Vinzons, Camarines Norte
April 20-23, 2011
My love affair with Calaguas was no "love at 1st sight"....first heard about it from Travel Factor's packages to Calaguas and Bagasbas...I am no surfing dude so listed the place on the "places I might want to see" not on the "places I must see". Saw photos of it posted on some internet sites and thought wow what a "nice" beach, but....
And then, my friend Rochelle, opened the idea of spending the Holy Week there with matching photo of the place. I said yes half-heartedly because I was hesitant about the camping style, not because I am adverse to camping but because my idea of a Holy Week vacation is on a nice white sand beach with comfy resort and not on a tent. A few weeks before the trip, decided to search for inspiring photos and saw a beautiful photo of the whole beach---that sealed my excitement!
|Calaguas Island's long white sand beach|
Calaguas is a group of islands in the province of Camarines Norte in the Bicol Region. Tinaga island, one of the major islands is where the famous long beach called "Mahabang Buhangin" or popularly known as "Calaguas", is located.
Yes! everything was all worth it! Powdery white sand, emerald green to blue seas, sandy under water up to 10-20 meters from the beach, unspoilt and almost deserted island. The perfect "back to basics" and "roughing it up"-fix for me. A backpackers haven definitely. Not your usual beach +resort luxury.
So what did we do in such a deserted place for 2 1/2 days?
* stroll the whole stretch--end to end
* click and click some more (photoshoot galore!)
* eat and eat some more
* nap and nap some more
* read a book
* frisbee game
* jumpshots showdown
Thanks to Bak-Pak Travel (http://bakpaktravel.blogspot.com) team for ensuring that we are safe, well-fed (sarap ng food) and had a really great time.
|Bak Pak Team|
|We ❤ Bak Pak|
Personally, the place is definitely far more beautiful than Boracay and even than it's neighboring Caramoan of CAMSUR because of its super fine white sand and long stretch of beach all to yourself (or your group). Not closed to public because of...I will choose this in a heartbeat --despite the absence of luxurious amenities.
Thank God for places like this. Indeed, we are so blessed to still have places like these and to have the opportunity to enjoy them. Let us be responsible keepers of God's creation by being responsible visitors.
I say NO to irresponsible development of this paradise. I say YES to responsible environmental progress. But selfish as it may sound, I want it actually to stay the way it is. =D
How to get there:
There are several groups that organize tours to Calaguas. Our group took Bak-Pak Travel's package (Bak-pak Travel 0917-8-BAKPAK (225725). Look for Andy or Marie) No complaints. We felt really taken cared of all the way plus I love that we were on the less crowded area of the island. It made our camping less stressful and more enjoyable.
By commute via Vinzons
Take the bus to Daet from Cubao or Pasay Bus Terminals. Buses that ply the route are Amihan, Superlines and Philtranco. Travel time is about 8 hours.
Or you can take the plane to Naga (CamSur) and take the vans to Daet from the Naga Transpo Terminal. Travel time is about 2 hours.
From Daet, there are vans or jeepneys that ply the Daet-Vinzons route. From the Vinzons port, you can hire bancas to Calaguas. It will be a 2-hour boat ride from the port. Be ready to get wet. Pack your things in waterproof containers. (Note: please check the moon phase before planning the trip so you will not encounter rough seas).
By commute via Paracale
From Daet, there are vans that ply the Daet-Paracale route. It will take more than an hour to reach Paracale.
Or you may get off at Barangay Talobahib in Labo town from your Daet-bound bus ride from Manila, take another bus ride to Paracale town for about an hour, get a tricycle to the port and hire a banca to Calaguas. It will take you less than 2 hours by boat.
Superlines and some other bus lines have direct trips to Paracale town from Manila.
By own car
It will take 6-8 hours drive depending on the number of stops you make along the way and the time of travel. Follow the National Highway ( passing though Batangas, Laguna, Quezon towns before entering the Bicol region) to Talobahib in Labo town if you want to go through Paracale port, or Vinzons if you want to go through Vinzons port.