Sunday, July 4, 2010

calaguas island a guide

you just can't get enough of Calaguas islands? here are some tips to guide you with an add-on section catered to maximize your visit, whether you're there for the beach, the hills or for volunteerism.when to go:
it is okay to go there anytime of the year as long as there are no typhoons but during the rainy season, expect rough waters and sometimes unexpected heavy rains. this will limit your chance to island hop and won't make the most out of your trip.
eskapo recommends:
go there between December to June where you'll get a better chance to see the islands at its best.
how to go there:
via Paracale:
if you're traveling on a budget then take a non air-conditioned bus from Pasay and look for Superlines beside Philtranco terminal. as of this time there are no air-conditioned bus that goes directly to Paracale. from this small town, rent a boat at the docking site which is a short walk from the central area. price range for a two-way trip is from P2500-P7000 depending on the size of the boat and the number of people. for small regular boats, it will take 2hours while for big boats it's 1 and a half hour.
eskapo recommends:
look for a boat that has life jackets. most of the boats from Paracale doesn't have it since these boats are usually used for fishing. via Daet: take a bus to Daet then jeep to Vinzon's port where you can rent boats to Calaguas. you can take Philtranco bus lines.
eskapo recommends: with this route, you have more options since a number of bus lines have more trips to Daet. most boats here, have life jacket since they are used to bringing tourists to Calaguas. if you will come from Naga just take a van to Daet which will take 2 hours.

suggested itinerary:
day 1

10:00pm ETD Metro Manila

day 2

6:00am ETA Paracale/Daet/Vinzons

7:00am ETD Paracale/Vinzons to Calaguas

9:00am ETA Mahabang Buhangin, Tinaga island

10:00am Set camp

:00am Beach time
12:30nn Lunch

1:30pm Siesta
2:30pm Beach time

4:00pm Hop to nearby islands close to Mahabang Buhangin beach
6:30pm ETA from island hopping

7:00pm Dinner

8:00pm onwards Fellowship/Stargazing

day 3

4:30am morning trek to Tinago hills

6:00am Mangkawayan village visit/breakfast

7:00am ETD Mahabang Buhangin beach

8:00am Beach time

10:00am Break Camp

10:30am Light Lunch

11:00am ETD Mahabang Buhangin
11:30am ETA Pinagcastillohan island

12:30nn ETD Pinagcastillohan island

1:30pm ETA Maculabo island

2:00pm ETD Maculabo island

3:00pm ETA Paracale/Vinzons port

4:00pm ETD Paracale/Daet to Manila

12:00mn ETA Manila

recommended activities and spots:
[for beach bums]
spend more time in Mahabang Buhangin beach. bring your goggles, beach ball, frisbee, and jump over boats. then don't miss out dropping by Maculabo island and Pinagcastillohan island.

[for explorers/photographers]
explore Mahabang Buhangin beach rocky sides on both end of the coasts.

for sunset shots:
the Northern side of Mahabang Buhangin beach is a good spot but i recommend the islands opposite to the beach where you can also capture a nice sunset view.

for sunrise shots:
trek to Tinago hills opposite of Mahabang Buhangin beach. bring headlights and flashlight as it requires about an hour trek up. to go there take the path that goes to Mangkawayan village and from there take the right way up to Tinago hills.

for a top view of the beach:
trek up the hill on the Southern coast of Mahabang Buhangin. half way up find for a good view of the beach line. need no to reach the peak for that spot.
for mangroves: just about 5-minute walk will lead you to a natural tunnel-like path in between full grown mangroves. if you want less walk, Mahabang Buhangin itself is lush with many kinds of small beach plants.

[for underwater activities]
both the North and South side of Mahabang buhangin holds a number of rocky areas where fishes dwell. don't expect to see much but is relatively worth a swim. the rocky island has a number of spots for snorkeling as well just be careful of sea urchins.

[for volunteerism/immersion]

visit Mangkawayn village of Tinaga island. about 15-20minute walk from Mahabang Buhangin beach is a fishing village of about 500 people. best activity would be teaching the kids, communing with the leaders, and bringing some clothes will help. tree planting is also recommended.

where to camp:
Mahabang Buhangin has a long beach stretch and so you can find your spot. but the most preferred spots are on the Northern and Southern parts where each spots has its own toilet and deep well. both areas requires an entrance fee that can range to P50-P150 per head.

here are some of the related posts in the series that will give you a glimpse of my experience there.

ten reasons why i love Calaguas
Mahabang Buhangin
top view of Mahabang Buhangin
rocky coast

going to Calaguas
trekking Tinago hills
rock islands
Mangkawayan village
ending a day in Calaguas
Pinagcastillohan island
Maculabo island

for other blog guides on Calaguas you can check out the following blog:
Just Wandering
No Spam No Virus
for great experiences about Calaguas you can check the following blogs:

this ends the Calaguas series and thank you to lawstude, scud, alfred, and ian who joined me on my first trip there and to the second batch or also known as team pusit who gave us a reason to return tingting, bess, rosa, faith, mylene, mitch, maricar, ariel, luke, rod, jeff, jack, and regi. special thanks to jc and alfred who joined and helped me organize both trips. to locals of Calaguas this series is dedicated to you.
from time to time, i'll add some updates for your reference. i hope this will help you plan your trip there. for other questions, leave a comment or email me at and i'll include it on my next update.


princess_dyanie said...

thanks for sharing this dom! im zoooo egzzited na to go here! woohoo!! kaso sa summer pa yun haha!

