Matukad Island of Caramoan Peninsula
Matukad Island of Caramoan Peninsula

I had fond memories of Caramoan Peninsula early in my years of travel. Low limestone islands, captivating azure waters, a few caves and pristine white beach on several islands of the peninsula. That was more than a decade ago. Before the popular reality show Survivor decided shoot here and placed the islands on the world wide spotlight. It was only recent that I had a chance to go back and see how popularity have changed the place. I may have not visited all the places I had been before but this day tour sojourn was enough to satisfy my curiosity.

The beach at Tugawe Cove
The beach at Tugawe Cove

Tugawe Cove Resort

First major change on my revisit to Caramoan Peninsula is jumping off from Catanduanes (details later below). It turns out that it’s faster this route. From Codon Port in San Andres, an hour boat ride would already bring us within the peninsula.

Less than a 45-minutes ride, we docked in our first stop at Tugawe Cove Resort. A small and lovely pebble beach welcomed us in this lovely resort of 23 Cabanas, scenic infinity pool, a lake and a larger white beach cove with inviting clear waters. We only had a brief time here so after a snack, we headed down their stairway to hit the beach. I think it would be fun to stay here for a few days.

Tugawe Cove Resort (Book Online)
Brgy. Colongcogong, Caramoan Peninsula,
Camarines Sur 4429,
Philippines

Bird’s eye view of Matukad Island

Matukad Island

Among the islands in Caramoan Peninsula, I consider Matukad Island as having the best white sand of the islands. It may be short but the quality is there. It’s nice to see its rawness remains albeit the thickening crowd. We had a hearty lunch here and a few minutes beach time. I didn’t bother climbing up limestone rocks to see the lagoon. I took advantage to fly my drone and take another view.

Under the shade at Honungan Beach

Honungan Cove Resort

Out last stop in our Camarines Peninsula sojourn is the Honungan Cove. I didn’t recognize the place at first since there was nothing there more than a decade ago. I remember swimming across the jellyfish infested Honungan Bay with a group of friends to reach the limestone island across. That was fun.

Now the beach at Honungan Cove is for private access to the Honungan Cove Resort guests. An upscale resort with full featured wooden villas. Prices ranging from the cheapest P7,500 a night for two in a duplex villa to P18,000 a night for a Presidential Villa good for 4-6 pax.

I’m not surprised that resorts like this would pop up now with Caramoan Peninsula got really popular now. Just a little sad that before, we had free access to this area.

Codon Port in San Andres in Catanduanes
Codon Port in San Andres in Catanduanes

Catanduanes to Caramoan

I remember the long travel the first time I went to Caramoan Peninsula. The 10 hours bus ride to Naga, the 2 hours travel to Sabang Port then an almost 2 hours boat ride to Guijalo Port. A total of 14 hours travel not counting the waiting time in between transit.

Since then, the road connection from Naga to Caramoan is finally open. From Naga Central Bus Station, take a Caramoan bound bus (Florencia, MRR or Raymond Bus) which usually departs at 6:30 am. Travel time is still around 14 hours from Manila.

For those who wants to drastically cut-off the travel time, the best option is flying to Virac, Catanduanes. From the airport, tricycles can be hired for Codon Port in San Andres. Vans to Pandan also pass by. Travel time is 1 hour. From Codon Port, hire a boat (ranges from P2,500 to P3,000) per day. Travel time to Caramoan is 30-45 minutes depending on water conditions.

For a hassle free travel, why not avail of a travel agency service to help out. DOT-accredited Island Escape Travel & Tours is a Virac-based travel agency that can organize tours to Caramoan and around Catanduanes. Contact them at:

Facebook: Island Escape Travel & Tours
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: 0949-4622641

Docking beach at Tugawe Cove Resort
Docking beach at Tugawe Cove Resort
Infinity Pool at Tugawe Cove Resort
Infinity Pool at Tugawe Cove Resort
Enjoying the waters at Tugawe with Kara, Marky and TJ
Enjoying the waters at Tugawe with Kara, Marky and TJ
View of the Matukad Island lagoon
Our lunch at Matukad Island
Our lunch at Matukad Island
A little yoga at Honungan Bay
A little yoga at Honungan Bay
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Ferdz
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.