Calaguas Island, a powdery white sand beach called Mahabang Buhangin is the go to place of this tourist destination. Updated June 2016
It is like Boracay beach front plus a snorkelling area without the establishments 10-15 years ago. You can stay overnight and camp in the beach front with some cottages situated in the beach area or stay in some resorts. When you get there, you are disconnected with technology; electricity only available at night via generators and source of water is from deep well, no mobile signal as well.
You just get to enjoy one of the clearest beaches we have been and just a few meters away you can dive under a coral rich snorkelling area.
How to Get there: Via Paracale Fish Port
Point of entry to the island is via Paracale or Vinzons Fish Port by small boat. We went thru Paracale which is closer to Manila compared to Vinzons and also takes less travel time by boat.
It is around 6-7 hrs by car when starting from Manila and 2 hrs by boat from Paracale.
Via Car: Road Trip w/ the aid of Google Maps
We packed our things for a 2 night stay and loaded our pick-up with all our camping gears (tent, cooking ware, snorkelling gears, ready to cook food) to Paracale fish port. Private parking is a available in the area for a fee of 200 Php. There are also tents available for rent and stores in the area that can cook food for you.
We decided to do it survivor style since we have the tools to survive for 3 days as a family. We travel as family with a 7 y.o. boy and 9 y.o. girl.
Google maps coordinate of Paracale Fish Port (Boat Ride) https://www.google.com.ph/maps/place/14°16’52.0%22N+122°47’22.2%22Efirstname.lastname@example.org,122.7719904,14z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d14.2811111!4d122.7895
Boat Ride and Stay
We got a small boat transport which travels to and from Mahabang Buhangin almost regularly for a cost of 500 Php per head with our contact Kuya Ely who owns the boat. Once you get to the beach front after a bumpy 2 hour sailing towards pacific, you can choose to stay in cottages that can range from 500-1000 Php for small cottages.
We got the 500 Php cottage,and pitch a tent for sleeping in the sandy beach front. We also paid an entrance fee of php 120 Php per head to the cottage owner(depends on which area you stay). We stayed with Ate Amy’s cottages, she also offers to cook food for your convenience. Stores around the area sell food and drinks at a relatively costly price. Better bring your own food and water if you can. It is expensive due to the remote location and no source of big stores and even electricity. They get their supplies from Paracale or Vinzons.
Activities: Swimming, Snorkelling, Hiking
Stepping outside the tent will greet you with powdery white sands that stretches wide to the end of the island and the crystal clear waters of the beach. Just a few meters away (make sure you have your life-vest and snorkelling gear) you can go snorkelling in about 3-5 meter deep corals with fishes like clown fish, yellow/blue tang fish and we even spotted a lion fish at night.
You can also hike to the top of Calaguas on both hill sides of the island which overlooks the beach area. We hiked the right side of the island where you can see also the other side of the island. We just walked to the end of the beach and there is a trail going to the top . Posted there is an entrance fee of 25 Php (attendants and guides were not around so we sneaked in (the dog guided the way for us).
If the attendants of the “POSO” are there, you have to pay 10 Php per bucket to use for bathing or toilet, otherwise you get the water from the pump on your own but can’t use their so called “common bathroom”
Watch our video link on Vimeo for our adventure to this beautiful island https://vimeo.com/170098747
To enjoy your visit to this beautiful island, it is better to prepare for a camping trip for an overnight stay: bring a tent, cooking ware, enough food and of course snorkelling gears with you. The view is even better when you swim under and see the corals and fishes surrounding the beach area.