Carnaza Island: DISCOVERING The Different FACE Of Its NATURAL BEAUTY 

In the backyard of my mind, I kept the imagery and the serene desire of embracing the unspoiled and unpretentious innate beauty of an Island. This slowly grows and remain just a desire until I finally traipse my two little itchy feet on the Island that I have not expected to be equally astonishing as my serene desire have long been wanting to see and own.

Summer in the Philippines could be really hot and this is the season that most people would likely be really exciting about. It is when most sun soakers and beach hawkers really waited. Cebu has a lot of white powdery sand beaches along with its shoreline and some are actually making their name famously and could possibly be compared to the beautiful beaches in the world. But behind all the commercialized White sand Beach Resorts that you can find in Cebu, we are still so fortunate that there are still few precious gems that aren’t overrun by beach worshiper. One of these islands that owns very unspoiled white sand beaches and are not yet jaded by the presence of visitors is the Carnaza Island in Northernmost tip of Cebu, Philippines.

Carnaza Island is partially shrouded in low mountains, evergreen rainforest and a couple of jungle viewpoints that serve as excuses for short treks. This island also offers fine white sand beaches that right after a limestone formation is another white beach to discover and enjoy. The stunning views towards several limestone outcrops rising from the sea is like the spine of an ancient dragon that meets the sturdy waves and the surface of every limestone formation. The waters that surround the island is teal and full of life and a great playground for those that really love to plunge under the paradise of the ocean.

Believe me or not, but the exciting way to amble around the island is on foot and that’s really an amazing adventure that everyone should experience. Whatever you do on Carnaza Island, it is always done in surroundings that can only be truly described as paradise. It is still so unspoiled that you can’t find any Beach Resort on this Island, except for the private Resort owned by the Osmeña family. This Island is truly for the isolated feel for you get to just set up your tent and sleep under the captivating light of the stars at night time. But of everything that this Island has to offer, the very thing that you will really enjoy is the relaxation and eschewing of the tourist trail that leads to serenity and will bring you closer to an innate nature’s bounty.

We were on a pump boat floating on a peaceful ocean that appears like a silky water heading to Carnaza Island. I was sitting beside my backpack where I found an idea from of which backpack I brought with me during our trip to Carnaza Island. While we were almost reaching the Island, the pristine water that allowed our eyes to experience the paradise under the wide ocean really entice us to jump and swim.

It was already late 3:00 PM in the afternoon when we arrived on Carnaza Island together with my travelers friend and some of them were also travel bloggers from Cebu. We were welcomed by a pristine water and a white sand beach with an amazement marking our face. The clinging heat of the sunlight was piercing our surface that we immediately get to find a shady part to lay down our things before exploring the island. Some of my friends took advantage of the sun and swim. I was then busy looking for the best angle to get a photo of the beach.

I was sitting on a white sand while watching my friends enjoying the turquoise water on the beach, then two of my friends invited me to find a good spot for a sunset viewing. At first, I was in doubt of going with them cause I felt like I needed to rest that time, but I was then reminded of my real purpose of visiting this island not to rest, but to explore its natural beauty. Hence, I end up going with them where I was so happy and thankful that I did.

So we set forth to explore the Island by foot until we slowly discovered all the hidden gems that Carnaza Island has to offer. We’ve seen some other white sand beach that still left in its natural state. It is hidden in two longitudinal cliffs on both sides and a bunch of colorful pump boats on its shoreline that the locals use for fishing. While waiting for the sunset, we started discovering the secret spot that really perfects for a photo shoot with a backdrop of pristine water and beautiful limestone cliffs.

Photo Credit: James of ASANASADSIJAMES

At close to 5:30 PM, the sun slowly saying goodbye to us and the sky started to transform into a colorful hue of lights that really made us speechless. It was truly perfect, I couldn’t find the right words to describe how beautiful it was that even photos could not render justice to the dramatic sky. We were begging and trying to stop the darkness to come and let the beautiful sky extend its time of divulging its beauty to us, but we possessed no power to do that.

