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Crocodiles in Balabac

Travelers who are planning to visit Philippines’ last of the last frontier often hesitate when they hear that there are saltwater crocodiles in Balabac. We have written about it in passing on our previous posts “Is Balabac Safe? and Balabac Safety.” This one is a dedicated post about Balabac crocodiles hoping to provide light and peace of mind to those who will visit in the future.

The purpose of this post is not to scare you more, but to educate you so that you can be more careful. If you’re one of our future guests, this post is for you to have more peace of mind.

Areas with Saltwater Crocodile Sightings

So where can you find these saltwater crocodiles? Mostly in the mainland Balabac, but there are also sightings in island close to the mainland such as Ramos Island, Sicsican Island and Candaraman Island. Check the map below to see the proximity, and some posts that confirm the sightings or attacks.

Map of Balabac Crocodile Sigtings
Map of Balabac Crocodile Sigtings

However, confirmed sightings are not really everyday, every week or every month. It’s rare. In fact, in our four years of bringing guests to Balabac, we were unfortunate (or fortunate?) to see a single one. But that’s maybe because we don’t really bring our guests to the areas where there were confirmed sightings like the list below.

Balabac Mainland

Most of the sightings and attacks that you can see in the internet / that are in the news happened in the marshes and rivers of Mainland Balabac. Check this signage near the port. We don’t visit or bring guests in Mainland Balabac as part of the itinerary.

Crocodile warning sign in Balabac Poblacion
Crocodile warning sign in Balabac Poblacion
Ramos Island / Timbayan Rock Formation

Close to mainland Balabac is Ramos Island where crocodiles were also spotted. In my first visit to Balabac, we went here with my group. The boatmen kept saying be careful. In fact, they didn’t even get down from the boat. Since these are saltwater crocodiles, they are also sighted in Sicsican Island which is close by. So if you’re visiting here, be careful! We don’t also bring our guests to these areas.

Dead crocs spotted in Timbayan Rock near Ramos Island
Dead crocs spotted in Timbayan Rock near Ramos Island
Candaraman Island

We have no photo or written proof that there is a sighting here except for the word of the owner and caretakers. Candaraman Sandbar aka Starfish Island which is just on the other side of this island is one of the destinations of our tour. Being a highlight of Balabac, you can’t miss this the starfishes! Our boatmen are always on the lookout here while our guests are enjoying.

Candaraman Island Port
Candaraman Island Port
Bancalaan Island

One of the big islands of Balabac, Bancalaan has also sightings of crocodiles. Check the link below for the video of an actual sighting! We don’t also bring our guests here.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=294128025601812

Conclusion

Don’t let these sightings stop you from visiting Balabac now. As we confidently tell our guests, you’ll be actually really lucky to see one while doing the tour. It’s part of the “adventure!” Just be careful to stay away, much more camp, from the islands near the Mainland. Balabac is still safe to visit.

And again, resorts are already being built in the islands of Balabac. Probably in two years time, tourism will boom like in El Nido. So right now is really a good time to visit if you still wanna catch it in its raw nature state. Take care!

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Complete List of 2023 Group Tours

2023 SKEDS Balabac Palawan Joiner Tour
2023 SKEDS Balabac Palawan Joiner Tour

Stay in Our Pick Up Locations In Puerto Princesa

Budget accommodation for backpackers:

Hostel Privado (with free luggage keeping service)

Mid-range accommodation:

Booking.com

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Recent Guest Reviews

EXCELLENT
150 reviews on
Mau
Mau
August 28, 2023
Verified
The best island life experience All the team behind our Balabac trip was amazing and incredible! They were all friendly and helpful in our 4 days in Balabac. We went to the best and most pristine beaches in Balabac - and I must say, as a Filipino, this is probably the best beach I have seen in the Philippines! All the food they cooked and prepared were all delicious and the crabs were the bomb! We did karaoke two nights in a row and played volleyball with the local people in the village. The best way to enjoy Balabac!
Wanderer29768033894
Wanderer29768033894
August 28, 2023
Verified
Highly recommended! We had a great time! Really appreciated how love and dedication was put onto everything All of the personnel was very kind, food was great, tours very well planned .. So far, the highlight of our trip so we will recommend the tour to friends and family! ????
Xandra
Xandra
August 22, 2023
Verified
Best place ???? We really enjoyed our stay in your little community.. we really feel the warmth and care as we enter your place..you guys are really so welcoming..and we also enjoy the food, it was all delicious..???? looking forward to visit again soon with my family and friends.. thank you so much and best regards! ????????????
Mimi T
Mimi T
August 15, 2023
Verified
This is vacation! I love the whole experience. This is what a vacation should be. Relaxed. Connecting with nature. No wifi! This is recharging your well-being. Kudos to your team for taking good care of us! Keeping us safe! They were diligent in following all protocols. Food servings were generous. Healthy eating.
Emma Silvia Mancinella
Emma Silvia Mancinella
July 30, 2023
Verified
Best travel adventure This was the best thing we did in our backpacking trip to Southeast Asia. The islands are the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, the vegetarian food was really good and the best part of the trip was our guide Jeremy and the rest of the group! They were amazing! I would do this tour again any day! Thank you for having us ????
Isabela
Isabela
July 8, 2023
Verified
Most authentic experience Thi experience was one of the best I have ever made. You will going to stay in an authentic Philippino village on the beach, eat simple but delicious food, enjoy amazing staff and people. This is not for everyone but only for who wants truly to leave an authentic experience, leaving at home expectation and comfort and just enjoy adventure. Balabac I think will be soon well known so I feel lucky that I can visit now. Highly suggested and I will be back as soon as possible. Thank you!
Nickola O
Nickola O
June 14, 2023
Verified
We want to go back already! We went on the 4D3N tour and we absolutely loved it. The staff were lovely and food really good considering the location. The camp site is very basic as they mention but has everything you need and only adds to the experience. The islands you visit are so beautiful and quiet with the clearest water we have ever seen. This was definitely our highlight in the Philippines.
Isabel G
Isabel G
June 14, 2023
Verified
Amazing tour and authentic island life Through this tour, we were able to authentically experience island life in the Philippines. The campsite was situated on a beautiful island with great spots for swimming, and sunset and sunrise watching. Accommodations are comfortable and basic, perfect for those looking for adventure and to experience something new. Food was very good, a lot better than I expected (3 meals a day with an afternoon snack). Island hopping days went seamlessly and were filled with beautiful sights and the most pristine beaches. The staff who helped with the tour were the best, very helpful, and fun, and with their expertise we were able to visit all the islands during the best times. I 100% recommend booking this tour.
Kendz
Kendz
June 14, 2023
Verified
Genuine Island Life Experience in Balabac Thank you for making our stay the most comfortable and fun we can possibly hope for. We love all the food prepared for us, all islands that we visited and the lovely people we met. It was a good decision to choose you for this indelible unique experience, and truly, one of the most memorable trips my friend and I ever had. 'Til next time! Continue the good work you are doing there guys! P.S. I also hope there will be an effort to clean up the coastline, especially the walk on Punta Sebaring sandbar that has one of the best sunsets and powdery sand that Boracay will surely envy. Maybe, we can add some initiatives like asking tourists or even locals if they will want to join a clean up activity (no pressure of course!) in the morning to pick up bottles/ trash - sort of early sunrise bonding then coffee at the end..
diggz j
diggz j
June 6, 2023
Verified
Superb The staff were very nice especially Jeremy who really took care of us from the start til the end of our tour, kudos to Jeremy!