AdventureBeachHike/TrekIG WorthyNaturePhilippines

Calaguas Island : An Escape to Utopia


More than the fine sand and the beautiful views of sunsets, the reason why I love the beach so much is because it is the place where I feel most calm. It is my sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the metro and the very stressful demands of being a nurse in one of the busiest hospitals in the Philippines. So for my birthday, I’ve decided to treat myself to a vacation package that takes care of my every needs. I booked a tour from Bakasyonista ( They offered a stress-free, super-sulit (worth it) vacation package to Calaguas for only 2, 849 pesos (57 dollars).

Calaguas, also known as Mahabang Buhangin (long stretch of sand), is a group of islands located in the province of Camarines Norte in Bicol Philippines. It is composed of minor and major islands which makes it a perfect destination for island hopping. The largest and most popular among these islands is Tinaga because of its proximity and pristine white beaches.




I have heard great things from my friends who’ve been to the islands. One of the reasons I chose it as my birthday get-away is because despite its beauty, which rivals popular beach destinations like Boracay, it remains free from overwhelming amounts of tourists. Not to mention it is very affordable.

Now one thing to be aware of, they do not have network connection in the island. This might be a deal breaker for some but honestly, despite being initially worried about being cut-off from the world, it actually added to the experience for me. I think once in a while, we need to put down our phones and just sit down, look around, and serenely breath in the beauty of nature best enjoyed in silence.



The powdery white sand that will make you beach bum all day, the crystal clear ocean with different hues of blue, the beautiful rock formations at the sides and in between islands, the wonderful coral formations , the fresh unlimited seafood, and the overall serenity of the place. Its unspoiled beauty will make you feel that everything is perfect and will make you let go of all the bad vibes you have at the moment. I assure that you’ll definitely have a world class island experience! 



1. Via Land


  • From Cubao/Pasay/Alabang – bound to Camarines Norte, drop off at Daet.
    • Estimated travel time: 8-10 hours
    • Estimated fare: 500-600 one way

Bus companies offering the trip: Penafrancia, Raymond, DLTB Amihan, Philtranco and Superlines

**From Date you can either travel via Vinzons or Parcale**


If via Vinzons:


  • Bound to Minaogan fish port in Vinzons
    • Estimated Travel time 20 mins
    • Estimated travel fare: 50 pesos


  • Bound to Barangay Banocboc
    • Estimated Travel Time: 30 mins to 1 hour
    • Estimated Travel fare: 200-300 (depends of the number of people)

Reminder: Boat usually leave at 11 AM every day


BOAT (banca/fishing boat):

  • Bound to Tinagal Island
    • Estimated Travel Time:  1 hour
    • Estimated Travel fare: 600-3000 (depends of the number of people)


If via Paracale:


  • Bound to Paracale drop at fishport
    • Estimated Travel Time:  1 hour
    • Estimated Travel fare: 50-100


  • Bound to Tinaga Island
    • Estimated Travel Time:  1 ½ to 2 hours
    • Estimated Travel fare: 600-3000 (depends of the number of people)


2. Via Air


  • Bound to Naga City (Philippine Airlines & Cebu Pacific)
    • Estimated Travel Time:  40 minutes
    • Estimated Travel fare: 1,500-3,000 (depends on the promo and season)


  • Bound to Daet
    • Estimated Travel Time:  2 hours
    • Estimated Travel fare: 70-100

*Same route as via land, either vinzons or paracal

  • Estimated Travel Time:  2 hours
  • Estimated Travel fare: 600-3000


3. Via Bakasyonista

Want a hassle-free getaway? Well, you should chose this option like I did!

Tour Fee:  2,849.00 

Package Inclusion

  • All Camp Meals in Calaguas Island
  • Calaguas Island Hopping
  • Snorkeling
  • Trekking
  • Boat transfers
  • Cottage
  • Life Vest
  • Environmental fee
  • Entrance fee
  • Van transfer from Manila to Date and vice versa

Side Trip:

  • Side Trip to Bagasbas Beach for Surfing
  • Pasalubong House in Daet

They have a list of dates for joiners which you can check at their website or Facebook page. My best friend and I booked for June 17-18 2017 trip which is a 2 days and 1 night tour package.

We left at 9 PM on June 16 and arrived in Daet, Bicol at around 5 AM.

Yes, I know it was a long ride but it’s bearable especially when you’re looking forward to a good destination. Just be ready with your music playlist for the whole road trip!





1. Beach bumming & swimming

Upon arriving in the island, I placed my bag at a cottage and walked back to the shore. Breathe in, breathe out the view just literally took my breath away! The serenity and tranquility of the place is my utopia. It’s the kind of paradise I’ve been longing for.



Who could resist sitting in a very fine white sand in front of a very picturesque view of the sea while eating your favorite local halo-halo?  Well, I ate 5 halo-halo in just 2 days! Like what?! It’s very yummy especially when the weather is hot, you should try it when you visit the Philippines!



The white sand is very fine and powder-like, it even passes through your feet when you step on it. There are no seashells scattered around that you could actually step on, it’s the perfect time to bury your body in the sand!Oh and it feels good too!

The water is so crystal clear that even in the deepest part of the ocean you can still have a glimpse of the coral reef.




  • Bring your own beach blanket/Mandala
  • If you don’t want to end up being burned, apply sunblock from time to time.
  • Watch the sunset at around 5:30 to 6 PM, one of my fave part of every trip!



2. Island Hopping

Just 20 minutes boat ride from our camp another island is waiting for us to explore. This island have a lot of beautiful rock formations, lucky for us the weather is good so we managed to climb the formations to take a good shot.


