The Stunning Beauty of Calaguas

The Stunning Beauty of Calaguas
by Danny Tariman

Soft, powdery, white sand. Clear, emerald green beachfront waters. Truly stunning! It is simply the best natural beach I had experienced. This is Calaguas Island.

The soft, creamy, white sand beach of Calaguas Island. Nothing beats this beach!
The soft, creamy, white sand beach of Calaguas Island: nothing beats this beach!

We traveled to this island off Bicol peninsula for almost 9 hours by land from Metro Manila. We left the Metro at about half past nine and arrived the progressive town of Daet, Camarines Norte almost 6 o’clock in the morning. We then had a short jeepney ride to the town of Vinzons where the boat that is to take us to the island is moored.

It was a sunny early morning, with the exception of a short drizzle earlier. After checks and arrangements with the local tour organizer, we jumped into the big out-rigger boat.

We passed through a river that opened to the seas for about 15 minutes. It was good: refreshing view of palms lining the river banks, and an almost placid river.

The river lined by palms on both sides of the riverbank: a refreshing experience after an 8-hr land travel.
The river lined by palms on both sides of the riverbank: a refreshing experience after an 8-hr land travel.

After a little over 1 hour and 40 minutes of boat ride on the seas, we finally reached the beach front of Calaguas Island.

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My family having a “groufie” photo at Mahabang Buhangin beach

I was immediately fascinated by the crystal clear water. I can see the bottom from where I was standing on the boat! And the sand, wow! Fine, creamy, smooth – nothing beats the beach quality of Calaguas. Even when you play with the sand on the shoreline, the water remains very clear.

We were ushered by the tour leader to an open cottage assigned to our family. We were also given the tents where we will be resting for the night.

And since it was about 11 o’clock in the morning, after few minutes of discovering our surroundings, the buffet lunch came, our first taste of the fresh seafood of the island.

After a hearty meal, we strolled the beachfront. It was quite hot – what with the sun at its peak at 1pm? I think the sun-block lotion didn’t work for me, as I still got darker with my already dark skin! Haha!

Some of the dishes served to my family during our island tour.
Some of the dishes served to my family during our island tour.

We then jumped into the boat at mid-afternoon for our island hopping tour. We went to this nearby island called Balagbag. The view is really awesome! We went to the top of the hill, for a good view of the cliffs, the ocean, and the waves splashing on the rocks! Marvelous!

An awesome view at Balabag Island
An awesome view at Balabag Island

From Balagbag island, we went to the nearby snorkeling area. And again mesmerized by the beauty of the “marine garden” under the sea! Colorful corals – both soft and hard – lining the bottom of the sea, tropical fishes, the rock and coral formation. So marvelous!

An underwater "garden" at the snorkeling area in Calaguas: colorful corals and fishes
An underwater “garden” at the snorkeling area in Calaguas: colorful corals and fishes

Returning to Mahabang Buhangin beach (the main beachfront) in the late afternoon, it was very scenic to watch the sunset. The sun slowly hiding in the horizon with golden yellow skies, with the boats and beach bummers silhouetted in the foreground.

Sunset in Mahabang Buhangin: a stunning golden sky
Sunset in Mahabang Buhangin: a stunning golden sky

The evening was just awesome. It was a good night to watch the skies – the stars and the moon. There was fire dance later in the night given as an extra performance by the locals. It was unfortunate I had to skip the show as I have to rest, yeah… sleep early.

The "campsite" along the island. A wonderful time for star gazing
The “campsite” along the island. A wonderful time for star gazing

We woke up the following day to a glorious morning. There was a little drizzle early but it was gone after a new minutes. We started the day with a short trek to the hill overlooking Calaguas Island. It was another experience: a stunning view of the island with a backdrop of the blue skies and the vast ocean!

An early morning trek for my family.
An early morning trek for my family.

Oh, so much experience! It was really a great time for my family.

***
Some travel tips

  • Bring extra clothes as the sea water during travel can get you really wet
  • We took the “Best of Calaguas” as our tour operator. Noli was so good and accommodating.
  • Have the maximum SPF sunblock lotion
  • Bring anti insect-bite lotion, if you plan to stay out longer in the night
  • Locals sells dried seafood in the island. You may buy from them, it is cheaper than in the mainland
My children enjoying the swim at the snorkeling area
My children enjoying the swim at the snorkeling area
The rock formations at Balgbag Island
The rock formations at Balgbag Island
Me and my wife enjoying the experience.
Me and my wife enjoying the experience.
The creamy, fine sands of Calaguas beach
The creamy, fine sands and crystal clear waters of Calaguas beach
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