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Burias Island: Your DIY Island Hopping in Masbate

I want to share with you one of my best summer experiences.

Though it was a rough and unpleasant land trip because our tour operator sucked, the beauty of the place was enough to take all our disappointment.

I am talking about Burias Island in Masbate. This is getting a lot of traction now in social media, but at that time, we went there when it wasn’t that popular yet. Just to give you a piece of advice, Burias Island is so beautiful that it will be too popular one day that you need to visit it now.

Well, you don’t need to worry. This post will give you a glimpse of what to expect during the island experience in Burias.

explore, travel, burias island: your diy island hopping in masbate

Approcahing Tinalisayan Island

Burias is one of the three main islands of Masbate. The other two are Masbate and Ticao. It’s a bit challenging going there via Naga and Pasacao Port, then another two-hour boat ride going to San Pascual, Burias Island.

But during our travel, we did it via San Andres Quezon, it is the farthest town at the tip of the province. There are boatmen that you can rent going to Burias Group of Island plus a side trip to Alibijaban Island. After hours of land travel, we finally arrived at San Andres port, and we were off to our first island.

DAPA ISLAND

explore, travel, burias island: your diy island hopping in masbate

The moment I saw Dapa Island, it was not the usual beach island that will blow your mind. The terrain was rugged and there were small holes on its huge rocks. I think that’s where the sea snakes live. Waah!

But that didn’t hinder us from exploring the island. Though it was full of rocks and rugged features, the crystal clear waters of the island were undeniable. It was still an enjoyable swim after all.

explore, travel, burias island: your diy island hopping in masbate
explore, travel, burias island: your diy island hopping in masbate

A trip to Dapa Island will not be complete without climbing and experiencing the top of the island’s huge rock formation.

It was some kinda’ challenge to do some of the rock climbing but once you get to the top, it was worth it. The view of the sea was just enough to give you the needed relaxation. Plus the sea breeze was soothing. It’s not every day that you see that view, so just make the most of it.

explore, travel, burias island: your diy island hopping in masbate
explore, travel, burias island: your diy island hopping in masbate

explore, travel, burias island: your diy island hopping in masbate

READ: Dapa Island: The Rugged Beauty of Masbate

SOMBRERO ISLAND

explore, travel, burias island: your diy island hopping in masbate

Sombrero Island

It was pretty obvious why the place was called Sombrero island. We all realized that by the time we got closer. There is this iconic rock formation that looks like a sombrero the Filipino word for the hat.

But more than that, it’s the island’s white sand and clear waters that caught my attention by the time we got off the boat. Sombrero Island is a private island so there’s an entrance fee of 20 pesos. There are accommodation on the island, those small Kubo-style houses. But to experience Burias at its best, go camping!

We then set up our tent and before we knew it, it was already dark.

The night at Sombrero island was another experience. It was windy and the cold breeze from the sea truly relaxed us all that after our dinner, we just had some little chit chat and we went to sleep.

The next morning was the highlight of our trip to Sombrero Island because we got a chance to explore it. The island is so little that we were able to circle on it in like minutes. We first walked towards the rock formation that looked like a hat and it was just awesome to see it up close.

explore, travel, burias island: your diy island hopping in masbate
explore, travel, burias island: your diy island hopping in masbate

🙂

explore, travel, burias island: your diy island hopping in masbate

After taking some photos we then walked further to explore more, until we were back to the campsite. It was perfect timing for us because it was also the time for breakfast!

explore, travel, burias island: your diy island hopping in masbate

I can say that it was a different experience, you know sipping coffee while enjoying the beach and the island. The food was also good. We had some usual breakfast meals like luncheon meat, hotdogs, and fried fish. We took our time after breakfast. Then we finally prepared for the next phase of island hopping. In a matter of minutes, we were back on the boat again to explore more islands. But before that, we all got a chance to get closer to the famous rock and took some photos!

Then we were off to the next island.

