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

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

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

  1. galing kami sa mahabang buhangin last weekend, from paracale port. na-plano na namin ang lakad at IT lagpas 1 month na at na-contact na din ang boatman na si nelson. 1 week bago ang lakad nag-confirm kami kay nelson na tuloy kami. 3 days bago ang lakad namin nag-confirm ulit ako at sa oras nung alis ng bus namin from cubao nag-confirm ulit ako at palaging ok ang sagot ni nelson. dumating kami 0530H sa Paracale at nag-almusal muna sa Malayan Inn dahil hindi pa namin alam san pupuntahan si nelson. lumipas ang isang oras,ilang balik sa paracle port at napakadaming tawag sa number ni nelson, may lumapit sa amin na kasama daw ni nelson sa bangka. sabi nila sila daw ang magdadala sa amin sa calaguas, pero antayin daw namin si nelson bago umalis (gusto rin namin antayin si nelson para mapagpaliwanag siya ano nangyari?) 0830H dumating si nelson 3 oras late sa usapan namin, at dun lang niya sinabi na sira pala bangka niya. ipapasa niya daw kami sa kasama niy at sila nalang ang kakausapin namin kung magkano ibabayad namin.. buti nalang naitindihan nung ibang bangkero sitwasyon namin at pumayag sila sa rate na napagusapan namin ni nelson.. nalaman din namin na medyo matagal na sira bangka ni nelson at dahil si nelson daw madalas ang hinahanap ng mga pumunpunta dun, ang gawain nalang daw ni nelson ay kumuha ng hati niya sa mga pinapasahan niya.. kami lang ba na-hassle ni nelson???

    sana wala na magaya samin..

  2. Hi,
    A friend and I were planning to visit Calaguas 1st week of Nov. I’ve heard it’ll be a lot cheaper kung by group. Anyone out there na may plano din ng magpunta ng Nov 2-4? =)

  3. Can you give further details of how to get to Manila from Talobatib? Bumili na po ba kayo ng return tickets bago umalis ng manila? or sa Daet terminal pa kayo dumirecho? 9pm rin po ba ang byahe ng daet-manila? thank you.

    • You can catch any Daet bound bus and tell the driver/conductor to drop you off at Talobatib. Or you may ride the Superlines Bus that goes directly to Paracale. Going home, if you plan to ride the bus to Manila at Talobatib Junction, you need to reserve and purchase in advance. Otherwise, you can just go to Daet Terminal on the day of your departure. I believe there is still bus that departs at 9PM, but schedule changes without prior notice so it would be best to consult Philtranco Website or call them or the other bus company.

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  5. Was at calaguas island last week.our boatman adonis is super accomodating.i even call him mr friendly boatman.dmo n kailangan utusan dahil may kusa.he cooked our food in the island..super sarap..
    When we left the island,napansin ko wla yung rayban ko.so i immediately called adonis.hahanaoin daw nya at d sya titigil hanggat di mkita. So ilang days n nkklipas, hopeless nko.dko n inintindi kc naisip ko bk ibang tao n nkkuha.to my surprise,i received a text from adonis saying nkita na daw..tuwang tuwa ako.knowing n rayban is quite expensive.
    Kya ngaun.im just waiting nlng kung saan at kelan nya pdadala dito sa Manila. Hats off to u Adonis and Kuya Joseph.will definitely recommend you sa mga friends kong gusto magpunta ng Calaguas..:-)

    • Do you have his contact number? We’re planning to go there end of May 2013…

    • @ Jhuvy14: May number po ba kayo ni adonis at joseph? I’m planning to visit calaguas on my birthday nxt month,sana nga lang ayos ang panahon..(fingers crossed)

          • @lowell…….dpende po za lgay ng panahon pro my tym n safe p rn nmn po mgtravel, txt or call n dn po bgo kau mgbyhe d2 pra mai’inform nmin weder condition d2.thnx po.!!!…!

