Carabao Island 2

Carabao Island (or Hambil), officially known as the Municipality of San Jose, is the southernmost island of the province of Romblon. It sits right smack in between the islands of Tablas, Romblon and Boracay, Aklan.

Carabao Island has a lot of potential in becoming one of the best islands in the country. Its sheer beauty, i.e. clear waters and amazing landscape, is enough to capture one’s fancy. Carabao Island is a mere 20-minute boat ride from one of the most sought after resort islands in the world, Boracay, which happens to be closed for tourism as it undergoes rehabilitation. Hence, to those who have already booked their flights prior to the government’s announcement of Boracay’s closure last April 26, 2018, Carabao Island might just be a good alternative. While Boracay is closed, Carabao has got your back!

I had the opportunity to explore Carabao Island when I tagged along with fellow travel blogger Cai Dominguez of From Manila, I arrived at 1335H via Air Asia in Caticlan Airport. Outside Caticlan Airport, I met Cai who traveled all the way by bus from Iloilo to Caticlan and Kuya (big brother) Yolly Loquinto of Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11.

Watch my vlog here:

From Caticlan Airport, we rode a tricycle to Sambiray Port in Malay, Aklan. After paying the environmental fee of Php 50, we boarded a small boat to bring us to a bigger boat that would take us to Carabao Island. Total boat fare was Php 100 per head. There are two daily boat trips from Caticlan to Carabao Island. The first one is at 9 AM. We took the 3 PM trip. Return trip to Caticlan is at 6 AM. Quite honestly, I did not know much about Carabao Island. I would hear about it though from boatmen in Boracay as part of their island hopping tours.

The 45-minute boat ride to Carabao Island was smooth despite the gloomy weather. I must say though that I was a bit disappointed because I won’t be able to fly my drone as much as I initially planned because of the strong habagat or south wind.

Port of Said San Jose Romblon.JPG

Upon arrival at Said Port, I could not help but be amazed by how alive the waters of this island was. It was crystal clear. From the wharf, I could readily see a number of starfishes darting the shore.



Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 is situated on the western side of the island. Hence, from Said Port, we had to ride a habal-habal or motorcycle that took us through the poblacion or town of San Jose. It was a twenty-minute-or-so ride on a narrow and winding path. The habal-habal fare ranges from Php 150 to 200 with luggage. The locals discourage tourists from renting habal-habal without drivers to avoid any untoward incidents because the roads are not as paved. Even Kuya Yolly, admittedly, still finds them challenging.


On the way to Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11, Carabao Island reminded me so much of the virginal Boracay of the late 90’s before commercialization set in. The green lush, pristine waters, fresh sea breeze and the “innocence” of the island took me to a trip down memory lane.

Where To Stay In Carabao Island

To date, Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 tops the list of resorts in Carabao Island. They offer warm accommodations and the best of home-made organically grown meals. They can also arrange a land tour for in-house guests to visit the amazing spots on the island.


Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 has 5 suites and 2 apartments (rates below are inclusive of VAT):

  1. Villa Sol Suite, top floor, for 2, Php 2800 per night or Php 3584 per night with breakfast
  2. Villa Sol Suite, ground floor, for 4, Php 2800 per night or Php 4368 per night with breakfast
  3. Light House Suite (ground or upper), for 2, Php 3360 per night or Php 4144 per night with breakfast
  4. Villa Bo Apartment, top floor, for 2, Php 3920 per night or Php 4704 per night with breakfast
  5. Villa Bo Apartment, ground floor, for 6, Php 3360 per night or Php 5712 per night with breakfast

Below are some of the photos that I took of the Villa Sol Suite and Villa Bo Apartment.

Lanas beach Resort by Oceans 11 Villa Sol
Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 Villa Sol and Villa Bo

Villa Sol Suite (Ground Floor)

Villa Bo Apartment (Top Floor)

We stayed in the the Light House Ground Floor Suite. It has a veranda that opens up to the sea. It is the best place to have a drink or two while watching the sunset.

