Cagbalete Island is located at the north west of Quezon Province. Now highly popular because of its low tide, wherein the water pushes back up to about a kilometer away from the main island, Cagbalete still remains quite underdeveloped.
Getting to the island is relatively easy because there are no hard treks nor any mountains or rivers to cross. You won’t even have to worry about going there during high tide because the island sits in Lamon Bay .
To get to Cagbalete from Manila, take a bus from Cubao or Buendia going to Lucena via Jac, JAM and Lucena lines.
Fare for the bus is about P300 or less (currently not updated) for one way.
From Lucena terminal, you can get a mini-bus which is not air conditioned that will bring you to Mauban. The mini bus costs P60 and leaves earliest at 5am with buses leaving each hour until 6pm.
There are also air conditioned vans at SM Lucena Mall for Mauban. The first trip going there begins at 9am and the last trip is 9pm. It costs P80 and will take only about an hour to get to the port, compared to the hour and a half if you go by the bus.
If there are a lot of you, hire a private van so you can be picked up from the terminal instead. Private vans usually cost about P900 above per van depending on your negotiation skills.
From the port, take a boat going to Cagbalete Island. You can hire a special boat for P4000 that will directly lead you to your resort.
You can also ride the passenger boat that will leave only at 10am and 4pm daily so make sure to be there before 10am if you want to get to the island early. It costs P40 per head. The boat ride takes about 45minutes.
When you reach the Sabang Port at Cagbalete, you still have to trek a 1.5km trail crossing the island to get to the resort you’re headed for. You can also hire a boat for P300 for 5 people that will take you from the port to the side of the island your resort sits on.
There is an entrance fee to Villa Cleofas at P50.
Below is a suggested itinerary:
0300am Kamias-Edsa, Cubao
0400am ETD Cubao to Lucena Terminal, Quezon
0730am ETA Lucena Terminal, Quezon (have lunch)
0830am ETD for Mauban, Port
0930am ETA Mauban Port (buy from market)
1000am ETD for Cagbalete Island
1100am ETA Cagbalete Island, start trek
1130am ETA resort
0100pm Swimming, Explore the Island
0700pm Dinner and Socials
0800am Free time, Swimming
1100am Break camp, Wash up
1200pm Proceed to port
1245pm Board boat
0100pm ETD from Cagbalete Island to Mauban Port
0200pm ETA Mauban Port, ETD for Lucena Terminal
0300pm ETD Lucena Terminal, Quezon to Cubao
0700pm ETA Cubao
Expenses to be incurred in Cagbalete (approximate)
Bus from Cubao to Lucena (one way) – P300
Lucena to Mauban Port (Van)(one way) – P80
Mauban Boat (one way) – P40
Accommodation Rates varies (check http://www.cagbalete.com/accommodations.htm)
There are also horses available if you’d rather not walk and tents for rent that cost P300.
There’s Jolibee and other food stalls in Lucena terminal, SM City Lucena is also nearby. Mauban port has a market and Cagbalete also has stores (that sell water, but not food I think). Make sure to bring a lot of water into the island because water has to be trekked from the Sabang port all the way to Villa Cleofas which is kind of far and the resident kids will have to deliver the water.
Here’s an article about my experience in Cagbalete Island.