stone’s throw from the ocean’s edge, this boutique accommodation features an in-house restaurant, beach bar, outside terrace, private beach area and off-road vehicles for use. The rooms are clean, spacious and are fitted with air-conditioning, large comfortable beds, wardrobe, private bathroom and minibar. Free wifi is also available throughout the property. Affordable place to stay in Carabao island for couples, friends and families.
Budget: Carabao Guest House
Carabao Guest House is the best budget accommodation in Carabao Island, perfect for solo travelers, couples and friends. Located right on the water’s edge on Lanas Beach, Carabao Guest House features a restaurant, a bar and well-kept gardens. There are dorm rooms, double rooms and quadruple rooms available and fitted with air-conditioning/fan, shared/private bathroom, comfortable beds and free wifi.
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN CARABAO, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
CARABAO ISLAND MAP
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HOW TO GET TO CARABAO ISLAND
Carabao Island is located in the central region of the Philippines and there is only one option on how to get to Carabao Island which is by boat.
The most common route to reach Carabao Island is from Tabon Bay in Caticlan which is 10 minutes drive north of the main seaport in Caticlan.
There are local boats departing at 9am bound for Carabao Island to either Hambil Pier on the east coast and to Lanas Beach on the west coast. Check which side of the island you booked your accommodation and make sure to jump on the correct boat.
The cost of the boat from Caticlan to Carabao Island is 100 pesos and it takes approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.
For all other trips within the Philippines, I always use 12Go Asia to search and book all of my transportation and you can too by using the search box below.
GETTING AROUND CARABAO ISLAND
There’s a couple of options on how to get around Carabao Island and they are by scooter, habal habal, tricycle or on foot.
You can rent a scooter in Carabao Island for around 500 pesos per day and make your own way around to all of the Carabao Island tourist spots at your own pace. The best place to rent a scooter is via your accommodation.
If you are not confident driving a scooter, the other option is to hail down a tricycle or habal habal (motorbike taxi) along the main roads. For a 15-minute drive, you can expect to pay around 50-100 pesos.
BEST TIME TO VISIT CARABAO ISLAND
The best time to visit Carabao Island Philippines, weather-wise, is between April and July when temperatures are hot and there is barely any rainfall. This is also high season in Carabao, so expect to see more tourists during these months.
I recommend planning your Carabao trip on the shoulder months of the high season between November and March which sees a bit of rainfall but usually only lasts for a couple of hours and the rest of the day is sunny.
Try to avoid the typhoon season in Carabao which is typically between August and October.
AIRBNB CARABAO ISLAND
Another option for accommodation on Carabao Island is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals.
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LONELY PLANET – PHILIPPINES
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Philippines Travel Guide!
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MORE PHILIPPINES TRAVEL GUIDES
- Philippines Travel Guide: 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary
- Cebu: 15 Things To Do In Cebu
- Bohol: 31 Epic Things To Do In Bohol
- Siargao: 15 Things To Do In Siargao
- El Nido: El Nido Island Hopping
- Coron: Coron Island Hopping
- Boracay: 15 Things To Do In Boracay
- Siquijor: 3 Day Siquijor Itinerary
- Bantayan: 15 Things To Do In Bantayan
- Malapascua: 11 Things To Do In Malapascua
- Camiguin: 13 Best Camiguin Tourist Spots
- Romblon: 12 Epic Things To Do In Romblon
- Tablas: 10 Things To Do In Tablas
- Carabao: 7 Best Things To Do In Carabao
- Dumaguete: Best Dumaguete Tourist Spots
- Sumilon Island: Sumilon Island Itinerary
WHAT TO PACK FOR CARABAO ISLAND
Everyday Backpack: One of the best backpacks on the market! The Nomatic 20L Backpack is perfect for on the go adventures. Featuring multiple storage spaces for valuables, drink bottles, chargers, notebooks and more. This sleek backpack was designed for you.
Universal Power Adapter: Don’t leave home without one! I highly recommend getting this Universal Power Adapter so that you are able to charge all of your electronics when you’re on the road. Compatible in Asia, UK, Europe, Africa, USA, SA and Australia.
