Calaguas Island : Travel Guide

It was July 2009 when I embarked on a solo trip to the  now famous virgin beach of  Calaguas (Mahabang Buhangin, also known locally as Halabang Baybay) undoubtedly one of Philippine’s best beaches.  I haven’t read any bad reviews about  Calaguas yet, and most of my travel blogger friends whose been to “The Beach” will most likely agree with me.  Of course it makes me proud being a Bicolana, it’s another impressive tourist attraction in Bicol in addition to the Butandings/ Whalesharks of  Donsol, Sorsogon, Subic Beach in Matnog, Mayon Volcano, CWC wakeboarding and Caramoan.

So after 3 years, I decided to write a travel guide and I promise to update this when I hit Calaguas again pretty soon!

How to get to Calaguas from Manila (by land/ by bus):

Buses bound to Camarines Norte (Bicol,Philippines) where Calaguas is located  are everywhere, you can find several buses in Ali Mall Bus Station in Cubao, Quezon City, along EDSA highway, Pasay, and Alabang (fronting Metropolis Mall).  Famous bus lines are : Raymond, Philtranco, Amihan, Penafrancia, etc. Look for a bus bound to Paracale, if there’s none, then Daet is your nearest choice.   There are buses bound to Panganiban / Paracale  in Superlines Cubao and Philtranco in Pasay.  Bus fare ranges from Php500-Php600 (cheapest is Raymond bus), for non-air-conditioned buses it’s Php 300-Php400 and most buses bound to Paracale are non-air-conditioned. Travel time is 8-9 hours so it’s best to leave at night and Bicol buses are usually night trips.

I’m from the south so I boarded a  bus in Alabang,take note most buses will bring you to Daet, Camarines Norte, only a few would pass by Paracale and  I was lucky to board one but was stupid not to get down in Paracale and and instead I got off in Daet because I had planned on visiting Apuao Grande first and then get to Calaguas via Vinzons port. Very smart decision Gael!haha

Coming from Daet, original plan was to board a jeepney to Vinzons or Mercedes and ask around for the fish port, hire  a boat to take me  to the island  at Vinzons fish port, I will hire boats to  Brgy. Banocboc –> I will rent a boat  to take me to Mahabang Buhangin on Calaguas Island.  But when I reached the fishport in Brgy. Banocboc, no one wants to take me there saying it’s too far.   One tricycle driver offered to take me to a group of tricycle drivers who can take me to the highway called Talobatib junction where buses to Paracale passes, the nearest jump off point to  Calaguas or Mahabang Buhangin beach (Halabang Buhangin).

From Daet, the town of  Paracale can be reached in less than two hours by public vans, fare is around P150.00. But if you are coming from Manila by bus to Daet, you can get off at  Talobatib junction (Brgy. Talobatib) in the town of  Labo and ride another bus for less than an hour to get to Paracale town and then head to Paracale fish port by tricycle or by foot.  You can ask around for fishermen’s boats to Mahabang Buhangin or Calaguas (facing the beach it’s on the right side  not the port the left side where the old lighthouse is located), I paid Php1,500 for the entire bangka good for 6 people (they gave me a discount because I’m a Bicolana)  but recently, the boat fare is said to have increased to Php 2,500 -Php 3,000. Boat ride to Calaguas from Daet will take approximately 2 hours, the sea is rough and the boats have no life jackets since they are usually used as fishing boats only.

Route 2:

In Daet, board a jeepney to Vinzons or Mercedes and ask around for the fish port. Hire a boat to take you to the island. At Vinzons fish port and pier, there are daily schedules of boat trips to Brgy. Banocboc at 11am. Return trips to Vinzons town proper from Banocboc is at 6am. In Brgy. Banocboc, you can hire a boat to Mahabang Buhangin/ Calaguas. In Brgy. Banocboc, you may rent a boat to take you to Mahabang Buhangin on Calaguas Island.

 

How to get to Calaguas by air/ by plane:

Naga Aiprort is the closest airport with flights serviced by Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, AirPhilippines and Zest Air.  Head to Naga Van terminal, forning SM Naga, looks for vans bound to Daet , fare is Php 145, 5Am-7pm. From Daet you can take a van to Paracale for Php 50 or  alternatively you can take a jeep to Vinzons. (see by land/by bus guide)

Calaguas Travel Tips:

Paracale is a fishing village, life is simple and most fishermen who own boats for hire to Calaguas have no cellphone. But trust me, it’s easy to get a boat in the port, there are tons of them out there.

Mahabang Buhangin is a secluded beach, no food, no water and no store, better bring everything  that you need and make sure your stock is enough. Camping when you’re in a group is recommended.

