Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Travel Guide | Calaguas Island in Camarines Norte

Aside from Caramoan Island, one of the beautiful destinations that you need to visit in Bicol Region is Calaguas Island. It is located in the province of Camarines Norte which about 7-8 hours travel from Manila. Lots of tourists are comparing the island to the white sand beach of Boracay.

Calaguas Island is composed of beautiful islands such as Tinaga Island, Guintinua Island, Maculabo Island and other minor islands. This beautiful and enchanting paradise features a long stretch of beach with powdery white sand, pristine clear water and dotted green trees, a place where you can relax and find a peace of mind.

The long stretch of beach named Halabang Baybay/Mahabang Buhangin (Long Sand Beach) can be reached via two hour boat ride from the mainland. Boat fees range from P2500-P6000 ( depends on the number of pax and season). Small boat can fit four to five people while big boat can fit 15 to 20 pax. It's advisable to travel here during summer season. It's also recommended to leave the island before 2PM. The last time we visited Calaguas, we were surprised with big waves. It's really scary. We're all wet when we arrived at the jump off point. 

Tinaga Island is the most visited place by backpackers and travel adventurers. It's 2.5- 3KM white powder white beach with crystal clear water and unspoiled natural resources. You can swim here, sunbathing, play volleyball and frisbee, camping, hiking and a lot of outdoor activities.

How to get to Calaguas Island

Take a bus bound to Camarines Norte (Bicol Philippines). Bus terminals are located in Cubao, Quezon City (near Ali Mall), Pasay (near MRT Taft) and Alabang (near Metropolis Mall). Famous bus lines that offer Manila to Camarines Norte (Daet) trips include Philtranco, Superlines, DLTB Amihan, Raymond and Penafrancia. Bus fare ranges from Php500 -Php600. Fare rates for air-conditioned bus is different from non-air-conditioned bus. Travel time is around 8-9 hours for bus and 6-7 hours for  a private car.

For those who will travel by plane, local airlines such as Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Asia offer flights from Manila to Naga. Travel time is around 45 minutes.The town of Daet is two hours from Naga. There are vans bound to Daet which departs at 5am and the last trip is around 7PM. Van terminal is located at Naga Van Terminal.

Travel via Vinzons

From Daet, take a jeepney ride to Minaogan fishport in Vinzons which takes 20 minutes. Then, take the boat going to Barangay Banocboc which leaves daily at 11AM. Look for a banca or a fishing boat going to Mahabang Buhangin (boat cost around P500-P3000).

Travel via Parcacle

From Daet, take the public van to Paracale, From there, go to the fish port.Hire a boat to Tinaga Island and dock at Mahabang Buhangin. 

Travel Tips

1. It's advisable to travel in a group to save more money
2. Night is trip better to get out from the traffic jam in the morning
3. It's cheaper to hire a fishing boat rather than to hire passenger boat.
4. Bring powerbank because there's no electricity in the island. Locals use generator. Lights will be on from 6PM to 6AM
5. Protect your gadgets from water by bringing plastic, drybag, etc.
6. Check first the weather before going to the island
7. Bring sunblock to protect your skin from the direct heat of the sun
8. As much as possible, wear comfortable clothes like tank top, short, sando etc.
9. Bring tent or hammock if you are going to stay overnight in the island. Waling Waling Eco Village is the only resort yet in the island. It offers accomodations (14 open air cabanas with 2 hammocks)
10. There  are available cottages in the island. There are also small store and wet market in the island

If you have other blog, reviews, opinions or comments about Calaguas Island, please put a comment below. Happy travelling!

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