Polillo Island is part of the province of Quezon, It is known for its natural beauty which makes it a worthwhile destination for travelers. A little back story on how we ended up in Polillo Island. We were supposed to go to Jomalig like we literary on the port already but then when we enquired about the boat ride, the one in charge said there was no available boat to Jomalig. They said we can go but on the next day. It was so disappointing so we looked for alternatives – that’s when we decided to visit Polillo Island instead.
Polillo Island, About the Place
Just a quick geographic background, the Polillo Group of islands lies in the southeast part of Luzon and belongs to the province of Quezon same as Jomalig Island. Its cluster of 27 islands and islets including Balesin Island is surrounded by seas, Lamon Bay on the south and west and the vast Pacific Ocean on the east. It has 5 towns on its 3 main islands Polillo island, is the biggest island (approximately 29 km from the mainland of Luzon) comprising the towns of Polillo, Burdeos, and Panukulan, while Jomalig and Patnanungan are two separate main islands. While most people are familiar with Jomalig, Polillo is perfect for those who are looking for a place that is a little more off-beat.
How to get to Polillo Island
From Manila, it takes 3-4 hours to get to Ungos Port in Real and then another 2-3 hours from the port to Polillo Island.
|From Metro Manila to Real Port, Ungos, Real Quezon
Head to Legarda Terminal in Manila. Ride a bus bound for Infanta and get off at Real, Quezon. Night schedules are at 11:30 PM and then 1:00 AM. The morning schedule starts at 4:00 AM. Travel time is 4-5 hours. The fare is around P250 per person.
Then ride a tricycle to Ungos Port. Fare is P20 per person.
From Ungos Port, you can take a Roro/Ferry (3 hours) to Anawan Port on Polillo Island. The fare is about P300 per person. Schedules are 5:00 AM, 6:00 AM, and 12:00 NN. Schedules may change without notice, so I suggest confirming this ahead of your trip.
Once you arrive in Anawan Port, you can charter a tricycle to take you to your hotel. If heading directly to Burdeos, you can ride a public jeep. Travel time is about 45 minutes. The fare is about P100 per person.
Where to stay on Polillo Island
It was already 3:00 PM when we arrived at the port in Polillo Island. We paid P20 per person for the environmental fee at the port before heading out and looking for a tricycle. We stayed at Mata Beach Resort.
We didn’t have planned activities for the day so we went to the market and bought fishies and meat for food We were able to buy this huge fish for a cheap price. Which we cooked for dinner.
The hotel owner helped us contact someone for the Island hopping. The boat we got is for 10 pax which cost P5,000. So that’s 500 each. Since this Island is not really touristy, getting a smaller and cheaper boat is a challenge. It’s much cheaper to travel in a group so you could divide the cost.
Island hopping in Burdeos
We start the Island hopping at 9:00 AM. The first stop is the Luli Sandbar. It’s similar to other “Luli” sandbars in the Philippines. Luli means “lulubog, lilitaw.” This is a bare sandbar that can be visited during low tide. It disappears during high tide. The sand here is so fine and the water is so clear.
Pulong Kuok is known as “Cocooc Shoal/Snake Island. It is now considered the most iconic island hopping destination which gained its popularity after having been featured at ‘Kapuso mo, Jessica Soho’. It is also known as a habitat for sea snakes “bilang-bilang” which can be found at the holes of the rock formations situated at the other end of the sandbar thus the name ‘Snake Island’.
Beach stay in Polillo
We finished the island hopping at around 4:00 PM and then went back to Burdeos Port. I am so glad that the place we stayed at is near the beach, so while we prepare our dinner we can just go to the water whenever we like.
We decided to stay one more night on Polillo Island and enjoy the beach. The next day we woke up early for sunrise and packed our bags to head back home to Manila.
No doubt Polillo Island has a lot of potential. The island’s stunning landscapes, beaches, and natural wonders provide fantastic opportunities for photography and capturing the beauty of the Philippines. It’s best to go in a group to save expenses and visit during the summer because most sandbars are not available during rainy season and high tide. For inquiries about Polillo Island, you can contact Facebook – Polillo Tourism.
Budget and expenses
|Bus to Real Quezon – P250
Tricycle to Port – P20
Ferry Ticket – P300
Environmental Fee – P20
Tricycle to Accommodation – P100
Island Hopping – P5000 boat fee good for 10 pax/P500 each
Accommodation for 2 nights – P1000 each
Tricycle from accommodation to port – P100
Ferry back to the mainland – P300
Tricycle to main highway – P20
Bus to Manila – P 250
TOTAL – P2,860 excluding food expenses
If you have questions let me know in the comment section below. You can also check my GUIMARAS Travel Guide – 2 Days and 1 Night Itinerary.
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