The Treasures of Sta. Ana, Cagayan

Sunday, August 13, 2017

cape engano

On the north-easternmost tip of mainland Luzon lies the town of Sta. Ana, Cagayan. This quaint second-class municipality opens up to the Pacific Ocean, holds pristine coves and white sand beaches plus an array of stunning natural landscapes. 

Exploring the town's treasures may require a butt-numbing land travel and a vomit-inducing voyage across temperamental waters, but you'll find that all these are worth it once you get there.

On the other side of a reef, a candy-cane shaped island with cream shores and tree-lined fringes affords cool, crystal-clear waters that are in stark contrast to the raging waves just over yonder. Anguib Beach still has a raw feel to it, a sort of castaway vibe. It's a perfect place to relax and recover after a bumpy boat ride. Spending a night here is also now possible. There are several glamping tents already installed on the island. 
marky ramone go

sta ana cagayan

Another beautiful white sand beach is Punta Verde. Several concrete structures have been erected in the area but it still screams island vibes. When guests want to spend a night or two, Punta Verde is usually where they stay. 
punta verde cagayan

A favorite location of the Survivor franchise, Palaui Island has one of the seascape vistas the Philippines has to offer. Its wide, green grasslands and the deep blue of the ocean that surrounds it, make for a worthy postcard. 
palaui island

On Palaui is Cape Engaño – a piece of jutted land that gives an expansive panorama of the Pacific Ocean. The dramatic escarpments and the whistling sound of the sea overwhelm the senses when here. If there is one place in Sta. Ana that could give you the feeling of being "on the edge of the world", it is Cape Engaño. 
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Faro de Cabo Engaño, or Cape Engaño Lighthouse, stands like a sentinel watching over the island of Palaui. The structure, built during the Spanish era, continues to bear witness to the transformative powers of Nature, silently enduring the test of Time. 
faro de cabo engano

These duo of islets can be seen from Cape Engaño, providing a welcomed abbreviation from the seemingly boundless scene of blue. Translated to Two Sisters, the islands sport the same white sand shores and spectacular rock formations.

Related Adventure: A DIY Guide to Asik-Asik Falls

How to Get There
From Manila, Victory Liner buses have daily trips going to Tuguegarao City in Cagayan (12 to 14 hours). Once in Tuguegarao, there are buses and vans that will take you to the Sta. Ana Commercial Center where you can stock up on supplies. Then, take either a tricycle or a quadcycle to San Vicente Port – the jump-off to Palaui Island.
san vicente port

To tour you around the many islands and coves in the area, get in touch with the SAMOBA (Sta. Ana Motorize Boat Association). Details below.

Contact Details
Anguib Beach Club (Glamping and Overnight Services at Anguib Beach)
+63 917 652 0581

Sta. Ana Motorize Boat Association
+63 935 383 9878 / +63 926 188 0213 / +63 935 130 6745

For bus schedules visit

To know more about my Palaui Island trip, check out my travel narrative over at

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