To the north of Luzon Island in the Philippines sits the Babuyan archipelago – one of the most remote islands on the Philippines. The Babuyan Islands are made up of 5 main islands – Fuga, Calayan, Dalupiri, Camiguin, Babuyan and a number of much smaller islets. It’s a place where you can go for long walks along stunning beaches and rock cliffs, snorkel around coral reefs, explore sea caves, spot whales and spend your evenings camping out on the beach. Despite all this beauty you won’t find many tourists here. This is because the Babuyan Islands are not easy to reach and getting here requires a lot of traveling – but if you want to go where few have gone before then you are guaranteed to have the adventure of a lifetime.
The volcanic Babuyan Island is the most northernly situated island of the archipelago and has a population of about 1 500 people. The island is triangular shaped and has a steep interior. There’s a reef on the west side of the island which is great for snorkeling and Mount Babuyan – a 3,500 foot tall volcano also known as the Smith Volcano. The Smith volcano is semi-active but there are also three other dormant volcanoes on the island.. Naydi, Cayonan and Dionisio. Unfortunately, Babuyan Island lacks the beautiful white sandy beaches for which most Southeast Asian tropical islands are famous for.
Calayan Island is home to just over 16 000 people and is the largest of the Babuyan Islands. The island has stunning beaches and most of the island residents live in the main town – Calayan Town. It’s also where you will find a specific type of bird that can only be found on Calayan Island and nowhere else on earth – the Calayan Rail. It’s a bird unable to fly and because of this bird being endemic here it attracts a fair amount of bird photographers from around the world who makes the long and exhausting journey here just to photograph the Calayan Rail.
The jungle covered Camiguin Island is home to Mount Camiguin – a 2300 foot tall volcano which sits in the southwest corner of the island. To the west of Mount Camiguin is a boiling spring which is very popular with tourists. Camiguin Island has stunning beaches but it’s not very populated because the volcano found here happens to be not only one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines – but also one of the most active volcanoes in the entire Southeast Asia. It also falls under the Pacific Ring of Fire.
Fuga island is the second most northernly situated island of the Babuyan Islands. It has a population of almost 2000 people and most of them lives along the southern coast in Naguilian Village. If you are after beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters and no volcanoes – then Fuga Island is for you.
The best time to visit will be during the summer period which is from March untill May – but that period can extend until July. After that the Babuyan Islands experiences a lot of monsoon winds. It’s also important to note that the islands – along with the rest of the Philippines and many other places in Southeast Asia lies in what is known as the typhoon belt. So typhoons are common here – especially during the summer seasons.
Babuyan Islands Expeditions: As stated earlier – making your way to these islands is not easy at all and if you are going you will need some help. Luckily, the guys at uncharteredphilippines.com can help. Visit them for more information.