Up and about on the morning of August 25th, 3 ladies met up for another crazy adventure. Bound for Palaui Island, the northernmost part and literally at the end of the Philippines, Zk, Princess and yours truly set out for a long road trip up north.
Related post: Top 3 Philippine Islands that Should be on Your List
First stop: Cauayan, Isabela
Cauayan, Isabela is the hometown of my dermatologist friend, Zk, and located 396 kms north of Manila. We drove nonstop for 8 hours, stopped for dinner at Kabayan Grill and reached her home at 8pm.
A strong typhoon was also on its way, so we were fortunate to reach our destination before it hit. Sometime in the middle of the night, strong wind and rain were upon us. It seemed like a bad idea to go on this adventure but nothing can stop us apparently.
Luckily, the weather improved just as we were heading to Sta. Ana, Cagayan, which was another 4-hour drive up north, and our last destination before we reach Palaui Island.
Second stop: Sta. Ana, Cagayan
When we reached Sta. Ana, we had several beach options on where to stay: Nangaramoan beach, Anguib beach, and Puzo Rubo.
Anguib beach was the best out of all the options, however, the management of the resort was unaccommodating. Puzo Rubo had nothing much to offer, it looked like it was abandoned after the Survivor Palaui. And so, we decided to stay in Nangaramoan beach.
The beach was so-so to be honest and we did expect more. But we didn’t make a big deal about it because we were only staying for a night. Come morning, we will be on a boat ride to Palaui Island.
It was a good decision staying at Nangaramoan beach. Why? For numerous reasons!
- We got the chance to feast on 2.5 kilos of lobsters, which only cost us $15! We kept telling ourselves to eat as many as we can, regardless of the cholesterol, and enjoy the moment because once we’re back to Manila, these lobsters will be 5x the price!
- The man who sold us the lobsters also turned out to be our boatman for our next day’s trip. We haggled for the price and in the end, he charged only $55 (Php 2,800) to go to 4 destinations: Cape Engaño Lighthouse, Crocodile Island, Punta Verde, and Anguib. Normally, the cost is around $80 but because it’s off-peak, we were given a special price. Plus, when you deal with 3 charming ladies, how can you win?
- We got everything we needed in the resort where we stayed at. We were 3 busy ladies so we really didn’t have time to pack anything besides clothes and beers. So whatever request we had, it was given to us and for only a minimal fee — cooking the lobsters, rice, ice for our drinks, hot water and coffee just to name a few. When we left the resort, we only ended up paying $45 (Php 2,260) already including our overnight stay. Not bad, eh?
The cottage we stayed at in Nangaramoan beach is located at the far right end of the beach. We weren’t able to get the name but a certain Lola Epin was the person who accommodated us.
At night, we just laid at the beach and watched as shooting stars came one after the other. It was Princess’ first time to see one so imagine how ecstatic she felt.
At around 11pm and after drinking a few beers, we called it a night and went to bed.
Third stop: Palaui Island
Palaui Island is one of the islands in the Philippines, located off the northeastern extremity of Luzon Island, the largest island in the country.
The next day at around 6am, we waited for our boat to come and fetch us. By 6:30am, we were on our way to our first destination: Cape Engaño Lighthouse. The boat ride was around 45 minutes, our farthest destination.
Cape Engaño Lighthouse didn’t disappoint. The water was clear and the view was picturesque. To reach the lighthouse, you will have to hike for 25 minutes. The time to get there actually depends on how many stops you make for photo sessions. We had a lot so it took us more time. The view going up was absolutely breathtaking. Even more when we reached the top.
I need not say more! These photos are our proof.
When going up the lighthouse, you will be assigned to a tour guide and cost around $6 (Php 300). It’s good to have a tour guide to explain the history behind the lighthouse and also to serve as photographer for the group.
We stayed at the lighthouse for 3 hours and when we walked back to the starting point, we treated ourselves to halo-halo, a Filipino sweet delicacy, and continued to our next destination: Punta Verde.
Punta Verde, on the other hand, was a bit disappointing. We went there to check out the falls but there was barely any water running. Safe to say, we only spent a little time and headed straight to our 3rd destination: Crocodile Island.
What amazed us with Crocodile Island were the rock formations. The island is in an open sea so the waves kept crashing on these formations. The water is clear and warm, a really good spot for a swim and to chill with a beer.
After the Crocodile Island, we decided to just head back to Nangaramoan and not stop at Anguib beach. Why? Because if we did, the resort caretaker will charge us $5 each! Not worth it.
We reached Nangaramoan at around 1pm. Took a shower, packed our stuff and headed back to Cauayan Isabela.
We made several stopovers along the way. We had late lunch at the White House Grill in Tuguegarrao (a MUST when you’re in town) and partied with Zk’s high school friends. It was already 11pm when we reached our home in Isabela.
The next day, we went around town to meet some of Zk’s family and relatives. And by 1pm, we were on the road back to Manila, reaching home at 11pm, just in time for my work.
To summarize, we left Manila Friday morning and got home Monday night. We spent 4 days and 3 nights total and as for the costs, here’s a breakdown:
Transportation – since we went by private car, we had to pay for gas and toll fees.
- Gas – $100 (Php 5,000); already including our trip to and from Sta. Ana
- Toll fees – $20 (Php 1,000) both ways
- Accommodation in Isabela – FREE
- Accommodation in Sta. Ana – $36 (Php 1,800)
- Boat ride and tour guide fees – $68 (Php 3,400)
- Food and misc – $50 (Php 2,000)
- Total cost = $264 (Php 13,200) — $88 (Php 4,400) each
If you want a more detailed itinerary or to know how to get there via public transportation or a list of accommodations, here’s a highly recommended article.
Long drive and beach trips are what keep us sane in this crazy world. Catch us again in our next adventure! It won’t be long til you see another local destination post.
Thank you for stopping by!