CamSur: How We Got to the Caramoan Islands

Come South, CamSur!
June 12-16, 2009

This is just a guide on how we got to Camarines Sur. I created this entry to help out fellow bloggers/readers who have plans to go to this part of the country. We’re a bunch of cheapskates and we want to make sure we get the cheapest rates there are so we wouldn’t spend as much in the Caramoan islands. This is just a series of entries that I’ll be posting one by one.

From Cebu, we booked flights to Manila in advance because of a promo fare from Philippine airlines, I got stranded too when we exchanged our etickets to boarding passes because my flight was scheduled 4 hours later. Bummer.

cebu pac airport smartbro airport
at the Cebu airport, Smartbro Internet station (Free!)

Got stranded at the airport, again. Good thing there were SmartBro computer kiosks for me to surf the four wasted hours away. Anyway in Manila, we went to bus station in Araneta Cubao, in front Ali Mall. My colleagues already bought tickets when they went ahead. They went to the Isarog Bus Liners because we specifically wanted to ride the Lazy Boy Seats because we wanted to have a good rest during the eight-hour travel. Yep, you heard it right, it’s an eight-hour trip from Manila to Naga. We haven’t slept that day or the day before that because we just got back from our office job. Call center kasi.

cubao bus terminal
Bus station in Araneta Cubao

isarog bus line camsur bus schedule
Isarog Bus Liner Schedule

lazy boy bus bus toilet
Lazy Boy and the toilet!

It was great that we got to recline our seats and have foot rests. Lazy boy talaga ang dating. It wasn’t that much of a bumpy ride compared to when we went back from Naga to Manila. Just make sure that your seats are in the middle of the bus. At least there weren’t that many stopovers because the Isarog Bus Liner that we were in had a built-in bathroom that you can just take a leak inside.

When we arrived in Naga, around 3:30am, we got some seats at the Naga terminal so we could get some breakfast. I got sick so I bought some noodle soup to warm my stomach. We asked some people where the terminal is for those who were planing to go to Sabang Port (port going to the Caramoan). The people informed us that it’s just a short distance from the bus terminal.

It’s actually just beside SM Naga so for those people who haven’t prepared their stuff to bring can buy at SM once they’re open. Talk about convenience.

camsur noodles naga jeep
warming my stomach, jeep

jeep terminal naga sm naga
SM Naga is just beside the terminal, couldn’t wait for it to be open

We were at the jeep when it left around 5:30am, the trip was 2 hours long when we got to the Sabang Port. We had to wait for us to get settled because we got confused of where to go since the locales suddenly tried to convince us to use one of their pump boats at P2000 so we can go directly to Guijalo port. Of course, we didn’t have enough money and we were trying to look for the normal ride going to Guijalo. At P120 per person, we waited for the main ride to depart which was about 8:30am.

camsur port
signing the manifesto just in case

camsur going to caramoan
Yes, they will carry you to the boat.

Photobucket caramoan boat bathroom
slumdog millionaire? auto flush

Note: Please do prepare yourself to be carried by the locales (at 5 bucks) to take you to the boat. They don’t really have a docking area and unless you want to get wet for 2 hours during the travel beside other dry people, it’s best to pay the 5 bucks and let them carry you. But we gave the carriers 50 bucks for four of us including our luggage just because we felt that they were good to us.

boat caramoan
kid and his banca

boat in caramoan caramoan boat
Yeah, that’s the boat. haha

We arrived around 10:30am at the Guijalo port and we looked for Kuya Jay (our contact tour guide) who was actually waiting for us since 6:30am! We rode a tricycle going to the town proper so we could go to the Villa Juliana Inn, where we were staying. Of all the inns/hotels, Vill Juliana Inn has the best rate at 500 bucks per night which is good for 4 persons, we decided to stay there. Whoa, we only paid 125 pesos per night! hehe. When you get to the place, just make sure that you get some blankets and towels if you didn’t bring some. I guess they didn’t give it to us because we didn’t ask. Toinks. Also, you can ask for a tariff of the rates of the tricycle rides as well as the pump boat rides where you can get the agreed rates for island hopping.

villa julianna inn hostel camsur
Villa Juliana Inn! – They were all yellow

camsur inn
Villa Juliana room rate – P500 per night (good for 4 persons), air-conditioned rooms are from P750-P800.