Hidden Money Belt: I never go on a trip without one! The best thing is they are always out of sight, hidden beneath your clothing. With RFID blocking, they are perfectly designed to keep your credit cards, cash and other valuables safe when you’re out adventuring!
Waterproof Phone Case: A waterproof phone case is a must-have item! This universal case will keep your phone safe from water damage, sand and scratches during your adventures. Suitable for all smartphone models.
Portable Charger: One of the best portable chargers on the market! The Anker Power Bank keeps your phone and accessories charged on those longer adventures. Featuring 2 USB charging ports, rechargeable battery, works with iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Oppo and Android.
Microfibre Travel Towel: To pack a towel or not to pack a towel? A standard bathroom towel can take up a lot of space in your travel bag. Get your hands on a quick-dry Microfibre Travel Towel which is perfect for the beach, backpacking, camping and general traveling.
Rain Jacket: A light-weight rain jacket is an absolute must when traveling! North Face waterproof rain jackets come in both men and women sizes, featuring a breathable mesh lining and adjustable hood that can be tucked away inside the collar.
Kindle: The best alternative for books! Kindle e-readers are perfect for long haul flights, reading on the beach or a quiet evening away from the bars. Kindle’s are waterproof with rechargeable batteries and adjustable light settings to suit indoor/outdoor conditions.
Packing Cubes: My favorite item in my backpack! Perfect for organizing your shirts, pants, jackets, socks, underwear and more. This 5 Set Packing Cubes makes packing easier and more efficient, adding extra space in your bag for your next trip.
Activated Charcoal Tablets: Want to avoid food poisoning? Most of us have been a victim of travelers diarrhea from eating street food. Organic Activated Charcoal Tablets are fast-acting and will rid your system of the bad bacteria that causes stomach upset.
MY CAMERA GEAR
Everyday Camera: The most affordable mirrorless camera on the market! I personally use the Sony A7ii Mirrorless Camera on all of my adventures. It’s compact, lightweight and super easy to use for all levels of photography. A 28-70mm Sony lens is also included.
Drone Camera: Take your photography to new heights! The DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone is at the top of the game when it comes to high-quality images and video, easy to control functions and traveler-friendly capabilities. I guarantee you won’t regret purchasing one.
GoPro Hero 8: One of the most popular cameras on the planet! I love using the GoPro Hero 8 for all of my underwater shots and fast-paced adventures. The GoPro Hero 8 captures the best moments with its wide range of functions that are very simple to use!
Camera Bag: My favorite camera bag I have ever owned! The Lowepro Protactic 450 AW II Camera Bag features a waterproof rain cover, drink bottle holder, padded compartments for cameras, drones, lenses, accessories and it also has a laptop pocket.
Selfie Stick: Everyone loves a good selfie, right!? The Sandmarc Metal Edition Selfie Stick is sleek, stylish and can extend to 1.2m. I find it much easier to take photos and videos with the GoPro when it is mounted to the Sandmarc Selfie Stick!
Camera Tripod: The Joby GorillaPod is suitable for all cameras. This tripod is easy to use and perfect for setting up a time-lapse video or even using it as a selfie stick. The legs are flexible so you can wrap it around a tree or a pole to get creative with your shot.
GoPro Dome: Have you ever wanted to capture those under/over water shots with the GoPro? This epic underwater GoPro dome housing is the best camera accessory to have to create the perfect 50/50 shot. I use mine every time I am in the ocean!
Memory Card: The best thing about SanDisk Extreme Pro is that it delivers maximum speed for images and videos. Having 64GB of storage means that you can store hundreds of files on this SD card for 2-3 days and not have to worry about running out of space.
External Hard Drive: As a photographer, my images and video files take up a lot of space on my MacBook so I use the WD Elements External Hard Drive to store everything. With 4TB worth of storage space, this is more than enough for 1 year worth of content.
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FINAL THOUGHTS OF CARABAO ISLAND
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions at all about Carabao Island, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.