9.08.2014

Calaguas - Travel Guide 2014

This is the first of three part Calaguas posts.

Calaguas Island in the most outward part of Camarines Norte was a dream destination. Since its fame from travel bloggers and social media hits me I was itching to get there. Luckily after reading a lot of travel guides, missing reserved bus, long boat ride, etc., my feet sunk into the creamy fine white sand of the island's most kept treasure.



There are a lot of updates from the posts and guides I referred to when planning this trip, so  here's our updated 2014 travel guide to Calaguas Island.

Calaguas is actually a group of island in Camarines Norte under the municiplaity of Vinzon. The Island that you want to get into is the Tinaga Island the biggest island among the group. Tentatively 12 hours from Manila the long travel hours are worth it once you see the long stretch of the white fine sand beach.


How to Get to Calaguas via Paracale


Superlines in Cubao provides a direct Manila to Paracale transfer for Php515.00. The bus leaves at 7:45 PM and needs personal reservation in their terminal days before. Travel time is around 8 hours. From Paracale, you may charter a tricycle to bring you to Paracale Port.

There are also Daet bound bus that leaves Superlines Terminal after the 7:45 Paracale bus leaves. You may ask the conductor to drop you off at Talobatib junction or just tell the conductor your heading to Calaguas. Travel time is around 7 hours for Php 515.oo. From here you may wait for a Paracale Bus (P 25.00) for another 1 hour travel, and hire a tricycle from Paracale to the Port.

The organized boat association was already abolished in Paracale Port as per Kuya Jun our tricycle driver, due to disagreement between the association and the boatmen.  So once you get to Paracale you need to find and hire a boat that will take you the island on your own. The good thing is that the fare for a boat transfer gets more affordable (from 4,000 to 2500 for a gorup of four). Kuya Mario  [0912-338-4870] our boatman even stressed that he can offer a boat ride for bigger group of Php 500 per pax, still negotiable if you have a hefty skills in bargaining.


Getting Back from Calaguas to Manila


The same boat that brought you in the island will fetch you back to Paracale, on your own proposed time. From Paracale, Superlines has direct route to Cubao but will only be available at 6:00 PM. You can wait for this bus and just explore the town (recommended) or may opt to ride a Daet bound bus that will bring you back to Talobatib Junction. From here you may wait for any bus that are bound for Manila, though bus conductor said that only buses bound for Alabang are available (for airconditioned bus), while we still saw ordinary buses passing by with Cubao/Pasay signboard.

Cavana at Waling-Waling Eco Village

Where to Stay in Calaguas?


There are three main resorts in the stretch of Mahabang Buhangin. Bert's Calaguas Island Resort, Waling-Waling Eco Village, and Calaguas Island Adventure lined up from left to right (when facing the island).

Bert's Calaguas Island Resort  (Left side when facing the resorts, near the rock formations)



  • Close Hut - Php 500. Good for 3-4 pax.

  • Open Hut - Php 500. Can accommodate bigger group.

  • Tent Pitching - Php 100

  • Tent Rental - Php350

  • Use of Comfort Room - Php 10 per bucket of water.

  • Grill rental - Php 50

Waling-waling Eco Village (In the middle. The most luxurious)



  • Open Cavana - Php 3000 for 4 pax. Can be converted into closed Cavana with bedding and hammocks.

  • Kubol - Php 6000 for 6 pax. 2 storey hut with own private comfort room.

  • Rental of Gas, burner, utensils, and cooking wares - P350 per day.

  • Use of Comfort Room - Free.

  • Use of grill - Free.

  • Own restaurant - Soon to open.

Calaguas Island Adventure (in the eastern side when facing the resorts.)



  • Open Nipa Hut - Php350 for 3-4 pax. Can be converted into a close hut.

  • Tent Pitching Fee - Php 100

  • Tent Rental - Php 350

  • Use of Comfort Room - Free

Waling-Waling Eco Village is the only resort with electricity Supply in the morning which is powered by solar panels, and at night by generator until 2:00 AM or when all guest are already asleep.



What to Do in Calaguas?


  • Beach Bumming - They say that the island is not a serene as it used to be but still just laying on the sand or hammock, relaxing and killing time is one of the best things to do here.

  • Trekking - Trek the hills in the island to get better phone reception or have a overlooking view of the beach.

  • Visit the neighboring barrio. A fifteen minutes walk to resupply your provisions and interact with local islander.

  • Skimboard and Kayaks can be rented in Waling-Waling Eco Village.

  • Diving / Snorkeling - You can bring your own gears or you can rent at Waling-waling Eco Village.

  • Swim at the clear blue water.

  • Visit the rock formations on the western side of the island (when facing the resorts.)

