Golden sands in Jomalig island, Quezon
Guides and Itineraries,  Quezon

Golden Sands of Jomalig Island (Quezon): DIY Guide + How to Get Here

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A previously untouched tropical getaway, Jomalig Island in Quezon Province is now one of the most sought-after beaches especially during the summer. Here’s an Updated Travel Guide to Jomalig Island, including personal tips for your trip!

I actually went here for an outreach event with Alon ng Pag-asa in 2015. At the time, Jomalig Island was still pretty much unheard of. It isn’t until a year later when it started getting around in social media.

Fast forward to the present — Jomalig Island is now more open to tourists. There are various resorts & homestays you can stay at and a standard island hopping tour you can book around the island.

Our 3-Days Trip to Jomalig Island

I went to Jomalig Island as part of an outreach event by a group which will later be known as Alon ng Pag-asa. This trip is significant to me for a couple of reasons: I had my first taste of outreach work, I’d been wowed by the magnificence of Salibungot Beach in the island, and it’s also where I met Hali (my current photographer boyfriend).

Our group chartered a private bus. We rode from Manila to Ungos Port in Real, Quezon for 3-4 hours. From there, we took a 6-hour ride to Salibungot Beach, which was our camping ground.

Boat ride to Jomalig island in Quezon
Six hours of sleeping, eating, chatting and basking in the sun on the boat ride to Jomalig Island. (Photo by Hali Navarro)
Salibungot beach
Approaching Salibungot Beach in Jomalig Island. (Photo credit to Hali Navarro)

After much eating, sleeping in the boat and watching the seemingly endless sea, we had an exciting glimpse of Salibungot Beach.

Salibungot Beach in Jomalig (by carlos antonio)
Salibungot Beach. (Photo credit to Carlos Antonio)

We camped at Salibungot Beach. As per the locals, this is the best place to stay in the island. We positioned our tents under the shade of agoho trees, about 15 minutes away from residential houses where fresh water for bathing is available. We saw another group of backpackers camped near the houses, which was a practical choice since the sand was so soft it was tiring to walk distances.

We cooked & prepared meals to last for our 3-day stay.

The morning after, we held the outreach event in Barangay Gango. We gave out school supplies and groceries, among others. We also held games and a feeding program. It was very heartwarming. The barangay officials said they were thankful because their area is often overlooked by other organizations.

Kids in Jomalig island
The local kids hanging out (Photo credit to Hali Navarro)
View from Gango community in Jomalig island
View of our boat from Gango community, where the outreach took place (Photo credit to Hali Navarro)

Of course, during our stay in Jomalig Island, we made sure to enjoy its untouched beauty!

Salibungot Beach has one of the clearest waters I’ve seen as of yet. It was actually one of my few beaches that made gasped in awe. Also notable is its sand, which is a unique golden color like nothing I’ve seen before.

Local kids walked by selling fresh coconuts, so we brought one for each of us. We love fresh coconuts — who doesn’t? Hali even calls me takaw-buko. I don’t think we have enough of them in the city. The coconuts in Jomalig Island seem self-refilling because there’s so much coconut water in one piece.

Katherine in Jomalig Island
(Photo credit to Carlos Antonio)
Salibungot Beach in Jomalig Island
Salibungot Beach.
Group shot in Jomalig Island
Drinking coconuts. (Photo by Carlos Antonio)

We swam in the crystal-clear water. Some of my companions jumped from the loft area in the boat down to the open sea. (I was in a life vest being drifted away by the waves.)

Diving in Jomalig beach
Hali jumping shuriken style from the boat (Photo credit to Hali Navarro)

We also island hopped to the snorkeling spots around the island.

Jomalig island snorkeling
Another one of Hali’s exhibitions – dolphin jump. (Photo by Hali Navarro)
Underwater view in Jomalig beach
We stopped by this snorkeling area before going home. (Photo credit to Hali Navarro)

The sunset here is amazing as well. When night came, we lit bonfires, cooked marshmallows on sticks, and star gazed.

Stargazing in Jomalig island
You can only see stars like these away from the city. (Photo credit to Hali Navarro)

Lastly, I’m grateful for our boatmen. We were supposed to take a public passenger boat back to the mainland, but they insisted that we stay in their boat without asking for additional fee for what is supposed to be a private service. They simply called for more passengers to offset the cost. Also, they made us free lunch!

This is one of my most memorable trips I’ve had. Not only was I captivated by the untouched beauty of Salibungot Beach in Jomalig Island, I also had a great bonding experience with my fellow volunteers and the locals in the island.

