Catanduanes used to be called the Land of the Howling Winds because typhoons tend to happen quite often here. Now the island has rebranded itself to become the Happy Island to represent its inhabitants and the warm welcome you'll get there. Most of Catanduanes tourist spots are still pretty wild and left untouched, perfect if you have the soul of an explorer.
Catanduanes tourist spots:
Binurong View Point
Binurong probably is the most beautiful places in Catanduanes. A 20 minutes trek will take you to these amazing cliffs. The place is truly magical, you won't see many spots like this in the Philippines. The views are breathtaking. You can also go down and swim in a natural pool. It's so green, you'll feel transported to a different world.
Entrance fee: 20 pesos
This beach is famous among locals for its rock formations showing two faces of Jesus. It's really weird. Apart from the Jesus carvings, the beach is really nice. Perfect for swimming, you can also enjoy some snorkeling near the rocks. The sand is unique, I've never seen anything like it in the Philippines. It's almost orange and really soft.
On the way to the beach, you'll see the ruins of a bell tower. It was brought there by a storm a couple of years ago. The church is at least 5 kilometers away.
Entrance fee: 50 pesos
Puraran Beach Resort
Puraran beach is one of the most famous Catanduanes tourist spots, especially among surfers, the currents allow you to surf in some parts, and swim in others. The sea is really quiet for the first 50 meters and then the strong waves start. It's not a spot for beginners as the current is really strong. The beach is also really nice and the surroundings are spectacular.
Entrance fee: 20 pesos
Little Batag Beach
Right next to Batag Beach, Little Batag Beach offers a more quiet surrounding. The beach there is really nice with white sand and crystal-clear water. The place is famous for its majestic cliffs and rock formations, carved by the waves. If you want you can climb the rock to get a nice view of the island and the ocean.
It's possible to camp there, but you'll need to bring your own equipment and don't expect showers. You can reach the beach at low tide from Batag beach or through the village and the forest.
This is the perfect spot to watch the sunset. One of the highest point on the island you'll have a really nice panoramic view over Naval and its surroundings.
These falls are rarely frequented so you might have the place all to yourself. Located in barangay Cabungahan, you'll need to trek for about one hour to get to the fall. Talahid falls have two levels, the first one is about 4 meters high and the upper one is around 10 meters high. The place is perfect for a picnic and to take a swim. Bring everything you need, there's no one there, not even a caretaker.
Closer to Virac and easier to reach, you can also visit Maribina Falls, this 10 meters high waterfall falls into a clear blue pool, perfect for swimming. You might also want to go to the Santo Domingo River, it's a good place to swim too.
Near the village of Lictin, you'll find several limestone caves, the most frequented is Luyang Cave. The water there is believed to have healing properties. You'll need to find a guide, you can ask around in the village or arrange a guide via the tourism office in Virac. The cave is not very complicated to visit, you don't need to be an expert at spelunking. The path is about 200 meters and easily walkable.
In the 18th century, the cave used to serve as hideout and shelter when the Moros came to raid the village. One day, the Moros found the entrance of the cave, hidden by branches and leaves. The villagers put fire to it to prevent the Moros from entering the cave. It didn't work out as planned, the wind blew the wrong way. All the villagers died asphyxiated. Every year a ceremony is held to commemorate the event.
Near Luyang cave you can also check out Mount Cagmasoso, the highest peak on the island. From up there, the view is breathtaking. You can even spot the Mayon Volcano in Albay from up there.
Located in Virac, in the same building as the tourism office, Catanduanes museum is home to many local ancient artifacts as well as several objects from the Spanish era. Worth a look if you're in town.
Closed on weekends – Entrance fee: 50 pesos
This cluster of islands is perfect if you like island-hopping, the beaches are paradise-like and the seafood delicious. The islands are pretty remote with locals mainly being fishermen.
There are also a lot of trekking opportunities, going up the hills you'll get an amazing view of the surroundings. A popular thing to do here is to watch the sunset from Binanderahan Hill. There are also a couple of nice reefs near the shore, perfect for snorkeling.
Palumbanes Islands are made up of three main islands: Tignob, Calabagio, and Paringpong. To reach them you'll need to rent a boat from Caramoran town. If you want to stay overnight bring your own camping equipment, there are no hotels there (yet). Also, bring your own water and food if you don't eat fish or seafood.
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