How to Spend Less in Caramoan and Catanduanes

Caramoan and Catanduanes Tour

We had a chance to revisit Caramoan but this time via the easier and cheaper yet unpopular gateway – Virac, Catanduanes. It was like hitting two birds with one stone because Caramoan and Catanduanes are equally beautiful uncrowded places.

Matukad Island of Caramoan

Geographically speaking, Catanduanes is just a stone throw away from Caramoan, a merely less than an hour ride from Codon Port. While the usual route from Manila of Naga-Sabang-Guijalo-Paniman takes about four hours, Virac-Codon-Paniman takes only two hours.

Earlier this year, we bought promo tickets to Virac. Mine costed P1700 round-trip or technically P850 one-way. It was even cheaper when traveling by land/boat to Virac from Manila aboard an air-conditioned bus which costs approximately a thousand. So if airlines have zero fare sale to Virac and you have plan of going there, grab one!

The view of majestic Mayon Volcano from the Port of Tabaco, Albay en route to Catanduanes

Unfortunately, due to some work commitments, I wasn’t able to use my outbound Manila ticket to Virac. I opted to catch a non-aircon RSL bus from Cubao to Virac at P500 plus the boat fare from Tabaco Port to Catanduanes at P220. It was a total of fifteen hours travel time including a three-hour ferry ride, therefore, I missed our Caramoan itinerary on the first day and the Maribina Falls of in the morning of day two (Catanduanes tour). I just met my group at Bato Church before lunch. But assuming I was with them from Day One, here’s our complete itinerary.

Day 1
0400H – 0600H: Assembly at NAIA 3/check-in/coffee
0600H – 0710H: Manila to Virac Flight
0710H – 0730H: Assembly/look for trike or van to Codon Port
0730H – 0900H: Virac to Codon Port/breakfast/buy packed lunch/look for boat
0800H – 0900H: Codon to Caramoan
0900H – 1600H: Caramoan Tour: Hunungan Island, Cagbalinag Island, Tinago Island, Lahus Island, Matukad Island
1600H – 1700H: Caramoan to Codon Port
1700H – 1745H: Codon Port to Virac
1745H – 1900H: Check-in at Midtown Inn/Fix up
1900H – onwards : Dinner + Night Socials

Day 2
0700H – 0800H: Breakfast
0800H – 1600H: Catanduanes Day Tour: Maribina Falls, Bato Church, Puraran Beach
1600H – 1800H: Check in Twin Rock Resort/Fix-up/Explore the beach/Snorkel/Swim/Photo Ops
1800H – 1900H: Dinner
1900H – onwards: night swimming/socials

Day 3
0430H: Call Time
0430H – 0500H: Prepare / Travel to Airport
0500H – 0600H: Quick Break/Coffee in airport area
0600H – 0730H: Check-in
0730H – 0840H: Travel Time Virac to Manila

Bato, Catanduanes
Bato Church in Catanduanes


P1000 – 2 trikes from Virac Airport to Codon Sea Port
P5000 – 2 boats to Caramoan (includes island hopping)
P1000 – 2 trikes from Codon Sea Port to Virac Midtown Inn
P3000 – 2 rooms in Virac Midtown Inn
P3000 – van in Virac for day tour
P110 – Entrance Fee in Maribina Falls
P110 – Entrance Fee in Puraran Beach
P1200 – Lunch in Puraran Beach
P2750 – 2 rooms in Twin Rock Resort
P1000 – van to airport and Casoocan
P18150 / 11 persons = P1650 each
P500 – foods, tips, miscellaneous, terminal fees

Baras, Catanduanes
Puraran Beach in Baras, Catanduanes’ surfing haven


  • The Virac route for a Caramoan tour is cheaper and easier than Naga
  • Normal rate of trike from Virac Airport to Codon Port is P250-P300
  • Normal rate of boat from Codon Port to Caramoan, including the island hopping is P1500-P2000
  • The trip would have been cheaper if we went camping in Caramoan, but since the place is very unpredictable (no thanks to Survivor and Gov. El Ray Villafuerte), we decided to get back to Virac
  • We highly recommend Twin Rocks Resort in Catanduanes. They gave us 10% discount on rooms, free entrance and use of swimming pool when we told them that we will be leaving early for our morning flight. The staff are kind and the scenery on their beach is awesome, they have a pool with slides, clean beach front and adventure activity area. We got an air-con room with a queen sized and a single bed for only P1350, and it fits all seven of us, with only one extra bed at P100.
  • Boatmen in Caramoan should be taught on environmental protection specifically on proper waste disposal. One of the boatmen just threw our garbage to the sea. The ocean is not a big dump site huh!
  • There is a need to professionalize the tourism sectors and standardize the services and rates on both locations. Our van driver in Virac is very unprofessional, he said that the P3000 tour includes airport transfer, but he texted us after the tour that he will not be able to fetch us to the airport.
  • The local government of Caramoan should take a look at the dump sites on the islands, specifically in Matukad Island where a huge pile of garbage is already mounting in the area. Hiding the garbage by covering it with tarp won’t solve the problem
Igang, Catanduanes
Sunrise in Twin Rocks Resort in the town of Igang

