travel

Calaguas Islands: Adventure in Camarines Norte

I’ve heard about Calaguas a few years back, when everybody’s been raving about its unspoiled beauty, far from the crowd of the city.  What made me crave for this island in Bicol is the beautiful creamy white sands and the clear sapphire sea. I’ve always wanted to go the moment I saw photos of it on the internet. However, nobody would ever dare accompany me.

April 8, 2016 –– Since making new friends who also share the same passion for traveling, I was happy to join a group tour to the glorious coast of Calaguas.  Located in the town of Vinzons in the province of  Camarines Norte, it took us roughly 2  to 3  hours boat ride to reach the shore of Mahabang Buhangin. It was nothing compared to the 8-hour drive going to Daet from Manila. Dreadful as it may sound, the experience was worth the long travel.

When we docked to the shores of Mahabang Buhangin, the whole place was packed with tourists like us who were hyped with excitement to visit the talked-about island.  Seeing this, I was reminded of the missed chance to witness the island when it was still in its rawness.

 

 

 

 

 

Because of the number of the boats, only a few space were available for people to dip in. If one would like an area where they can freely swim and float around, it would take around 5 – 8 minutes walk to go to the other end of the coast. At least the stretch of the beach was long enough to accommodate this great number of people. Although a lot has flocked to Calaguas this summer, I was still beyond amazed with the beach. The creamy fine sands and crystal clear waters did not fail me. It was the most beautiful thing that touched the sole of my feet. Plus the sea was almost the same hue as the sky. This is what I came here for!

For the accommodation, there’s Waling-waling Eco-Village for those who want a comfortable stay. For shoestring travelers, camping is the best option. Pitching your tent costs ₱100/night. Rental of tent good for 3-4 pax is ₱350/night. In case you forgot to pack something for the trip,  there are sari-sari stores around the camping area selling soft drinks, ice candies, chips and even playing cards. Also, on the island is a number of cottages where groups can gather around to enjoy their meals, or play card games or simply rest after a long walk. I recommend tourists to get a cottage because it’s convenient as you dry yourself off after taking a dip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The source of water on the island is the deep well. Here, people fetch water by pumping it from the poso. A pail of water costs ₱10.00.  Taking showers and number #2 is no longer a dilemma since the shower and toilet rooms are already built for the convenience of the campers. There are locals on-the-watch to monitor the tourists who wish to use the facility. What I love about our tour package was the help from our guide. They were really hands-on in assisting us during our stay on the island. The food they prepared for us were sulit!

 

If you’re planning to do-it-yourself, below are the fees you need to settle:

Environmental fee: ₱20
Entrance fee: ₱100
Camping  Fee: ₱100/night
Cottage Fee: ₱500/night

 

 

WHAT TO DO IN CALAGUAS

So you planned for a 2-day stay in the island  –  you camped, swam, and took gazillions of photos. Now what? Aside from beach bumming, swimming and camping, the beauty of Calaguas can be truly appreciated by trying following activities:

  • skimboarding (via Waling-Waling Eco-Village)
  • snorkeling (bring your own equipment)
  • kayaking (via Waling-Waling Eco-Village)
  • beach volleyball
  • island hopping
  • trekking
  • watch fire dancing show (at night)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calaguas at night

The twinkling dots on the cosmic ocean was the highlight of my Calaguas trip. Before capping off the night, we stayed on the beach to watch the vast night sky. It was my first time to have an unobstructed view of the heavens and we were left completely in awe of God’s creation. After trying to capture a photo of the milky way, my friends and I just played around with the camera.

 

 

Trekking

Trekking to Calaguas hilltop was one of the memorable adventures we had on the island. The environmental/entrance fee to trek is ₱20 per person. It only took less than 30 minutes to get to the top. The view of the rolling hills reminded me so much of Earth’s overlooked beauty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guide to Mahabang Buhangin, Calaguas Island

 

  • In Vinzons Port, buy the large plastic bag (for ₱16 a piece) and put your bags in it to protect your things from getting wet.
  • I don’t recommend tourists to buy the halo-halo (for ₱35).
  • Buy the ice candy in Vinzons Port (for ₱15 a piece). Try the buko salad flavor!
  • Take a lot of photos while you’re in Calaguas. And fall in love with this island the way I did. <3
  • Take a side trip to Bagasbas in Daet! Learn to surf!

