Though El Nido consists of island-hopping tours A, B, C and D, Caramoan has also its own version of island hopping packages. The first one comprises of the nearby islands of Gota Beach, Matukad, Lahus and Hunongan. The price is approximately 1,000 to 1500 pesos.
The other package tour consists of the distant islands of Sabitang Laya, Manlawi Sandbar and Cotivas Island. The price is about 2, 000 to 3, 000 pesos. It will depend on the season as well as other arrangements with the boatman.
2. Explore the Caves of Caramoan
You can check out the beautiful limestone formation at Omang Cave located between Barangay Ilawod and Barangay Paniman. This cave belongs to the Caramoan National Park. It offers amazing stalactite formations. You can hunt for treasure in Manipis Cave situated at Barangay Pandanan. It is rumored to be the hiding place of General Yamashita’s treasure. If you still want more, you can go to the Culapnit Cave in Sitio Bariw to see more stalactite pillars, limestone rocks and numerous bats. Its name is taken from the vernacular word ‘kulapnit’ which means “bat”. In case you are not interested in guano and bats, you can always cool down and get refreshed in the underground stream of Bulang Bulang Cave found in Taisan.
3. Climb the Rock Cliff located at Matukad Island
Even if climbing the sharp rocks of Matukad Island is quite challenging, you will certainly be rewarded with the breathtaking view of the surrounding seascapes. You will also have the chance to see the so-called enchanted lagoon. It is where you will see a big milkfish swimming around. It seems to guard its mystical abode.
4. Going Up to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary
Visit the Caglago Mountain located at Barangay Tabgon. Then, climb the 524 steps going to the Shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is the largest Marian statue in the Philippines. The shrine is a 26-foot image and will light up at night. It serves as a lighthouse to guide the fishermen back to the shore. Moreover, the shrine provides a panoramic view of the surrounding islands.
5. Walk Around Town
You can get acquainted with Caramoan by renting a habal-habal or motorbike or by exploring it on foot. The town is casual and the residents are friendly. You can visit the small shops situated at the town center or Centro, the local market, the swamp, the municipal hall as well as the mangrove area. It is nice to explore the countryside on foot particularly during the late afternoon when the harsh rays of the sun are already gone. As you wander further off the road, the setting becomes more lush while the air is fresh with no traffic.
6. Hanging Out at Paniman Beach
Although Paniman Beach is popular as a jump-off point for island-hopping, it is also a destination itself. It is an alternative place to hang out besides its town proper. Only a few places can be visited at night after you are done with exploring the island and island hopping. Some restaurants and a floating resto bar are available where you can drink and belt out some tunes. Also, you can buy your drinks and snacks at the town center and have a picnic here until the sun sets.
7. Check out the Parish Church of St. Michael the Archangel
People who love old churches and architecture should add the St. Michael Parish Church to their list of things to see. It is just a stone’s throw away from the town center. This red brick church situated in a vast courtyard with a well-manicured lawn is difficult to miss. It was established by the Franciscan Missionaries in 1619. Throughout the years, it went through a series of renovations.
8. Go bird watching at Caramoan National Park
In the park, you will get up close with nature and watch diverse local and migrant birds. This immaculate parkland is the abode of a variety of birds of prey like hawks, kites and eagles, tropical birds such as pigeons and hornbills and to water fowl like egrets and mallard.
9. Check out Layahan and Hugsad Waterfalls
At present, Layahan Falls located at Barangay Hanopol and Hugsad Falls at Barangay Patag are somewhat unexplored areas. This is the reason why a lot of tourists are not aware of them.
10. Camping in one of the Islands
For beach bums and nature lovers, camping in one of the secluded beaches is highly recommended. You can actually laze on the beach, sunbathe, explore the surrounding cliffs, swim and snorkel as much as you want as if there is no tomorrow. It is really fun and free. Just be sure to have adequate provisions, mosquito repellent, sunblock, snorkeling gear and first aid kit.