Caramoan Things to Do

  • Matukad beach
    Matukad beach
    by cyndymc
  • Superfine White Sand & Awesome Limestone Ledge
    Superfine White Sand & Awesome Limestone...
    by cyndymc
  • St. Michael, the Archangel Parish
    St. Michael, the Archangel Parish
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Most Recent Things to Do in Caramoan

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    have a walk and explore the town

    by kemisteryoso Written Jul 15, 2010

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    visitors usually just do island hopping when they are visiting Caramoan. Try to explore the country side by walking. No heavy traffic and pollution so it's okay. We even went far off the road to get near a swamp and see hundreds of birds playing or Just simply enjoy the lush green surrounding, the river, Caramoan town hall, souvenir shops. market etc... a whole new different thing to do.

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    St. Michael's Parish

    by kemisteryoso Updated Jun 28, 2010

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    Very old church made of red brick located on a vast courtyard with trees, well maintained grass and Some religious monuments like St. Joseph . The church was put up by Franciscan Missionaries in 16th century.

    For Catholic Church architecture lovers must not miss this church.

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    Sabitang Laya and Bag-ing

    by kemisteryoso Written Jun 27, 2010

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    Sabitang laya
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    These are the beaches we managed to see even on a bad weather. About 45 minutes travel from Bikal port.
    These twin beaches are located on a single triangular island. One side is Sabitang-Laya( wide and long) and the other side is Bag-ing (with rock formations). The island is beautiful and also belongs to the top 10 islands of Caramoan.

    Related to:
    • Beaches

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  • cyndymc's Profile Photo

    Decide If/Where You Want To Go For Island Hopping

    by cyndymc Updated Apr 26, 2010

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    Everyone Was Worried About The Dark Clouds
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    There are two types of Island Hopping tours: the short way (for nearby islands) @ P1,5000 and the long way (more islands included) @ P2,500. We wanted to have the long way tour, but bad weather on the day we were in Caramoan prevented us from proceeding to the farther islands.

    We almost didn't push through with our island hopping tour. When we arrived at Paniman Beach, there was overcast sky, the waves were rough, and the wind was strong. Hubby and I couldn't decide if we will push through with our plans or not. The clouds were getting darker, foreboding rain. It could be risky proceeding with our island hopping, then get caught in the rain in the middle of the rough sea. On the other hand, it would be such a waste of time if we didn't see the islands while we were already there in Caramoan. The locals at the beach assured us there was no storm; that the rain would just pass by and stop in a while. Before we could even decide, the rain poured and we all scampered to a nearby stall with billiard pool. While waiting for the rain to stop, I interviewed some of the locals and took their pictures.

    The rain stopped shortly, and the sky cleared up. We took a chance; we proceeded with the deal for a tour of nearby islands, with the understanding that we would decide later if we would go further to the other islands or not, depending on the weather, and depending on our mood. Myrna, wife of Ramil Cruel, the boat owner introduced us to our 2 boatmen, Mardy & Junior. We were given free lifevests, and provided with a motorized outrigger boat with tarpaulin roofing to be installed as needed. While hubby was inspecting our boat, I asked for the nearest restroom, and Myrna wa gracious enough to bring me to their home so I can use their comfort room. Afterwards, hubby and I boarded the boat with our dry gear, and brought packed breakfast and lunch for us and our boatmen.

    One thing I appreciate is the boat owner's honesty that we couldn't set foot in all the islands because of ongoing production/shooting of Survivor Israel, but our boatmen would try their best to go near and sail around the said islands.

    Note: I will write about the islands separately.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Adventure Travel

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  • cyndymc's Profile Photo

    Gota Island & Gota Beach and Lahos Island

    by cyndymc Updated Apr 20, 2010

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    Gota Beach Was Off Limits To Us
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    Gota Beach used to be the first destination for the island hopping tour, followed by Matukad or Lahos. However, since production activities of Survivor Israel are still ongoing, we didn't have a chance to drop by Gota Island and Beach. as well as Lahos Island.

