Carnaza Island, part of Daanbantayan, is a 174 hectare island currently gaining popularity due to its unspoilt natural beauty.
How to Go to Bantayan Island
At North Bus Terminal, ride a bus bound for Daanbantayan (Maya via Kawit). Just inform the bus conductor to drop you at the small port going to Carnaza Island. There are usually passenger boats going there for ₱ 150 per head. Alternatively, you can also hire a private boat for a hassle-free trip to the island.
In our case, we rented a private boat tour for ₱ 5,000 for the six of us. The rate also includes a trip to Manukan Island. Sometimes, the boat ride can be rough if there are big waves so it’s better if you can rent the bigger boats which cost ₱ 7 – 14,000.
Carnaza Eco Park
The Eco Park is where people usually stay in Carnaza. Entrance fee to the beach is ₱ 200 which includes access to the Skull cove. There are small and basic huts for rent for ₱ 250 per night but you can also bring your own tent. Fee for pitching small tents is ₱ 50 and around ₱ 100 for larger tents.
There’s no corkage food so you can bring your own food. Actually, it’s better if you bring your own food since there’s not a lot of restaurants here. They have a grilling station which you can use for free. But if you want the staff to cook your food for you, there’s a ₱ 200 service charge.
The only issue here is there are only two shower rooms and two toilets and the place can get really crowded especially on weekends. One of the toilets even got clogged during our visit in the island. One group also thought they were in a concert in the middle of the night so this may not be the serene beach vacation you’re looking for.
However, stargazing here is really wonderful as there’s no noise pollution and you can clearly see the stars in the sky. I’ve never seen that many stars since I moved in the city.
Manukan Island (Island Hopping)
Manukan Island is an islet near Carnaza. People visit it for its long sandbar and snorkeling area.
Boat ride to Manukan was really rough and our guide said that waves in that area are really huge but it’s still relatively safe to visit Manukan. The sandbar and the snorkeling experience are just average but you should still give it a visit in order to fully experience Carnaza island.
Skull Cove & Kailana Beach (Island Tour)
To see the other beaches in Carnaza, we rented a habal-habal for ₱ 150 per head. The first place we went to is the Skull cove. It was given the name Skull cove because there are two skulls found in the area. It seems like no one knows the origin of those skulls.
Even though we rode a habal-habal, the place is really a walking distance from Eco Park.
We went here early in the morning and so were the only people when we arrived and it was really peaceful and quiet. The beach is pretty nice too.
The next beach we went to is Kailina Beach. This is the prettiest among the three beaches we visited in Carnaza. The wide stretch of powdery white sand and calm turquoise water look so inviting.
The entrance fee to Kailina beach is ₱ 50. You can also camp here overnight for ₱ 150 per tent. The only drawback in staying here is there’s no toilet and shower room. However, some locals who live a few meters from this beach offer homestay accommodation services.
Carnaza may not be the place for you if you’re looking for a comfortable and relaxing beach vacation. But if you’re into camping and adventure, then Carnaza is one of the beaches you should visit in Cebu.