Caramoan amazing island life and paradise

Come and join us travel to Caramoan is located in the lower eastern part of the province of Camarines Sur in the Bicol Region of the Philippines. It is surrounded by the waters of the Maqueda Channel on the north and east and Lagonoy Gulf on the south. Though it’s part of Camarines Sur, geographically the town proper and islands are closer by sea travel from the island province of Catanduanes. For the longest time, Caramoan was previously only accessible by sea travel because of rough roads. Those traveling with cars and motorcycles will be happy to know that as of 2018, the mainland town of Caramoan is accessible by land travel from Naga City, roughly 3 to 4 hours away through the newly constructed Fuentabella Highway. The province of Camarines Sur itself is an 8 to 12 hour drive from Manila through the provinces of Rizal, Quezon and Camarines Norte.

How to get to caramoan, take a bus from Manila at Araneta-Cubao Bus Terminal or Pasay Bus Terminal to Naga City (Bus fare ranges from 650 to 1000 pesos depending on the bus company and class). You can book bus tickets online at Bicol Isarog Lines. Travel time usually takes 8 to 10 hours. Buses depart every night at around 8:30 to 9:00 pm and arrive in Naga City Central Bus Terminal between 4:00 am to 6:00 am. From Naga City Central Bus Terminal, take a Florencia, MRR or Raymond Bus to Caramoan. Buses depart at 6:30 am. Travel time is 4 hours. Estimated time of arrival in Caramoan is 10:30 am. Second option still at Naga City Central Bus Terminal, Go to the East Bound Terminal or Van Terminal located near St. Joseph School at the back of SM City Naga. Take an aircon van or Filcab to Sabang Port (Aircon Van fare is 150 pesos). Travel time is 1 and half to 2 hours. Vans depart at 6:00 am and estimated time of arrival in Sabang Port is 7:30 to 8:00 am. From Sabang Port, take the boat that goes to Caramoan Guijalo Port. Boat fare is 120 pesos. Travel time is roughly 1 hour and 45 minutes. The last trip of the ferry boat going inside and outside Caramoan is 11:00 am. It’s best to leave Naga City before 9:00 am to catch the boat. Special trips or chartered boat rides cost 2500 to 3000 pesos. Getting around caramoan, Within the town proper, tricycles are the main mode of transportation. Fare costs 10 pesos to nearby destinations. From the town proper of Caramoan, you will need to charter a boat from the Bikal Port at Ba rang ay. Paniman to get around. From Bikal Port, island-hopping trips usually range 1500 to 4000 pesos (good for 6 pax) per day depending on the number and distance of the islands you plan to visit. If you’re staying in Tugawe Cove Resort, they have hassle-free island-hopping packages and boats you can rent from there as well. You can stay in caramoan at Gota Village Beach Resort is an exclusive beachfront resort where most of the Survivor crew stayed while filming the reality show. This resort is located 30 minutes away by boat from Guijalo port. All rooms are air-conditioned and come equipped with a Queen sized bed, private toilet and hot and cold shower, and the medium and large wood cabins have their own mini ref, receiving room and dining area. There packages are Small Wood Cabin – 3750 pesos per night (good for 2 pax). Medium Wood Cabin- 4250 per night (good for 2 to 3 pax). Large Wood Cabin – 4750 per night (good for 2 to 3 pax). Second option where you can stay at Honungan Cove is the most upscale place to stay in Caramoan. They have exclusive villas for guests and tourists only and secured premises. All rooms are air-conditioned, come with Queen Sized beds, private toilet and hot and cold shower and have their own mini ref, receiving room and dining area. There packages are Duplex – 7500 pesos per night (good for 2 pax). Mountain Side – 9250 pesos per night (good for 2 to 3 pax). Beach Front – 11250 pesos per night (good for 2 to 3 pax). Deluxe Cove – 12250 pesos per night (good for 2 to 3 pax). Presidential Suite – 18000 pesos per night (2 Fully Air-condition rooms, good for 4 to 6 pax), 2 Private toilets, bathroom with hot and cold shower, Kitchen and dining area, large living room. For backpackers and those on a budget, the best option is to stay near the poblacion of Caramoan and just go on a day trip. There are lots of budget-friendly inns and other accommodations in the town proper of Caramoan.

Activities in Caramoan are island-hopping, Swimming or snorkeling, Stand-Up Paddleboard. Camping (bring your own tent and equipment), Caving/Spelunking at nearby caves, Kayaking, Cliff-jumping, Trekking or Hiking, Climb 500 steps in Caglago Mountain up to a gigantic statue of Our Lady of Holy Rosary Mother of Peace, visit the St. Michael the Archangel Parish, a brick church established by Franciscan missionaries in 1619 located in the town center of Caramoan. The best thing to do in Caramoan is to go island-hopping and visit all the beaches and islands scattered on the coast. Below are just some of the spots that I’ve been able to visit on three separate trips (2012, 2016 and 2018). Some spots may not be visited if the show Survivor is being filmed, or due to varying weather conditions or tide levels. Choose which islands you want to visit to maximize your time. Matukad Island: A small island with fine white sand and prominent limestone cliffs. The area has three beaches and a lagoon. Because of its proximity to Paniman, this is one of the more popular islands in Caramoan. Matukad Lagoon: One of the main attractions here is Matukad Lagoon, a small lake known for being the home to “giant milkfish” or bangus swimming around the water, which locals say appeared magically in the lagoon. Getting a view of the lagoon involves a bit of cliff scrambling. Lahos Island: A stretch of fine white sand shore facing opposite sides sandwiched between two identical rock formations. During high-tide, the beach disappears and it can only be seen again during low tide. This is where the island gets its name, as “Lahos” means to vanish. Big Catanaguan or Katanawhan Island: A beautiful isolated island that doesn’t get a lot of tourists compared to the others. There’s a very wide beach with grayish brown sand. On one side of the island is a little sandbar connecting to a rocky hill where the waves meet in the middle. Little Catanaguan or Katanawhan Island: A short boat ride from the bigger island, the smaller Catanaguan Island has beautiful limestone rock formations and a white sand beach reminiscent of El Nido. The rocks provide a secluded and shaded swimming area with little cave-like entrances near the shore. Pitogo Island: Pitogo Island has an approximately 6 to 7 hectares of total land area. One side of the island is hidden in a serene almost enclosed cove where the water is so still. The water is shallow, which makes this a great spot for kids. Really beautiful and peaceful spot. Lantangan Beach: The other side of the island known as Lantangan Beach or Pitogo Rock Beach is characterized by a unique smooth-edged shoreline lined with white pebbled stones rather than white sand. From here, you can climb to the top of the summit of a grassy hill to get a breathtaking view of Pitogo Bay. Enjoy the island life and embrace nature away from the buzzing city crowd and noise.

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