READ: Sombrero Island, Masbate: Awesome Camping Experience

TINALISAYAN ISLAND

explore, travel, burias island: your diy island hopping in masbate

This is probably the most mind-blowing place in the entire Burias Island hopping experience. Tinalisayan has this long sand bar that can be enjoyed in the morning until lunchtime. We were lucky to be able to witness its beauty.

explore, travel, burias island: your diy island hopping in masbate

Summer na!

explore, travel, burias island: your diy island hopping in masbate

Eloi, my beautiful Madam. This island is a place where you won’t worry that you stayed too long under the sun. Its bluish waters and white sand are too inviting that you’d end up swimming for a longer time. We would want to stay much longer but we had to go to the next island to have our lunch. Besides, we were already starving.

READ: Tinalisayan Island in Masbate: Another Sandbar to Discover

ANIMASOLA ISLAND

explore, travel, burias island: your diy island hopping in masbate

Stunning!

If Tinalisayan is all about stunning beaches and sandbar, Animasola Island was another surprise. It has this huge rock formation that looks like a ripped-off book, a giant one. Look!

explore, travel, burias island: your diy island hopping in masbate

I think I’m starting to see the old torn book. LOL!

explore, travel, burias island: your diy island hopping in masbate

Just exploring. You know 🙂

Exploring Animasola was such a joy and wonder. Its rock formations are something you won’t see anywhere. It’s unique and special in its own way. At the back of the island are small natural pools that are also too inviting to take a plunge.

explore, travel, burias island: your diy island hopping in masbate
explore, travel, burias island: your diy island hopping in masbate

oha oha! 🙂

We then had our lunch on the boat and we enjoyed another few minutes of swimming before we finally traveled back. It was like a two-hour boat ride going back to San Andres and did a side trip to Alibijaban Island.

READ: Animasola Island: Masbate’s Stunning Rock Formations

Since summer is approaching and I guess you’re looking for a place to enjoy the sun and island life without trying the mainstream and too touristy places, I highly recommend that you also do this island hopping in Burias Island.

Indeed, Masbate is the next summer destination in the Philippines!

Burias Island DIY Travel Guide

How to Get There? (Manila to Burias Island)

Reminder: March 13, 2020 – Please always check the latest bulletin from the government or tourism office, regarding updates for closed tourism sites, before your travel.

DIY via Pasacao Port – If you’re coming from Manila, some buses have direct trips to Naga. Once you get to the Naga Terminal, just ride a jeepney going to Pasacao Port. There are 3 scheduled trips from Pasacao to San Pascual, Burias Island.

Once you get to San Pascual, there are boats that you can rent for island hopping in Burias. It is recommended that you coordinate with the Tourism Office at San Pascual port for registration and assist you in renting a boat.

San Andres, Quezon to Burias  Island

Super Lines is one of the few bus companies that has trips to San Andres, Quezon. Travel time is about 9 hours! and the fare is roughly about 500 pesos. Another option is to take a bus to Lucena Terminal, then ride a bus or van to San Andres. But if I were you, just take the direct trip to San Andres.

Another option is buses named Barney Auto Lines near Star Mall Alabang. They also have direct trips to San Andres. These are ordinary buses and the fare is about Php 450. Please be mindful of their bus schedule bound to San Andres, it’s 4:30 AM, 2:30 PM, and 6:00 PM. You may contact these bus companies through the below details.

Super Lines-  414-3321 and  414-3319
Barney Auto Lines- 09253227639

Once you’re in San Andres, ride a pedicab going to the port for 40 pesos. You can rent a boat to take you to Burias Island. But there are stories that it is a bit hard to look and haggle for boats to take you for an island-hopping so I suggest that you join some travel groups that offer travel to Burias. There are a lot of them now due to the increasing popularity of Burias. Just google or check social media okay? Because I will not recommend the tour company that we used for this trip to Burias Island. They sucked and I don’t want you to experience what we’ve gone through haha. But then again, Burias Island is worth it. The usual price and budget for Burias Island travel is about 3,000 pesos per head. But just ask around and do good research, you’ll find a cheaper option. Summer is approaching so plan your trip now.

Update:  San Andres port already has a system for renting boats for island hopping in Burias. For 8K pesos, you can rent a boat for 2 days of island hopping, a max of 10 persons. They already have a reliable queuing system of boats for the tourists. No need to haggle for the lowest price as they already have a fixed rate for everyone. Please see below.

