The picture-perfect beach of Mahabang Buhangin made Calaguas Group of Islands atop the list of Camarines Norte‘s hottest summer destinations. But beyond the cool and clear water gently sweeping the kilometer long beach scoured with powdery white sands, Calaguas promises even more breathtaking scenery packed with a thrill of adventure which await those who seek.
Bare and beautiful
Simply enjoying the sun and sand.
While some prefer to simply indulge in Mahabang Buhangin’s unclad allure, others just love a kick of adrenalin rapidly gushing through their veins. The intense desire to find out what’s here and what lies there, drove intrepid travelers to higher heights. Towards the northern end (face the beach, turn right) of the beach lies a hill, even kids and couch potatoes could easily and would definitely conquer.
Trails are well-established.
Hiking early in the morning.
“Paunawa poh may bayad poh dito, P20.00″ If someone charges you again, tell them you paid already.
Unfolding before my very eyes as we came out to a clearing was a breathtaking panorama never have I seen in my previous trips to the Calaguas. My jaw dropped and my heart skipped a beat upon witnessing Mahabang Buhangin beach from a different point of view for the first time. And it doesn’t end there. Just a few meters up the trail opened to a wider scope and a better view not only of the beach but the rest of the islands.
While trailblazer Migs wait for the others, he paused for a while and absorbed all the beauty.
Witness the sky meet the sea on the horizon from the peak of this hill. Only a stone throw away was the summit revealing an astonishing 360 degree view of Tinaga and the nearby islands which were isolated by the vast Lamon Bay from the rest of Luzon. The wonderful sight just left me in awe.
A small kayak paddles toward the nearest island.
View from the summit.
A shady-looking trail captured our eyes, upon the descend, and we just can’t resist to find out what lies on the other end. Path became darker, narrower and slippery as we penetrated into the thick vegetation. It ends on a doorway to an alternate dimension of Calaguas Island.
Hiking into the jungle.
This is where it ends. A doorway to another dimension.
Not a single breath nor a trace of tourist imprint was evident in this side of the island. No campsites, no resorts, nothing but cool and clear waters (as in CLEAR waters) and a stretch of white beach made of soft sand and shells, all to ourselves. This beach was the silent side of the island we were looking for.
As clear as Mahabang Buhangin’s water.
A snorkeling spot in the area.
Did I say “clear”?
By now, you must have noticed the island just across this beach. I’m not really sure if they call it Balagbag Island, but I’m pretty sure it’s also a good spot for hiking and snorkeling. There were no established hiking trails during my first visit. Luckily today, I was able to get a good bird’s eye view of this tiny island.
Yes, these islands. These are two islands.
Perhaps you need a much bigger boat if you don’t want to paddle all the way.
Something like this.
A small strip of beach made of corals and sands.
Can you spot Mahabang Buhangin Beach from here?
There are no activities like ATV rides, para-sailing, and jet ski’s here in Calaguas (at least for now) unlike other fancy resorts in popular beach destinations. Getting on your feet, and stretching your legs is the adventure itself. Exploring more than what the guide books and post cards tell you, for in this search you might find something you’re looking for. As for me, I found peace, love, and beauty in this magnificent paradise – a rare experience you don’t find in all places in this world.
Walk along the beach while watching the sun bid goodbye to the wonderful day. This is a fun activity.
Now, here are some fast facts that may help you on the trip:
1. There are two hills on both ends of the beach. Featured in this post was the northern end (face the sea, then look to your right, that’s the northern end). I tried climbing the southern end, through the short cut but found it to steep for me so I backtracked. I should probably take the long way up, and get a guide who knows the way.
2. Trail entrance (north hill) cost P20.00 per person. I haven’t tried this but, you could traverse the rocks first, then go up from the isolated beach. Or, might as well just pay the P20.00 fee.
3. Ask your boat man to take you for a tour maybe.
4. There are many snorkeling spots in the area, so it would be good to bring your gear if you have.
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8. Enjoy your travels and be safe.
I am at peace here. This is my paradise.