    When your boatman points to you a large rock called Explorer’s Rock by locals, that is your landmark for the Gota Beach. Gota Beach is the biggest attraction of Caramoan, being the main setting of “Koh Lanta Caramoan”, the French version of the reality show Survivor. The sands in the Gota beaches are said to be fine to medium brownish gray sand. Across the beach are three islets.

    Gota Island is one of the major islands facing the Pacific Ocean. When our boat neared Gota and Lahos, the guards of Survivor motioned to us, signalling that the area was off limits. Since the guards are locals known to our boatmen, we got permission to just sail around the islands. Sailing near the coastline, we saw the steep limestone and marble mountains with caves on their slopes. A speedboat with Survivor staff passed by. Afraid that they might reprimand us, I smiled and waved at them, and they waved back, smiling at us. Hubby recognized them as the staff who ate at the restaurant of Caramoan Bed & Dine while we were having lunch the previous day.

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    • Sailing and Boating
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  • cyndymc's Profile Photo

    Go Early To Matukad Island

    by cyndymc Updated Apr 18, 2010

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    Matukad beach
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    Matukad Island is among the south Caramoan islands where the province of Catanduanes can be seen. (The south islands are included in the short island hopping tour from Paniman.) Matukad is one of the most popular island destinations, and as a favorite island, it is usually first in the list for island hopping now that Gota 1 & 2 Islands are off limits to tourists due to ongoing production/shooting of Survivor Israel.

    There were 2 guards of Survivor Israel camped at the island when we arrived. They were supposed to alert tourists if they could or could not proceed to the island when shooting or production work is being or going to be done. Fortunately, they allowed us to stay for a while to explore the island.

    Matukad is said to have a circumference of 1,616 meters, 3 beaches stretched on 125 meters of pristine powdery white sand, and a small lagoon with intriguing legend. Wild plants bearing exotic fruits and orchids are a delight to see in its tropical forest. The bonsai-like trees and wild plants growing on the cracks of sharply eroded rock formations are also an interesting sight.

    For you to enjoy the beauty and serenity of the island, I suggest that you go there very early in the morning so you can have the beach for yourself, have undisturbed photo shoot, go for an unhurried climb to the limestone ledge to see the lagoon and bask on the morning sun and breeze while having a breathtaking view of the sea and the other islands from the top of the cliff. Having done all that, you can then have your packed breakfast there,under the trees, but be sure to clean up everything before you leave.

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    • Beaches
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Adventure Travel

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    Visit St. Michael Parish Church

    by cyndymc Updated Apr 18, 2010

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    St. Michael Parish Church
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    After getting settled in Centro, we visited the St. Michael Parish Church to thank God for our safe trip. I felt odd as I prayed inside the church. It was so hot outside, but it was strangely cool inside. As a whiff of breeze kissed my cheeks, I thought that perhaps the big windows and red clay bricks kept the interiors comfortably cool.

    When I went outside to the courtyard, I saw a familiar face. It was a woman who rode the same van we took from Naga, and the same boat we rode from Sabang. She smiled and said she guessed that we were tourists. It turned out, she is a volunteer worker at the church, so I asked her a lot of questions, and I learned a lot from her.

    Most of the people in Caramoan are Roman Catholics. They are proud and honored to have a historic old church in their town, built in the 15th century. The church's history goes as far back as when Franciscan Missionary Fray Francisco dela Cruz y Oropesa dared to penetrate the dense forests of Caramoan Peninsula in 1867. He then founded a Christian settlement in a place called Balwarte. Upon turnover of this settlement to the Sagrada Mitra for administration in 1696, a chapel was built out of indigenous materials like nipa, bamboos and wood. Thereafter, the chapel underwent several repairs/renovations and a permanent structure was finally constructed only after almost 200 years. The building was constructed by slave labor out of adobe, local stones and clay under the supervision of well-known artisans and masons. The same building still stands, having withstood natural calamities like typhoons and earthquakes, and also the ravages of World War II.

