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Experiencing Palaui Island

Most of us would wish to travel and witness one of the most sought after islands in the northern part of the Philippines, Palaui.

Palaui Island have become famous a few years back after the reality show Survivor (French) was filmed in the remote place in the northern part of Luzon. Since then, Palaui have become a nation darling for tourism as it revealed an innocent beauty sleeping just above the mainland Cagayan.

Even I got excited to see what lies in this popular destination and it took me a while before setting a schedule to visit the secluded place.

Together with newly-found friends that I met  in facebook, we set to this unforgettable, butt-numbing, spirit-breaking adventure.

Our trip was not an easy escapade as we have to endure the more than 12 hour-bus ride to Tuguegarao City, the capital of Cagayan Valley. From there, we have to charter a van to take us to Sta. Ana, the jump-off municipality to Palaui.

Boat going to Palaui Island

The boat and dispatching system in Sta. Ana is being managed or supervised by the local tourism office. I was impressed with the systematic way of controlling the number of visitors in the island. Everyone has to register since the trip was a little bit  challenging with huge waves that will surprise you before your scary eyes.

 " You had me at Hello, Palaui!"

Lush green forested area of Palaui Island with pristine white sand beach.

It wasn’t an easy ride as gigantic waves hit our boat so hard that we got ourselves dripping wet. The weather was just unpredictable in this area with rains that come and go unexpectedly and making it difficult for us to stay calm inside the boat. It was one of the nerve wracking boat rides I ever had.

The heavy rain did not stop us to enjoy and have some picture taking in the ruins of the lighthouse.

As we reach Palaui, everyone was just astonished to see the crescent moon-like island. The place has a little lush secondary forest, waterfalls and some kind of evergreen hills similar to the pictures we are seeing in post cards of Batanes.

The the peak of the hillside is where the lighthouse of Cape Engaño rests. It was a panoramic view seeing this beautiful spot with not so much crowd around and far different from the usual scenario in the metro.

Palaui Island, Cagayan

Just below the rocky side of the lighthouse you will see a picturesque landscape and seascape that you would assume can only be found in other countries like the  countryside of Scotland (do you still remember the music video of Westlife?). I could only stare and mince on every details of the beautiful surroundings. What a gem?

Cape Engaño, Palaui

Though I consider the rain as a form of blessing, it prevented me from capturing some good pictures as a remembrance of this once in a life time trip. But the beauty that I have witnessed will forever be remembered will never be erased from my head.

Evergreen hills of Palaui

With a little time left, we brave the short trek to the waterfalls they say can be found in the island of Palaui. The small waterfalls did not give me the wow factor maybe because of the other grand waterfalls I have already visited in the southern part of the Philippines.

Anguib Beach in Palaui

As it became already late, we decided to transfer to a nearby island beach known as Anguib. There, we spent the night, had our dinner, drinks and lots of games. We pitched our tent on the fine white sand of Anguib that to rest our tiring body.

The beach of the island was actually better than Palaui. The sand was whiter and and the water was crystal clear that you will surely enjoy basking and swimming under the hot summer day.

The Spice Gala Adventurers

During our visit, we have the whole island for ourselves where we enjoyed wandering and goofing around, enjoying every minute of our stay in the island with camera clicking here and there.

Just enjoy and be free. This is the life you'll expect in Anguib Beach

But time flew so fast and we have to end the good times we are just digesting in the island. And as we sail back to mainland Cagayan, we have never been so afraid in our lives when giant waves have almost squashed our boat, making each and everyone of us scream to death. But thank God we have a very good boatman who was calm and kept the boat intact, maneuvering to a safer speed and direction. It seems that the trip to Palaui was really not for the faint-hearted and you must be prepare to any possibilities.

We made it and we are so proud to call ourselves as survivors of Palaui Adventure

I can now comprehend why the production of Survivor French chose this place as you really need to survive the extreme forces of nature. It was an exciting and worth remembering experience. I can add this trip to my one of the “buwisbuhay” escapades in the Philippines. 

How to get to Palaui?

From Manila, there are direct flights to Tuguegarao like Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. You can also take buses  like Victory Liner, Five Star or Florida Bus bound for Tuguegarao with fare ranging from 700-900. From Tuguegarao, you can take a van going to Sta. Ana that would take you directly to the port. Stop by at the Tourism Office first for the registration. This is where you can charter a boat going to Palaui.

During our visit to Palaui, the boat rental was Php 3000.00 good for 10 passengers. You can request from the office of the local tourism to assign a boat for your group.

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Thank you and have a happy trip! 

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