MANIWAYA ISLAND: DIY TRAVEL GUIDE (ITINERARY + BUDGET) 2019

Against the unbounded sky, over the unfathomable denim blue ocean, the last light of the day surrendered.  The stars started to surface and the sky dramatically turned into rosy pink and tangerine. I was in Maniwaya Island, a small, palm-fringed island off the coast of Marinduque that  made its mark as an ideal weekend getaway of urbanites. It’s a tropical cliché, where you can bask in the cream sand while sipping fruit shake or halo-halo or while reading your favorite book perhaps.

Not far from Maniwaya Island, about 30 minutes away by boat, is a mere speck on the ocean – Palad Sandbar, a usual stop during the Maniwaya Island hopping tour.  Aside from Palad Sandbar, you’ll most likely be whisked away to Ungab Rock Formation and Mongpong Island. I heard the sea here have great snorkeling too, but we didn’t get to experience that, so I can’t really tell you much about it. Maniwaya Island hopping is a great activity for families or group of friends, but if you are a solo traveler, don’t fret, as you can ask your beach resort or the boat operator if you can join the island hopping with other tourists to save you a few bucks.

So, if you are craving for a DIY trip to Maniwaya Island soon, here’s a Maniwaya Island Travel Guide to help you plan your travel itinerary.  It’s best to combine this with a visit to mainland Marinduque to explore its other tourist spots, as the trip can be quite tiresome because it involves a lot of transfers.

 


PRE-TRIP PREPARATION


maniwaya island 9
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT: The best time to visit is from January to early June.  If possible, avoid weekends and holidays as Maniwaya Island can get too crowded.

 MOBILE SIGNAL: Data is intermittent, I didn’t have signal at the resort. But there’s 3G at the beach-front area.

 ATM: There’s no ATM in the island, so stack up cash as everything is on cash basis.  Bring small bills if you plan to buy drinks and snacks from the sari-sari stores there.

 SAFETY:  It’s a generally tourist-friendly island, but like in any other places, ensure that you keep an eye on your valuables and don’t leave your gadgets or bag with valuables anywhere.

 


HOW TO GET TO MANIWAYA ISLAND


Manila to Maniwaya Island

maniwaya island sunset

Option 1 (Bus + Boat) via General Luna Port

 This route involves lesser transfer. Make sure though to leave early, and be at General Luna Port before 10:00 AM, to catch the public boat to Maniwaya Island.

Total fare: ₱530 ($10)

Total travel time: Roughly 6 hours

1.Ride a  bus to Lucena Grand Terminal. You can take JAC Liner, JAM Transit, Ceres, or Lucena Liner. Fare is approximately ₱270 ($5.17) from Manila. Transit time is about 2.5 – 3 hours depending on traffic.

JAC Liner has daily trips to Lucena Grand Terminal from their Kamias and Buendia Terminal starting at 2:00 AM to 9:00 PM and midnight trip at 10:30 PM.

From JAC Liner Cubao Terminal, buses leave for Lucena Grand Terminal on Monday to Thursday from 2:00 AM to 10:00 PM. Midnight trips run from 11:00 PM to 12:00 midnight.

During Friday to Sunday, they have 24 hours operation.

2.Get off at Lucena Grand Terminal.

3.Ride a bus  or van to General Luna. Van is faster. Fare is roughly ₱170 ($3.26) and travel time is about 2 hours.

4.At General Luna, walk or take a tricycle to General Luna Port.  

5.At General Luna Port, take a passenger boat to Maniwaya Island. There’s only 1 public boat to Maniwaya Island, and it leaves at 10:00 AM daily. Fare is ₱150 ($2.87) and transit time is roughly 1 hour.

If you miss the boat, you can rent a small boat to Maniwaya Island (good for 4 persons) starting at ₱1,500 ($29). Bigger boats can be rented if you are a large group, should cost you around ₱3,000 ($57.47).


Option 2 (Airplane + Boat): MARINDUQUE AIRPORT TO MANIWAYA ISLAND

Cebu Pacific to Marinduque
 This is a good option if you intend to explore mainland Marinduque + Maniwaya Island. This is the route if coming from Marinduque Airport to Maniwaya Island.

1.Cebu Pacific Airlines now flies to Gasan Airport in Marinduque, 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday). Travel time is less than an hour.  Book your flights  at cebupacificair.com  

2.Take a jeepney (PHP 20 – $0.38) or tricycle (PHP 150 – $3 – special trip) to Gasan town proper.