Envy Me Salon said...

wow i wanna go there!!! :) very useful and interesting tips and itinerary!!! :) BRAVO pang Tourism Magazine :) galing!! :)

Bengbeng said...

search engines would a post like this.. so relevant to any would b holiday maker to this resort island

nuts said...

di lang ako ang sobrang na-amazed sa ganda ng calaguas but also my kids. thanks for sharing, sana makarating din ako don at makita ko mismo at madama ang pinong buhangin at ganda ng isla.

The Nomadic Pinoy said...

This is a very comprehensive info - a work well done Dong! I could definitely use this.

carlotta1924 said...

wow so happy you posted this guide! just wanna know kung ano ang budget for this kind of trip. thanks :D

Pietro Brosio said...

Thanks for this useful information. The program is very good. I notice 4:30am morning trek to Tinago hills is early on the third day!

Jepoi said...

Hello Eskapo! I really love your photos, so clear, so vivid...

Nanaybelen said...

Thanks for sharing Dong. Mga popular Island lang ang nalalaman ko. Marami pa palang magagandang nakatagong Island dito sa atin. Sana mapuntahan ko din sila before i retire o kahit retired na ako.

alicesg said...

Very interesting and useful information. So nice to have so many islands to hop in your country. I think I will try to hop some islands in my country too but first, I going to hop onto another island in Indonesian this weekend. Tell you more when I return.

Ann said...

wow, super detailed post... ang galing po at ang ganda...

sir dom, gusto nyo po ba pumuta sa isang bloggers tour? ask po kasi sakin kung may alam po akong mga travel bloggers.. nirecommend po kita, ok lang po ba?

Palito said...

Ayos. Complete na complete. Thanks a lot :)

docgelo said...

wonderful! i'll visit this post again if by any chance i'll get to experience calaguas.
good job, dom!

escape said...

>hi dyanie, you can make it as early as january. i might schedule a trip there on that month.

>hi donna, you should. salamat sa pagpasyal dito sa eskapo.

>bengbeng, i really hope that this will help those who want to go there.

>hi nuts, kakatuwa naman sila. may utang pa ako sa mga kids. mararating mo rin to. convince mo yung family.

>nomadic, maraming salamat. let me know how it has helped you when you get there.

>hi carlotta, usually it would range to P3000-P5000 medyo mahal na kung aabot ng P5000.

>pietro, yes. that's how i usually spend to maximize a trip.

>jepoi, thanks a lot! nice to know that.

>nanaybelen, wag mo nang hintayin yon. pwede naman sa summer next year.

>hi alicesg, i would agree. you should explore more of your country first. i believe there's always something to explore there. enjoy your trip to indonesia.

>hi ann, nice to see you here. i read your message in facebook. thanks!

>palito, ma least siguro mga basic mga kulang pa pero mga basic andito na. salamat sa pagbisita!

>docgelo, maraming salamat.

gillboard said...

this was great dong. sana lang mas madali siya puntahan. but this is really helpful.

pusangkalye said...

dong ho---sandali--pinag-usapan ka nga namin last week Dom e. sabi namin mukhang di na yun para sayo kasi you are BIG na. haha

seryus ka?

pusangkalye said...

ayun---detalyado. the most detailed post I saw about Calaguas. very helpful to sa mga sabik na sabik pero medyo takot na pumunta sa isang napaka-remote na lugar tulad ng Calaguas. you rock Dom...

SandyCarlson said...

Dreamy and beautiful. Thank you.

Oman said...

very well done dong, this will be a great help to those who will be going there in the future. i definitely consider mahabang buhangin in calaguas as one of the best beach i have gone to and you have shown here that there are more things to see there. (worship) on this post :)

Photo Cache said...

very comprehensive naman, what more do people want. you outlined everything for a wonderful trip to calaguas.

thanks for sharing all these pertinent information.

Dharma Shots said...

Beautiful beach and I love its powdery white sands. I like the photo of the boats best.

Xprosaic said...

Wow naman! pati itinerary included... budget na lang ata kulang... hehhehehe... jowk! pero it seems to be a very nice place to spend time away from pollution hehehhehehe

BlogusVox said...

Kung hindi lang katapat ng Pacific Ocean, magandang i-developed as tourist destination ito.

SandyCarlson said...

This is one incredible post. That photo with the woman in the foreground is mesmerizing. You are amazing.

CaptainRunner said...

Ayos 'to, may itinerary nang kasama. Salamat!

fufu said...

wow such a nice guide!!! i took night bus from manila to 100islands too with my friends 3yrs ago... i so wanna go to the beach now....

Raft3r said...

will take these tips to heart
thanks, dong

Philippine Travel Guide said...

a very detailed post and it's good to see that there are new places to discover and see.

Calaguas Island is getting a lot of attention nowadays it is definitely worth a visit

The SoleSisters said...

Again, a very detailed post. You don't mind if I link your posts to ours right?

You might find our Calaguas video fun like we did filming it:

Trip@dora said...

Hi Dong!

First time to visit your blog.
Ito next kong target for summer, calaguas. sana lang makapagsama ako ng marami.

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