The island of Cagbalete in Mauban, Quezon, is drawing backpackers to its fine sandy beach that you can walk till eternity at low tide, its turquoise clear waters, and the romance of its remoteness. And it's still very much unspoiled. This 1,600 hectare island at low tide, sees the water pull away to show the sand forming its own waves for a stretch of five kilometers wide. The waters are home to thriving marine life, including the coconut crab, which the island is known for. With a wide stretch of sand and lots of trees, the island is perfect for a relaxing, weekend camping trip. Try Villa Cleofas for basic cottages and tents.
How to get there: From Manila, take a JAC Liner bus bound for Mauba. Trip is 5 hours with a fare of about P270 (US$6). Go down at the Mauban Public Market, walk towards the port, and rent an outrigger to take you to Cagbalete. Small boats that can fit up to 3 people are at P1,500, while bigger boats for up to 10 people cost P4,000. Public boats to Cagbalete's Sabang port are also available at P50 per person, though there are only two trips daily, at 11am and at 4pm. From Sabang port, it takes a 15 to 20 minute trail hike to get to Villa Cleofas.
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Published November 2015