Calaguas via Paracale

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Calaguas is currently the Number 1 travel destination in the Philippines after a nationwide polling by Philippine Gems. My friends and I will not be the last to get to any place, and so off to Calaguas we went. Friends knew the owner of a hotel in Paracale and so we made bookings and left Manila early, arriving in Paracale, the gateway to Calaguas late afternoon. Ching, the amiable manager of the hotel booked us a boat that would take us to paradise very early the next morning. And prepared our breakfast and lunch.

The travel by sea took nearly three hours because the seas were rather rough. We were told that in summer, travel time is less because the water is much more calm. We were never afraid, though. We hired a big fishing boat that can navigate the high seas, and can accommodate 30 persons even if there were just 11 of us.

A big fishing boat good for 30 pax that can navigate the high seas. No real seats, though. Lifevests are provided.

A big fishing boat good for 30 pax that can navigate the high seas. No real seats, though. Lifevests are provided.

 

No real seats

No real seats

Nearing paradise

Nearing paradise

It seemed like paradise. Crystal clear waters on clean white sand. Unpolluted. The island is virginal Even while a resort has been put up, the municipal laws disallow the construction of huge concrete structures. And so the “accommodations” are picnic huts, even as they also have 2-level huts that provide more privacy when guests sleep on the second-level where mosquito nets are provided. No airconditioning here. No mobile phone signal, except if one goes to the far end of the island and climbs up a hill – – – where a weak signal can be had.

The photos should speak for themselves.

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How to book your picnic hut in Calaguas

How to book your picnic hut in Calaguas

PARACALE. This town is the gateway to Calaguas. Known for gold mining, the town is a tourist destination in itself. The owner of Paliza de Rio, the basic but clean accommodations that we got is owned by Rio Paliza who is also a photo hobbyist like all of us in the group. He is the towns tourism czar.

PALIZA DEL RIO

the small but very friendly lobby of Paliza del Rio, with "Ate Ching" as your host

the small but very friendly lobby of Paliza del Rio, with “Ate Ching” as your host

Gumaca Paracale 172

Accommodation rates are P550 for regular fan rooms, P995 for regular aircon, and P1,495 for de luxe aircon. Contact Ching Paliza at 09397182008 , landline  (02) 5423888. Here is their facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/palizadelrio

 

AROUND PARACALE

One can not miss the town’s old church. It is not at all majestic like most churches we have photographed, but it is a real joy to shoot. I don’t know why, but its simple beauty sets it apart from grandiose churches. Yet it is so old – – and that is why the character of this church radiates thru our photos. We even climbed up the bell tower fr a good sunset view.

old church is not grandiose but so beautiful

old church is not grandiose but so beautiful

solemnity inside this very old church

solemnity inside this very old church

climb up the bell tower and see these antique church bells

climb up the bell tower and see these antique church bells

On a late afternoon, this is the view from the top of the church

On a late afternoon, this is the view from the top of the church

the old parola looks like it is ready to sink

the old parola looks like it is ready to sink

the town hall in front of the church, at the town center

the town hall in front of the church, at the town center

 

ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATIONS

If Paliza del Rio is full, travelers may also consider a hotel at the town center. Prices are also reasonable, and one might say the rooms are a bit bigger. But for travelers bringing their cars, be forewarned that there is no parking area and you will have to park on the busy street (unlike at Paliza del Rio where there is secured parking).

the coffee shop/restaurant at the ground floor of the hotel at the town center

the coffee shop/restaurant at the ground floor of the hotel at the town center

aircon room for two at the Malayan

aircon room for two at the Malayan

family room accommodates 6-8

family room accommodates 6-8

 

 

AROUND PARACALE : Tricycles abound but the town is too small you can go around by foot. Booking a boat for Calaguas should be easy when coordinated with the hotel owners/managers. A small boat for up to 8 persons can be hired for as low as P5,000 and you can picnic on the island while the boat waits to take you back. Go early so you can lso leave early afternoon to avoid the rough seas.

Or you an hire a big boat like we did, even if there were just 11 of us, for P10,500. Life vests are provided.

Most of my friends were so mesmerized by Calaguas almost everyone was planning another trip. Better get there before the whole world conquers Calaguas.

HOW TO GET THERE. Paracale is a town before reaching Daet in Camarines Norte. Travel time by private car is about 8 hours. You can ride a bus (SUPERLINES, Cubao Terminal) and the fare is less than P500, one way, aircon.

18 thoughts on “Calaguas via Paracale

  1. It is not recommended to hire small boat, bigger the better; for health and safety. It was scary when you ride on small boat, it was terrifying experience I’ve ever had.
    I like Calaguas Island, nice place, but if I go back there I will hire the big one, I wish they could have the same boat like in Boracay.

    • Precisely. That is why we hired the big boat good for 30 even if we were only 11. It was sturdy and is used as a commercial fishing boat. Even when the sea was rough, it wasn’t so scary.

      • Possible po ba na magday tour lang sa calaguas island?then babalik sa hitel nalang aftee..may kasama kasing bata kaya hndi pwede magoveenight sa calaguas island.thanks

      • Yes, very very possible. Arrange to leave very early and have the boat wait for you so you can leave around 2 pm. If you leave late in the afternoon, the waves will be rather frightening to some people. If you leave at dawn, you will still be able to enjoy Calaguas.

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