When you’re in Caramoan, you’ll feel so close to the ruggedness and yet calming sway of nature. Like secluded and beautiful places in the Philippines, the travel going to these Peninsulas is a challenge, but then when I witnessed the unspoiled beauty of this island all my struggles paid off.

Caramoan Island (also known as Caramoan Peninsula) a 4,000-hectare limestone forest is located in the lower eastern part of Camarines Sur in the Bicol region of the Philippines. It is gifted with rich and diverse marine life, caves, white sand beaches and serene lakes.

The seclusion and unexploited tourism are what makes it quite extraordinary. What you would expect to do in El Nido, Palawan you may also do so as the limestone formations, trek trails, seascape is comparable.

The entire cape of Caramoan is virtually an escape a tropical Eden. Filled with marine life, exotic islets, dive spots for unique corals, pristine beaches, underground cave, lagoons, freshwater pools and towering rock formations. Because of these features and not to mention the seclusion producers of the international franchise Survivor choose Caramoan as the main setting to shot their shows.

Undeniably the show helped put Caramoan on everyone’s radar that led to creating a Yin Yan Effect. They created a tourist economy, but at the same time, most of the best islands are closed to the public whenever they are filming.

I’ve been to other gorgeous islands and places around the Philippines, but Caramoan Peninsula will always be part of my top 3.


Transportation and Logistics

Manila to Caramoan/ Manila to Sabang Port Route

By Air:
It is a 45-minute flight from Manila Domestic Airport to Naga City’s Pili Airport.


By Land:
It is an 8-10 hour drive from Manila to Sabang Port depending on how bad Manila traffic is.  From Sabang Port, you’ll need to take a commercial boat bound to Guijalo, Caramoan Port which usually takes about 1.5-2 hours.

  • There are buses available Naga City from Pasay and Cubao terminals
  • Trips going to Guijalo Port from Sabang Port start at 5:30 am to 2 pm. It takes up to one and a half to two hours, depending on the speed of the boat. It will cost you 120php/pax.
  • You can also take a night trip bus bound for Naga City from Cubao or Pasay terminals. Travel time takes up to 8 hours.

Transportation Cost

  • Bus w/AC Manila-Sabang 700php-800php or 14-16USD (one way)
  • Sabang port pump boat transfer to Guijalo Port in Caramoan 120php or 2.5USD
  • Guijalo port environmental fee 30php
  • Tricycle rental 300php or 6USD (split amongst the group)
  • Boat Rental for island hopping 1,500php-2,500php or 30/50 USD

Although if you do have a private rented vehicle you can go directly to Brgy. Paniman in Caramoan as the jump point for all island hopping.


Option A: Mid-Priced

Gota Beach has white powdery sand that’s cool even under the noonday sun. It has a wide beachfront, and gradually slopes down for about 50m. Since it is in a deep cove, it is protected from strong currents.  There are limestone cliffs on both sides of the cove, and the whole beach area has been cleared of rocks, making it a giant swimming pool.



Stayed in one of the Villas at Gota. Beaches are with fine sand. Great picturesque views. Quiet and serene surroundings. Resort staff very helpful. Wifi not so good if you are far from the main admin clubhouse.



2,500.00php or 51USD/night

  • Standard Occupancy 2 Pax
  • Air-conditioned room with TV and DVD player
  • Private toilet bathroom with hot and cold shower


2,750.00php or 56USD/night

  • Standard Occupancy 2 Pax maximum of 3 pax
  • Air-conditioned room with TV and DVD player
  • Private toilet bathroom with hot and cold shower
  • With mini ref, receiving room, and dining area


3,000.00php or 61USD/night

  • Standard Occupancy 2 Pax maximum of 3 pax
  • Air-conditioned room with TV and DVD player
  • Air-conditioned room with TV and DVD player
  • Private toilet bathroom with hot and cold shower
  • With mini ref, receiving room, and dining area


Option B: Pricier

Hunongan Cove is also run by the province of Camsur.It is more private and the view is more beautiful than Gota Village. They do not have a credit card for online reservation or payment so you will need to either transfer via bank deposit or pay cash upon arrival. Their service needs to improve though as a few feedbacks from people that food service was pretty bad and the electricity distribution is intermittent.



Despite the bad service representation,  you will manage to enjoy your stay as the place was really beautiful and very nice place for snorkeling as it has lots of different kinds of sea creatures and the mountains also and rock formation is a big plus.

