In Photos: Why you should see Calayan Island in Cagayan Province

Nagudungan Hill, Calayan Island in Cagayan Province

Calayan Island in Cagayan Province offers exotic and untouched landscapes, it’s a wonder it’s only starting to get noticed this year and only a little at that. Though it has recently been featured in Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho, the number of tourists in this municipality had so far been modest at best.

I’d already written about our 3-day stay in Calayan Island here. This photo set is meant to just give you a little more idea about what’s it like in this remote island in Cagayan Province, which is to say it’s basically an excuse for me to post a lot of photos and not feel guilty about disposing of editorial judgment when it comes to choosing what to post online.

Hopefully encourage you to visit — as responsible tourists — during summer.

Calayan Island in Cagayan Province

The island is perhaps most known for the virgin beach of Sibang. Most backpackers choose to camp here overnight. On weekends, local families also venture to this cove to unwind.

Sibang Cove in Calayan Island, Cagayan
Sibang Cove is a virgin beach and is perhaps the most famous among the coves in Calayan Island. (Photo by Hali Navarro)

It took us about 15 minutes to walk along the shore, under a hot early-morning sun.

Sibang Cove in Calayan Island, Cagayan
This rock is a prominent feature in Sibang Cove. (Photo by Hali Navarro)

At the end of the cove, we found a thin water stream falling from a tall cliff.

Natural stream in Sibang Cove
Natural stream found at the end of Sibang Cove. (Photo by Hali Navarro)

We woke up at about 3 AM and witnessed a beautiful display of the Milky Way. As you know, this view can only be seen when there is no or minimal light pollution, which is why it is visible in developed cities.

Milky way in Calayan Island
The Mliky Way as seen in Sibang Cove, Calayan Island. (Photo by Hali Navarro)

Another attraction in Calayan Island in Cagayan Province is the Nagudungan Hill. It offers a great view of Sibang Cove.

Sibang Cove in Calayan Island
View of beach coves atop the Nagudungan Hill. (Photo by Hali Navarro)

A white lighthouse can be found in Nagudungan Hill. It is easily visible from afar.

Nagudungan Hill in Calayan Island
The lighthouse in Nagudungan Hill can be seen from afar. (Photo by Hali Navarro)

Nagudungan Hill is a vast grassy landscape home to pine trees bent from constant strong winds and cliff edges that offer amazing views of the sea and coves below.

Nagudungan Hill in Calayan Island, Cagayan
Not trying to exaggerate, but there’s an unlimited spots with beautiful views in Nagudungan Hill. (Photo by Hali Navarro)
Nagudungan Hill pine trees
A more close-up view at the edge of the hill. (Photo by Hali Navarro)
Nagudungan Hill in Calayan Island
With the wind blowing. Nagudungan Hill in Calayan Island. (Photo by Hali Navarro)

Bent pine trees.

Bent pine tree in Calayan Island in Cagayan
Bent and beautiful. (Photo by Hali Navarro)
Pine trees in Nagudungan Hill
The eternally windswept pine trees that is an exotic feature of the hill. (Photo by Hali Navarro)

Nagudungan Hill is perfect for a whole afternoon of frolicking and lazing around, having a picnic under the shades or doing a prenuptial shoot.

At the end of Nagudungan Hill, we saw a herd of goats grazing, sometimes standing on precarious cliff edges with sure footholds. They ran away whenever we tried to approached and finally formed together in a cluster. The small goats hopped like the cutest things on earth.

Goats in Nagudungan Hill, Calayan Island
Kings of Nagudungan Hill. (Photo by Hali Navarro)
Goats in Nagudungan Hill, Calayan Island
Goats are freely roaming on one side of Nagudungan Hill. (Photo by Hali Navarro)
Cows in Nagudungan Hill, Calayan Island
I’ve heard that, aside from goats, cows can also be seen periodically in Nagudungan Hill. (Photo by Hali)
Goats in Nagudungan Hill
Chasing goats. (Photo by Hali Navarro)

More goats because who can get enough of them?

Goats in Nagudungan Hill
The goats freely roaming on the hill. (Photo by Hali Navarro)

Nagudungan Hill has at least two hidden coves below as well as fascinating rock formations.

Nagudungan Hill in Calayan Island in Cagayan Province
There seems to be small inaccessible caves below. (Photo by Hali Navarro)
Nagudungan Hill coves
One of the hidden coves found below the hill. (Photo by Hali Navarro)

Meanwhile, Lusuk cave features two entrances submerged in water. Attached on the cave walls are seemingly innocent shells. They are very sticky but can be scratched off using a metal rod. The shells house snail-like creatures inside, which can be made into a dish.

Lusuk Cave in Calayan Island
Hali showing off his water skills in Lusuk Cave. (Photo by Hali Navarro)

For the adventurous, Calayan Island in Cagayan Province also features the Tapwakan beach and cliff diving site. Going here is a challenge especially during high tide. We had to swim and climb to reach the cliff, all the while holding our cameras, dry bags and tote bags.

Tapwakan cliff diving site in Calayan Island
On the way to Tapwakan cliff diving site. (Photo by Hali Navarro)
Tapwakan rock formation in Calayan Island
We walked along knee-length water, swam and pulled ourselves up in high rocks to reach the cliff diving site. (Photo by Hali Navarro)
Local kids in Tapwakan cliff diving site
Local kids playing and jumping on the cliffs in Tapwakan. (Photo by Hali Navarro)

And this, our dear readers, is Calayan Island in Cagayan Province — or at least the part of Calayan Island that we’ve managed to explore. 🙂

P.S. Don’t forget to check out our Calayan Island experience here including a travel video of Calayan Island. We’ve also shared a Calayan Island travel guide in here.

 

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Photo gallery of Calayan Island, Cagayan - including Nagudungan Hill, Sibang Cove (also called Cibang Cove) and more

Photo gallery of Calayan Island, Cagayan - including Nagudungan Hill, Sibang (Cibang) Cove and more

24 Comments

  1. Your photos are so beautiful! How much would we need though if we want to visit? I love that the stars can be seen at night which is a very hard feat to do here in Manila.

    1. Hi Den. Thanks for dropping by. I think we’ve seen each other in college! If you’re with a group, P6000 would be a safe budget for a 3-day stay.

      I wrote a travel guide for Calayan Island, link is at the bottom of the article if you want to see the breakdown of expenses. 🙂

  2. Absolutely beautiful. So here is the plan. Save money, for this trip, use the money to grow money, use the new money generated to fund the trip to Calayan. How much do I need for … 3 to 4 days?

  3. Actually, Nagudungan Hill is often likened to Batanes. I haven’t been to the latter but I think Nagudungan Hill is beautiful on its own. 🙂

  4. I’ve heard about Calayan island from a travel forum and people have been raving it. Looking at your photos, I can understand why. It looks so gorgeous! I am willing to take a long trip just to see this beauty.

    1. Thanks Kristina! I’ll extend the compliments to my photographer. 🙂 Hope to bump into you when you come home to the country.

  5. Waaaah I’ve been taking screenshots of people’s IG posts of this island for months and here it is on your blog! Beautiful photos! Now all I need is to open this and the other article when I plan my visit soon! 🙂

  6. Your photos make me want to go swimming and dip myself all day in the sea. T__T Just makes me wanna cry and go back to Cagayan for more adventures. :(( Thanks for your post, envy the photos!

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