DIY Itinerary and Travel Guide: 4D3N in Catanduanes

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It has been 4 years since I added a new province to my list, owing to the pandemic and the reluctance to travel from Pangasinan for a flight to unexplored territories. Catanduanes captivates with its pristine beaches, lush jungles, and welcoming locals, offering a retreat from bustling city life. Its untouched charm preserves a genuine cultural experience, making it a sought-after destination.

binurong point catanduanes itinerary and travel guide
This is not Batanes! This is Catanduanes!

When health protocols began to ease and commercial flights slowly resumed, I booked a flight to Virac, Catanduanes. However, due to flight changes and the thought of traveling 4 hours to NAIA, I canceled. Yet, a travel blogger-friend’s invitation reignited my excitement, and booked another trip to this province in the Bicol region.

HOW TO GET TO VIRAC, CATANDUANES

There are a few ways to get to Catanduanes. The quickest route is to fly from Manila, serviced by Cebu Pacific Air and Philippine Airlines, to the Island of Howling Winds. Another option is traveling to Albay and boarding a passenger boat from Tobaco to Virac, with a journey lasting approximately four hours. Depending on the weather, daily ferry schedules are available from Tabaco to Virac at 6:30 AM and 1:00 PM. Kindly check this website for updated information.

how to go to catanduanes itinerary and travel guide

THINGS TO SEE IN CATANDUANES

Our trip was planned, but we didn’t prepare for it. We arrived at Virac Airport with the only information we have is on how to go to Puraran Beach Resort, our accommodation in Baras, Catanduanes for 2 nights. Thanks to the resort staff and persistent tricycle drivers who also offers tour guiding, we managed to schedule a tour in one section and few municipalities of the province. Catanduanes has a lot to offer but this itinerary will only focus on spots in Gigmoto, Baras, Bato, and Virac.

puraran beach
Puraran Beach in Baras.

Binurong Point, Baras

Binurong Point stands out as a hidden gem, celebrated for its breathtaking natural beauty. You’ll be reminded of the rolling hills of Batanes, but Binurong Point has its distinct charm. This secluded haven treats travelers to panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean with the rugged cliffs, and lush rolling hills. Trekking will take about an hour, faster if there’s no rain that will surely make the trail muddy and slippery. Once you arrive at the vantage point, it’s hard to resist the view so be ready to soak in.

binurong point
binurong point
Rainy arrival at Binurong Point.
binurong point

Nahulugan Falls, Gigmoto

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Nahulugan Falls, situated in Gigmoto, is a noteworthy natural attraction in the northeastern part of Catanduanes. According to local folklore, the falls earned its name from an incident where a farmer and his carabao accidentally fell into its waters while traversing the ridge. Despite the tale, Nahulugan Falls offers a peaceful atmosphere, attracting visitors with its lush surroundings and clear, cool waters.

nahulugan falls catanduanes itinerary and travel guide

Balacay Point, Baras

Another viewpoint in the eastern part of the island-province is Balacay Point. Though the attraction is temporarily closed due to some land disputes of the owners. However, our guide led us on an alternative way to the viewpoint. It’s much accessible than Binurong Point and also offers majestic view of Pacific Ocean.

balacay point

Sakahon Beach and Bote Lighthouse, Bato

Explore the charm of Bote Lighthouse, a fascinating landmark of maritime history in the town of Bato on Catanduanes Island. Since its establishment in 1892, this lighthouse has guided ships along the rugged coastline of Catanduanes. As you traverse the slightly challenging trek from Sakahon Beach, each step brings you closer to an extraordinary reward. What awaits you is the sweeping, panoramic views from atop the lighthouse, a spectacle that will leave you rejuvenated.

sakahon beach catanduanes itinerary and travel guide
Sakahon Beach.
bote lighthouse
Bote Lighthouse.
bote lighthouse
Sweeping views from the lighthouse.

Bato Church, Bato

Bato Church, also known as the San Miguel Archangel Parish Church, stands as a testament to the enduring faith and rich history of the town of Bato in Catanduanes. Constructed in the late 19th century, this historic church with its simple yet elegant architecture, characterized by sturdy stone walls and a distinctive bell tower, exudes a sense of serenity and reverence that draws local travelers.

bato church catanduanes itinerary and travel guide

Maribina Falls, Bato

You can also visit Maribina Falls on your return journey to Virac. Located in the town of Bato, it is among the renowned waterfalls on the island. Standing approximately 5-6 meters tall, the falls showcases cascades of clear water, particularly on a sunny day. However, due to heavy rainfall the day prior to our visit, the waters appeared murky and turbulent during our exploration. Maribina Falls derives its name from the neighboring villages of Marinawa (MARI) and Binanwahan (BINA).

maribina falls
Aggressive Maribina Falls during our visit.

Twin Rock Beach Resort, Virac

In the southwestern coast of Catanduanes, Twin Rock Beach, also known as Igang Beach, is a premier destination on the island. Famous for its creamy, fine sand and nestled within a tranquil cove, the beach provides an atmosphere of serenity and relaxation. Its namesake, the remarkable rock formation jutting out from the crystalline waters just offshore, adds to the resort’s allure and serves as a picturesque backdrop for visitors seeking to unwind amidst nature’s splendor. If you’re staying for another day in Catanduanes, Twin Rock Beach Resort is a perfect day trip from Virac.

twin rock beach resort catanduanes itinerary and travel guide
twin rock beach resort

Virac Boulevard

Amidst the array of culinary delights, it’s evident that the province is embracing food and beverage trends with gusto. Spend leisurely afternoons at charming cafes like Oyana Café and Coffee Alley, where cozy ambiance and aromatic brews await. As the day wanes, treat yourself to a sumptuous meal at places such as Bistro Mykonos or Café de Au.

bistro mykonos virac boulevard catanduanes itinerary and travel guide
Enjoy Mediterranean food at Bistro Mykonos.

Catanduanes proved to be a captivating destination, offering a blend of natural attractions, cultural heritage, and culinary delights. This island-province offers experiences waiting to be discovered, making it one the off-the-beaten destinations for travelers seeking adventure.

catanduanes itinerary and travel guide

SAMPLE ITINERARY: Catanduanes

DAY 1  
Arrival in Virac, Catanduanes
Travel to Baras, Catanduanes
Check-in at Puraran Beach Resort
Rest

DAY 2
Binurong Point
Nahulugan Falls
Baclayan Point

DAY 3
Sakahon Beach and Bote Lighthouse
Bato Church
Maribina Falls
Twin Beach Resort

DAY 4
Departure

SAMPLE EXPENSES: Catanduanes

Here’s a sample expenses (excluding food and other expenses as it might vary per traveler), for February 2023 travel.

DAY 1
60 - Tricycle from Airport to Van Terminal going to Baras
150 - Van to Baras

DAY 2
3000 - 2-day Tricycle tour includes return to Virac (1500 each)
20 - Entrance Binurong Point
200 - Binurong Point guide (100 each)
2500 - 2-nights Puraran Surf Beach Resort accommodation (1250 each)

DAY 3
50 - Entrance Bote Lighthouse
300 - Bote Lighthouse guide (150 each)
2000 - 2-nights Villa Toledo Tourist Inn (1000 each)
400 - roundtrip tricycle fare to Twin Rock Beach Resort (200 each)
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