360° virtual tour of Caramoan Islands located in the province of Camarines Sur, Bicol Region, Philippines. It is well known for its powdery white sand beach and activities like island hopping, diving, swimming, snorkeling and spelunking. It has been the venue of several editions of the popular reality television show Survivor (American version for 2 consecutive seasons; Serbian version for 2 consecutive seasons; Israeli version for 3 consecutive seasons; Bulgarian Survivor; Swedish Survivor; Koh-Lanta which is the French version of Survivor; and the only season of Survivor India).
Caramoan Islands consists of numerous small islets and includes these 10 principal islands:
- Sabitang Laya
We made a quick trip to this amazing place last May 2013 and unfortunately we only stayed overnight because of limited time. The recommended minimum stay is 2 days because the island hopping packages are divided into 2 days. We only managed to visit these islands: Matukad, Lahus, Minalahos, Cagbalinad. There’s supposed to be more but we started late around 2pm and in the late afternoon some islands are not accessible anymore because of the high tide.
We didn’t plan ahead for this trip so we did a quick research and found ‘Breeze and Waves Resort’ which is located in Barangay Paniman. Caramoan consists of 49 Barangays (village/district) and Paniman is the nearest to the beach and where most of the resorts are located although some tourist still prefer to stay in resorts at the town center. ‘Breeze and Waves Resort’ rates are 1,200 pesos per night. We stayed at their annex rooms because the main rooms are fully-booked. The rooms are decent, clean, air-conditioned and it looks like a house. There’s TV but no wifi in the rooms, only at the reception lobby and dining area. The meals costs around 150 pesos per dish. The island hopping boats are 1,500 pesos for the whole day and it can carry up-to 4-6 persons not including the 2 staffs. (Note: All prices mentioned here are based from the current value on the date of our visit)
How we went to Caramoan Islands from Legaspi City:
Legaspi City is located in the Province of Albay, Bicol Region, Philippines. You can get to this city by plane in just 45 mins. from Manila. But if your going to Caramoan Islands directly from Manila it’s faster to go to Pili Domestic Airport instead.
- From Legaspi City we have our own car and traveled for 2 hrs to Anayan, Pili. You can also take bus.
- From Anayan, Pili we took a bus going to San Jose. You can take either JC Liner or Florencia bus. We alighted at Munisipyo of San Jose. The bus fare is 50 pesos and is a 1.5hrs travel time approx. 37km.
- From San Jose Munisipyo we were supposed to take tricycle or jeepney to Sabang Port which is only 15mins away, but the waiting time is taking long and we’re in a hurry, then suddenly there’s this two guys in motorbikes offering us a ride to Sabang Port for 60 pesos each. They look like they are really doing it for a living so we went for an adventure and took it. It was a fun 15 min. back ride, and fast too.
- We finally arrived at the Sabang Port and took a passenger boat. The fare is 120 pesos each plus 10 pesos terminal fee. The passenger boat can carry upto approx. 80 persons (I just roughly counted it) and the last trip I think is 10 a.m. You can also take the RORO (roll-on/roll-off ferry where bus and other vehicles can also be transported) but I think the last trip is 7 a.m. My tip when riding the boat, always sit either at the front or at the far back, don’t sit in the middle because the engine is there and it’s really noisy and the smell of gas is really strong.
- The boat ride is approx. 2 hrs and will bring you to Guijalo Port. The port is overwhelming, the passenger boat is not yet anchored but then there’s a lot of these fishermen in small boats paddling to the passengers and offering to carry and unload your big bags to the port. From Guijalo Port there are lots of Tricycles waiting to bring you to your respective resorts. You can also make a booking from your resort to pick you up at the Port which we did. Our travel time to ‘Breeze and Waves Resort’ is 35 mins. and costs 300 pesos.
Here is a geo-tagged trail of our trip from legaspi city all the way to Caramoan Islands as well as our island hopping. One-way Travel time is approx. 6 hrs and is 190km long and almost all mode of transportation is used:
Some pictures in slideshow below: