Caramoan rose in popularity when it became one of the shooting locations of the hit reality TV show Survivor. Both local and foreign tourists make their way to this group of islands in Camarines Sur, Bicol, mainly to experience its enchanting islands and pristine beaches and get a dose of vitamin sea.
Exploring Caramoan in the future? Check out this list of jaw-dropping beaches and islands.
This small island has fine, white sand and azure waters dotted with towering rock formations. You can also find a lagoon on the island, which has an interesting story behind it. The lagoon is said to be the home of a huge milkfish that somehow, just magically appeared. Locals say there used to be two, but a family caught one and ate it. The family died after eating the fish and since then, no one has dared to catch the remaining milkfish. To see the lagoon, you need to clamber up steep and sharp limestone rock formations.
Some say this island got its name from the word “laho”, which means to disappear. During high tide, the long stretch of vegetated, off-white sand disappears. In low tide, you can see this strip and the towering rock formations surrounding it in all their glory.
This island is unique, with a hill overlooking its pebble shores. Adding to its raw charm are vegetated rock formations and crystal clear waters.
This island consists of two islands: Big Katanhawan and Small Katanhawan. It’s where one of the tribes set up camp in Survivor, and most boatmen will happily pinpoint the exact location of the site. The islands are stunning, with rugged rock formations covered in vegetation and waves crashing into the shore.
Malarad Island is where Tayak Lagoon and Tayak Beach are located, and is another filming location for Survivor. The island has gigantic rock formations and a cream-colored beach with aquamarine waters. The lagoon is one of the main reasons tourists make a stop here. Its clear, deep, and emerald waters and serenity make it a worthwhile destination.
Some agree that Sabitang Laya is the most beautiful among Caramoan’s islands. This triangle-shaped island has two beaches with a combined length of around two kilometers. The sand is fine and the rock formations dotting it stunning. This is another shooting location for Survivor.
This uninhabited island exemplifies that tropical paradise you want to be stranded on. Swaying coconut trees along the shore will greet you as your boat approaches. The clear blue waters will entice you to swim, the powdery sand soft to the feet. At low tide, you can see a sand bar at its tip. This destination is often a lunch stop for island hopping tours. There are huts where you can rest, relax, and enjoy a picnic.
How to Go to Caramoan
- Via Naga
The most popular route to Caramoan is through Naga. Take a Naga-bound bus from Manila. Fare is approximately P800 for the air conditioned bus. The trip takes around 9 hours. Once you reach the bus terminal, make your way to the Naga Van Terminal behind SM via a tricycle for P10-P30. Board a van bound for Sabang Port for around P150 one way.
Once in Sabang, look for the passenger boats departing for Guijalo Port, Caramoan. Fare is about P120, and the trip takes around two hours one way. There is a P30 environmental fee once you reach the port. You can hire a tricycle for P300 for up to six passengers to your accommodation in town.
After checking in and leaving your bags, make your way to Bikal Port located in Paniman. This is where you can find boats to charter for island hopping. The rates vary from P1,500 (can accommodate up to six people to nearby islands) to P4,000 depending on the number of passengers and the islands you want to visit. P1,500
Alternatively, you can book a flight to Naga City from Manila. However, you might have to spend the night in the city, as vans and boats depart in the morning.
- Via Catanduanes
It is possible to combine a trip to Catanduanes with Caramoan. There are direct flights from Manila to Virac. Book a ticket months before your planned trip to get discounted fares. Once in Virac, hire a tricycle to Codon Port. The fare costs around P300-P400 for up to four passengers. Once at the port, you can charter a boat for around P3,000 (depending on the islands you visit). The usual itinerary from Catanduanes is Matukad, Lahos, Pitogo, Katanhawan, and Malarad Island. Some islands are quite far and may cost more if you add them to your itinerary.