There is a bit of Batanes on Catanduanes that’s why some people named it as “Batanes of the South.” Catanduanes is a province situated in the Bicol Region, and it is closer to the Pacific Ocean. In the past, it was dubbed as “Land of the Howling Winds” because of the typhoons that pass through the island. Now, the province is known as “Happy Island” which sounds more positive and light-hearted.
HOW TO GET TO CATANDUANES?
The easiest and fastest way to get to Catanduanes is to book a flight to Virac. Cebu Pacific Airlines flies every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Meanwhile, Philippine Airlines flies every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Option 1: From Manila (Cubao, Pasay, or Alabang), ride a bus with a direct route to Tabaco, and the fare is about 900PHP.
From Tabaco, ride a pedicab to Tabaco Port and pay the terminal fee of 30PHP. You can ride a passenger boat to San Andres Port (300PHP fare aircon, 230PHP non-aircon) or Virac Port ( 340PHP aircon fare, 260PHP non-aircon). The travel time may take 4-5 hours, and please take note that ferries have their schedule.
Option 2: Alternative way is to ride a bus going to Legazpi. From the Legazpi bus terminal, ride a jeep or van bound for Tabaco.
Please note that Virac Port is most accessible when it comes to attractions. If you ride a ferry to San Andres Port, you need to ride a jeepney or tricycle that will take you to Virac.
Joining a tour means less expense. You might consider meeting incredible people, hassle-free travel, and more. We only paid 3500PHP for 3 days and 2 nights tour.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN CATANDUANES?
1. Binurong Point
Binurong Point is located in Brgy. Guinsaanan, Baras, Catanduanes. With its breathtaking view facing the Pacific Ocean, no doubt that this is the island’s hidden gem. But before you reach the picturesque cliff, you need to trek for about 30 minutes. The way up is little bit muddy and slippery so be careful.
Our guide briefed us that there are 4 points in Binurong which offer different panoramic views. The first stop is the most famous spot for sightseers and is similar to Batanes. To capture a dramatic photo, you must go down to the middle standpoint. And from there, you will witness how ocean waves hit the cliff.
For your reference, here are the other spots for taking photos in Binurong Point.
2. Bato Church
Bato Church is the oldest church on the island. The church was constructed during the Spanish era and made of coral limestones. The structure outside of the church is well-preserved. Inside, you will quickly notice the blend of antique and contemporary interiors that brings charm to the place. The church is always open for those who want to offer prayers.
3. Puraran Beach
Puraran Beach is a famous beach for its brown powdery sand and big waves. Thus, it is a perfect place for surfing. The water is clean, and the resort is one of the isolated areas in Catanduanes. Travelers stayed in Puraran Beach Resort and rent a nipa hut or pitch a tent. I’d also suggest bringing your food as there were no stores and eateries nearby.
4. Balacay Point
Balacay point is a rolling hill that offers a magnificent view of the Pacific Ocean, similar to Binurong Point. The only difference is that Balacay Point is much smaller, and it will not require you to hike because the peak is accessible by motorbikes and four wheels.
The ocean breeze, the lush green grass, the fresh air, everything is perfect! And I can say nothing is more beautiful than catching the sunset on the top.
5. Maribina Waterfalls
Maribina Waterfalls should be added to your list when going to Catanduanes. It is a well-known and accessible waterfall in the province. The entrance fee is 20PHP only, and you need to trek about 20 minutes to get to the place. If you don’t want to trek, then you can consider riding a tricycle that can climb up to the gate of the waterfalls.
You can swim as much as you want, the water is indeed clean and cold. We decided not to swim as this is our last stop before getting back to Manila.
Catanduanes has so much more to offer!
There are a lot of tourist attractions in Catanduanes. Three days is not enough to explore and discover the province. I really wish I can go back soon!