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DIY Itinerary: Batangas - Tablas - Carabao Island - Boracay - Manila for 5D4N

Carabao Island, San Jose, Philippines
Carabao Island

Ever tried to go to Boracay the long way? While this world-famous island is still closed, we'd like to share a one-of-a-kind way of getting there (we're talking about slow travel) once it opens in a few months from now. Mea Amoranto would like to share how she did it with friends and spent only Php 8, 500 dubbed as #ChamporadoAdventure for 5 days and 4 nights..


Manila to Batangas   

Day 1
The directions to go to Rombon via Batangas from Manila, is simple. Check how we did it: 
LRT Buendia Station to Batangas Port - Php 175.00 approximately 2 hours via SLEX 
Batangas Port to Romblon - Php 1, 150.00 via 2Go Travels + Php 20.00 terminal Fee

If you're taking Manila to Romblon RORO please remember this. The last schedule for departure is 10 pm. 2Go Travel's schedule going to Romblon from Manila is Monday/Wednesday/Friday only.  Another option if you don't want to take the 2Go  Travel schedule Manila to Romblon is try the lesser known Montenegro Shipping Lines. Manila to Romblon by plane is the fastest option. Cebu Pacific has a flight via Tablas airport.  Of course, Manila to Romblon by land is also a great way for slow travel. It is always up to you!

2go travel schedule manila to romblon
2Go Travel 

Manila to Romblon

Day 2
6am Arrival to Romblon Port.

Where to eat in Romblon -  JD & G Itallian restaurant which is 2 minutes away from the port.  The food is super tasty and very affordable. Tita Genia, the owner and head chef was very nice. She offered a place to stay in Romblon which is Php 1, 200 only.  It is a marble house with sala, bedroom, kitchen & utensils and clean bathroom. The staff also is very attentive. 

Breakdown of Expenses 
Romblon town to Bonbon beach - Php 100 
Bonbon beach & Sanbar - FREE
Bonbon beach to Tiamban beach- Php 100 
Tiamban beach entrance- Php  40 
Tiamban beach Cottage- Php  150 
Tiamban beach to Romblon town - Php  150 
Fuerza de San Andres entrance - Php 25
Cathedral of San Jose - FREE
Romblon Marble Makers- FREE
Food -  Php 3, 817    

Where to eat in Romblon -  JD & G Itallian restaurant
JD & G Italian Restaurant Romblon

Tablas to Carabao Island

Day 3
4am  Preparation for departure to Sta Fhe, Tablas 
It was a not-a-sunny weather for us. We hired a fishing boat because if we chose land travel, we need to wait by 7 am to leave. The passenger boat from Santa Fhe in Tablas leaves at 8 am going to Carabao island. Sailing in the middle of the sea during rainy/windy season feels like a suicide for those who aren't used to the winds banging the boat like the end of the world is near. Prepare to get wet all the way and make sure your gadgets and other belongings are inside a dry bag! Sometimes it is great to feel this kind of unique (and dangerous) adventure! This is the real #ChamporadoAdventure we meant!

After that, we chartered a tricycle to Santa Fhe. Tablas is very beautiful!  From the mountains to the seas, Tablas has the scenery of Sabtang, Batanes and Patapat Bridge in Ilocos! 

We arrived 8am at the Santa Fhe port in Tablas then took a passenger boat to Carabao Island for 45 minutes. Approaching the island was insane! You'll see all shades of blue you'll never going to see elsewhere.  Carabao Island is the Maldives of the Philippines! 

Kuding kuding cliff diving point
Tip: Upon reaching the port of Tablas, expect a bunch of locals who will approach you offering tour packages. If you haven't booked or arranged a Carabao Island tour package, make sure you know what's the correct rate of these tours. You don't know who is charging right and who is not.  The mode of transportation in this island is habal - habal.  It's just a small and peaceful island composed of 5 barangays.  If you're a city rat, I bet you may wish you're never going to leave this place again because life is simple! 

