Before, Caramoan islands were unknown to commercial tourism because of its remoteness. Its natural beauty was hidden and there are only few adventurers that go there to experience what this place has to offer. Caramoan now is already being visited by some locals and foreign tourists. Though, visited it is still not as jammed as Boracay until the Koh-Lanta Caramoan in 2008 ( A French version of Survivor) went to Caramoan’s Gota Beach as their shooting location. It was the opportunity Caramoan has been waiting for to be recognized as Philippine island destination. Its tropical island beaches, crystal clear ocean water that is perfect for swimming trips, its coral reefs, its picturesque rock formations and its quiet charm makes Caramoan a target for a perfect vacation spot.
Caramoan was formerly called “Guta de Leche”, a name given by Dutch traders who operated a gold mine in Lahuy Island and frequented the area to trade with the natives this is prior to the arrival of the Spaniards. The name “Guta de Leche” was derived from the milk drop stalagmites found among the rocks of Guta Port. When the Spaniards arrived, the place was then called “Carahan” for the sea turtle, which was at that time was found in great number along the shores of the place. The name Caramoan was officially used in 1619, the year it was named by a Spanish missionary friar, Francisco dela Cruz Oropesa.
The town of Caramoan is located at the tip of the Caramoan Peninsula, it is a rocky place of land that extends into the waters of the Maqueda Channel. Caramoan is one of the 35 municipalities of the province of Camarines Sur. Caramoan occupies the lower eastern portion of Camarines Sur province. It is approximately 500 kilometers away from Metro Manila; 95 kilometers from the municipality of Pili.
Going to Caramoan province is easy. It is approximately an 8 hour drive from Manila to Sabang port south of Manila. From Sabang port, take a boat bound to Guijalo, Caramoan port which is about 2 hours travel time. By air, it is a 45-minute flight from Manila Domestic airport to Naga city, the heart of Bicol region. From Naga city, travel to Sabang port which is approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours drive, ride the boat to Guijalo Caramoan port.
When in Caramoan, there are several activities that you can get busy with. Like beach hopping/island hopping. Visit the matukad, hunongan, lahus and gota beach, manlawi sandbar, cotivas island and sabitang laya.
You can explore several caves at Caramoan too. There are beautiful limestone formations at Omang cave situated between barangay Paniman and Ilawod. This cave is a part of Caramoan national park that offers attention grabbing stalactite formations. Hunt for treasure at Manipis cave at barangay Pandanan. It is rumored to be the hiding place of Yamashita’s treasure. Culapnit cave in sitio Bariw offers more limestone rocks, stalactites pillars and thousands of bats. The name Culapnit was derived from the word “kulapnit” meaning bat. It you are not fond of bats, then cool down and relax in the underground stream of Bulang Bulang cave in Taisan.
Caramoan island is more on island hopping. It is safe and more fun to go there during summer months because Bicol region is a pathway of storms. Give another meaning for island hopping, go to Caramoan and enjoy its beauty in many ways. It has a great ocean adventures for kayakers, snorkeler and scuba divers. Experience its diverse marine life, trek and search for the mysterious lagoon, do rock climbing at its limestone cliffs, explore caves or just stare at the stars during the night. These are the things that will make your Caramoan experience a trip of a lifetime.