Calaguas Island Travel Guide – Camarines Norte
Unknown to many, Calaguas Island is not just the famous long stretch of the white sand beach where boatmen from Mercedes, Paracale, and Vinzons bring their guests. Calaguas is composed of group of islands situated in the province of Camarines Norte. The prominent beach where most tourists flock, the one everybody called “Calaguas”, is aptly called as “Mahabang Buhangin” in the Island of Tinaga.
How to Get to Calaguas Island
Via Private Transportation
- From Metro Manila take South Luzon Expressway.
- Continue driving until you reach Santo Tomas junction.
- Turn left going to Alaminos Laguna and go straight passing by Quezon province.\
- Upon reaching Calauag junction take the road that leads to Camarines Norte.
- Continue driving until you reach another junction in Labo, Camarines Norte.
- Turn left, this will lead you to Paracale where boats going to Mahabang Buhangin can be found.
Via Public Transportation
From Manila to Daet
From Cubao or Pasay ride any of the major bus lines bound to South such as Superlines (has daily trips to Paracale), Philtranco, Amihan, and DLTB Co. Tell the conductor to drop you in Daet, Camarines Norte. (8-9 hours)
- From Daet, ride a passenger van bound for Paracale. (1 – 2 hours)
- You may skip the first step if you take the Superlines bus bound directly to Paracale/Panganiban. The port is walking distance from where Superlines bus drop off passengers.
- Charter a boat from Paracale to Mahabang Buhangin. (Approximately 2 hours)
- From Daet, hire a tricycle or ride a jeepney to reach the fish port. Travel time is roughly 30 minutes.
- Charter a boat from Vinzons to Mahabang Buhangin. (3 hours. Yes, longer than the boat ride from Paracale.)
From Naga to Daet
- If you want to cut short the long bus ride, you may opt to take a plane to Naga.
- From Naga take the van going to Daet. (2-3 hours. ₱185 – ₱190)
- From Daet ride a tricycle and go to terminal of vans and buses bound for Paracale. (1 hour. ₱50)
- Look for the fish port and charter a boat to Mahabang Buhangin or just tell boatmen that you are heading to Calaguas/Mahabang Buhangin.
Projected Expenses / Rates
|Bus from Manila to Daet||₱550 one way|
|Van from Daet to Paracale||₱60 one way|
|Boat Rental good for 8 pax||₱3,000 – ₱4,000 (for 2 days)|
|Island Entrance Fee (per head)||options: ₱150, ₱500, or ₱95 depending on the resort|
It is best to go to Calaguas in large group to share expenses with.
Sample Itinerary (with Bagasbas sidetrip for surfing)
2200PM – ETD from Manila to Daet
0700 – ETA Daet/ Breakfast
0800 – ETD for Mahabang Buhangin
1000 – ETA Mahabang Buhangin / Set-up Camp
1200 – Lunch
1300 – Explore/Siesta/Me-time
1900 – Dinner
2000 – Socials
2200 – Lights out
0600 – Wakeup call
0700 – Breakfast
0900 – Break Camp
1000 – ETD for Daet
1200 – ETA Daet / Lunch
1300 – ETD for Bagasbas for surfing
1400 – Surfing Bagasbas
1600 – wash-up / prepare for departure
1800 – Dinner (along the way)
1900 – ETD for Manila
Travel Tips for Calaguas Island
- When you reach Mahabang Buhangin, do not just set up your tent. Ask the caretaker first of their rates so you will not be caught off guard if, all of a sudden, someone asks you pay something you have no idea about. From the sea (facing the shore), the farthest right part has an entrance fee of ₱150 per person with free use of the bathroom and water pump. Cottage is ₱380. The rate per person at the resort situated farther left is just ₱95 but you have to pay ₱10 for every pail of water and ₱10 every time you use the CR. The resort at the center of Mahabang Buhangin, where expensive cottages were built, is charges 3,500 for the cottage good for 5 person, ₱500 per person in excess of 5! It is comfy, has hot and cold shower, offers mattresses, and comes with a spacious washroom. Go choose!
- If you want to save money, bring your cooking set, a gallon of water, and your own tent (₱350 is the rental price per tent good for 3 persons).
- If you still want to experience the place, and see for yourself whatever remaining beauty the island has, you may contact Sole Adventours, they offer affordable Calaguas tour packages.
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LoveEatWander’s Random Thoughts
Calaguas Island at night, several years ago
Eight years ago, when I first step foot in this paradise, only locals visit the place. Back then, you can’t see a crowd. You can even run naked by the shore. The place was bare – no cottages, no resorts, no loud sound/noise, no people partying. It was so simple yet very beautiful.
Mahabang Buhangin has now become an exploited paradise. Gone is its enigmatic appeal. Gone is the impressive view of the island when the moon shines proudly lighting up the whole place. No more fireflies. No more serenity. No more beautiful flock of birds that were often passing by. It has become an exact picture of Boracay.
Thank you for dropping by!
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