Caramoan Islets 1: Long wait finally over!

Bicol Express: Day 4. April 28, 2012. 7:30+AM. 
Caramoan Islands and islets, Camarines Sur
Part 1      Part 2

Caramoan is a peninsular town with beautiful islands and islets tucked in the heart of Camarines Sur at the southern part of greater Luzon island. The town boasts of its basketful of islands with jagged cliffs, astounding limestone rock formations, powdery beaches, crystal clear waters and diverse ecosystems. It's a town of respectful and gentle people not only to strangers but also to what Mother Nature has bestowed on them.

Internationally-acclaimed wonders
Its islands are famous for being backdrops for the international reality show franchise 'Survivor'. Among the countries that have filmed here are France, India, Denmark, Bulgaria and as of this writing, USA. It's perfect for the setting and format of having 'castaways' trap in an island; away from technology, away from modern chaos. They rented the island for 25 years!

Brief History [c/o Island Wonders, Caramoan]
Caramoan was first called Guta de Leche by Dutch travelers frequenting the peninsula, the name derived from the milk drp stalagmites found among the rocks of Gata Port. Later the Spaniards called it Caraha - referrring to sea turtles abundant along the beach shores. It was later renamed to what is called today as Caramoan in 1687 by Spanish friar Francisco Dela Cruz Y Oropesa.

Finally, the long wait is over!
Riz, Glaire and me prepared our stuff for the island hopping the night before so as soon as we woke up, it didn't take us more than 20 mins to get ready. Kuya Ramil, our boat rental contact, is already waiting in Paniman Beach, the drop-off for the island hopping. We already contacted him prior to this trip to secure a schedule. Lunch was either to buy fresh fish/meat in the market and cook it in one of the islands, or buy packed lunch at Lutong Bahay. We chose the easier and less time-consuming option [pero ang totoo, tinatamad lang talaga kami.], so pack lunch it was! We headed to Lutong Bahay and ordered 6 packs. You can never be too sure when you had so much energy spent on swimming and beach bumming. :} 

To get to Paniman, either ride a habal-habal [motorcycle] or hire a tricycle. The lady from Lutong Bahay advised us to the tricycle as the trip would mostly be on dirt road. Tricycle roundtrip fare is 300-500 pesos depending on negotiation skills. We got it at 300. :]

Quick stop-over.
It was bumpy ride indeed. We were surprised that only about 45% of the road is cemented. Considering Caramoan's fame, I believe that it is income-generating which means that tourism delivers fat bacons to the government; which also means that they should have enough budget to fix the road. I asked the tricycle driver how come the roads are sunk when Survivor franchises paid millions just to film here. He just shrugged and told me that it's the provincial government that has the final say. I could see it in his eyes how helpless but hopeful he is. I just hope they fix the road not just for Survivor crew or tourists, but also for the locals.
Paniman Drop-off
When we got to Paniman, Kuya Ramil gave us to options - short trip or long trip. It's not about based on the length of time but on the distance of the islands from Paniman. Short trip constitutes islands near Paniman and would cost about 1,500; while the long trip is the exact opposite and would cost about 2,500-3,000. As of this writing, Survivor US is filming some test shots so most of the islands [long trip package] are closed. We couldn't wait any longer so we unanimously decided to go for the short trip package. Plus it's cheaper. :]
This is it!
The waters were calm and the sun was out. It was a perfect day to lay back and breathe Caramoan in. Going to the 1st stop itself was a treat. There were a lot of limestone formation on the sidelights.

Tinago Cove: the hidden gem
Tinago, Filipino for hidden, was as the name suggest. It's a hidden beach where lush greens and benign rock formations surround the vicity. Perfect for lovers who want a little privacy. 

view going to the next island.

Lahos Island: the tale of 2 gods
Two solid entities connected by a patch of sand where there are rough waters on one side and calm on the other. 
rough on one side, calm on the other.


to be continued...

Caramoan Islands and islets, Camarines Sur
Part 1      Part 2

Whacky Adventures* recommends:

Kuya Ramil 
Room Rates: Php300 per head
Island Hopping: 1500.00 [Short Trip] / 3,000 [Long Trip]


BEST TIME TO GO: Before the rainy season and before the summer vacation.

Whacky Notes: [EXPENSES]
Centro to Paniman roundtrip via tricycle = 300.00 / 3 = 100.00 each
Packed Lunch [Lutong Bahay] = 240.00 / 3 = 80.00 each
Island Hopping [Short Trip] = 1300.00 / 3 = 433.00 each
Tip = 100.00
Snorkeling gear rental = 150.00
Socials [Tagay+Afternoon snacks] = 100.00


  1. Great photos, the island looks divine!

  2. One of the places that's been on my list for a long time! Can't wait for the next post.

    1. Thanks for dropping by Mustachio!
      It should most definitely be one on your list. I suggest going there after the rainy season but before the summer vacation. :]

  3. Awesome photos! Great to know you used Kuya Ramil as well. :)

    Regarding the unpaved road, as per Kuya Ramil, it was the Survivor's intention not to fix them for the show. They wanted it to be like it -- to show to the viewers that Caramoan is really an isolated island without any touch of modernization. :)

    1. Thank you Gabz!

      Yep yep Kuya Ramil did say that. He also added that they have already requested the local government to fix the access road but there was no action sad to say.

  4. Miss ko na Caramoan! haist! ang layo kasi byahiin!

    1. ay tomoh. mas malayo pa kami kasi nasa kabilang isla pa. ehehehe

  5. pupuntahan ko to destination ko to

  6. finally visited your blogs! hahahah..nice nice--janice


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