I have one the best weekend ever at Caramoan Island thanks to TravelBook.ph. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I was chosen to be part of the TravelBook’s Blogger Getaway Contest. It was my first time to join a blogger contest and I fortunately won! SavingsPinay is a personal finance blog but I had few travel itineraries and budget as well as ultimate guides post published already. Today I am excited to share to you everything you need to know to have a successful and memorable Caramoan Island Hopping. Ready?! Blog Post Updates!!!
Changed location of Tulya from Yupakit Beach to Bag-Ing, Baliti Island
Changed location of Al Del Rio Villa Resort from Caramoan Port to Bikal Port
Added a better mode transportation going to Caramoan
Removed one contact number of Al Del Rio since its not work anymore
Bloggers Alert: Join the TravelBook Affiliate Program Now!
Before this weekend trip going to Caramoan is just a dream. I don’t have the resources to go to the places that experience the hidden gem of Bicol region made famous by reality-show Survivor. I knew Caramoan as a perfect venue for Island Hopping and for a first-timer, the experience was full-blown amazing. You can read My Caramoan Island Travel Diary to know how my experience went from Day 0 to Day 2.
Island Hopping by the definition is the crossing of an ocean by the series of shorter journeys between islands. This is a complete opposite of just going to a single journey to a specific destination. It is true-to-itself a perfect venue to island hop. White sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, Caramoan gives you the freedom and privilege of encountering different rock formations, sand types and bodies of water all at once.
Ready for my first Island Hopping experience. All smile kahit takot.
Top Destinations to Include in Your Caramoan Island Hopping
The first suggested island you need to visit is Matukad Beach. Its well-known for its amazing clear water and fine lakas-maka Boracay white sand. Matukad means “mataas” and the reason for this is the stunning sharp rocks that made the island extra adventurous. Swimming in Matukad is such a great experience. The water is very clear and cool on the body. There’s also a climbable steep rock formation where you get to see an inland lake above. This is the location of the mythical two-feet long milkfish which said to guide the Matukad Beach from ages.
Fine white sand
Rock formations you’ll see along the way
Steep rock to the lagoon where you;ll find mystic milk fish of Matukad Island
Lahos came from a Visayan word “lahus” which means to pass through and through. This is the perfect description of the island to be honestly. It gives you a beach from front to back. What I love most about Lahos is the big waves. We had fun staying at the beach and getting dragged by the waves back to the white sand. The rock formations are also on another level and you’ll get a lot of great backgrounds for your selfies and group photos.
One of the best experience I had during my Caramoan Island Hopping is snorkeling at Cagbalingad Beach. If you are looking for an up close and personal experience of the marine life this is the sure destination to be. You’ll see different kinds of fish freely roaming around the ocean. The corals are so beautiful and ultimately took my breath away. Our guide Ms. Mau of Al Del Rio is kind enough to guide me as I snorkel for the first time ever. You can take pictures if you have an action camera or any underwater camera with you because the water is very clear. As for me, the memories of Cagbalingad Beach remains in my heart forever.
Our way to Cagbalingad Beach
This is a private beach owned by the family of Ms. Mau from Al Del Rio. If you book them for your tours and accommodation you’ll sure get to see this place. What you’ll love about Yupakit is the picturesque sunset that can be seen and captured easily. The black and white sand of the beach is also one of the most unique about this island. It is filled with small to medium rock formations where you can take a photo freely.
See this sunset view? Its like a desktop wallpaper sa ganda
You will find this Tulya almost everywhere at Yupakit Beach Bag-ing, Baliti Beach
Sab-itang Laya and Bag-ing Beach
Your island hopping at Caramoan, Philippines won’t be complete without going to Sab-itang Laya and Bag-ing Beach. The rock formations make up a stunning backdrop for everyone. It is also a place where Survivor filmed and stayed during the Caramoan season.
Cotivas Beach (Sand Bar) and Manlawe Sandbar (Floating Cottage)
What’s amazing about Caramoan Island is it is a place where you get to experience and explore different places as well. Cotivas Beach (Sand Bar) and Manlawe Sandbar (Floating Cottage) for example mirrors Maldives known for its amazing underwater world. You will definitely enjoy having your lunch at one of the floating cottages that stretches on the island.