Photo Credit: Jhon Jay of Wandering Feet PH

So we ran to the other side of a limestone hill, hoping that there might be a good spot to view the sunset. Yes, we were able to see the stunning view of a limestone cliff and a tiny island that looks like an airplane that have just landed. Yes, it is exactly looks like an airplane landing on the ocean of Carnaza Island. It was just so cute that I can’t stop gazing at it.

Seeing the calm water of the ocean from the limestone hill, I was mystified how the reflection of the dramatic sky has influenced the ocean. It was just so stunning that we never stop adoring Carnaza Island for it offers almost everything that every adventure seeker is looking for. Then darkness slowly filling the whole place and likewise a sign of going back to our camping site to prepare our dinner.

We were cooking our dinner in the middle of a dark camping site with only one headlight and our phone flashlights that serves as our light while preparing our dinner. Soon enough we had our late dinner around 8:30PM in the evening on a boodle fight set up. We gather around the banana leaves on the ground that has a full of luscious food with our bare hands while throwing funny jokes on each other. You can truly imagine how happy we were while having our dinner.

So the night is getting deep and as a usual camping set up,  we also had our social. We gather around except for others who were already sleepy and need to rest for they were jaded. We had games, someone played guitar and we all sing in the middle of the night like we owned the Island that night. Some were actually still doing their thing, but right after our werewolf game I decided to sleep. I was lulled into a deep slumber while gazing at the beautiful stars above me and the comforting sound of waves kissing the coast.

Photo Credit: James of ASANASADSIJAMES

Then the dawn arrives, I was woken up by an inviting call from James saying that I have to wake up cause we are going to look for a good spot to chase the sunrise. I instantly woke up and had myself ready. We were actually in hurry for we might not able to witness the sunrise. The sun is about to come out from where he was blotting out the whole night, but all of us were still struggling cause we haven’t found a good spot for the sunrise viewing. I can limpidly see the frustration of my travelers friend, but we’re still happy that even we didn’t have a perfect spot to see the sunrise, we were still able to see the king sun as he rises up.

Photo Credit: Dilon of Chasing Wonders

After chasing the sunrise we went back to our camping site and prepare our breakfast before departing to another secluded island which is also part of Carnaza Island. We are just so fortunate that one of our friends knows someone who has a pump boat and can get us to Lamanok Island (The chicken-less Island) for a cheaper price.  Thus, we again had our breakfast in a boodle fight set up before heading to our next Island destination. But before we left Carnaza Island, it is our obligation and responsibility to clean the camping site and bring our garbage to the mainland of Daanbantayan.

Photo Credit: Dilon of Chasing Wonders

Heading to our next Island destination was truly fun and we get the opportunity of seeing some other part of Carnaza Island with beautiful and untouched white beaches and astonishing cliffs. Lamanok Island or locally spelled as the La Manok Island is a 2 small island joined by a sand bar that offers unique island vibes and you’ll get to experience the sturdy ocean current that flows between the islands where I struggle a lot the moment I swim. La Manok Island will be published next on my blog, so kindly wait for it.

Lamanok Island

Note: This is part of our 3 days and 2 night adventure on the 5 remote Islands in the northernmost part of Cebu, namely Guintarcan Island, Malapascua Island, Carnaza Island, La Manok Island and Gato Island together with other Cebu Travel Bloggers, Instagrammers and Travelers.

Also Check:


There are daily flights to Cebu from Manila, Davao and other part of the Philippines with Major Airlines (Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Asia). From the Cebu Mactan Airport, ride a taxi going to Cebu North Bus Terminal and from there, take a bus bound to Maya-Kawit or Maya-Bagay and you should tell the driver or the Bus conductor to drop you off at the Tapilon port. The fare is around PHP 170 to PHP 190. As you reached the Tapilon Port, ask the locals in the area where is the port of Tapilon. From there, hop a boat that will take you to Carnaza Island. The fare is around Php100 per person for one way trip and the travel time is roughly 2 hours.


