Do you have fantasies of going island hopping? Think of taking a trip to the Philippine islands of Caramoan.
There are 7,107 paradise islands in the Philippines, some dispersed near the Caramoan Peninsula’s shore. Some are too small for Google Maps, and some are uninhabited. Even though some islands are not as inaccessible as I first believed, neither fancy hotels nor fast-food restaurants are present. There is a cell phone signal, but if you want to post to Instagram, you must wait. Due to a prior storm that devastated the nearby power plant, electricity restrictions also exist. During the day, only generators are used; however, at night, regular supply is restored. However, most islands and islets are entirely without electricity, much alone restrooms.
It is the ideal location for getting away from the metropolis’s strain, commotion, and pollution. Nothing but the untamed landscape of stunning limestone, snow-white beach, and azure water will be visible. It makes sense that the popular reality television series Survivor finds it to be the ideal location for their show. Some islands they rented for seven years are now available to holidaymakers.
You can travel immediately from Metro Manila by bus, airplane, or boat to Caramoan Island. You can take a boat in Sabang Port for an even more excellent adventure. For about $100 or Php4700, a three-day journey that includes a stopover on some of the stunningly secluded islands of the Philippines? PLEASE AGREE!
How do you go to the island of Caramoan?
Several travel agencies manage this trip, but one stands out: Caramoan Tours, a locally owned business (you can also check out their Facebook page here). The tour package includes two breakfasts, two lunches, and two dinners, lodging, and ground transportation for a 3-day/2-night island-hopping excursion that includes a side trip to Naga City. As a result, my high school pals and I decided to go to Caramoan for our yearly get-together. We make our bookings, deposit down, and wait with bated breath.
Unfortunately, it was August, the beginning of the Philippines’ rainy season. On our scheduled departure day, a typhoon made landfall in the nation. Southern Luzon’s maritime and air traffic were also suspended. Fortunately, the travel agency allows complimentary rescheduling of cancellations brought on by natural disasters. We rescheduled it for mid-September, but it was once more postponed. Chile experienced an earthquake this time. Coincidentally, the Caramoan Peninsula faces the Pacific Ocean, and the epicenter was in the Pacific Ocean. So, it is clear that a tsunami alert was issued. Once more, we had to cancel our trip and all sea-related activities.
We had initially planned to reschedule it for October or November. Still, due to a second round of unfavorable natural occurrences, we changed our minds and decided to postpone the trip until the following year. Lesson discovered: When there are no typhoons, January through July are the ideal months to visit in the Philippines. Please remember that.
The third attempt does work, as they say! Our long-awaited vacation finally occurred on a chilly Thursday night in January 2016. The shuttle service took us to the Turbina Bus Terminal in Calamba City at about 8:00 p.m. It takes about nine hours to drive from Turbina to Sabang Port. And I have to admit, I believe I understand how Matt Damon felt when he was left alone on Mars with nothing but 1970s disco-pop music. The radio in our van played music from that “interesting” time on repeat! Although it was excruciating for me to hear, most of my other passengers didn’t appear to mind because they were exhausted from having just left work.
We finally landed at Sabang Port around 5 a.m., chilly, tired, and sore necks. We then took a boat there for Php120 or roughly $3 per person. I had never taken a ride on a sizable wooden boat before our vacation to Caramoan. Although they have a yacht-like appearance, they are not like the yachts I frequently see on Pinterest Travel. However, the quaintness of those boats just heightens the anticipation of an upcoming adventure. And I can vouch for their safety and that they carry enough life jackets for a two-hour trip.
We arrive at Guijalo Port in the Caramoan Peninsula at 7 a.m., but the journey is far from over. Our tour party boarded a different shuttle waiting to transport us to Victoriapress Guesthouse, a beachside hotel where we stayed. It took around 30 minutes to get there from the pier. However, we were so giddy that we couldn’t help but ask the incessantly obnoxious question, “Are we there yet?” Nonetheless, as soon as our tour guide declared, “We’re here,” all traces of tiredness from the long ride fled, especially when we saw the beach and the islands beyond the horizon that we would spend the next two days exploring.