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The Best Memories and Island Escapades

The laidback town of Caramoan, one of the 35 municipalities of Camarines Sur, is located at the tip of the Caramoan Peninsula. Rolling hills and the lush green mountains, rock formations, and lovely islands scattered in its pristine waters make Caramoan the perfect destination for travel and adventure. No wonder, even in the past, Dutch traders have been captivated by the beauty of the place, earning it the name of “Guta de Leche”. Stories say this was derived from the milk drop stalagmites found among the rocks of Guta Port. When the Spaniards arrived, the place was called “Carahan” for the sea turtle which abound the shores of these islands. Later on it was called Caramoan. 

The Hobbit Returns for a “Short Trip”

Two years after the first escapade, the hobbit returned to the islands. This time, he brought company: the two curious brothers, Ramir and Rix. Early morning, they left Naga City and took a taxi to Sabang Port. It was high tide. To get to the boat, they had to ride a barge from the shallow shores. Times have changed. Two years back, your only way to get a boat ride is to have a porter carry you on their back unless you want to get soaked in saltwater.


Of course, the top choice was still Residencia de Salvacion (RDS), a humble resort which has consistently received great reviews from local and foreign tourists. In their old location, one needed to take a long ride to the beach. Now, they’re right at the beachfront on the long shoreline of Paniman, close to a giant rockwall. At this same spot, the ocean gives birth to a river, making the place a great location for kayaking and a late afternoon dip in the cold seawater.

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From the simple accommodation they had for years, RDS now keeps an elegant two-storey house, still filled with that warmth and comfort of home that made thousands fall in love with the place. They’ve kept the same promise: basic accommodation and local food, but exceeds expectations.


Day 1: Island Hopping (Short Trip)

The tour started right after feasting on crabs for lunch. The first stop was Lahos Island, has a picturesque white sand beach between two jagged limestone formations.

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After swimming in the lukewarm water (and taking a lot of selfies), the boat sailed to the nearby Matukad Island where you can climb the sharp rocks to see the enchanted lagoon and the surrounding seascapes. The beach is perfect. The palm trees and their bright orange fruits add color to the already stunning scene.

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Two other small islands are accessible in this route: Cagbanilad, which has a big rock formation that looks like a giant sea shell, and Minalahos, where you can enjoy the gorgeous view of the mountains of Gota and Hunongan Cove.


3D2N Sample Itinerary

7 PM—Depart from Manila, bus from Cubao/Pasay
5 AM—Arrive at Naga City, grab a quick breakfast @ Bigg’s Diner or Jollibee
5:30 AM—Take a tricycle to the van terminal
6 AM—Take a van to Sabang Port (can also hire a taxi in front of SM)
8 AM—Take a ferry to Guijalo Port (5AM, 8AM, 11AM, 2PM trips)
10 AM—Arrive at Guijalo Port, get picked up by RDS
11 AM—Freshen up, settle down, leave Paniman Beach for the short trip island hopping, with packed lunch
4:00 PM—Kayaking at the river
6 PM—Videoke at RDS, movie marathon, or rest

6 AM—Breakfast at the RDS kitchen
7 AM—Leave Paniman Beach for the long tour
5 PM—Rest, rest, rest, and videoke
6 PM—Early dinner

5 AM—Check Bikal Port for fresh catch
6 AM—Tour around the town
7 AM—Trek to Hanopol Dam
8 AM—Pack up, leave for Guijalo Port
9 AM—Take a ferry to Sabang Port (7AM, 8AM, 9AM, 11AM trips)
11 AM—Take a van back to Naga City
1 PM—Arrive at Naga City, city tour before going back to Manila


Coming next: The long tour features more stunning islands…

This story was published on Choose Philippines. To see Aris’ page, click here:


ArisMape is a travel insider at ABS-CBN's Choose Philippines. He loves orange, halo-halo, and PowerPoint, and hates beef, slow internet, and long taxi lines. His pastime is watching people watch other people. He swears on the power of smartphone. His half-life? Thirty.