JUNE 10 – 12, 2016
Since it is summer again, and I’ve been enjoying the comfort of working overtime for the past few weeks, there’s no better way to kickstart my blog this year with a throwback beach vacation entry. And yes, the calling of the sea is always stronger than any storm. With the help of our travel & tours agency partner, Alt3rnate Route, the #Crewlaguas had its first visit to Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte. (Note: we have prepared a lot of annoying, funny hashtags for this trip, sorry in advance.)
The package tour we had with Alt3rnate Route was a 3-day tour but technically our stay at Calaguas was just overnight because of the long land travel. Our meet-up time with the other joiners was last June 10 at the SM Mall of Asia at around 9PM. An air-conditioned van was provided for us. It took us 8 hours before we finally arrived the Paracale Port at Camarines Norte where we took a 2-hour boat ride going to Calaguas Island.
The Calaguas is a group of islands found in the province of Camarines Norte. Some of the well-known islands are the Tinaga Island, Guintinua Island and the Maculabo Island.
There are plenty of cottages available for rent once you arrive at the island. Our travel agency rented one for us already and provided us with tents to sleep in over the night. It’s a great experience especially for first-timers like me because with its powdery, white sand and cool weather at night, it wasn’t a hard time catching some zzzs at night (we were also very well prepared since we brought portable fans with us!).
Although the only incovenience I had during the entire vacation was that we had to use a common restroom which had no supply of water. Locals sold buckets of water from an artesian well at Php 20 each. Nonetheless, what’s a trip without any firsts, right?
Part of our itinerary was a sidetrip to one of the islands in Calaguas that showcased Balagbag Beach which faces sunrise from the shores of Camarines Norte. I was utterly lost for words for the fine grey sand that stretches over two kilometers of the beach. We spent around thirty minutes in this island just taking photographs and moved to our next location.
After another fifteen-minute boat ride, we arrived at another island part of the Calaguas. We were not able to get its name but definitely one of the best islands they have. A 30-minute trek is needed to reach the top of the hill and enjoy the perfect sunset view. God really makes wonders.
Overall, spending Php 2,800** all in for this trip was totally worth it. I’ll be sharing with you our itinerary to give you a tip on how to maximize your stay in Calaguas Island.
DAY 00: June 10
9:00 PM – Assembly at the Mall Of Asia
DAY 01: June 11
6:00 AM – Arrival at Paracale Port
8:00 AM – Arrival at Island
8:00 AM – 11:30 AM – Island Exploration / Tent Set-up
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM – Hosted seafood lunch
12:30 – 3:00 PM – Rest / Free time
3:00 PM – 5:30 PM – Sidetrips to Balagbag Beach and another island for trekking
6:00 PM – Hosted dinner back in the main island
7:00 PM onwards – Free time (drinking session, that’s what I actually meant)
DAY 02: June 12
6:30 AM – Hosted breakfast
10:00 AM – ETA at Paracale Port / sidetrip to market for pasalubong stop
9:00 PM – ETA at Manila
- It’s advisable to go to Calaguas Island on the month of June to avoid heavy crowd and still enjoy the summer breeze.
- Bring extra cash on hand since there are mini stores in the island for your emergency needs and extra grocery.
- It’s really easier if you get a travel agency that will do your itinerary, prepare your meals and do all the arrangements. One payment solves everything – after being a planner all my life for my family and friends, it’s nice to have one outing where all was set.
- Prepare a jacket as well even if it’s summer because the weather in the island is unpredictable! We got stuck in the last island stop we had because of heavy rain. ALSO, don’t forget to bring bug repellents.
- ALT3RNATE ROUTE
** Prices and details are subject to change.