Since Carnaza Island doesn’t own a bunch of visitors in a day, the schedule of the boat rides that leaves Tapilon Port to Carnaza Island is sometimes not fix. But the boat mostly departs around 7 or 8am depending on the local passengers.

During our visit to Carnaza Island, we didn’t take a boat ride from Tapilon Port going to Carnaza Island. We rented a boat from Malapascua Island around PHP 3,000 for 10-15 passengers. I guess this is more convenient if you’re traveling with a group of friends. Since we only rented the boat for a one way trip to Carnaza Island because we stayed on the island for one night, we as well rented another boat on the following day that brought us to Lamanok Island, Galut Island and go back to Tapilon Port for only PHP 4,000 and good for 10-15 passengers.


  •  Bear in mind that there is only one trip from Carnaza Island going back to Tapilon Port and leaves around 7 or 8 AM. To avoid rushing in the morning and you want to explore the Lamanok Island and Gato Island, you better hire a Private boat. You can always ask the locals living on the Island.  The price is quite expensive though around PHP 6,000, but you can always haggle. We were just so lucky during our visit, since one of our friends who have joined us, knows someone on the Island and he only charge PHP 4,000 for the entire boat trip from Carnaza Island to Lamanok Island, Gato Island and to Tapilon Port.
  • Expect big waves when going to Carnaza Island always make sure to secure all your gadgets and put them in the dry bag. Again, we are lucky enough that during our trip to Carnaza the ocean has been just so calm.
  • If you’re going to consider a local boat ride from Tapilon port, you are required to have your name registered at the Barangay Hall upon reaching Carnaza Island for the security and safety of visitors on the Island.
  • Bring your own camping gear like your tent and all the necessary stuff that you’ll be needing during your stay on the Island. If ever you didn’t bring your tent, you can always ask the locals where to rent a tent for a night. Some locals on the island also offer bed spaces. I guess one of the Barangay Officials on the Island offers bed space and lodging as well, just go to their Barangay Hall.
  • Bringing your cook set when you decide to stay overnight on this Island is very advisable. Also buy the necessary supplies from the Mainland of Daanbantayan. There are small stores on the Island, but that won’t guarantee that all the supplies that you’ll be needed will be available in their stores.
  • Since Carnaza Island is a perfect place for those that loves to explore the paradise under the ocean. I advise you to bring your own swimming and snorkeling gear.
  • During the morning, you’ll be finding out fresh seafood near the seashore where most locals live. You can always ask the locals and buy their fresh fish.
  • I highly suggest that you have to bring your Powerbank and make sure that all your gadgets are fully charged before going on this Island, since their electricity on the island is not available 24 hours.
  • Always remember that, It is your garbage your obligation. Never leave your garbages when visiting this Island, as you depart the island bring them with you and leave them on the mainland of Daanbantayan. Don’t forget to bring your food waste bag.
  • Please remember to leave no trace behind. Take good care of our mother nature. Just enjoy and be responsible enough.


  • Fare from Cebu-Daanbantayan (Regular Bus) – Php 160
  • Breakfast – Php 100
  • Fare Daanbantayan to Port going to Guintarcan Island – Php 10
  • Boat rental going to the Guintarcan Island (good for 10-15 passengers), including the food for 2 days Island adventure – Php 500
  • Fare from Port – Daanbantayan proper – Php 10
  • Fare Daanbantayan – Maya Port –Php 10
  • Fare Maya Port – Malapascua – Php 100
  • Additional charge for a mini boat transfer – Php 40
  • Dinner at Ging-Ging’s Restaurant on Malapascua Island – Php 115
  • Mr. Kwiiz Resort bed space (fan room) and good for 4 people – Php 350
  • Lunch at Mr. Kwiiz Resort –Php 155
  • Boat rental Malapascua to Carnaza Island PHP 3,000 divided to 10 people – Php 300
  • Boat Rental from Carnaza, Lamanoc Island, Gato Island and going back to Tapilon Port PHP 4000 divided to 13 people – Php 310
  • Fare Tapilon to Cebu City – Php 190

        OVER ALL TOTAL for our 3 days and 2 night trip: Php 2,350 

Note: This is the good side when you travel with a group of friends, aside from you won’t be spending much, you will as well enjoy so much that you forget about your skin being sun burnt.


