The fun never stops in our Caramoan island hopping. I was glad that my family enjoyed our water activity yesterday on the East Side. They were captivated of the stunning islands that loomed through their eyes. For our second day, we will visit the islands on the West Side. This includes Guinahoan Lighthouse, Cotivas, Manlawi Sandbar, and Sabitang Laya.
Read our Day 1 here – > Family Goals: Caramoan Island Day 1: East Side Island Hopping
We woke up early for breakfast and feasted on scrambled egg, espada dried fish (belt fish), plain rice, and Bicol’s cassava suman “binamban” and complemented with 3-in-1 coffee and milo energy drink. This was indeed a heavy meal.
The shiny hint of the sun made everyone excited in our getaway for the day.
Day 2: West Side Trip
This is located in Guinahoan Island, the farthest island we will visit for our second day. It took us about forty-five minutes in getting there from Bikal Port. Few distances from the jump-off point is a small community where the locals busy selling cold refreshments like buko juice and soft drinks. Surprisingly, there is “lato” or sea grapes. I guess the island is abounding of these edible seaweeds.
It was 8:00 am but we already felt the muddling summer heat when we set out for the short trek. From the jump-off point, it took us about fifteen minutes in getting to the lighthouse. It was not steep compared to Dingalan so it will not wear out people. Elders can manage to go uphill.
From the top, we were awed of vast grassland, the “Batanes” like rolling hills, the nearby Lahuy Island, and the surrounding islets comprising the Caramoan Peninsula. We did not swim; we just laze around for several minutes and headed back to the busy community. We bought buko juice to quench our thirst.
This is situated between the islands of Lahuy and Basot. This is one of the favorite island destinations when exploring Caramoan as it provides huts for a lunch stop, to doze off or simply, to rest.
A huge part of the ivory white sand that stretches wide greeted us as we approached the island. It was low tide so our boat docked away from the shore. We walked through the shallow crystal clear waters with starfishes along the way. Surprisingly, we ended up in a sandbar. I did not expect to see this in Cotivas for I knew Manlawi has it.
The entire stretch was gleaming under the hot summer noon’s glow. The sand was powdery soft. It was so wonderful to walk around, taking selfies, groupies, the jump shot, and even the FHM shots! Haha!
Since it is still early for lunch, we waded like a child taking delight in the clear and shallow waters.
This beautiful island has several nipa huts, which is perfect for lunch. However, when we approached the island there was no sandbar yet as its vast portion is submerged by water. With our stuff, we hopped out from the boat and traversed the knee-deep water with several seaweeds on the seafloor.
Since it was noontime, we rented a nipa hut and feasted our lunch. We had fresh seafood like grilled squid (so big!) and shrimps with a dipping sauce of soy sauce and calamansi. However, the desert was left in the resort. Anyway, the food was tasty and the squid was tenderized perfectly. We ate with bare hands.
Later, we rented a kayak. Amidst the scorching heat of the sun, each one of us paddled on the shallow and calm water. It gave me a blissful relaxation as I tried this water activity on the shimmering blue-green waters. A moment later, we all went swimming. Though we missed out the glorious sandbar of Manlawi, we enjoyed immersing our bodies into the water because it was so clean and crystal clear.
Rates of nipa huts range from Php500 to Php1,000 depending on its size. For the Kayak, you may rent it for Php200 for one hour and Php300 for two hours.
We were told that Sabitang Laya is the favorite location site of the reality tv show, Survivor series. When we hopped on the island, we were surprised to see a towering wooden structure erected in a good portion of the shores. This will be utilized for the next episode of Survivor.
It felt good to be back on my second favorite island in Caramoan, Matukad being first. What is so nice about the island is that you can swim in the long stretch or to the other side that is just a short walk from each other. The towering limestone rock formations were captivating, indeed, a good backdrop for photo ops.
However, the high tide submerged the long stretch. As we walked around, a concerned boatman warned us to stay away from deadly box jellyfish sighted a few minutes ago. Afraid that we might encounter this sea creature, we headed at the other side to swim. This island is oftentimes the last leg of island hopping that’s why people flocked in this area to savor the last hour for swimming as well as picture taking on the limestone rock formations.
Remembering my first time in Sabitang Laya with my colleagues, it was a rewarding feeling that we had the place all by ourselves. The water then was so clear, shallow, and refreshing.
Now, when we dashed on the water, it was warm and not as clear as the first time I set foot on the island. I felt a bit disappointed with my expectations. Anyway, the therapeutic effect of the warm water accorded a wonderful body relaxation.
Tired of swimming, we basked in the afternoon sun while sitting on the shore. It was so delightful to stay still while looking at the shimmering sea, hearing the chirping of the birds and looking at the boundless sky above.
It was nice to stay for the night on the island, unfortunately, camping is not allowed. Well, it was fine so the island can maintain and preserve its pristine beauty.
The Happy Feeling
When we went back to the resort, everyone was tired but happy and satisfied. I was glad that the magnificent charm of all the islands we visited thrilled my family. They did not mind the long road trip in getting here because they were not disappointed by their expectations. For them, Caramoan is one of the stunning islands they would certainly visit again.
Caramoan affords a brief respite from the busy city life and a summer getaway that will bring families and friends close together.
After we washed-up, we leisurely rest in the living room as if we owned the house. We were thankful to Kuya Allan for serving us freshly cooked biko. It was as yummy as the sweetened biko I tasted in my hometown in Albay.
Our Caramoan Tour
As I mentioned in my post for Day I Island hopping, I 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 is 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. Though most of the roads are paved, beware of the sinuous and dangerous curves.
The resort has six air-con rooms and two fan rooms. They have a parking lot that will accommodate 3 to 4 cars. I commend the couple Kuya Allan and Ate Rose for being friendly and good hosts. Our room is clean and comfy. Their comfort room is also clean and their faucets have running water. They attended to our needs fast and with a smile. Their food is delicious. I love their biko. All their staff is courteous and helpful.
We spent our two nights swapping stories over a cup of unli coffee and cold beer.
Thank you, Kuya Allan and Ate Rose for the good accommodation. Two thumbs up!
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.
In getting there through Public Transport:
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