Caramoan is a beautiful travel destination that harbor majestic islands which gives the feeling of Boracay, El Nido, Batanes or even the Palawan. A Caramoan Island tour package is a great deal to escape the harsh environment of the popular cities in the Philippines. It is also one of the shooting destinations of the TV show Survivor. Just how awesome is it?
What to Do in a Caramoan Island Tours?
There are several things that can be done in Caramoan– name it, and you can experience it. The Caramoan has fine sands, you can even make your own Caramoan styled castle or play with the colorful fishes out there. There are great waves that will satisfy your cringe or even spiky adventures that will pick your very spirit!
Tourists can also camp in a couple of islands like the Yupakit. Others can trek at the not-so-high hills at the Guinahoan. Guests can ride the boat all day and take a lunch at a floating bar. There are also a couple of spots that can be Kayaked and surfed.
Caramoan is truly a majestic place to play with your body and souls. So let’s enjoy the ride in our Ultimate Caramoan Travel Guide!
Contentsin This Post (Last Update: Feb. 2017)
1. Caramoan Island Travel Guide and Best Things to Do
2. Where to Stay
3. How to go to Caramoan (Public or Private, Landor Air)
4. Important Things to Bring in Caramoan
5. Where to Eat
6. What to Eat
7. Weather Update in Caramoan
8. Cellular and Internet Data in Caramoan
9. What to Buy
10.Additional Tips for Island Hopping in Caramoan
Matukad island is mostly the first to be visited in your trip to Caramoan because of its distance from the seaport at Bikal and Paniman.
Guests can camp here and take their meals. There are a few rock formations that will amaze your bones deep down to your marrows. But the best thing to do here is to rock climb at the steep and spiky limestone ledges to view the beauty of the neighboring islands.
A mysterious legend also engulf the whole Matukad Island that involves milk fishes. It is said that the two milk fishes in the lagoon must never be removed from it or a disaster will befall in the whole island. (Read our fan-made legend based on what I’ve heard from their rumors here)
If you’re worried that you are not going to use your swimsuit here, then you’re wrong. The Matukad also houses a beautiful beach where guests can enjoy swimming near the shore. Do you want to show your swimsuit to everyone? FINE! Do you want to only show it to the crabs? No Problem!
At night, guest are allowed to camp in Matukad if no dangers are foreseen. Just remember to at least get a contact person from the boatmen.
Just a few minutes of boat ride from Matukad, another beauty in Caramoan awaits the travelers. The island that connects two sides of the ocean, with a beautiful shore.
The island is called, the “Lahos”, which came from the root word “Lagusan” (path, or pathway).
The Lahos is connecting a calm and harsh body of the ocean. One side has no waves, while the other can be a bit harsh.
Guests can swim in Lahos and have fun with the strong waves. There are also a few notable rock formations where you can take selfies and “draw me like one of your french girls” poses.
The fine sands are white with a tint of light brown, just like your regular creamy coffee. Just be careful on the shore where the boat docks because it has millions of course sediments that will surely makes it harder for you to walk with slippers. Your slippers might get caught and be destroyed. bye bye flip flops!
The best thing to do in Lahos while you are in a Caramoan tour package is to snorkel and watch some colorful fishes and corals in the harsh side of the island. It may be dangerous most of the time, so exercise extreme caution.
The Minalahos is near the islands of Matukad, Lahus and Hunongan Cove. In this part of your Caramoan island hopping, you can find gigantic rock formations that are good for your Facebook’s cover photo.
The water’s color will also amaze the guests as it shows it’s brilliance while you soar into it.
Cagbalinad is a famous diving, swimming and snorkeling area in Caramoan. The boat will stay in the middle of the ocean and will let guests jump into the ocean to view the beautiful corals and lots of aquatic animals.
Cagbalinad’s corals are way better compared to those that can be found in Lahos, and the waves there are calm if you’re lucky.
Wearing a life vest as a safety precaution is also advisable in order to minimize accidents.
Cagbalinad can not only be a swimming spot, it can also be a good chance to take a once-in-a-lifetime photos. Since the boat stops at the middle of a group of islands, this gives the tourists the chance to take a Titanic-like photographic experience.
Just like what its name implies, “Tinago” (hidden), the island is very hard to reach. But when you see its beauty, it will surely inspire your traveling souls because it houses a beautiful mini cave.
Just do be careful because these kind of caves also houses different kind of animals.
Busdak means “busog” (overly full in eating) in the local dialect of Bicolanos. The beach isn’t as good as the other islands, but the uniqueness of the rock formations and the sand will surely pull your nerves out.
