(Caramoan x Legaspi – Travelled on November 19-22, 2015)
November last year when we decided to carry on with our “Biyaheng Bicol” adventure. When I first saw a TV feature about Caramoan early last year, I knew I need to see it for myself. And so, I convinced my friends to go with me, and I immediately started planning the itinerary and budget.
Day 0: Bye Manila!
We found out that there is a bus that goes directly to Caramoan. Although there are other means of transportation to get to Caramoan, we decided to take this bus so we can just peacefully sleep all throughout the trip. But please prepare yourself – it took us almost 16 hours! This is by far the longest land travel I’ve experienced. We left Raymond Bus terminal at Cubao at 3:00 pm, and arrived at our hotel in Caramoan at around 7:00 am of the next day. You may want to explore other travel options if you think 16 hours is too long. But the plus side is that you don’t have to experience the hassle of transferring from bus to boat. You also get the chance to see the beautiful mountainous part of Caramoan.
Upon arriving at the bus terminal at the Caramoan town proper, we took a tricycle to bring us to Residencia de Salvacion (this is a nice hotel, I recommend staying here). The fare was Php 250.00 (Php 50 for each of us).
Because it was still early, our room was not yet ready. But the hotel staff was kind enough to offer us an empty room where we can rest first (she must have sensed how tired and sleepy we were! haha).
We ordered breakfast first and took some rest in the temporary room. The staff told us that we can have the said room so that we can already settle our things. But the room is quite small for the five of us. Luckily, we patiently waited for our actual room because the view from the second floor is beautiful, and the room is big for us!
Day 1: Exploring the Quiet Town of Caramoan
After we were able to get some rest in our room, we wasted no time exploring the charming little town of Caramoan.
Walking around the town is literally a “walk in the park”. True to its “probinsya feels”, it’s a refreshing sight to see quaint little buildings such as these. Far from the gigantic malls in the city, this is a breath of fresh air.
Not very far from the palengke is this beautiful church:
Day 2: THE Beach
We were very excited for the next day because we can finally explore the famous islands of Caramoan! There are island hopping packages offered in the hotel so you don’t have to worry about that. We availed of the Php 2,500 package, good for five of us for a whole day of exploring the islands.
And seeing this beauty is worth the 16-hour journey!
I hope I was able to give justice to the beauty of the place through these photos.
White sand, turquoise blue water, serenity. What more can you ask for? No wonder the reality TV series ‘Survivor’ fell in love with this place!
After a half-day of basking under the sun in the paradise-like islands, it was chill-time in the hotel!
Day 3: Bye Caramoan, Hello Legaspi!
Because it was our first time to be in the Bicol region, we wanted to make the best out of our trip – and that means seeing THE Mayon Volcano in the flesh! Yes, we will not miss the chance to finally see this beauty!
With heavy hearts of leaving the lovely Caramoan, we woke up early the next day to catch the 7:00 am direct bus from Caramoan to Naga. The fare was Php 200-250, and travel time was between 3 to 4 hours. Another option was to take a tricycle from the hotel to Guijalo Port. From there, take a boat going to Sabang Port (fare is Php 100-120). Upon arriving at Sabang Port, take a bus or van to Naga Central Bus Terminal (fare is around Php 100). We chose the direct bus route because we wanted to have a less hassle trip.
We arrived at Naga Central Bus Terminal at around 10:30 am. From there, take a tricycle going to the van terminal, or you may also opt to walk if you have the energy. Take the Legaspi-bound van (fare is around Php 200), and it was more or less a 2-hour trip.
FINALLY! After hours of being on the road, we have finally arrived in Legaspi City! We decided to leave our bulky bags at Gaisano Mall which was just nearby the van terminal. After energizing ourselves with a delicious lunch at Gaisano Mall, we’re off to see Mt. Mayon!
You may take a Camalig, Guinobatan, or Polangui-bound jeep, and tell the driver to drop you off at Cagsawa Ruins. You can also ask the locals as to where the jeepney terminal is. Jeep fare was only Php 8.00.
And Mt. Mayon did not disappoint us. What a beauty!
It feels surreal whenever I come face to face with something that I just usually see in textbooks or in TV. Iba pala talaga ‘pag nakita mo na nang personal!
Our next stop: Lignon Hills.
From Cagsawa Ruins, we took a tricycle to Lignon Hills. This is a great place to enjoy the breathtaking view of the city!
Though our itinerary was quite packed, due to long travel hours, I would not mind doing it all over again. There are still a lot to see in this region! And four days is not really enough. Aside from the beauty of Caramoan and Legaspi, I was also amazed at the cleanliness around the city – far from the usual congestion at an urban place. I can’t wait to go back!