Caramoan is a municipality in Camarines Sur, Bicol. It is around 12 – 14 hours away from Manila, and 4 hours away from Naga City.
How to get there:
There are different ways to reach Caramoan. It all depends on your preference and your schedule. You can go directly by land, or go by boat via Sabang port.
If you want to go directly by land, it will be a long drive, and it is not for newbie drivers. In the later part of your trip, you will be zigzagging through mountains, going on a 360-degree steep uphill climb. You can also take a bus or a boat going to Caramoan. For more info, you can check out this Caramoan Travel Guide by Explore CamSur.
After going up and down and swaying left and right, you will now reach Caramoan. Where is the beach?, you may ask.
The white sand beach like this: can only be reached by boat.
Some basic info about Caramoan, just to set your expectations.
- Caramoan is a big municipality. The town proper is around 15 minutes away from the beach area, where you will board the boat for island hopping. There are accommodations in the town proper, and there are also lots of accommodations in the beach area.
- The usual jump-off point for island hopping is Paniman beach. It is 15 minutes away from the town proper. If you will drive going to Caramoan, the intersection going to Paniman beach is about 2 kms. BEFORE you reach the town proper. So if you reach the town, you have gone too far.
- There are LOTS and LOTS of islands in Caramoan, but the usuals are:
- SHORT TRIP: Matukad, Lahus, Minalagos, Cagbanilad, Busdak, Tinago, Napla
- LONG TRIP: Manlawi Sandbar, Ginahuan Lighthouse, Cotivas, Bugtong, Sabitang-Laya
- The electricity supply in Caramoan is not enough for the accommodations that are set up, especially in the Paniman Beach area. Paniman was a small fishing village, but was developed when US Survivor started filming. After that, accommodations like inns, homestays, resorts were built by the locals, and not surprisingly, the electricity supply was not enough to power up all the establishments in the area, thus, occasional power interruptions and scenarios where there is electricity, but the a/c’s or the lights would not operate in their full capacity, which results to a/c’s not being cold enough for the room/s. UPDATE: This doesn’t happen frequently lately now that the Electric Cooperative upgraded their equipment and installed additional transformers in the area.
- There are a number of places where you can buy supplies, groceries, and the basics, but the brands and variants would be limited.
Where to Stay in Caramoan
We recommend staying in the Paniman beach area because it would be easier and hassle free when you go island hopping. You’ll just walk going to the shore, and you can board the boat there. No need to go back and forth to the town. And it would be a bit of a hassle going back to the town after island hopping when you are wet. You wouldn’t want to soak your car seat, or get cold during the 15 – 20 minute ride.
You can check out Explorers’ Headquarters Inn, a small inn just right by the beach. They have four rooms that can accommodate up to 7 persons per room, and their rates are very reasonable for a standard aircon room with a private comfort room. During the off-season, their room rate starts at 1,000 per night for two persons, and 1,300 per night for two persons during peak season.
Where to Eat in Caramoan
There are a number of restaurants in Paniman. There’s Angie’s restaurant. They serve fresh seafood, yummy sandwiches, and they serve drinks. Angie serves the meals for the staff of Survivor whenever they film in Caramoan.
Another cool spot is Caramo-Tan Grill. It is the restaurant of Island View Lodge, a beachfront accommodation right in front of Explorers’ Headquarters Inn. They serve one of the best sisigs I have ever tasted in my entire life.
Take note though, that during the peak season, there are times when these restaurants cannot accommodate walk in guests because they are busy preparing meals for their in-house guests.
But don’t worry, during the summer, there are a number of carinderias and bbq stalls where you can eat.
In our case, we didn’t have to worry about our meals because we availed of Explore CamSur‘s all-in tour package, and they served us these meals:
Our Caramoan Island Adventure Itinerary
We are from Naga, and we drove around 4 hours to get to Paniman Beach, Caramoan.
For a more detailed guide on ways to get to Caramoan, check out this travel guide.
6 AM: Assembly, meet up at McDo Magsaysay
7 AM: Departure
11 AM: Check in to Explorers’ HQ Inn
11:30 AM: Lunch
12:00 – 1:30 PM: Rest
1:30 PM – 5:30 PM: Island Hopping (nearby islands)
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM: Freshen Up, Rest
7:00 PM: Dinner
8:00 PM: Bonfire by the beach
10:30 PM: Lights out (Yeah, yeah, we are titas)
7:00 AM: Breakfast
8:00 AM: Island Hopping (farther islands)
11:00 AM: Lunch at Manlawi Sandbar Floating Cottage
3:00 PM: Snorkeling at Sabitang Laya
4:30 PM: Back to Explorers’ HQ Inn
5:30 PM: Played some board games at the HQ
7:00 PM: Dinner
8:30 PM: Drinks at the Caramo-Tan Grill
11:00 PM: Lights out
7:00 AM: Breakfast
8:30 AM: Check out
9:00 AM: Souvenir Shop at the town proper
9:30 AM: Visited the 18th Century Red Brick Church
10:00 AM: Had some Kinalas near the church
10:30 AM: Departure for Naga
1:00 PM: Late lunch at Bigg’s Goa
3:30 PM: Touchdown Naga!