  6. Hi we’re planning to go there by the end of november or early first week of december we’re only students and we’re about 3-4 persons only, is it possible? and we’re can we get affordable rates?

    • Good Day,,,,available po sa amin ang boat service in affordable rates going to mahabang buhangin beach at calaguas island…just txt to my number 09486793920,,,,tnx

    • Hi. We are also planning to go there towards the end of November.. we are at least 3. maybe we can go there together para maka tipid tayo sa boat rental. you can text me at 09164525710.

  7. Hello po, planning to go there next week, kaso 2 lang po kami, pwede bang hindi mag-rent ng boat? wala bang rate na per person? saka anong oras ung available time nung mga boats from paracale

    • You may inquire with KUYA JACK as a boatman 09486793920…..Thankzzzzz

      • may mga boats ba dun sa mismong island just in case gusto nmen mag island hopping or snorkel, meron ba kami marerentahan from there?

        • ung boat na nirent nyo mismo ang pwed nyo gamitin para sa island hopping depende nlng po sa pag uusapan nyo with a boatman
          …kasi once na nagrent po kayo ng boat from fishport paracale to calaguas isalnd eh stand by namn po ang bangka dun sa calaguas habang naroroon kau….tnx

          • just text this number 09486793920 & Look KUYA JACK for your any inquiries….

    • Hi chen,

      kailan plan nyo… baka pwede sumabay 2 lang din kami para maka less sa boat…

      • sa thursday na po. March 28, one night lang po kami dun. already inquired a boat, 4k po good for 8persons daw.

  8. Hi! My husband and I were planning to go there this coming april, may kelangan ba kami kausapin before going to calaguas? For example, kelangan makipagcoordinate muna for permit. Or we can go there anytime? Gusto ko sana maging special kasi 1st wedding anniversary namin. Please reply! Thank you so much! :)

    • Hi Fiona, no need for permit, actually you can go there anytime but it would be best to contact a boatman in advance para di na kayo maghahahanap-hanap pa pagdating nyo sa port of Paracale or Vinzon.

    • You can contact of this cel number 09486793920…..Thank You

  9. boat service maximum of 25 persons 9k Paracale to Calaguas island vice versa contact Nel Gomez 09095259821

  10. Hi. We’re looking for affordable package in calaguas including food, boat, tent etc. We are group of 15 to 20 persons. Thanks

  11. Hi. We’re looking for affordable package in calaguas including food, boat, tent etc. We are group of 15 to 20 persons. Thanks Hi. We’re looking for affordable package in calaguas including food, boat, tent etc. We are group of 15 to 20 persons. Thanks

  12. Hi Sir Lakwatsero, yes we provide a safe, secured with CCTV fenced parking in our tourist inn in Paracale. You can also wash up in our hotel for a very minimal fee. If you feel like staying for a day in Paracale and visit our 400 years old miraculous Patron Saint and have a Mangrove Trip and visit Pulangdaga Beach Resort, we will gladly to assist you.You can reach Paliza del Rio Tourist Inn in Paracale at 0939-718-2008 or you can visit our facebook page
    http://www.facebook.com/paliza.delriotouristinn?fref=ts thank you and best regards Sir Angel.=)

  13. safe b mag travel by car from manila to bicol?.. nag dadalawang isip kc ako s tseguridad ng mga checkpoint s quezon to bicol…wala kyang incident ng kidnapping or harangan ng mga NPA dyan…gusto ko tlga mag roadtrip pa bicol, kc mas madami akong mppuntahan…

    • HONESTLY SPEAKING…NDI PO AQ MAKAPAGBI2GAY NG 100 PERCENT NA WALANG INCEDENT NG KIDNAPPING OR HARANGAN NG MGA NPA KASI PO ANG MAY KINAUUKULAN LANG PO ANG NAKA2ALAM NYAN…MARAMING SALAMAT PO!!

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