My Perfect Day Outdoors in Palaui Island, Cagayan

Tripoto
20th Jan 2012
Photo of My Perfect Day Outdoors in Palaui Island, Cagayan by Kim Buenafe

beach camping

Photo of My Perfect Day Outdoors in Palaui Island, Cagayan by Kim Buenafe

sunrise moment

Photo of My Perfect Day Outdoors in Palaui Island, Cagayan by Kim Buenafe
Photo of My Perfect Day Outdoors in Palaui Island, Cagayan by Kim Buenafe
Photo of My Perfect Day Outdoors in Palaui Island, Cagayan by Kim Buenafe
Photo of My Perfect Day Outdoors in Palaui Island, Cagayan by Kim Buenafe
Photo of My Perfect Day Outdoors in Palaui Island, Cagayan by Kim Buenafe
Photo of My Perfect Day Outdoors in Palaui Island, Cagayan by Kim Buenafe
Photo of My Perfect Day Outdoors in Palaui Island, Cagayan by Kim Buenafe
Photo of My Perfect Day Outdoors in Palaui Island, Cagayan by Kim Buenafe
Photo of My Perfect Day Outdoors in Palaui Island, Cagayan by Kim Buenafe
Photo of My Perfect Day Outdoors in Palaui Island, Cagayan by Kim Buenafe
Photo of My Perfect Day Outdoors in Palaui Island, Cagayan by Kim Buenafe
Photo of My Perfect Day Outdoors in Palaui Island, Cagayan by Kim Buenafe
Photo of My Perfect Day Outdoors in Palaui Island, Cagayan by Kim Buenafe
Photo of My Perfect Day Outdoors in Palaui Island, Cagayan by Kim Buenafe
Photo of My Perfect Day Outdoors in Palaui Island, Cagayan by Kim Buenafe
Photo of My Perfect Day Outdoors in Palaui Island, Cagayan by Kim Buenafe
Photo of My Perfect Day Outdoors in Palaui Island, Cagayan by Kim Buenafe
Photo of My Perfect Day Outdoors in Palaui Island, Cagayan by Kim Buenafe
Photo of My Perfect Day Outdoors in Palaui Island, Cagayan by Kim Buenafe
Photo of My Perfect Day Outdoors in Palaui Island, Cagayan by Kim Buenafe
Photo of My Perfect Day Outdoors in Palaui Island, Cagayan by Kim Buenafe
Photo of My Perfect Day Outdoors in Palaui Island, Cagayan by Kim Buenafe

Exploring and experiencing Palaui island has been one of the highlights of my entire travel life. It's a place of rugged beauty and intriguing charm that offers exciting outdoor adventures for everyone. I personally loved the moments I had in this elusive island coz it's all about taking risks, being game for unexpected things, and appreciating the wonders of life.

We spent a total of one whole day in Palaui island from the moment we took that boat ride to the time we bid it goodbye. There was a bumby boat ride to begin with which took us to the island's untouched shores. There's no commercial establishment here so  it's either you opt for home stay or camp - we chose the latter. It was the longest and most memorable night of my life, I tell you. I also had the chance to explore Palaui in the most fulfilling way possible. We trekked to and from Cape Engano, the mystical lighthouse that sits atop a hill overlooking the sea. We were guided by a local and I suggest you get a local guide too if you can't afford to get lost or spend several hours trekking. The way these people traverse the trails and unreachable paths is really amazing.

Don't forget to pack food and water enough for your stay - for dinner, breakfast and trekking. It can also get chilly at night so bring a blanket or wear double layers of clothing. The weather can get bipolar - one moment it's bright and sunny and the next moment it's already raining. Bring a lightweight rain coat just in case you don't want to get wet. 

Remember that it's not about the destination. It's about the journey. Just enjoy every moment of your outdoor adventure with happy spirits and you'll have the best adventure ever. That's exactly what I experienced here in Palaui island.      