3. At Gasan, ride a jeepney to Sta.Cruz. Fare is about PHP 50 ($3).

4. Alight at Sta.Cruz town proper if you are heading straight to Maniwaya Island.

5. At Sta.Cruz, ride a tricycle to Buyabod Port. Fare is around ₱20 ($0.39) per person or ₱100 ($1.93) for a maximum of 5 passengers.

6. At Buyabod Port, take the public boat to Maniwaya Island. Fare is about ₱70 ($1.35);  transit time is about 30 minutes.

Passenger boat from Buyabod Port to Maniwaya Island only leaves twice a day: 7:00 AM and 11:30 AM.  And the boat  from Maniwaya Island to Buyabod Port leaves daily at 6:30 AM. If you miss the passenger boat, you can charter a boat to Maniwaya Island for about ₱1,500 ($29); good for 4-6 persons.


Option 3: (Direct Bus + Ferry + Boat) Via Dalahican Port

This is a good option if you plan to explore other tourist spots in Marinduque mainland. But it involves a lot of transfers.

Total Fare: ₱1,160 ($22)

Total Travel Time: Approximately 9 hours

1.Board a direct bus to Marinduque. JAC Liner has direct trip to Marinduque from Cubao Terminal. The bus departs daily at 4:00 PM, but boarding time is 3:00 PM. So, make sure to be at the bus terminal before 3:00 PM. Fare is ₱900 ($17.22) for Mogpog, Boac and Gasan. Fare is ₱1,000 ($19) for Buenavista, Torrijos, and Sta. Cruz. Transit time is roughly 8 hours.

This bus will actually board a ferry to Marinduque  at Dalahican Port, but the ferry fare + terminal fee is already included in your bus fare.

2.Alight at Sta.Cruz if you are heading straight to Maniwaya Island.

3.At Sta.Cruz, ride a tricycle to Buyabod Port. Fare is around ₱20 ($0.39) per person or ₱100 ($1.93) for a maximum of 5 passengers.

4.At Buyabod Port, take the public boat to Maniwaya Island. Fare is about ₱70 ($1.35);  transit time is about 30 minutes.

Passenger boat from Buyabod Port to Maniwaya Island only leaves twice a day: 7:00 AM and 11:30 AM.  And the boat  from Maniwaya Island to Buyabod Port leaves daily at 6:30 AM. If you miss the passenger boat, you can charter a boat to Maniwaya Island for about ₱1,500 ($29); good for 4-6 persons.


maniwaya island hopping boat

Option 4: (Bus + Ferry + Boat) via Dalahican Port

 This is a good option if you plan to explore other tourist spots in Marinduque mainland.

Total Fare: ₱850 ($16.28)

Total Travel Time: Approximately 9 hours

 1.Board a bus to Grand Lucena Terminal. You can take JAC Liner, JAM Transit, Ceres, or Lucena Liner. Fare is approximately ₱270 ($5.17) from Manila. Transit time is about 2.5 – 3 hours depending on traffic.

  • JAC Liner has daily trips to Lucena Grand Terminal from their Kamias and Buendia Terminal starting at 2:00 AM to 9:00 PM and midnight trip at 10:30 PM.
  • From JAC Liner Cubao Terminal, buses leave for Lucena Grand Terminal on Monday to Thursday from 2:00 AM to 10:00 PM. Midnight trips run from 11:00 PM to 12:00 midnight.
  • During Friday to Sunday, they have 24 hours operation.

2.Get off at Lucena Grand Terminal.

3. At Lucena Grand Terminal, take the jeepney (10 -$0.19) or tricycle (150 – $3) to Dalahican Port.

4.At Dalahican Port, buy your ferry ticket + terminal fee. Make sure you know which town you’re headed because there are 3 ports in Marinduque.  If you are headed to  Mogpog, and Sta.Cruz, nearest port is Balanacan Port in Mogpog.  If your hotel is in Gasan or Boac, Cawit Port in Boac is the closest. Ferry fare is ₱390 ($7.46) and terminal fee is ₱30 ($0.57).

 If you are going straight to Maniwaya Island, take the ferry to Balanacan Port in Mogpog.

5.Get off at Balanacan Port in Mogpog.

6.Take a jeepney to Sta.Cruz.  Fare is ₱50 ($3).

7.Alight at Sta.Cruz town proper.

