Back to basics in Calaguas Island

The waves may be high and the ride may be longer than usual but be assured that it's all worth it.

Calaguas group of islands, aptly tagged as Philippines' best emerging tourist destination, lies in Camarines Norte province--about a two-hour boat ride from a port in Vinzons town or a 1-hour boat ride from Paracale town (plus an 8-hour bus ride if you're coming from Manila).

Charming Calaguas undoubtedly offers an unforgettable beach time with its pristine, powdery white sand, a no-need-for-camera-filter scenery, and a truly blue sea. The island does not offer much accommodation facilities, but there are travel agencies that offer unique overnight camping experiences.

For those who would like some comfort, (where there is electricity via generator), Waling-Waling Ecovillage offers kubol and cabana accommodations.

The best time to go there would be January to June, when the waves are not so rough and high. Once you get to the island, bask in the sun, mingle with the locals and take all the photos that you want!

Take all the rest that you need. There’s no electricity in the island so you really will be able to disconnect but be recharged. There is no cellphone signal as well but rest assured that the island is safe. Truly back to basics!

At sunset, Calaguas is also a picturesque paradise so make sure your camera is ready. Should you decide to stay overnight, go join a bonfire or go stargazing. Sleep with the sound of waves as your lullaby.

MUST DO: Swim in the blue waters and enjoy the pristine white sand

OTHER ACTIVITIES: Go trekking and enjoy the view on top of Calaguas hills.

HOW TO GET THERE: Several bus lines offer Manila-Camarines Norte trips, with one-way fares at P450-800. The cheapest two-day tour (with tent accommodations) would cost P3,000, inclusive of boat ride to the island.

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