Mahabang Buhangin, Calaguas Island

Camarines Norte is abundant with  majestic beaches, rich and luscious forest with astonishing waterfalls and  breathtaking sceneries, but, among all the gifts of nature found in Camarines Norte, one island stand the most because of its powdery white sand,  crystal clear water, greenery terrains, and scenic view that travelers tagged the island as “Boracay 20 years ago”. The island's serene vibe and beauty perfectly match Boracay Island before it has been swarmed by commercial establishments. 


The island in Camarines Norte that is comparable to Visayas' Boracay Island is known as Mahabang Buhangin of Calaguas Group of Island.




Calaguas or Calaguas Group of Island has nine (9) islands and rock formations.  It includes major islands of Tinaga Island where the well-known Mahabang Buhangin Island is located and Guintinua Island. Along with the major island are the minor islands that include the island of Maculabo. Most of the jurisdictions in Calaguas Group of Island is under the Municipality of Vinzons except for Maculabo which is under the administration of the municipality of Paracale.







How to go to Calaguas Island via Vinzons, Camarines Norte?




From Pasay

Go to Philtranco Terminal Station and ride a bus going to Daet, Camarines Norte. They have six trips daily, one (1) morning and (5) afternoon. Ordinary Bus fare costs Php 450 while Aircondition Bus costs Php 555.10.

Philtranco Bus Schedule going to Daet, Camarines Norte

Morning - 8:00 AM
Afternoon – 1:00 PM, 8:00 PM, 9:30 PM


From Daet, Camarines Norte ride a jeepney or taxi going to Vinzons. Jeepney fare costs Php 20 while taxi fare costs around Php 100-200.


From Vinzons, ride a boat going to Mahabang Buhangin, Calaguas Island. Boat fare from Vinzons to Calaguas and Calaguas to Vinzons costs Php 500 per person. Boat ride going to Mahabang Buhangin, Calaguas Island would take two (2) hours via Vinzons, Camarines Norte.



From Cubao

Go to either Philtranco or Superlines Terminal Station and ride a bus going to Daet, Camarines Norte. Philtranco has two (2) trips daily, 10:30 AM and 7:00PM; while Superlines has 16 trips daily.


From Daet, Camarines Norte ride a jeepney or taxi going to Vinzons. Jeepney fare costs Php 20 while taxi fare costs around Php 100-200.


From Vinzons, ride a boat going to Mahabang Buhangin, Calaguas Island. Boat Fare from Vinzons to Calaguas and Calaguas to Vinzons costs Php 500 per person.Boat ride going to Mahabang Buhangin, Calaguas Island would take two (2) hours via Vinzons, Camarines Norte.





The route going to Mahabang Buhangin, Calaguas Island via Vinzons is longer compared with the route from the municipality of Jose Panganiban. There would be a difference of about 30 minutes but the river that you will pass by before reaching the ocean is worth the delay.




A 10 to 15 minutes cruise to the river will show you the beauty and peaceful ambiance of the former. Friendly locals riding on their bankas occasionally pass by the calm river. Mangroves and maricolcol, a kind of nipa palm, that grows on the bank of the river delta surround the former. Locals use the fruit of maricolcol to make wine while the leaf is used to produce walis tingting or a type of Filipino broom.




Going to the Islands of Calaguas is sometimes challenging because of the huge waves that you have come across before reaching the island, but, amidst the waves are the beautiful islands and rock formation waiting to be appreciated by its visitors.


What to Expect at Mahabang Buhangin, Calaguas Island


WHITE AND FINE SAND

One reason why locals and travelers compare Mahabang Buhangin to Boracay is the white and powdery sand along the shoreline.




The sand is very fine that any fragment of shell or corals cannot be seen in it. Walking barefoot on the island is possible and relaxing.







CRYSTAL CLEAR BLUE WATER

Upon reaching the island, the turquoise colored sea and the white sand of the island will immediately greet its guests. Another reason why Mahabang Buhangin of Calaguas Island is being compared to Boracay is that of the crystal clear blue water along the coast of the island.





Tourists would always commend the island's  ocean. They are amazed at how the colors of the sea change from crystal clear to turquoise to royal blue as it reaches the horizon.





SERENE AMBIANCE

Mahabang Buhangin of Calaguas is a perfect venue to breathe and forget the busy and stressful life in the metro. It has a long and wide shoreline where tourists can unwind, place some tents or mats and swim. The island is also surrounded by trees and greenery making the island more relaxing.




Unlike other known islands in the Philippines, Mahabang Buhangin of Calaguas Island has minimal commercial establishments in the area. Most of this establishments are resorts run by either private entities or the Local Government Unit of Camarines Norte; and some sari-sari store or neighborhood sundry store that caters the basic needs of the tourists.





BREATHTAKING SCENERY

Aside from the white sand and blue crystal clear water of Mahabang Buhangin of Calaguas Island are the breathtaking sceneries that can be seen on top of the hills of the island.


Photo credit to Lariza Garcia

There are two hills that can be hiked on Mahabang Buhangin. Each green hills of Mahabang Buhangin can be traveled by foot for about 15- 20 minutes. The whole island of Mahabang Buhangin can be seen at the first hill while the other has the majestic sea of clouds. Locals can guide the tourists towards the hill for about Php 45-50 per trip.


Mahabang Buhangin of Calaguas Island is indeed a paradise and a great venue for distressing and be one with nature. It is an island with a complete package, from crystal clear waters to white and fine sand, to green hills and breathtaking and majestic scenic views. Visiting this premier island of Camarines Norte is worth the travel time and effort!



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