After our 3D2N stay at Tugawe Cove Resort, Miguel and I did the Catanduanes Island Tour on our 3rd day in Bicol. We arrived in Codon Port around 11 AM and began the 8-hour car ride along the western coast of Catanduanes. We had made a special arrangement with JC Siz’s contact Ate Alma that same morning. She agreed to drive us in her Mitsubishi Adventure the entire day from Codon to Pandan, then to our hotel in Virac, Catanduanes.
Catanduanes Van Rental
Contact Person: Alma Samudio (+63 947) 897-3163
Car Rental Rate: PHP 3500 from Codon to Pandan to Virac.
Hidden Beauty of West Catanduanes Island
People say Catanduanes could be an alternative to Batanes with its meadows and cliffs, and they weren’t wrong. If we had more time, we would have toured the Eastern part of Catanduanes as well.
The entire trip covering the western side of Catanduanes took about 8 hours. We made multiple stops but lingered only in one place: Tuwad-Tuwaran in Pandan. Tuwad-Tuwaran is a tidal pool along the coast of Pandan, and it looks like a tear in the earth from above. To get there, we had to hike the Cagnipa Rolling Hills guided by three young children aged 7-8 years old. We gave them PHP 100 each as tip since this was pretty informal.
We climbed down the spiral staircase along the cliff side and shimmied our way down to the tide pool. We swam for 1-2 hours among the colored fish in the rock pool’s clear blue green saltwater. It was truly magical.
There was another beach nearby which was pretty private. Miguel loved Catanduanes so much that he suggested coming here every year and visiting that mysterious beach next time.
On the way back to Virac, we made a couple of random stops wherever we pleased. We stopped along a bridge to watch the sunset, flying the drone over the Nipa Palm Sactuary.
In Caramoran–not to be confused with Caramoan–was Hitoma Lake, where some locals take their small boats to fish. I saw a Philippine eagle fly above us, but only I witnessed it. Our private, DIY Catanduanes Island Tour showed us the charms of the island and local livelihood of the people. It was such a special experience.
Alma dropped us off at Midtown Inn Catanduanes where we stayed the night. There aren’t a lot of options for Virac hotels in Agoda, and I believed Midtown was the most decent. It’s centrally located in town, surrounded by Mercury Drugstore, South Star Drugstore and Jollibee. We were so tired that we had dinner at the hotel rooftop resto and I was starting to feel sick so Miguel made a medicine run after dinner.