Frankly, there is nothing much to do in Camarines Norte. There are no posh malls, no glitzy bars and no hot street parties. Whenever you’re in this province, there’s only one best thing to indulge into and that is to enjoy the beach!
Across the mainland is Mercedes Group of Islands for your beach-bumming pleasure. It is composed of 7 islands but a day’s tour is not enough to complete it all. This trip brings you only to 3 islands that provide extra-ordinary experiences of tropical getaway.
A small community who thrives by fishing and marine trading inhabits Apuao Grande. It was a famous destination in the 80’s when the foreign-owned resort was still in operation. Only that portion of the island where the old resort is located has that “touristy feel”. The sand, although fine isn’t the usual glistening white that we always picture of an island. But its lush pine-looking agoho trees that we do not usually see growing on islands complete the restful ambience while you’re body is dipped down on its turquoise water.
Just adjacent to Apuao Grande, is another haven with entirely different character called Quinapaguian Island. This time, and on this hideaway is a perfect moment to enjoy your buko juice to complete that tropical vacation picture. The uninhabited side of the island offers a quiet moment as you bask on its white sand.
Beach-bumming is a guaranteed business here and to complete the island hopping madness is another island called Malasugui. It combines coral rock formations entwined with age-old vines and the soft pink sand that edges the beautiful island. What is worth waiting here is when the horizon starts to harbor the light. This is your perfect moment to just let your toes be tickled by the soft ripples of the water and enjoy “nothingness”.
It was already dusk when we sailed back to the mainland, passing by fishing boats flickering with petrol lamps looking like fireflies dancing in the orange sky. Suddenly, it made me think, I was wrong, there are so many things going on in this province. With so many islands yet to be visited, a weekend is never enough to see it all.
Forget about the world, experience CamNorte.
How To Get There
From Manila, drive 8 hours to Daet, Camarines Norte (via Quezon Province) or take the Philtranco Bus plying this route.
Upon reaching the terminal, take the tricycle to Mercedes Port where motorized boats will take you on an island hopping deal for about P800-P1,000.
There are no hotels or resorts in the islands. Travelers usually do only a day tour and spend the evening in Daet.
For backpackers, recommended place is Bagasbas Surfers Dine-Inn. For a more classy choice, The Lighthouse in Bagasbas offers a little more than the basic amenities. Please check-out related post “Riding the Bagasbas Waves”.
Betwixt and between the arthritic 40 and a horrendous body mass index of positive 30, escapism and yummyeology are my real-life double post-graduate degrees conferred with the highest honors.
I lived nearly half of my life in fancy suitcases, jetsetting between reality and fantasy... read more