UDJE

The Explorer

Calaguas: The Unspoiled Island Where Time Stands Still

CAMERA  Calaguas is a group of islands in the Philippines located in the northern part of Bicolandia and patched over East Philippine sea in the north-eastern coast part of Camarines Norte province. It is compose of major islands of Tinaga and Guintinua, and minor island of Maculabo and different islets. Among these islands, Tinaga is the most popular island to all campers and travelers. It is where the ‘Mahabang Buhangin’ (long sand) is located, and literally it is a long white sand seashore. Tinaga Island is where all travelers and campers usually stay along with few local residents. Calaguas has something to showcase through its natural pristine finest that invites foreign and local travelers to explore the place especially during summer season. Calaguas can be considered to be as a transforming island, from no electricity living to a generator-powered at night for limited cottages lighting power source. Also, few private resort cottages are starting to exist to provide better shelter to island travelers which threatens the virgin serenity and peace of the island.

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How To Get There in Calaguas Island?

If you’re planning to get there through a DIY trip, here are some ways to get you there in Calaguas.

by Land

   You may take a bus ride either in Cubao or Pasay terminal. Buses like Superlines, DLTB, Amihan and Philtranco offer Cubao/Pasay to Daet trip for approximately 7-8 hours, fare cost differs ranging between P450-P700. You may drop-off at Daet (Camarines Norte province capital) the jump-off to Calaguas either via Paracale or Vinzons. If via Vinzons, catch a jeepney heading to Vinzons and get-off at the Vinzons fishport. From there, hire a banca (boat) that bound to Calaguas Island, boat fare is ranging from P2,500 to P10,0000 depends on the number of passengers. If via Paracale, take a van or bus bound to Paracale. And from Paracale, take a tricycle ride going to the fishport and hire a banca (boat) going to Calaguas. Boat fare rate is the same as in Vinzons port,

by Air

   Other option in getting to Calaguas is via domestic flight that would bring you to Naga Airport coming from Manila, the nearest airport to Camarines Norte. Just book a commercial flight reservation to Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Asia Zest on your preferred tour date. From Naga City proper, there’s a van terminal (Naga Van Terminal) that has a daily trip to Daet.

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at Vinzons Port.

What To Do in Calaguas?

   Calaguas is a group of islands that has a unique characteristic that caters complete package to provide island tourists enjoyment and relaxation. From water to land nature of activities, all are compressed into one place. These heaven on earth islands embraced its preserved unspoiled environment. Visitors are obliged to bring their own tent for temporary shelter during stay as no hotels nor any establishments exist in the islands. Tinaga locals offer tent rental for those tourists who failed to bring their own one, unless otherwise, staying in some cottages in the island is an option. The crystal clear sea water would tease everyone to jump-off and swim. Water activities like snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, island hopping and skim boarding are among the guests could do while having fun under the heat of the sun. Calaguas has variety of slopes and elevated terrains, and hence, island guests may do semi-hike activity to some of few nearby hills and explore the entire island beauty from up above view. In the seashore, other curricular sports will do for you to relax such as beach volley, and frisbee. At night, you may also do bonfire while camping in the shore and have bonding with your friends and family.

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   Summer is in the air, and I could feel it.. So very hot. One more time, the travel duos are striking back again. From countless Mindanao trip last year, this time around we decided to came back in the Bicol region. My fiance and I were craving for an out-of-town trip, a break away from a stressful work. We’re thinking a place that is not so common among travelers, for us to have a serenity of peace along our vacation stay. Upon browsing the net, we’re looking for different blogs and writings about Calaguas and saw this advertisement of out-of-town tour package offer of Roadtrip Travels through their facebook page. As what I know about Calaguas is that it’s really well-known to its virgin serenity and peace of the island which pushed me to mark it as our primary option in our local travel bucket list (other options we considered were Pagudpud, Sagada and Cagbalete Island) this summer.  And so, we immediately inquired the package inclusions and corresponding rates on their service offer of Calaguas trip. The travel agents replied to our queries quickly either through facebook message, SMS and even an email (yeah! we inquired details we need via those information media). We learned that their office location is just few miles away from our home, and we decided to just walked-in and had a reservation to block our preferred travel date. All their staffs were very approachable and very nice to talk to, especially kuya Dennis, he answered our queries completely.

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Our owned temporary shelter.

   Same story during the day of our boarding. Both drivers and coordinator assigned to our Calaguas trip were very friendly and very accommodating to all their clients.  We were three van convoys during our trip, and the assigned driver to us was kuya Vhanky. Roadtrip Travels’ vehicle driver may pick-up their clients along way depending on its route. In our case, our meeting place was in Starmall Shaw Mandaluyong City together along with other travelers. During our Calaguas tour, services of Roadtrip were not ended in just getting us there. We eat, drink and explore the island together all day and all night long during our 3-days and 2-nights island stay. We’re like family, bonding together and had a great conversation especially with ate Ana and our co-travelers.

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   Our Calaguas trip became more fun as we met these courteous, friendly, and accommodating drivers and tour coordinator along with new set of friends (co-passengers of 1-of-3 van convoys we had) . We’re so thankful for taking care all of us. Their services are great at reasonable price and highly  recommended to all local travelers. I’m thinking of another local travel with them, thumbs up!

   If you want a hassle-free travel to Calaguas, go and book now!