We also had a 45 minute trek , upon reaching the top of the hill we were rewarded to have a good view of the other islands nearby. Such a wonderful view up here! Moana moment alert!!! *See the light where the sky meets the sea, It calls me!*




  • The assault was easy, but I do advice for you still bring water just in case.
  • Be extra careful when climbing the rock formations it is slippery with sharp edges.
  • Bring money for you to buy refreshment at the end of the trek
  • Get you camera ready! Incoming IG worthy photos everywhere!


3. Diving and Snorkeling

After the Island hopping, we proceeded to dive and snorkel at the middle of the sea. Yup you heard it right, it was very deep that I was actually afraid to remove my life vest while snorkeling. Boohoo for me, I didn’t get a close shot of the underwater world but my eyes did saw how beautiful it was down there. The corals and fishes comes in different colors and sizes which makes the area perfect for the activity.




  • Just a friendly reminder, kindly be extra careful not to step on the corals. This may cause their death, which actually happens a lot. Remember, we travelers have the responsibility to take care of what we are enjoying in order for the next generations to experience it too.
  • Don’t worry if you don’t have a snorkeling gear, you can rent one from the locals for just 50 pesos!


4. Camping

It’s actually my first time to experience camping which made my trip more exciting. First thing do upon arrival in the island is to pinch your own tent so that you can place your things inside. Lucky for us, our travel agency already prepared everything for us. The tent is big enough for the two of us, it was very clean and was placed facing the shore line.



  • If you will be visiting Calaguas as DIY, there is a 100 pesos for fee for tent pinching and another 150  pesos separate fee for the entrance.


5. Stargazing

This is the perfect time to bond with your friends and also meet new friends over a cup of coffee or a bottle of beer under a canopy of stars. Staying in the city made us used to stare at a blank dark sky every night, it’s good to have a glimpse of these magical sight once in a while. I do believe that everyone is designated to a certain star, when I was younger I had my own star and I named it ‘Hope’. Every time I feel sad, I just stare at it and somehow the burden goes away.



Just be sure to wake up early the next day to experience the sunrise at the top of the hill. In my case, I waited for the clock to strike 12. Hello 23 year old me!!!  I went out of my tent and thanked the God for giving me another year to live and experience life.


  • Alcoholic beverages is slightly pricey here compared to the grocery stores. You could actually bring one if you’re trying to save money. You can buy ice from the sari-sari store.
  • Still bring your own flashlight to guide you
  • The generator is turned on from 6 m to 6 am, so if you’re planning to charge your gadgets better do it within these hours.


6. Trekking

On our 2nd day, we trekked at the hill nearby to have a stunning view of the island. We started trekking at 5:30 AM, it just took us 20 minutes to reach the summit and I can rate it as 2/10 in difficulty. It’s a chill traverse trek but the view is beautiful from the start until the end.


I told you earlier that there is no signal in the island, but surprisingly at one specific spot in the summit, I started receiving messages from my friends and parents greeting me a happy birthday! I actually jumped out of joy because of this and even managed to thank them back. And then suddenly after about 10 minutes, the signal is gone again.

– Wear leggings, short is not advisable because you will be passing a grassland that might cause injury to your legs. It’s also cold up to the summit, so wearing one would really help.
– If you’re not under a tour package, you will be paying 20 pesos entrance fee for the trek.

  1. Instagram Gaming On!

I swear!!!!Every area is IG worthy!!!!!

If you’re a beach person but not as thin as you want to be, don’t worry because the sea will love you no matter what your size is.

Remember that in the end, the only thing that matters is you, this is your life and no one has the right to dictate otherwise.

So come on babe get your swimsuits ready!!!!!!!!

Love yourself and be happy!!!!!




Thank you for celebrating this exciting moment with me even if you’re busy with med school.  Thank you for always listening to my crazy stories even if most of them have no sense at all hahaha! Thanks for the amazing photos!

To more spontaneous adventures together! 



  1. Surfing ( Side trip at Bagasbas Beach)

It’s not my first time to surf but I really enjoyed the waves here in Bicol.

To be safe I still paid for an instructor which is 400 pesos an hour. You might think it’s expensive but honestly, it’s not because they are really hands-on in teaching us.

They even provided rash guards for us to use, like how amazing is that right?! After the class, we were given a certificate of completion and freebies!



Tip: You shall not skip this activity! Don’t be afraid of the waves, if you never try then you’ll never know! It’s a fun experience and I’m sure you’ll love it too!


2 Days and 1 Night Sample Itinerary: (Based on Bakasyonista Package Tour )

                   Check out their site for more trip details:



If I will be asked to describe the island in one word, it’s going to be UTOPIA.

In this island, I just wish to stop time so I can stay a longer.

My 2 days disconnection from the usual busy routine in the city refreshed my soul, truly by being one with nature we tend to reconnect ourselves a little bit more.

I was absolutely right in choosing Calaguas as my birthday adventure. It’s one of the best places I had been and I will definitely go back to this paradise!

“Life has more to offer after duty hours”

So pack your bags and wander, nothing can stop you from doing what your heart desires.

You only live once, might as well live it the way you want it to be.

Thanks for reading my blog post !



Hope it will help you in making your own adventure!

Don’t forget to subscribe to see my next adventures!

Let’s stay connected loves!




Til’ my next adventure!




Joan Tapiz Maniago


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6 thoughts on “Calaguas Island : An Escape to Utopia

  1. This looks like a really unspoilt place to visit. So many of the beaches, globally, have trash problems. It looks like a really good location to unwind and you look very happy! I loke the idea of camping on the beach as well. Paradise found!

  2. This blog post is very timely. My daughter and I are planning to visit Calaguas but we are kinda hesitant with a DIY trip. Like you, I find going to the beach relaxing.

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