I’m not going to put icing on the cake here but the travel time from Manila to Camarines Norte via land transportation is nothing more but one exhausting ride. They said that you can book a flight going to Naga City and ride a bus bound to Daet which will consume just a half (or even less) the time you spent on land travel. The Calaguas Island can be reached through two different ports; the one Vinzons or the port in Paracale. In our case, we took the Paracale Port and we were told that it’s going to be a two hour long boat ride.
After arriving in Paracale Bay, our team decided to take a quick breakfast while we all wait for our boats to arrive. I learned that Paracale is known for gold mining industry. The mining industry in Paracale may not be as active as what they are before especially during the pre-Spanish era but this humble town is still regarded for being a great source of fine gold jewelries, thus Paracale is known to many as the town of Gold. The term Paracale is derived from para cale, meaning “canal digger.”
Paracale Bay is quite crowded and sad to say, some areas were polluted. It may not be as precious as the Calaguas Island and the water may not be as clear but you can still see the beauty that this place has to offer.
The Paracale Bay may now be known as the jump off point of those travelers heading to Calaguas Group of Islands but I can see a lot of potential in this bay and only if the locals will cooperate, the beaches in Paracale may share the same success with the nearby islands.
You can still appreciate the powdery golden sand in Paracale Bay. The port area may be a little polluted but not too far from this area are decent beaches including the Pulang Daga.
Pulang Daga Beach Resort may sound a little creepy but the term is actually derived from a Bicolano word “Pulang Lupa” merely because of the color of its soil. Pulang Daga offers an ideal place to relax without compromising your budget at all. The entrance fee to the resort is as low as Php10.
The Paracale especially the port area is quite heavily congested but despite of the heartbreaking condition of their area (garbage everywhere) , we are still warmly greeted by their friendly locals.
Since I was part of a packaged tour, finding a boatmen who will take me to Calaguas is no longer my job. The boat ride rates to Calaguas will depend on the size of the boat and amount of passenger it can carry. The average rate could go from Php1500 to Php2500 and it could fit 10 to 15 people. So meaning to say, a travel to Calaguas Island could be budget friendly if you are traveling in group so you can all split the cost.
Interestingly, when I was in Paracale, I spoke to one of its locals and I learned that you can actually go to Calaguas Island even without being accompanied by group. There’s a Passenger boat that can pick people from Paracale. The boat is available every Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and it leaves exactly at 8am in the morning. They can pick you up from the Island in Saturdays, Sundays or Mondays. The rate is Php250 (one way fare) / 500 for a round trip.
It is interesting to note that we had a slight problem during our trip. It started to rain that day and I started to freak out because I know that it’s going to be a scary boat ride. Since the rain is getting heavy and the boat that will pick us up is not yet arriving, me and three others (who actually became my friends afterwards) look for a place to shed. Little did we know, the rest of our team are already on their way to Calaguas. Luckily, i was able to reach the tour coordinator via phone call. So they all went back to pick us up. Otherwise, if the call didn’t pushed though, I really don’t know what’s gonna happen!
It was really a scary boat ride going to Calaguas and I’m glad that I was able to survive and managed to conquer my fear of sea travel.
Things You Should Know Before Going to Paracale / Or Calaguas Island
►It’s going to be an 8 to 9 hour Van ride or Bus ride from Manila to Paracale
►Boat rates from Paracale to Tinaga Island (Calaguas Island) can go from Php6000 to Php8000 (good for 10-15px or even more depending on the boat size)
►Passenger Boats that can take you from Paracale to Calaguas are available every Fri-Sat-Sun and will leave the port exactly at 8am (be there on time)/ They pick up from Calaguas every Sat-Sun-Mon around 6am/ The fare per head is Php250 for a one way trip
►It’s going to be a two hour long boat ride and expect to clash against huge wave.
►Buy big plastic bag to cover your things and prevent them from being wet (bags can bought for Php30)
How to get to Paracale / Calaguas Island
►If you are going to travel by Air, you can book a flight to either Camarines Sur (Naga Airport) or Albay (Legazpi City Airport). Either which, you need to charter a van that can take you either to Daet or straight to Paracale (or Vinzons Port).
►From the Paracale Port, you can rent a boat (refer to the details above) that will take you directly to Tinaga Island (Mahabang Buhangin Beach Resort)
Where To Stay in Calaguas Island
►One thing I am so happy about the Calaguas Island is the fact that this remote Island in Camarines Norte is still unspoiled and I would love it to stay this way. Cottages are available in the island. There are areas that offer decent and air conditioned rooms, there are resorts that offer simple nipa hut cottages, some offers small rooms with bed or better yet you can set your own tent along the shore for Free!
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Just in Case you missed an entry, feel free to visit the links below
Calaguas Island Adventure:
►Calaguas Island Adventure : Prologue
►The Paracale Bay
►Our First Day in Calaguas : Mahabang Buhangin Beach of Tinaga Island
►Sunset in Calaguas
►The Tinago Hills
►The Balagbag Island
►Nuestra Señora De Candelaria Parish in Paracale
►What To Buy When Visiting Camarines Norte