5,000.00php or 100USD/night

  • Standard Occupancy 2 Pax
  • Air-conditioned room with TV and DVD player
  • Private toilet bathroom with hot and cold shower

7,500.00php or 153USD/night

  • Standard Occupancy 2 Pax maximum of 3 pax
  • Air-conditioned room with TV and DVD player
  • Private toilet bathroom with hot and cold shower
  • With mini ref, receiving room, and dining area


6,500.00php 132USD/night

  • Standard Occupancy 2 Pax maximum of 3 pax
  • Air-conditioned room with TV and DVD player
  • Private toilet bathroom with hot and cold shower
  • With mini ref, receiving room, and dining area

10,000.00php or 200php/night

  • 2 Fully Air-condition rooms with TV and DVD player
  • Standard Occupancy of minimum of 4 pax and maximum of 6 pax
  • 2 Private toilets, bathroom with hot and cold shower
  • Kitchen and dining area, large living room

You may directly reserve to via:


Address: Manila Liason Office

Mobile Number:



Address: CamSur Provincial Tourism Office

Mobile Number: (+63)920 967 2942

Telephone Number: (+63) 54 4773344

(+63) 54 4773347


Option C: Budget-Friendly Options and Alternatives

  1.  Island View Lodge (1,4oophp or 27USD)
  2. La Casa Roa Hostel (900php or 17-18USD)
  3. West Peninsula Villas (1,700php or 34USD)
  4. Homestay options at Paniman Beach. Paniman Beach is where is a small town where locals reside. While fishing is the primary source of income of the locals in Paniman, providing island hopping tours to visitors and tourists supplements to their income.

If you have a few bucks to spend I recommend Option A and if you’re on budget Island View Lodge is your best bet.

Island Hop Guide

There are several ways to visit the islands. You can do it on day trips or simply stay overnight by pitching a camp site and then move on to the next island when you want. Best and safest time to go there is from February to early June. Since the Bicol Region is a pathway of storms, northeast monsoon prevails from October to January causing dangerous sea waves.

There are several islands around Caramoan, but I’ve shortlisted a few jump points that you shouldn’t miss during your visit.


Lahos Island

It has a Beautiful white sandbar in between 2 jagged rock formations. It’s gorgeous and comparable to El Nido’s pocket islands. A popular destination for most tourists, so it could get pretty crowded. Be careful when you swim as the drop on the sea floor was abrupt and the waves may often time to be too strong for snorkeling


Matukad Beach

Larger than Lahos Island, we did spend lunch and more time here. It’s fine white sand is smooth to the feet. Upon the jagged rock is a Lagoon with 2 giant Milkfish and oddly enough that Milkfish may only be found in freshwater. Locals believe that the lagoon is sacred and those 2 giant Milkfish are actual enchanted creatures.


Cagbalinad Island

What I love about this island is the huge rock formation, perfect for photo ops. However, the rock has a rough surface so be careful when climbing.  Cagbanilad Island is more known for snorkeling activities within its perimeter. Just a few meters away from Cagbanilad’s shore are corals and schools of fish!


Cotivas Island

Has a long sandbar. Perfect place to have lunch and lounge around. It is one of the islands which has nipa huts perfect for lunchtime. You have to pay a 50php entrance fee to the caretaker.



Cotivas Island has a very long sandbar during low tide. You can enjoy this in solitude while the aquamarine waters rush to your feet, the lush green island as your backdrop.

Minalahos Island

The clear blue water, rock formations, islet, and view are like being in El Nido, Palawan


Make sure to discuss and plan your day plans with your hired boatmen so you’d be able to plot your activities for the whole day to maximize your trip.


Caramoan Islands is gorgeous in all of its glory. It remains to be an underrated travel destination compared to Palawan, Davao, and Cebu. If you adore beaches and beautiful seascapes and you have not been to Caramoan then you are missing out on something incredible.

You will find beautiful azure blue water that mixes with emerald green. The whole island boasts of rainforests, mountains, karst cliffs, primitive caves, stunning rock formations and virgin beaches. One of the unique moments I had in Caramoan was it was my first time to witness a moonrise. The moon casts dramatically and shimmers its rays across the ocean. I have no words to describe. One of the best nights of my life.

Its charm will always be its seclusion and rawness and in our busy lives in the city, we are in dire need to get away and mute our environment. Caramoan offers that sanity at our dispense anytime that we’re ready.

As we always say, go forth and wander when you return home to be your own storyteller.


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