At Paracale, the last bus (non-air-conditioned buses only) to Manila is at 6pm so if you don’t wanna be left like me.  Better leave the beach at around 4:00 pm (estimated travel time from Mahabang Buhangin to Paracale is 2hrs)  to catch the last trip.  If you miss it,  you could stay at the only hostel  in town (forgot the name , still waiting for the response of the owner’s son) for as cheap as Php 200 or hire a tricycle to take you to the highway (Talobatib junction) where you can take a bus  to Manila.

But I suggest with the long ride and all, you stay at least overnight in Calaguas, bring your tent and other camping equipment and

Please be responsible . Do not leave your trash in the beach.

*Activities in Calaguas:*

island hopping- you can actually ask the boatman for other islands, other famous islands are: Maculabo Island and Pinagcastillohan Island

other  offbeat islands: Comalasag Island (Brgy.Banocboc), Cagbalisay Island, Little Siapa Island, Siapa island, Huag Island,Ingalan Island, Amalia Island, and Paquita Island.

diving at Quinamanukan Island and Banocboc.

swimming and snorkeling – bring your beach gears

camping – bring your own tent, and camping gears as well as foods, drinks and booze (no resort nor store in Calaguas)

trek – Tinago hills is the hills on Mahabang Buhangin beach

visit Mangakawayan village – it’s a fishing community at the back of the beach, about 30 minute by foot.

*Other Attractions in Paracale, Camarines Norte:*

the old church of Paracale

gold mining process at Paracale gold shops

Pulang Daga Beach Resort (it means red sand beach) (Day resort only) can be reached by tricycle it’s on the far left of the lighthouse  at the other side of the hills

Pabirik  festival ( February 1-2) – “pabirik” street dancing, depicting the gold mining industry in Paracale.

*Other attractions in Vinzons, Camarines Norte:*

the century-old church of  St.Peter, the oldest in the province

Wenceslao Vinzons Historical Landmark –  Open Mondays-Fridays, 8am-5pm.  Admission is free.

 

 

 

24264_351910964162_336201504162_3580676_6142279_nAbout the Blogger : Gael Hilotin is a travel blogger and freelance travel writer who has been to all 81 provinces in the Philippines. Her work has appeared in local and international publications. She was a solid contributor of Yahoo Southeast Asia News (Travel) from 2011-2015. And was the winner of the travel writing contest at the Blogfest Asia 2012 held in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Follow her on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram. For advertisements, sponsorships and partnerships, you may reach her at thepinaysolobackpacker (at) yahoo (dot) com. ***********************************************************

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49 Responses

  1. I super love this post! haven’t been to calaguas… hopefully within the year, makapunta ako… Thanks Gael for sharing this…

  2. Ed says:

    gael, wow. 2009 pa pala. ako na naman ang magkocomment. haha — “mukhang matagal na pala toh ah… Neneng-nene ang dating mo” 😀

    great way to describe the town! very beautiful nga ng Calaguas kaya marami pala ang nagrerecommend sa island na toh!

  3. Calvin says:

    bilib talaga ako sa backpacking skills mo gael. kaka-calaguas din kami pero kinuha namin si melvic. sya nag-arrange ng boat ride, tents, food, water, etc. ok din pag ganun para wala ka nang iisipin kundi tumambay. hehehe. gusto kong bumalik.

  4. pusang-kalye says:

    kailangan ko to bespren kasi balak ko organize ng Calaguas tour sa mahal an araw,by bus lang —sayng ang 4 days eh.

  5. pusang-kalye says:

    walang erkon bus Gael? kunwari pauwi—yung bus na ordinary, wala bang dadanan na big city or town something para makalipat to an erkon bus?9 hours sa ordianry bus? musta naman yun.:D

    • frnd pede ka magsakay hanggang Talobatib junction lng, sa highway yun tas abang ka aircon na bus. madame nadaan dun, kaso Holyweek yan frndshp kelangan my reservation. so gusto mu contact the bus company and pa-pick up ka dun sa highway. pede naman. baka sumama ako, kaso si Dom din meron ata sa May. ah bahala na, bsta gusto ko bumalik pero ayoko ng super madameng turista, baka wala na ako maupuan sa beach. haha

  6. Ada says:

    Una kong napansin yung sexy pic mo Gael! Hehe! Siguro it’s time na for me to go back there sa Calaguas.

  7. wow….one of my dream place…sana mapuntahan ko yan…hindi magtagpo ang sked ko pagmeron nagaaya eh…kainggit naman po kayo…sana maybe next year mapuntahan ko natoh….thanks po for sharing…

  8. wow calaguas …. THE DREAM ISLAND! i will be exploring calaguas soon and hopefuly matuloy 😀

  9. kura says:

    Ang dami pala talagang pwedeng gawin sa Bicol. Hindi pa ko nakatungtun dun ever. I like this post. Sobrang detalyado. Way to go Ms Gael!

