Travel Guide: Calaguas Islands (Updated)

On the northernmost part of Bicolandia is an unknown paradise that can rival the white sand beach of Boracay and the serenity of Pagudpud, still virgin and unspoiled- the beautiful and enchanting islands of Calaguas.

Calaguas

Calaguas is a group of islands in the Pacific under the jurisdiction of the town of Vinzons, Province of Camarines Norte, a merely two hour boat ride from the mainland. It boasts of powdery white sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and unspoiled natural resources, a place where  you can truly relax while enjoying the beauty and serenity of the place.

The long stretch of beach named Halabang Baybay/Mahabang Buhangin (Long Beach) by the locals, is a cove located in the Tinaga Island, it is a picture perfect paradise with its long stretch of fine white sand, dotted with volcanic rocks on its both ends, the place is the most frequented camping and swimming site by tourists.

Discover Calaguas Group of Islands, swim on its turquoise water, sit on its white sand, enjoy its magnificent view of sunset, explore its beauty… you’ll definitely find a reason to be happy.

How to Get There:

While there are travel/tour organizers offering Calaguas tour, a DIY trip is possible and the cheapest way to get to the island. The experience of doing it on your own for the entire journey adds thrill and excitement to what is already an exciting adventure.

Via Vinzons

Daet, the capital of Camarines Norte is the jumpoff point to Calaguas Islands if you are going there via Vinzons. From there catch a jeeney to Vinzons and get off at the fishport (pandawan). There’s a boat going to Barangay Banocboc daily, it departs the fishport at 11 AM, from Banocboc you can hire a banca to take you to Calaguas Islands for as low as P500.00 or even lower depending on your haggling skill. The return trip to Vinzons fishport leaves Banocboc at 6AM the next day.

Alternatively, you can hire a banca from Vinzons fishport to Calaguas Islands, price depends on the capacity of the boat. For a small boat that can fit four to five people, the lowest rate is at P2500-P3000.00. It is a two hour boat ride from the port.

Going to Daet from Manila, you have two options:

By Land

Philtranco, Amihan (Contact No: 3871792), DLTB and Superlines buses offer Cubao/Pasay to Daet for an approximately 7-8 hours travel time. Fare cost differs, but ranging from P450.00(~$10) to P750.00(~$17)

By Air

Naga in Camarines Sur is closest airport with regular commercial flights via Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Zest Air. From Naga, Daet is around two hours drive. There are vans to Daet located in Naga Van Terminal, the earliest departs at 5AM and the last trip is around 7PM.

Via Paracale

Paracale, a Camarines Norte town popular for its gold, is fast becoming an entry point to Calaguas Islands. From Daet, the town can be reached in less than two hours by public vans, fare is around P100.00. But if you are coming from Manila, Superlines has direct trip to Paracale/Panganiban. Get off at Paracale and make your way to the fish port. Alternatively, you can ride a bus to Daet, get off at Barangay Talobatib in the town of Labo and ride another bus for less than an hour to get to Paracale town and walk to the fish port.

At the fish port, you can ask around for fishermen’s boats to Halabang Baybay (Mahabang Buhangin), Calaguas for as low as P2000 (good for five to six persons) or you may opt to ride a boat that goes to Barangay Mangkawayan, Calaguas for a cheaper fare of at least P50 per person. However there’s no regular public boat going to Barangay Mangkawayan but more of fisherman’s boat and the schedule  is unpredictable.

Going to Paracale from Manila, Superlines and Philtranco have direct to Paracale trips. Alternatively, you can ride the Daet bound buses and get off at Talobatib junction where buses going to Paracale pass. Last trip from Daet to Paracale is 6PM and 5PM for Paracale to Daet.

Where to Stay

There is no commercial establishment in the island, so bring your tent (plus foods and drinking water) with you as most tourist spend the night in the island camping along the beach. Camping fee is P100.00 per person.

