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Social Media proves to be a powerful tool when it comes to promoting tourism. We’ve seen that with Kalanggaman Island and ever since it was discovered in social media, the place is attracting more tourists each day.

That’s what happening now with Carnaza Island. It has been quite a popular summer destination these days in Cebu. Just like with Kalanggaman, the island is receiving more and more tourists every day. They want to know what the island can offer and a lot of Cebuanos wanted to have their summer escapade in a completely new place.

And we are one of those curious Cebuanos who wanted to visit Carnaza before it become too commercialized.

So where exactly is Carnaza?

Carnaza Island is part of Daanbantayan, Cebu Philippnes and is located in the northernmost part of Daanbantayan. It’s a two-hour ride by boat from Daanbantayan and locals say that 80% of the island is owned by the Osmena’s - the famouse political clan here in Cebu, Philippines.

How to get to Carnaza Island?

We left from Cebu City around three AM with a private car and reached Daanbantayan by seven in the morning. All boats going to Carnaza Island is found in Tapilon port and is available only between 8AM-10AM. There’s a place beside Tapilon Port where we safely parked our car and went straight to the port. Unfortunately, the weather condition that morning was not so good so all the boats going to Carnaza Island are docked in the next port. Just asked the locals about the schedules so they can help you.

You can also ride a bus from Cebu North Bus Terminal. Just hop into a bus that marks Maya-Kawit or Maya-Bagay ask the bus driver to drop you off at Tapilon Port. I’m not sure about the bus fare but I think it was around 220 if I’m not mistaken.

Going back to Bantayan from Carnaza, boats leave around 8AM-10AM. So be sure to be at the jump off early.

 

Where to stay in Carnaza Island?

This is the first time that I went full “traveler style.” Meaning, I have no idea where to stay in Carnaza or what to do. I even read somewhere that you have to bring your own food supplies in there since they don’t have any restaurants or carenderia. We didn’t follow it because we were that lazy and our Carnaza trip was a last minute decision.

So imagine my delight when I found a restaurant/carenderia as soon as we docked in Carnaza Island. We had some lunch there and short conversation with the locals. Turns out the restaurants offers tents and sleeping bags (150php and 100php rental fee respectively) and suggested to stay at Carnaza’s public beach – Kailina. We just need to pay 100 pesos each for the whole duration of our stay there. We went to check the beach and decided right then and there to accept the local’s suggestion. Kailina’s turquoise water was so calm and inviting since the habagat or southwest monsoon blows in the opposite side of the area.

If you’re not keen on sleeping in a tent, you can also stay at Carnaza Ecopark (owned by Osmena). Their wood tent is 200/night (good for two person). Just be sure to book ahead of time. We tried to make a reservation there but the staff said they were already fullybooked months before our travel date.

You can also ask some locals as they were very friendly and accommodating. Some of the locals offers a homestay for 200/night.

 

How to get around Carnaza?

Habal-habal is the only transportation you could use in Carnaza Island. For 150 pesos, you can already go around the island.

You can also do some side trips and visit La Manok Island. An island which is part of Esperanza, Masbate. It’s quite fascinating if you think about it really. For just thirty minutes boat ride, you’ll be transported already in Luzon area.

 

How much did it cost you?

We are a group of four and this is how we breakdown our expenses:

Transportation: 950php (including Cebu-Daanbantayan gas & 150 Carnaza habal-habal tour)

Food: 750php each (good for 3D2N)

Tents & sleeping bag: 300php each (2 tents & 2 sleeping bags + 100 for Kailina stay)

La Manok Island Tour: 375php each (Php1,500.00 boat rental)

TOTAL EXPENSES: Php 2,375.00


the giant squid we bought from fishermen for only 250php!

Can I ask for your itinerary?

Since the island is just 173.5-hectare, you can cover the whole island in just two days. That includes long hours of swimming in their pristine white sand beaches! Here’s a sample itinerary.

Day 1: 3AM Left the city. Arrived in Daanbantayan at around 7AM

          12NN: Arrived in Carnaza Island. Spend the rest of the day swimming

Day 2: AM: Town tour

         PM: La Manok Island Tour

Day 3: Leave Carnaza Island by 8AM

 

There! Long weekend is coming up really soon and I bet you want to visit Carnaza Island as well.

 

Let me know how it goes!

 

~Hart~