Travel Guide: Cuyo Island

The first capital of Palawan. That is already a statement. 

Cuyo Group of Islands is composed of 45 island and islets being managed by three municipalities namely Cuyo, Magsaysay and Agutaya. Pamalican Island in which the famous Amanpulo Resorts is located is part of Cuyo Municipality. Cuyo should not be only associated with the exclusive resort. It also has its history and other undeveloped attraction to boast. 

What to Do in Cuyo?

Weather you are a curious backpacker or an affluent tourist Cuyo has something to offer to you. During the months of October to March or during the Amihan season Windsurfing fanatic from all over the globe flock in Capusan Beach and Quijano Windsurfing Retreat to do water sport activities. Cuyo actually is tagged as the best windsurfing destination in Asia. 

But for a non windsurfing fanatic Cuyo will offer you a contrast life in the metro. The simple life in this Island will give you a rest thus a moment of silence for your souls. Here are some of the places in which you can visit in Cuyo.

One the old houses in Magsaysay. The movie Ploning staring Judy Anne Santos was shot here.

Cashew Nuts

Bought this fresh Lapu-Lapu for Ph70.00 ;)

  • Have a serene walk in Capusan beach and watch the golden sunset in a sandbar. 
  • Reflect on the history while walking on the walls of the Old Spanish Fort and say a little prayer on the century old church/.
  • You can take a walk in the Old Port and observed how times and tides changed the old community.
  • You can also walk on LM Beach and Coreng Beach. But mind that these places are far and roads are not yet developed.
  • You can also have some nice peaceful swimming in Quijano Windsurfing Retreat during its off season. 
  • Climb Mt. Aguado for your 360 degrees view of the island and have a spiritual retreat for yourself while crossing the stations of the cross.
  • Give some livelihood by buying some Lato, Cashew nuts and fresh fish from the locals. 
  • Visit century old houses.
How to see the Island?

You can rent a motorcycle and tour the whole island for a day. I rented a tricycle with a driver because I do not know how to drive a single motorcycle. I payed Php500 including the gasoline and we where able to see the above mention attraction for one day.

Capusan Beach and the Old Fort is just in the city center.

My Tour Guide

Cuyo Island has a big potential to be a major tourist paradise however a lot of works has to be done first. The local tourism office is still in the process of organizing island tours. Thus one has connect directly to the tourism office for proper assistance if you want an island hopping.

Where to Stay in Cuyo?
  • DokDok Homestay
    • Location: Tenga-Tenga, Cuyo Town 
    • Contact: 0909-3992044/0946-5349724
    • Accom/Rate: Fan Room (Php200-Ph250), Motorbike Rental, Homestyle Food

  • Balai Seafront
    • Location: Tenga-Tenga, Cuyo Town
    • Contact: 0912-6433703
    • Accom/Rate: Fan Room (Single Php200, Double Php300), Aircon w/TandB (Php600), Motorbike Rental, Massage
  • Charlies's Island Hub        
    • Location: Cabigsing, Cuyo Town
    • Contact: 0917-3050191
    • Accom/Rate: Aircon Rooms w/TandB (Php1,300)
  • Coco Verde
    • Location: Pawa, Cuyo Town
    • Contact: 0930-0976307
  • Ellen's Boarding House
    • Location: Tenga-Tenga, Cuyo Town
    • Contact: 0949-3699478
    • Accom/Rate:
  • Feroland Hotel
    • Location: Tenga-Tenga, Cuyo Town
    • Contact: 0921-7904848
    • Accom/Rate: Fan Room (Php700)

  • Nikki's Pension
    • Location: Tenga-Tenga, Cuyo Town
    • Contact: 0920-8760008/0907-6318537
    • Accom/Rate: Fan Room (Single Php300), Aircon w/TandB (Php700), Motorbike Rental, Massage

  • Palayon's Guest House
    • Location: Catadman, Cuyo
    • Contact: 0928-5212337
  • CCS Home Economics
    • Location: Tenga-Tenga, Cuyo Town
    • Contact: 0939-4849397
    • Accom/Rate: Php250 per head. Two beds in one room. Fan room.

