Explore Calaguas Island– the Hidden Gem of Philippines


Calaguas Island is consists of a group of virgin islands in Camarines Norte whose pristine landscapes have been untamed. These secluded Philippine islands have no commercial establishments or modernized accommodation but include all tropical island perks: a moderate climate, breathtaking seascapes, diversified sea creatures, rolling mountains, and lush forests. Pretty much all there is to do are relaxing, swimming, kayaking, scuba diving, beachcombing, island hopping, and partying.

Calaguas Island

Places to visit on Calaguas Island

Among the group which makes up the Calaguas Island in Camarines Norte, Tinaga Island has become a destination of choice for visitors over the past few years, as it is home to the renowned and untamed white sand beach which locals call Mahabang Buhangin. Another major island is Guintiua Island. The rest of the islands are islets, which are also desirable for off-the-beaten – path seekers because of their unspoiled scenery and unique tranquility.

Get to Calaguas Island

There are many DIY travel guides on how to get to Calaguas. The most straightforward route, however, is to get to Paracale or Vinzons first, then go to the fish port and ask around for Bangka transfer to Mahabang Buhangin (aka the White Sand Beach).

An alternative way to reach the Calaguas is to join an organized group tour, several of which can be found online. Tents, transportation, and meals are included.

A Typical Day in Calaguas

It is late afternoon, Bangka docks at the white sand beach in Tinaga, and the smell of the sea and trees spreads out in the air. Along the shore, travelers laugh in the ocean and splash water on each other. The colorful sunset peeks through the clouds and will shortly disappear under the tumbling sea. Nearby, people get their griddle ready to cook a scrumptious dinner for their family and friends. Soon after dusk, a full moon illuminates the night sky.

The night in Calaguas Island is definitely something everyone is looking forward to. There is no phone and internet service phone on the island so you do not see people check in with work on the phone or look through Facebook updates. Instead, people bond with their friends, party around the bonfire, and relax under the cool ocean breeze.

Bonfire party at night at Calaguas Island

Bonfire party at night at Calaguas Island/Photo taken by Julie Cao

Maybe you want to sleep on the powdery white sand, maybe you prefer to sleep under the lush trees, but no matter which place you choose, you will rest under the stars, listen to the wave crash on the shore, and awaken to the cool dawn wind.

Calaguas Island morning walk

Morning walk on the beach, Calaguas Island/Photo taken by Julie Cao

Its early morning and the sunlight already entered your tent. You walk on the beach and are impressed all over again by ho beautiful the island looks in the early morning. When you come back, a delicious smell of fresh-made breakfast makes you drool. Rain and storms may start ravaging the island, but you do not care. This island is specially designed for you, true adventure – seekers, to get away from the daily routine. You feel you are far, far away from the rest of civilization.

Where to stay in Calaguas

This is an absolutely pristine island, and no forms of concrete-walled accommodation exist. You are advised to bring your own tent and sleeping bag. The Calaguas Island offer native huts for visitors to stay in. However, these are not perfect for a good night sleep, as there will be many insects and flyers around.

Things to do

A day out on the water swimming, fishing, snorkeling, and scuba diving are some common activities. The water in Calaguas Island is crystal clear, and marine creatures are easily visible in the deep-sea. If you are staying for two days or longer, you can opt for island or beach hopping.

Calaguas Island, Philippines

Calaguas Travel Tips

Do not visit the Calaguas between June and September.

The best time to visit the Calaguas is during the dry summer season, the months of April and May. I do not recommend anyone to visit Calaguas during the rainy months, from June to September. The currents are strong and the Bangka trip is always delayed or canceled by the fishermen.

Take seasickness pills with you

A journey to the Calaguas Islands is thrilling but never easy. As a result of the open sea ride, you have to cope with the bumpy waves and massive seasickness for two hours, and you will definitely need anti-nausea pills.

Get everything you need before leaving Paracale or Vinzon

Before leaving Paracale or Vinzon for the Calaguas, purchase everything you need, including food, drinks, and flashlights, for the duration of your stay.

Take away your own trash

Garbage is not allowed in the Calaguas Islands, to keep the islands as uncontaminated and simple as they are now.

Side Trips

Many nature lovers head to Daet for a short break or a weekend away. They stay at the Bagasbas Lighthouse Hotel Resort, the best resort in town, a twenty-minute ride from Daet bus terminal.

Situated along the far side of the Bagasbas Lighthouse Resort is the Bagasbas Beach, a surfing paradise which draws visitors from all over the world. Bagasbas Resort offers surfing lessons every day for surfers at all levels. To top it off, you do not have to show you have mastered swimming skills to register for the surfing class.

Attached to the Bagasbas hotel lobby is a ritzy restaurant which serves a complimentary breakfast. The Resobar is a classy place to spend a night, because of the superb live music performance and tasty tropical drinks.

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Calaguas Island is a hidden gem in Philippines and it is a beautiful place to visit with gorgeous beaches, mountains, relax vibe.


Julie Cao

Julie is the creator of Always On The Way. She lived in Hawaii and now resides in London (Ontario, Canada). In 2017, she went on an overland trip from Bogota Colombia to Puerto Williams, the southernmost city in the world. She believes travel is not only about visiting tourist attractions but more about getting to know the culture, people, and the place.

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