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Roadtrip Travels (with 5-stars as the highest)

Service: ★★★★★

Friendly: ★★★★★

Tour Inclusion: ★★★★★

Overall: ★★★★★

Roadtrip Travel and Tours (CMDJ) Booking and Reservation

Facebook Page: Roadtrip Travels (CMDJ Travel and Tours)

Email address: troybautista.roadtrip@gmail.com / roadtriptravels1983@gmail.com

Contact Details: Smart (0928-3875905), Globe (0915-9672810), Office (02) 632-7585

Office Address: G/F Ad Center Square, A.Rodriguez corner Evangelista Street, Santolan, Pasig City

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   Our tour inclusion involved side trip at Bagasbas, Daet Camarines Norte. It is a place in Bicol known for surfing sports where foreign and local surfers usually hangout. The Bagasbas sea waves behavior is same as with other surfing spots in the country. No wonder numbers of surfers both local and foreign, professional and newbies are invading this place. The local resident surfers offer surf board rental and surfing lesson. You could bring your own surf board if you have one. Along the seaside, several restaurants can be seen whenever hunger strikes the surfers and guests. Usually Bagasbas side trip happens during the last day of package tour before leaving Camarines Norte but it’s depend on your preference travel itinerary.

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Surf board for rent.

   Town and island touring are not complete if you fail to buy goods and other pasalubong stuffs from a destined place. Calaguas tees items can be bought in the main Tinaga Island, and even in the Daet town proper, price is ranging from 200-400 pesos depends on the design and color. In Vinzons Avenue corner Sta. Magdalena Street, Daet, Camarines Norte there’s a well-known pasalubong shop, ‘Jannah’s Pasalubong’ where lots of Bicol goodies and pastries can be found. Pili nuts, Pili tart, key chains and many more are among you can buy.

Pasalubong shop along Vinzons Avenue

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Travel Tips:

1. If you’re a professional travel backpacker usually doing a DIY trip, getting in Calaguas is not a problem since you’re already an experienced adventurer in transportation transfer. Especially hiring a boat for transfer is quite expensive since local boatmen preferred to fulfill their boat capacity requirement. If not, then go and get book yourself to a local travel agency and have a tour package for your preferred days of stay to avoid any hassle and to have a fixed itineraries for you.

2. Don’t forget to bring your own armours for protection and shelter. Usually tent, goggles, sunblock, flashlight, extra foods (such as bread, biscuits, chips etc), arm sleeve or any long sleeve shirt will do for sun heat protection during hike, extra clothes, and first aid medicine.

3. Before going to island, be sure you already bought your basic necessities before leaving the town proper for survival such as light snack foods, flashlight batteries and most importantly atleast 6-liters of drinking water. Calaguas is untouched and unspoiled island that no establishments nor restaurants are present and with limited resources. There’s few local stores in the island but stuffs are quite expensive compared to main land stores.

4. Before taking the boat, you have to secure first your bags and other personal belongings against possible water splash during sea travel by wrapping around a plastic or by putting your belongings into a huge plastic bag. There are available huge plastic bags in the stores scattered at the port side.

5. Bring extra budget for your rest room needs. Why? The island has a limited water resources as mentioned above, the place has no establishments and hence water for tourists’ bathing and other hygienic needs is being supplied by local residents owned poso (artesian well). Each water container costs 10pesos and to be serve in available toilet room for usage of each person.

6. Stay in Calaguas for atleast 3-days and 2-nights. Getting you there will consume a lot of time (approximately 8 to 12-hours) combination of by land and by sea travel. Be sure you have to utilize your precious time as possible to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of the island.

7. Most important of all, do not forget to bring trash bag with you. Leave no trash in the island.

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   No doubt that Calaguas is one of the greatest and most wonderful beaches in the country. It’s a group of islands where particulars like Tinaga Island are liked most by travelers. Showcasing its long stretched white sand known locally as ‘Mahabang Buhangin’ with no commercial establishments, hotels nor even restaurants present in the island. This place is a perfect for all beach bummers and lovers, the virgin serenity of the beach is enhanced by crystal clear sea water, white powdered sand and peaceful sea waves. Tinaga Island has limited resources of power for electricity needs, it is usually operated by generator-set at night to give such lights to some cottages. Same with water supply thing, no commercial water supplier does providing water for everyone’s hygienic needs. Every pail of water counts in every 10-bucks rate paid to local residents’ artesian well to be used for bathing, and other water application purposes. There’s few public toilets installed in the island, and hence everyone is encourage to be patient in falling in line for usage. Also, be informed that there is no cellphone network signals are available in the island.

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   When you see and feel the mood of this peaceful island, you might imagine that perhaps 50-years ago, islands like Boracay and Puerto Galera looks like Calaguas at the present time. Enriched with beautiful scenery with less crowd and no noise from establishments could be heard, everything is so perfect. It’s so glad to see that despite of having numbers of islands in this country with mostly commercialized and crowded, there’s still a few untouched and unspoiled islands like these that do exist. However, after much seeing of business potential due to noticeable countless foreign and local tourists who visit Calaguas yearly, some private sectors and businessmen are starting to put-up private resorts with some sort of partying activity at night which threatens the peaceful nature of the island as well as the business living of the local residents. We hope that this island transformation to modern world should be stop and should be prevented.

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we.1  Calaguas is such a wonderful place where the islands are untouched from strange modern world. Everything in these islands should be preserved and should be maintained especially its silent serenity ambiance in the upcoming days where number of tourists will surely increase.

EAT.SLEEP.EXPLORE.repeat.

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One comment on “Calaguas: The Unspoiled Island Where Time Stands Still

  1. Jimmy
    November 11, 2016

    bookmarked!!, I like your web site!

    Like

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