The fine sands of the Busdak beach is colored white and black, thus tricking the eyes of the guests that they are grey. In this island, a couple of snacks can be done.
Best part here? Rest and eat!
The Yupakit has white, grey and black fine sands that kids will surely enjoy to step on them. The island has a few notable rock formations and trees in the middle of it.
Camping and dining in this island is allowed. Yupakit is also a good alternative if Matukad isn’t available. I’d recommend to also camp here after Matukad!
A good thing to do here is watch a beautiful sunset and take dramatic photos with it. So I’d say to visit the Yupakit at sunset.
But the best thing here would be to watch a group of Plankton that lights up the shore at night. Your luck depends if they will appear.
Bag-ing and two other islands (Sab-itang Laya and Baliti) are all a single island if the tide is low enough. While they looked to be separated when the water is high enough.
Visiting the island is best when the tide is low in order to know more about the island’s sweet creamy colored beaches.
Travel Tip #1: The island is mostly used by the TV show Survivor, it is best to visit the island when they are not filming their episodes.
Travel Tip #2: Going around from one place to the other between the three is best done by walking. Guests can also take a boat ride to reach the other side of the island, but walking will surely add up experience.
Bag-ing is also famous because of its distinct rock formations near the shore that traps water, creating a pool-like effect. In this part of the island, the waters are clear as and you can see small fishes that lurks around.
Just a few feet from those rock formations, away from the island, guests can enjoy a little swimming and diving. But exercise extreme caution since the waves here are sometimes angry.
Just on the other side of the Bag-ing beach, you will reach the Sab-itang Laya, by boat ride or a few minutes of walk.
Just like the Sab-ing, the Sab-itang Laya’s sands are fine and as creamy as your morning 3-in-1 coffee. The beach offer different kinds of rock formations and photogenic spots.
The best thing to do here is to take plenty of photos and rest under the rock formation’s shadows.
Sand Bar at Cotivas Beach
The sand bar is best to visit at low tides. You can ask your tour guide or ship captain to bring you there when the water level is low, but sometimes it is hard to navigate since a very low water level is a no-go for their ships. Plan ahead to experience the best in the Sand Bar.
If ever you’re not lucky enough and the water level is high, you can still visit the sand bar and have your lunch break with fun by balancing the whole cottage, since it is already floating.
In this beach, you can find white sands that reflect the beauty of the sun’s rays. You can also find cute marine animals on the sands if you walk into the whole place.
You can also swim and do some kayaking when the tide is right.
There are several merchants in this part of the island that sells: Halo-halo, Buko Juice (Young cconut juice) and Maiz-con-Yelo. There were also merchants that sell souvenirs such as colorful seashells.
The best thing to do here is to have an awesome meal…….and have fun swinging, not swimming.
Liway Beach and Guinahoan Island
Guinahoan island’s best tourist attraction is the lighthouse that can be accessed for a 5-20 minute trek, depending on the route that your guide will bring you.
The stunning beauty up above, seeing the Philippine Sea and Pacific ocean will surely make yourself jump in happiness.
Travel Tip #3: Beware of the Cow’s crap just lying on the road.
Liway Beach is at the other side of the Guinahoan Island. She faces the extreme waters of the Philippines. With a crystalline like and amethyst-like color of waters, the Liway Beach is really marvelous that can make it as one of the best beaches in your Island tour package.
Ask some townsfolk to guide you there (if you have no tour guides), they are great swimmers but again, exercise extreme caution since the waves there are formidable. I once saw a whirlpool far from the shore when we were at the top of the Guinahoan Island.
The best thing to do in Liway and Guinahoan is to visit the lighthouse, take photos and swim at the Liway Beach.
Caramoan is full of surprises, and the Crystal Cave is one of them. ‘
If you want to find colorful and majestic stalactites and stalagmites, then the Crystal Cave would be your best bet. Just be careful, because like the cave at Tinago Island, the Crystal Cave also have a low ceiling. Just watch out your head.
Just like what its name implies, Omang (hermit crab), the island is almost like a hermit crab in shape. In order to reach this beautiful cave, guests will need to pass though a river, so just be careful with it.
The cave has a higher ceiling compared to the Crystal Cave, so your head might be happy while you visit this hidden gem while in your tour in Caramoan.
The best thing in this cave are the rock formations, and with right timing, the sun’s ray will show a calming light inside.
There are a couple of Hotels in Caramoan that can accommodate your stay. Some offers a whole Caramoan tour package,
including your boat ride and lodging, just like the Al del Rio Villa Resort, a home-stay styled lodging.
