Caramoan, an area of so much diversity
Caramoan is a first-class municipality in the province of Camarines Sur, in the Bicol Region, and is located at the tip of the Caramoan Peninsula. This isn’t the easiest place to get to, but it is well worth it. There are pristine white sand beaches, lagoons, caves, limestone cliffs, and karsts. There is abundant marine life, underground rivers, sandbars and deserted islands.
The landscape is mostly very rugged and as such, has been used for the filming of several episodes of the reality TV show, Survivor, including the series from US, Israel, and several European countries. To survive in some of this isolated, rugged, yet beautiful terrain, without creature comforts, would be a real challenge for sure.
Survivor Series’ Resort in Caramoan
We based ourselves out of the Gota Beach and stayed at Gota Village Resort, which also happens to be where the cast and crew of the Survivor TV series stay, so the standards there are pretty good. The cost was around P2,000/night for a family room. When we stayed there, it was my youngest daughter’s birthday. The lovely staff put on a bonfire right on the beach just for us. My kids absolutely loved it!
Gota Village Resort is just around the corner from the more popular and upmarket Hunongan Cove Resort. Gota Village Resort has some very nice beach and surrounding views, but Hunongan Cove is better. Either way, it didn’t bother me too much as I was just chilling out with the family, and not having to survive by eating insects and tree bark.
Island hopping in paradise
We did two separate days of island hopping. The first day we did Tayak Beach and Tayak Lagoon, then Matukad Island and finally Hunongan Cove, all close together and not too far from Gota Village.
The second day, we did the long trip out to Cotivas Island, which took two hours there and back. That left us time to go and check out the Bulanbogang underground river which was only about a 15mins drive from the resort.
I have to say, by the end of our trip, I found Caramoan comparable in natural beauty to Palawan and Sipalay and there were much fewer people! This is a definite must see if you can stick out the journey getting there.
Another thing to do down that way is, when in Naga, either on the way to or from Caramoan, check out the Cam Sur Watersport Complex. This is a very popular tourist attraction and is one of the Philippines best Watersports Parks. For those that dig wakeboarding, wakeskating, and waterskiing, this is a must-see.
Your main cost will be the boat hire for your island hopping adventures. You can expect to pay between P1,500 and 2,000 for the day, depending on which islands you go to. The resort that you stay at should be able to organize your island hopping.