CALAGUAS ISLAND: A PRISTINE PATCH OF AN UNSPOILED BEAUTY

Tucked at the northernmost part of Bicol is a pristine patch of an unspoiled beauty called Calaguas Island.

Calaguas is a group of Islands in the province of Camarines Norte, a merely two-hour boat ride from the mainland. This island is a compact stretch of pristine pure shores collared with crystal clear azure waters of the Pacific. It boasts of powdery white sand that will sit beneath your toes, and an unspoiled sprawling lush greenery where you can truly relax while enjoying nature in its truest form.

Mahabang Buhangin is a cove in the Tinaga Island, a picturesque paradise with its long stretch of fine white sand, framed by volcanic rocks on its both ends; this place is the most frequented camping site for the tourists

The travel to and fro Calaguas is not as bad as others would write about it. Some stories would suggest that you need to brace yourselves with the alarming gale and currents on your way to the island. Some, with much exaggeration, would call it as their “longest boat ride ever“. Well, literally, yes! Because it’s a two-hour boat ride from the mainland, sans the terror of waves and shaky sojourn in the middle of the Pacific. Ours was a complete breeze we even end up sleeping while sifting through the salty wind touching our faces.

A piece of advice, though, if this is your first time visiting the island, better be sure that you visit it during the sunny season (technically, January to July). Tides may get too vicious during August until December.

In the early years, before the development and tourists’ discovery, Calaguas was an unexplored piece of beauty known only to the totally adventurous backpackers. It offers no electricity, no data and communication signals, no stores and shanties. It was a back-to-basics experience.

Fast tracked to several years later, Calaguas may look more modern but it still has its fine, white sand beaches, securing a solid reputation as one of the best in the country that can rival the ones in Boracay and Palawan.

Not yet convinced? We have listed down our top reasons why you must consider Calaguas for your next escapade.

GOING THERE IS EASY AND CHEAP

FROM MANILA TO WALING-WALING ECO RESORT PORT (BY LAND)

Since we are set to experience Waling-waling Eco Resort, right from the very start we are psyched that our destination will be just a sleep away: Easy and Relaxing. We’ve been plotting this trip for so long that we have literally mastered our way going to Calaguas.

You can easily get to Waling-waling Eco Resort through the town of Paracale in Camarines Norte. You’ll have to use at least three modes of transportation to get there, but again, we assure you, it’s no sweat.

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Here’s the rundown: From Cubao, ride a Superlines Bus going straight to Daet. For a regular fully air-conditioned Bus with a reclining seat the fare is just 550 PHP or 10 USD, for a fully air-conditioned premium bus with Lazy Boy seat 900 PHP or 18 USD and for the ordinary buses with no airconditioning, the fare is 350 PHP or 7 USD.

It will take you almost 10-12 hours going to Daet so it is best that you take the 9 PM trip, so you’ll just sleep while on the road.

After the 12-hour bus ride, you need to ride a tricycle going to the van station headed to Paracale, the fare is just 10PHP or 0.20 USD per head, maximum of 3 per tricycle. From the station, you need to ride a van going to Paracale (60 PHP or 1.20 USD), and ride another tricycle going to the Waling-waling Eco-village port. Yup! They have their own port. And from there, hop on the boat for a blissful 2-hour  ride to Paradise.

FROM MANILA TO WALING-WALING ECO RESORT PORT (BY AIR)

If you are boujie enough, you may opt to fly from Manila to Naga City (about 40 minutes) and get a tricycle to the van terminal bound for Daet, Camarines Norte (2 hours maximum land travel). Then from Daet you can take another van to Paracale, with the same fare as above, then a tricycle ride going to the post of Waling-waling eco resort, where you can hop on a boat going to the island.

CALAGUAS IS A POCKET-FRIENDLY TRIP

A trip to Calaguas is relatively cheap. As for us, our Waling-waling eco-village trip is packaged with an all in free boat transfer to and from the Island, which saves us a lot of moolah.

Waling-waling Eco-village serves the best Gata cuisine in the Island (we’ll talk about this  in a separate entry) which only costs 295 PHP or 5.89 USD per head for Breakfast (inclusive of 3 viands, coffee, water and fruits), 445 PHP or 8.88 USD for lunch (inclusive of 3 viands- mostly seafoods and organic chicken, juice, water and fruits) and 495 PHP or 9.88 USD per head for dinner (inclusive of 3 viands, water, soda/juice, water and fruits). A very good deal for a rest assured quality service and a hearty meal.

We’ll take about Waling-waling eco-village on a separate entry along with proper accommodation rates and a bit of its history, so always check this site and click this.

A COMFORTABLE ACCOMMODATION AND ONE OF A KIND RELAXATION

Some would want to experience the beach life by pitching their tents and spending the night in it. However, for some of you who would want to experience a fuss-free stay in Calaguas, at Waling Waling Eco Resort there is a comfortable accommodation in the island where you can rent a Cabana or Kubol.

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They have worth it packages that include food and good accommodation, a total relief from the hassle of vacationing on an island.

Dont have enough cash for Waling-waling? Fret not, cos once on the island, you can put up a tent or rent cottages for as low as 500 PHP.

IT IS ONE OF THE BEST BEACHES HERE IN THE PHILIPPINES

Foreign and locals alike would really find Calaguas as a vacation haven. The aquamarine waters of this island are undeniably crystal clear so it’s guaranteed that you’ll have a good time spending your most coveted vacation here.

A friend of mine once told me that if the sea water ain’t sticky it means that the salinity level of the water is not too high, which won’t irritate your skin that fast,  It also meant the water is too clean so you are safe from harmful shish that you can get from it. Guess what? Calaguas waters are never sticky and not too salty!

IT OFFERS GOOD SUNSET SESSIONS

On a clear sky, the earth will be so accommodating giving you a perfect sunset moment from the Southwest end of the Tinaga Island. A fiery red mantle, splashed with purple and blue rays, accentuated by glittery yellow streaks will make you surrender to its beauty.

After several shots for Instagram documentation, you’ll end up waiting for the sea to engulf the sun in its sweet surrender.

LUSH GREENS OF ROLLING HILLS

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In times that you need to connect to the world, you would need to climb up the hill of Guintinua. Some tourists would go up here to get a phone signal. Others prefer trekking this trail to get a better 360* view of the whole island and just taking in the fresh air fill up their lungs.

CALAGUAS IS AN UNPRETENTIOUS, PEACEFUL DESTINATION

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You will definitely love Calaguas not only for its natural beauty but also for its unprecedented calm environment, a detoxifying experience that will let you escape the bustling streets of the metro, a disconnection point where no one needs an internet connection to check emails, Instagram, facebook, and others. It is a haven for everyone who just wants to break away from the usual and take in a short tranquility and blissful experience.

About the Author

Ed Lorenzo is a PR and Marketing practitionaer who loves fashion, photography and traveling. Follow him on instagram and twitter @edryanlorenzo to get to know more of his sojourn.

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