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Random Clicks: Caramoan, Camarines Sur

The beachfront of the inn where we stayed overlooking the cluster of islands with magnificent rock formations.

Caramoan is a relatively unexplored gem of Camarines Sur in the Bicol Region. If you are from Manila, you will have to endure at least 15 hours of land travel or at least 4 hours via Legazpi City in Albay if you will travel by plane. The long and winding road and frequent poor cellphone signal will get you bored so I suggest you bring something to keep you busy or might as well sleep and sacrifice seeing the breathtaking scenery along the way.

We left the house before midnight on May 10 and arrived in Caramoan at around 4 in the afternoon the following day only with two brief stopovers for breakfast and toilet break.

We were supposed to go to Gota Resort but unfortunately, it was under exclusive use of the Survivor cast and crew. We ended up in a more public venue wherein inns and hostels occupy the beach front. Anyone can swim on the beach but you can't be satisfied with just that because you can see the beautiful islands and rock formations from afar.

This small island with a sandbar, cottages and store is where we had brunch. It is around 45 minutes away from the inn.

It is important to haggle for an island hopping tour and to negotiate only to the one who owns the boat because our experience was we talked to a middle man; and agreed on the price and number of islands to visit only to be asked a different price on the day of the island hopping. Having experiences in other tourist destinations, it is unfortunate that we had that kind of ordeal. Since we really wanted to see the islands and we understand that they are not yet keen on handling tours, we met halfway and proceeded with the tour.


There are restaurants in Caramoan, not posh ones, that offer a variety of dishes. We ordered tapsilog, drinks and bread the night before as our breakfast for our island hopping day. We left at around 7 in the morning and reached the first island after 45 minutes. It has cottages and stores wherein fresh seafood can be bought and cooked. You will be charged 100 pesos for a cottage that is good for 10. The white sand and crystal clear water is so inviting. We stayed for only 2 hours because we might not see the huge sandbar in our next destination.


Next stop is the sandbar and floating cottages. For 100 pesos, you can stay and eat at the floating cottages for as long as you want. It is best that you wait here while the tide recedes for the sandbar to appear just a few meters away. 


If you did not bring enough food, there are floating stores that sell fresh seafood that they will cook to fresh coconut juice to halo-halo. Of course, expect to pay a higher price.


This is how fine and white the sand is in the sandbar just a few minutes walk away from the floating cottages.


You can swim, walk  or paddle a kayak to reach the sandbar. Going here is one of the highlights of the trip because it is the first time I have seen a sandbar that huge.





These are closed areas for tourists because of on-going shoot for the reality game show Survivor. The production rented a couple of islands for 3 months. We were lucky to get a little closer to the islands to take photos of the beach. I suggest you call first the resort to check for the availability of more popular islands before you go to Caramoan.

Overall, the experience was tiring but exciting since it was my first time to go there. If I would compare its tourism strategy to other tourist destinations I have been to, Caramoan still has a lot of areas to improve. Nonetheless, I would be glad to visit again.

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