  10. Supertikoy says:

    my favorite beach in the Philippines!!! Happy Beach!!!

  11. tina says:

    Hoping to visit this place this year. Crossing my fingers so tight ;D

  12. JeffZ says:

    thanks for sharing gael!.. sana hindi naman ganun nabago ang info two years after that.. :)

  13. rommel says:

    ang ganda ng mga pictures.Anong camera ang gamit mo Gael?

  14. Kuya Jack says:

    Woooot! Calaguas! My favorite beach! Kahit anong cam ang gamitin, maganda talaga ang rehistro ng Calaguas :)

    Thanks for sharing Ate Jill! Hooray for Calaguas :)

  15. Mustachio says:

    Thank you very much for this travel guide. Been wanting to go to Calaguas and I hope to make it there by next year.

  16. eg says:

    Wow I love your website but please allow us to right-click on links! Mahilig kasi ako mag-open in new tab eh.

  17. janey says:

    very informative and inspiring site.. will check calaguas this summer, yehey!!!

  18. rach says:

    it’s wenceslao vinzons, not weceslao vinzons. :)

  19. meron ba nag oorganize ng tours for calaguas.mahal pala kasi mag solo,nakakatakot pala facing pacific ata yun sa malalakas alon

  20. Cristina says:

    sana kasing tapang din kita, trip ko rin pnthn yan ng solo…any tips?tnx!

  21. Mei says:

    Best way take bus from Manila (cubao – superlines, pasay -philtranco, going panganiban/Paracale dun Kau miami ibba s Paracale then take a boat…

  22. adventurousfeet says:

    thanks girl! winner guide! im excited for this trip na talaga :)

  23. KHRISTIANNE says:

    We will go to Calaguas this September and I am so excited to know more about this island. Can’t wait to be there… :)

  24. di says:

    woah! galing kami dito kahapon! sobrang ganda talaga! THE BEST! :)

  25. archi says:

    wow.. i was born in camarines norte and my relatives live there but i haven’t been in calaguas.. i only learned about it this year.. i definitely love to see this paradise personally..

  26. Sandy says:

    Did you really go to this beautiful place all by yourself? There are times that I would like to go on an Under The Tuscan type of adventure pero nachichicken ako. How do you muster enough courage to travel solo?

  27. MABEL says:

    ito ang hinahanap kong article, kaso need ko ng updates sa fare, taas na kasi ng gas so malamang 100% increase na pamasahe. hehe.

    salamat sa travel guide :)

  28. Marvin Eric says:

    Buti na lang may mga ganito para sa mga katulad kong makkalimutin… hehhehe. Been to Calaguas last year. It was January and I must say, never go there on that month. hahhaha. the waves were furiously mad! Buwis buhay.

  29. kahtee says:

    we’ll be going to calaguas end of this month.. been packing everything for this adventure.. can’t wait!! your blog is really a big help!!! infact this will be our guide going to calaguas!!! will print this… hehe!

  30. jal says:

    …loved this post… my friends and I are actually planning a trip to Bicol this June, we’ll definitely include this in our itinerary… :-)

  31. Anne says:

    I will go there in September. Who wants to come>?

  32. Anne says:

    Thanks for the blog, Gael. This one really helps.

  33. beautynice25 says:

    thanks for the info gael..plan kong pumunta ng daet this summer at malaking tulong tong site mo pra skin..

  34. Synara says:

    Nice one Gael. Really nice post and I never knew that you’re a Bicolana. I’m one myself. Haha! Hope to visit the place when I come back to Bicol again. (thumbs up)

    • Ashley says:

      same here, proud to be uragon, guys try to visit Cayucyucan next time, it’s via Mercedes port naman, no need to hire a boat, you just need to ask where’s the boat heading to Manggisoc. Parang less than Php10 lang yun fare pag tawid 10-15minutes lang, pag katawid may mga tricycle na going to Cayucyucan (malayo-layo ang byahe rough road). Hanggang 5pm lang ang transpo. :)

  35. Margie Amante says:

    Developments are slowly taking place in the island. There are several mini-resorts in Mahabang Buhangin offering shower & CR services (Php10 per pail for deep-well poso, which you will bring to a cemented CR with toilet seat/Php30 for tiled-CR with shower and/or toilet seat). Several stores are also setup in the area, selling chips, cigarettes, booze (from beer to hard liquor, and toiletries. Some children offer tourists to guide them through the hike up to Tinago Hill. Accommodations, though, are still in tents camped out on the sandy shore.

    April 2015

  36. Alan says:

    Hi Ma’am. Tanong ko lang po sana kung meron bang parking area na safe dun sa vinzons or paracale? Thanks po

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