The Land of the Howling Winds
Catanduanes is located in the southern part of Luzon, off the coast of Bicol Region. It is known as the “Land of the Howling Winds” as it faces the Pacific Ocean and is usually the first province in the Philippines to get hit by typhoons. The province is also known as the “Happy Island” because of their hospitable and friendly people, and of course, beautiful places to visit.
I decided to join the 3 nights, 4 days Wander Twin‘s event in Catanduanes province because I haven’t visited the said province and at the same, I wanted to experience celebrating the New Year outside Metro Manila.
We met Paulo of Wander Twins and other joiners in Ortigas, Pasig since we live nearby the first meeting place before going to the main meeting place at Shell Station in Buendia, Makati.
It was a long drive. The traffic in Gumaca contributed a lot to the travel time that was why we tweaked our itinerary a little to ensure that we will reach Tabaco port before 10:00 AM. We were supposed to take our breakfast at Cagsawa Ruins in Daraga, Albay but our group decided to take it instead in the town of Tabaco which is a lot closer to the port.
First time riding a Ro-Ro ship
This was the first time my daughter rode a Ro-Ro ship. I could see her excitement when we arrived at the port to the point that she requested me to take a photo of her.
We waited for an hour at the terminal before we onboarded the Ro-Ro ship. I was so tired at that time as I wasn’t able to get a decent sleep when we were traveling from Manila to Albay. I wanted to see the road condition going to Albay to assess if I can drive my car going to Albay.
To reach Catanduanes, you can actually book a flight from Manila going to Virac via Cebu Pacific but we chose to travel by land as it is cheaper and more exciting (for long-drive lovers like me, I guess).
We left Tabaco Port at 11:00 AM and we reached San Andres Port in Catanduanes past 2:00 PM.
Welcome to Catanduanes!
We met our tour guide at San Andres Port and took our late lunch at Nicole’s Grill before we pushed for our first item in our itinerary. We really needed to fill our stomach to compensate the long trip we had going to Catanduanes.
Day 1 - Light Itinerary
Our itinerary in Day 1 was quite light because we didn’t have much to do since we arrived almost late in the afternoon. At the same time, we were tired due to long trip.
The first item in our itinerary for Day 1 was going to Twin Rock Beach Resort.
Twin Rock Beach Resort
We went to Twin Rock Beach Resort for a short sight-seeing. We were actually allowed to swim in the pool or beach but we decided to just roam around and enjoy the beauty of the beach resort.
The Twin Rock Beach Resort is one of the beautiful attractions in Catanduanes because of its clear water and golden sand. It is also a good venue for a beach wedding. We were lucky to witness the wedding ceremony of two lovely couple in the beach.
Don’t worry. We did not gatecrash the wedding as after an hour of stay, we left to proceed to our hotel.
If you are looking for a place to stay overnight in Virac, Rakdell Inn is one of the hotels you can choose. The room is spacious and clean. They have a balcony for each room where you can sit and relax while contemplating about your next travel adventure. LOL
Dinner at Cafe de Au
To cap off the night, we of course had to try the delicious food of Catanduanes.
We roamed around the port area to find a suitable and nice restaurant for our group and we found Cafe de Au along Imelda Boulevard.
A lot of food stalls and restaurants are available along Imelda Boulevard to satisfy all of your cravings.
Day 2 - Island Hopping
Our Day 2 was supposed to be the heaviest in our itinerary as we were expected to wake up at 4:00 AM to start the island hopping however, it was raining that morning! We were told that we will switch the day 2 and day 3 itineraries because the wave was high and wild so we extended our sleep time (which I liked too! hehehe).
We woke up again at 7:00 AM to make a quick breakfast at the famous Filipino fast food chain where “Bida ang saya”, Jollibee! While we were eating, we were informed that we will go back to the original plan of doing the island hopping so we rushed back to the hotel to change clothes (ready-to-get-wet clothes).
Hello Mayon Volcano!
We traveled for more than 2 hours from Virac and on our way to Caramoran, the beautiful Mayon Volcano suddenly appeared from a distance. What’s the best thing to do? We took the opportunity to get some photos of this ever famous volcano.
We reached the town of Caramoran where we rode a boat going to Palumbanes Island. We bought our food and water because we would take our lunch in the island.
It was a 45-60 minute boat ride to reach Palumbanes Island. We endured the high waves and heat of the sun. If you will go for a long boat ride, better bring malong, hoodie, arm and leg sleeves and a bucket hat, as well as put a UV sunscreen lotion on to protect your skin.
