Showing posts with label Caramoan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Caramoan. Show all posts

St. Michael The Archangel Church of Caramoan

Despite the gloomy skies and morning drizzle, we made a quick visit to St. Michael The Archangel Church before leaving Caramoan island on our last day. The historical church, which is one of the century old churches in Camarines Sur, is located just a short walking distance from Rex Tourist Inn where we're staying.

St. Michael Archangel Church in Caramoan, Camarines Sur

Caramoan Accommodation: Cheap Homestay at Paniman Beach

Our two days of island hopping adventure not only made us discover and enjoy the spectacular beauty of Caramoan but helped us get to know the people that made our experience memorable. I've mentioned Kuya Ramil, our tour guide and boat man, several times in my previous posts regarding our island hopping activities but didn't talk about the kind of person he is. I'm sure you're itching to know about the budget accommodation but let me share to you about Kuya Ramil first. He is the very reason why the place is worth recommending. :)

Paniman Beach in Caramoan

Caramoan Island Hopping: The Long Trip

Our second day in Caramoan was intended for another island hopping adventure to more distant islands, which is why it is called the long trip. If you read what happened on our first day, we did the short trip which took us only a half day to explore the islands closer from Paniman. The experience that we had on our first day was more than enough to say that the 12-hour road and boat trips to Caramoan were all worth it. Caramoan Peninsula is, indeed, paradise.

Beautiful countryside view along the road

Caramoan: Cagbalinad Island

Cagbalinad Island was our second stop right after visiting Lahos Island. Travel time from Lahos to Cagbalinad took about 10 minutes. Cagbalinad is actually an islet with small beach that is swallowed by water during high tide. The sand was very fine and white and compact. In fact, we didn't see any footprints on the beach - a sign that no other visitors were here when we arrived. We had the beach to ourselves!

View of lush green mountain of Gota Island

Caramoan: Lahos Island

Lahos was the first island that we visited on our first day of Caramoan island hopping tour. Lahos island is part of the short trip since it's located along with other islands and islets in the southern part of Caramoan Peninsula. They are quite close from Paniman beach, which is one of the jump-off points for island hopping.

It was almost 12 noon when we left Paniman. The sun was on its highest and we couldn't wait to get in the small motorized boat. Kuya Ramil and his grandson were our tour guides slash boat men. En route to Lahos island, we enjoyed the scenic view of limestone karst and lush green mountains.

Caramoan Island Hopping: The Short Trip

Little is known about Caramoan Peninsula until the international show Survivor picked some of its islands as the location for different Survivor series. It has gained media attention and eventually more local and international tourists are drawn to this hidden paradise in Camarines Sur.

Caramoan Peninsula is composed of several islands and islets that are accessible by boat from Caramoan Island. There are two jump-off points, Paniman Beach and Bikal Port, where you can rent a motorized boat to take you to some of these islands. After our arrival and a quick lunch at the Caramoan town, we immediately headed to Paniman Beach for our island hopping adventure.

From Centro, it takes about 40 minutes to get to Paniman Beach. Kuya Ramil arranged a tricycle to take us to the site. There's no route transportation going there so you will need to rent a tricycle or habal-habal depending on the number of persons in your group. We paid PhP300 for a round trip fare.

Rough road to Paniman Beach

The Journey to Caramoan Island

We've been planning a trip to Caramoan Peninsula for ages. The plan wouldn't always push through because of conflicting schedule and limited airline promo fares so we would end up scratching our plan and going to different destinations instead. Finally, we were able to make our four-day Caramoan trip this year a reality.

August is perhaps not a good time to visit Bicol region because it's a typhoon season. Our desire, however, to explore this hidden gem in Camarines Sur was unstoppable. In order to stick with our plan, we decided to travel to Bicol by land. Flying to Naga is the fastest way to get to Bicol but the chance of getting a flight cancelled frightened us. We could not afford to move our trip (again) so we thought traveling by bus would be a far better option in case the weather turns harsh.

The most popular way to get to Caramoan by land is to take a bus from Manila to Naga City then another bus from Naga City to Sabang Port, the jump-off point to Caramoan Island. However, I learned that Peñafrancia Tours has a daily trip plying directly to Sabang Port. We took the latter option. I think they're the only bus line that offers such trip so we called them one week in advance to make a reservation. Fare is P765 per person for one way.

We arrived at Araneta Bus Terminal in Cubao 30 minutes ahead of the scheduled departure time. However, the bus left one hour behind its original 8:30 PM schedule. The whole trip from Manila to Sabang Port took 10 grueling hours - my longest bus ride ever. There were 3 bus stops for restroom break and light snacks.

The first of the three bus stops in Tiaong, Quezon

Where Have I Been this 2011?

I'm so freaking blessed to have traveled to many major destinations in the Philippines this year. One of my new year's resolutions which was to travel only every other month has become an almost monthly routine. I kicked off 2011 with a Puerto Galera getaway and soon found myself crazy booking for domestic flights in every seat sale opportunity I can get. I thought the travel bug was beginning to bite me hard.

Just to summarize, below are the places where I've been in the past year. I will be writing about my adventure in each of these destinations in the next couple of days weeks. Looks like a lot of backlog to catch up on. :-)

Puerto Galera, January 2011