Travel Guide: How to go to Caramoan

November 29, 2013

Caramoan is situated in the edge of Camarines Sur, facing the Pacific Ocean. This hidden paradise had drawn attention for its scattered islets and huge limestone formations. The enchanting view of its wilderness is enough to flush negativity from anybody's body and soul.  

The battle of the blues - sky and ocean




Its unspoiled islets, pristine white beaches, stunning limestone rocks and hills have also captured the eyes of foreign wanderers. The Survivor reality series franchise has found Caramoan Peninsula a perfect isolated paradise for its tough castaways; and also, other countries had chosen our hidden paradise for their version of the show.

The beauty of the rugged province has captivated us, too. My friends and I were in so much awe of its wonders for 3 DAYS. This is the place I felt proud of, and it’s only here in the Philippines.


HOW TO GET THERE:


FROM METRO MANILA, take air-conditioned bus from Araneta Center Cubao or in Pasay City Bus Terminal bound to Sabang, Naga or Legaspi.
FARE = from P700-850 depending on bus type. All buses from Metro Manila bound to Bicol and Visayas made a stop over in Naga City bus terminal.


DIRECT TRIP, from Cubao to Caramoan c/o Raymond Bus Transport (ordinary only) via RORO @ Nato, Sangay CamSur. Raymond Bus bound to Caramoan departs in Cubao at around 6:30-7:00pm.
FARE = P700 excluding P150 RORO fare.
Raymond Bus Transport in Araneta Bus Station (bus with air-condition) but is only bound to Sabang Port. Then take a boat ride from Sabang Port to Guijalo Port (Caramoan)
FARE: Bus-P700 and P120 Boat in Sabang Port .


BY AIRPLANE, Manila to Naga/Pili Airport, the Air Philippines and Cebu Pacific fly regularly from Manila Airport Terminal 3.
TRAVEL TIME= 45mins. Once you’re in Naga Airport, take a taxi going to Naga City Van Terminal
in front of SM City Naga and from there, look for the Van bound to Sabang OR you may ask the taxi from the airport to take you directly to Sabang Port.
FARE= Php 1,200-1,500 per trip.


FROM NAGA CITY, go to Van Terminal in front of SM City Naga and take air conditioned VAN Bound to Sabang Port fare is P100/person
TRAVEL TIME = approx. 1hr and 30 mins. In Sabang Port look for commercial boats (Bangka) bound to Guijalo Port
FARE= P120/person, TRAVEL TIME = 2 hrs. Trips starts 6AM, 7AM, 8AM, 9AM, 10AM and 11AM,
with an extra trip up to 2PM depending on the volume of passengers. Make sure you don't miss the last trip otherwise you need to charter your own boat for Php2000-2,500.


ACCOMMODATION:

We stayed in Rex Tourist Inn located at the Caramoan town proper by night and did island hopping during the whole day (8 islets!). Caramoan Peninsula is 10-minute boat ride away from the town.
You can choose to stay in a beachfront resort at one of privately-owned islets, but of course, it’s more expensive.
Our 3 DAYS – 2 NIGHTS accommodation in Rex Tourist Inn and tours are made possible by Caramoan Discoveries. Our package also included boat rental fee, tour guide fee and round-trip tricycle transfer from Guijalo Port to our lodging. There’s also an option if you wish to include meals in the package.

TIP: It is much better if you’ll travel as a group (at least 5 persons). The package rate per head lessens, the more, the merrier! J

JOURNEY TO CARAMOAN

A view of Mt. Irosin welcomed us with a good morning. The sun and moon were both visible.

I SWEAR, traveling to Caramoan was an adventure itself and especially via bus. Since we’re on a tight budget, we opt for a bus trip from Cubao, Quezon City to Sabang Port in Camarines Sur. After enduring the 10-hour travel, we waited for another hour for our turn in the boat bound to Guijalo Port. The waiting time is suited for us to have breakfast in a canteen, near the port area.
Sabang Port.

The boat ride took 2 hours from Sabang Port to Guijalo Port in Caramoan and it felt forever than we imagined. Good thing the view during our fluvial exodus was stress-relieving. However, prepare your butts to be calloused! (haha!)

A passenger sitting on the wood shaft, can you spot the Mayon Volcano?





I like the fact that the growing tourism in Caramoan has been helping its people for jobs, since the province is remote. Thanks to media exposure: Survivor global reality show and our local TV drama series “Paraiso”, Caramoan is becoming a must-see tourist attraction.

Picturesque hills kill the boredom of passengers on a long fluvial journey






















Guijalo Port in Caramoan.






So, after the seemed-to-be-endless boat ride, we reached Caramoan by lunch time and met our tour guide for 3 days – Kuya Otep, who had been waiting for us since 10am. We rode in the tricycle (included in the package) bound to our lodging.

NOTE: Tourist fee to be paid at the Port gate – Php30/person.

I was glad that Rex Tourist Inn is located at the heart of Caramoan, everything’s just a walk away – the market, ATM, canteens, restaurants, lodgings, souvenir shops and church. We had lunch in Caramoan Bed n’ Dine, which has a cozy ambiance and looked more like a restaurant. They served us good food but were very slow to prepare, we’re running late for our 1:30 pm call time with our tour guide when we started eating.

NEXT: Island Hopping Day 1

SEE ALSO: Island Hopping Day 2

SEE ALSO: Final Tour in Caramoan - Day 3


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