It’s noontime when we started hopping on the boat and explore Caramoan Islands. According to our boatman/tour guide, we will be exploring 10 islands. We will start from the farthest one.
Getting Ready to Explore Caramoan
It took us almost an hour to reach the first island but we enjoyed the ride. First stop is Cotivas Island, according to our guide its owned by the famous Mr FMG. It’s an experience of being lost in paradise of endless skies with clear ocean water and green tropical island as a backdrop. It’s a desert with fine white sandbars. It’s truly an ideal place for relaxation and daydreaming. As we approached Cotivas Island, we were welcome by clear shallow waters and strand of dreamy white sand.
Even if the sand is not as fine as the other islands in Caramoan, the view is simply breathtaking. You will enjoy the sand and the beach, as there were no signs of developing infrastructures and whatsoever. So, there is only you and nature!
Another gorgeous sandbar in Caramoan Islands is our next stop: Manjawi Sandbar. Except for few small nipa huts, there wasn't any structure found in the island. It was pure nature rolling hills afar, blue sky and amazing seascape. We were not so lucky to see the sandbar as it’s high tide, nevertheless we enjoyed the place. The shed turned out to be floating huts.
Next island is a bit different than the first two that we visited. Sabitang Laya Island is one of the popular island in Caramoan Peninsula. The limestone rock formations are one of the best features of the island. It’s composed of twin beaches and triangular in shape. The beach is stunning and if you plan to stay here for an overnight trip, it’s going to be amazing.
SABITANG LAYA ISLAND
Next stop is Gota Village Resort. It’s a beachfront resort located in the mountains and awesomely attractive. It’s one of the expensive resorts in the island and highly recommended for those who wanted to have luxurious stay in Caramoan. It has it’s own beach but can be used by the public as well and for those who are Island Hopping. It is surrounded by towering limestone cliffs with luscious green covers. They have 100+ cabanas built and designed to the perfect location – secluded, secured and private. Getting free access to Gota Beach, known for its expensive cabanas and luxurious island-life accommodation was by luck. Technically, island hoppers can still drop by as long as they pay an entrance, which is Php 300.00 per head.
While cruising to our next island destination, we passed by Hunongan Cove. As per our guide, this is one of the most expensive resort in the island. No wonder as it is situated next to Gota Village Resort. Lie in this place is a refreshing beach and sand place and a perfect place if you wanted privacy with your companions. It’s sands is perfect for beach sports and camping. We didn’t get the chance to explore the place though.
Next stop is Minalahos Island, its close to the resort at hunongan. It almost looks like Matukad and Lahos with its limestone formation. The only thing that differs is that the limestone are more imposing and appear taller. It is a small island with short stretch of sand. But the stunning rock formation is amazing
After few minutes of cruising, we finally reached one famous island in Caramoan Peninsula: Matukad Island. There were two main attractions that I found interesting in this island: The Beach (of course) and the Enchanting Lagoon. Before coming over, I've read some interesting legend stories about this lagoon. Legend says that there was a fisherman who went fishing but wasn't able to catch anything. In his desperation, he decided to catch fish the easy way out by taking the milk fish. He brought it home, cooked it, the whole family ate and they all died – apparently from poisoning.
Climbing the rocks just to reach the lagoon is not an easy trail. Sharp edged limestone is not for the faint hearted. The trail can be steep as it can get and there's a big chance of hurting yourself from those sharp rocks. One false step and you can fall off. Getting bruises is normal. It's actually not part of the usual tour, but because our guide saw that we were so into adventures, he let us climb. Seeing the fish is one of the highlights in our Matukad island stop over. The tale for sure added to the charm of the place.
CAREFULLY CLIMBING THE ROCKS
VIEW FROM THE TOP OF THE CLIFF
Going down is equally hard as going up. The trick is to have a sure foothold, a firm grasp and a calculated stepTHE ENCHATING LAGOON OF THE MILK FISH
The rewards once you to get at the top. Seeing the giant bangus swimming alone in lagoon and the breathtaking panoramic view of the seascape of Matukad and neighboring islands.
MATUKAD ISLAND FROM THE TOP OF THE CLIFF
Of course, its time for a splash! We wouldn't leave Matukad island without testing its waters. So we dip for couple of minutes and enjoyed the paradise. You don't really need to climb the cliff to enjoy Matukad. The powdery white sand and crystal clear water are enough reason for you to enjoy.
Just several meters away from Matukad Island is an island that consists of two white beaches: Lahus Island. The white sand between two jagged limestone formation made it attractive. It came from a Visayan word "lahus" means you can pass through and through. This is exactly what the island offers, you can pass from one side to the other easily. According to our guide, the Survivor contestants held their tribal councils in Matukad and their challenges are performed in Lahus. The island suffers from irregular low tide so visitors will not be able to swim. Nevertheless, the beauty of the island will serve as a memorable picturesque paradise
It was a short yet very memorable experience stepping into Caramoan Islands. Now I can proudly say that I am no longer a foreigner in my own land. I get to feel and experience the beauty of this tropical wonder. We are truly blessed to have this in our country. So, for those who haven't been to Caramoan islands, set this in your must visit places might be for adventures or just plain daydreaming in paradise.
It's time to recharge and get ready for another Roadtrip back to Naga.