Situated in the Bicol region off the coast of Legaspi City, Catanduanes is a rather out of the way island, but when the surf is happening, it is worth the attempt to get to. Surfing in the Catanduanes is pretty impressive and so it should be. If you look on the map you will see why. The deep rumbling Pacific Ocean is its closest neighbor. Waves travel a long distance before they hit land and the first land they hit is Catanduanes. If you include the numerous typhoons the island is renowned for then you can get a pretty good idea what the surf will be like. The only problem is that there can be long flat periods.
Catanduanes island is located in the easternmost part of the Bicol peninsula, separated from the mainland Bicol by the Maqueda Channel and the Lagonoy Gulf. It is composed of 11 municipalities, namely: Virac, San Andres, Caramoran, Pandan, Bato, Gigmoto, Baras, Panganiban, Bagamanoc, Viga, and San Miguel. There are 315 barangays all over the province and one Congressional district. It is indeed BicolÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s best-kept secret. It is the first land group of the Philippine archipelago to kiss the Pacific Ocean, making it directly open to the path of tropical cyclones, thus, the Catanduanes Island has been termed, Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Land of the Howling Winds.Ã¢â‚¬Â The perfect time to visit Catanduanes is from the months of March to August when the weather turns dry. It is coolest and rainiest from October to the early part of January, hottest from March to May.
This is the site surfboard surfing, internationally known as Ã¯Â¿Â½Majestic.Ã¯Â¿Â½ October to January is the surfing season and the surf is fast and right handed.
The white and clean beach makes it very inviting. A Japanese group had invested in improving the site. They built cottages of single occupancy, a dining hall and a surfing area for sports enthusiasts.
Like Puraran, the sands are also white. Developed by the local government, the beaches are now freshly lined with cool and sandy trees. Pavillions and sheds are also constructed to accommodate swimmers. The beach is very ideal for weeked picnics and scuba diving. Crystalline waters abound with natural and colorful reefs where a big number of species swarm in multi-colored panorama.
Another white and clean beach. It is located in Toytoy, Caramaon. Ideal for picnics. The well-developed coral formations underwater makes it very suitable for snorkeling and spear fishing.
Also of white sand is haven for sufboard surfing & wind surfing. There are caves nearby and the coral formations are ideal for spear fishing. In some parts of the beaches, swimming is safe and recommended. It is located in Igang, Virac.
The unspoiled beach has gleaing white sands. Its clean and natural luster is recommended for picnickers and swimmers or even for spear fishing.
The cascading waterfalls is surrounded by a lush of vegetation and forest. Unspoiled wildlife brims around the site. An indeal place for picnic activities, hiking and mountain climbing. It is found in San Pedro, Gigmoto.
There are ideal picnic grounds near the waterfalls. Good for swimming, diving and hiking. Sheds are available for picnickers who would want to stay overnight. It is located at Marinawa.
It is very ideal site for swimming and picnic. There are available sheds for accommodation. Located at Bonot, San Andres.
Located in Gigmoto, it was partially developed by the local government of Gigmoto. It has natural cascading water and unspoiled wildlife and forest. There are picnic areas and sheds for swimmers and visitors.
Located in Viga on the northeastern portion of the province. The beach is white and seen from afar the panoramic view is simply superb.
Getting to Catanduanes from Manila is not hard, in fact you can reach Catanduanes from plane, ferry or road transport from Manila, the countryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s international gateway, and it really depends on how long you have available time.
Travel time from Manila to Catanduanes is one hour and 15 minutes with domestic route
By Asian Spirit with direct flights daily.
The airport on Catanduanes is in the capital Virac.
By land and water
Take the bus in Cubao or Pasay, Metro Manila terminals and jump off at Tabaco Port. Philtranco Bus covers the 580 kms from Manila to Tabaco Port. The trip is a long one; it will take you all of twelve (12) hours.
Once in Tabaco Point you have three ferries to choose from to get yourself to Catanduanes.
Ride either MV Eugenia, Star Ferry, or MV Regina Shipping Lines. Travel time is 3 to 3 Ã‚Â½ hours for MV Eugenia or Star Ferry, which dock straight at Virac Seaport.
MV Regina takes only 2 Ã‚Â½ hours to reach San Andres Seaport on catanduanes from Tobacco Port. From San Andres to Virac you can either jump on a Jeepney or take a trike, whatever your fancy. To get to the capital town of Virac, passenger jeepneys are available at the seaport. Tricycles are also available for rent.
Lately, Regina Shipping Lines introduced its bus services to passengers going to Manila
Fare: only 430.00 pesos, inclusive of the fare in the ferry.
TAWTRASCO offers its roll-on-roll-off service to its couch passengers in the ferry. Bus station is in front of Ali Mall, Cubao.
More pictures here