Thursday, September 7, 2017

Calaguas Islands : Complete and Updated Travel Guide

Calaguas, a group of islands and islets,  is one of the best destinations in Camarines Norte. Judging from our own appreciation and personal experience, it is one of the best beaches and islands and by far our number one pick destination in the entire Region of Bicol. This white sand wonderland promises to outlast your expectation as it meets both adventure and relaxation.

COMPLETE TRAVEL GUIDE IN CALAGUAS ISLAND
Location: Vinzons, Camarines Norte
(Updated: April 2017)
Tinaga Hill View of Mahabang Buhangin
Calaguas Island, Mahabang Buhangin "Tinaga Hill View"
THINGS TO DO IN CALAGUAS:
  • Scuba Diving - Waling Waling Island Resort offers scuba diving package with diving master and complete diving course with certification. You will also have a privilege of naming a newly discovered reef. 
  • Snorkeling - If you have your own equipment, snorkel and discover the stunning marine life and coral garden of Calaguas. You can also rent snorkeling equipment in some resorts.
  • Swimming - Swim all night long and get mesmerized with  Calaguas' greenish to bluish water as well as the clean and soft seabed.
  • Island Hopping - Hop from one island to another; from Calaguas' powdery white sand beach to several beautiful islands and coves showcasing various types of sand.
  • Mountain Hiking - There are several hiking spots in Calaguas. Two of which are located in Tinaga Island and Balagbag Island. You can also hire a local guide to hike the hill of Tinaga.
  • Cove Trekking - Trek the tedious lengthy cove of Calaguas Island (Mahabang Buhangin).
  • Cliff Jumping - Tombstoning in Calaguas is located in the right tip of Mahabang Buhangin. There are also a few known cliff jumping areas in other Islands of Calaguas.
  • Kayaking - Calaguas Paradise Resort offers Kayaking. Rent their Kayak to explore the beautiful sea of Calaguas and go beyond the island to discover its hidden paradise.
  • ATV - If you can't trek the kilometer long cove of Mahabang Buhangin you can rent an ATV from Calaguas Paradise Resort and explore the beach of Calaguas.
  • Sports & Recreation - There's a beach volleyball area in front of Calaguas Paradise Resort plus a billiard zone inside. You can also do frisbee, skimboarding, bodyboarding and the likes.
  • And many more
Tips: If you want to get an Instagrammable photo of Mahabang Buhangin, hike the summit of Balagbag Island. It will only take you about 10 minutes to reach Balagbag Hill View Point. And if you're looking for a picture perfect of Calaguas' brother and sister islands, the hilltop of Tinaga would be ideal.
Aerial view of Calaguas Mahabang Buhangin
Calaguas Island Drone Shot "Left to Right"
HOW TO GET THERE:

For those who will arrive via Air:
  1. via Camarines Sur (Naga Airport) - from the airport, head to Naga Van Terminal, look for van en rout to Daet. Trip to Daet is at 5am to 7pm.
  2. via Albay (Legazpi City Airport) - upon arrival, charter a van to get you directly to Daet or straight to Paracale or Vinzons Port. If out-of-budget, get a taxi or tricycle and tell them to transmit you to Legazpi City Bus Terminal. From the terminal, look or ask for buses en route to Daet.
  3. via Camarines Norte (Bagasbas Airport)  - flights to Bagasbas Airport maybe limited and seasonal but incase you have a flight direct to Daet or humbly have a chopper; charter a Van directly to Vinzons or Paracale.
If you're coming from Manila, Camarines Sur, Albay, Pilar or Sorsogon via Land:
  1. Ride a bus or van going to Daet, Camarines Norte.
  2. You can also rent a van to make it more easier and get you directly to your jump-off point which is Daet or straight to Paracale or Vinzons Port.
Tips: There are travel and tours which include an optional back and forth van transportation at P1, 100/pax to get you directly to Vinzons or Paracale. It's the same as riding a non-air-conditioned bus that costs P550, a total of P1,100  from Manila - Daet - Manila.

From Daet, there are two ports going to Calaguas Group of Islands; Vinzons and Paracale Ports. We'll start from Vinzons.
Calaguas Mini Map
Mini map of ports to Calaguas and a guide to "Daet - Vinzons" and "Daet - Paracale"
Vinzons Port
  • Daet - Vinzons Town: From Daet, ride a jeep to Vinzons town
  • Estimated Travel Time: 40 minutes
  • Approximate Travel Cost: 70 to P120
  • Vinzons Town - Vinzons Port: From downtown Vinzons ride a tricycle or walk to Vinzons Port
  • Estimated Travel Time: 15 minutes
  • Approximate Travel Cost: 50 to P80
  • Vinzons Port - Calaguas Island: From Vinzons port, rent a boat from the fishermen to Calaguas Island. Choose your drop-off point. Mahabang Buhangin of Tinaga Island, Balagbag Island, Guintinua Island, Maculabo Island as well as several other minor Islands.
  • Estimated Travel Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
  • Approximate Travel Cost: 1,600 to P2,500
Tips: If you already booked a reservation to Calaguas Island via Travel and Tour, make sure that your boat ride is included in the package, so you need NOT to pay anything for your roundtrip boatride and island hopping in Calaguas. Contact your Travel and Tour agent before your arrival in Vinzons or Paracale so everything is set when you arrive at the port.

