One of the hidden paradise in the town of Claveria is nonetheless the Sentinela Cove, home to the Ubing-Ubing of the Cagayan. Unlike the coast in the Poblacion area, Sentinela is enthroned with white sand and the current is more tender.
Ubing-Ubing, as told in the legend, is the offspring of Lakay-Lakay and Baket-Baket, who in their greediness was turned into stone.
A marina for local fishermen, Taggat Lagoon is a favorite beach swimming destination. The water is generally calm considering the lagoon has a natural breakwater of rocks shielding it from the direct waves of the open sea.
Bring your own food. Open cottages put up by the local village association are for rent plus a minimum entrance fee to the park - the fee is just enough for the upkeep of the place, especially its T&B facilities.
Try the man-made swimming pools at the farther west end of the lagoon. The thick lush forest up in the mountain supplies water to Taggat Falls that is dammed at these pool basins.
Buy fresh sea catch from the local fishermen. Grilled fresh fish - yumm, yumm. "Give me a beer, please"
The most precious hidden gem of Claveria in my humble opinion.
This should not be missed in any trip to Cagayan. The waters are clear and calm, not too salty as this is near the point where the river meets the ocean. There is a rocky formation not too far from the beach which can be reached by wading when the tide is not too high.
Four kilometers of clean beach...what else can you ask for? You can spend your day here from dusk till dawn.
During summer, fishermen gather here from 5:00am to 9:00am for their daily catch of galunggong, dilis, atbp. As suggested by Boyet (bikepacker), I tried fishnet-pulling with the locals. It is fun! According to one Manong, the whole catch is divided into 4. One portion goes to the fishnet owner, the other portion to the uzis (someone who helps pull the net but not part of the group...that's me!) and the remaining two portions will be divided among the group.
For more photos of Claveria Beach.
Bantay Kalbo is an enjoyable short hike from the Centinela beach. Your huffing and puffing will be greatly rewarded by the light breeze and scenic view from the top.
This is one of my top 5 places in Cagayan!
For more photos of Bantay Kalbo.
This is my favorite beach in Claveria. It is off-the-beaten path and secluded by cliffs at both sides. The view here is spectacular ... very beautiful indeed!
During low tide, you may go to the little rock islet at the beach' center and take that funny pose...ala Dyesebel! :0)
It is true, "the best things in life are free".
For more photos of Centinela Beach
One great view to take snapshots of the countryside>> a river and mountain ranges in the background, the suspension pedestrian bridge completes the whole landscape.
Built by the locals from native hardwood, this 70m long footbridge connects the river-isolated barrio of Nagsabaran to the rest of the town.
A favorite weekend hideaway for Cagayanos and Isabelanons come summer time, this 4-km long stretch of fine sandy beach is the main attraction of the town. The numerous beach resorts that dot the Beach Boulevard has a total accomodation capacity of about 500+. Whatever your budget, you will find your place. Camping out by the beach during peak season is common when rooms run short.
The Claveria Bay is a very abundant fishing ground. Fresh catch is readily available to the resorts' guests by buying the catch as fishermen out from the sea docks at early morning or at the end of the day. Let the resorts restaurants do the cooking for a minimal fee.
For the trigger-happy novice photographer, this won't escape. (Who anyway travels these days without a digital camera ready on hand?). Wild flowers endemic to the place can be seen while exploring the hills, sand dunes, stream banks, thickly-forested mountains.
The accompanying pictures were taken at "Bantay Kalbo".
Have a great time dipping on the cold waters flowing from mountain springs. There are 5 pools at the base of the falls. The 2 original natural basins have the biggest areas and are about 15-ft deep, recommended for adults. The other 3 man-made pools are tiled and are 2-, 3- and 4-feet deep, safe for children. There are about 6 private open cottages on the sides of the pools good for a maximum of ten persons per. The covered main hall has picnic tables that can accomodate up to 50 persons.
Day-tour only. P5.00 entrance per head. Bring your cooked/packed foods. Barbecue grills are available. A small store sells cold drinks and refreshment foods. Yes, they sell ice cold beer.
Has well-maintained toilet and bathrooms.
It's good they let this place stay in its unspoiled natural conditon. Only nipa cottages on the banks for day-tour visitors. A well-placed big flat rock on the left side is a favorite diving platform for those who dare to dive 8m high down to the 6m deep basin formed at the base of the falls. The basin is wide enough to do some backstroke/freestyle swimming from end to end.
At the top of the falls is a small basin 2m deep. The flowing water into this small basin sculptured a natural slide on the rock. Great fun sliding and get submerged in the bubbling water. Many shallow natural bathtubs around can be a safe and fun place for the kids.
During the rainy season, be extra careful, the rocks are slippery.
Hidden private mini-cove.
The little cove at the back of "Bantay Kalbo" at the east side of Centinela is a favorite swimming place as early as the sun rises when the almost vertical mountain shades this place from the scorching heat of the sun. No sunburns. Get ready to leave the place before 8:00 AM.
To wash up of the salty water in your body, go and dip at the numerous waterfalls within the area. Choose from the following >> Macatel Falls, Mabnang Falls or Porta Baga Falls.
The place is isolated away from the maddening crowd, so enjoy the serenity. Either just beach bumming, swimming, snorkeling or packed lunch picnic with friends. Very fine sand and pristine clear water. Watch the waves break at the rocks.
About 15m from the shore, a small rock islet juts out. A conveniently located resting platform while swimming out and a good snorkeling base.
There is a cave at the western side good as a shade or a convenient location to grill fresh fish catch.
Climbing the "Bantay Kalbo" on the eastern side gives a stunning panoramic bird's eye view of Centinela and a good view of Claveria Beach. On clear skies, the Babuyan Islands in the north are very visible.