Last updated on February 6th, 2020 at 10:57 am
Caramoan in Camarines Sur is one off the off the beaten path destinations in the Philippines that everyone wants to visit. We will write about our favorite Caramoan tourist spots, how to get there, daily budget travel and more details in our Caramoan travel guide. Keep reading below!
CARAMOAN TRAVEL GUIDE
HOW TO GET TO CARAMOAN
GETTING TO CARAMOAN FROM MANILA BY BUS
If you are getting to Caramoan from Manila by bus. There are direct buses going from Pasay and Cubao to Caramoan. Prices are between 820 PHP ordinary bus to 1200 PHP with air conditioning. The trip takes 12-14 hours depending on the traffic. Before getting to Carmaoan the road is in bad conditions around 2 hours. And it takes long time but the views are great!
GETTING TO CARAMOAN FROM MANILA BY PLANE
Prices are around 2500-4000 PHP one way from Manila to Naga. The travel time will be only 45 minutes going by plane. Meanwhile you do by bus will be around 10 hours depending on the traffic.
You can also go by plane to Virac in Cantaduanes. There are daily flights from Manila. Once in Virac you have to go to the Codon port around 1 hour ride from the airport. And ride a boat around one hour going to Guijalo Port. Once in Guijalo Port just ride a tricycle to Caramoan town or Bikal port. This route is becoming more popular since is faster than going to Naga from Manila by plane.
You can also take a plane to Legazpi City. There are daily flights. Once in Legazpi City take a bus to Tabaco Port where you can ride a boat to San Andres port in Catanduanes. From San Andres ride to Codon port will take you 20 minutes. Once in Codon you will take an hour boat ride going to Guijalo port in Caramoan.
GETTING TO NAGA CITY FROM THE AIRPORT
Once in the airport you can take a bus or a jeepney going to Naga City. It will take 30 minutes and prices are around 20-30 PHP. If you prefer more comfort there are also taxis available in the terminal.
GETTING FROM NAGA TO CARAMOAN BY BUS
If you are getting from Naga to Caramoan by bus. It’s the easiest way from Naga City you have to go to the Bus Terminal located near SM Mall. It’s only one kilometer far from city center. You can go walking or by tricycle is only 8 PHP per person. The system of shared tricycles in Naga is so efficient. There aredaily buses going from 5 am to 3 pm from Naga to Caramoan. We took the bus around 8 am and the departure is every 1-2 hours. It’s depending on the season the frequency of the buses. The bus take 5 hours to reach Caramoan and it costs 260 PHP per person. The road is really bad when you are getting close to Caramoan on the coast but the views are nice.
You can get a jeepney until Goa from Naga and change to the bus going to Caramoan.
GETTING FROM NAGA TO CARAMOAN BY VAN AND BOAT
If you are getting to Caramoan from Naga by van and boat. In case there are no buses or you prefer going by van plus boat to reach Caramoan (it can be faster than the bus this way). You have to go to Naga Bus Terminal and get a van to Sabang Port. It takes 1 hour and a half and it costs 150 PHP per person. Once in Sabang Port you have to take the boat going to Caramoan Guijalo Port. There are a few boats from 6 am to 11 am. The boat takes 2 hours and it costs 120 PHP.
Make sure you take the van before 9 am from Naga Bus Terminal to make sure you get the last boat going to Caramoan. If you miss the boat you will have to hire a private boat around 3000 PHP maximum 16 people. Once in Guijalo Port in Caramoan you will have to ride a tricycle to get to Caramoan town or Bikal port where you will start your island hopping. Prices for the tricycle for 30 minutes ride can be 100 PHP per person in a shared tricycle. It depends on where you would prefer to stay. In the town there are more options for food and it’s close from the Bus Terminal in Caramoan. In Bikal Port you will stay right on the beach quite and calm ready for your island hopping next day!
GETTING TO CARAMOAN FROM CEBU BY PLANE
If you want to get from Caramoan to Cebu by plane. You have to go to Legazpi City. And follow the steps mentioned above Tabaco port to San Andres. From here to Codon port to ride a boat to Guijalo port. And finally a tricycle going to Caramoan 20 minutes ride to the town and 30 minutes going to Bikal port.
BEST TIME TO VISIT CARAMOAN
The best time to visit Caramoan is during the dry season. Click here to know more about the weather in Caramoan. Like any other place in the Philippines there are two kinds of seasons- the dry season from November to April and the wet season from May to October. It is recommended that travelers visit during dry season, especially from December to February when temperatures are much cooler and touring will most likely not be interrupted by rains and will not be really hot going around.
ATMS IN CARAMOAN
You will find one ATM in Caramoan town. It’s easy to find since the town isn’t big. Anyway we advise you bringing some cash just in case it’s not working and you need to withdraw cash. Click here to know the exact rate!
WIFI AND INTERNET CONNECTION
There is almost no Wifi in Caramoan town or at least we weren’t able to find it. We could find 4G connection in Caramoan town and based in our experience Globe was working better than Smart for the data. Not the best connection but it was ok to catch up with work online after the island hopping in Caramoan.
