As far as the eye can see, Caramoan features all the mythical aspects of a tropical island paradise.
Caramoan is probably one of the most underrated group of islands in the Philippines. And it should stay that way. The beauty of Caramoan may lie in its clear waters and white sand beaches, but honestly, its allure really comes from the diversity of its landscape. No two islands are alike. Limestone formations in themselves are diverse in every destination—you’ll notice jagged rocks similar to Masungi in one island and a layered horizontal formation in the next. The first island you’ll visit is strewn with fine-grained sand, while the next features a mucky shoreline akin to quicksand. But whatever terrain Caramoan features, it still does offer a dream-like panorama like no other.
A sandbar nestled in between rock formations, Lahos Island vanishes once the tide rises, thus its namesake hails from the vernacular word laho or “to disappear.” However, the beauty of Lahos lies in its duality: a white sand beach with calm turquoise waters on one side and harsh choppy waters on the other.
Fine white sand contrasts with the vivid azure of the sea water in Matukad Island. However, the main draw of the island is a mass of craggy rock formations that one can climb for a panoramic view of the island and the vast ocean that envelopes it. The outcrop of rocks hides a secret lagoon that houses a local legend: a magical milkfish.
One of the main jump-off points to get around the islands and islets of Caramoan, Gota Village doubles as a resort with numerous quaint, log cabin-type accommodations. The route to the beach features a protected mangrove forest of diverse varieties and gives the area a charm unique from the other islands.
CATANHAWAN BIG & CATANHAWAN SMALL
Catanhawan is another island worth stopping by for its pristine white sand and turquoise clear waters. There are two islets—one big with coarse sand, filled with foliage that gives ample shade for a lunch break, and one small with finer powder-like sand, perfect for lounging and swimming.
Part of the main peninsula, tourists flock to Casil-itan not for its beach, which features an amalgam of marine life in its diverse seascape—from mud-like sand to coarser versions created by the neighboring coral reef—but for its unique rock formation. Here, with the assistance of the local guides, one may try climbing the cliff’s wall with the proper equipment.
TAYAK BEACH & LAKE
A hidden saltwater lagoon lies in between barriers of rocks separating it from the rest of the sea. Tayak is not as popular as its neighboring islands that feature white shores, but it is one of the most tranquil. The lagoon can also be accessed by swimming in between divisions of rocks underneath the surface of the water.