  • Island Hopping. Boatmen will offer island hopping for additional Php500.

Where to Eat in Calaguas?


As of now no restaurants are standing within the vicinity, but Waling-Waling Eco Village are in the process of building one. Most people bring their own cookware and butane powered burner to cook their own meal from provisions they bought in the Paracale Market. You can ask the tricycle drivers to pass the market and get a water supply in the town before heading to the Port. Though the market and water stations in the town only opens at 8:00AM (most of the time you'll get at Paracale at 5 - 6 am). Waling-Waling Eco Village ask for a corkage fee for food you bring and a fee when sing their utensils, stoves and gas. Some boatmen also offers packages that includes meals that they will prepare for your group. There is also a small village (barrio) near the beach, you can visit this to replenish provisions, resort owners and runners may offer to buy the thing you need to the barrio, just give them a small tip.



Tips When Visiting Calaguas



  • Bring your own utensils, burner, cookware - If you don't want to get charged for LPG use in Waling-Waling or you're staying at other resorts bringing knifes, portable stoves, mess kit, and cookset can be very helpful.

  • You can ask boatmen if they can lend you icebox to keep your drinks water and supplies cold and fresh. SOmetimes they will let you lend cooking pot, griller, etc.

  • Buy provisions on Paracale market, including water at nearby water station.

  • Local may offer services to prepare meals for your group for a certain fee.

  • Bring trash bag to minimize waste disposal.

  • Some resorts will charge you for use of comfort room.

  • Tricycle owner/driver Kuya Jun is very helpful in finding you a good boatmen and help you get your needs form water, to provisions. He also offers his house (near Paracale Terminal) for a quick rest or bathroom use while waiting for Bus bound to Manila. Contact no. [0916-289-9904]

  • Kuya Mario, boat man offers affordable boat rental. [0912-338-4870]

Sample Itinerary


Day 0:

  • 1900H Assembly Superlines Bus Terminal Cubao

  • 2000H Departure from Manila

Day 1:

  • 0600H Arrival in Paracale, Breakfast, Haggle for boat

  • 0700H Buy all necessities, food, water and packed lunch

  • 0800H ETD Paracale to Maculabo Island

  • 0900H ETA Maculabo Island, Free time

  • 1000H ETD Maculabo to Mahabang Buhangin, Tinaga Island

  • 1200H ETA Mahabang Buhangin, Tinaga Island, Set-up Camp, Prepare Lunch

  • 1300H Lunch

  • 1400H Free time

  • 1630H Preparation for dinner

  • 1830H Dinner/Socials

  • 2200H Lights off

Day 2:

  • 0700H Wake Up

  • 0930H Prepare Brunch, Pack up

  • 1030H Brunch

  • 1130H Wash up, Final Pack up

  • 1300H ETD Tinaga Island to Paracale

  • 1500H ETA Paracale, Wash up, Explore Paracale

  • 1800H Early dinner. Get ride back to Manila.

Proposed Budget (Group of 6)





Description


Group


Pax

RT Transfer Manila – Paracle
1030

RT Tricycle transfer
30

RT Boat transfer Paracle - Calaguas
2500


417

Coast Guard Fee (Paracale)
20

Environmental Fee (Calaguas)
20

Entrance Fee
100

Food and Drink Sharing
1500


250

Accomodation
500


84

MINIMUM TOTAL
P1951

SAFE BUDGET
P2500


5 comments:

  1. […] This is the second of a three-part Calaguas article. For the first one, please read Calaguas – Travel Guide 2014. […]

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi! This is very helpful. Me and my friends are planning to go to calaguas this may. Im just wondering if they really have tent rental at the island? all other blogs says that the tent rental is brought by the tour operators only. Im so worried that once we're on the island no one offers tent rental.
    And is there woods that can be used for cooking?or rental? or charcoal at the island? We're planning to bring cooking utensils or are there other resorts offering cooking utensils rentals for lower price?
    Thank You so much! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I believe Bert's Calguas Island resort have tents for rent. If you want you may contact Mang Jun [0916-289-9904] a tricycle owner/driver in Calaguas he will be of help regarding any question in about Calaguas and may get his service in getting around Paracale.

    Kuya Mario [0912-338-4870] on the other hand is a boatman and they may be able to provide tent, coolers, stove, utensils, etc. Though it's advisable you bring your ownsupplies and utensils or secure them at Paracale Market.

    ReplyDelete
  4. And you don't have to worry about tents, since there are huts that can be rented for P500 and they are way much comfortable. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you so much for the info :)
    We'll try to contact them. atleast even if we don't have contact we are sure that they have tents or huts there :) thank you!

    ReplyDelete