Matukad Beach Caramoan Island

8 Places to Visit in Caramoan Islands that will leave you CAPTIVATED

I mentioned before that I had been to Caramoan Islands, but I still haven’t had the chance to blog about it. Thankfully, Travel Book. Ph hosted a bloggers contest wherein I won with fourteen other travel bloggers an all-expense-paid trip to Caramoan, Camarines Sur, Philippines.

I did not only got to revisit the captivating beauty of Caramoan Islands, but I was also able to meet fellow Philippine travel bloggers/ Travel Book.Ph blogger affiliates and Travel Book. Ph’s staff who are some of the nicest and jolliest people in the blogosphere. They really made the trip memorable. And I got to bring home friendship that I could cherish for a lifetime.

For those who don’t know about Travel Book.Ph yet, you may check them at http://travelbook.ph/. Meanwhile, for those who want to become a Travel Book.Ph blogger affiliate like me, you can sign up at http://affiliate.travelbook.ph/.

 

Caramoan Islands


DAY 1


1. Matukad Island

Matukad Beach Caramoan

Matukad is a Bicolano word for “climb.” True enough there is a need to climb jagged limestone karsts to be able to see a beautiful top view or some mystical milkfishes in a lagoon. As I had not been able to climb it during my first visit due to rain, I did not let the opportunity slip to finally experience it.

 

Matukad Beach Caramoan Island

I’m neither a mountaineer nor a rock climber. I’m also not physically fit. Despite the danger of what the sharp rocks might bring, I persisted climbing and prayed to God to give me protection. 

 

After minutes that seemed hours of putting hands and landing feet here and there, I made it to the top and saw this beautiful birds eye view.

IMG_5129

 

I then went to the other side and descended near the lagoon to complete my goal which was to catch a glimpse of the fabled milkfishes .

Matukad Beach Caramoan

I’ve been intrigued of those milkfishes (which are just ambiguous black figures in the photo) ever since I heard the tragic story connected with it. According to the locals, a boatman caught one of the milkfishes for him and his family to eat, but all of them died for an unknown reason after eating it. No one certainly ever since that incident dared to catch it.

 

With my mission complete, I descended back to the ground. Praise God I returned unscathed.

Matukad Beach Caramoan Island

Aside from the prominent limestone cliffs, the beach of Matukad island itself was quite enjoyable too. The sand may not be powdery white, but the fine sand makes it a perfect place for picknicking and beach bumming.

 

2. Lahos Island

Lahos Island

Apart from being one of the shooting locations of the Survivor television show, Lahos island is known for having a narrow strip of sloping white beach serving as both a division and a path between two beaches. Lahos is actually a Bicolano term for “pass through.”

 

The first side of the beach is where the boats dock and the gorgeous people land.

Travel Book.Ph
Photo credit to Travel Book.Ph Bloggers Affiliate Program.

 

Meanwhile, the other beach is where one can freely swim. I enjoyed swimming here so much that I was only able to take this photo when we were about to leave.

Lahos Island

The waters may look calm, but there are strong waves that pound from time to time.

We had a lot of fun on that side of the beach that our laughter can be heard from afar while we hold hands and jump together in the aquamarine water.

Lahos Island
Photo credit to Travel Book.Ph Bloggers Affiliate Program.

 

For those who don’t want to swim, having a mini photo shoot with Caramoan Island’s stunning rock formations is definitely not to be missed.

We can never be royals but we can be like a boss 😂👌🏼 #lovefoodtravel #Caramoan #TravelBookPh #TravelMore

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3. Cagbalinad Island

Cagbalinad Island

The Cagbalinad island is a limestone island with a small beach area. We didn’t set foot on the island anymore as our boat anchored far away. Plus, the main attraction of the island is its snorkeling site.

 

Good thing I brought swimming goggles with me to the trip as I miss seeing corals teeming with marine life. The water wasn’t very clear during our visit, but the colorful fishes in their natural habitat can still be seen nonetheless.

Caramoan Islands
Photo credit to Travel Book.Ph Bloggers Affiliate Program.

