Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Uncovering the treasures of Balintang Channel from Calayan Group of Islands

March 28, 2013

Calayan Group of Islands which also known as Babuyan Islands are scattered at Balintang Channel right atop the Luzon main land but is south of the Batanes group of Islands. The archipelago is still part of Cagayan Valley, the main region whose land area is dominated at Luzon's northeastern tip between the mountains of Sierra Madre and the Mountain Province.

As Balintang Channel is where Pacific Ocean meets the West Philippine sea, waves are always high and too turbulent for small boats during the storm season until January. The best time to get here would be during February to May.

Going to Calayan Islands,  is a especially requested side trip to the boatmen we hired from Sta. Ana. After reaching near the shore of Camiguin (a different island from the more famous Camiguin of Mindanao), we stopped for a while to snorkel the area and we were surprised with species of fishes that thrive on its coral reefs. Discontented we removed of our life jackets and dived further down 5 meters below to see this magnificent view.

Joey (boatman, Sta. Ana) +63 916 2532759

This itinerary is part of Schadow1 Expeditions Mapping Advocacy of Cagayan Valley and nearby islands to which data gathered in this snorkeling and diving itinerary  has been contributed to the +OpenStreetMap Philippines project for free use of adventure enthusiasts who plan to reach the islands using GPS assistance.

Openstreetmap Philippines Map (link)
Schadow1 Expeditions Contributions (link)

How to use for your Navigation System (link)

View Cagayan Road Trip in a larger map

For a more detailed account of Schadow1 Expeditions' Palaui Island and Cagayan Valley Mapping Expedition, check on the links below:


  1. amazing underwater world. minsan sa isang trip gusto ko rin ipatigil ang boat para mag snorkel pero naisip ko hindi pala namin solo ang boat. haha

  2. very nice blog..we are planning to go to calayan and camiguin by the end of this month. Pumunta pa ba kayo sa brgy sa camiguin island? and ilang oras yung trip from sta ana to camiguin? thanks

    1. Hello Rainier. Thanks.
      The travel time is roughly 3 hours. We have not got down to Camiguin due to time constraints. Probably next time. Do let me know what you find out there.

  3. Less touched paradise! Thanks for showing this to us. A lot is yet to be discovered in the Babuyanes!

  4. Pede po ba irequest ung calayan island don sa mga boatmen from san vicente port? Magkano po pag ganon ang trip? Balikan npo ba ung 3 hrs boat ride?

  5. pwede nga ba yung boats from san vicente port going to calayan island? parang ang layo kasi ng san vicente to calayan island. kaya ba yun ng 3 hrs lang, one way? i read in some other blogs that from aparri or claveria to calayan island already takes 5 hrs.


    1. There are bigger boats than can take a toll and take you to Calayan Island but very seldom. Some boats will allow you to get until Camiguin de Norte (which is also part of Calayan Group) for about 2.5 hours as a special trip. Most boats in San Vicente are licensed to go until Palaui only.