Paracale Port (There two options two reach Paracale town.)

Option 1
  • Daet - Paracale: From Daet, ride a van to Paracale.
  • Estimated Travel Time: 1 hour
  • Approximate Travel Cost: 120 to P200
  • Paracale - Calaguas Island: From Paracale, walk to the fish port and rent a boat from the fishermen to Calaguas Island. Choose your drop-off point. Tinaga Island, Balagbag Island, Guintinua Island and some other Islands.
  • Estimated Travel Time: 1 hour and 50 minutes
  • Approximate Travel Cost: 1,600 to P2,500
Option 2
  • Daet - Talobatib: From Daet, get off at Barangay Talobatib in Labo, Camarines Norte.
  • Estimated Travel Time: 35 minutes
  • Approximate Travel Cost: 100 - P150
  • Talobatib - Paracale: From Barangay Talobatib junction, ride a bus or rent a motorcycle to Paracale Town.
  • Estimated Travel Time: 25 minutes
  • Approximate Travel Cost: 50 to P100
  • Paracale - Calaguas Island: From the Port of Paracale, head to the boatmen and charter a watercraft to Calaguas Island. Select your desired drop-off point.
  • Estimated Travel Time: 1 hour and 50 minutes
  • Approximate Travel Cost: 1,600 to P2,500
Tips: If you're coming from Manila and you want a non-stop ride, there are direct trips to Paracale via Superlines. If you want the fast-lane, rent a van to go directly to Paracale or Vinzons Port. All applies for those coming from Manila, Albay, Sorsogon, Pilar and Camarines Sur.
Photo of Coral Reefs under Calaguas sea
Calaguas Island Coral Garden "One thing i love about underwater photography, they don't like jump shot"
ACCOMMODATION:
  • Rooms - There are several resorts in Calaguas Island, particularly in Tinaga (Mahabang Buhangin), offering beautiful native rooms "air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned" that are able to accommodate a single backpacker  to a group of friends and families.
  • Cabanas - Available in some resorts, which alone can accommodate some 8 to 15 tourists, fronts the cove from a distance.
  • Cottages - They offer open-air cottages, large enough to shelter up to 15 aliens.
  • Camping Site - Probably the famous choice of backpackers and travelers; you may pitch your own tent or rent a tent from the locals. They offer single person tent to family size tents. You may also hang your hammock in the trees or post-anchored your hammock.
  • Restaurant - Calaguas Paradise Resort serves fresh crustacean cuisines and locally grown fruits and veggies. They also offer catering service. Waling-Waling Island Resort on the other hand is also in the edge of providing a 100 sitting capacity restaurant; ideal for conferences and team building.
  • Restroom - Resorts in Calaguas have their own restrooms and common bathrooms. If you're in the Camp Site, it's about 30 to 70 steps away from your site location.
Additional Information:

Natives in Calaguas Island offer delicious food. Ranging from P200 to P800, you may taste their best-served yummy seafood dishes, native chicken, pork, veggies and a lot more.

Tips: Mahabang Buhangin of Tinaga Island is the best Island to spend a night or two and the most famous island in Calaguas. Resorts in Tinaga Island offer various set of accommodations; rooms, cottages, tents, food and more.

DO-IT-YOURSELF vs TOUR PACKAGE:

If you're traveling from a place far from your destination, Travel and Tour is your best option. Don't bother to solve your expenses in doing DIY. You will still reach the thousand mark and may end up spending the same amount that of availing a tour package, but for less and more stress. Doing DIY in Calaguas will still cut your budget in half and might get you disappointed when all cottages, cabanas or rooms are already taken. Another down side of this, some DIYs are time conscious. Hence, you maybe limited to things and destinations you should not miss. Check as many blogs as you want apropos to Calaguas, do the Math and tada! Congratulations, you're more than 1k and need to have atleast 8 buddies to travel with. Seriously, it's a pain in the a**.