3 Days and 2 night Itinerary. Exploring five remote Islands at the Northernmost tip of Cebu. Guintarcan Island, Malapascua Island, Carnaza Island, Lamanok Island and Gato Island. 

DAY 1 

  • 1:30 AM- Meet-up at the North Bus Terminal
  • 02:00 AM- Depart from Cebu City
  • 06:30 AM- ETA in Daanbantayan
  • 07:00 AM- Breakfast
  • 07:30 AM- Buying the necessary supplies needed in Guintarcan Island
  • 9:30 AM – Depart for Guintarcan Island
  • 10:40 AM- ETA Guintarcan Island
  • 10:50 AM – Trek going to La-aw Lagoon
  • 11:20 AM – ETA La-aw Lagoon
  • 11:30 AM – Swimming in La-aw Lagoon
  • 12:00 PM – Lunch
  • 12:30 PM – Swimming continue
  • 02:00 PM – Depart for Daanbantayan
  • 03:15PM – ETA at Daanbantayan
  • 03:30 PM – Depart for Maya Port
  • 03:50 PM – ETA in Maya Part
  • 04:00 PM- Buying all the necessary supplies for 2 days Island adventure. 05:00 PM – Depart for Malapascua Island
  • 05:30 PM – ETA Malapascua Island
  • 05:50 PM – Looking for a Hostel to stay in Malapascua for a night
  • 09:00 PM – Dinner
  • 10:00 PM – Social
  • 11:30 PM – Rest time


  • 07:00 AM – Prepare for breakfast
  • 08:30 AM – Breakfast
  • 09:30 AM – Exploring Malapascua Island
  • 11:00 AM – Prepare for check out at Mr. Kwiiz Beach Resort
  • 11:50 PM – Check out
  • 12:00 PM – Lunch at Mr. Kwiiz Beach Resort
  • 02:00 PM – Depart for Carnaza Island
  • 03:30 PM – ETA Carnaza Island
  • 04:00 PM – exploring the Island and chasing sunrise
  • 06:30 PM – Prepare for Dinner
  • 08:30 PM – Dinner
  • 09:30 PM – Social
  • 12:00 AM – Rest time


  • 05:00 AM – Wake up and prepare for sunrise viewing
  • 05:30 AM – Sunrise viewing
  • 06:30 AM – Prepare for breakfast
  • 08:30 AM – Cleaning the camping area
  • 09:00 AM – Breakfast
  • 09:00 AM – Prepare for Lamanok Island
  • 10:00 AM – Depart for Lamanok
  • 11:20 AM – ETA Lamanok Island
  • 11:30 AM – Explore and enjoying Lamanok Island
  • 12:30 PM – Lunch
  • 01:00 PM – Depart for Gato Island
  • 02:20 PM – side trip on Gato Island for a while
  • 02:30 PM – Depart for Tapilon Port
  • 04:00 PM – ETA Tapilon Port
  • 04:10 PM – Quick wash up at the Karederia (food beanery).
  • 05:00 PM – Depart for Cebu City
  • 09:30 PM – ETA Cebu City
  • 10:00 PM – Home sweet home.


I would like to thank Master Arnold of Wandering Soul Scamper for the invitation and for planning the whole trip. To John Jay of Wandering Feet PH, James of ASANASADSIJAMES, Gly of Chasing Potatoes, Mike Laagan of The Traveling Panda, Sean of His Hidden Letters, Dilon of Chasing Wonders, to Gelai of Wanderanghela for always making sure that we have luscious food to eat, to Angel, Kevin and Duke that I have just met, may I still see you on our next adventure and to Rome of Basta Bisaya and Totem of Totemgineer. Thank you so much guys for the fun filled adventure that I have experienced together with you all. See you all on our next adventure again!


