I remember how I was looking impassive after I received an unfamiliar question from my Teacher when I was in High School. I was just staring at her and would love to ask further to clean my confusion and I’ll find a better understanding of what she was talking about cause I really don’t have an idea. This is what exactly happened to me when my friends and I traveled to this Island that I haven’t heard of yet. I was rendering them a blank face and keep thinking of what the Island looks like and what are we going to do there, but at the back of my mind, I know that it’ll be another exciting and fun-filled day for us. I didn’t even bother to do a little research about the Island cause I didn’t want to turn down my excitement at that time.
We took an early bus trip from the Cebu North Bus Terminal around 2 AM while our eyes were still struggling to be active cause they want to rest, our jaded body who happens to be circumscribed from kissing the comfort of our bed is likewise a real struggle, but evading them means seeing the beautiful scenery ahead of us. We were able to get to the town of Daanbantayan, Cebu around 6:30 am and we had a morning walk around Daanbantayan while waiting for others. But before our itinerary contradict to the time they arrived, they were able to reached Daanbantayan. We then buy some necessary things that we will be needing on Guintacan Island.
Heading to Guintacan Island from Daanbantayan town proper is very easy, you only have to take a tricycle that actually looks like a small version of Tuk-Tuk in Thailand. Since taking a public boat that would get us to Guintacan Island will not be a good choice cause they have to wait to fill the boat with around 30 passengers before it leaves, we instead rented the boat. More than an hour of a fun boat ride while enjoying the ocean panorama was made us even more excited.
Guintacan Island (Guintarcan Island) or mostly recognized as Kinatarkan by locals is a charming island that offers travelers the chance to experience rustic island life in a peaceful and relaxing environment. This signifies that there are no big chain of resorts on the island and transportation is basic like a motorcycle. Nevertheless, the island guarantees an authentic island experience and beautiful scenery. The island is composed of rocky cliffs on the North side and along the western and eastern side, you’ll be seeing the cloistered white sand beaches. The Guintacan Island is actually part of the Municipality of Santa Fe and situated at the Southern Part of the Visayan sea that is close to Bantayan Island. The whole island is just about nine kilometers long as its length and two kilometers as its width which means ambling around the whole island for only 2-3 hours is very possible.
Upon traipsing my feet on the Island, the first beautiful scenery that fascinated my eyes the moment I arrived was the untouched white sand beach, splendid coastal views, crystal clear water, lines of wild coconut trees and the colorful fishing boats on the seashore that brought me the feeling of a warm welcoming. With the turquoise water that is very tempting, this is one of the many attractive things that you can’t get your eyes off once you arrive. There were children whom I guess are from the island and they don’t mind about the clinging heat of the sun as they were playing in the clean water and swim.
The children that we met while on our way upwards from the seacoast help us to get to the La-aw Cove. But before we proceeded straight to the La-aw cove, some of my friends went to the high mounds and stand there while admiring the island in which they feel free and excited with magic beauty of nature’s bounty of Guintacan Island. They genuinely have enjoyed the sea breeze and listen to the flap created by sturdy waves while bumping into the cliffs. I was then busy taking picture of them with their own invented instagrammable pose.
It was very hot during our visit and we have to trek around 30-45 minutes going to the hidden lagoon on Guintacan Island or locally known as La-aw cove. The trail was quite a challenge for us, since most of us were just wearing slippers. We have to pass to a narrow pathway that seems like a huge rock being broken in the middle and created a very unique pathway. We’ve seen cave as well, but just plain hanging on the bulwark of the limestone. There were stalagmites hanging, but sadly it looks like they were already a dead stalagmite. Soon enough we reached the hidden Lagoon that is very enticing.
The La-aw Cove looks like being trapped and surrounded by a limestone and covered by a canopy of trees which makes the place so umbrageous and most probably the reason why the water is cold. The lagoon is not that really wide, simply enough to attract your child like sense to play and enjoy its natural beauty. There’s a group of children, which I guess are locals on the Island during our visit where they really enjoyed the cold water of the La-aw Cove as they were playing and swim. There’s a an improvised swing where a large rope is being wedded to a tree where you can jump on a water just like Tarzan. It’s not that scary as most locals do this, and the water is not that deep, but just make sure to find a perfect timing and release your hand when you jump on a water to avoid accidents. The kids as well climb to a very sharp and high limestone cliff and from there they jump on a water which made me scared, but they simply have enjoyed it. Two of our friends was tempted by these kids and they as well climb to a limestone cliff, but it took them about 15 minutes to decide to jump. This made our day cause we were heckling them since they seem like so doubtful either to jump or not, but they made it and jump.
After enjoying the innate beauty of La-aw Cove with its cold and salty water, our stomach is asking for food and we then had our lunch on the upper side of the Lagoon and continue to swim after our lunch. We genuinely want to stay and enjoy more what Guintacan Island has to offer, but since we have not granted a leisure time during our visit cause we have to leave around 2 PM so that we won’t miss the last trip going to Malapascua Island. We supposed to go to the western and eastern part of the Island to check their secluded beach, but we don’t have enough time. Me and my team might probably be travelling back and amble around the whole Island soon.
Note: This is part of our 3 days and 2 night adventure on the 5 remote Islands in the northernmost part of Cebu, namely Guintacan Island, Malapascua Island, Carnaza Island, La Manok Island and Gato Island together with other Cebu Travel Bloggers, Instagrammers and Travelers.
HOW TO GET TO GUINTACAN SLAND
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 for Daanbantayan and you should tell the driver or the Bus conductor to drop you off at the Daanbantayan Public Market. The fare is around PHP 170 to PHP 190. As you reached the Daanbantayan Public Market ask the locals in the area where is the port that bound for Guintacan Island. From there, hop a boat that will take you to Guintarcan Island. The fare is around Php50 per person for one way trip and the travel time is more than an hour.
Since Guintacan Island doesn’t own a bunch of visitors in a day, the schedule of the boat rides that leaves from the Port to Guintacan Island is sometimes not fix. But the boat mostly departs when they have 20-30 passengers or else you have to really wait.
During our visit to Guintacan Island, we rented a boat from Daanbantayan for only PHP 2,500 that includes going to Guintarcan Island and going back to Daanbantayan since we are around 11 that time. I guess this is more convenient if you’re traveling with a group of friends.
- Expect big waves when going to Guintacan Island always make sure to secure all your gadgets and put them in the dry bag. We are just lucky enough that during our trip to Guintacan Island the ocean has been just so calm.
- Bring your own camping gear like your tent and all the necessary stuff that you’ll be needing if you want to camp on the beach.
- 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.
- Guintacan 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. 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.
POSSIBLE TRAVEL EXPENSES TO PREPARE
Fare from Cebu-Daanbantayan (Regular Bus) – PHP 160
Breakfast – PHP 100
Fare Daanbantayan to Port going to Guintacan Island – 10
Boat rental going to the Guintacan 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, Galut Island and going back to Tapilon Port PHP 4000 divided to 13 people – 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 in the Northernmost tip of Cebu. Guintacan Island, Malapascua Island, Carnaza Island, Lamanok Island and Gato Island.
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 Guintacan Island
10:40 AM- ETA Guintacan 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 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!