 

For those who are not into snorkeling or don’t have any gear to view the bottom, Cagbalinad island can also be a place for just floating around in a life vest or not.

Cagbalinad Island
Photo credit to Travel Book.Ph Bloggers Affiliate Program.

 

4. Yupakit Beach
Yupakit Beach

Although this is a private beach owned by Al Del Rio Villa Resort, it is a captivating place to visit in the Caramoan islands as it is situated in the horizon as mentioned in my previous post. We ended our island hopping adventure for day one on this island.


DAY 2


5. Bag-ing Beach

Caramoan Islands

No visit to Caramoan islands will be complete without feeling like a castaway. Bag-ing beach offers that secluded experience with rowdy tourists seldom frequenting it. It is understandable as whenever a Survivor franchise shoots there, it becomes off limit to the public so it’s not as popular as the other beaches.

 

As I had been here before, I opted to stay on the boat to take some good shots.

Bag-ing Beach

 

What else to do in Bag-ing beach? Explorers may just walk on that long stretch of sand and their boat may just fetch them on Sabitang Laya which is just on the opposite side of the island.

Caramoan Islands

6. Sabitang Laya

Sabitang Laya

Sabitang Laya has gentle turquoise waters and a campground. It is also abounding in stunning backdrops so it’s not a wonder that it is the right choice for Survivor‘s castaways to live in.

 

Upon arrival, one of our boatmen caught a fascinating looking fish. Okay, before you get mad, please know that the fish was quickly returned to the water and what we had for lunch was grilled squid and laing.

Sabitang Laya

 

While roaming around and taking photos of the place, make sure to get a photo on the other side of the cave-like entrance. I promise you that you won’t regret it.

Sabitang Laya

 

Sabitang Laya
I really can’t get enough of the amazing backdrop.

 

7. Manlawi Floating Cottage
Manlawi Floating Cottages

This is my favorite spot in Caramoan islands whether the Manlawi Sandbar is visible or not. I can actually stay here the entire day.

When the sandbar is visible, powdery white sand which seem to stretch beyond the horizon can be seen. The waters rise slowly letting one wade in shallow waters. Once the tide has risen, the cottages float. This gives a captivating dining experience to visitors.

 

As we went here on a high tide, the Manlawi sandbar had already hidden in plain sight. We still enjoyed the experience of eating at the floating cottages and frolicked in the turquoise waters.

Manlawi Floating Cottages
It feels like I’m swimming in a middle of the ocean, but safer.

 

8. Guinahuan Island

Guinahoan Island

Beyond the captivating beaches of Caramoan islands, a place that must be visited also is the Guinahuan island for its scenic views.

 

There is a need for a short hike to the top of Guinahuan island for about ten to twenty minutes depending on one’s pace. However, it is all worth it as it offers a glimpse into the lives of the locals. The peak itself also offers a picturesque view resembling Batanes.

Guinahuan Island
Be careful on stepping on Carabao surprises.

 

This modern lighthouse that guides incoming boats is one of the main attractions of the island.

Guinahuan Island

 

The other attraction is the rolling landscape with the view of the South China sea on the left side and the Pacific ocean on the right side.

Guinahoan Island

I heard that the beach on the right side with Pacific Ocean waves crashing in is called Liwan beach. It is only accessible by traversing the hills below as the waves are too strong for boats. On my return in the future, I hope I get to see Liwan beach with my own eyes.


Tips


  • Make sure to leave before or by 8AM so you can fully maximize your day to see a lot of islands, or to catch the best time to see a place such as the Manlawi Sand Bar.
  • Go island hopping with a group of people to save money.
  • Bring eye goggles or snorkeling gear to see underwater.
  • Be careful of rip currents. If ever you get caught in one, stay calm, float, and swim parallel to the shoreline until you get away from it.
  • Never step on corals as aside from damaging it, you may run the risk of attracting a deadly snake called “walo walo” which leaves its victim dead within eight hours.

 


Directions to Caramoan Islands


 

Manila – Naga – Caramoan (By Air)

* This is the route I took on my visit to Caramoan Islands and I nearly got left behind the last boat as I still roamed around SM City Naga to buy a Mother’s Day cake.

