It was kind of a spur of the moment decision for us to go to Calaguas. Summer is almost finish and the monsoon season is already effective in Manila but because of my enthusiasm and insistence of pushing through our trip, we did even without extra cash.
My friends and I decided on having an adventure trip instead of the pre-planned packaged tours. There were only seven of us anyway and the package tours usually requires at least a minimum of 10 persons.
It was a long weekend for us and we opt to take the trip right after our graveyard shift. It was a wrong move for us because most buses are for reservations only, luckily we were able to book our ticket on one of the bus liners along EDSA.
The day trip took 12 HOURS instead of the usual 9 hours land trip from Manila to Camarines Norte (Eastern part of the Philippines) but it was just fine for us since we just got off from work and a long trip means long sleeping hours for us. There were several stopovers for bathroom break, to smoke and/or to eat anyway.
We arrived in Camarines Norte at 11PM and we have to commute (no buses anymore) to Paracale, the town where we will take the noat trip to Calaguas. We rented a tricycle instead and upon arrival in Paracale, we checked in to one of the motels to spend the night. At 5AM we bought our food supplies, grabbed a bite, checked out after an hour and then off we went to find us a boat that will take us to the island.
While finding the port, we met a guy and when we asked him where the port is, he didn’t just take us there through his jeepney for free but even looked for a boat for us. Like I said on my previous travel diary (Cagbalete Island), it pays to befriend the locals. 🙂
Prince Joshua was our boat (see contact below) and the “crew members” were more than happy to accommodate us. They even chose the best spot on the island for us to camp. The boat ride took a little more than an hour but we were never bored because the view were great. Upon approaching the island, we can’t wait to feel the sand and soak in it’s clear, blue waters. The commute we had was all worth it. It was still summer there. Calaguas is a paradise.
Princess’ Tips and Reminders – Calaguas:
- It is best to have a reservation (bus fare is around 500 – 600 depending on the schedule and the bus line) if you don’t have a private transportation.
- Night travel is advisable – less traffic, less humid. It would also mean that you won’t have to spend a night in Paracale thus less spending.
- Bring (or buy) your food supplies – rice, chips, viands, if you can bring an ice cooler with tube ice the better. Goods in Calaguas are a little bit pricey (a 3 peso ice in Manila costs 20 pesos there, no kidding).
- You may ask the resort attendants/caretakers to cook for you and you can just pay them. Cooking charge is up to you, we paid 50 pesos when we asked them to cook our rice and another 50 pesos the following day for our breakfast.
- Recharging your phone will cost you 30 pesos, so I suggest to bring a power bank.
- I am not going to post here where the best spot on the island is because I want you to discover it. That spot has the best camping ground, powdery white sand, great snorkeling area and has a secluded beach with a great view. 🙂
- You may ask a guide if you want to go trekking but you may do it on your own (entrance to the trekking trail is 20 pesos).
- Trek before sunrise.
- Wear sandals or slippers when exploring the island.
- When snorkeling, please make sure not to damage the corals. 🙂
- You can’t take an ugly picture of Calaguas.
- All pictures posted were taken by me, I didn’t use ANY filters on the beach photos. I had to use filters on the sunrise photos for dramatic effect.
- I don’t have to tell you this but enjoy and have fun!!