Nestled in a cove near Cantaan is a beautiful beach with white sand. This beach facing Mindanao is already a surprise. Its officil name is Kabila White Beach. Actually the real surprise is the Giant Clam Nursery.
Time and Distance
Cantaan is only 22km from Mambajao but well hidden. Best transportation is your own rented motorbike. It takes some 30 to 40 minutes to get there. You may first miss the intersection leading to Cantaan. So when you see the wharf of Guinsiliban, make an U-turn. On your way back (about 500 meters), you will see the welcome sign of Cantaan with its Mickey-Mouse. Continue straight through the Barangay. The road is 95% of concrete and sometimes rather steep.
When you are in Cantaan, don't miss the mangroves. Mangroves are interesting trees. They grow in the salty Ocean-Water and protect the coast from errosion.
It is possible to get there by jeepney/bus and tricycle. But then you have to hire the vehicle for half a day or the whole day.
Swimming suit, mask, snorkel, hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
What to see
Already the trip to the south coast is worth to drive slowly. (See Island Roundtrip). If you have never seen Mangrove trees, you should stop in Brgy. Cantaan near the basketball field and make the few steps to the beach. An even bigger Mangrove swamp can be found about 1km after the village. There is a sign indicating the path downhill.
Arriving at the Kabila White Beach you have to pay a small fee and are requested to sign a guest book. Inside you find fine recreation area with one or two food stalls serving Filipino food and cold drinks. At the other end of the park is the breeding center and the education facility with an exhibition.
Inside the breeding center there are glass aquariums with living Giant Clams of the four specimen found in the sea. Under a roof are big round concrete pools with much bigger clams. They are expected to mate and contribute to this reproduction site for Giant Clams.
From the beach you see the marked sanctuary which is actually the nursery.
What to do
It is a pleasure to observe the Giant Clams. They react on your movements and close their shells with astonishing speed. When you approach more carefully, or wait a few seconds while the clam opens again, you can observe the breathing and other movements.
Go over to the round pools and get an impressive image of adult Giant Clams. Inside the education facility there are posters with information about endangered species and thousands of shells. Unfortunately the posters have seen better days but the vivid explanations of the young girls will shed light in your understanding.
If the glass-bottom-boat is operating you may see the Giant Clams without getting wet.
In addition to above dry visits you may go snorkeling around the nursery. You will first get some instructions, especially what you must not do. It is an unforgettable sight of this silent giants. From time to time the one or the other closes their shells with a super fast clap.
- Rent a motorcycle at your resort PHP 400 a day
- Rent a motorela (tricycle) PHP 800 a day
- Rent a
multicab PHP 1000 to 2000, half day/day)
Entrance and others:
- Entrance fee is PHP 25 including all "dry" activities.
- Clam viewing fee in the sea-nursery is PHP 150
- For PHP 50 you can rent mask and snorkel. A floater costs PHP 20.
(A donation to the foundation is gratefully welcome).