50 thoughts on “Carnaza Island: DISCOVERING The Different FACE Of Its NATURAL BEAUTY 

  1. Nice one! We had an invitation to visit and document Carnaza Island a few months ago, but it did not push through. Beautiful island indeed! It will surely be in our must-visit list. 🙂


  2. Carnaza Island looks like paradise :-), especially love the Lamanok Island joined only be the sandbank. I just want to go in the beautiful clear water or walk along those white sandy beaches. I will definitely have to visit here one day


  3. Your post about the Philippines makes me want to visit more and more. It looks like paradise! It is so many islands to visit and these looks incredible. I love that you cover detailed information and Itineraries. It is so helpful. I have to remember this when I go to the Philippines 😀


  4. Carnaza Island looks like another piece of paradise that is part of the larger paradise that is the Philippines. It looks so bewitchingly lovely and spotless, maybe it would give paradise a run for its money. The sheer natural beauty and its pristine nature never fail to leave me wonderstruck. Thanks for bringing the beauty of nature alive for us through your posts.


  5. We went to Cebu and missed this?! WHAT! Seriously what a paradise. I would love to go to Carnaza. The colors and the photos you’ve captured will have me wanderlusting hard! We need to go back to the Philippines.


  6. That sunrise looks photoshop, I can’t believe such surreal beauty like that exists but then again, The Philippines’ natural wonders are truly in a class of their own. The shot of you and your friends balancing from the palm trees is epic as well, you guys must have some serious core strength to have pulled off that shot 😛


  7. Looks like you had quite the adventure with your friends. I love finding hidden gems and places that have not yet been overwhelmed with tourists. I couldn’t believe all the pink hues in the sunset photos. It is simply gorgeous. A ton of great tips about the boat times and packing camping gear and to secure your gear due to the huge waves when getting ashore 🙂


  8. I am from Cebu, but never heared of Carnaza Island. When you talk about northern Cebu, I only think about Bantayan. It’s nice to know that when I come back, I have some guide to go there.


  9. Wow this place looks incredible! I’ve never been to the Philippines but it has been totally on my radar lately since I keep seeing such great photos of it. I’m loving your pics too – what a killer sunset!


  10. I keep coming back to your blog to tease and remind myself that I should have done a better research last year. I spent 2 months in Bohol and haven’t seen any of this beauty. Of course, I went to Palawan, but Carnaza is amazing. The sunsets are unbelievable!


  11. Wow, those sunsets are incredible! It’s amazing that you can still discover an unspoiled island beach in these days of international travel. I think going to someplace like this would be the only way I could really put my laptop away and relax.


  12. Omg your photos are absolutely amazing! This place looks like true paradise and there was no one on that beach! This post was also so informative! I love the Philippines! My sister-in-law is from Cebu!


  13. We’re Brandbuilders – A successful online marketing agency. Your blog is full of valuable knowledge – and good quality visual elements – which means its an invaluable read for travel workers, as well as people planning their next vacation. Our team can build a large following for across your social media network, in order to drive more fans to your blog. We use a targeted, interest-based method that nets genuine audience growth.


  14. Carnaza Island looks like paradise! The clear waters, unspoiled beach, and lush forest are enchanting! A great place for those who like tranquility!


  15. Carnaza Island definitely looks like a place I would like to go. The blue waters are so inviting . I have been to Philippines many times but never made it to Cebu ever :(. I love the way you have given all the details of the trip.


  16. Ariel, I’m going to stop reading your blog! Just Kidding! Lolz.
    But seriously, this is too much!! Philippines is way too beautiful with all its tiny, unexplored, serene islands and their beaches!!! The more I read your blog, the more I’m tempted to move to your country for a few months atleast!