Al del Rio Villa Resort
Price Range: 1500 PHP – 2700PHP per head
Togawe Cove Resort
Price Range: 5400 PHP – 9200PHP
A 4-star rated resort in Caramoan. They offer a swimming pool, Jacuzzi a conference room, a bar and any other facilities that a traveler wants in his/her vacation. The resort is perfect for a family stay that wants the best of their caramoan travels.
La Casa Roa
Price Range: 700 PHP – 1500 PHP
A super budget deal in Caramoan that is good for a “barkada” type getaway (group of friends). They exercise the art of sharing a room to minimize cost.
Sights and Sand Tourist Inn
Price Range: 750 PHP – 1500 PHP
Another budget hotel in Caramoan is the Sights and Sand Tourist Inn. They a couple of rooms that will surely bring you a decent stay while in your Caramoan trip adventures.
The Traveler’s Camp Hotel
Just like the Al del Rio, the TCH is also like ahoe-stay styled hotel. They have a Filipino styled inn, but fewer rooms compared to the first hotels stated above. A video machine can also be rented in the hotel.
Private Service For Hire:
You can try to contact our private van when we went to Caramoan. Find “Sid” from these contact numbers:
0947-858-2514 ; 0947-374-2954 ; 0926-417-1344
Or you can get a full tour package from Al del Rio at PHP 25, 000.00
including the driver’s lodging and food.
Another option is to hire a car for yourselves at AutoEurope.
Drive a car and have fun!
Driving a car by yourself can be a bit challenging since the travel from Manila to Caramoan can be a half a day or more. But with your own time management, you can visit several tourist spots before reaching Camarines Sur.
With your very own time, your family, friends, or colleagues will surely be put into a comfortable travel because you can do anything you want while in transit.
Just follow the Google Map’s GPS and you’ll be fine, that’s what our driver said to us. Nice, nice! We followed the blue colored path that took us almost half a day!
Tip #4: Depart from Manila at night so that lesser traffic will be encountered while in transit. You will arrive in Caramoan before lunch.
Public Transport By Land
From Manila / Cubao to Caramoan ALL LAND TRIP
1. Take a bus from Cubao or Pasay going to Naga City. (Est cost: 800-1000 PHP from 8:30PM-9:00PM)
2. When the bus arrives at Bicol Central Station or Naga City Central Station, take a bus ride going to Caramoan via Florencia Bus, MRR Bus, or Raymond Bus.
3. You’ll arrive in the Florencia or Raymond Bus Terminal after an estimated travel of 4 hours. You can also be dropped off at Bikal, Caramoan.
Public Transport By Land and Boat
1. Take a bus ride from Cubao or pasay to Naga City. (Est cost: 800-1000 PHP from 8:30PM-9:00PM)
2. Once reaching the Naga City, go to East Bound Terminal at the back of SM City Naga. Take an airconditioned van (for 150 PHP) and head to Sabang port for more than an hour travel.
3. Upon arriving at Sabang Port, take a boat ride that will bring you to Caramoan Guijalo Port for 120 PHP or less.
Public Transport by Air
2. Upon reaching the Naga City Airport, go to East Bound Terminal at the back of SM City Naga. Take an air-conditioned van (for 150 PHP) and head to Sabang port for more than an hour travel.
3. Upon arriving at Sabang Port, take a boat ride that will bring you to Caramoan Guijalo Port for 120 PHP or less.
1. First Aid Kits
While the ship captain, or your tour guide/s will have a first aid kit for obvious purposes, it is still highly recommended to bring your very own to use. The Caramoan peninsula has different environments that may become a huge problem if incidents arises.
Take a good look at the spiky and steep rock formations in Matukad where tourists need to climb to see the most stunning views. The ocean obviously houses different aquatic animals that may be a bit problematic when contact is made (i.e. jelly fish). So just in case, bring a bottle of vinegar for first aide treatment!
2. Water Protection
A good waterproof bag is advisable to bring, so that your electronic gears and items are very much safe from the waves of the ocean. A couple of Ziploc are also advisable to be brought so that your items are specially protected.
3. Food and Drinks
When your Caramoan tour has started in the morning, the whole day will most probably an island hopping trip. Bringing some foods will surely be a good energy booster for you.
A bottle of water is also advisable to be always in your reach to hydrate your body and soul.
4. Skin Protection
Rash Guard is advisable to be brought while in your Caramoan day tours to protect your skin from the intense sunlight, and for easier swimming. If not available, a long sleeve might be of good use.
A sunscreen with high enough SPF (around 100) to make your skin healthy and reduce too much tanning.