DAILY BUDGET TRAVEL IN CARAMOAN
For your daily travel budget in Caramoan in accommodation prices are starting from 800PHP to 4000 PHP. It depends on the season and comfort that you prefer.
If you want to sign up for Airbnb, we give you $30 USD credit with your first booking!
For your daily budget in Caramoan for food a local carinderia serves orders 50-70 PHP. You can find pizzas for 300 PHP good enough for two people and burgers 100 PHP. If you prefer barcbecue you will find a lot of places for affordable prices starting from 10 PHP as street food. And even delicious coconut bread for only 5 PHP for starting your morning.
Travel Tip: Click here to know prices and schedule to book your bus/boat tickets online with 12Go Asia.
For transportation in Caramoan the tricycles charges 150 PHP to get to Bikal Port from Caramoan town. Prices of the island hopping are 2500 PHP per boat good enough for 6-8 people. And 1500 PHP per boat for the half day tour in Carmoan good enough for 6-8 people. The tour company or your boatmen can arrange your tricycle going from Caramoan town to Bikal Port.
ISLAND HOPPING IN CARAMOAN
Caramoan Island Hoping Whole Day
The prices for a long trip island hopping in Caramoan is 2500 PHP. You will visit 4 islands: Guinahoan, Lewan Beach, Cotivas Beach, Manlawi Sandbar, Sabitanglaya and Bag-ing. It takes an hour from Bikal port to reach these destinations and one hour to come back. Between the islands expect boat rides 15-20 minutes. The whole day was around 8-9 hours until we came back to Bikal port in Caramoan.
We decided to go at 6 am from Bikal Port. There is a carinderia if you want to buy food and snacks in Bikal Port. You can also find bakeries open around Caramoan town at 6 am. Make sure you pack something since later you will not find food in the islands.
Caramoan Island Hopping Half Day
The prices for a short trip or half day tour are 1500 PHP good enough for 6-8 people you pay per boat. So if you share with more people will be cheaper. You will visit 4 destinations: Lahos Beach, Matukad Beach, Kagbalinad Island and Minalahos Beach. The travel time is usually 4-5 hours. It takes only 30 minutes going from Bikal port to the islands. And later for moving around the beaches and Caramoan tourist spots only 10 minutes.
You can check pictures below of these islands and beaches!
CARAMOAN TOURIST SPOTS
1. Guinahoan Island
Guinahoan Island was our first stop in the island hopping in Caramoan. You have to do a small hike around 10 minutes. It was really cool the hike since locals are joining to guide you to the top of the island where you can see the lighthouse. The walk is easy and with green areas. The best surprise was the views from the lighthouse to Lewan Beach. After the trekking we bought a couple of coconuts for 25 PHP each. There is an entrance fee of 50 PHP for parking the boat and 15 PHP per adult. Total 80 PHP for all of us. The locals will love to go around with you to the lighthouse.
2. Lewan Beach
We couldn’t stop taking pictures from the top of Guinahoan Island. Lewan Beach has difficult access and we just took the views from the top of the lighthouse. The views are amazing!
3. Cotivas Beach
What a beautiful beach next to Guinahoan Island. The water is clear and you can do snorkeling. The beach is clean and there is an entrance fee of 50 PHP for parking the boat. If you want to rent a cottage is only 50 PHP. We just stayed swimming, taking pictures for long time in this beach since we loved it. And we only saw 2-3 boats doing island hopping in Caramoan that day. It was our favorite Caramoan tourist spot in the island hopping and we spent a few hours.
4. Manlawi Sandbar
Manlawi Sandbar is close to Cotivas Beach 15 minutes boat ride. You can rent a cottage to have lunch and a couple of fishermen were offering fish if you wanted to buy for lunch. We rented a kayak for 100 PHP half an hour, if you decide to stay longer is 200 PHP for one hour. Make sure you ask your boatmen about the low tide to see the sand bar. Anyway the area is great with clear water and the cottages over water.
There is no entrance fee and you can even go walking to the sand bar since the boat can’t go inside with the low tide. It was fun kayaking around, taking pictures and flying the drone. Han had so much fun kayaking for the first time and we managed himself really good. We were surprised with only 7 years old he could kayak on his own.
5. Sabitang Laya and Bag-ing
Sabitanglaya and Bag-ing is popular because they shot Survivor on TV. At that time they weren’t filming that’s why we could visit. If they are filming Survivor show you aren’t allowed to visit those islands. There is no entrance fee and the water is so clear. You can do snorkeling a few minutes boat ride before coming back to Caramoan.
We stayed for an hour and we would love to stay longer. But there were jellyfish and started raining so we decided to go back to Caramoan and finishing our island hopping.
6. Lahos Beach
Our first stop in Caramoan island hopping with amazing rocks and clear waters. We got there alone and the views with the drone were brethtaking. It’s only 30 minutes boat ride from Bikal Port. In front of this island you can see Matukad Beach.
7. Matukad Beach
Peaceful place half and hour boat ride from Caramoan. You can enjoy swimming, walking around, taking pictures. Check out the views from the drone. We loved it the white sand in this beach.
