DIY Travel Guide to the Land of the Howling Winds






Oh, it's been a while since my last post (missed me? lol), and this travel guide will be more of a throwback since it happened last November 11-15, 2017. The good news is, I was able to save the itinerary for this DIY travel. So no worries! I gotcha,  my friend! <3



Dubbed as the "Land of the Howling Winds", the 12th largest island in the Philippines and a population of around 260,000. Catanduanes will always be one of my favorite tourist spots here in the Philippines.

HOW TO GET THERE
 BY BUS
* Ride a bus (ALPSDLTB, Philtranco, RSL) from Cubao, Alabang or Pasay going to Tabaco Albay. Fare cost starts at 800 php. RSL bus also has a direct service to Virac. Make sure to inquire first of their schedules since they have limited buses that is going to virac from cuba and v.v.
* If many of you in the bus are going to the port, the bus will opt to the Tabaco port as its last stop. Then you will ride a fastcat going to Virac or San Andres port. We opted to alight in San Andres port since we didn't able to catch the much early Virac trip. Ferry costs around 320 php, 30 php for terminal fee. If you find yourselves arriving late in the afternoon in San Andres port, immediately go the line of jeepneys bound to Virac since there are limited trips of jeepneys only and you don't want to be renting a tricycle which entails more cost.



* If you also opted to alight in San Andres port, there are jeepneys going to Virac which costs 25 php each.
* You can also charter a tricycle which will cost around 250 php. 
  BY AIR
  • You can book a ticket directly going to Virac via Cebu Pacific. 
 GETTING AROUND IN VIRAC (DAY 1)
We already arrived late in Virac town so we opted to check in at Marem Pension House. Rate is 250 php per head.
Marem Pension House

Lobby
 
You can ride a  tricycle going to Virac town center.



It was Christmas season when we came here, thus, the Christmas lights! hihi





You can find good restaurants in Virac town center as well

We then proceeded with our trip the next day to Puraran beach. There are vans going to Puraran from Virac which costs 100 php per head. We checked in at Puraran Beach resort. The usual rate is 800 php per night for cottage types but with our haggling skills (haha!), the attendant able to give us a room in the 2nd floor of the store wherein the outside open space with beach view is still under construction. Luckily, the room next to it is already finished so we had a good night of stay though. You can check their website here. 
 





this is where we stayed for 2 nights.





Majestic, isn't it?


Puraran Beach!
  We then hired a Kuya Allan from Puraran Beach resort for a Balacay-Binurong-Gigmoto tour at 1,200 php.




Balacay Point


We ordered lobsters for dinner! this is around 4kg for 700 php! 

This store where we had our dinner are just at the high-way entrance before proceeding to Puraran beach. They are serving P35 meal with huge serving of rice vs P150+ meals in beach. So its definitely a choice if you're saving money for the trip.

 
BINURONG + GIGMOTO TOUR



Binurong Point


Binurong Point











Rainbow in Nahulugan Falls
Nahulugan Falls


Green Lagoon

Going to the Green Lagoon was the scariest part of our trip. First, we trekked downhill for 30 minutes before arriving at biong beach. At biong beach you must go over high boulders at the side for 45 minutes(one-way). Be careful, because if you fell you will meet the huge waves as high as 1-2 meters which can slam you to the rocks.

Green Lagoon is a great spot for cliff diving. Snorkeling here is nice too with the presence of clear waters.


Biong Beach

There is another lagoon at the right side of biong beach but we were unable to visit due to strong waves plus we are already exhausted scrambling on huge boulders going through Green Lagoon.



BATO TOUR
Bato Church




Bote Lighthouse

1 hour isn't enough at the top of the lighthouse :)
  Before proceeding, consult with the barangay first since the gate has a lock. You will need to trek 30 minutes way-up and major parts of the trail are already with cemented-steps.




Sakahon Beach

This will be the jump-off point to the lighthouse :)



Sakahon Beach

Batalay Church

A stop-over in Bato before reaching Bakawan and Bote lighthouse


Bakawan

No entrance fee. Just pay courtesy to the caretaker.


Sulong Falls



 VIRAC TOUR



Luyang Cave is a testimony of the tragic fate of the Christian inhabitants of Binanhawan (which is now called Brgy. Lictin) in the 18th century. They all hid inside the cave and filled its entrance with dried tree branches and twigs to conceal them and ground "sili" leaves and fruits to discourage the invaders from entering. When the invaders finally tried to enter the cave, the inhabitants burned the pile thinking that the smoke would prevent the invaders from going inside. But the wind direction instead blew the smoke towards inside the cave which suffocated them to death.

In our case, we trek this cave without a guide (which is acceptable even there are fork-trails). I forgot how long the cave was but it took us an hour and a half to finish exploring the cave.






 


Batag Beach. It was high tide so we weren't able to take a picture at its famous spot.




A pristine and not crowded white beach!





Talisoy Beach


Talisoy beach


Talisoy Beach or also called Tampad Beach, Talisoy Cove or Jesus' Face Beach located in Brgy. Talisoy, Virac, Catanduanes.



 
Twin Rock beach resort


Twin rock!




You can do cliff diving from this diving board!



It was already dark when we reached Nuestra Señora de Salvacion church ruins. The church got hit by strong waves brought by typhoon.

DIY ITINERARY

Day 1
2:37 pm eta san andres port ( 320 each roro, 30 php terminal fee)
2:47 jeep from san andres to virac (25 php each)
3:22 eta virac town
4:00 checked in marem pension house (250 per head)
6:43 dinner

Day 2
7:23 etd van from virac to puraran
8:16 eta puraran (100 each van)
9:02 check in at majestic puraran beach resort (500 php per night)
2:00 pm balacay point

Day 3
binurong point (200 guide fee) 40 entrance fee
9:59 am lunch
green lagoon, biong beach
nahulugan falls (Balacay-Gigmoto tour 1,200 php)

Day 4
5 am etd puraran beach
6 an eta bato church
8:59 etd bote lighthouse
9:34 batalay church, bakawan, sulong falls (Bato tour 300 php)
11:16 am eta bato
12:45 etd bato to luyang
1:26 eta luyang cave 
batag cave
4:19 talisoy tampad beach
twin rock
igang church (virac tour 1000 php)
    
day 5
11:30 etd virac
12:41 etd san andres port
11:30 etd virac
12:41 etd san andres port


EXPENSES PER HEAD FOR 2 PERSONS

850 php each bus from BICOL ISAROG Bus to Tabaco Port
320 php each roro from Tabaco Port to San Andres 
30 php terminal fee
25 php jeep from San Andres to Virac
250 php Marem Pension house
100 php van to Puraran
250 php Majestic Puraran
100 php guide fee Binurong point
20 php entrance fee
600 php Balacay-Binurong-Gigmoto tour
100 php van to Bato
150 php transient house in Bato
150 php Bato tour
500 php Virac tour
320 php each roro from San Andres to Tabaco
30 php terminal fee
850 php bus from Tabaco Port
_____________________________________
Total expenses excluding foods: 4315 php

TOUR GUIDE CONTACTS:
  •   Balacay-Binurong-Gigmoto tour guide: Allan Balcueva 09354673562
  •   Virac tour: Ariel 09468725930
  •   Bato tour: Roberto Soriao 09109387988


  

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