8.At Sta.Cruz, ride a tricycle to Buyabod Port. Fare is around ₱20 ($0.39) per person or ₱100 ($1.93) for a maximum of 5 passengers.

9. At Buyabod Port, take the public boat to Maniwaya Island. Fare is about ₱70 ($1.35);  transit time is about 30 minutes.

Passenger boat from Buyabod Port to Maniwaya Island only leaves twice a day: 7:00 AM and 11:30 AM.  And the boat  from Maniwaya Island to Buyabod Port leaves daily at 6:30 AM. If you miss the passenger boat, you can charter a boat to Maniwaya Island for about ₱1,500 ($29); good for 4-6 persons.


Option 5: BY VAN RENTAL/TOUR PACKAGE


If you are already in Marinduque and you are a large group and you want a hassle-free way to explore Marinduque, you can rent a van or avail of tour packages from Dream Favor Travel and Tours.  Van rental starts at ₱1,500 (good for 1-10 persons) within Boac or Gasan, rental depends on the destination you want to visit, of course if it is far, the price is higher.  I’ve tried their service and they are pretty reliable, so I highly recommend them.

Dream Favor Travel and Tours

Address: Brgy.Santol, Boac, Marinduque

Contact#: +63 918 933 1605

Email: [email protected]

 


 WHERE TO STAY IN MANIWAYA ISLAND

 The island is peppered with budget beach resorts, you can even rent a tent and go camping in Maniwaya Island. Here’s a list of Maniwaya Island Beach resorts:

MANIWAYA ISLAND RESORTS

maniwaya island villa anita

Villa Anita

  •  Villa Anita

Contact Number: +63995 406 2027

Rates: Starts at ₱ 1,000 ($19) per night

 We stayed here during our trip. My room was rustic, clean yet small, no space to open my luggage or backpack, and there’s no mobile signal. I had to ask them to provide toiletries before they gave us one. The toilet is pretty basic too.

 

maniwaya island wawie beach resort

Wawie’s Beach Resort

  • Wawie’s Beach Resort

Rates: Starts at ₱ 1,200 ($23) per night (good for 2 – 3 pax), ₱500 per night (Tent rental), ₱300 (bring your own tent)

RESERVE HERE

 

  • Playa Amara

Contact Number: +63 920 555 6256 / +63 928 507 0362

Rate: Starts at ₱1,000 ($19) per night (good for 2 persons)

  • Residencia De Palo Maria

Contact Number: +63 922 867 0312 / +63 919 237 5633

Rates: Starts at ₱1,500 ($29) per night (good for 2 pax)

  • Three Brothers

Contact Number: +63 918 653 2592

Rates: Starts at ₱1,500 ($29) per night (good for 4 pax)

  • Marikit na Beach Resort

Contact Number: +63 918 653 2592

Rates: Starts at ₱1,500 per night (good for 2 persons)

 


MANIWAYA ISLAND HOPPING


 Maniwaya Island Hopping tour rate is ₱1,500 ($29) good for 6 – 8 persons. It covers the following:

  1. MANIWAYA ISLAND – The main beach of Maniwaya Island is a long-stretch of powdery and coarse cream sand. The water is blue and clear by the day, some areas are good for swimming, others are not.  Don’t miss the gorgeous sunset in Maniwaya Island.
Maniwaya Island Hopping - maniwaya island

Maniwaya Island

 

  1. PALAD SANDBAR – Like any other sandbar, this tiny speck of sandbar off the coast of Maniwaya Island only appears when the tide is low.  So, make sure you check the time of low tide on the day of your island hopping so you won’t get disappointed. We missed it during our visit, even if we woke up really early. Needless to say, it’s a good spot for swimming and photo op.

 

Maniwaya Island Hopping - MONGPONG ISLAND

Mongpong Island

 

  1. MONGPONG ISLAND – Another palm-fringed island that’s good for swimming. It is hugged by crystal clear sea.

 

  1. UNGAB ROCK FORMATION – A natural rock formation with a big fissure proudly standing on a coast of a palm-fringed, inhabited island. The sand here is coarse and cream, and the water is clear.
Maniwaya Island Hopping - Ungab Rock Formation

Ungab Rock Formation

 

  1. SNORKELING AREA – A random snorkeling area with no name, peppered with live corals and thriving fishes. The Coral Garden that used to be the snorkeling place has been closed to the public by the DENR. Please be responsible, avoid stepping, standing or kicking live corals when snorkeling or swimming. These creatures play an important role in making sandy beaches. Leave the shells, starfish, and corals alone, do not take them home as souvenirs.