8. Kagbalinad Island
Kagbalinad Island was our favorite in the list of Caramoan tourist spots in the short island hopping in Caramoan. In front of Hunongan Cove Resort. You will find this small beach where you can swim and relax. The water is so clear and calm.
9. Minalahos Beach
A very small beach between two giant rocks just 20 minutes ride from Bikal Port in Caramoan. It was our last stop in the island hopping half day tour.
MORE CARAMOAN TOURIST SPOTS
10. Gota Beach
We got beautiful views from our boat of Gota Beach. But we didn’t have time to visit this time. As you can see looks a peaceful and quiet place to visit.
11. Lahuy Beach
Lahuy Beach is close to Manlawi Sandbar and you can see as part of the island hopping full day in Caramoan. The beaches are quiet. It takes around one hour from Caramoan port to get there.
12. Pitogo Beach
Pitogo Beach is a pebble shore where you can enjoy the landscape. It takes an hour to reach there from Bikal port. There is an entrance fee of 30 PHP.
13. Hunongan Cove
Just in front of Kagbalinad Island you can see the Hunongan Cove Resort. We just flew the drone around to get these views. You can also rent a kayak to go around since the water is so calm it will be easy. It’s around 30 minutes by baot from Bikal port. A perfect one of the Caramoan tourist spots for relaxing.
14. Tinago Beach
Tinago Beach is a beautiful one in Caramoan with rock formations. They usually use to film Survivor. So if you go in peak season maybe you will not be able to visit. But for sure you can visit in low season in Caramoan. It takes almost an hour from Bikal port to reach there.
15. Kulapnit Cave
If you want to visit Kulapnit Cave as part of the island hopping in Caramoan will be different to the beaches and islands. We couldn’t manage to get there but we will make sure that we visit this cave next time. You can see bats inside!
16. Bulang-bugang Cave
Bulang-bugang Cave another cave in Caramoan. This one is an underwater cave that you can access at the bottom of a rock formation. You can find next to Oroc-Osoc.
17. Layahan Falls
Layahan Falls and Hugsad Falls are close each other. You will have to hike crossing the river. It will take more than an hour to reach there. Make sure that you were proper shoes for trekking.
18. Tayak Lagoon
To access Tayak Lagoon is required trekking and climbing rocks. If you enjoy climbing, here is a challenge for you. You can see corals, fishes and even turtles.
19. St. Michael Archangel Church
St. Michael Archangel Church is called the Red Church from 16th Century in Spaniard times. It’s located in Caramoan town. It’s different from the other Caramoan tourist spots since is a historical site.
20. Paniman Beach
We just passed by Paniman Beach during our island hopping in Caramoan. Similar to the other beaches with white sand and clear water in Caramoan.
21. Trek to Mt. Caglago
Trekking to Mount Caglago with 500-steps to the summit will have the reward of the 360 degree view of Caramoan Islands. Also you can see on the top the statue of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Mother of Peace.
What to Bring in Caramoan
There is no electricity in the Island hopping. So make sure you bring your devices full charge of bringing power banks.
The boats are small and if it’s raining as it happened to us all your belongings will be wet. So make sure you bring dry bag and extra plastics to cover everything just in case to be safe while visiting Caramoan tourist spots.
There are no food sellers in the island, only a couple of kiosks sending food and water.
There is no drinkable water and there is no electricity.
There is almost everywhere phone signal in Caramoan. The data is weak but you will get it!
Bring your sunblock.
Bring your own food if you are planning to spend the day or overnight. There are carinderias near the port in Bikal where you can buy food. Bring cash, don’t expect there are ATM’s or exchange offices in paradise ha!
Take pictures everywhere with your camera.
Take underwater shots with the done or underwater camera.
Of course if you have a drone fly it around.
Bring your snorkeling mask since the boatmen will not have available. You can’t miss the opportunity of swimming around the clear waters.
Very Important: Please make sure you bring a bag to collect your trash so you can keep clean Caramoan Island and as we always do. By the way our little Han never forgets about it and before swimming he makes sure that he collects a bag of trash. Also if you have a spare plastic bag for the trash you can use for collecting the garbage around. And we will keep Caramoan amazing for the next time that we are visiting!
WHERE TO STAY IN CARAMOAN
There are two areas to stay in Caramoan Island. You can stay in Bikal Port and in Caramoan town. The tricycle going from the town to the port is 150 PHP for 6 kilometers and it takes 15-20 minutes. We decided to stay in the town since the data connection was stronger. There are more option for bars and restaurants in the town plus the Bus Terminal is inside the town.
Prices for the accommodation are starting for 800 PHP to 4000 PHP depending on your budget and comfort. We stayed at River View for 800 PHP per night a room with bathroom and air conditioning. It was a friendly place and they attened us really good.
You can find places also in Airbnb in Caramoan. You can get $30 USD off your first booking with Airbnb when you sign up with us!
Travel Tip: Click here to know prices and schedule to book your bus/boat tickets online with 12Go Asia.
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