The Caramoan Peninsula has several beautiful small islands with fine white sand and crystal-clear waters.
The Philippines has 7,107 islands in the Western Pacific Ocean. Having lived there all my life I still have not traveled to many of its beautiful islands.
The Caramoan Peninsula was made popular only in recent years because of the Survivor reality television series (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivor_%28TV_series%29) which has several international versions. France started the trend and then other countries followed. When we were there (August, 2009), we were told that the Survivor team from Serbia was in the jungle shooting the TV series. The locals said that other countries will be shooting their Survivor shows there, too. It’s such a beautiful place. I understand now why they shoot the Survivor shows there. Although we only saw the beaches and crystal-clear waters, I’m sure the forests and caves are quite nice too. There are many small islands but we got to visit only four. I want to go back there and visit the others.
The Caramoan Peninsula is located in the Province of Camarines Sur. Like most islands in the Philippines, it isn’t easy to go there but the journey is not so bad. The views are nice and the people are friendly and helpful. Other websites would tell you to fly or take a long bus ride from Manila to Naga City and from there take various forms of transportation to get to Caramoan. But we used a different route. My two friends and I flew from Manila to Virac first to explore Catanduanes Province. From Virac, we took a tricycle to Codon, where we then hired a boat to take us to Caramoan in Camarines Sur. At Caramoan, we were presented with an option to take our island hopping adventure boat ride from either Paniman or Bikal. We chose Paniman because the locals advised us it was nearer the islands and the boat rate would be cheaper.
We stayed at Rex Tourist Inn on the Caramoan mainland. The rooms are basic but it’s OK. There is no restaurant there, so we ate our meals at the Caramoan Bed and Dine Restaurant where the menu says San Miguel Light Beer (maximum of 3 bottles per person only). They obviously don’t like people to get drunk there. It’s all right to spend the night at one of the small islands but there is no electricity or food or water there. So usually, tourists spend the day just island hopping and then they go back to the mainland. Still, there is not much to do in the mainland. There is no night life. It’s a quiet town and people sleep early.