Light House Suites

Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 Light House Suite
Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 Light House Suites

With windows all over, the Light House Suite on the upper floor to me is the best suite in the resort. Imagine waking up to the beautiful sight of the ocean while cuddling up with your significant other.

Complimentary water and toiletries are provided upon check-in.

All accommodations have air-conditioning. Cooking is discouraged in the rooms but may be discussed with the resort management if necessary. Pets are allowed as long as the guests abide by the House Rules.

Be ready to embrace the island life when in Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11:

  • No electricity from 6 AM to 2 PM
  • No WIFI but there is a strong mobile internet signal by Globe to upload your photos on Instagram
  • No TV

Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 also offers the following resort services to make your stay as fun, convenient and relaxing as ever:

  • Boat Rentals:
    • Small Boat for 6 persons: Php 3500
    • Medium Boat for 16 persons: Php 7500
    • Big Boat for 20 persons: Php 8000
    • Speed Boat for 3 hours: Php 8500
  • Land Tours: Php 1000 for the whole day, includes visits to
    • Bat Cave (Mireton)
    • Cathedral (cliff diving)
    • Kuding-kuding (sea cave and cliff diving)
    • Bugtong Bato
    • Poblacion (San Jose)
    • Boracay View Point
  • Massage Service: starts at Php 500
  • Laundry: Php 60 per kilo
Cathedral Cave and Cliff Diving, Carabao Island, Romblon
Cathedral Cave and Cliff Diving, Carabao Island, Romblon
Cathedral Cave and Cliff Diving, Carabao Island, Romblon
Cathedral Cave and Cliff Diving, Carabao Island, Romblon
Five PM Viewing Deck, Carabao Island, Romblon
On a clear day, catch the sunset at Five PM Viewing Deck, Carabao Island, Romblon


What I liked best about my stay in Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 was their affordable gourmet food. The Resort Manager happens to be the Executive Chef, too. Chef James Altas made sure that our dining experience was memorable.

They have a fixed menu but they also serve “Catch of the Day” meals like the one that we had during our first dinner in the resort: Seafood Laksa and Sea Urchin Omelette. Being a sweet-tooth myself, I celebrated eating their Turon a la Mode for dessert. Mind you, the ice cream topping was home-made.

Chef James also generously showed us how to cook Chicken Binakol. Chicken Binakol is chicken stew (similar to Tinola) cooked in coconut water instead of water. I got this on video and will publish a vlog soon. Stay tuned!


Both in-house and walk-in guests may enjoy the gourmet offerings of Lanas Beach Resort Restaurant, located just steps away from the white sand beach of Lanas. It has a seating capacity of up to 30 people.

Lanas Beach Resort Mess Hall
The restaurant has a spacious mess hall perfect for big groups.
Lanas Beach Resort Hut
The beach hut is perfect for couples who would love to wine and dine while enjoying some privacy and view of the beach.
Lanas Beach Resort Restaurant and Bar
They also have a bar that serves drinks such as fresh fruit shakes, cocktails, beer and hard liquor.

For more information, visit their website here or follow their Facebook page here.

For bookings, call +63-32-4164021 or +63908-1363319 or email

I believe that Carabao Island is not just a good Boracay-alternative but will be one popular island destination soon. I cannot wait to be back in Lanas Beach Resort by Oceans 11 and explore the island. I only got to visit a few of the tourist spots last time and was not able to do cliff diving because of the inclement weather.

Signing out for now. Peace!

View this post on Instagram

Oh well… the choices we make #atm #islandlife

A post shared by Joel Jaws Andrada (@jawsandrada) on



  1. Thank you for your very nice review from Lanas Beach Resort (LBR) on Carabao Island! Very much agree in your description and proud to be the owner of the resort. The LBR is currently rented out to Oceans 11. However, because of my age (70) I have decided to sell the LBR. Interested to take over? Please contact me on for a good bargain!


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