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    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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    Spend Some Time @ Paniman Beach

    by cyndymc Updated Apr 17, 2010

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    Swimmers At Paniman Beach
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    We got our boat for island hopping at Paniman Beach, the jump-off point to the white beaches and exotic islands of Gota, Hunongan, Lahus, and Matukad.

    I was surprised when I saw Paniman Beach. All the while, I thought it was something like Patar Beach of Bolinao, with very fine cream-colored sand. It turned out that the sand is very fine but looks like wet soil/mud because of its brownish black color when wet. However, a cursory look at the sea revealed to me clean and clear water that appears "murky" from afar only because of the brownish black sand that goes with the tide. When we returned to Paniman Beach from our island hopping tour, I noticed that the sand at the beach was lighter brown in color, perhaps because the sand had dried up already after the rain. I looked around and appreciated the beauty of Paniman Beach more. It had a unique natural beauty all its own.

    We were told that many tourists go there for overnight stay (I saw directional signs of a few resorts in Paniman), camping or day trip, picnic and swimming. By the way, hubby and I would have wanted to stay at the Resthouse of Rex Tourist Inn in Paniman Beach, but we backed out not because it was more expensive than their rooms at Centro, but because we had to sign a waiver that if anything happened to us there, the Management wouldn't be responsible for us. The owner explained to us that they do not encourage overnight stay in their Resthouse, until such time that Paniman has ample electricity, safe water system, sufficient security and available medical service for guests.

    We didn't have a chance to explore the expanse of Paniman Beach because of bad weather and time constraints, but based on my previous research, it is also by itself, an interesting destination. The next time we go there, I will find time to see the beautiful limestone rock formations, intriguing caves and snorkeling sites.

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    • Sailing and Boating
    • Beaches
    • Family Travel

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    Don't Miss Minalaghos and Cagbalinad Islets

    by cyndymc Written Apr 12, 2010

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    Minalaghos and Cagbalinad Islets
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    Across Honongan Island are two adjacent islets, Minalaghos and Cagbalinad. During high tide, their small but beautiful white sand beaches are underwater. Our boatman-guide, Mardy wanted to bring us there for a spectacular boatride that would give us the impression that we were passing through a cave. Unfortunately, because we stayed long in other islands, it was already low tide when we reached the place so we couldn't have that experience anymore. Instead, we waded on the shallow water and had some shots taken of the interesting rock formations. We didn't stay longer for more rock climbing adventure, but we were told that the limestone cliffs are a favorite for challenging climbs.

    Because it was low tide, I enjoyed watching marine creatures like starfishes through the clear waters. I also examined with great delight the texture and colors of the limestone rocks. I learned that the monochromatic brown coloration of the rocks was an indication of changing water levels at high and low tide.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Beaches
    • Sailing and Boating

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    Pass By Honongan Island & Beach

    by cyndymc Updated Apr 12, 2010

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    Honongan Island & Beach
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    Honongan Island & Beach is one of the biggest islands located at Barangay Ilawod found at the right side of Gota Beach. It is also referred to as Naglaho. The provincial government initiated the conversion of the island into a resort destination, and native inspired cottages are now availale. The white beach is spread at the foot of green hills and jagged limestone cliffs. With its vast coral formations around the area, it has become a favorite of snorkelers and divers. Unfortunately (again), we couldn't explore the place because it was still exclusively being used by the Survivor Israel staff and crew.

    Like Matukad, Honongan Island is said to also have a hidden lagoon only accessible by climbing 25 to 30 feet up the high rocks.

    The owner of Caramoan Bed & Dine, Alan Lejarde lent me a book showing a picture of the aerial view of the island. It has an interesting shape of a giant sperm whale with tailfins separated by white sand beaches.