Before we went island hopping, we dropped by the Lutong Bahay which is a carenderia/eatery where we had lunch. It was a long travel and we were all hungry.

lutong bahay camsur food at camsur
Lutong Bahay, where we usually ate. It’s just a carenderia but meals cost around 35-45 pesos plus the 10 pesos for the rice. Manila price bah?

camsur trek farm road camsur
riding at the top of the trike, bumpy ride.

And so we travelled going to Paniman where we were about to start our island hopping adventure–>After 13 hours worth of travelling. sheesh.

Go through these blog entries for other information of our Caramoan islands trip

First Day: Matukad and Lahos Islands

Second Day: Spent P1500 for the boat trip plus the tour guide P500

Third Day: CWC and Lago Del Rey and going home

St. Michael Parish

Again the prices:

Manila to Naga: P850 pesos (8 hours) – bus with lazy boy seats
Naga to Sabang Port: P80 (2 hours) – jeepney
Sabang Port to Guijalo Port: P120 (2 hours) – pumpboat

Guilajo Port to Town Proper: P100 – tricycle
Villa Juliana room rate – P500 per night (good for 4 persons)

Contact details of the Bus for booking (book in advance!)

Cubao Booking Office
Araneta Center Bus Terminal (Ali-Mall)
Telephone numbersΒ +63 02 9133551 or +63 02 4383916

Naga City Booking Office
Naga City Central Bus Terminal
Telephone numbers +63 54 4738804 or +63 54 8117764

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Please don't forget to confirm your subscription by checking your Inbox. is a travel blog by Edcel Suyo. He enjoys performing headstands and crazy stunts during his trips in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Now based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and working to earn a living, he takes time to enjoy the city and travel during weekends.
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66 thoughts on “CamSur: How We Got to the Caramoan Islands”

  1. Hi Rey An,

    I’m glad that you were able to read through this site! i created this guide on how to get to Camsur or Caramoan because of this reason!

    By the way, about your question, the name of our tour guide is Kuya Jay and his contact number is: 09212998866

    We were able to get his phone number when we were searching for more information before our trip. We saw his name and details through another blog that’s why we’re also setting up how-to guides for other travellers who would like to make the most out of the trip.

    But if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, when you go to the Caramoan islands, you can just ask for a tariff from the hotel inns available as they have the most updated price rates. I’m not saying that we were being ripped off by our tour guide, but you can definitely see some cheaper rates if you ask the owner of the inns. They’ll provide you a copy.

    Hope that you found what you were looking for!

    • hi rob, it’s the same as going to caramoan. We travelled from the Naga terminal back to Manila by bus. 8 hours trip still. Just ask the people from the terminal and get the tickets right away than wait for the last minute because you might run out of tickets. anyway, transpo could cost about 500 to 850, depending on the type of bus. (recliner seats, lazy boy seats, etc.).

  2. thanks! and btw may i just ask until what time is the last trip of the jeep going to guijalo and also the boar going to caramoan town proper? coz our flight is 11am and arrival is 12pm. Do you think we can still make it even the last trip? Thanks

  3. Hi rob, I apologize but I’m not sure what time the jeep leaves. I think the jeep or van is always there but for the boat, I’m not sure what time it departs. You can try calling Naga City Central Bus Terminal thru Telephone numbers +63 54 4738804 or +63 54 8117764 just to see if they can provide you some information. But if you can’t make it, I would advise that you just stay at CWC or Camsur Watersports Complex to try wakeboarding and other fun stuff you can do there. The CWC is just 25 minutes away from the Naga terminal and everybody knows where it is so you won’t get lost. Good luck.

  4. thank you so much for the info… i’m here in naga coz of work (for 3 weeks or MORE)… so i encouraged my sisters to come & visit me this coming weekend… aug. 29-31; since monday i’ve been asking my colleagues but no one was able to give me the details… so far, all i have is that one tourist service is offering “5k-6800/ head”…. quite expensive!!!! definitely out of our budget… til I came upon your blog =D THANK YOU!

    • hi mathe! no problem!

      Im really glad to help out. we also relied on blogs when we tried to pull up information about caramoan since we found it expensive to go on trips that were catered by companies because of the extra pricing. wow, you’re in Naga for 3 plus weeks! I’d like to visit the Camsur Watersports Complex often if I were in your place. hehe. Thanks for leaving a comment! Do check out my other entries about Camsur.

      If we only had more time (and money), we would’ve gone to check out the Mayon Volcano in Albay or check out Camarines Norte as well. But we didn’t really had both; anyway dami pala talagang nice places in the Philippines. hehe. I’d like to go back to CWC again. Thanks again for leaving a comment!

