Masbate Travel Guide: Ticao Island
Ticao Island is one of the three major islands of Masbate, the other two are Masbate and Burias. It is now becoming a favorite tourist attraction, especially to divers, because of the healthy marine biodiversity that the humble island takes pride of. In fact, it serves an ecological frontier for the conservation of manta rays.
HOW TO GET TO TICAO ISLAND, MASBATE
- Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific offer daily direct flights to Masbate. It only takes an hour to reach Masbate City by plane.
- From the Masbate City Airport take a tricycle to the Masbate Fish Port. Three or four big pumpboats a day go between Masbate City Port and Lagundi Port. Rate is Php80 per person. Travel time is around an hour. (Please be advised that boats bound for Ticao Island can be found at the Fish Port and not at the City Port anymore.) Last trip departs Fish Port at 1PM while the the last trip that departs Lagundi Port is at 2PM.
- From Lagundi Port, you can ride a jeepney or a bus to your preferred destination. Renting a habal-habal is a very good option.
Total travel time from Metro Manila airport (not including layovers/waiting time) is approximately 3 hours.
- Legazpi City in Albay province can be the jump-off point for Luzon residents coming in by bus or van.
- From Legazpi, take a van bound for Pilar (Sorsogon province) and get off at Pilar Port then take a ferry to Monreal. Alternatively, you can go to Bulan Port (also in Sorsogon) and take a ferry to San Jacinto.
Buy tickets for either the fast-craft ferry (schedules: 8AM, 12NN, and 3PM) or the roll-on, roll-off (Ro-Ro) ships (schedule depends on the availability of cargo). Ferry fare rates is around Php350-Php400 per person per way; while Ro-Ro is around Php200-Php250 per person per way.
WHAT TO DO / WHERE TO GO IN MASBATE TICAO ISLAND
Ticao Island fall between unrestrictive island time and speedy vacation industry development. For now, it still offers noninterventionist vibe with happy faces of locals around and the sweet rotting scent of copra tracing through the thick forested ranges. Regardless if you enjoy the underwater world or a fellow who simple loves backpacking and discovering beautiful places, Ticao island has something for you.
(Free of Charge)
45-minute habal-habal ride from Lagundi Port, you can visit Matang-Tubig Spring, a natural spring with sapphire-colored water, ahm, sometimes emerald. Go and have a refreshing dip!
Ticao Island Resort
(Entrance Fee is Php20 per person – day tour)
We stayed overnight in this lovely place during our Masbate trip, and we had the whole resort, including the 1.5KM span of white sand beach, for ourselves! The place was very relaxing. Horses were freely roaming around. The tastefully decorated beachfront cottages were noteworthy. Staff are attentive and the food, although a little expensive, were deliciously presented!
Ticao Island Resort is also a dive center, so if you fancy a dive tour and visit the Manta bowl, located at Ticao pass which is situated few kilometers away from the shore, you can easily arrange one. By the way Ticao Island is the Manta Ray Capital of the Philippines. The best time to visit is from December to May.
Island hopping must be the first in your activity list when visiting Ticao Island. We were travelling with our two-year-old daughter and the waves were unforgiving during our visit. We failed to do island hopping, but I am confident the islands included in the list will be amazing. Some of which are as follows: Halea Nature Park, Borobangcaso Islet, Catandayagan Falls,
You can hire a boat for island hopping at the northernmost town of Ticao, which is Monreal. Rate is around Php4,000 – Php5,000.
See our Masbate video below:
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