How to Go to Cuyo?

Via Air

Although there is an airport in Cuyo Island, its functions do not include commercial flight. The unpaved runway is used for transporting live sea foods to Metro Manila straight to the posh Chinese Restaurants or for exports. 

So it is not possible to go to Cuyo by air at this time (August 2013) 

Via Sea

There are two option in which you can take a boat to Cuyo Island. Via Puerto Princesa, Palawan or Via Iloilo. Various airlines in Manila flies to Puerto Princesa and Iloilo daily. Each route has the same time travel of 14-16 hours. There are two shipping company plying from Puerto Princesa, Palawan and Iloilo to Cuyo Island.

Cuyo Port

Via Montenegro Shipping Lines

From Iloilo

Every Saturdays Only. Departs from Iloilo in the Morning and Arrives in Cuyo at in the evening. The same ship will depart for Puerto Princesa at 10PM

Fare: Php700 (Economy), Php800 (Fiesta), Php900 (Mabuhay/Tourist)  

From Puerto Princesa

Every Monday Only. Departs from Puerto Princesa at 6PM and Arrives in Cuyo at 9 or 10AM. The same ship will depart for Iloilo.   

Fare: Php700 (Economy), Php800 (Fiesta), Php900 (Mabuhay/Tourist)

Montenegro Table of Fares

                Economy Fiesta Mabuhay/Tourist
Iloilo – Cuyo         Php700         Php800         Php900
Cuyo – Puerto Princesa Php920         Php1,060 Php1,200
Iloilo – Puerto Princesa Php1,220 Php1,400 Php1,590

Via Milagrosa Shipping Lines

From Iloilo

Every Mondays and Thursdays at 7PM. Will arrive in Cuyo at 9 or 10AM the next day. The same ship will depart for Puerto Princesa at 3PM thus stays in Cuyo for 5 hours.

Fare: Php475 (Economy/Lower Deck/Non-Aircon), Php575 (Deluxe/Upper Deck/Non-Aircon), Php750 (Tourist/Aircon)  

From Puerto Princesa

Every Thursdays and Sundays at 3PM. Will arrive in Cuyo at 6 or 7AM the next day. The same ship will depart for Iloilo at 12NN thus stays in Cuyo for 5 hours.

Fare: Php725 (Economy/Lower Deck/Non-Aircon), Php835 (Deluxe/Upper Deck/Non-Aircon), Php980 (Tourist/Aircon)

Milagrosa Table of Fares

                 Economy Deluxe Tourist
Iloilo – Cuyo         Php475         Php575         Php750
Cuyo – Puerto Princesa Php725         Php835         Php980
Iloilo – Puerto Princesa Php950         Php1,150 Php1,550

Suggested Route

From Iloilo take the Milagrosa Boat to Cuyo on a Thursday night. You have a choice to explore the Island for five hours as the boat will arrive in Cuyo at 9AM then leaves at 3PM. 
If you want to stay for a night, take the same boat and wait for the Montenegro boat bound to Puerto Princesa Palawan that will arrive and depart on Saturday night.

This is what I did during my Northern Palawan Adventure =)

There is also a boat plying Cuyo-Coron every Wednesday and Sunday. It leaves at 10PM and arrives in Coron at 6AM. Fare is Php1,000.00

For more information you can contact the local Tourism Office Mr. Ramil B. Ceralbo or the Municipal Planning Personell Mr. Rolando B. Caabay at 0920-2967375

Mr. Caabay showed some hospitality ;)

This is part of my Northern Palawan Series 

If this helps you or inspired you please share it in any Social Media platform or comment here if you wish to ask for more =) 

This is the travel blog of Jherson Jaya - banker by profession, adventurer by passion. Everything written here were based on his experiences. The lust of seeing new places thrilled him to explore both the explored and unexplored world. Old and new architecture fanatic; lover of food, both exotic and indulgence; and founds peace in long bus and train rides - thats how he describe his way of traveling.    

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