  5. actually, this is my 2nd time in Naga; the 1st time I visited Bicol, my friends & I went to CWC-Pili, Tabaco-hot/cold spring, Albay for Mayon Volcano, Tiwi for Pottery Making, Daraga for Cagsawa Church… you can check my FB & FS if u have time… :)) just love traveling!!! =D

  6. Hi
    Thanks for the info. This is perfect as we are planning to go to Naga on our next vacation to Phil. My sister wants to go by air but I told her that it’s better if we travel by land so we can see the view. Plus the experience of long travel.

  7. just got back from caramoan! Thanks for ur hlp Edcel.. πŸ™‚ the place is so BEAUTIFUL! also wer lucky to have kuya Ramil as our boatman and kuya jerry as our tricycle driving going back and forth to paniman beach (drop-off point for island hopping).. if anybody here is planning to go to caramaon, you can get the service of boatman kuya ramil (09074351962) and kutya jerry, the tricycle driver (09079540238). Once again, thanks for the info about caramona edcel

  8. Nice blog sir.. lots of info here. we are also planning to go to caramoan next month. just want to ask, how much did it cost you for island hopping? do they have standard rate? thanks!!

    • Jay: we spent 1.5K for the first day and 2.5K for the 2nd. the 2nd day, the islands were farther from each other. please see my other entries about caramoan for details. the standard rate for the tourist guide is 500. the rates are for the whole group, we divided it among ourselves (there were 4 of us).

      Take note that you can get a cheaper rate when you ask for the official tariff. Just request for it from the INNS that you are going to stay at so that you would know the standard rates of the islands. I cannot stress it any louder, please ask for the tariffs. We didn’t so it was a bit pricey for us.

    • Hi Jay. That I can’t really answer na. Sorry. hehe. The jeep to Sabang Port, I guess it’s available always naman siguro cause there are vehicles at the terminal (beside SM Naga) that are waiting for passengers. The problem is the public boat from Sabang Port to Guijal-o port.

  9. hi edcel, thanks for the info. Im so glad that I’ve found this site coz we are planning to go to Caramoan this thanksgiving and we plan to do it DIY, you’re blog is very helpful. This is the first time Im reading blogs and I find yours interesting because I would really love to travel. I’ll be browsing this site very often and see your other travels..

    • hi raks,

      thank you for taking the time to drop by and leaving a comment. it’s nice to be able to help people out which is the purpose why i also blogged about my trip to caramoan properly. we relied on blogs as well during our trip there and it’s good to connect with other travelers who also love to travel but are constraint on a budget. thanks again!

  10. hey edcel i just wanna know, how did u find villa julina inn? did u book in advance? may i know the contact number of villa juliana? thanks

    • Hi raks. No, we didn’t book in advance. There are 3 INNs that are already known to the people in Caramoan. Rex Tourist Inn, Villa Juliana and La Casa Roa. The cheapest is Villa Juliana. I searched for the number and here it is.
      Villa Juliana InnÒ€ℒs contact information:

      Rogelio F. Reyes
      +63 921 2261395

      hope this helps.

  11. hi rob, is this the boatman for the island hopping? we paid 500 for the guide and then 1000 for the boat for the first day. 1500 for the second day. try to ask for a tariff from the inns that you’re going to check in to have the proper price. you can also ask other travelers to chip in so you won’t have to pay much.

    Please see the links below for other information. I’ve created separate blog entries for each day.

    hope this helps


  12. hi, we’re planning to go to Caramoan and CWC this coming month. We inquired at one travel agency and they are charging us 2800 for a three days two nights package, bus fare to and from naga is not included yet. Would it be cheaper if we travel on our own with the same itinerary of going to caramoan for two days and one day for CWC? how much did you spend individually? We’re looking for the cheapest way to go there. Thanks

    • Hi george, I believe that’s about the same price that we spent when we got there in Caramoan, including the food. I think it’s a fair price. We spent about 2500 each (there were four of us) since we had our DIY trip. Just make sure that you ask for the government-mandated list of prices for the island-hopping. Because it also depends on where you are headed to. We had about 5 islands that we were able to drop in two days in Caramoan.

  13. Hi and thank you for the guide!
    However, I have an additional question. Is there possible to rent a small private boat without boatman? Just for some more privacy!

    • Hi Frank. Not so sure if they will allow you since you would need to have a guide. They will just stay in one place once you dock in an island.

