Tired of the hustle and bustle of Boracay? It can be quite expensive to spend your vacation in this world-famous island. Even if you’re on a tight budget, you will spend at least Php3000 if you want to experience Boracay to the fullest.
Mararison Island, Culasi, Antique, October 2016.
So, if you have more time to explore, we’d highly recommend taking a detour and heading to Antique from Kalibo International Airport to Mararison Island (some says it Malalison) for a change. It’s located in the Municipality of Culasi west of Panay Island.
It’ll take a 2-hour bus ride from Kalibo to Culasi for Php110. I decided to spend the night in Culasi since I arrived at around 9PM due to the typhoon Lawin back in October 2016.
From the port, Mararison Island can be seen.
For Php390, I was able to get a good night sleep at LS Suites. Its convenient location is just a 5-minute walk from the Municipal Hall of Culasi.
You can contact LS Suites at 0919 992 9574.
You can rent a boat from Culasi port for Php750 for 5 people to get to the island. The ride takes about 15 minutes. Get in touch with Russel at 0939 266 8849. He was our boatman and the one who referred us to Rey (Russel’s cousin) as our tour guide. There’s a terminal fee of Php20 and environmental fee of Php10, which you’ll have to pay at their tourism office.
For Php200 for 5 people, Rey will guide you around the island including the hike to top of the island’s summit. I’m not sure if it’s a mountain, though. You can easily endure the 15-minute hike with a scenic view of the sea. To maintain the beauty of the place, there’s an environmental fee of Php40.
Picturesque view from the trail.
At the top, reward yourself with a panoramic view of the island and Panay Island across the sea.
You can bring your packed lunch and mingle with the locals when you descend. There are lots of carinderias in the island for you to choose from, as well. Ask your tour guide what the must-try dishes are.
Mararison’s residents are fishermen. If you’re lucky enough, you can buy fresh catches from the fishermen and they’ll cook for you.
My tour guide told me that the mountain was once covered with pine trees. However, an irresponsible tourist threw a cigarette butt and caused a wildfire that burnt the trees. All the locals then helped restore it by planting saplings all around the place.
This view gives you the feeling of being in Batanes.
I have to give credit to Rey who did a great job taking this photo.
If you expect that the island only offers a stretch of white sand beach and an adventure atop a mountain, wait ’til you get to the other side of the island. They have a pebble beach right next to a cave.
Unfortunately, due to a landslide, the cave is now inaccessible for tourists.
Going back, Rey suggested we take a different route to see what else Mararison has to offer. I was not disappointed to see how people were able to keep the island’s natural beauty.
After all of the walking, I rewarded myself with a dip in the water.
These kids are having an amazing childhood.
The sand may not be as fine as the one in Boracay, but the beauty of the island lies in its untouched beauty. Thank goodness the local government is doing its share to maintain it.
Breakwater installed by the LGU to ensure the safety of the houses by the beach.
Mararison is the escape you need from the crowded beaches of Boracay with a touch of Batanes. If you have plans to go to Boracay, visit the island for a day to make your Visayas trip unforgettable. Make sure to add it to your bucketlist for 2017.
Got any hidden places you love to visit? Let us know and we’ll make sure to include it in our bucketlist for 2017.