Activities

Calaguas is the best place to relax and unwind if you are not the party goer type or if you are a fan of a quiet beach scene. Just sit on the sand, swim in the water, explore the island, bond with your friends during a bonfire night, and you will definitely appreciate the place.

Other activities include:

  • Scuba diving/snorkeling (bring your own equipments)
  • Island hopping
  • Swimming
  • Camping – just bring your own camping equipments, enough foods and water supply.
  • Surfing in Daet’s Bagasbas Beach
  • Visit the old churches St. Peter the Apostle Parish of Vinzons, St. John the Baptist Parish of Paracale and neighboring towns
  • Island and beach hopping around Calaguas Group: Pinagtigasan Beach on the southern Tinaga Island, Cumalasag, Pinagtakpan, Pinagcastillohan, Guintinua, Huag, Cagbalisay, Bendita, Sang-atan, Balagbag Malaki, Balagbag Maliit, Calangcawan Sur, Mantigbi Beach and other white sand island beaches around
  • Explore other islands in Camarines Norte: Maculabo, Mercedes Group, etc.
  • Swim in Pulang Daga Beach of Paracale
  • Check out Saltahan Falls, Palanas Falls, Malatap Falls, Burok-Busok Falls, Binuan Falls and other waterfalls of Labo
  • Go spelunking in Mt. Cadig Cave also of Labo
  • Head south towards Caramoan, Camarines Sur Water Sports Complex in Naga, Albay and Sorsogon

Travelogues

Our group went back to Calaguas via Paracale route last February 2010. For the details, itinerary and budget of the trip, read my blog post Calaguas: Paradise on a Budget (A DIY Guide).

For other Calaguas related posts, please see these posts:

Sample DIY Itinerary (via Paracale)

Estimated Budget: P2000.00

Day 0:
2100H: Departure

Day 1:
0500H: Arrival in Talobatib, Labo
0500H – 0600H: Breakfast in Talobatib
0600H – 0700H: Talobatib to Paracale by bus
0700H – 0900H: Arrival in Paracale/Survey for boat to Maculabo-Calaguas/Shop for other needed items (ice, meat, fruits, fish, drinking water, etc)
0900H – 1000H: Paracale to Maculabo by boat
0900H – 1330H: Explore Maculabo: beach bumming, photo ops, hill,
trekking, swimming, lunch
1330H – 1430H: Maculabo to Mahabang Buhangin, Tinaga Island, Calaguas by boat
1430H – 1530H: Set-up Camp
1530H – 1800H: Explore Mahabang Buhangin: beach bumming, photo ops, swimming, snorkeling
1800H – 1930H: Dinner Preparation/Wahs=up/Fix-up
1930H – 2030H: Dinner
2030H: Socials, Lights off

Day 2:
0700H – 0800H: Call Time, Breakfast
0800H – 1130H: Free time, explore, discover, play, pose, packup, prepare lunch
1130H – 1300H: Lunch
1300H – 1430H: Wash-up/Fix-up/Break Camp
1430H – 1630H: Calaguas to Paracale by boat
1630H – 1700H: Arrival in Paracale/Wash-up/Fix-up
1700H – 1800H: Paracale to Talobatib by bus/trike
1800H – 2130H: Dinner/Rest/Fix-up
2130H: Departure from Daet to Manila

Day 3:
0430H – Arrival in Pasay
0530H – Home Sweet Home

Tips

  • We highly recommend Kuya Nelson, a boatman based in Paracale, you may contact him at +639095259821
  • Best time to go is during summer and dry months (September to June)
  • Try trekking to the nearby hill to see the beach from the higher vantage point
  • There is a source of fresh water in the island
  • There is restroom the island
  • The island have now more cottages and stores
  • There is a small community (Barangay Mangkawayan) on the opposite side of the island, around 10 minutes by foot
  • Superlines is the cheapest aircon bus line to Daet and Paracale, their Cubao to Talobatib fare as of February 2013 is P465.00
  • Please! Please follow the LEAVE NO TRAIL PRINCIPLE: TAKE NOTHING BUT PICTURES, LEAVE NOTHING BUT FOOTPRINTS, KILL NOTHING BUT TIME