  14. very very informative write ups and photos. me and my friends are off to caramoan this april 23 and booked at villa juliana as well, thanks to your blog posts. πŸ™‚

    • Hi mike.r, no problem! Wanted to make sure I could help as it was through blog posts that we were able to go through our itinerary in Caramoan. Really glad it helped!

  15. hi! we are off to caramoan this may15-18. We inquired villa juliana regarding their 4d/3n package for 3pax. according to roger of villa juliana, the rate is 5.3k per head. inclusions are 9meals, island hopping, pick up guijalo port n back. This is the cheapest rate that we can get unlike other hotel packages that ranges 7k. We are on a budget trip but we are also afraid that we cant get a guide and a boat to rent. we want to visit most of the islands in caramoan but we are thinking if we rent a boat, we can only go to 2-3 islands. iniisip namen baka mas mahal. help! thank you for the informations in your blog. please do email me. thanks!

    • hi mel: glad that this helped. this was some time last year though but im happy that this provide to be useful as well. we need more helpful tips on places we want to explore! πŸ˜€

  16. hi there! πŸ™‚ it's nice to know that there are people who loves to travel has the heart to share their experiences. This blog is very helpful to many especially that Caramoan is really becoming a top tourist destination. I hope this will entice more tourists to EXPLORE. EXPERIENCE. and ENJOY the beauty of a hidden paradise named Caramoan. By the way, i can recommend/ suggest SIGHTS and SAND TOURIST INN for a cozy accommodation fit for the tourists' budget and lifestyle. πŸ™‚ Their contact number: 09294721095/ 09276775286. Email: πŸ™‚

  17. Hi,
    Malapit lng ba ang Caramoan from CWC. Balak sna nmin na mag stay sa CWC… Kya ba na magbalikan from Island hopping to CWC?

    • @Steph: either way, that will work. But it usually depends on the time on how many days you have available. But yes, you can go to CWC first, and then proceed to the Caramoan islands the next day. Just make sure that you have enough days for the island hopping. πŸ˜€

  18. Any updated number ng isarog bus lines at naga terminal? Nobody's picking up the fone kasi. Would like to reserve seats kasi on our way back to manila. πŸ™

  19. salamat sa blog mu edcel, sana available pa si kuya jay na maging guide!! hehehe! travel blogs like yours inspires us to travel more more and more!! apir! ^_^

  20. Hi Ed! Whahaha, ganda sa caramoan! Astig dun sa Matukad! Inakyat ko ung inakyat nyo dun sa bato, whahaha, di ko namalayan na nasusugatan ako sa talim ng bato! pero ganda ng shots ko from top!! sayang lang at puros sariling sikap piks ang nagawa ko sa taas kc walang ngbalak sumama sakin at mahirap daw!! di n nmin nakontak si kuya jay at di sya ngrreply, bka ngpaklit n sya ng number! medyo mahal n rent ng bahay sa paniman n mismo at ung mga bangka kc dami napunta! pero auz ung expirience, tnx at nabasa ko tong blog mu, ipinilit ko sa ga ksama ko kahit malayo pa from quezon!! sulit nman eh!! sa susunod na adventures, blog mu padin ang gagamitin ko!! coron or guimaras nman ang nxt trip! slamat bro!! apir!! ^_^

  21. nice this information will help us get there next week. can u send me the numbers of persons you contracted when you were there if you have. thanks

  22. your blog will be a great help for going to caramoan next week. and we will take your suggestion on the bus ride. hoping to see more of these. thanks

  23. Thank you very much for providing an alternative avenue for travel and touring (DIY in Caramoan) other than the usual packaged tours. =) I had been researching and stalking:D blogs, e-mailing other travelers and backpackers too! My partner and I would like to maximize our 3D/2N of stay and we will tweak our DIY Caramoan travel based from yours. Caramoan Sands and SIghts Inn though has a lot of promise (they have included 10 out of the 10 islands we would like to see which is really a WOW!) I thought of course of contacting a boatman and a guide but if and when I do (I did, the first one I got from a blog is not responding yet), I also would make sure that the rental of the boat for a day is worth it ( Islands mentioned in packaged tours must be included), or otherwise, the boat rental then would seem more expensive in value if it will only be for a fraction of those islands. I’m keeping my options open. SO far, I await for verification of information stated in Caramoan Sands and Sights Inn website.

    Once again, thank you for sharing your experiences! God bless you!

    Jean Rey

  24. is there a way I could go to caramoan not beaing lifted by the guys in the port? I’m kinda heavy so I’m so shy and not comfortable with that kind of lift.


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