North Cay Island: Your Own Haven in Palawan
Palawan attracts over a million visitors each year, and with good reason. Boasting of roughly 1,780 islands, secluded beaches, pristine waters, and a rich marine life, the province is the epitome of a perfect island retreat. One of its lesser known islands is North Cay Island, also called Pagtenga by the locals, located near Busuanga Island. It’s a fantastic place to visit. Almost no tourists. Calm. Beautiful beaches. Endless blue ocean.
If you’re coming from the capital, Manila, there are several daily flights that go to Busuanga, the second largest island in the province after Palawan. Non-stop flights take about one and half hours and land at Francisco B. Reyes Airport, formerly known as Busuanga Airport. Note that there are times when flights are delayed or even cancelled, depending on several factors such as weather or for technical reasons. If that is the case, know that you have statutory rights as a passenger when a flight is canceled or delayed. As part of your rights, you can either get refunded or booked on the next available flight.
Upon arrival in Busuanga, you need to take a boat, which will take you to North Cay Island. The ride is about 45 minutes. Boats do not moor on the island due to the strong currents and rip tides. They will take shelter on the opposite Nagbinit Island which has a protective cove. You can arrange with the captain when you will be picked-up, or discuss a schedule if you plan on visiting other islands.
What To Do On The Island
North Cay boasts of soft, white, sandy beaches, pristine waters and a rich marine life. It is possible to visit the island for a day, but if you wish to stay longer, there are some cottages and rooms for rent. The accommodation on the island is minimal, with electricity powered by a generator which is switched off at night, so this isn’t the place to expect posh facilities such as those on nearby Diciligan Island.
The island is for guests who enjoy tranquil surroundings, sea and nature in the middle of nowhere. It is not crowded with visitors, and you can walk around North Cay in 10 minutes. Swim, snorkel, sun soak, or spot turtles on the beach. Take leisurely walks along the shore, watch magnificent sunsets, or simply absorb the gorgeous views of the sea. Of course, you can also discover other islands in the vicinity, should you find the strength to leave this little paradise.
North Cay Island is a superb island retreat where you can relax, rejuvenate, and enjoy nature. It is a great destination for people who need to get away from it all or couples looking for privacy. Unspoiled and wild, it is one of the places in Palawan where everything is still very much laidback… and perfect.