Carabao island San Jose, Romblon

San Jose, Romblon, also known as Carabao Island, is a go-to place for vacationists looking for side trip activities or to get away from the crowd in Boracay. The island was once a secret spot for a few backpackers and is now part of Boracay island hopping tours.

And if you’re in for some thrill and relaxation, Carabao Island is a great place to stay for a couple of days for a fun-filled vacation. But what does Carabao Island offer? Keep reading as we share some facts and the best things to do on Carabao Island, Romblon!


Carabao Island (Hambil)

San Jose, or Carabao Island, is a coastal municipality in the province of Romblon with a population of 11,759, per the 2020 census. It is the southern island in Romblon province and is only an hour from Boracay. So Carabao Island is your gateway to exploring the beauty of Romblon province.

The island has five barangays, including Busay, Combot, Lanas, Pinamihagan, and Poblacion, and a 22.05 square kilometers land area. But why is San Jose called Carabao Island? The island’s name was derived from the Spanish word Isla de Carabao.

During the Spanish colonial period, the island was said to have plenty of Carabaos (water buffalo) that the locals used as a mode of transportation and while working in the fields. Some also say that the island represents the shape of a Carabao or Anvil, the reason why locals call it Hambil Island.

But today, only a few Carabaos are on the island and are often seen in the fields or uphill. There are also plenty of best things to do in Carabao Island, Romblon, from enjoying its beautiful beaches to cliff diving and spelunking.

Note that if you want to try adventurous activities, the best time to visit Carabao Island is during the dry season, from December to May. You can get here by riding a ferry in Caticlan port or renting a boat to Hambil.

Best Things To Do in Carabao Island, Romblon


Enjoy Carabao Island Beaches

With its proximity to Boracay, it’s no surprise that Carabao Island beaches are simply stunning and mesmerizing. So San Jose Beach shouldn’t be missed when on Carabao Island. It boasts a line of palm trees, fine white sands, and crystal clear turquoise waters- a dreamy post-card material tropical paradise!

Also, don’t forget Lanas Beach, one of the best beaches on Carabao Island. This spot is only 15 minutes from the port, offering accommodations, resorts, and golden sands with a backdrop of Puka Beach, Boracay.

Cliff Diving & Spelunking

Bring your travel buddy and enjoy adrenaline rush adventures by visiting cliff diving and spelunking spots on Carabao Island. Explore the Cathedral Cave, Koding Koding Point, and Busay Cliff, and have the best summer of your life. You can also have a side trip and explore Ngiriton Bat Cave, where thousands of bats used to reside.


Watch The Sunset

The perfect spot on Carabao Island to watch the sunset is at Tagaytay ViewPoint. It’s uphill past a coconut tree plantation, offering a breathtaking view of the surrounding waters and overlooking Boracay Island. You can watch the sunset while enjoying fresh coconuts, a perfect activity that wraps up your day!

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