Catanduanes used to be called the Land of the Howling Winds because typhoons tend to happen quite often here. Now the island has rebranded itself and became the Happy Island to represent its inhabitants and the warm welcome you’ll get there. Most of Catanduanes tourist spots are still pretty wild and left untouched, perfect if you have the soul of an explorer.
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Catanduanes tourist spots:
Binurong View Point
Binurong is probably the most beautiful place in Catanduanes. A 20-minute trek will take you to these amazing cliffs. The place is truly magical, you won’t see many spots like this in the Philippines. The views are breathtaking. You can also go down and swim in a natural pool. It’s so green, you’ll feel transported to a different world.
Entrance fee: 40 pesos – Add 200 for a guide and 20 for the parking. To get there, you can hire a tricycle (around 1500 pesos from Virac, good for 6 persons)
Similar to Binurong, Cagnipa Rolling Hills, in pandan, is becoming another important tourist spot in Catanduanes.
This beach is famous among locals for its rock formations showing two faces of Jesus. It’s really weird. Apart from the Jesus carvings, the beach is really nice. Perfect for swimming, you can also enjoy some snorkeling near the rocks. The sand is unique, I’ve never seen anything like it in the Philippines. It’s almost orange and really soft.
On the way to the beach, you’ll see the ruins of a bell tower. It was brought there by a storm a couple of years ago. The church is at least 5 kilometers away.
Entrance fee: 50 pesos
Puraran Beach Resort
Puraran Beach is one of the most famous Catanduanes’ tourist spots, especially among surfers. The currents allow you to surf in some parts, and swim in others. The sea is really quiet for the first 50 meters and then the strong waves start. It’s not a spot for beginners as the current is really strong. The beach is also really nice and the surroundings are spectacular.
Entrance fee: 20 pesos – To get there from Virac, take a jeepney to Baras then take a tricycle.
On the beach’s right side, you’ll find Balacay Point, the perfect spot to get a panoramic view. You can drive or trek to it.
Little Batag Beach
Right next to Batag Beach, Little Batag Beach offers quieter surroundings. The beach is really nice with white sand and crystal-clear water. The place is famous for its majestic cliffs and rock formations, carved by the waves. If you want, you can climb the rock to get a nice view of the island and the ocean.
It’s possible to camp there, but you’ll need to bring your own equipment and don’t expect showers. You can reach the beach at low tide from Batag beach or through the village and the forest.
This is the perfect spot to watch the sunset. One of the highest points on the island, you’ll have a really nice panoramic view over Naval and its surroundings.
These falls are rarely frequented so you might have the place all to yourself. Located in barangay Cabungahan, you’ll need to trek for about one hour to get to the fall. Talahid falls have two levels, the first one is about 4 meters high and the upper one is around 10 meters high. The place is perfect for a picnic and to take a swim. Bring everything you need, there’s no one there, not even a caretaker.
Closer to Virac and easier to reach, you can also visit Maribina Falls, this 10 meter-high waterfall falls into a clear blue pool, perfect for swimming. You might also want to go to the Santo Domingo River, it’s a good place to swim too.
Near the village of Lictin, you’ll find several limestone caves, the most frequented is Luyang Cave. The water there is believed to have healing properties. You’ll need to find a guide, you can ask around in the village or arrange a guide via the tourism office in Virac. The cave is not very complicated to visit, you don’t need to be an expert at spelunking. The path is about 200 meters and easily walkable.
In the 18th century, the cave used to serve as hideout and shelter when the Moros came to raid the village. One day, the Moros found the entrance of the cave, hidden by branches and leaves. The villagers put fire to it to prevent the Moros from entering the cave. It didn’t work out as planned, the wind blew the wrong way. All the villagers died asphyxiated. Every year a ceremony is held to commemorate the event.
Near Luyang cave you can also check out Mount Cagmasoso, the highest peak on the island. From up there, the view is breathtaking. You can even spot the Mayon Volcano in Albay from up there.
Located in Virac, in the same building as the tourism office, Catanduanes Museum is home to many local ancient artifacts as well as several objects from the Spanish era. Worth a look if you’re in town.
Closed on weekends – Entrance fee: 50 pesos
This cluster of islands is perfect if you like island-hopping, the beaches are paradise-like and the seafood delicious. The islands are pretty remote with locals mainly being fishermen.
There are also a lot of trekking opportunities, going up the hills you’ll get an amazing view of the surroundings. A popular thing to do here is to watch the sunset from Binanderahan Hill. There are also a couple of nice reefs near the shore, perfect for snorkeling.
Palumbanes Islands are made up of three main islands: Tignob, Calabagio, and Paringpong. To reach them you’ll need to rent a boat from Caramoran town. If you want to stay overnight bring your own camping equipment, there are no hotels there (yet). Also, bring your own water and food if you don’t eat fish or seafood.
Twin Rock Beach Resort
One of the easiest beaches to access as it’s close to Virac, it’s also one of the best options to swim. The water there is peaceful and you can get inside the water without worries. At low tide, you can reach and climb some of the rock formations. The resort offers several activities such as jet skiing, climbing, and ziplining.
To get there, you’ll need to hire a tricycle from Virac.
Bato Church is one of Catanduanes’ top tourist attractions and is definitely worth a look. Also known as Saint John Baptist Church, the church was built in 1830 and took more than 50 years to finish.
To get there take a jeepney to Bato, then walk to the church.
In Bato, you can also visit Sakahon Beach. You’ll need to take a tricycle to reach it (around 150-200 pesos one way). In the same area, you can also visit Poseidon Rock, also known as Carorian, Maribina falls, and the Bote Lighthouse. The easiest way to do so would be to hire a tricycle from Bato for half a day.
How to get to Catanduanes
By air: There are direct flights from Manila to Virac
By bus and ferry: Take a bus bound to Tabaco Port and from there catch a ferry or a fast craft (if the weather is bad I advise taking the ferry, especially if you tend to get seasick).
Where to stay in Catanduanes
Virac is the most convenient location to visit the many Catanduanes tourist spots, but you can also stay in a resort on the beach if you want something nicer. Here are a couple of options:
- In Virac, you can stay at Casa Remedios Bed & Breakfast – The rooms are nice with a garden, they offer breakfast and have a car rental service. They can also help you set you up with a driver to organize a tour.
- On the beach, you can check out Puraran Surf Beach Resort.
Catanduanes tourist spots travel tips and itinerary
- Visiting Catanduanes on your own if you don’t have a car is complicated, the easiest options would be to rent a motorbike, negotiate with a tricycle driver or go through a tour.
- It’s often windy so don’t forget to pack a light jacket.
- I would advise staying at least two full days to see all of the Catanduanes tourist spots. You can do one day in Bato and around, stopping by the Meteo Center on your way back. The other day you could visit Binurong Viewpoint, Puraran beach, and Talahid or Maribina Falls. If you have two more days, plan a camping trip to Palumbanes Islands.
Related articles to help you plan your trip to the Philippines:
- Legazpi and the Mayon Volcano Complete Travel Guide
- Best tourist spots in the Camotes Islands + Itinerary
- Exploring Marinduque Island – A backpacker’s guide
- Everything you need to know before going to the Philippines + Best destinations
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