Alon ng Pag-asa volunteers
Alon ng Pag-asa volunteers (Photo credit to Hali Navarro)

Here’s the video of our voluntourism trip in Jomalig Island:

About Jomalig Island (Quezon)

Jomalig Island is a popular destination for the summer. Jomalig is actually the smallest and least populated municipality in Quezon. Its name comes from the word “humalig” (which was later changed to humalik) from an old legend about lovers in the island.

If you’re coming here, take into consideration the long commute especially if you have children.

How to get to Jomalig Island

From Manila, there are 2 options to get to Jomalig Island in Quezon Province.

Via Real, Quezon

From Manila via this route, it takes 9-11 hours to reach Jomalig Island.

  • Head to Legarda Terminal in Manila. Ride a bus bound for Infanta and get off at Real, Quezon. Night schedules are at 11:30PM and then 1:00AM. Morning schedule starts at 4AM. Travel time is 4-5 hours. Fare is around P200 per person.

Alternatively, you can also ride van. Travel time is 3-4 hours. The van may be unpredictable because you need to wait for the seats to fill up, but the driver can let you off directly at Ungos Port.

  • Ride a tricycle to Ungos Port. Fare is P10 per person.
  • From Ungos Port, ride a passenger boat to Jomalig Island. Boat schedule starts at 5AM up to 10AM daily. Travel time is 4-6 hours. Fare is P400 per person.

Seating is first come, first served. It’s best to arrive at Ungos Port and buy your tickets early to get good seats.

During off season, passenger boats to Jomalig Island are irregular. An alternative way to get to the island is by taking a passenger boat to Patnanungan Island. Travel time is 4-5 hours, fare is P350 per person. From there, charter a private boat to Jomalig Island. Travel time is 1 hour, boat rate is around P1500.

Via other routes

It is also possible to reach Jomalig Island via Atimonan (Quezon) and Panganiban (Camarines Sur). However, boat schedule is irregular.

How to get to your resort

  • Once you arrive in Jomalig Island, you need to register and pay appropriate fees.
  • You can ride a habal-habal to your resort. Fare is P50 per ride.

3 Days Itinerary to Jomalig Island

Here’s a sample 3-day itinerary to Jomalig Island.

Day 11AM – 5AM Ride bus to Real, Quezon
6AM – 11AM Ride boat from Ungos Port to Jomalig Island
11AM – 11:30AM Check in at accommodation
Enjoy beach / Free time
Day 2Island hopping / habal-habal tour
Day 37AM Breakfast, break camp
11AM – 4PM Ride boat back to Ungos Port
4PM Merienda
6PM – 11PM Ride bus back to Manila

There are tour agencies offering a 2-day trip to Jomalig Island. Personally, I would recommend going for a 3-day trip instead so you won’t get too tired from the travel.

Where to stay in Jomalig Island

Salibungot Beach is considered the main beach in Jomalig Island. However, it is no longer allowed to camp here. Instead, there are other resorts & homestays you can book in the area.

Overnight room rates are as low as P300-500. Fee for pitching tent is P150-300.

For groups, there are cottages and transient houses available.

Here are some recommended resorts:

  • Tejada’s Resort: 09399097532
  • South Pacific Island Resort (SPIR): -0-78285161
  • Madi’s Island Beach Resort: Facebook / 09184157376 or 09499489210

Interesting spots in Jomalig Island

You can explore the island by going on an island hopping tour or renting a habal-habal.

Lingayen Cove in Jomalig Island
Lingayen Cove.

Here are the places you can visit:

  • Puno ng Walang Poreber. A lonesome tree in a grassfield. This is a popular IG spot among millennials.
  • Kanaway Beach. A stretch of beach with rock formations. It faces the Pulo and Manlanat islets.
  • Golden Sand Beach. A beach with picturesque sandbar.
  • Turtle Rock Formation. As its name suggests, this is a big rock shaped like a turtle.
  • Little Boracay. A powdery white-sand beach likened to Boracay Island. The beach is under Panama Beach Resort.
  • Lingayen Cove or Little Batanes Island. Another white-sand beach. You can climb atop some rocks to get a good view of the beach.
  • Salibungot Beach. This is considered the main beach in Jomalig Island. Along the shore is an I Love Jomalig signage. (The signage wasn’t there yet when we visited. I hope that they had put it somewhere else rather than along the beach.)

Things to know before you go

Here are some important information about Jomalig Island.

  • It’s best to visit Jomalig Island during summer. During ber-months up to January, waves can be rough and boat trips may be cancelled. As such, traveling is not generally recommended.
  • Tricycle and habal-habal are the main modes of transportation in the island.
  • There are eateries in the island; resorts also offer meals for reasonable fees. I suggest taking this opportunity to enjoy fresh seafood and coconuts.
  • Electricity runs from 5PM to 5AM only. Some resorts have their own generators for continuous electricity.
  • There is an ATM machine in the island. To be safe, it’s still best to bring cash with you.
  • Currently, there are no high-end resorts in the island. If you’re the type who’s okay with modest accommodations and camping, you will enjoy staying in Jomalig Island.