Breakdown of expenses
Romblon to San Agustin Port via Boat - Php 1, 500

San Agustin Port to Port of Sta Fhe via tricycle - Php 1, 000 ( Yes, i know it is way too expensive. The one and only jeep that brings public commuters  to Santa Fhe left long before we arrived for only2 freaking minutes! We even saw this jeep about to leave while the boat slowly docks its anchor. It's painful to pay this amount! 
Accommodation in Carabao Island - Php 1, 500 per night to nipa hut located in front of the beach and trees! It's newly-built. We are the second batch of guests who stayed here. If you want to stay at this beachfront house in Carabao Island, please get in touch with the owner Tito Jovencio Ong.
Habal habal tour to Kuding kuding Diving Point to swim & watch the beautiful sunset - Php 350
Kuding-Kuding Diving point entrance -  Php 10
Beach bumming - FREE
Roam around the town - FREE
Food - Php 1,100

Cliff diving is so fun but it can kill you! Do it only if you are a brave soul. We were so lucky that the night seemed so long. Isn't it when your outside the city, nights are longer because there's no wifi to get your eyes glued on your mobile phone and no need to worry of work the next day?  We had our dinner by the beach under the palm trees beside the beautiful bonfires. We had a hefty meal including a few bottles of beer. What more can we ask for?

Kuding Kuding point Isla de Carabao Romblon

Romblon to Boracay

Day 4 & 5

6 am Habal habal driver picked us up to bring us to the port going to Boracay. 
From the west part of the island, we can already see the island of Boracay!
7 am  We're on a passenger boat bound directly to Boracay for 45 minutes travel time

It was our first time to visit Boracay so imagine the ecstacy we felt while walking along the fine, powdery white sand and the heavenly bluish colored sea. While we were walking, we were approached by a hotel staff inviting us for a FREE LUNCH BUFFET at Astoria Hotel. Astoria Hotel is currently on soft opening that's why from the regular rate of Php 8, 000 per night, we got it for Php 1, 500 only. Talk about absolute luck for our #ChamporadoAdventure! 

Boracay Island travel guide

Breakdown of expenses
Carabao Island to Boracay boat -  Php 100
Boracay Accomodation - Php 1, 500 
Lunch Buffet- FREE 
Station 3 to Puka Beach - Php 200
Kayaking +Paddle boarding + drinks + bench -  Php 200
Puka Beach to Station 1 - Php 150
Beach Bumming - FREE
Beautiful Boracay Sunset Watching - FREE
Boracay Night life/Walwalan - Php 1, 000
Food - Php 1, 432.00  
Boracay to Manocmanoc Port to Caticlan Jetty Port to Boracay Airport - Php 350  (someone offered us to take care of our transportation to airport including ferry tickets)  
Boracay to Manila  - Php 3, 000 via Air Asia
Habal habal fee - Php 400

We woke up at 5 am to watch the sunrise because we don't need to go further. It's just in front of the place where we stay! The sunrise is equally amazing as the sunset. Boracay is really a beach paradise! We have 20 kilograms of baggage allowance that we so badly need to keep the many pasalubong items we bought. From marble mugs, to shell anklets to bags and more, this trip is so worth it! 

Our adventure has gone a long, long way. Thanks to our crazy craving of champorado, we reached Boracay.I know you can also do this. Travel for less and experience more! Just know & learn some little travel hacks that would definitely help! But most especially travel with your greatest buddies!

Posting more photos below:

carabao island diy guide
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Puka beach, Boracay


Carabao Island
Did you just came back from a backpacking trip or memorable travel with lots of good-looking photos? It should have a COMPLETE information about itinerary, expenses, descriptions and lists of the places you visited like this one from Michelle. Do you want it shared to others so that you can help more people plan their trips as well?Please send me a message via so we can have it posted here :) 

Note: This is a crowdsourced DIY Philippine travel guide. Please make your own judgement and we encourage to do your research because some information like the rates may not be up to date so that your trip's outcome is exactly you want it to be.  

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