*First Published: March 21, 2009; Updated: 09-Jul-2011 / 15-Nov-2011 / 12-Feb-2013

529 Comments on “Travel Guide: Calaguas Islands (Updated)

  1. boat rental maximum of 16 persons 8k , boat ride 1.5 hours, boat engine fuso 4d30 contact, Nelson gomez at 09156339821 09095259821

  2. BOAT RENTAL 4 calaguas island at paracale port
    mura
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  3. VISIT CALAGUAS ISLAND NOW.
    for boat rental services please contact 09108461294 or 09398189896.
    500 pesos per head with life jacket and all things for your food preparations like cooler/styrofoam.
    AND no bother with your parking space lot beacuse we can offer you.
    Kagawad Jong Delemios,Kagawad of poblacion norte,paracale camarines norte,gateway to CALAGUAS ISLAND will serve a good accomodation to you.
    THANKYOU.

  4. gud day.. we offer renting boat to calaguas.. hindi na kelangan magdala ng mga kagamitan sa pagluluto kasama na po un sa serbisyo namin.. icebox,complete lifejacket, free shower ang secured parking space island hopping see the SANDBAR of CALAGUAS . 500 per head Pls.contact: KGD JONG DE LEMIOS brgy. Poblacion Norte Paracale Camarines Norte… 09108461294- 09398189896

  5. LEGITIMATE TRAVEL PACKAGE OPERATOR IN PARACALE WITH BIR OFFICIAL RECEIPT,MARINA REGISTERED TOURIST BOAT, BIG COLEMAN TENTS (1 TENT GOOD FOR 8PAX) FREE USE OF OUR TOURIST INN ROOMS FOR CONVENIENT WASHOVER, FREE CCTV SECURED PARKING LOT, FREE ECO-BAG,FREE FOLDABLE FRISBEE FAN, FREE LUNCH AT CALAGUAS EXPRESS RESTOBAR IN PARACALE AND FREE USE OF VIDEOKE AND SOUND SYSTEM FOR SMALL PROGRAMS. TO KNOW MORE KINDLY CHECK OUR SITE FOR INQUIRY 0919-9986808/PLDT MANILA LINE 330-8528:
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  6. I went there last May 31 2014 with my friends. I contacted almost all na recommended sa blogs and they are really pricey due to “the association” buti nalang i found Kuya Ricky and Her wife Ate Emma. They charge 5000 for 10pax competitive na than the rate at the association which is 6000 for 10 pax plus may terminal fee pa sila na 20 per head and pipila ka pa. Ihawan, Kawali, water container , and ice box is included with island hopping na kay kuya ricky. Sulit na and super bait nila.

    We went to 3 islands bukod pa sa calaguas.

    Note: Fishing boat pero comfy naman ang pagupo namin
    Kuya Ricky : 0912 736 5717

    • meron ba boat na per head an bayad since dalawa lang kame from paracale di namen kaya ma rent ng isang boat.

  7. boat rental paracale to calaguas… for more info. contact us… 09196818154 ” SAFETY IS EVERYONE RESPOSIBILITY”

  8. call us for renting boat o9078467728 …look for ate grace …..experience our summer offer we welcome you ..calaguas is hidden paradize start to discover……..

  9. hi to all lakwatsero lakwatsera….we offer renting boat or package tour to calaguas island contact us 09078467728 , look for ate grace we have new policy in renting boat all person and are all accomodating ….you can talk to our president for more question about policy …starting to to 4000 5 to 7 person minimum and additional person add 500 yun po bago policy association …para po making fair tayo sa mga tourista..we welcome you all….09078467728 grace…

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