Islands and Beaches
Caramoan: The Island Hopping You Must Have Once In Your Lifetime
Aris Mape | Jun 25, 2015
Indeed, there’s so much to love about Caramoan. Day 1 closed with a short tour to the nearby islands, each with a unique view and adventure to offer. Day 2, while still in awe of the beauty they’ve seen, the hobbits started the day early for another sunrise to sundown adventure.
The laidback town of Caramoan, one of the 35 municipalities of Camarines Sur, is located at the tip of the Caramoan Peninsula. Rolling hills and the lush green mountains, rock formations, and lovely islands scattered in its pristine waters make Caramoan the perfect destination for travel and adventure.
No wonder, even in the past, Dutch traders have been captivated by the beauty of the place, earning it the name of “Guta de Leche”. Stories say this was derived from the milk drop stalagmites found among the rocks of Guta Port. When the Spaniards arrived, the place was called “Carahan” for the sea turtle which abound the shores of these islands. Later on it was called Caramoan.
Two years after the first escapade, the hobbit returned to the islands. This time, he brought company: the two curious brothers, Ramir and Rix. Early morning, they left Naga City and took a taxi to Sabang Port. It was high tide. To get to the boat, they had to ride a barge from the shallow shores. Times have changed. Two years back, your only way to get a boat ride is to have a porter carry you on their back unless you want to get soaked in saltwater.
Of course, the top choice was still Residencia de Salvacion (RDS), a humble resort which has consistently received great reviews from local and foreign tourists. In their old location, one needed to take a long ride to the beach. Now, they’re right at the beachfront on the long shoreline of Paniman, close to a giant rockwall. At this same spot, the ocean gives birth to a river, making the place a great location for kayaking and a late afternoon dip in the cold seawater.
The tour started right after feasting on crabs for lunch. The first stop was Lahos Island, has a picturesque white sand beach between two jagged limestone formations.
After swimming in the lukewarm water (and taking a lot of selfies), the boat sailed to the nearby Matukad Island where you can climb the sharp rocks to see the enchanted lagoon and the surrounding seascapes. The beach is perfect. The palm trees and their bright orange fruits add color to the already stunning scene.
WORD OF MOUTH
What Others Say About Caramoan
PENELOPE—Sabitang Laya. Lahuy. Cotivas. Gota. Lahus. Matukad. Minalahos. Hunongan. Tinazo. Basod. Haponan. Manlawi sandbar. There is indeed much to see but the names of all the islands are admittedly too hard to remember, thus a challenge on its own. The good thing, however, is that no island is the same here in Caramoan. There was no need for names, only what part of the island held our breaths.
VIRNA—If you want a long stretch of shoreline then there’s Sabitang Laya. If one beach isn’t enough for you, go to Lahos for a double beach (yep, rear and front). If you want to see something new and extraordinary then head to Pitogo where instead of having sand on the beach, you will find yourself stepping on smooth stones of almost identical shapes and sizes. And then of course, there’s everybody’s favorite–Matukad Island, where everything is just perfect–crystal clear waters, powdery white sand that can beat that of Boracay’s or even Palawan, and the beautiful landscape and rock formations which can bring out the adventurous side in you.
CHRYSS—Caramoan is a must-see, not only because it’s a well-known location of the famous reality TV show Survivor, but because, remote as it is, it makes you feel “at home” with nature and your loved ones. The locals are very accommodating and hospitable, too.
RYAN—I’m a non-swimmer, so I don’t really take much interest in snorkeling. But when I finally tried it in Caramoan, I had fun! I was amazed by the scene underwater. It was surreal. The corals and the brightly colored fishes, that was one sight I’m glad I have seen in my life. Besides the breathtaking view, hospitality is also at its finest in Caramoan. The locals and the tour guides are very friendly. You also won’t miss great food—lutong bahay is great—especially fresh seafood.
MARGARITA—If you want the comfort and luxury of Boracay, don’t think of going to Caramoan. This remote destination in Bicol may disappoint you on the lack of jet skis, banana boats, bars, and night life. But, if you’re adventurous and a nature lover at heart, you will definitely not get enough of what these islands have got for you. I even think it’s like getting to two places, Boracay and Palawan combined. From mountains to rock formations to caves and white sand beaches, Caramoan will surely exceed your expectations of an island getaway.