One needs to ride a boat to get to Palaui island. It's the only way - unless you have enough endurance to swim across the water from the port in Santa Ana to the shores of Palaui. The ride takes several minutes depending on the ocean's mood. It was four in the afternoon when we arrived at the port, so a slightly rowdy sea and splashes of water were already expected.
Photo of Boat Ride to Palaui Island by Kim Buenafe
Photo of Boat Ride to Palaui Island by Kim Buenafe
It has been my long time dream to live by the beach even for just a short time. The idea of waking up to the clash of waves and feeling the wind's presence while seeing the beauty of the horizon excites me. Palaui island makes a great spot for an authentic beach camping experience. Not so many people live in this island so the chances of passers-by are really slim. In fact, we didn't encounter anyone on that day except for our reliable island guide (who took care of our boat ride and trekking) and his accommodating sister (who let us in their humble home to wash). There's no electricity running in the island and getting a mobile signal can be a challenge. Not a single development of any sort can be found here, just small homes made from wood or hollow blocks. If you're planning to stay here for a night, the only options you have are home stay or camping. We went for the latter since I really wanted to experience this. Palaui island has this peaceful, rugged beauty that will captivate people who love the outdoors. Don't forget to bring your stash of food and drinks, flashlights or lamps, batteries, insect repellant, and of course, your own tent and blankets. It can get really chilly at night.
Photo of Camping at Palaui Island by Kim Buenafe
Photo of Camping at Palaui Island by Kim Buenafe
Photo of Camping at Palaui Island by Kim Buenafe
Not a single commercial building can be seen in Palaui. There's zero hotels, food chains and the like. So bringing your own food is advisable. That's what we did. Before heading to the island, we stopped by a grocery store to buy food. Our humble menu? Canned sausages, slices of bread and spread. Our island guide provided us with table and chairs where we had our humble dinner. It was completely dark except for the light coming from our flashlights and the stars. it was truly a moment to remember.
Photo of Dinner Under the Stars by Kim Buenafe
Photo of Dinner Under the Stars by Kim Buenafe
Photo of Dinner Under the Stars by Kim Buenafe
The moment I've learned about the elusive Palaui island, I know I needed to go there. And what better way to experience it than by trekking. After a not-so-comfy-yet-truly-memorable night, we woke up to the calming view of the sunrise right outside our tent. I recommend getting a guide when trekking the island as these guys know the ins and outs of the place, literally. We started off early so we can get there before noon. Take note that the 8km one-way trek could take about 3-5 hours depending on your pace. Another tip is to wear trek/hike/mountain shoes or sandals as the trail can get really tricky and difficult to cross. We trekked through thick forests, along rocky seashores, and (very) muddy grasslands. And though the activity can get a bit tiring and challenging, the breathtaking views you'll see along the way will really make up for it. We took a different route on our way back to our tent as suggested by our trek guide. He told us it would be a piece of cake, I figured out later that he only said that so we can go back faster. We gave it a shot. The alternative route he's talking about was way different than the first one, and way more risky if you ask me. We had to cross large boulders of slippery rocks amid the angry waves and heavy rain. At some point we had to squeeze ourselves into small holes to get to the other side. It was crazy yet super fun and fulfilling. We were so grateful to our guide for letting us experience that other route.
Photo of Trekking to/from Cape Engano by Kim Buenafe
Photo of Trekking to/from Cape Engano by Kim Buenafe
Photo of Trekking to/from Cape Engano by Kim Buenafe
Photo of Trekking to/from Cape Engano by Kim Buenafe
Photo of Trekking to/from Cape Engano by Kim Buenafe
Photo of Trekking to/from Cape Engano by Kim Buenafe
Photo of Trekking to/from Cape Engano by Kim Buenafe
Photo of Trekking to/from Cape Engano by Kim Buenafe
Photo of Trekking to/from Cape Engano by Kim Buenafe
Photo of Trekking to/from Cape Engano by Kim Buenafe
Located atop a hill in Palaui, where you can get a 360-view of Babuyan island and Dos Hermanos island, is the historic Cape Engano lighthouse. Many people find it mysterious, probably because of the effort required to get there plus the fact that looking at it will make you wonder of its past. True to its age, the lighthouse is already battered and worn-down, yet it poses an intriguing charm. The time we spent at Cape Engano is the only time we really rested. To my surprise, we manged to get there in two and a half hours - a bit faster than what I predicted. The view from the lighthouse was really stunning. On one side we can see the Dos Hermanos islands and on the other side the contrasting beauty of Palaui island - the rough ocean waves on the left, the vast green fields in the middle and the calm beach on the right. It was such a beauty to behold! We left Cape Engano with satisfied and fulfilled hearts.
Photo of Cape Engaño Lighthouse by Kim Buenafe
Photo of Cape Engaño Lighthouse by Kim Buenafe
Photo of Cape Engaño Lighthouse by Kim Buenafe
6 Comment(s)
Sort by:
Photo of I Love Tansyong
I Love Tansyong
Congrats KIMI
Sat 11 29 14, 17:43 · Reply · Edit · Delete ·
Photo of I Love Tansyong
I Love Tansyong
Congrats KIMI
Sat 11 29 14, 17:43 · Reply · Edit · Delete ·
Photo of I Love Tansyong
I Love Tansyong
Congras KIMI
Sat 11 29 14, 17:43 · Reply · Edit · Delete ·
Photo of I Love Tansyong
I Love Tansyong
Congras KIMI
Sat 11 29 14, 17:43 · Reply · Edit · Delete ·
Photo of Tansyong Orbuda
Tansyong Orbuda
Nice one, KIMI
Sat 11 29 14, 17:42 · Reply · Edit · Delete ·
Show More Comments