Dates: April 9 – 10, 2016
One of my favorite things to do is to travel alone, to a place called “off the beaten path”. It does give me a feeling of self discovery, peace, away from all the noise of the world. If you desire to visit a place like this, Carnaza island is the name you should write on that bucket list. The island is located north of Cebu. I may say that it is between the island of Malapascua and Bantayan, maybe one of the reason it is not often visited by tourist is because, the trip (boat) going there is limited. As of latest when I was there, they only have one(1) trip a day. The information I got from the web already changed in terms of time the boats arrive and leave going and back to mainland Cebu. Anyway, I always consider my itinerary as guide, it can adopt to changes as long as the budget I have can support it.
Ok, so according to my research, the first boat that leaves from Tapilon port going to Carnaza island is 7am. Since I would love to stay longer in the island, I was in Tapilon port at 5am. When I asked the local in Tapilon what time the boat will arrive, they said around 10am! Well, I am already here, I already visited both Malapascua and Bantayan, so I decided to wait. Trust me, 5 hours of waiting is not a joke :). Around 6:30am a young couple arrived, Wilson and Lorelie. They too is curious about Carnaza. We talked about travels, hobbies, works etc. and then at around 9 am, a family arrived and they’re originally from Carnaza, but settled in Lapu-lapu because of work. They’re going to visit their parents in the island. Luckily we got so much information from them. Is the island safe?, where to stay?, what and how much would be the transportation cost?, etc.
Finally, the boat is here! and it’s already 10:30 am! ^_^ We are excited but when we ask what time the boat will leave going to Carnaza, the crew said, it depends, maybe 1 or 2 pm. What?!? (I shouted only in my mind). I asked why, They need to unload the boat, and they need to buy supplies and then load it again. That includes, chickens, waters, beers, softdrinks and many more. Wilson and Lorelie asked me if I still be going.. I said Yes. They love to go but they’re afraid that they may not be able to enjoy the island with the remaining hours and the first trip by Sunday is 8 am. In short, they decided to cancel their trip to Carnaza and headed to Malapascua. As for me, I’ve waited and at last, the boat started the engine at 3:15 pm! ^_^.
The trip took 2 hours. I just enjoy the view of Malapascua, Bantayan and Isla de Gato as we sailed heading to Carnaza.
At last, I can now see the beauty of the island from the boat. I started to took pictures. And as we approached, I am scouting where is the best spot to stay tonight. Then I see a spot(click the image, highlighted in red). According to locals in the boat, the area is called “ila-Elena”. they told me that it is public area and some visitors like to stay there because it is one of the beautiful spot.
Was so grateful that I was able to catch this beautiful sunset. I actually almost forgot to take a picture of this as I was amazed by it.
After a long day. For the first time, I am going to spend the rest of the night in this beautiful island. I am excited to explore the island tomorrow. Aside from free accommodation, I had a beautiful view of billion stars.
It was a beautiful morning when I woke up. calm sea, white sand, sound of pump boats, early birds were flying around. The simplicity of life at its best.
After having a light breakfast, coffee and biscuit, I decided to confirm what exactly the time and number of trips from Carnaza to mainland Cebu. Again, according to my research, there’s a 10 am boat going back to mainland. But this time, the locals told me that there’s two boat going to mainland today(Sunday). They will leave at 8am. So again, I need to change my plan because If I will go on that boat, I will not be able to explore the island. So they told me that there are available small boat that will bring me back to mainland, of course the pay is higher than the regular trip… much higher. I was able to negotiate and decided to go back to mainland after lunch. Then I asked if there is available motor bike that is willing to tour me in the island. So after negotiation, Junrey decided to tour me in the island.
Junrey told me that there is a cave in the area but we need to ask permission first with the caretaker. Look, there’s even a world war II skeleton.
There is a helipad (2) in the island. and the view is breathtaking
Our next stop is a private beach resort owned by Lito Osmeña. We again asked permission from the caretaker if it is ok for us to take some pictures. Glad that the lady was smiling when she said yes.
I also visited Carnaza national highschool, airport and the parola
After taking picture at the parola, we decided to go back to the “barrio”. I was then offered a delicious breakfast. Fish tinola and adobong pusit. I then decided to take a swim with the crystal clear waters. Then I requested to manong Edgar, the owner of the boat if we could drop by and take some pictures of Isla De Gato. It is the small rock island between mainland Cebu and Carnaza.
My gratitude to Junrey, noy Edgar and all the locals who assisted me and welcomed me in their beautiful island. I told them that I wish I could bring more visitors, maybe this blog will help encourage people to visit Carnaza.
How to get there
A few things to consider on planning your visit and stay in Carnaza
- There is only 1 boat per day going to Carnaza. The boat leaves in Carnaza at around 8am and arrives in Tapilon port at around 10am.
- Please register to Carnaza brgy. hall as soon as you arrive. The island is safe but it is a sign of courtesy to inform the head of the barangay that you or your group will stay in the island.
- Negotiate with your motor or boat rental. But please, do not negotiate for rock bottom price, remember that your pay will not make them billionaires, it will be a good financial help their financial needs and feed their family.
- Always observe cleanliness. Do not throw your garbage anywhere, put them on a container and ask the local where you can dispose it.
- There is no karinderia in the island. but fresh seafood is available for sale. you can buy and cook them or you can ask some local if they will cook it for you and just pay them.
- Camping is allowed, but please inform the barangay.
- It would be best to plan your Carnaza trip on a long weekend due to limited boat trip. but if you have a budget, you can always rent a boat from Carnaza back to mainland.
- For motor bike , boat rental and any other concern, please call Junrey at 0920-492-6656
Ok, here’s how you can get to Carnaza island from Cebu North Bus Terminal
- Ride a ceres bus to Maya-Kawit or Maya-Bagay. Inform the conductor to drop you off at Tapilon port. Travel time is 4 hours. Fare is 161 pesos for ordinary bus.
- When you arrive at Tapilon, ask locals where you can wait a boat going to Carnaza island. Travel time from Tapilon is 2 hours. Fare is 100 pesos.
I hope you’ll enjoy your Carnaza adventure! ^_^
If you want to view more photos of this trip, click here.