Longing for Summer: the Caramoan Getaway

Woke up this morning and I knew just what I wanna blog about. Damn I miss summer! I can’t wait to squeeze in on a bikini and just lay on the beach…I wanna feel sand between my toes…salt on my lips. Last summer, me and my boyfie went to Caramoan. It’s located just in our province, Camarines Sur. I’m really proud of Cam Sur and the white beaches of Caramoan is just one of the reasons why I feel perfectly content living here. Anytime you wanna escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, you can get yourself a little piece of heaven in just 1.5 hours drive.

Our trip started out as a spur-of-the-moment decision which later turned into a vacation which involves rigorous planning, intensive inquiries of potential guest homes and a foolproof itinerary. Did I mention I have OCD?
I can’t swim either. 😀 but being cray cray, I just looove the sea. So days before out trip, boyfie and I went hunting for a good life vest. Not that it’s really necessary; there are life vests provided in every boat in Caramoan. Standard really. So why did I need to buy one? Yep, you’ve guessed it. I’m very paranoid and not comfortable with the idea of sharing life vests. 🙂 Boyfie isn’t comfortable with the idea of me dying on sea and ruining our trip either. Besides, who says you can’t bring your own life vest? Other things I packed:
1) sunscreen (one for face and one for the body)–i use Coppertone, the one from Japan. for some reason it works better on me than the Coppertone here (?) oh well, guess that requires another blog entry.
2) glare-foil sunnies — bcoz what’s the point in wearing sunglasses if they can’t really protect you from the glare 🙂
3) flip-flops
4) colorful monokinis

5) plenty of sarong— during summer, sarongs are as indispensable to me as sunscreen. they’re very versatile — you can turn ’em into a dress, a cover-up, even use it as a mat if you just wanna lie down on the beach ..or a picnic blanket ^^ lol plus, they’re light, easy to pack.. you don’t have to worry about bringing lotsa clothes or having wrinkles on your clothes.

Me looking like a crazy person ^^

6) wide-brimmed hat — don’t want your face to get burned do ya?
7) insect repellent (just in case)
8) first aid kit (just in case)
9) toiletries
10) towel
11) wet wipes
12) umbrella
13) flash light
14) camera with spare batteries
15) goggles
15) Ziploc — why? aside from the fact that it’s a convenient way to store your toothbrush/ accessories/ sandwiches, etc. , you kinda need them to protect your camera/ cellphone and any other gadgets just in case they fall into the water. — not saying your stuff will get easily retrieved though so just keep your celly in your bag during the boat ride ok? 🙂

so how to get there?

I’m from Naga City so it’s kinda easy. We just drove to Sabang Port. Got up hella early — you kinda have to coz you don’t wanna miss the passenger boat which will bring you to Guijalo Port. The boat leaves every 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the number of passengers. The first trip is at 5:30 am, then there’s the 7: 30 which we took…. last trip is at 1:00 pm. Fare was P120/pax. Ahhh boat ride, the most grueling part of our trip– for me at least. 🙂 Boat time is 2 freaking hours by the way 🙂 Trust me though, it’s well worth it.

prepare to get splashed!

Thank goodness most of the guest houses in Caramoan provide their guests with packages that include everything you need from a comfy bed, bathroom, hot water (not all of them have this so you better make it a point to ask), planned meals (some provide packed lunches) and a comprehensive itinerary. You can get involved in the menu planning as we were and we even modified our itinerary.

Ok so once we got to Guijalo port, there was a tricycle driver waiting for us. All land and water transpo from Guijalo port were covered by our package. Road was a little bumpy but we got to the guesthouse in one piece. There were meals waiting for us there then we immediately prepared the stuff we were gonna bring to the island coz we just can’t wait to hit the beach! Our first stop: Matukad island. A couple of skilled boatmen were assigned to take us island hopping (included in the package). Here’s the thing though, expect the boat rides to be like hell rather lengthy! Fine powdery sand that can rival that of Boracay’s station one (if not better!) Ok, I seriously think it’s better (I compared my pics) …. I wish I could’ve spent the entire afternoon there instead of hopping to another less pretty island… Yes, the boat ride’s pretty long but it’s all worth it. 🙂

all i really want is to feel sand between my toes..

