Ever dreamed of going to Boracay before the mall and big hotels popped up on the island? You can stop dreaming when you find a way to travel back in time. Tell me when you do. In the meantime, why don't we go to...
Reads "Carabao Island: Town with discipline and good manners."
Carabao Island is part of the province of Romblon. This island, also known as Hambil Island, lies on the southern end of the province. It can be reached by pumpboat from Tablas Island, Boracay Island, or Caticlan.
Click to enlarge (Source)
Going to/from Carabao/Hambil Island:
- From Santa Fe, Tablas Island — One trip daily at 930AM. Travel time: 1 hour. Fare: Php100. The trip back to Santa Fe is at 6AM.
- From Caticlan — One trip daily at 9AM. Travel time: 1 hour. Fare: Php80. The trip back to Caticlan is between 5AM to 6AM.
- From Boracay Island — One trip daily between 2PM to 4PM (no fixed schedule). In our case, it was at 330PM. Travel time: 45 minutes. Fare is Php50, but if they know you're not a local, they might charge you more. Boats can be found in Station 1, in front of Real Maris/Zuzuni. If you can't find the boat, ask. The trip back to Boracay Island is between 530AM to 7AM.
Note that the pumpboat will either dock at Brgy Lanas on the western side of Carabao/Hambil Island or at the Port of Said in Brgy Poblacion. Brgy Poblacion, on the eastern side, is where you want to be. This is where Hambil beach is. If it docks at Brgy Lanas, you'd have to hop on a motorcycle (fare is Php60) to get to Hambil beach in Brgy Poblacion.
Map of Carabao/Hambil Island. Click to enlarge. (Source)
Port of Said in Brgy. Poblacion
Hambil Beach. No malls. No restaurants. No hotels. No electricity (well, there is, a few hours daily). Camping on the beach is possible. But if you'd rather have a bed, these are the three places I found that can accommodate visitors:
Php 500 for 2 pax
Contact Rebecca Bandala Zapra 0999 499 8757 / 0927 610 9457
The house is just across the beach and this is where we stayed for two nights. Since electricity is limited to a few hours a day, it can get quite stuffy in the room. On the second night, we took the mattress from the room and moved it near the veranda for some breeze. For food, Rebecca offered to cook meals.
Republic of Inobahan
Php 750 for fan room
Contact Edison 0918 330 3718
This is also across the beach. This place is owned by the mayor.
EJR Eatery and Lodging House
0921 466 1905
Located at the town proper, it's just short walk to the beach. The eatery is closed on Sundays.
I prefer a beach like Hambil...
...quiet, save for the sound of the waves...
...and the wind whistling through the trees...
...just some local kids frolicking in the water...
...clean with just the natural flotsam and jetsam washed ashore...
...perfect for a giant mustache!
Boat from Boracay Island to Carabao Island Php 50
Motorcycle from Lanas Beach to Hambil Beach Php 60
Two nights homestay at Hambil Beach (Php 500/night/2 pax) Php 500
Food (five meals) Php Php 353
Port of Said terminal fee Php 10
Boat from Port of Said to Caticlan Php 80
Carabao Island, Romblon:
A Minute on an Island
Away from the Madding Crowd: Hambil Beach (you're here!)