Monday, June 6, 2016

Experiencing Paradise through Calaguas Atbp

Calaguas from the top - Schadow1 Expeditions

Mahabang Buhangin is a famous 1.2-km long fine white sand beach in Tinago Island, one of the islands of the Calaguas group of islands in Camarines Norte. Its beach is beautifully located at the rear side of the island, facing northwest where sunset is always dramatic. The beach is signature to its turquoise and shallow waters with adequate salinity. And how can you enjoy this beach? Be sure to get the right tour operators with respect to the environment and cooks great Bicolano food!

Calaguas Atbp is a tour operator at Camarines Norte. They started their tour operations to the Mahabang Buhangin beach of the Calaguas but they also offer other adventure and beach tours to other islands and mountains in Camarines Norte. We were invited as part of their tour to Calaguas in  the summer of 2016.

The jump-off port to Calaguas for their tours is at Mercedes, at the tip of Camarines Norte. Usually the jump-off is at Vinzons and Paracale.

Coming from  Manila, it is an 8-hour bus ride to Daet, Camarines Norte. Meet-up place is usually at the Caltex station just beside Jollibee where a jeepney ride is waiting for you to send you to Mercedes. It is about less than 15 minutes ride and then you get to ride a boat carrying 50 people. The trip to Mahabang Buhangin from Mercedes is about 2 hours. Need not worry as you can sing your way as the boat is equipped with videoke.

Calaguas boat ride from Mercedes to Tinago Island - Schadow1 Expeditions

As you arrive the beach, they have tents available for you and three cottages for the use of the group. They usually only send a maximum of 25 people every weekend.

There will never be a boring time when you are at Calaguas. You arrive there at about 11AM and they get to cook sumptuous meals everytime. My personal favorite is the Bicolano cuisine called "laing" (Taro leaves cooked in coconut milk and spiced up with cultivar or siling labuyo) and their buttered shrimp which is so full of flavor.

Sumptuous Bicolano Food at Calaguas - Schadow1 Expeditions

By afternoon, you can swim your way in the beautiful and clean turquoise waters of Calaguas and watch the beautiful sunset. Then by night time, a small booze to keep you warm and alive until it is lights out all throughout the island by midnight.

As morning comes the next day, you can climb the hill at Tinago Island. Climbing it is free when you go there as part of Calaguas Atbp tours as the hill area is a private property which happens to be owned by a relative of one of the owners of the tour operator. The view up above Tinago island is picturesque because of its rolling hills covered with green grasslands and is beautified by the view of nearby islands that seems to be floating on turquoise waters.

Calaguas and Balagbag Islands - Schadow1 Expeditions

After a short climb, they will send you to the nearby Balagbag Islands where you can jump by its "Luksuhin" natural infinity pool by the karstic rock formations. You can also climb to the highest part of the said island.

Calaguas Luksuhin Natural Infinity Pool - Schadow1 Expeditions

And as you get back to the Mahabang Buhangin beach, use of their kayak is free-of-charge!

Calaguas Kayak - Schadow1 Expeditions

Also take a picture by the beautiful sand sculpture of Mr. Ruel Santelices.

Calaguas remains to be one of the best beaches that you need to visit in the Philippines. So go and book now with Calaguas Atbp and they will make sure you enjoy your beach-stay!

For booking with Calaguas Atbp, contact Ruel Santelices +63 (948) 2345689 or Jerome Ulat +63 (946) 7087445

Google Maps (link)
Schadow1 Expeditions Contributions (link)

How to use for your Navigation System (link)

Full disclosure: This is a post made after Calaguas Atbp has invited us to join their group tour to the island last May 28-29, 2016. We definitely enjoyed our stay and their hospitality.

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