the lush and rugged forms of Palaui island from the port of San Vicente seemed like it was just a jump away. so close that a small fish boat can actually take you to the closest docking point on the South side of the island but entails long hours of walking to reach Punta Verde, our destination.when we entered Punta Verde's cove, water was calm and the Cape Engano lighthouse on top of the hill, came into view. the cove's pebble beach was just fine but its isolation made it fantastic. no cottages yet along its beach line.trekking our way up to hill was the best part. the view after several steps up the artially-made walkway was breathtaking. it's where one gets a view of the large grassland on one side and the beach on the other.
while on our way up, i remembered when i first saw this island in a travel show which featured the hosts going to the island taking a helicopter and landed on this large beautiful grassland of Punta Verde. awesome 180 degrees view from that point.few more steps and we reached Cape Engano lighthouse. just one of the many Spanish built lighthouses mostly during the 19th century. this one now on its 118th year of existence serves as a major landfall light to assist ships coming from the Pacific.though still operating, what remains of this lighthouse are ruins of bricks from its old structure. the tower can still be accessed at a certain level on its spiral stairway. the windows gives a view of the surrounding area including the beautiful peaks of the island of Dos Hermanos.some trekkers would stay overnight our guide mentioned and i asked if he did experience some weird manifestations, he said he didn't. looking at its ruins, two factors seems to have caused it, nature and probably lack of maintenance and funding. a rehabilitation of this lighthouse might be under way but for me, as ruins it remains a great photo subject. a significant beacon. a beautiful island icon. if they won't be able to preserve its original structure, i hope they will be able to preserve the ruins.
how to get there:from Manila,
option 1: take a bus (recommended Florida bus) direct to Sta Ana which usually about 15hours.
option 2: take a plane to Tuguegarao and take a van or bus to Sta Ana (about 4hours).
when in Sta Ana, take a tricycle going to San Vicente port (10mins) or eskapo recommends that you take option 2 (van) and ask the driver to drop you at San Vicente port.
when in San Vicente Port, look for the tourist center and pay for the minimum tourist fee. then rent a boat that will take you to Punta Verde (estimate 1hour boat trip) to go to the lighthouse. boat fee usually is around P1,500. you also have the option to go to Anguib beach which has a better beach than the one in Punta Verde (estimate 30mins boat trip).
when going to Punta Verde to go to the Cape Engano lighthouse, from the port of San Vicente would take about 40minutes by boat through the East route and almost an hour through the West route. the latter, a longer route yet is often preferred by the boat man. the rough waters of the East coming from the Pacific can sometimes lengthen the trip and might even lead you to danger.
boat take off: San Vicente Port (Sta Ana, Cagayan)
escape factor:accessibility: 3.0
boat trip: 3.5beach: 3.5
boat trip: 3.5beach: 3.5
overall escape factor: 4.0
18^ 34' 33" N122^ 08' 22" E