Di namin na-witness yung sandbar because of the high tide
Locals who sell halo-halo, buko and mais con yelo
Guinahoan Island is known as the Batanes of Caramoan. A five-minute hike will take you to the well-known Guinahoan Light House. There’s also a nipa hut on the side where you can relax and wander. You will find yourself surrounded by long green grass, the wind will blow your stress away and the view as you reach the top will surprise you. Imagine the wide ocean as your picture background. It is most definitely a once in a lifetime experience.
Guinahoan Light House
The view below Guinahoan
Where To Stay at Caramoan?
Al Del Rio Villa Resort proves to be an excellent choice for accommodation to us, Blogger Affiliate winners. The homestay accommodation they offer is superb and the authentic travel experience they deliver is beyond extraordinary. Al Del Rio Villa Resort is located near the Caramoan PortBikal Port which is nice because you don’t need to walk extra long before or after your island hopping experience. It is a legit jump-off point for island hopping around Caramoan. They have aircon and non-aircon rooms good for solo, couple, family or barkada getaway. If you enjoy home-cooked meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner you will surely love Al Del Rio Villa Resort. Not to mention they have karaoke in the common area for everyone to enjoy.
The Caramoan Port is highly visible at Al Del Rio Villa Resort
How to go: From airport, take van or taxi going to Sabang Port (takes about 1 hour), at Sabang Port take boat ging to Guijalo Port (takes about 2 hours), at Guijalo Port take tricycle going to Baranggay Bika.
You can also book quick via TravelBook.ph. They get easily booked because of the referral from others who have stayed already in the place so make sure to be as fast as lightning. No worries, you won’t regret choosing Al Del Rio Villa Resort.
If you are ready to have your own Cramoan Island Hopping Experience you can contact Ms. Mau of Al Del Rio Villa Resort at 09177350742. They have budget-friendly tour packages inclusive of island hops, accommodation, meals and boat rentals. Don’t forget to mention Izza of SavingsPinay blog for the recommendation. Other Contact Numbers of Al Del Rio: 0918-6349258/0905-1363391/0929-50189161 (Not Working) Please stay-tune for my quick review of Al Del Rio Villa Resort next on the blog.
How To Go to Caramoan?
From Manila to Naga to Guijalo Caramoan (With Boat Ride)
Take a bus bound to Naga City. Buses like Raymond, Isarog Lines, Penafrancia Tours and Philtranco) alight at Naga. You can see most terminals at Cubao and Pasay with fare of 750pesos to 1,000pesos (one-way) depending on bus condition and time of your trip. The travel time is 9-10 hours.
From Naga to Sabang Port
Once you are at Naga City you can take a van at to Sabang Port situated in front of SM City Naga. This is the terminal of the vans so you won’t get lost. The fare is 100pesos/person. The travel time is 1-2 hours.
From Sabang Port to Guijalo, Caramoan
There are commercial boats at Sabang Port that will take you to Guijalo Port for 120pesos/person. The trips is every hour from 6am to 11am. Make sure to plan your departure in Manila wise so you can avail the boat trips. You can now take a tricycle going to your booked accommodation or stay at the nearby hotel/homestay available. Added Route Manila-Naga-Caramoan (Direct/No Boat Ride)
Ride a bus at Cubao or Pasay station going to Naga. The best time is a night trip so you will be sure to arrive at Bicol Central Station and/or Naga Central Station by morning. From the Bicol Central Station and/or Naga Central Station you can take a bus to Caramoan and go on another 3-4 hours long drive. You will be going to Caramoan via Fuentabella Highway.
For a 3Days/2Nights Itinerary and Budget example make sure to visit SavingsPinay this week. You can also read My Caramoan Island Travel Diary where I get to share freely my experience at Bicol Region’s wonderful tourist spot.
