Lanas Beach Resort
When the government announced the closure of Boracay last April 26, most people ended up canceling or rerouting their flights to somewhere else. Little did they know that just an hour away from Caticlan mainland lies an island with unspoiled beaches that for years have been overshadowed by its more famous neighbor island, Boracay.
Hambil Island, as the locals call it, better known as Carabao Island is a slice of tropical paradise which has been described as Boracay from 20 to 30 years ago.
An island facing Boracay, roughly 30 minutes boat ride away, is a beautiful place that is still relatively pristine. Crystal clear water, rich marine life, powdery white sand, tall coconut trees, and some less developed roads.
For the longest time, Carabao Island has been the second best island to Boracay. Many tourists in Boracay would take day tours to Carabao Island or stay there for a couple of days to enjoy its more serene vibe.
HOW TO GET THERE
Since I’m living in Guimaras, it’s easy for me to travel around Western Visayas and its neighboring provinces. If you will be coming to any other airports in Western Visayas like Iloilo, Kalibo or Roxas you can take a bus going to Caticlan. The easiest way is to book a flight that goes directly to Caticlan.
From Caticlan jetty port, you need to ride a tricycle to Sambiray port where the boats going to Carabao Island dock. The 15-minute ride will cost around P50 to P70.
There are 2 daily boat trips from Caticlan to Carabao Island. The first trip is at 9 a.m. with at least 2 boats taking passengers, the second trip is at 3 p.m. with just one boat.
Where to Stay
A representative of the resort Kuya Yolly met me at Caticlan to accompany us on our way to the resort. This allowed me to have a more comfortable and hassle-free boat and land transfer.
The view of the crystal clear water as we approached the island was really jaw-dropping. We traveled by habal-habal (motorcycle) from the port going to the resort, giving me a glimpse of the life on the island.
There are growing numbers of resorts, restaurants, and bars at Poblacion, a sign that the island is starting to catch up. However, I hope it will enough investment and proper environmental planning to avoid the problems that Boracay experienced on handling tourism over the years.
Lanas Beach Resort was my home on Carabao Island for 3 days and 2 nights. Located on the Western side with beautiful views of the world-famous Boracay Islands white beaches and its nightlife.
It is so close to Boracay, I imagined I would have had a view of the vibrant lights from the island if only it was still opened during my visit. What a stark contrast it would have been, the people there out partying while I was on the other side of the island enjoying a peaceful and relaxing vacation, I wouldn’t trade this tranquil vacation for the world.
I stayed in a beachfront resort which is around 15 minutes away from the port in a secluded property in Brgy Lanas. It has no neighboring resorts and in about 100 meters, there goes the beachside love nest that you might have been dreaming of. It’s recommended for a group of family and friends who are looking for a place to bond.
As we approached the resort, we spotted their big white villas. The entire property is clean, it has a beautiful landscape of a manicured lawn and pathways lined with flowers. There is a wide cabana at the center, a perfect area to host an event like a wedding reception or a team-building. Next to it is their in-house restaurant, just a short walk from the beach.
The Lighthouse suite is probably the best villa to book when you stay at Lanas Beach Resort since its just next to the beach. We got the lower ground suite that has its own door that provides access to its large veranda. Since this villa is facing the ocean, you can enjoy the sea breeze and the natural light. Also, it offers a perfect spot to watch the sunset.
The room focused on space and comfort. It has a king-sized bed with comfortable mattress and irresistibly soft pillows. Our Air-conditioned room has a large couch, a small fridge, and a private bathroom. If there is one thing that I remember most about this room, it’s the amazing scent especially on the soft towels that they provided. The room is clean and basic; no TV, no Wifi, but then who needs all of these when you have the view of the ocean straight from your window.
Please note that the island has no electricity from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Globe and Smart both have signal on the island, Based on experience, Globe has a better data connection.
If there is one thing that I will look forward the next time I visit here it’s the food that they serve. Chef James, the resort manager and chef prepared really delicious dishes for us. On my first night, I didn’t expect to eat Laksa. Who would have thought that someone will prepare a delicious Laksa on this island? Perfect when it was partnered with red wine and enjoying the cool weather.
Chef James also showed us how to cook Chicken Binakol a delicious chicken soup dish. It is similar to Chicken Tinola, although the use of coconut meat and coconut water makes this dish unique. We also tried their seafood pasta, sinampalukan, and lumpiang shanghai. Everything was incredibly good. If you will have a chance to visit this island even just for a day tour and looking for a place to eat, Lana’s Beach Resort’s restaurant is highly recommended.
For breakfast, we tried their homemade tocino and tapa. Chef James mentioned that there is an organic farm on the island where they source their ingredients.
If you feel like drinking they have a bar that serves cocktails, wine, and beer.
Lanas Beach Resort has different services that will complete your experience, such as:
Private Boat Tour
Small boat – 3,500php (6pax)
Medium Boat – 7,500php (16pax)
Big boat – 8,000php (20pax)
Speedboat – 8,500 (3hrs)
You can also rent snorkeling kit for 300php or do Scuba diving.
They also offer land tour around the island for only 1,000php for the whole day. This will include a visit to Bat Cave, cathedral, kuding-kuding, bugtong bato, Poblacion, and Boracay Viewpoint.
If you feel like getting a massage service, the rate starts at 500php.
For booking inquiries, you can call or text them at +639661759069 / +639081311967
You can also click this link to visit their website or send them an email at email@example.com
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My visit to Carabao Island will never be the same without the assistance of Lanas Beach Resort’s staff. They helped me arranged everything from transfer going to the resort and back to Caticlan.
Truly it’s a beautiful, relaxing place perfect for people who are looking for a place to escape the fast and sometimes stressful modern world.
A resort that serves the best food on the island plus hospitable people who made me feel at home during my stay. I can’t wait to revisit!