Beaches, Luzon, Philippines

Sombrero Island, Masbate: Awesome Camping Experience


It was late afternoon when our boat arrived at the shores of Sombrero Island in Masbate. Looking from afar, we already had an idea why the island was called Sombrero. Sombrero is a Filipino term for hat, and the island has an iconic rock formation that looks like that, actually a cowboy’s hat!

But wait before you roll your eyes and say “I know right!” LOL! Let me show you some photos of the island during our arrival One taken from the boat and the other one on the island itself.

Sombrero Island Masbate Burias Island
Where is the sombrero?

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Sombrero Island Masbate Burias Island
First photo on the island.

Beautiful isn’t it? (fishnet? LOL!)

Well, those were photos taken in the afternoon. Wait till you see some photos in the morning.

When I stepped on the island, I already noticed the small number of tourists there, a small island with white sand and peaceful vibe. I don’t know maybe because the sun was about to set so the mood was calming and melancholic, but it was really a peaceful place. Hearing the small waves, the splash of water from the shore is the kind of travel that you need when you are stressed and you need to find some quiet time.

I was beginning to enjoy, to absorb the serenity when I realized it was time to set up our tent.

Camping is the way to go at Sombrero Island, but if you feel you need some “more privacy” there are “bahay kubo” kind of accommodation for 2,500 Php a night, while the simple cottages worth 700 Php. By the way, Sombrero island is a private island according to our tour coordinator. There is an entrance fee of 20 Php.

Good thing with all the travels and campings that I did in the past months, I can say that I am now good at setting up tents so I took charge of that while my beautiful Madam (my girlfriend), Eloi was busy playing with the cat she met on the island. The kitty was really sweet, obviously used to mingling with tourists.

Sombrero Island, Masbate Burias Island
hello kitty.

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One cottage was allotted for us, so while everyone was busy with their tents, it was also a chance to sit there and chat. Later that night, we were informed by our tour coordinator that our dinner was being prepared so better to freshen up first.

The island has public toilets enough to serve the travelers. But there was just one important thing you need to know before you travel to Sombrero, since clean water is scarce on the island, if you need to take a bath you need to pay 50 Php for each container of water. I know it was also a surprise for us, but you know you have no choice. 🙂

When Eloi and I got back to the cottage, it was time for dinner. The adobong pusit and the fried Tanigue were very satisfying. Since it was our first decent meal for that day because of the long travel, it was like fiesta for all of us. Our group (me, Eloi, Joey, Rose and Bert) were the first to position in front of the table,  and when everyone finished eating, we were still there making sure all the food was consumed. LOL!

I enjoyed Sombrero Island even at night because of its cool breeze from the ocean. It was really relaxing, the type of vacation we all need and deserve. I remember the time when we were in Calaguas, it was also summer time last year and there was no air and very humid. So I really appreciate Sombrero that night, talking with friends while sitting on the cottage looking at the full moon and stars. Oh what a life!

Sombrero island Masbate Burias Island
Sombrero Island, Masbate Burias Island
Morning coffee… Thank you Rose and Bert for this photo!

Waking up in the beautiful island was such a delightful experience.

As the first rays of the sun touch the sand and waters creates this magnificent view of nature. We woke up too early, actually I was still the last to get up. Haha! So when the breakfast was still being prepared, I mean the main breakfast by our tour coordinator, we all relaxed at the cottage sipping our morning coffee. For someone like me who loves coffee, drinking it by the beach the island life way is one of the best!

After being pumped up by caffeine, it was time to explore the island. We walked along the white sand beach towards the rock formation that looks like a Sombrero (hat). The rock, the culprit why the island was called by its name now. LOL!

Looking and being closer at the “sombrero” rock formation made me appreciate more of how nature works for years in making these creations. Wow! We need more photos and selfies of this!

Sombrero Island, Masbate Burias Island
Here it is. The sombrero rock 🙂
Sombrero Island, Masbate Burias Island

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Sombrero Island, Masbate Burias Island
Thanks Rose and Bert for this photo!

Walking at the back of the main beach we saw these spots with intricate rock formations and whiter sand. We walked further until we saw some boats and then we were surprised to see our cottage! It was really a small island. You won’t realize it until you explore it yourself.

As we got closer to our tents we saw our group waving at us. It was a sign of what I’ve been waiting for that morning. Food was ready. LOL!

Sombrero Island Masbate Burias Island
Look our tent. it’s color orange. LOL!
Sombrero Island Masbate Burias Island
Breakfast time! Fried Rice, Fried Chicken and Fish, Hotdogs and Egg. Solb!

Before the awesome island hopping started, we had ample time to enjoy and swim at the clear water of Sombrero Island. I kept on repeating myself but the water of these islands in Burias including Sombrero have the most pristine beaches with white sand and blue waters. You could almost see fishes swimming with you! Amazing!

Sombrero Island, Masbate Burias Island
Sombrero Island
Sombrero Island Masbate Burias Island

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Sombrero Island Masbate Burias Island
The gang is complete.

As we started our island hopping, we traveled closer to the sombrero rock formations for more photo op. We enjoyed it, the spot and the view was really nice. Look!

Sombrero Island Masbate Burias Island

On our way to the next islands to explore, out tour coordinator said that we were up for a treat.  Sombrero island was already an indication of the many surprises that Burias Island in Masbate has to offer.

This is really the time for Masbate! And we all believed even more when we witnessed the rest of the islands, starting with the captivating sandbars of Tinalisayan Island.


How to get to Sombrero Island, Burias Island, Masbate

This has the same DIY route for Tinalisayan and Animasola island since these islands can be explored in a day of island hopping experience.

The jump- off point going to San Pascual, Burias Island is through the Pasacao Port in Camarines Sur. From Manila, travel by bus bound to Naga City, and when you get to Naga, ride a jeepney going to Pasacao Port. Jeepneys can be found at the Naga City terminal.

There are 3 daily boat trips from Pasacao Port going to San Pascual town. At San Pascual, you can rent boats for the island hopping.

For your Guide to Burias Island hopping, check this post! Burias Island: Your Summer Destination in Masbate


Via Tours

There are tour operators offering Burias Island tours for a less hassle travel experience.


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