    Related to:
    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Beaches

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    Explore The Tower Rock

    by cyndymc Updated Apr 12, 2010

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    The Tower Rock At High Tide
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    The "Tower Rock" is that pointed islet one can visibly see from Paniman Beach. This unique rock formation jutting out of the ocean is probably one of the most photographed islets of Caramoan. It is a favorite of photo hobbyists snorkelers, divers, and adventurous swimmers. It is also a favorite nesting place of sea birds.

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    Mmake pilgrimage to the Shrine

    by supladita_ilokana Written Apr 4, 2010
    say your prayers...
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    Best done during the early morning so that it wont be so hot...

    But better than best when hiked just before the sun rises...so that you can wait for sun to unfold the beauty of Caramoan. The hike itself, the shrine, and the view will literally leave you breathless...

    Say your prayers...

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Go Snorkeling!!!

    by supladita_ilokana Written Apr 4, 2010
    peace! let's snorkel
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    Pretty much self explanatory..put on your mask and snorkel and life vest...and prepare to be embraced by corals and fish!

    For our trip, the snorkeling activity was part of our island-hopping...our boatmen (from La Playa Camp) knew where to take us!

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Camping
    • Diving and Snorkeling

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    DO WHAT I DID!

    by donajanv Updated Mar 3, 2010

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    Here’s just a few of the things I’ve done so far:
    - Island hopping/Sight seeing
    - Swimming
    - Day/Night Snorkeling: You gotta try night snorkeling! It's scary but the underwater creature is more beautiful when you literally have "the light in your hands".
    - Climbing rocks to see the Lagoon at Matukad Beach: The rocks are very sharp and its a hard climb but you can reach the top in less than 10 minutes. There's one huge milkfish that swims around and its supposedly the "mystical guard" of the lagoon. Locals do not dare go down the lagoon for two reasons: (1) the rocks are sharp and it’s dangerous to climb down and (2) its been said that anybody who dares to go to the lagoon gets some incurable random sickness. However, when you reach the top, its quite the beauty and you can take gazillion pictures!
    - Fishing: What's better than catching your own fish fresh off the ocean and them cooking it? Oh so delicioso!!!!
    - Spear fishing: If you know what you're doing, it's safe and fun. You can either use a spear gun or use a home-made simple sharp, long and thin piece of metal and a strong thick rubber band (used by locals) and patiently spear your fish of choice. How fun is that!
    - Climbing 500+ steps in the town of Tabgon to see the largest Virgin Mary statue or if you’re agnostic or an atheist, just hike up and challenge yourself to 500+ steps and see the most amazing view of the Caramoan islands on top of the highest mountain range and of course take gazillion pictures!
    - Camping: Camp at La Playa or any of the islands especially during the full moon. It's not just romantic; it's simply great! Just make sure you bring all your necessary things or first aid kits. Unfortunately, there is no cellphone signals in the islands so if and when emergency occurs, rescue will be nearly impossible. So since La Playa is also a campground, I suggest you just camp there.
    - Picnic with your friends
    - An adventurous motorcycle ride, bicycle ride or walking experience in the town of Caramoan. But this is a most do if you should explore with a 2-wheel drive (or 2 legs...hehehe), you must visit the town of Hanopol to check out the beautiful and heaven-like view of the mountain and lake near the dam and have a picnic or go fishing for tilapia.
    - Spelunking/Caving at Omang Cave.

    There are countless activities to do! Try them all! I DARE YOU!

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel
    • Beaches

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  • tinybabols's Profile Photo

    Island hopping

    by tinybabols Updated Feb 23, 2010

    Caramoan is well known for it's beaches and there are lots and lots of them to choose from.
    We went to Bag-ing, Matukad, Lahos and Minalahos.
    We also went to Tabgon and walked 500+ steps to reach the Virgin Mary statue on top of the hill and see the breathtaking view of Caramoan. It was well worth the shaky legs after all the walking.

    They also have caves, unfortunately we were not able to go caving/spelunking.

    Boat rental Php 2,500 for the whole day.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Hiking and Walking

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