 


MANIWAYA ISLAND ITINERARY (2 Days 1 Night)


 Here’s a sample weekend itinerary to Maniwaya Island via General Luna Port.

Important: Sample Maniwaya trip expenses below doesn’t cover 1-night resort or camping expenses.  Also, island hopping is ₱1,500 ($29) good for 6 – 8 pax. So if you are 6 in a group, or you are a solo traveler and you’ll be joining a group tour, budget is ₱250 ($5) per person.

maniwaya island hopping

DAY 1
03:00 AMETD Maniwaya Island
Bus to Lucena Grand Terminal. ₱270 ($5.17)
06:00 AMAlight at Lucena Grand Terminal.
07:00 AMVan to General Luna. ₱170 ($3.26)
09:00 AMETD General Luna
Walk or take tricycle to General Luna Port
10:00 AMPublic boat to Maniwaya Island. ₱150 ($2.87)
11:00 AMETA Maniwaya Island
Resort check-in
Freshen up.
Arrange Maniwaya island hopping tour
12:00 PMLunch. ₱150 ($2.87)
01:00 PMStart of island hopping tour in Maniwaya ₱1,500 ($29) good for 6 – 8 pax
₱250 ($5) per person if 6 in a group
1.Palad sandbar
2.Ungab Rock Formation
3.Mongpog Island
4.Snorkeling
05:00 PMEnd of Maniwaya Island hopping
05:30 PMWatch sunset
06:00 PMBack to resort. Freshen up. Charge gadgets and camera batteries.
07:00 PMDinner + socials. ₱150 ($2.87)
09:00 PMLights off.
Day 1 Expenses₱1,140 ($22.04)
Day 2
06:00 AMResort check-out.
Proceed to beach front and wait for the boat to General Luna Port.
07:00 AMBoat to General Luna Port. ₱150 ($2.87)
08:00 AMETA General Luna Port.
Walk or take tricycle to van or bus terminal or to General Luna crossing.
09:00 AMTake a van back to Lucena Grand Terminal. ₱170 ($3.26)
11:00 AMAlight at Lucena Grand Terminal.
11:30 AMTake a bus back to Manila. ₱270 ($5.17)
02:30 PMETA Manila.
Day 2 Expenses₱590 ($11.3)
TOTAL₱1,730 ($33.34)

 

  • If your resort will cost you 1,000 ($19) per night, the sample budget will hike up to 2,730 ($52.34)

 

  • Sample budget for solo traveler:  If you can’t find a group to join, and you’ll go on a private Maniwaya Island Hopping tour for ₱1,500 ($29), sample budget is approximately ₱2,980 ($57.09) excluding resort or camping for 1 night.  If you will stay in a resort for 1,000 ($19) per night, total budget is approximately ₱3,980 ($76.60) for a solo traveler on a private tour.

 


MANIWAYA TRAVEL TIPS AND REMINDERS


 

maniwaya island 3

  • Electricity in Maniwaya Island runs from 3:00 PM to 11:00 PM only, so make sure to charge your gadgets and camera batteries.
  • You can buy fresh seafood, depending on the catch of the day.
  • Meals are available in Maniwaya Island.
  •  If you are a solo traveler, ask the boat operator or your beach resort if you can join a group tour to save money.
  • Do not step, stand or kick live corals when snorkeling as they are super sensitive and you’ll end up killing them.  Do not take out the starfish from the sea for your Instagram photo.
  • Leave the seashells alone, do not take them home as souvenirs.  They serve as natural habitat for some marine animals, and they play an important role in creating beautiful, sandy beaches. Admire them in their natural habitat.
  • Also, do not collect sand as souvenirs.
  • Dispose your trash properly. Leave no trace. Anything left on the beaches end up in the ocean.
  • Bring your own water bottle, refill water to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Snacks and drinks area available at sari-sari stores in Maniwaya Island, help contribute to the local economy by buying from the small store owners there instead of bringing snacks from Manila.
  • The Coral Garden is closed as per the DENR’s order, but there’s another snorkeling area where the boatman can take you.
  • Bring aqua shoes if you plan to snorkel, to protect your feet.

 


MARINDUQUE SERIES:

BAGUMBUNGAN CAVE IN MARINDUQUE

MARINDUQUE ITINERARY


 


About the Blogger : Gael is a Filipina travel blogger. Her work has appeared in local and international publications.

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