 

 

[tg_accordion title=”Itinerary and Budget” icon=”” close=”0″]Note: This itinerary was based from a guided tour, not a DIY.

 

[one_fourth]Day 0 (April 8)[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]09:30 PM[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]Assembly at Mcdo Bay Park (Macapagal Ave. Cor. Edsa)[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth_last]₱ 2,950  / head (Travel Tour Package inclusive of transportation via private van, gas and toll fees, environmental and entrance fees, boat ride, camp fee, cottage fee, tents, drinking water and 3-meals in island) [/one_fourth_last][one_fourth][/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]10:00 PM[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]ETD from Manila to Vinzons, Camarines Norte[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth_last][/one_fourth_last]

 

[one_fourth]Day 1 (April 9)[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]06:00 AM[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]ETA in Daet Market[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth_last]₱ 350  / head (Own account, food on the road!)[/one_fourth_last][one_fourth][/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]07:00 AM[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]ETA in Vinzons Port; Breakfast (own account)[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth_last][/one_fourth_last][one_fourth][/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]08:00 AM[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]Ride Boat to Calaguas Island[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth_last][/one_fourth_last][one_fourth][/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]10:00 AM[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]ETA Mahabang Buhangin Calaguas Island[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth_last][/one_fourth_last][one_fourth][/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]12:00 NN[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]Lunch (camping meal 1)[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth_last][/one_fourth_last][one_fourth][/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]01:00 PM[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]Swimming, Freetime, Games[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth_last]₱ 100  / head (Shower and toilet in Calaguas island, shower and toilet in Bagasbas, ice candy, halo-halo, etc.)[/one_fourth_last][one_fourth][/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]07:00 PM[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]Dinner (camping meal 2)[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth_last][/one_fourth_last][one_fourth][/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]08:00 PM[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]Socials[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth_last][/one_fourth_last][one_fourth][/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]11:00 PM[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]Lights out[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth_last][/one_fourth_last]

 

[one_fourth]Day 2 (April 10)[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]05:00 AM[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]Wake-up call, coffee, proceed to summit[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth_last][/one_fourth_last][one_fourth][/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]05:30 AM[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]ETA Summit, photo ops[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth_last][/one_fourth_last][one_fourth][/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]06:30 AM[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]Descend to campsite[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth_last][/one_fourth_last][one_fourth][/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]07:00 AM[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]Breakfast (camping meal 3)[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth_last][/one_fourth_last][one_fourth][/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]08:00 AM[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]Break camp[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth_last][/one_fourth_last][one_fourth][/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]09:00 AM[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]ETD at Calaguas Island[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth_last][/one_fourth_last][one_fourth][/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]11:00 AM[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]ETA Vinzons (Lunch Own Account)[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth_last][/one_fourth_last][one_fourth][/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]12:00 PM[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]Ride to Bagasbas[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth_last][/one_fourth_last][one_fourth][/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]01:00 PM[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]ETA Bagasbas, Freetime, Optional: Surfing[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth_last]₱ 400  / head (Bagasbas Surfing for 1 hour with Board Rental and Instructor)[/one_fourth_last][one_fourth][/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]03:00 PM[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]ETD Daet to Manila[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth_last][/one_fourth_last][one_fourth][/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]01:00 AM[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]ETA Manila[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth_last][/one_fourth_last][one_fourth][/one_fourth]
[one_fourth][/one_fourth]
[one_fourth]ESTIMATED BUDGET[/one_fourth]
[one_fourth_last]₱ 3,200 / head[/one_fourth_last]

[/tg_accordion]

[tg_accordion title=”Related Posts” icon=”” close=”0″]Other Destinations in Bicol Region

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1 Comment

  1. Best rate boat rental in paracale 450/pax for 10 persons, 430/pax for 15 persons, also we can accept for joiners. With free islandhopping, free drinking water, and ice.thank you and GODbless. Very helpful this blog, thanks ms.louisse

    Just pm to my fb account @ ernjace escandor osillo
    Or you can send by email @ calaguastoureo@yahoo.com

    CHEAP BOAT RENTAL VIA PARACALE TO CALAGUAS ISLAND. KINDLY TEXT US 09486793920, 09471109451, or 09303829656. Contact KUYA JACK, JES, and ATE BEBE. TNX MUCH AND GODBLESS MARINA ACCREDITED WITH INSURANCE AND CPC. THE FIRST ONE AND GOOD SERVICES TOUR OPERATOR IN PARACALE SINCE 2008

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