Our trip to Caramoan was actually a bad weather. A typhoon is coming. My travel buddies said, "Rain or shine" and because everything was already laid down so we continued our trip. We were allowed to sail the sea because no typhoon signal was raised yet but the journey was like road to hell and made me sick. It was a roller coaster ride for 2 hours. I won't travel on a bad weather again.
What your tourist guide or hotel/resort won't tell you, the locals can tell you. I wanted to know how rough the waters can get during the rainy season. The boatmen said they still ferry many tourists to the islands during the rainy season. But I was told by a local whom I have befriended that we must avoid going there for vacation during the months of September, October and November, which are the months for "habagat" or westerly winds. I have witnessed how rough the waters can be after an ordinary rain; I dread how the waves can be high and rough during the "habagat".
Specially for the "heavyweight" and/or diabetic, think twice if you'd really like to climb up the limestone ledge of Matukad Island. They are really sharp; a wrong move or grip could result to bruises. Hubby is a diabetic; he didn't feel it when he was bruised during the climb. He only knew about it when he felt the sting of the the salty sea water while wading towards our boat.
We had packed breakfast at Matukad Island with our boatmen in a makeshift tent. It rained so our boatmen got the boat's tarpaulin roofing and hang it on a tree's branch to serve as our tent. After a filling meal, we cleaned up, extra careful not to leave any trash. BUT...while waiting for the rain to stop, I looked around and saw trash (wrapper of chips, empty bottle, styrofoam pack) squeezed into the branches of plants. Ironically, there was an anti-littering sign on the Island.
When the rain stopped, I strolled in the beach, and saw limestone ledges defaced by vandals who etched drawings and put their names.
What the****! I really cannot understand why some tourists can be so thoughtless! If more and more such irresponsible tourists come to litter and vandalize, Caramoan's beauty will be sadly damaged:((
If you look impatient while waiting for the next boat ride to Caramoan, most likely, you will be approached by touts at Sabang offering their pump boats so you can go directly to Guijalo port or Bikal. I was told by friends that they sometimes charge from P2,000 to P3,000. Unless you're in dire need to go to Caramoan early, you must exercise caution.
If you are left behind by the last boatride, then that is an entirely different story. Nevertheless, exercise prudence. Check out the condition of the boat. Does it look sturdy? Does it have a roof? Does it have lifevests for passengers? Does it leave a manifesto of some sort to the boat dispatcher/Barangay? How does their price compare with what you've researched about as prevailing rates? I understand from locals that acceptable price range is from P1,200 to P1,500. If you can find a local to ride with you to share the expenses, that's better.
I've read blogs about this and still I didn't expect it to be how it was. When we left Sabang for Guijalo it was early morning so it was high tide, the boat was moored at the port. When we arrived Sabang it was low tide so the boat moored at the other side of the port. As soon as the boat dropped anchor, porters came rushing to the boat to get passengers. It was chaos! We finally got our chance to get to dry land, a bit wet (the waves were big) and shaken (I thought I would fall off the porters' shoulders). But I had fun. Guess it's part of the Caramoan experience.
So just to make sure you don't go home wet, wear shorts and change your outfit once you get to the other side.
The ferry schedules to Sabang and Guijalo and back are really very few. And as we have experienced, it can leave even before it's scheduled time if the boat is already full. One of our friends took her time buying some food in the store somewhere in the port area. And because the boat is full, the boatman decided to leave. She arrived just after the boatmen pulled in the walkway and were already moving off the port and they have to pull back in and attach the walkway for her.
So warning, don't wait for the exact schedule. Hop in the boast as soon as you can, otherwise if you miss it, it's another 2 hours of waiting.
First trip from Sabang to Guijalo is at 5am, second trip is at 8:30 am and the last trip is at 11am.
From Guijalo to Sabang the last trip i think is around 2pm.
March is supposed to be summer that's why it puzzled me why its all raining in Caramoan. Waves are huge and pretty scary. Just be careful!