Calaguas Islands: A Hidden Gem in the Philippines

Calaguas Islands: A Hidden Gem in the Philippines

The Calaguas Islands are an uninhabited archipelago in the Philippines Sea that are found in the province of Camarines Norte in the the Philippines.

They offer cyan waters, lush trees, diverse marine species, and powdery white sand that stretches for miles. The beauty and isolation of the Calaguas Islands make them perfect for a weekend excursion.   

If you think the white sand beaches of Boracay are blowing your mind with their gorgeous lagoons and long strips of palm-fringed white sand, picture a similar scene in the Calaguas Islands, but minus all of the tourists. 

In short, if you're a beach bummer and are desperately seeking a lesser-known magical place, the Calaguas Islands are perfect for you.

 

However, be prepared to make some effort to travel to this remote place:

How to Get There:

There are many travel guides on the internet telling you how to reach the Calaguas Islands.

To keep it simple, get yourself to Vinzons or Paracale first, then make your way to the fish port and ask for a Bangka (fishermen boat) transfer to Mahabang Buhangin (aka the White Sand Beach).

It is a two–hour open sea ride under the scorching sun. Passengers may face seasickness and sunburn, so make sure to bring your seasickness pills and use plenty of sunscreen.

 

What To Do:

Tigana Island, the main island of the Calaguas offers the finest beaches. Among them is the Mahabang Buhangin (white sand beach). This pristine beach attracts local visitors with its postcard-perfect scenery and its laidback party vibe.

When not swimming in the water or soaking up the sun, activities include hiking, beach volleyball, and kayaking. There are extensive rock formations on both ends of the beach. Take a walk to the other side of the rocks and you will spot mountain goats running on the lush hills.

You can also go island hopping to Malacubo and Quinamanucan Islands. Both islands are only a short boat ride away from Tinaga Island and can be easily explored in a day. The warm and azure water on both islands is perfect for snorkelling and scuba diving, where you are likely to spot exotic creatures like sea turtles and dolphins.

The nights and evenings on the Calaguas Islands are definitely an experience that everyone looks forward to. There is no cell-phone or internet service, so you don't find anyone checking their phones or computer for Facebook updates. Instead, everyone swims, dancing around the fire, drinks with their friends till dawn, and enjoys the feeling of being away from reality.

 

What To Eat:

There are no restaurants on the Calaguas Islands so bring your own food and drinks for the duration of your stay. We brought home-made fish, pock, salad, and juice with us for dinner and brunch. The owners of the Calaguas Islands can fetch water for you to drink and shower, but the water is cold and there is no way to heat it.

 

Where To Stay:

There's no accommodation on the islands, so bring your own camping gear. Many visitors camp along the beach, sleep under the stars and awake to the cool dawn wind. The camping fee is PHP 140 (local currency) per person.

 

Here are a few more tips to make your Calaguas Islands trip a breeze:

- Bring a flash light. It will be pitch black after sundown and there are limited lights and electricity on the islands.

- Cash is the only acceptable form of payment so take enough cash to cover your bangka transfer and any extra expenses during the trip.

- Leave a message for your family and friends for your own safety and tell them when you expect to arrive back on the mainland.

- Avoid travelling to the Calaguas Islands during the rainy season (June to September), because the bangka transfer is likely to be delayed or cancelled.

- The bangka holds 15 passengers in total, and the price will be cheaper if you travel in a group. We paid $40 (USD) per person for a camping permit and a two-way transfer.

 

A Final Note:

According to the local government of Daet, there is a plan to make the Calaguas Islands a major tourist attraction. So go before it turns into another Boracay.

 

Safe and Happy Travels!

 

Travel Tip Shared by AlwaysOnTheWay
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