Bitaog Beach at Palumbanes Island
Bitaog Beach at Palumbanes Island is one of the beautiful attractions of Catanduanes. The beach is unexploited because there are no resorts nor a single nipa hut yet along the shore. This is perfect for beach bumming, snorkeling and swimming. You just have to be careful because the wave is quite strong.
If you eat at Bitaog Beach, do not forget to bring with you your trash like plastic bag, empty bottles, etc. In short, do not leave your trash in the beach. Love our nature!
Before going back to the main island in Caramoran, we passed by one of the islands of Catanduanes, Tignob Island. We did not dock though because the waves were getting higher and we thought the rain was already coming.
True enough! The rain poured when we were about to dock at the port of the main island. We were soaking wet when we rode the van going to Cagnipa Rolling Hills.
Cagnipa Rolling Hills
Going to Cagnipa Rolling Hills was quite challenging. After a few minutes of van ride from the port, you need to trek the muddy road and hills to reach the top of Cagnipa Rolling Hills. That is why, it is important to wear aqua shoes as it helps a lot to trek in this adventure. Wearing flip flops or slippers is fine but there is a point in the trek that you need to remove and carry them to comfortably walk and reach the top faster.
It felt like Batanes at the top of Cagnipa Rolling Hills because of the beautiful scenery of the hills and waves of the Pacific Ocean. It was perfect for our selfies and group photos.
After visiting Cagnipa Rolling Hills, you can walk down to reach Tuwad-tuwadan Lagoon from the view deack. It is allowed to swim at Tuwad-tuwadan Lagoon if the wave is not strong or if it is low tide.
We weren’t able to swim in the lagoon because the wave was strong. What we did was took a lot of photos to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Tuwad-tuwadan Lagoon.
Puraran Surf Beach Resort
We checked in at Puraran Surf Beach Resort to celebrate the New Year. We reached Puraran Beach Resort at around 9:00 PM as it was a 4-hour van ride from Cagnipa Rolling Hills in Pandan, Catanduanes to Baras, Catanduanes.
The beach is beautiful and relaxing.
Happy New Year!
The wind was cold and very few tourist have checked in in the resort simply because it was New Year’s Eve. The Wander Twins’ tourist guide prepared sumptuous meals for our group. Lobster, Lapu-Lapu and shrimps were our main dishes. We had some drinks too to cap off the night and celebrate New Year.
Catanduanes offers an abundance of the best seafood.
Day 3 - Trek to Binurong Point
After recovering from a hang over, our group prepared for another trekking adventure this time at the beautiful Binurong Point which is also located in Baras, Catanduanes.
Binurong Point is around a 20-minute ride from Puraran Surf Beach Resort but reaching the top of Binurong Point is not that easy. You have to trek the muddy road for an hour but the good thing is, there are tour guides for each groups of three. They will help and guide you on your adventure to Binurong Point.
Binurong Point was another “Batanes feels” in our tour of Catanduanes. The place was really beautiful! It was clean as there were no trashes you can see on the top of Binurong Point. The admin of Binurong Point was also strict as smoking was not allowed.
Binurong Point is one of the must-see tourist attraction of Catanduanes because of its beautiful scenery. Some also say it is like “New Zealand”. You will definitely enjoy the place as there are lot of Instagrammable spots in Binurong Point.
One thing I like when we went to Binurong Point was… the rain! Yes, there was rain while we were taking some photos. My daughter and I enjoyed the rain because we were as if in paradise.
When the rain stopped, our group danced the songs “Ting Ting Tang Ting” and “Jumbo Hotdog” and everyone was happy which I loved the most in this trip.
We spent our whole day in Binurong Point because we felt that this was the highlight of our Catanduanes tour so why not maximize the stay.
We ended our Day 3, of course, with some drinks at Puraran Surf Beach Resort before we went home on the next day.
Day 4 - Time to go home
We checked out early from Puraran Surf Beach Resort so we can catch the 1:00 PM departure of the Ro-Ro ship from San Andres Port. We were anticipating too that a lot of people were going back to Manila for work and we didn’t want to be stranded.
We did not get a chance to swim and enjoy the water of Puraran Surf Beach Resort because of the busy schedule. This gives me a chance and reason to come back again to this place and surf the waves of the resort.
Thank you Catanduanes!
This trip was memorable to me because this was the first time that me and my daughter spent New Year’s Eve outside Metro Manila. One of the provinces was also checked from my list and I met these wonderful people who celebrated the new year with us. We will definitely come back to this province!
Thank you 2022 and Hello 2023!