We then spent the rest of the day exploring the other islands. Matukad beach, Lahos Island, Honongan beach, Basud beach…each one is different from the other. We were pretty exhausted by the end of the day. We headed back to the guest house in the late aftie, took a bath, had dinner then curled up in bed with some chips and DVD’s that we brought with us. We went to bed early coz ummmmmm we knew we gotta wake up really early the next morning if we were to maximize our stay in Caramoan. We were there for 3 days and 2 nights. Most guest houses offer packages that range from 2 days – 1 night to 4 days-3, nights. I think 3 days and 2 nights is the best option since it provides you with sufficient time to see all the islands. 2 days- 1 night simply isn’t enough! If you don’t have the time for an overnight excursion, then perhaps you can check out the Island of Aguirangan.

see how clear the water is?

On Day 2, we were scheduled to see the Manlawi Sandbar, Cotivas Island, Bag-ing beach, Sabitang Laya, and Gota beach. Some vacationers aren’t reach all of them due to either lack of time or the weather. We were lucky the weather was fine… just perfect. Well it’s got to be! I practically planned this trip to perfection.lol That includes frequent checks on http://www.weather-forecast.com/locations/Caramoan/forecasts/latest

Apart from the fine powdery sand and the pristine waters, one thing I adore about Caramoan islands are the rock formations. The privacy is also a huge plus factor. I’ve been to Boracay on the same year and as fun as it was, I prefer the Caramoan islands for romantic getaways. Even though we went there during the peak season, we hardly ever bumped into the people that  we shared the Sabang to Guijalo boat ride with. The two places have very different things to offer. If you’re looking for water sports, nightlife and shopping, then visit Boracay. However, if you just want adventure or maybe some peace and quiet, then Caramoan is the place to be. Theres really no point in comparing the two places since they are both equally beautiful so I suggest you go visit both.

Day 3 in Caramoan is really mostly spent on preparations for going home. We took a tricycle ride again from the guesthouse to Guijalo port and took the 10 am boat to Sabang Port. We shouldered our fare from outside of Guijalo Port. I went home with tan lines and a big smile on my face. 🙂

walking by the beach

Caramoan is a beauty! If you’re a Bikolano and haven’t been here yet, shame on you! you have got to check it out.
If you’re a foreigner/balikbayan or an adventure-seeker, then you can’t miss out on the breathtaking islands of Caramoan. The island has hosted several seasons of Survivor and more and more tourists are visiting the place.

For people coming from Manila through plane, you can just hire a taxi from Pili  airport to Naga City Terminal. From there, you can ride a van to Caramoan. If you travelled to Naga City through bus, well that oughta be easy since you’ll already get off at the bus terminal. As for us, we brought a car which we left at the care of one of the many residences at Sabang port that offer parking services at a per night fee. I think we paid somewhere around 200. Don’t be afraid to haggle. 🙂

manlawi sandbar– one of my favorites

These islands can pretty much be considered as untouched and the locals wish to keep it as such. Hence, it is void of large-scale developments. So don’t be expecting 5 star hotels or bars or shopping centers. I think it’s best to opt for guesthouses. These are actual homes that rent out their spare rooms for vacationers. The good thing about these types of accommodations is that you get all the comforts of home plus delicious home-cooked meals. Fresh seafood galore!

Well, there you have it. I apologize for the photos, not very good quality plus I only shared the ones that don’t show my silly all-excited face. lol That means i wasn’t even able to upload the ones that have nice backgrounds like rock formations, the clear blue sky and the water. sigh. but what the hell, you can easily search em up on the net anyway 🙂 Ta-ta for now, I gotta make lunch; I’m having this really healthy salad with a wicked creamy garlic dressing that I’m probably gonna blog about one of these days.

xO kz

PS i love this island so please leave your footprints and none of your garbage 🙂

boyfie’s feet are ginormous! lol

16 thoughts on “Longing for Summer: the Caramoan Getaway

  1. Im a Bicolano and yet I’ve never been to Caramoan! Im longing for summer as much as you do. We plan to visit Caramoan this April (hopefully). You’re off to a good start with your blog. Kipitap!

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