10-11 persons-Php8,000
12-14 persons- Php 9,000
19-24 persons-12,000
25-28 persons-13,000
29-33 persons-15,000

Aside from the Php 15  Environmental Fee to be settled at the port, there are already corresponding entrances Fees for the island to explore in the Burias Tour. Please see below.

Animasola Island – Php 20
Tinalisayen island and sandbar – Php 50
Dapa/Snake Island
Sumbrero Island – Php 80
Alibijaban Island – Php 100
Alibijaban Mangrove and Sandbar – Php 20

Via Plane (Naga)

If you decided to go to Burias via plane, one option is through the Naga port. So take a plane from Manila to Naga Airport for one hour. Then from Naga Airport, ride a jeepney or van going to Pasacao Terminal. Travel time is less than an hour. Pasacao port is just a walking distance away from the terminal. You can just ask around. Then you need to ride a passenger boat from Pasacao Port to San Pascual, Burias for 2 and a half hours. You can rent boats there for an island hopping in Burias.

Masbate City to Burias

You also have the option to take a plane ride from Manila going to Masbate City. From Masbate City, ride a tricycle going to the port. From there, ride a boat going to San Pascual (8 hours) where you can rent and have an island hopping tour in Burias.

Burias Island Travel Tips

Here are some reminders and tips for you if you’re planning to spend your summer in Burias.

  1. Of course, the best time to travel to Burias is during summer! We went there in April and we had a great time. The islands are best to enjoy when the sun is up.
  2. No ATM in town as well as on the islands so brings enough cash.
  3. Bring enough food if you’re going there DIY and will spend overnight in Sombrero Island.
  4. Bring toiletries and please be advised that the comfort rooms on the island are just simple and basic, bawal maarte LOL!
  5. Bring a flashlight because it’s dark during the night, especially if you’re going to the CR.
  6. Again, if you’re going there via tours, please pick your tours carefully. I suggest that you go to those operators that you know or friends. We had a not-so-good experience with our operator during our travel to Burias but as I said, the beauty of the place will take away all your disappointments.
  7. Be careful when climbing the rock formations in Dapa Island. Make sure you bring your aqua shoes with you for protection.
  8. The scorching heat of the sun in Animasola Island is just too much, so I suggest that you also take a dip and swim while you’re there on the island for you to get refreshed. Try it when you’ve found what they call mermaid’s lair.
  9. Just enjoy and marvel at the sandbar of Tinalisayan island. You’ll love it for sure.
  10. You can bring some extra clothes or bring banig or malong to fully enjoy the stargazing in Sombrero island at night.
  11. There’s no unstable cell phone signal and data on any of the islands.
  12. There are no hotels on the islands. Most of the resorts are in San Pascual, Masbate.

Burias Island Itinerary

Of course, you can always base your itinerary on your time availability and preference, but this itinerary is just a guide for you as you plan your travel

DAY 1
5:00 AM – Meeting place in Alabang, then travel to San Andres
3:00 PM – Arrival in San Andres, Quezon (again we had problems with the land travel that’s us ten hours to go there.)
3:30 PM – Dapa Island
4:30 PM – Arrival in Sombrero Island
5 PM – set up a tent and wash up
7 PM – Dinner
9 PM – Sleep time

DAY 2
8:00 AM – Wake up
8:30 AM – Explore Sombrero Island
9:30 AM – Breakfast
10:00 AM – Travel to next island
11:00 AM – Tinalisayan Island!
1:00 PM – Animasola Island and lunchtime
2:30 PM – Travel back to San Andres
4:30 PM – Side trip to Alibijaban
5 PM – San Andres Port
5:30 PM – wash up and pasalubong
6:00 PM – Travel back to Manila
1:00 AM – Manila

Burias Island Video

This is one of the most popular feature of Burias Island in Masbate. Watch this episode of GMA News TV’s Biyahe ni Drew.

Burias Island Map

There you have it, folks. I hope you enjoyed reading my story and review of the islands of Burias. ‘Till our next beach getaway!

Updated on April 6, 2018, / Updated for 2020 and 2021

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