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.
10:00pm ETD Metro Manila
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
2:30pm Beach time
4:00pm Hop to nearby islands close to Mahabang Buhangin beach
6:30pm ETA from island hopping
8:00pm onwards Fellowship/Stargazing
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.
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.
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
top view of Mahabang Buhangin
going to Calaguas
trekking Tinago hills
ending a day in Calaguas
for other blog guides on Calaguas you can check out the following blog:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and i'll include it on my next update.