This is a DIY travel guide to the island municipality of Capul in Northern Samar, Philippines.
Capul is an island municipality in the province of Northern Samar in Eastern Visayas. It is the only town in the province that has its own language called Inabaknon. The rest of the province and Samar Island’s native language is Waray. [Check out our list of top tourist spots in Northern Samar]
Capul Island is still an off-beat destination. Not too many people go there, especially during weekdays. It features a historic fortress church, pristine white sand beaches, a Spanish-era lighthouse, and friendly locals.
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How to get to Capul Island?
You have two options to get to Capul Island. If you are coming from Luzon, you can take a bus to Matnog, Sorsogon. Buses going to Eastern Visayas and Northern and Southern Mindanao pass through Matnog so you can also take them. From Matnog Portg, walk towards the beach and you can take the boat to Capul Island. Take note that there is no terminal, the boat is docked in the beach area. You will see other fishing boats, too. It’s on the right side after going out of the port. The boat departs Matnog around 11:00 AM. Make sure you go there early. The boat fare is Php100 and the travel time is around an hour. If you miss this boat, you can cross to Allen Port in Northern Samar.
If you are coming from Mindanao or Eastern Visayas, the jump-off point to Capul Island is at Allen Port. The boat terminal is beside Allen Port, on the right side once you enter the port. The boat departs between 12:00 NN to 1:00 PM so be there early. The boat fare is Php100 and the travel time is 1 hour.
Once you reach Capul Island, there are already habal-habal that can take you to your hotel. The fare ranges from Php20-50 depending on where you stay.
Where to Stay in Capul Island?
There are no fancy hotels in Capul Island but there are now available accommodation facilities that provide basic services and comfort. I stayed at Jadil’s Pension House and Kusina de Capul. I initially reserved an ordinary non-air room because I wanted some fresh air. It was Php500 so I thought it was a good deal.
When I arrived at Jadil’s, I was told that the comfort room was shared and I was okay with that. When I saw the CR, it was dirty so I requested to transfer to another room with an attached T&B. The room was only Php800 per night with aircon so it was still a good deal. The room was small but it was clean.
Jadil’s Pension House is a beachfront property but you can’t really swim because the beach is dirty in the area. There are trashes everywhere.
Things to do in Capul Island: Tourist Spots and Attractions in Capul
You can explore the island in half a day. There are not much tourist spots to see so a day or two is enough. I hired a habal-habal driver to bring me to the tourist spots. It took us about 3 hours to see all of the major tourist spots in the island. We visited the following tourist attractions:
Capul Island Lighthouse
Our first stop was at Capul Island Lighthouse. It’s probably the most visited tourist attraction on the island. It is situated on the northern tip of the island, about 30 minutes from the town proper. It was built on October 1983 and was first lit on December 1986 while it was still undergoing construction. It was declared a National Historical Landmark of the Philippines in 2013.
The Beaches of Capul
There are a number of beaches you can enjoy while you are in Caoul Island. My driver/tour guide brought me to two beaches – Pinangandao Beach and Abak Beach. The former is more frequented by locals and more serene while the latter is cleaner and well-maintained. Both beaches are packed during weekends and usually deserted during weekdays.
Also known as St. Ignatius de Loyola Church, the Capul Church was built in the 1600s. Aside from being a place of worship, it also served as a fortress and a refuge of the Capuleños during the times of Moro marauders.
In 2011, Capul Church was officially declared as a historical site by the National Heritage Commission of the Philippines.
Travel Tips and Notes
- Electricity is now 24 hours.
- Both Smart and Globe have signal.
- Internet is slow and unreliable in some areas.
- You need to stay at least one night in the island to explore its attractions.
- The boat leaves from Capul Island to Matnog and Allen at 7:00 AM so be there early.
- There are no restaurants in the island but there are a number of eateries in the town proper.