Cape Engano, Cagayan (Travel)

calendar_todayJuly 21, 2016
account_circleJanine Daquio

Palaui Island is the place where Survivor had their shoot. The island is considered as a Cagayan Valley tourist spot.

Cape Engano History

When Philippines was colonized by Spaniards, Cape Engaño is one of the four lighthouses built. Spaniard seafarers were captivated by its deceptive beauty that they called it “Cape Engaño.” The construction started in 21 September 1888 and finished in 31 December 1892.

Engaño (masculine noun) – act of deceiving

Cape Engaño Palaui Island Parola

Cape Engaño is a historic lighthouse located at the Palaui Island in Santa Ana, Cagayan. Palaui Island was the filming location in 2013 for Survivor: Blood vs. Water and Survivor: Cagayan.Cape Engaño Palaui Island Survivor
Season 28 of Survivor had their shoot in Palaui Island.

Season 28 of Survivor had their shoot in Palaui Island

How to Get There

My college friend who is now living in US took a visit here in the Philippines. She invited us to come over to their province Cagayan. It is at the north of Luzon and we came to visit Cape Engaño!

One thing to do when you visit Palaui Island is to climb all way up to see Cape Engano

How to get there by air: Take a flight bound to Tuguegarao. From Tuguegarao, have a van transfer going to Santa Ana for around P200. Then take tricycle for P15 each going to San Vicente terminal for your boat transfer going to Engaño.

How to get there by land: Commuting, you may take Florida bus (terminal near UST) going to Santa Ana, Cagayan and travel for 15 hours.  After reaching Santa Ana’s town center, take a tricycle (P15 each) to  San Vicente terminal. You will be guided accordingly in your boat transfer once you get there.

Cape Engano Palaui Island Potipot Bridge

Our boat transfer route is: San Vicente Port – Cape Engaño – Anguib Beach – San Vicente Port

Here is the boat rate when you are going to Palaui Island

The Pasamoba Cooperative’s standard operating procedure is to travel by 8 people per boat but because my friend Danicca has connections, we were able to travel even if we’re just three.

credits to Danicca

The View on the Way

While sailing, we were able to see these beautiful islands. It took us 45 mins. – 1 hour to get there.


The Climb to the Lighthouse

Touch down. Cape Engano.

We were approached by a tour guide to help us reach the top easily and paid an entrance fee/conservation fee.

At the starting point, we were oriented that Palaui Island is a National Marine Reserve in 1994 making it a haven for different species of plants and birds.

Cape Engano Palaui Island Map

We trekked because Cape Engano is located atop the summit of a hill. 92-m above sea level!

Cape Engano that is known to be 92-m above sea level is a must visit for Cagayan Valley tourist spots

The Engaño Cove is getting lovelier as we reached the top of Cagayan Valley tourist spot.

The hill is not steep and high but the sun is screaming hell that exhausted us easily because it was a smoldering 12 noon.This Cagayan Valley tourist spot is almost like Batanes.

Cape Engaño is a Cagayan Valley tourist spot that is well-preserved.

If I am not mistaken, it would only consume 30 minutes of our time going up, but because we can’t help but not to stop in awe of the breathtaking view, it took us 1 hour to reach the lighthouse.How can they preserve this beautiful Cagayan Valley tourist spot? This view is a gift from God.

Cape Engaño is composed of the housing pavilion, the service buildings and the 11-meter octagonal tower which houses the crown and the copper lantern (but was now a solar-based lighting mechanism) that is visible in all angles of the lighthouse.

This Cagayan Valley tourist spot brings back the feeling of the Spanish era

Cool down a little bit on these seats

Here’s Sandayal that serves as a compass. 

Cape Engaño Palaui Island Parola Cape Engaño Palaui Island Sandayal

The 14-hour by land trip from Quezon City to Cagayan is butt-numbing (if there’s such a word). We left at 11 PM and had our 2-hour stop in Vigan. I thank God that if it weren’t for the father of our friend, it’s close to impossible that I’d set foot and see this very virgin island. Before, a tour to Palaui is very difficult to arrange. One must be a true-blooded adventurer to witness this paradise. However, the locals are able to manage a centralized tour. Reach them out by calling their local tourism office: 0905-497-8379 or 0999-758-7079.

What a beautiful mess of Cagayan Valley tourist spot

My Reflection

My trip going to Cape Engano is like the struggle I’m facing in my career and passion – choices like I can go by air or go by land. And I chose to take my trip by land. It was a long ride. The long ride is daunting and tiring. The more roads I take, the more I doubt if the destination is still right. Every time I think that I have traveled longer with no other people to see in a dark road, I feel left out and unsure. Sometimes I can’t help but ask myself, “what if I just took the same journey just like the others, how far have I already reached?”

Approaching the Cagayan Valley tourist spot will excite your every bone.


But maybe I was not meant to have a trip by plane. I was meant to travel the long road, sail the boat, and climb the hill… because there are no shortcuts to a place worth traveling.

Kuya tour guide and our boat men

Okay. I may be talking figuratively here but taking the literal side, going here is very sulit. Imagine going to one place but it takes you to a lot of views – beautiful coastline, scenic greenery, a white sand beach, and a historical piece. Could you ask for more?


And we had our halo-halo after going down served as our trophy. LOL


Cape Engaño Lighthouse Palaui Island, San Vicente, Cagayan, Philippines local tourism office: 0905-497-8379 or 0999-758-7079.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. Photo watermark is named after my old site.

Janine Daquio
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