Camarines Sur — Caramoan Overnighter!!!
Here is our itinerary for an OVERNIGHT CamSur-Caramoan get-away. Is it possible? Definitely. The trip may be a bit time-constrained but it sure feels like a random backpacking trip!
6:40am – 7:35am | Manila to Naga Flight via Cebu Pacific Airlines. Good thing they were on time 🙂
7:35am – 9:30am | Get a Taxi and proceed to Sabang Port (tell mr. taxi driver that you are Caramoan-bound). Taxi fare will be a bit pricey (Php1.3K) but it is more convenient compared to the other options (i.e. looking for a tricycle going to SM Naga and riding a shuttle going to Sabang Port). It will be a 2-hour drive going to the port. Hopefully, you’ll reach port area by the time the next boat leaves.
9:30am – 11:15am | The boat going to Guijalo Port leaves every hour from 6am-11am. Boatride will be for about two hours (Php120/person). To get into the boat, people will be carried via a wooden “floater” and you will have to pay Php20/person to ride the floater. Make sure to get a reserved seat before hand so you’ll have your own spacious spot in the boat. Manongs will be offering to carry your bags (so it won’t get wet) for a small amount. They can reserve the seats for you.
11:15am – 12:ish | Upon arrival at Guijalo Port, you have to pay for environmental fee (around Php20/person). Tricycle ride to Paniman (Tip: Try to tag along with other visitors going to Paniman to save tricycle fee). You will pass by Centro but you don’t have to make a stop-over unless you are buying “rice meals” for baon. There are sari-sari stores (selling The Bar, Empi, chips etc.) in Paniman and a restaurant (they serve seafood and local dishes) so you don’t really have to worry about getting hungry. Lodging is also available with accommodations ranging from Php2K up. As for cellphone signal – Globe Telecoms has signal only in Centro. For the rest of the area in the island, you better have Smart if you want to call anyone.
1:30pm onwards | Rent a banka to go to the famous Caramoan Islands. It will cost around P2.3K (after so much haggling). Enjoy! You can opt to go back early so you could tour Paniman. By nightfall, you can’t do anything much except drink (i guess) 😛
Caramoan has islands with talc-like sand and pristine beaches (sand is better than Boracay’s). The beach is still clean and un-adorned by any structure. This visit made me understand why it was chosen as venue for the Survivor reality franchise. It is still untouched by civilization that if you are looking for the simplest things, this trip is perfect for you.
But we were kind of surprised that a lot of the children living in the island were not shy to the foreign visitors. In fact, they knew how to converse with foreigners. While walking near the beach area of Paniman, children from the locality boisterously followed us and asked for our names. After a few minutes, they were innocently asking if we could give them money. *insert sad face here*
The next day — We woke up early so we can ride with the earliest boat (7:00am) going back to Sabang. For your trip, make sure to arrange transportation before hand.
before 6:00am | Leave Paniman via tricycle or habal-habal. The later can accommodate two persons plus the driver (this one’s faster).
before 7:00am | You have to arrive early as people from the islands flock the port early in the morning (to get back to city proper). It is best to arrive before 7:00 as the boat sometimes leaves earlier than the stated time.
around 9:00am | Arrival at Sabang Port. Now you can take the shuttle going to SM Naga. When you reach SM Naga, you may opt to do Visita Iglesia or you can tour the other historic places in Naga City. We chose to go to Penafrancia Church to pray and thank him for helping us successfully accomplish our first overnight-backpacking-tipid trip. After lunch in SM Naga, we headed our way to Camsur Watersports Complex (CWC) to try wakeboarding.
3:00pm | Arrival at Naga Airport to go back home.
This trip simply proved that an overnight out-of-town trip can be enjoyed to the fullest. And this notwithstanding the fact that we we’re in a tight budget. All-in-all, we (two of us) spent around Php8k for this whole trip (airfare not included – but we got it piso-fare so the cost of this trip is still cheap). This includes food, accommodation, tips, fare etc. It also included the wake boarding fee we paid in CWC (for a one-hour trial) and our tour guide fee in Caramoan.
So, what do you think?