5. Camera and Swimming Gears
Bringing a camera is a must in Caramoan. The amount of photogenic views are unlimited, why will you not bring a good camera to take them? Bringing a waterproof action camera is also advisable to record stunning views underwater.
A good snorkeling or swimming gears are also advisable to be brought, since the whole Caramoan trip will surely include swimming or diving.
The hotel that you booked will surely have a couple of dishes ready for their guests. But for other people that will only camp in Caramoan there will be a slight problem. But don’t be so worried.
Campers should bring their own food, or cook in the camp site. There are small variety stores in Caramoan where you can purchase a Filipino’s basic needs. In Bikal port, there is one variety store just a few steps away from Al del Rio Resort. I bought a 18PHP soap bar in there.
But for restaurants, people can go to the following:
Caramo-tan Grill and RestoBar
The restaurant is located near the Caramoan National Park, the Hongan Cove, Paniman and a bit tad far from Bikal Port.
Caramoan is very abundant in sea creatures. These creatures such as fish, crustaceans, squids and octopuses are the VIP in the peninsula’s cuisine.
Munch in the Lobsters and Crabs
Big lobsters are one of the beast in the culinary industry. They are juicy and delicious according to their super expensive price. But in Caramoan, they are just some regular food where you can much them easily…. cheaply!
Since lobsters and crabs are very abundant in Caramoan, they are sold very cheap and you can eat them without worrying anything from your pocket!
Exotics like Sting Ray, Cucumbers and the Likes
While we were in Al del Rio, they served us an exotic sting ray. It was so delicious even though it was my very first time eating it. And on top of it, I did not even know it was a sting ray.
I wasn’t expecting some strange fish in the dishes such as sharks, but sting ray, it was really good!
Laing and Bicol Express are two of the finest cuisine of Bicol. They are the pride and prejudice of the whole Bicol Region. And by not consuming them will really be a big disappointment for me. P.S. they are spicylicious!
Philippines has only two seasons that you need to understand, the summer and the rainy seasons. It is obviously best to get a Caramoan tour package if you are very sure that there will be no rain in that tourist spot in Bicol.
Normally, the dry season of the Philippines start at late January and ends on mid to the last week of May (around Holy Week time). But as years go by, the climate change hugely affect the Philippines. Now, the dry season can be experienced from around late December to late February. Sometimes the summer tend to extend to late May or June.
After those months, the rain might say hello to all who lives in the Philippines from time to time. But this doesn’t mean that the whole country will have a rainfall.
In order to be sure of your booked Caramoan package, you must check several weather forecasts from the trusted sources in the Philippines.
Also check the PAGASA’s national weather forecast
for those who are going to travel from far away regions. To find where is the Bicol region in the map, check the reference below.
Also try to directly check the current weather in Caramoan at AccuWeather.
Philippines has three major sim cards that can be used as a means of communications and internet. The Globe Telecom, Smart and Sun Cellular.
Talk ‘n Text (TnT) is almost the same as the Smart sims, and Touch Mobile (TM) is also almost the same as Globe sim cards, so I will just tell about the three major sim cards.
This is currently the best sim card to use while in your Caramoan vacation. Globe telecom has an excellent signal strength in Caramoan. A few call and texts won’t matter while you’re in the middle of the ocean.
Using Globe’s data was also excellent, I was able to play my games in 3G while I was in our stay in Al del Rio.
Sun Cellular has the second best signal strength while in Caramoan. I wasn’t able to use it’s data properly since I was testing the Globe data during that time.
Smart had the worst signal strength while I was in Caramoan. The signal will occasionally get lost even though I was in the hotel. And of course even when I was in our trip.
The Smart’s data wasn’t also reliable while I stayed in Caramoan.
After a great journey in Caramoan, now is the time to buy souvenirs and goods that can only be bought at Bicol!
First to buy are the awesomely sweet Pili Nuts! These nuts have different variation of cooking, so its actually good to purchase all of them to try what are the best nuts in your taste.
You can also have a couple of fruits and key chains! (See photo)
The shop that had the cheapest Pili nuts and souvenirs is the one featured below just right beside UCPB Naga.
1. It is best to travel Caramoan if there is no TV show that is filming/will film during your stay.
2. A full three-day Caramoan tour is advisable to explore more islands during your stay.
3. Bring your own diving or swimming gears to fully experience your booked Caramoan tour package.
4. Traveling from Manila to Caramoan takes almost half a day (if you’re lucky). Be prepared for it.
5. Bring a bottle of water when joining the Caramoan tour pachages.
6. Leave no trace but your foot prints.