Getting to Catanduanes from Manila (by Land+Ferry)

Catch a Tawtrasco or RSL bus from Cubao to Virac. Non-aircon bus costs P500+ while aircon bus costs P800+, exclusive of ferry and terminal fee in Tabaco Port. Ferry fee is P220 for economy and P280 for aircon. Terminal fee is P11. Travel time from Manila to Tabaco Port is 10 to 11 hour; from Tabaco Port to San Andres Port of Catanduanes is 3 hours; from San Andres Port to Virac is half an hour.

Alternatively, you may catch any bus going to Tabaco or Albay, make your way to Tabaco Port and hop in any ferry going to Virac or San Andres ports of Catanduanes.

Getting to Caramoan from Virac

Catch a van, jeep or trike to Codon Port. Normal rate of trike is P250-P300 for an hour ride. In Codon Port, hire a boat to take and tour you in Caramoan. Rate ranges from P2000-P2500. Caramoan is less than an hour boat ride from Codon Port.


  1. Gerrine

    Hi.. buti nman i read this. i’m planning to go there to Virac to visit my brother who is working there just recently. may package ba kayo for 2 sa Virac mga 3 days 2 nights ganun. 🙂

  2. jhamaella

    at Pat:

    wat’s d latest package deal nyo? any deals for a couple traveler?

  3. arman

    from what i’ve read, from sabang to guijo, there are regular passenger boats that ply the route and charge only P120 per head.. are there also regular passenger boats from virac to caramoan for cheap price, or boats-for-hire-for 3k are the only transpo from virac to caramoan?

    1. Pat

      sabang-guijalo is a regular route going to the municipality of caramoan. once in caramoan, you will need to hire a boat to take you to the islands for your island hopping adventure.

      virac-caramoan route will take you direct to your island hopping adventure which may no longer drop by the town proper of caramoan since there are resorts in some of the islands or along the coastal area where you can stay overnight.

  4. Gaye

    Hi, your blog is very informative. Thanks for posting this.
    Do you have a contact number of the boatman you rented for a tour in your Caramoan Island Hopping.
    Do you have a life vest during your ride.

    Please please please pm me regarding this.

    Thank you in advance.

    1. Pat

      Sorry mali po its 09089274448

      1. gaye

        thanks pat. Is this the number of your boatmen? do you have life vest? thanks again

        1. Pat

          Hi Gaye,

          No thats my number we have a travel agency in Virac, we offer day tours and 3d2n package in beachfront accomodation in caramoan, 🙂

          Complete life vests and w/travel insurance 🙂

    2. Sorry, I didn’t get the number of the boatmen because I was disappointed with their service. There are lots of boats there anyway, most do not have life vests though.

  5. imhoturnot

    hi i was there last feb 15-18 and i hired mang ramil too.. two thumbs up for him and mang ramil is recommended para maging boatman. 09074351962 – ramil boatman.. couple lang kame nagtravel at solve na solve.. dadalhin nya kayo sa island na hindi pinupuntahan ng iba pag sa hotel kayo kumuha ng boatman.. xa na din ang mag to-tour guide sainyo.. couple lang kame pero hindi kame nahirapan sa pagkuha ng pics dahil all in one si mang ramil. boatman, tour guide, trip organizer at camera man! 😉

    1. gaye

      wow… hope to meet mang ramil soon. Thanks po for the info. do you have life vest??? 🙂

  6. Kris Ann

    I’m going to use this itinerary! Dahil dito nagkaroon ako ng chance mabisista ang virac. I always wanted to go to caramoan but this time, makakapunta na din ako ng virac. Thanks for this very informative trip!

    1. Wow! Enjoy your Virac-Caramoan Tour Kris Ann 🙂

  7. Bing

    Thanks for posting. Was able to get very cheap ticket to Virac for next year. this will help me a lot in planning where to go. Thank you

    1. Enjoy Bing 🙂

  8. Patricia

    HI! I was the travel agent from catanduanes, I posted a comment last april, i wasnt able to check nag reply ka na pla claire 🙂 we now offer caramoan tours via catanduanes 😉

    Pick up namin po ay sa virac airport na mismo so no hassle na pag land ng pLane may ppick up na and diresto na sa caramoan, kasali na sa package cost ang Roundtrip airport transfer and ang accomodation ay sa lingating resort, beach front xa unlike sa mga ibang offers na sa town proper ng caramoan ang accomodation.. 😉

    am i allowed to post the details here in ur comment box?


