Cagayan Travel

Palaui Island: Cagayan’s best kept secret

By on May 10, 2012

palaui - front

Palaui would have been Cagayan’s best kept secret until it has been exposed to the whole world when CNNGo included it as one of the best beaches and islands in the Philippines. The reasons for that are numerous. For one, the 7,415.48 hectare island is a protected landscape and seascape by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 447. This guarantees that its forest, the coral reefs, the migratory birds and the thriving marine life are all protected for a long, long time.

Aside from this legislation, the relative seclusion of Palaui in comparison to more popular tourist destinations in the country has, to some extent, contributed to the pristine conditions of its beach coves and seascapes. It is in fact quite far from the maddening crowd. Getting to the Santa Ana Fishport, the nearest jumpoff to Palaui, involves a 12 hour bus ride from Manila which would try you and your travel companions’ perseverance or whatever that is left of it.

And when you think that the travel adventure ended with that long trip, you would find out that it has actually just begun. You could then chose to weave through Palaui’s dense forests via two hiking trails (Siwangag and Eco-historical trails). This would also take you to the island’s varying landscapes – mangroves, lowlands and beach coves. These trails are straightforward but getting a guide is encouraged for a faster and safer journey.

palaui - lighthouse2

Cabo Engaño or Cape Engaño Lighthouse.

But most would usually just take a boat ride directly to the Engaño Cove where the Cabo Engaño, an old Spanish lighthouse, stands to this day. But do bear in mind that Palaui is already at the northeastern extremity of Luzon where the waters of the Babuyan Channel, the South China Sea and the Pacific converge. So if the weather is cooperative, then the hour long boat ride to Engaño or Siwangag Cove would be relatively smooth sailing. Otherwise, expect another adventure as you negotiate the raging seas.

palaui - dos hermanos

Dos Hermanos islets

The spectacular views at the lighthouse is another reason why Palaui was shortlisted in that CNN article. At this point, you would be taken to a study of contrast‌s – the rugged yet beautiful seascapes at the eastern portion of the island and Engaño Cove’s blue waters and immaculate white beach on the west. The Dos Hermanos rocky islets at the north then completes this stunning ensemble.

palaui - seascape

Rugged yet beautiful seascape at Palaui’s eastern portion.

palaui - engano cove

The Engaño or Siwangag Cove.

Finally, when you are at least 642 kilometers away from the bustling metropolis, expect accommodations that are both basic and budget-friendly. There are no resorts or banana boat rides or fire dancers at Palaui. However, in the absence of man-made structures and artificial excitement, Palaui offers instead nature’s best thrills: bum around white beaches, snorkel over well-preserved coral reefs and trek up to a century-old lighthouse.

All these and so much more, are enough reasons why Palaui should be visited by local travelers and then hopefully by, the rest of the world.
  1. Reply


    May 10, 2012

    Yehey! Nagpost na ka 🙂 more more more!!! Kutob nalang ko basa and tanaw sa imo pics ani… layoa sad sa Palaui oi 🙁

  2. Reply


    May 10, 2012

    Alternatively, you can also book flights to Tuguegarao, which is just 3 hours away from Santa Ana. Naa daw airport giconstruct pud dadto mismo to service the rapidly growing CEZA (Cagayan Economic Zone Authority). Go na! 🙂

  3. Reply


    May 11, 2012

    Mga next year…or next next year… or next next next year heheh 🙂 Read lang sa ko sa imong adventures! Thanks!

  4. Reply


    May 11, 2012

    At long last, ngpost na jud!
    Lovely place, Bren.

    That rugged landscape really looks like a part of Marlboro Country in Batanes. ^__^

    Palaui is a bit far but, based on your post, is really worth it.

  5. Reply


    May 15, 2012

    It's the Batanes comparison all over again Bee. 🙂 I hope I can really make it there someday.

  6. Reply

    Whacky Adventures

    May 22, 2012

    ako sad! ari sad ko. naglaway ko nagtanaw sa mountains!!!


Brennan Mercado
The Philippines

Brennan is an electronics engineer by profession. From time to time, he gets to travel beyond his office cubicle, try new restaurants or catch up with his terribly long list of unread books. He likes museums, spicy food and talking with habal-habal drivers. For now, he's still deciding on whether to play Pokémon GO or not.

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