Here's a peek to our Calaguas adventure. We chose to go via Travel and Tour; budget starts at 1,600 to 2,300 per alien for 2 days.
  • Big boat included - Roundtrip boatride + Island hopping.
  • Tent - They provided each of us with tent.
  • Food - Includes seafood dishes, pork and fish inihaw, veggies, almost "unli" rice and many more. Food serving is good for 10 to 15 mortals and non-mortals. Our package includes lunch - dinner - breakfast - lunch. (Good for two days).
You don't want to trade Calaguas cuisines for DIY baon packs. Take for instance:
  • Lobster|Shrimps to Canned Sardines
  • Grilled Pork & Fish to Grilled Hotdog
  • Fresh Big Tuna to Canned Tuna
  • Fresh Veggies to Maryt's Cracklin
  • Almost "unli" rice to 1 sack of rice (It's heavy)
Upon our arrival at Calaguas, Tinaga Island (Mahabang Buhangin), everything is all set; cottage, tents, food, etc. There's a huge difference between DIY and Tour Package:
  • You don't need to bring your own tent.
  • You don't need to bring and cook your own food.
  • No need to worry where to stay, where to hop and what to do.
  • Travel light and travel stress-free.
DIY is ideal in some beach destinations but in an Island like Calaguas which offers a fun full of activities and heavenly dishes, I totally recommend to go for a tour package to experience the best accommodation. Look and search for the best tour packages and ask them about their accommodation and itineraries. Plus, don't forget to bargain to reduce atleast 5-20% of the expense. If you think your budget is still a hundred bucks short, plan ahead of time.

Tips: There are travel and tours offering shuttle service from Daet to Vinzons Port and vice versa. Plus, boat transfer, tents, 3 meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), environmental fees, barangay fees, etc. For only P1,800/pax. Some travel and tours also include free unlimited use of kayaks, free snorkeling equipment and free hiking.

CALAGUAS GROUP OF ISLANDS

Tinaga Island, Guintinua Island, Maculabo Island, Comalasag Island, Puacuapan Islands, Balagbag Islands, Cagbalisay Island, Siapa Island, Siapa Pequeño Island, Little Siapa Island, Bantigua Island, Huag Island, Macalantot Island, Amalia Island, Ingalan Island, Samur Island, Pinagcastillohan Island.
Balagbag and Tinaga Island
Balagbag Island and Tinaga Island "The closest brother and sister"
And they whisper to me... Please take care of us.
For more information and photos about Calaguas Group of Islands, check these Calaguas Travel Blogs:
For Calaguas travel and tours, reservations, tour packages and contact information, check out the comment section below for the latest accommodation and itineraries.

12 comments:
Write comments
  1. Best Calaguas Tour:
    Tour Package: 2D1N - 2,300/pax
    Contact #: Globe - 0975 740 0099 Smart - 0920 661 1018

    ReplyDelete
  2. Calaguas ATBP:
    Tour Package: 2D1N - 1,800/pax
    Meals, Tent, Rountrip Boatride, Island Hopping, Tent, etc. (All Included)
    Contact #: 09998899197 / 09173588128 / 09096139330

    ReplyDelete
  3. If you're looking for affordable hotels in downtown Daet with free breakfast and wifi, Click Here

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi.. ill be doing diy.. wala ksing group tours on wkdays. What are fees to be paid when camping on the beach? I read meron entrance and camping fees.. but im not clear if the fees are per day, per person, per night. Please clarify.. thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Entrance fee:150 (one time payment only)
      Camping fee: 100 - 150 (per night)

      Delete
  5. Hi..plano ko sana mag diy dis holly week biglaan kc merron na akong kausap na bangkero at sya din ang magprovide ng tent bale ang kulang ko na lang ang pagkain,meron po b mabibilhan doon o meron ba doon nag cater ng pagkain.Salamat po.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marami ka po mabibilhan ng pagkain doon.. May resto po sa Calaguas Paradise Resort and pede ka rin mag pa cook sa mga locals for about 200 and more...

      Delete
  6. CHEAP BOAT RENTAL VIA PARACALE TO CALAGUAS ISLAND. KINDLY TEXT US 09486793920, 09471109451, or 09303829656. Contact KUYA JACK, JES, and ATE BEBE. TNX MUCH AND GODBLESS
    MARINA ACCREDITED WITH INSURANCE
    AND CPC.
    THE FIRST ONE AND GOOD SERVICES TOUR OPERATOR IN PARACALE SINCE 2008

    ReplyDelete
  7. 450/ pax best rate for boat rental atleast 10 pax above...thank you and GODbless.

    Just pm to my fb account @ ernjace escandor osillo
    Or you can send by email @ calaguastoureo@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Goodmorning po . ask po kung open po ang resort ng Jan 1. for 2 d/N po. at may boat going calaguas island at puwede po mag tour?? pls po waiting po ako ng reply.. good for 2 or 3 pax po..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good day,

      As far as I know, meron din naman po nag a-accommodate ng Tour sa ganyang schedule. You can check the listed Tour agencies dito sa comment section and contact them kung open sila sa tour ng Jan.1

      Thank you!

      Delete