    Php4,000.00 each
    Php2,900.00 each
    Php2,500.00 each
    Php2,300.00 each
    10 – UP
    Php2,000.00 each

    1 pax
    2 pax
    Php6,000.00 each
    3 – 4 pax
    Php4,400.00 each
    Php3,400.00 each
    7-9 pax
    Php3,100.00 each
    Php2,900.00 each

    for groups above 20, we give special rate po..
    this is patricia of venzbay travel & tours/ my contact no is 09082099910

    i can give dscount we can negotiate po..

    thanks for giving us a chance to post here claire..:)

    1. Gaye

      Hi Ms. Patricia,

      Do you offer VIRAC-CARAMOAN-VIRAC 1 Day tour only?


      1. Pat

        Hi Miss Gaye yes we offer day turs to Caramoan, you may text me here (0909)9274448 for more info..Ty!

        1. Khris

          Hi Patricia!

          How much is your package tour good for 7 pax for the Caramoan 1 day tour via Virac? Can you send me the details of this package thru email/text? Is your mobile no. mentioned above still updated? I tried contacting you there but was unable to reach you.

          Thank you!

          1. Patricia

            Hi Kris! My number is 0908.9274448 –u mean wholeday lang? back to Virac in the Afternoon?
            rate per head is P1200/head inclusive of
            Roundtrip Van Transfer (Virac – Codon -Virac)
            Exclusive Boat to be used on the Tour

            Our 2days1Night Package rate is P1,900.pax inclusive of

            Roundtrip Van Transfer (Virac – Codon -Virac
            1Night Accom @AC Cabana (Quad)
            Meals (1Bf/1L/1D)
            Exclusive Boat to be used on the Tour

            THanks! 🙂

  9. Thanks po sa mga tips.. 🙂
    Grabe ganda talaga ng Caramoan… 🙂

    1. Yep! Maganda talaga! 😀 Thanks Tripper 😀

  10. rhea

    awesome blog! very informative! maraming salamat sa pagshare! 😀

    1. Thanks din Rhea for dropping by 😀

  11. thanks for posting this…ito ay isa sa gusto ko gawin dahil after checking the map naisip ko kung merong way talaga from Virac to Caramoan…naiingit na naman ako!!!!

    nice photos! idol!!!

  12. *like*

    angel, mahal nga ng boat rent. abot tanaw na ang caramoan from codon. may life vest ba sila? ilan kayo sa isang boat?

  13. Natawa ako sa name ng Codon port. Wala lang, reminds me of codon gene sequence sa Genetics (I’m a BS Biology graduate btw). Hehe.

    Dati I thought it’s more expensive when you take the Virac route, hindi pala. 🙂 Thanks for this informative post! 😀

  14. Mas malapit nga talaga ang Caramoan sa Catanduanes, naalala ko nagbangka lang papuntang Catanduanes yung German na nameet namin sa Caramoan last year. P1500 yata yung rent nya sa banka.

  15. Marvin Eric

    Hi…I lived in catanduanes (Virac)when I was a kid… Nice place. Igang and Twin rocks were my childhood memories. this made me want to go back. so badly… It’s been almost 12 years since I last visited place.

  16. alipin ng lakwatsero

    nice trip, best people, great documentation!

  17. I wonder why boat fares are very high! I agree, the boat fares and their operators should be regulated. Maybe DOT and LGUs could look at this concern.

    Nice tip, btw!

  18. ikaw na tlga! hanggaleng Gel. eto pala yung sabe mu. naks! my new discovery na naman!

  19. Salamat sir..pwede na ako mag-Virac!woot!woot!

  20. Wow! I didn’t know na pwede pala ang Catanduanes to Caramoan… nice! mas mabilis nga ang travel… I like your IT, day tour lang pwede na mag-caramoan… great! thanks for sharing… 🙂

    1. Dasler

      Kung talagang adventurer kayo at ok lang ang sea travel kahit malalaking alon, ok lang ang catanduanes-caramoan route. Remember negotiating the codon-caramoan route on a rough sea could test even hardened adventurer’s resolve. Unlike the sabang-caramoan route where the coastline is just minutes away, the closest land mass is either codon or caramoan depending on elapsed time of travel. Just a caution, try to travel in the morning and never in the afternoon. Kasi kung masiraan ang banka, mahirap ang rescue sa gabi. Also, try to hire a newer/reliable boat with experienced boatman. Being in the middle of the sea with a stalled engine can be traumatic experience. Just my two cents.

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