The island hopping packages in Caramoan usually come in two. One is for island hopping to Matukad group of islands, or those near Paniman. The other one is for the more distant islands from two jump-off sites in the peninsula.
Part 1 of this blog features those near Paniman, where almost all island hopping in Caramoan peninsula starts. This is the second part, so the islands that are featured in this blog are the more distant ones from Paniman.
Here are the list of islands I have had the opportunity to set foot in my three-time visits in the peninsula.
Sabitang Laya is actually not that far from Matukad group of islands, but since it is out of way from islands near Paniman, it is usually crossed out in package A.
It is not open to tourists when a Survivor franchise is filming in the peninsula, because like Matukad, Sabitang Laya is one of the two islands in Caramoan where castaways stay.
On the other side of Sabitang Laya is another secluded beach called Bag-ing.
The farthest island we reached during our first visit. In this island is where the clouds could almost kiss the mountains.
Another white sandy beach located just opposite Cotivas.
Boatmen tend to bring island hoppers here at lunchtime maybe because it is the only island in Caramoan with cottages. Staying at the cottages does not come with a fee.
Another sandbar discovered by my friend on the other side of the hill in Manlawi.
[Photos: travels buddies, and my cousin, Rai]
Setting foot on this anonymous island is like a prelude to a more exciting island hopping in Caramoan peninsula. Those who chartered a trip by boat from Sabang Port to Guijalo Pier instead of opting to ride in a passenger boat can have the opportunity to drop by in this island. All they have to do is ask their boatman.
It is one of the first islands that visitors would set foot because it is near Paniman, one of the jump-off sites for island hopping in the peninsula.
Gota Beach. A private beach resort where the production team of Survivor stay. Tourists can also visit this island with a fee.
The island opposite Gota. The water is just as clear, and the view as picturesque.
Lahus. Open on both sides. Sandwiched by two rock formations. It is the island closest to Matukad, one of the islands in Caramoan used in filming Survivor episodes.
Aerial view of Matukad Island, where the lagoon with an enchanting tale is located.
Tinago Beach. A cove that only skilled boatmen can access. It is very serene here as it is hidden among the limestone cliffs. Hence, the name tinago or hidden.
Another secluded beach near Paniman. Like Lahus it is facing an open sea, thus the slightly stronger current and the bigger the waves than those in completely walled islets. Its position makes the waves a lot of fun to play in.
*These islands are a 15 -minute (more or less) boatride away from Paniman. Part 2 of this blog will consist of islands farthest from Paniman.
photo credit: travel buddies
Caramoan offers unparalleled coastal exploration opportunities. But that’s not the ultimate reason why I still want to go back even though I already had the opportunity to visit some of Caramoan’s must-see islands twice.
Perhaps, it’s the secluded islands and the exclusivity that they could offer. Who would not want to laze on an exotic island and have it all to yourselves even just for half a day?
Here are the must-see islands that we were able to visit and enjoy only for ourselves in my first visit to Caramoan:
Cotivas island is one secluded area that will make you think you are in the middle of nowhere.
Tinago beach/lagoon is surrounded by imposing rock formations covered with lush green vegetation. In Bicol dialect, the root word tago means hide.
Our friend discovered this beach at the back of the hill in Manlawe island.
We threw away all our inhibitions and acted like young fools in this lagoon. We had to shout, swim and play with the subtle waves to forget about the cold water threatening to overcome our senses.
Upon seeing this island, it is as if we didn’t mind that we had to travel for another less than thirty minutes to reach our destination, the Guijalo port. This sight is just so captivating that we begged manong bangkero to drop us off and let us stay on the island for a few minutes.