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Calaguas: An Unspoiled Beach Destination for the Boracay-weary

 

Calaguas travel tips    

 

Colorful outrigger boats amidst the clear waters in Calaguas

  • The entire trip to the island coming from Manila takes approximately ten hours– 7-8 hours by bus, and 1 1/2 to 2 hours by boat.
  • The boat to Calaguas is a potentially choppy and wet ride. Waterproof your things by securing them inside large trash bags.
  • If you want to stay overnight on the island, bring your own tent, camping equipment, and food. There’s a camping fee of P150 per person.
  • Bring your own source of potable drinking water, enough to last you until the entire duration of your stay on the island.
  • Bring a flashlight or a headlamp as there are no lights on the island at night.
  • The waves on the beach can be quite strong at times, and the seabed goes from a shallow depth to deep within a few steps. Exercise caution when swimming.

calaguas-waves

  •  The best time to visit Calaguas is during the dry, summer months of April and May. It is not advisable to visit during the rainy/typhoon season, especially during the -ber months. The waves can be rough, and the boatmen periodically cancel trips to and from the island when the swells get too big.
  • To help preserve the unspoilt nature of the island and to lessen the impact of one’s visit to the place, visitors are highly encouraged to follow the Leave No Trace policy. Its simplest and most fundamental rule is: pack it in, pack it out. Whatever you bring to the place, you take with you when you leave, including your trash. In short, “Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints.”

Fine, white Calaguas sand, much like Boracay

 

 

Getting to Calaguas

Paracale fishing port, Camarines NorteParacale port, Camarines Norte

 

There are a lot of travel guides on the Internet all about how to get to Calaguas, but the most straightforward way, if you’re going the DIY route, is to ride a Philtranco or Superlines bus from Cubao or Pasay to Paracale, Camarines Norte. Upon reaching the town of Paracale, take a tricycle to the fishing port. Ask around for a fishing boat to take you to Mahabang Buhangin (which the locals refer to as Halabang Baybay). Ideally, use Paracale Port as your jump off point to Calaguas instead of Vinzons port, the other alternative– the waters off Vinzons is rougher than Paracale’s. Vinzons is also farther away from Calaguas than Paracale is.

Another option is to join hassle-free organized group tours to Calaguas. One provider of Calaguas tours is Travel Factor, offering trips to the island inclusive of tents, transportation, and meals.

So when in Manila and looking to unplug from the stress of city living, consider escaping away to Calaguas, a place that has not yet caught up with time. Go there soon, and get there first, before the developers do.

 

Boats anchored at the shore

Some photos in this article are courtesy of Melissa Kaori Silva Litao.

 

 

Philtranco: https://philtranco.com.ph/
Superlines: https://www.phbus.com/superlines-bus/
Travel Factor: https://www.travelfactor.org
Mahabang Buhangin website: https://www.mahabangbuhangin.com/

 

 

Calaguas: an unspoiled beach destination for the Boracay-weary