  1. Take the earliest Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific flight to Naga (WNP), roundtrip airfare ranges from PhP 3000 to PhP 7500 (or 64.24 USD to 160.67 USD) | Duration: 1 hr & 5 min.
  2. Ride a taxi or van going to the van terminal beside SM City Naga. Or walk outside the airport and ride the public bus going to SM City Naga.
  3. Go to the East Bound Terminal or Van Terminal located at the back of SM City Naga.
  4. Take an aircon van to Sabang Port for PhP 150 (or 3.21 USD) | Duration: 1.5 hrs to 2 hrs.
  5. Ride the boat to Caramoan Guijalo Port for PhP 120 (or 2.57 USD) | Duration: 1 hr and 45 min. *Last boat trip is 11:00AM, but it may extend to early afternoon if there are lots of passengers. Chartered boats cost PhP 3,000 (or 64.24 USD).

 

Manila – Naga – Caramoan (By Land)

  1. Ride the night trip bus from Araneta-Cubao Bus Terminal or Pasay Bus Terminal to Naga City, bus fare ranges from PhP 650 to PhP 1,000 (or 13. 93 USD or 21.43 USD) | Duration: 8 to 10 hrs.
  2. From Naga City Central Bus Terminal, ride the Isarog or Penafrancia and just say to drop you off to Bikal | Duration: 4 hrs.

 

Manila – Caramoan (via Land)

  1. Book packaged tours. Suggested: Al Del Rio Villa Resort.| Travel Duration per way: 10 to 12 hrs.

31 Responses to “8 Places to Visit in Caramoan Islands that will leave you CAPTIVATED”

  1. First, I was mad. No one touches anything that will not be consumed. The stress alone could kill it even if the boxfish was returned. *** EXHALE *** Di naman ako mad. Nagpa-effect lang. HAHAHA! I super love your photo you posted on Instagram. When I log in to my account, I will find and like. Super beautiful shot. Fitting for Caramoan too. It has been two decades plus since I went there. I used to go to Bicol every other week. Caramoan, you see, is the pride of Bicolanos. Congratulations sa free trip. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Uy! You and Sam won! Congrats to you! I could see from your photos and your posts that you did have a good time. From Manila to Naga then to Caramoan, everything is breath-taking! I also envy you because I’m from Albay and still haven’t visited Caramoan. Such a loser, am I? HAHAHA!

    Reply
  3. Laveena Sengar

    This was fun. I felt like I was there. This is a real great list. I would love to visit these places. Lovely work with the pictures. I will have a better look on your Instagram account. Looks like you a great time

    Reply
  4. I hope to be able to visit Caramoan Islands one fine day… they do really look captivating….Thanks for this awesome blog post that inspires my new additional bucket list… hahaah

    Reply
  5. Of all the winners, I only know three people, you, Sam and Pia! Congratulations you guys, the pictures say it all – you enjoyed your trip. I mean, who wouldn’t right? 😀 And the places you visited – oh, they are all breath-taking!

    Reply
  6. I so agree. More than the memory of the sights, sounds, and taste of a place, its the friendship that makes us smile as we remember and reminisce. Havent been to Caramoan but would love to visit the place. Perhaps when our little guy could appreciate and run already.

    Reply
  7. I feel so ashamed that I’m a Bicolana and I haven’t been to Caramoan yet. I have been wanting to visit that place and with these photos, I think I have to make time and save money for a trip there. I’m so curious about the Manlawi Floating Cottage. Thanks for posting tips and directions!

    Reply
  8. there’s so many places to go in this island alone! And not one is less beautiful than another. I really love the nature and the sea, would love to bask on the sand and swim in the beautiful water. love the tips and the guide, would make travelling them for the first time easier for me.

    Reply
  9. Anything with lighthouse interests me. Haha. Been hearing Caramoan all over the web for its stunning beach. Your photos show me now why. And oh, you were with my college classmate, Clariza. Haha. Glad you had a great bonding with the rest of the bloggers who won from Travebook’s contest.

