To get to Caramoan, you need to take a bus or a plane to Naga then a van to Sabang port then a ferry to Caramoan. Huh tough one I know.
Going by plane only takes an hour. You can land on Naga or Legazpi but taking the bus is the cheaper option for us. Taking a bus to Caramoan takes about 8-9 hours when you're riding a lazy boy or a sleeper type bus since there's only one stop. (PHP950-PHP1200) While ordinary buses take 11-12 hours (PHP500-PHP850).
We reserved seats with Isarog for their lazy boy extreme bus PHP1100 at Cubao terminal near Cubao mrt station south bound since the sleeper bus type is not available for that date.
However we got disappointed when an isarog line representative informed us they were transferring us to Peñafrancia elite bus the same day of our trip!!! Plus we didn't get our designated seats!!!
Peñafrancia Elite Bus Seat (Benz8). Arm and leg rest not comfortable.
Warning: the flush is really noisy >_<
Not that we have a choice.. and so our 8 hour long bus journey began.. we left 9pm from Cubao and arrived 5am in Naga
Upon arriving at Naga bus terminal, there's a van terminal inside the Jessie Robredo Coliseum which is a short walking distance from the terminal. The van will take you to Sabang port for PHP100. Journey takes 1.5 hours. There are also buses that go straight from Cubao to Sabang port check with the Raymundo buses.
Boat ride from Sabang port to Guijalo port is available from 6am to 11am only and sometimes they leave earlier when its already full. To get to the boat you need to ride a balsa and pay PHP10 which is an improvement from the piggy back ride before. Boat ride cost PHP120 and takes about 2hours.
From Guijalo port a van was waiting for us to take us to La Playa Puerto Merced where we'll be staying. The ride took .5 - 1hour.
The resort was nice though the front yard is quite dirty.
We stayed at the vac house which was huge for 5 people.
Living and Dining Room
2 Rooms with private CR each
We went to 2 near islands in the afternoon.
This island has the finest sand in caramoan but there were lots of seaweeds and broken shells
There are lots of seaweeds in this island too.
It overlooks the private island where the survivor crew stayed
The last island we went to
There's a small cave here
The next day we went island hopping again at about 8am. First we went to the grotto which is 500+ steps up the mountain. There's a PHP30 fee and you can buy a candle for PHP3. We gave our guide PHP60 tip as well.
The grotto is the one at the top
There's a small chapel at the top too
The cellular towers ruin the view.
On our way to Sabitang Laya Island, the boat stopped and manong bangkero told us the engine was broken so we're stuck in the middle of the ocean. Thank god for cellular phones!! He called the resort to send the rescue team which took about 30min. While waiting, manong bangkero and one of my friends went snorkeling. The tide was low so the water was just waist deep.
Manong bangkero knows how to take good underwater pictures I give him that
Sabitang Laya is the most popular and beautiful island in Caramoan. It is the shooting location for the famous tv show Survivor.
Next we went to the Sand Bar where you can pay PHP200 to stay on the floating cottages. We opt to eat inside the boat coz we're kuripot like that haha.
Then we went to an island where there were lots of sea urchins.
The journey from Sabitang Laya to the Sand bar was scary. There were lots of big waves such that we were drenched with sea water. Its not advisable to bring gadgets on the boat unless its waterproof or if you have a dry bag that would work as well.
We arrived back at the resort at 5pm. We spent the last night with a bottle of beer and and a few songs on the free videoke.
The next day we checked out at 7am. We arrived at Guijalo port just in time for boat departure. Then we took the van again from Sabang Port to Naga.
We arrived in Naga 12pm then bought our tickets to Manila we were lucky there were still seats left for the lazy boy type bus of DLTB which is cheaper PHP950. Our trip was 9:15pm so with lots of time to spare, we went to buy our pasalubong and food tripping in Naga.
We ate lunch at Geewan which is famous for Bicol delicacies like Pinangat, Bicol Express, Kandingan and Kinunot. Geewan is walking distance from the bus terminal we just used google maps to navigate. You can also ride a tricycle to Geewan.
After lunch we went to the public market which is also walking distance from Geewan to buy pasalubong. Naga is famous for their Pili Nuts and its varieties.
I wouldn't advise buying shirts here though. There are stalls in SM Naga selling souveneir shirts which are cheaper and have lots of varieties.
Then we tried the toasted siopao with ketsup!
Nothing much to do in Naga really. There are lots of churches so we just went and visit some.
St. Francis Church
Ateneo de Naga University Church
We tried the famous Kinalas at Boloper's which was good.
Warning: don't put too much chili! You're in Bicol after all.
We ate putong bagas along with the kinalas to balance the chili since we put too much haha
We spent the rest of our time window shopping at SM Naga where we found the beautiful and cheap shirts too late. There's also a Geewan branch in SM Naga.
DLTB lazyboy seats were more comfortable and spacious but the driver was pretty wreckless so the drive home was quite scary.
Alas! we're back in Manila..
If you want beautiful scenery, food trip and relaxation then Caramoan is definitely a good place for you.
Note: Globe has no reception in Caramoan so if you need to stay connected to civilization you might want to buy a Smart simcard ;p