We left Manila around 10 in the evening and it took us almost eight hours to reach San Andres, Quezon. Unlike what we have seen in Paracale Bay going to Calaguas, we were taken into a seemingly unspoiled beach resort in San Andres. There were few open air cottages in the resort and we spotted no other restaurants or hotels nearby. Burias Group of Islands are just starting to get attention from travelers which explains why there are no businesses yet who take advantage of the place’s popularity (and I hope it will stay that way).
While waiting for the boat that will pick us up from San Andres, we had our breakfast first. The very accommodating handlers of the resort in San Andres warmly welcomed us all. They got a small eatery near one of their cottages where you can buy their ready-to-eat meals and coffee. Few minutes later the boatmen finally arrived and we’re all set for our first island.
After an hour of clashing against waves, we finally spotted the first island, the “Islang Dapa” or Snake Island which looks very distinctive compare to the rest of the islands we have seen.
The island is aptly named “Dapa” mainly because of its overall structure. Dapa in Tagalog means “Flat” and as you can see from the image above, Dapa Island resembles like a huge rough platform with no other tall features on top. We are welcomed by the shallow crystal clear turquoise water and very rough rock formations.
The stones are very sharp and reaching the top could be a challenge so be very cautious to prevent yourself from being wounded.
Interestingly, the island is also known for another name and some of you may not gonna like it. Pulong Dapa or Islang Dapa is also known as the Snake Island and as what the title suggests, the island is said to be inhabited by sea snakes. Although they said that most of the species of sea snakes found in this island are those that are not venomous, they are still freaking snakes!!! Well, Sea snakes after all are generally harmless unless being threatened and they are also nocturnal.
Sea snakes may sound so scary but you cannot really find them much during summer as they used to move away from this island as the place gets crowded by visitors (Oh ayan sila pa nagadjust ha!). Honestly, I am hoping to see one but I failed to spot any.
The pristine clear water of Snake Island (Dapa Island)
It is really interesting how this island was formed. The rock formations are very intriguing and they looked like giant dried up corals for me.
Climbing the top is the most rewarding part of this island tour as you can have a panoramic view or 360 view of the surrounding water and nearby islets. Since the island is flat, nothing will block the view! The cliffs of Snake Islands are very ideal diving spots too! Some areas are deep enough for diving!
Most parts of the island are very rough and sharp and I personally don’t think that this is ideal for camping but there were areas that are good enough for such. The shore are build with rough sand and corals of various shapes and sizes.
Since there are no huge trees in this island, we have to bear with that scourging heat of the sun but we can’t deny the fact that the majestic view on top of the island’s huge rock is simply remarkable
We also spotted so many naturally shaped caves in the island but don’t worry, they said that the caves are already abandoned by the seasnakes and bats!
The Soombrero Island can also be spotted from here
Things You Should Know About Pulong Dapa / Islang Dapa
►Islang Dapa is also known as Snake Island because the island is known to be inhabited by sea snakes
►Islang Dapa is one of the nearest islands from Sombrero and the nearest island from the port of San Andres in Quezon
►Ideal for cliff diving and spelunking
►The island is only good for sight seeing and I don’t think they allow overnight camping in this place (maybe they do but I personally don’t want to take that risk haha)
►The rocks are very sharp so wear your trekking shoes or any footwear for your own protection
►It could be extremely hot here and there’s really no area to shed so bring your cap or hat and make sure to apply sunblock.
►There is no environmental fee being charged for Islang Dapa
How to Get to Burias Island
►This tour was actually hosted by a travel agency so we didn’t need to do anything as the driver will do the rest of the job going to Burias but if you are planning to go here via public transportation, here are the details you should know.
►If you are going to take the Port of San Andres , Quezon, the Superlines buses have direct trips to San Andres (via Unisan) (check the schedules of their trips here). Once you get to the town proper of San Andres, you need to ride a tricycle and ask the driver to take you to the San Andres Port. From there, you can charter a boat for your island hopping tour. As far as I know, the boat can be rented for 7,000 and above (depends on the number of islands you want to visit and also the number of days you want to stay). The amount is good for at least 10 pax
Where To Stay in Burias
►We stayed for a night in Sombrero Island island. The place is ideal enough to accommodate many tourists. There are decent open and closed type cottages in the island and as well as resto and stores. They also have clean comfort rooms and electricity in the island. Cellphone have signals too!
►If you are looking for Hotels in Masbate, you can check the suggested list here
After spending enough time in Snake Island, we headed to our next island destination. We went to Sombrero Island but just to unload our things and place them all in our cottage to proceed to the next real island destination! We went to the well known island of Animasola. Prior to that, we passed by the so-called Iniwaran Island and I’m going to share some photos and infos about it in my next #IslandHoppinginBurias entry
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Just in case you missed my previous entries, feel free to check them here
►Island Hopping In Burias ~ Prologue
►The Islang Dapa / Snake Island
►A Glimpse of Iniwaran Island / Templo Island
►Tinalisayan Island and Sand Bar