Some people often confuse the island province, Catanduanes to Batanes. Well, for one they sound the same. Second thing, they also belong to the list of typhoons favorite places to visit. So it does not really help if you try to describe it as “the land of the howling winds”.
Located at the easternmost part of Luzon, this island province will never disappoint when it comes to beautiful sceneries. From clear waters, serene mountain tops and delicious delicacies, I can’t really blame typhoons to frequent this island.
Fair warning, if you are looking for a luxurious type of accommodation with yacht-like exploration, this may not be for you. But if you are the traveler who wants to get a breather from the concrete jungle and does not mind a bit of social media cleansing, then come along.
How to get there?
1. You can board a plane directly to Virac airport. You can check out www.foxtravel.com for rates. Travel time is approximately 45 min to an hour.
2. For some, they book a flight to Legaspi, Albay then ride a Roro for a cheaper rate. Roro going to San Andres, Catanduanes port takes around 3 to 4 hours. Virac port is also an available option which will take an additional hour long to your travel.
RSL bus is the local transport of Catandunganons to and from Manila. You can book a seat via their Cubao office. Bus leaves around 4PM to 6PM in Manila. Travel time including Roro would be around 13 to 14 hours.
What to do?
Puraran is a favorite surf spot in the island. From shoulder height to overhead waves, this is a secret haven for foreign and local surfers alike. Check out this video posted by Turkeymelt in youtube featuring Alex Gray which captures the great barrels in the province:
The province never runs short of mountains to hike. Though most are not as high as Mt. Apo, you can always reward yourself of a dip on some of its hidden (and not so hidden) waterfalls. A plus point for the non-hikers is you need not strain yourself to get a good view. This one is a view from Balacay point. Just 15 to 30 minute drive from Puraran beach.
3. Beach Hop
White-sand, black-sand, rocky beach, you can have your choice. As this is an island province, you can find beach almost everywhere.
4. Visit Old Churches and Historical Places
This place will not disappoint when it comes to historical places. Step back in time with Bato church. Get intrigued by the mysterious image of a woman in a stone believed to be of the Mother Mary. Step inside Luyang Cave and discover its secrets.
5. Go diving
Swim with the fish and and be amazed of the wonders underwater.
When I get to visit, I always load up with fresh seafood and fresh produce. You should also try latik, pili and of course, bicol express. You should visit Sunday’s Blossoms Restaurant and Cafe de Au for good food at a very good price.
When is the best time to visit?
The island usually hold its Catandungan Festival during October. While an annual music festival and surf competition is usually done in the summer at Puraran, Baras.
I’ll leave it to your nomadic instinct whether you’ll take a plunge of visiting this island province. Share with us some cool places you’ve visited by commenting below.