Travel Magazine

The Road to Caramoan Took Four Years and a Day

By Mustachio @mustachio2011
It took me a looooonnngggg time to get to Caramoan. It took me four years and a day. In 2009, I was going to fly in to Legazpi City in Albay and then take the long road to Caramoan, but Mayon started acting up and when alert status was upped to level 2, I ditched the plan and it took me another four years to get to Caramoan. Correction: four years and a day. A day...spent getting from Legazpi City to Caramoan.
It's actually not that far. It was the waiting that made Caramoan seem far.
The Road to Caramoan Took Four Years and a DayThe Road to Caramoan Took Four Years and a Day Waiting area in Sabang, Camarines Sur (left)and crossing the segmented floating bridge to get on the boat bound for Guijalo Port Caramoan (right)  0515 Arrived in Grand Central Terminal (Legazpi City) and found a van for Naga
0545 In the van....still in Grand Central Terminal
0615 In the van in Grand Central Terminal mentally willing people to come and get in the van
0645 The van finally fills up and leaves for Naga
0815 Got off at Atayan, Pili
0830 Got on a bus for Goa Terminal
0930 At Goa Terminal, got off the bus and looked for a jeepney for Sabang
0945 Tick tock tick tock...waiting in the jeepney
0955 The jeepney I am in starts rolling out of Goa Terminal
1015 Sabang port! 45 minutes until the next boat trip to Caramoan.
1100 Still on dry land
1200 Still no signal for passengers to board the boat
1230 Boarding is finally announced
1245 And we're sailing!
1345 Still rocking and rolling in the waves
1445 Boat docks at Guijalo Port in Caramoan
1500 Finally stepped on the dock after everyone else spilled out of the boat
1515 Chitchatting with the tricycle driver as we leave Guijalo Port for Paniman Beach
1545 Congratulations! Destination reached: Paniman Beach
Total waiting time: 5 hours and 10 minutes
Total time on the move: 5 hours and 20 minutes
Total time from point A (Legazpi City) to point B (Paniman Beach): 10.5 hours
The Road to Caramoan Took Four Years and a DayThe Road to Caramoan Took Four Years and a DayGuijalo Port (left) and Paniman Beach (right)
So that was the long of it. Here's the short version:
  1. From Legazpi City, take a van (1.5 hours, Php 140) or bus to Naga, Camarines Sur. Get off at Atayan, Pili, Camarines Sur.
  2. At Atayan, Pili, get on a bus for Goa Terminal (1 hour, Php 49).
  3. At Goa Terminal, ride a jeepney to Sabang (20 mins, Php 22).
  4. At Sabang Port, cross the floating bridge (Php 10) to get on the boat bound for Guijalo Port (2 hours, Php 120). Schedule are as follows:  Sabang to Guijalo 530AM / 7AM / 9AM / 11AM / 2PM. Guijalo to Sabang 7AM / 8AM / 9AM / 11AM. Note that schedules are not strictly followed. If there are only a few passengers, sailing will be delayed.
  5. If you're staying in Caramoan Centro, from Guijalo Port, take a tricycle to Centro (10 mins, Php 20/pax).
  6. If you're staying in Paniman Beach, from Centro, hire a tricycle to Paniman Beach (20 mins, Php 150/tricycle). If you're in a hurry, you can hire a tricycle from Guijalo Port straight to Paniman Beach (30 mins, Php 300/tricycle).

The Road to Caramoan Took Four Years and a DaySt. Michael Archangel Church in Caramoan Centro
There are places to stay in Caramoan Centro and in Paniman Beach. I opted to stay at Paniman Beach, in Kuya Ramil's house (Php 300/pax since I just used the fan; it's Php 500/pax if you want to use the AC). For big groups, the entire house can be rented. It can fit up to ten persons. You can ask Ate Myrna (Ramil's wife) to cook, or spare her the trouble by eating at a nearby resort, or buying food just a few paces away. For drinks and snacks, there are a number of sari-sari stores around Paniman Beach. Island hopping, which, I bet, is your main reason for visiting Caramoan, can be arranged thru Kuya Ramil.
The Road to Caramoan Took Four Years and a DayOne of the rooms at Kuya Ramil's house
The different Survivor franchises that have filmed in Caramoan have helped Kuya Ramil and his family. With the money he earned working as a speedboat driver in the different franchises, he was able to build his concrete house and acquire a number of pumpboats. According to Kuya Ramil, Survivor USA will start filming again in March 2014.
Contact information:
Ramir (tricycle) 0930 616 9766
Ramil and Myrna Cruel (homestay/island hopping) 0907 435 1962 — Don't be fooled by their family name. They're actually good people.
Caramoan, Camarines Sur:
The Road to Caramoan Took Four Years and a Day (you're here!)
The Islands of Caramoan (soon)

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