I’m currently in the state of rejuvenating my skin from sunburn last week. Aside with my toasted skin arms, everything that happened for 3 days in Caramoan Island is absolutely amazing! Let me share you what happened so if there’s still at least 3 days remaining in your vacation, you can still visit Caramoan Islands.
Let me share to you my adventure and the secrets of Caramoan Islands.
The Caramoan Peninsula is located at Camarines Sur, near the City of Naga. The municipality covers approximately 277.41 sq.kilometers with approximately 41 miles of irregular coastline surrounded by the vast ocean, bay, seas, and swamps. It is 500 kilometers from Metro Manila which gives you a hint that you’ll be spending almost half of your day travelling by bus. A real pain in the butt. But looking info and photos in the internet is nothing compared to the real experience, so we planned our adventure and immediately booked a trip to Naga City to make this out-of-town before it become straight out-of-paper(a drawing).
We got a tour guide and settled all the payments including food, a place to sleep, and a boat that can take us to the islands. As the day finally came, we packed our gears, charged our gadgets, and board the bus going Naga City.
There are 2 ways to get to Caramoan: You can either ride a plane to avoid the dancing PUVs and busses on zigzag and cliff-sides, or spend a night riding a bus then: tricycle, van, boat, and van again to reach the ideal Villas of Caramoan. Plane is the fastest way to get there but it’s very expensive. The boat is big. It can accommodate 1 whole bus passengers in one trip.
The boat ride is more than 2 hours. You can’t feel the sunny weather because of the cold breeze from the vast sea. The boat constantly slows down whenever we go near an island over very low waters. The crewmen are so careful not to hit the sea floor and the starfishes around.
The next day, our tour guide came to pick us up. We arrived to check-in at La Vila De Leonila Tourist Inn, Caramoan. The area is booming with tourist inns, beer houses, sea food restaurants, and souvenir shops. Upon walking around, we noticed that some shops have a distinctive familiar merchandise of Survivor Philippines.
We got there late and missed the chance to check the nearby islands. But there’s still time so after an hour of resting, we set sail and managed to visit 2 of the 5 islands on the list: The Laos Island and Matukad Island. The Laos Island is like 2 small islands divided by sand bar while Matukad Island is the home to the two mythical Bangus (milkfish). According to the Legend, no one knows how the fresh water fishes get in that mysterious lagoon and how they survived for a long time.
The next day, we climbed the Mt. Caglago – Grotto of Our Lady of Peace, Bugtong Island. We endured the 500+ steps and reached the top with 360 view of Caramoan. Then jumped to the next island of floating cottages to eat our lunch, the Manlawi Island with 2 hectares of Sand Bar during low tide, holding the record of the biggest sand bar in the Philippines. you can literally walk on water. After lunch, our boatmen showed their boat-driving skill to avoid hitting stones and sea creatures to get us close to Guinahoan Island and see a real light house up-close. After that, we chose Cotivas Island as our final Island for our wondrous adventure before heading back to the inn.
Our tour guide was planning to visit a specific island where tourists are not allowed to take photos. But unfortunately, the visiting window is too narrow (plus we’re a bunch of rule-breakers too). This should be a secret island but locals will tell it to you anyway. I won’t tell you, so that you will discover it yourself. The souvenir shops, the amount of foreigners, and the flags will tell you. Something that proves the beauty of our islands internationally. A secret that will keep Caramoan a top tourist destination for decades.
On our 3rd and last day, we visited the old town church to thank God and ask for protection on our long journey back to our homes. We bought pasalubongs and souvenirs and finally said goodbye to the inn keepers of the villa at Caramoan, and to our awesome tour guide.
It’s one of the best adventures of my life. The effort and budget I gave is worth it. I wish I can show everything to you, but like what I’ve said, info and photos in the internet is nothing compared to the real experience. If you’re going there, do me a favor:
“Be a responsible tourist and please keep the secret.” okay?
By Snow White
Special thanks to my friends (you guys know who you are), to the people of La Villa De Leonila Tourist Inn, to our 2 rocking boatmen, and to our Tour guide Sir.Macky (0918-678-1103 or 0905-230-4464).