  17. Beautiful island — pristine! I think I may be too old for this type of adventure anymore. Camping at night without electricity does not sound easy at all. Hehe. Ahh to be young and adventurous!


  18. What a beautiful place… the night time shots are spectacular and would be the perfect setting to fall asleep to. I love the beauty that nature shares here… it never ceases to awe me.:)


  19. Pingback: La-aw Cove: The LOVELY Hidden LAGOON On Guintarcan Island  | The Little Lai: Beyond limits

  20. I really love your blog.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you create this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m attempting to create my own website and would love to find out where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Thank you!|


  21. Pingback: La Manok Island: A Slice Of PARADISE At The Northernmost Tip of CEBU That You Should VISIT  | The Little Lai: Beyond limits

  22. We are going to Cebu in December so I was so glad to see that is where these beautiful pictures were from. You added something new to our bucketlist – thanks !! It looks like a great itinerary


  23. Great article 🙂 The Philippines have been on my bucket list for quite a while, I’ll have to include Carnaza 😉


  24. Wow, this really was a thorough post. Certainly, you have covered every conceivable question one might have before visiting Carnaza Island, something which is of short supply on the internet. Great hear also that you met some other travel bloggers on the way over, seems as though the world is full of us these days!


  25. absolutely brilliant post, really liked the way you explained and provide information who want to take on this tour. i will definitely use this if go there.


  26. Nice post! First time to read a detailed post on Carnaza Island. I love that the place seems to make you really closer to nature.. and the starts 🙂 Hope Ill be able to go here someday, without the big waves please. 😛


  27. You’ve captured the beauty of the place. Such a beauty! Indeed, Cebu has so many great sceneries and sometimes, all they need is someone’s story so they may be heard and seen. I have been to Cebu a number of times and I haven’t been to Carnaza Island. I hope to be able to travel again and see the island’s beauty.


  28. Wow! What a mesmerizing beauty of nature! It seems to be a very romantic place.. the symphony of colors were just so amazing, like a touch of rainbow in the midst of the sky and the ocean. Is it edited or its really natural? Ang ganda talaga! And i was wondering who’s the two people climbing the tree, what a perfect silhouette! 🙂


  29. Seeing this post is so timely. It’s summer and it sucks because we still have school. What a bummer. So yeah, I’m glad I saw this because for a moment or two, it felt like I was there. I usually say this when I’m reading travel blogs that it’s as if you bring us to anywhere you go and it’s wonderful! But yeah, so envious of the view!


  30. The post is absolutely magnificent!! Seeing that there are these so-called ‘hidden’ tourist gems in every corner of the world really makes me happy. Carnaza seems to be one of them with its untouched nature and extraordinary beauty. The fact that you can do many things by just roaming around the island is more than desirable because this way I would always stay active, and I would definitely want to know everything about the place. Thank you for wonderful pictures and for the useful pieces of information.


  31. Wow! The island and your photos are stunning! I hope this island remain unspoiled so as not to ruin its natural beauty. It’s also nice to know that you’re exploring unknown islands and drifting from the famous ones. I didn’t know Cebu has a lot more to offer than the usual. 🙂


  32. Wow! Love all your photos captured & shared here. Am especially liking those sunset ones, it’s just like with rainbow colours, so lovely! Am saving your post so that I can visit this island at Cebu soon 🙂 cheers, SiennyLovesDrawing


  33. Carnaza Island seems to be a must add to itinereary! Thanks a ton for the breakup of the visit. It helps a lot to plan. Such fantastic pictures, feels like a paradise.


  34. Pingback: Malapascua Island: DIVERS and BEACH Lovers PARADISE But Not For TRAVELERS Seeking For SERENITY | The Little Lai: Beyond limits

  35. Pingback: GATO ISLAND: A Quick VISIT To A Sea SNAKE Sanctuary | The Little Lai: Beyond limits

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s