Budget and expenses

Here are the current expenses (Updated as of 2020):

ActivitiesIsland hopping: P1200-4000 depending on boat size
Habal-habal: P600 (maximum of 6 hours tour)
FeesEnvironmental, tourism and entrance fee: P180 per person

Entrance fees:
– Golden Sand Beach: P20
– Little Boracay: P30
– Lingayen Cove/Little Batanes: P50
OthersFood: around P100 per meal

A safe budget for a 3D/2N stay is P3200-3500 per person.

Contact

Any inquiries not included in this short guide, you can ask the tourism officer below. We haven’t availed the services of the guide below, but he’s been mentioned a few times in online forums.

Has this guide to Jomalig Island been helpful to you? Let us know in the comments below!

What to read next:

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Also read:

Read more voluntourism trips here:

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28 Comments

  • neki

    Hi, would you know how to get there if via private car? If there are parking area in the Real port? is it safe leave the car for 3 days? hope you will answer me 😉 TIA. <3

  • Maria Adriano

    Would love to visit here, don’t think i’ll survive camping tho. Pero this is too beautiful!!

    • Kat

      You should try camping! I love it especially beach camping. You’ll wake with a beautiful view and sound of the ocean.

  • dakilanglaagan

    Inspiring and truly amazing trip as always. I wish to visit these places and be of help as well. Thanks for inspiring. Now I’m reconsidering coming up with an outreach program with our group as well. 🙂

  • Charmaigne

    Woah! I love it when people travel for a cause. <3 I've heard of the island when some mountaineers went to Sagada and told me about their travels. Indeed, your photos show how lovely the place is. Would love to be part of your outreach program if ever I'll be in Manila, hope you would have some activities by then.

    • Kat

      You can leave a message to our page or just contact me and I can inquire about on-going outreach events. Sometimes I’m a bit busy but I try to help as much as I can. 🙂

  • Aldrick 'chiki' Zabala Agpaoa

    Waaah! Jomalig has long been in my list since Cagbalete! I hope to visit this place soon, too! <3 Will save this for my future travel there! <3

  • theinnocentlamb

    Golden sands, clear waters, and scenic views, what more could you ask for, right? Worth a visit, I must say!! I also salute you for traveling for a cause. Keep it up! 🙂

    Regarding the incident of boatmen throwing garbage into the open sea, were you able to report it to the local government??

    • Kat

      Sadly, no. We didn’t know how to handle incidents like that. We simply talked to the boatmen and they said they’ve always been doing that. 🙁 Well, the tourism in Jomalig Island is booming now so I hope the local government has now stricter regulations on garbage disposal.

  • inmyownatlas

    You have the best photos! Really artsy. I must say that what you had is quality travel since you also had some program for the local kids! I like this idea, where can I join? 🙂

  • marlakwatsera

    I fell in love with Jomalig. And if you will ask me if there’s a chance to visit it again despite of the travel time? It’s definitely a big YES! I super love this island. The people, the golden powdery sand, the crystal clear water.

  • kristina

    Wow! I’m from Quezon province and i havent explored yet the whole quezon. Ironically i live here in Italy. I hope i have all the time in the world to explore more of Quezon when we have a vacation. Laging kulang sa oras eh.

    • Kat

      If a community there needs a medical mission, why not. 🙂 Pag-usapan niyo na.

      IMO dami rin kasi ngayon nakikiuso lang, kung saan may nakitang nag-outreach dun na rin sila. Walang study or survey, ocular, etc.

  • Nicole Paler

    Thank you for “touring” us to Jomalig Island! I’m not sure if I can endure the extra 6 hour boat ride, as I get sea sick easily.. I think I’ll still love to come here, when my kids are older and they can handle the boat ride as well.. 🙂

  • Marge Gavan

    First, I love your photos in this post, they were all beautiful. I heard so much about Jomalig Island from local backpackers and they have nothing but good things to say about it. My friends and I are planning to go there but we still haven’t decided on a date. I think I’d love to bring some things for the children too, you guys got a great idea bringing in those donations.

    • Kat

      I wish you good luck then! If you’re going to hold a proper outreach event, please coordinate with the tourism officer first so you’ll know which communities to give attention to. 🙂 We were told ours was the first outreach held in Barangay Gango, so the locals were thankful that their community was finally chosen as a beneficiary location.

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