Budget Tips on Your Caramoan Island Hopping Adventure
A big thanks to TravelBook.ph for bringing me and the other 14 bloggers to Caramoan. I will introduce them to you on a separate blog post so I hope you stay tune. Anyway, I know reading all the posts about Caramoan makes you eager to book an accommodation and do island hopping too. But it may seem expensive for some. Below are my budget tips to make your own Caramoan Island Hopping Adventure less expensive than the usual.
Tip #1. The more people in the group, the better money-wise
Traveling by a group of 10 above will save you a lot of money on your trip to Caramoan. You can hire a van and share the fee for the gas, toll etc. You can also get big discounts on accommodation and tour just like what Al Del Rio Villa Resorts offer. Al Del Rio by the way is the partner of choice by TravelBook.ph in the first Blogger Affiliate Getaway Contest. I highly recommend Al Del Rio for they offer complete package accommodation and tours for small or big groups. I’ll have a separate review feature for this soon.
Tip #2. Its always nice to find a tour that offers food
Caramoan Island does not have the restaurants and commercial spaces for food so make sure to book an island hopping tour with lunch included. This is also ideal because they mostly prepare the local foods famous in the province. You also don’t have to worry about the utensils you’ll need to eat. You get to really experience the island life. There are locals however that sells halo-halo, buko on each beach that will get you satisfied. Tip #3. Buy in Bulk for Snacks and Bottled Water
Going to Caramoan Island is a long trip. And by long I mean really long. You will find yourself a bit excruciating in a 10-12 hour long ride. It is better to buy in bulk any snacks you want as well as the bottled water you’ll be needing on the trip.
Tip #4. Create your itinerary before hand
I know everyone loves a spontaneous trip but its better to create an itinerary before hand. This will enable you to budget accordingly and avoid any unforeseen expenses.
Tip #5. Book your hotel and accommodation in advance
The best way to enjoy a Caramoan Island Hopping Adventure for Less is by booking your accommodation in advance. A lot of Coramoan hotels and villa resorts offer complete tour package you can assess with your friends and family. Check TravelBook.ph which offers great value hotel booking for every Juan. At the moment they have the largest online catalog for Philippine hotels and resorts. Part of their listing and the place where we stayed is Al Del Rio Villa Resorts.
Things to Bring On Your Caramoan Island Hopping
If ever you plan to have your own island hopping don’t forget to bring with you the following:
Small Water-proof Bag.This is important specially if you will be bringing camera with you. You can keep you hands free from other things as you explore the island and get wet by the beach. You can also enclose your belongings on a zip-lock for extra protection.
Bottled Water.Since island hopping can be a long journey you might want to bring bottled water or any portable source with you. You can also bring snack with you along the journey. Just make sure that you don’t put your waste on the beach or island. Its a tourist etiquette to take care of the place you visit, remember.
Water Gears. Goggles, snorkeling kits are important as you island hop especially at Caramoan. You will be introduced to places like Cagbalinad Island where you’ll find yourself surrounded with a multitude of amazing marine life.
Medical Kit. It is better to be prepared in case emergency happens by the beach. Make sure you have medicine for those who easily suffer from sea sickness because the motion of the water may be too strong for some. You also need some bandage, alcohol for outdoor activities like climb on rocks and light trekking you’ll do on some islands. Example is Matukad Beach where you’ll climb a steep rock to see witness the tale of two milkfish. Another is the quick hike at Guinagoan Island which is the Batanes of Caramoan.
Final Notes from SavingsPinay
I’ve been very blessed to experience Caramoan thanks to the ever generosity of TravelBook.ph. For those who want to create their own Island Hopping in Caramoan Islands make sure to follow along the above guides from yours truly. Thank you to the people behind TravelBook and TravelBook Affiliate Program for making this possible.
Izza of SavingsPinay promotes financial literacy for the young and young at heart by providing insights and tips on budgeting, saving, investing and online entrepreneurship. Aside from this blog she also writes at www.izzaglino.com, a beauty and lifestyle blog for frugal Pinays and manages, www.izzagevents.com, a wedding and event business since 2011. For inquiries, topic suggestions or future collaborations email her firstname.lastname@example.org