CARAMOAN ISLANDS, CAMARINES SUR: IMPORTANT TRAVEL TIPS

Caramoan’s popularity soared when a hit reality TV show used its islands. It comes as no surprise because of its raw and natural beauty consisting of tear-like rock formations jutting out of the aquamarine waters, lagoons, and different kinds of sand — from white to cream-colored, fine to pebbles. The best way to see, discover, and experience Caramoan is by island hopping.

How to Get There

Nearest Airport: Naga Airport (Camarines Sur)

By Air
  1. Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines have regular flights from Manila to Naga City.
  2. Once in Naga, there are two options to get to Caramoan — via Sabang Port or via Fuentebella Highway.
     
    Via Fuentebella Highway: From Naga City Bus Terminal, take a bus bound for Caramoan (Florencia Bus, Raymond Bus, or MRR Bus). The fare is around P350. Travel time is around 4 hours.
     
    Via Sabang Port: Go to the van terminal located at the back of SM City Naga and board a van traveling to Sabang Port, this costs around P150 and may take up to two hours. After arriving at Sabang, get on a boat bound for Guijalo Port in Caramoan; the ride costs around P120 and may take up to two hours. Visitors have to pay a P30/person environmental fee once in Guijalo.
  3.  

  4. Hire a tricycle to take you to the town center or directly to your accommodation, the ride costs around P300.
  5. After leaving your bags and/or checking in, go to Bikal Port, which serves as the jump-off point for island hopping excursions.
By Land
  1. There are buses bound for Naga from Manila; operators such as Isarog, Penafrancia, and Philtranco regularly ply this route. The fare for the overnight bus is approximately P600 for ordinary buses and P800 for air-conditioned ones.
  2. Once in Naga, there are two options to get to Caramoan — via Sabang Port or via Fuentebella Highway.
     
    Via Fuentebella Highway: From Naga City Bus Terminal, take a bus bound for Caramoan (Florencia Bus, Raymond Bus, or MRR Bus). The fare is around P350. Travel time is around 4 hours.
     
    Via Sabang Port: Go to the van terminal located at the back of SM City Naga and board a van traveling to Sabang Port, this costs around P150 and may take up to two hours. After arriving at Sabang, get on a boat bound for Guijalo Port in Caramoan; the ride costs around P120 and may take up to two hours. Visitors have to pay a P30/person environmental fee once in Guijalo.
  3.  

  4. Hire a tricycle to take you to the town center or directly to your accommodation, the ride costs around P300.
  5. After leaving your bags and/or checking in, go to Bikal Port, which serves as the jump-off point for island hopping excursions.

 


Entrance Fee and Other Charges

  • Environmental Fee: As of writing, P30.
  • Boat Rental Rates: P1500 – P3000 (For island hopping, the price varies depending on size of the boat and group and the destinations you want to include in your trip).

Don’t Miss

  • Like many popular destinations in the Philippines, island hopping is the must-do activity in Caramoan. There are different places to explore and discover including the islands of Lahos, Ocata, Guinahuan, Tayak, Matukad, Katanhawan, Pitogo, and Sabitang Laya, among others.
  • You can also visit lagoons such as those in Matukad and Tayak.

Don’t Forget

  • Withdraw enough cash before departing from Naga City to Caramoan.
  • Bring your own snorkel tube, mask, and fins if you plan to go snorkeling or diving in one of the islands.
  • The fee for island hopping doesn’t include food, so purchase snacks, drinks, and ingredients and fresh meat and have your boatman cook for you for a fee.
  • Follow the rules. Leave nothing but footprints.

If You Have More Time and Budget

  • Camarines is a beautiful region with plenty to do and see; after exploring Caramoan Islands, go to the Mercedes Islands for more beach time or visit Bagasbas Beach to test your mettle on the waves. There are other places of interest in Camarines Norte and Sur. Explore Naga City to see old churches and vestiges of colonial times.
  • If you have a couple of more days to spare, hike up Mt. Isarog or continue to Legazpi City in Albay. Another option is to go to Sorsogon to see more beaches and islands such as Subic Beach, Paguriran Island and Lagoon, and Tikling Island, just to name a few.

See additional information here: Island Hopping in Caramoan and Hunongan Cove in Caramoan

For Albay side trip: The Majestic Mayon Volcano


Where to Stay

The number of accommodations in Caramoan is steadily on the rise, here are some of the top accommodations according to Agoda users (as of September 2017).

Photo was provided by the resort via Agoda.

For more options, search here: Caramoan Hotels


Reminders

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