    Reply
  10. That was really informative I must say! The photography is amazing. I am fascinated by the beauty of of Lahos island. I would definitely like to pay a visit to these wonderful places!

    Reply
  11. waaah! Caramoan! one of my yet-to-visit places someday hahaha! I felt like I need to share my favorite spots, based on what I saw, Bag-ing Beach, Sabitang Laya, and that Guinahuan Island (from its name, it seems really chill in that area haha). I need funds please haha! thanks for sharing this, looking forward to roll on these places someday soon!

    Reply
  12. Chloe of beyond blessed

    These photos are all gorgeous!!! Definitely updating my bucket list!

    Reply
  13. Wow! What an absolutely incredible opportunity! Congratulations!

    Looking at your images made me so envious, your photographs are sublime and I wish I was with you every step of the way! Bag-ing Beach looks incredible I’ve added it to my “must-visit” Philippines list along with many others you’ve recommended!

    Keep up the amazing work! 🙂

    Reply
  14. I can’t decide which of these islands I like best. They all look like paradise! You are so lucky to live in such an amazing country! I could live like that for a month, just enjoy the beach and eat grilled fish, worry about nothing 🙂

    Reply
  15. Awesome travel guide, girl! Again, happy to have met you there. ANd I’m also digging your camera haha. I’d definitely think about getting one should I replace my DSLR. Personally, I dont’ think I’ll go to Caramoan on my own because of the long ride (even though I’ve been to Catanduanes). I’m glad I won because it was so worth it!

    Reply
  16. Wowwww congrats on winning!! I also heard about the contest, sadly I forgot to enter hehe. Anyway this place looks so amazing. So many islands! Can’t wait to visit this place!! ☺☺☺

    Reply
  17. Congratulations for winning Travel Book’s contest, keep up the great work 🙂 Manlawi is one of my favorite spots in Caramoan. Hope to be back! 🙂

    Reply
  18. Missed this trip! Sayang! I went here about 4 or 5 years ago and all I can remember is the Lahos Island. You have great pictures and tips as well. I like how detailed this post is, very informative.

    Reply
  19. Amazing experience Me-an. Congratulations! Indeed, Caramoan is one destination I will be including in my travel list. Thanks for sharing your experience 🙂

    Reply
  20. Congratulations sis for winning! I heard Caramoan is one of the best beaches in PH and my friends who went there said that the long travel was all worth it. I wish I could go there with the whole family next summer. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  21. I love beaches with white sands, water sports activities, Island hopping, and trekking. I do really appreciate your tips and travel guide going to Caramoan. Btw, Caramoan is already in our travel list. So, thanks for sharing this post.

    Reply
  22. This is what we missed out! We’re planning to visit Caramoan last summer but it didn’t go through lesson learned for me, I should go for DIY over travel agency. I will save this because this is so informative. Thank you

    Reply
  23. Caramoan is definitely in my bucket list and we are going there after my wife gives birth. This is obviously a paradise and from the photos that I have seen, its beauty is totally incomparable to other places in the world. So lucky to be a Filipino!

    Reply
  24. I am so delighted to see so much enthusiasm from people who have seen your blog, it also captured my heart in wanting to accommodate more people at my best. Thank you for this, Me-an.

    Thank you for plugging Caramoan and Al Del Rio well:)

    Reply
  25. MARY EMELIENE TIMAJO

    thanks for a very informative article. is wi-fi avaiable in Al der Rio? Or can you suggest a resort with a reasonable internet connection?

    Reply
    • Thank you for dropping by our site. Yes, they have wi-fi access 🙂 Other resorts with Wi-Fi are La Casa Roa Hostel, The Traveler’s Camp Hotel, and Sights and Sands Inn which I haven’t tried yet. If you book via the links I gave in Al del Rio, you’ll get the best possible rates and a discount.

      Reply
  26. These photos are so amazing, and I’ve been searching more about those islands, which I’ve never heard of before, and it sounds so interesting to learn more about it through your article!

    Reply

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