Candaraman Island is one of the main highlights of Balabac Palawan alongside Onok Island and Punta Sebaring. Among Balabac’s 32 islands, Candaraman Island is a top destination because of the sandbar near it which we call Starsfih Island, teeming with adorable Chocolate Chip Starfish that are countless in number.
The island of Candaraman lies near mainland Balabac, making the trip quite long. If you’re coming from our campsite in Punta Sebaring, it would take ideally 1.5 hours (or 2 if the wave is against the boat), but there is usually a stopover in another sandbar before arriving there. The travel time will reward you with a beach stuffed with palm trees making you completely feel the tropical island vibe. You will know it is Candaraman when you see the docking station which also serves as a helipad. Yes, the owner comes to his island by helicopter!
What to Do in Candaraman Island
Dining cottages make it perfect for a lunch stop after a long trip. Feel free to bring a hammock you can hang on the trees, or better yet walk the stretch of the long beach with an incredible viewfront. You will find a number of slanting palm trees that you can dare to climb up to, or take a photo under its shade. Last but definitely the best thing to do is to dip in the water and be refreshed from the sun!
Unlike the sand in Punta Sebaring, Candaraman Island’s beach is not white and pure, but has some small pieces of coral, and it gets hot to step on when exposed to the sun so it is very advisable to wear flipflops.
A few minutes away from the shores of Candaraman Island lies Candaraman Sandbar which is more popularly known as Starfish Island. This sandbank appears and sinks based on the tide level. Fortunate are those who arrive here during low tide when the sandbank rises dotted with a lot of starfish! Don’t fret when you arrive on high tide because that is when snorkeling becomes “stargazing”! Dive and swim with these cute creatures!
Caring for Starfish
Chocolate Chip Starfishes needs to stay damp to live. So please help us preserve them by keeping them where they are and not lifting them above water just to take pictures. The best way to enjoy them is to go underwater and just leave them to be in the sand. You adjust not them!
Camping in Candaraman Island
Like most of the islands in Balabac, Candaraman is privately-owned, which means that the availability to camp overnight depends on its owner’s discretion. People used to be able to camp there until recently when the owner closed it! There are plans to develop this untouched island as a cruise ship stopover 🙁 Now they have opened the island for day trips only.