Calaguas Island 2 Days 1 Night Itinerary

The Isolated Paradise of Calaguas Island, Philippines

From clear blue-green waters near the shore, to bluer than blue waves farther on the horizon, with a backdrop of lush green mountains nearby.

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The shore of Calaguas Island

I first learned of Calaguas back in 2012, if I remember correctly, through a good friend who used to work for a travel magazine. She was tasked to cover the island’s story, then a newly budding tourist destination.

I saw photos through another photographer friend, who, I believe, went with her on the same assignment. Since then, Calaguas has long captivated me. For years, I had this wish in my heart to go there, which would only come to realization some five years later, in May of 2017.

My husband’s parents had retired to Carolina in Naga. And we have unashamedly used that to our advantage, making it our kick-off point for exploring the Bicol region. (Like in January 2016, we went to Caramoan Islands in Camaranes Sur; Legazpi in Albay; and the CWC Wakeboarding Park in Pili.)

Everything seems within reach from Naga, a mere 2 to 3 hours of travel away, unlike when you’re coming all the way from Manila. The travel is less strenuous, more pleasant, and you are in no hurry to do everything you can because your time for travel is not as limited.

So for our first annual vacation back to the Philippines (since I came to Dubai in 2016 to be with Noy), we decided to visit Calaguas Island during our stay with his family (my family now too!) in Naga.

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A good friend and neighbor gave us a lift, all the way to their home which is conveniently located near the port where boats going to Calaguas are docked. So if you’re looking for tips on how to get to Calaguas, sadly, I cannot give you any information, as we had a more convenient travel. I also honestly didn’t pay any attention to where we were going because we were just following our companion.

I do have some tips for you on how to survive on the island:

Expect inconveniences – The island’s key selling point is that it’s virgin, barely touched by human development. The perk is that it’s truly beautiful, and you’ll stand in awe as you gaze at its natural wonder.

The downside is the lack of facilities, namely ill-maintained toilets and lack of access to water. On the bright side, you get to try the authentic island life for a few days! And soon you’ll be back to the luxuries of city life. So what’s a couple of days making do with a timba and a tabo instead of a built-in shower, right? The island has a water pump where you can get water for your shower, where you can wash plates and utensils, etc.
 
Break down your money – There’s a sari-sari store where you can pay P5.00 for a pail of water if you need to pee / take a shower, and P10.00 for the same if you need to poo. You’ll also find a lot of vendors selling overpriced but really good ice candies, at P20.00 each. So better have smaller bills in your pocket because the vendors will probably not have change for you.
 
 
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Pack a lot of food and water – There aren’t really stores where you can easily buy food so better pack a lot of food and water so you won’t starve and get dehydrated. This is where coming with a group comes in handy — you’ll have a lot of hands carrying rice, ulam and bottles of water. There were only 3 of us so we couldn’t pack much. We didn’t totally starve but just almost, haha!
 
Prepare for unexpected morning showers – Rain woke us up at 5am on our second day on the island. And we were there in May, the height of summer! So make sure important items such as your gadgets, wallet, and clean clothes are wrapped in plastic. Most important of all, get a waterproof tent if possible!
 
Do climb up the hill! – If you have the time and energy to spare, I would highly recommend trekking up the hill. We talked to a teenage local girl who offered to be our tour guide. The fee is all up to you. But we gave her Php200.00 because she shared her story – she’s working as a part-time tourist guide on the island so she can save up Php500.00 for her school uniform and supplies. There’s also a cheap environmental fee you have to pay (Php25.00 per person? Can’t remember the exact amount).
 

 
 
Stunning sunset! ❤

 
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