Come South! Cam Sur! Ms. Millennial 2017 Julia Gonowon’s shout out beckoned my family to visit Caramoan Island. I was thankful for this beauty pageant in the noontime show Eat Bulaga as they highlighted the beauty of Caramoan. As such, I convinced them easily to visit one of the stunning islands in Bicolandia and I was so excited to bring them here!
Dubbed as the Emerging Paradise of the Pacific because of its pristine beaches, Caramoan is now one of Bicol’s pride. It is located at the tip of Caramoan Peninsula comprising ten principal islands and many islets. Aside from its stunning beaches, it has also caves, limestone cliffs, and is famous for the shooting location of the competitive reality tv show Survivor.
I was so lazy to do the DIY itinerary for this vacation so I just searched for a package tour and stumbled at Al Del Rio Villa Resort owned by Kuya Allan and Ate Rose for a rate of P3,300/head. Transportation is not included for we will bring our car. This includes:
- 3-day, 2-night stay
- island-hopping for East and West sides
- complete set of meal (2 breakfast, 2 lunch, and 2 dinner)
- unli coffee (3-in-1)
- drinking water
What’s new in getting to Caramoan?
Good news for those who are afraid to ride the boat in getting to Caramoan because the rough roads are now paved. From Naga City, it can be accessible by cars and buses for three to four hours. But though most of the roads are paved, beware of the sinuous and dangerous curves.
From Manila, our travel time in getting to Naga City took us 12 hours because of several stop-overs (mostly from eating hahaha!). Then from Naga, we consumed four hours in getting to Barangay Bikal in Caramoan. It’s good that my son relieved my hubby in this long drive.
We arrived at 5:00 pm at the resort. Ate Rose and Kuya Allan warmly welcomed us with a smile and 3-in-1 coffee. Later we took rest in our room.
At night time, we had a hearty dinner of laing (Bicol’s famous dish), adobong chicken, fried talakitok fish, sinigang na buto buto, and plain rice. After a while, we strolled around in the vicinity until we reached Bikal Port. The serenity and the night cool breeze brought a feeling of excitement in getting back in one of my favorite island destinations.
We woke up early for our first island hopping. We ate our breakfast of fried hot dog, fried egg, fried langkoy fish, pandesal, plain rice, and unli coffee. Indeed it was a heavy and yummy meal, enough to fuel up our bodies for the day’s exciting island hopping! Yipee!
Day 1: The East Side island hopping
These are the islands we visited on our first day.
This my favorite island in Caramoan. It has the clearest water and with fine powdery sand. However, it is not only its main draw. The limestone rock formations added charm to this island. The mythical milkfish on the hidden lake is a must-see. On my first visit, there was only one fish, now it is two. Unfortunately, I was not able to trek that time because of the long queue.
I coerced my family to see the milkfish but it was only me and Shen set out for the trek. It was a minor climb only but the sharp-pointed rocks slowed down our pacing. I admired my daughter’s agility. She had no experience climbing mountains yet, but she climbed fast leaving me behind.
We did it in ten minutes in getting down the lake. We were so amused to see the two big milkfish swimming freely on the water. I was so excited to capture photos using my SLR. Unfortunately, they did not appear in any of my shots. Sounds enchanting right? Anyway, I was so happy seeing them alive. Haha!
Matukad means to climb. Remember to bring appropriate footwear for this trek!
Lahos Island (of Lajos Island)
This another beautiful island in Caramoan. Its uniqueness is the two big identical rock formations where you can swim from one beach to the other. It has clear water and creamy white powdery sand too. The docking area has stones and rocks on the sea bottom. You can swim to the other side up to the waist level deep.
During high tide, the island disappears. This is where it gets its name, “lahos” or “laho” which is vanish in English. On the rainy season, boats cannot dock on the island. We were glad as of our visit, the stunning beach is in its full glory.
We chose a shaded part to feast our lunch which consisted of plain rice, grilled fish, rebusadong crab, adobong chicken, banana for dessert, and 2 liters of coke.
This one is a secluded beach, ideal for swimming and snorkeling. It has a small strip of sand and stunning limestone rock formations. We did not hop on the island because we prefer to snorkel near the sandy shore. The water was calm and clear but there were only small fishes swimming under the water.
This has a fine strip of gray sand, big boulders, and limestone rock formations. We were the only people when we hopped in here. Luckily, we owned the island for half an hour for ourselves. The water was clear and shallow and the sea bed has no rocks, perfect to laze under the afternoon sun.
We were amazed to see a big rock thickly covered by an oyster shell. Meaning, the water can engulf the entire island during high tide. We enjoyed our afternoon swim here. Since this is the last leg of our island hopping, we immersed ourselves in a leisure rest on the shady area.
Since it was so hot after lunch, we skipped trekking the hill in Tagbon Island where the Shrine of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary is found. We only visited four islands but it was just fine since all had enjoyed the sun and sand activity for the day. Everyone had witnessed how beautiful the islands of Caramoan is.
St. Michael The Archangel Parish
The fun and excitement did not stop in island hopping. After eating our snack we head off at the town proper and explore. We visited the town’s red brick parish church which is celebrating its 400 years of faith.
Then we bought pasalubong goodies such as key chains, ref magnets, mugs, coin purse, and t-shirts in a nearby souvenir store.
We were late to reserve two rooms. Fortunately, the available room (air-con) is good enough for the six of us. It has one double bed, one double bunk bed, private bathroom, Led TV, electric fan, and a small table.
Al Del Rio Villa Resort
I commend the couple Kuya Allan and Ate Rose for being friendly and good hosts. Our room is clean and has a running faucet. They attended to our needs fast and with a smile. They even served us delicious biko for afternoon snack. Their staff is courteous and helpful. We spent our two nights swapping stories over a cup of unli coffee and cold beer. They have parking lot, which fits 3 to 4 cars.
In getting to Caramoan:
From Cubao, ride Raymond Bus that goes directly to Caramoan. Aircon-P980, Ordinary-P780. Travel time will take 13 to 15 hours.
From Naga, ride a bus bound to Caramoan (Raymond or MRR) at Central Bus Terminal. Fare – P220 to P230. Travel time will take 3.5 to 4 hours.
If you want a fast trip, travel by airplane through Cebu Pacific bound to Naga City. It has a daily flight and travel time will take about 40 minutes. From the airport, ride a taxi going to Naga City Bus Terminal and ride a bus bound to Caramoan (Raymond Bus or MRR, with fare from P220-230.
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