Verdant hills, the pacific seascape, clouds that seem to sit on Earth, are just a few to describe the Catanduanes Island that I know. If a friend of mine didn’t even live here, I wouldn’t even know that this happy island exists. For starters, Catanduanes is known as the Happy Island of the Philippines. As I travel within the island, the sceneries and the people we met truly left my heart at joy and peace.

Just across Catanduanes on the west is Mt. Mayon in Legazpi

BEST TOURIST SPOT DESTINATIONS IN CATANDUANES

My 3-day trip here was truly not enough to slash off ALL the beautiful scenic spots in Catanduanes. That is why I recently booked another flight going to this island during Cebu Pacific’s recent Independence Day Piso Fare 2019. I might be updating this post next year!

Let us focus first on the top of the list of tourist spot destinations that you MUST not miss out on your visit.

NORTHERN CATANDUANES – PANDAN

HIYOP ROLLING HILLS
Located at the north of Catanduanes Island in Pandan, this hill is a little off the track but absolutely worth a visit. Honestly, this is not even a part of our itinerary but when we were there, it initially became one of my favorite spots.

Getting here is a bit tricky since they don’t have an official entrance. As you Google Map your way here, you will come across a tiny town at the edge of the island. From there you will have to ask the people around how you can get in Hiyop Rolling Hills. You can show them some pictures so they know what you’re referring to.

The rolling hills are a bit on the west side of the town and there will be a wire fence around it that you will have to get across. Entering is totally allowed and they just put the fence there since it can be a bit dangerous for the kids to play around the edge.

I thought this is better to slash off in the itinerary since it really is off the track and we might be wasting time getting here. But, no. The view was astonishing and the breeze playfully whispers us to not go back yet.

EASTERN CATANDUANES – BARAS

CAGNIPA HILLS & TUWAD-TUWADAN LAGOON

There were a lot of trash when we arrived here, please be a responsible visitor and don’t leave any trash

Thanks to the local kids who went and played with us

On the most north-western side of Catanduanes lies Cagnipa Rolling Hills and Tuwad-Tuwadan Lagoon. The hills overlooking another island on the distant and the lagoon below the hills is a duo you won’t want to miss. You can read more details on how to get here and what to expect on a separate blog post.

Look at how the clouds kiss the earth, this is one that you won’t get to see when in the metro. This place is a haven and a perfect spot to reconnect with our surroundings.

BINURONG POINT

Inedscribable view! Another one of my fave spots in Catanduanes

If you do not go here, you will be missing out a lot on Catanduanes. This spot is probably the most famous and sought after destination due to the breathtaking vista during its golden hour. Many compare it to Ireland and Batanes but do know that this is Catanduanes with its very own unique charm.

This separate guide details on how you can travel to Binurong Point and all the sceneries that you can expect. Just go here and be speechless – that is all I can say.

BALACAY POINT
Entrance Fee: Php50

You can see a wider view of the Pacific sea here than in Binurong Point plus without the hike 

A few kilometers away from Binurong point is Balacay Point with another stunning view of the Pacific Ocean. No hiking is required in Balacay Point and you can ride a car going to the top. It only requires a minimum entrance fee so they can cement the road going up here. This is another alternative when you can’t hike in Binurong Point but it’s better to go and visit both lol.
PURARAN BEACH

Puraran beach from a distant

You might encounter foreigners with their surfing board when you land in Catanduanes airport and you might be thinking where they would be surfing. Fret not, the answer is in Puraran Beach. Puraran is pronounced as Purar-An, we later knew when Kuya Andy, our driver told us.

You can either surf here or swim around, the wide space here is a call to just relax and view the strong waves of Puraran Beach. There are several stores here where you can buy food. There are some resorts here if you prefer to stay the night.

SOUTH CATANDUANES – VIRAC

MARIBINA WATERFALLS
Entrance Fee: Php50

Maribina Falls is just a small basin

Where is the perfect spot to end your trip? Search none other than Maribina Falls.

Ditch the saltwater and just relax at the chilling waters of Maribina waterfalls near Virac city. You can enjoy the lush forest here and swim around the deep dark basin of the falls. We had the place all to ourselves around 3pm and it was a great time to release all the physical weariness we had during our hike in Binurong Point in the morning.

WHERE TO STAY

TWIN ROCK RESORT
Entrance Fee: Php50
Room Rates: Click here for more info
Go for the exhilarating activities, stay at the resort or both? With either of the 3 options, just relaxing here doing nothing but stare at the wide view is enough. Read this guide about Twin Rock Resort’s room and activity rates. This might be the answer to your barkada trip as they can accommodate large groups in a room.

Twin Rock Resort is near the vicinity of Virac city so if you prefer to stay near the city, you can add this to your option.

CARANGYAN BEACH RESORT
If you prefer to stay on the northern side and get all the serenity that you need with your friends or family then check out Carangyan Beach Resort. The sand may not be the best but the isolation from the crowd is not to be miss out.

A short stop here is also possible since that is what we did. After our trip to Cagnipa Rolling Hills, we had our lunch at Carangyan Beach and swam a little. Check out their main website here.

WHERE TO EAT IN CATANDUANES

BLOSSOMS CAFÉ
I really recommend the dishes here but sadly I didn’t get to take a picture. Their pasta will make your tongue tingle with happiness. I did not expect anything here but, man! That cheap pasta we ate was worth the price of a high-end restaurant for its taste.

For someone who lives in Manila, the cost of food is expensive especially when you do not earn enough. I was blown away at their prices and the taste of the food here! SO CHEAP!

BLUE CAFÉ

Text here,Text here,Text here

We immediately go to Starbucks when we want that high-quality coffee, but in Catanduanes, they have Blue café. Same as the Blossoms café, they have VERY friendly-prices for their drinks and desserts. That large slice of cake only costs a hundred peso, did I mention already how large the slice is? Yeah! Definitely go here at Blue Café and Blossoms Café!
CATANDUANES 2020?
Already got my tickets but I’m not sure if I can push through yet… There have been some things that happened that I might not go through with this trip TnT → wow, this kinda emoji is so old school, been a while since I used this again lol

THINGS TO KNOW

   
How to get to Catanduanes?
The easiest way from Metro Manila is via plane. The flight is just an hour short. To get the cheapest air fare check out Skyscanner, my go-to cheap flight finder.
 
Do you need a Visa?
For foreigners, please check out this page if you are required by the Philippines to apply for a visa https://www.travisa.com/Visa_Search
Language/s Spoken
Filipinos mostly speak English. Language barrier won't be much of an issue here.
Local Currency
In the Philippines, our currency is called Philippine Peso (Php, ₱). Make sure to have cash in advance as you can withdraw in the city only.
Getting Around
There is a lot of tricycle around Catanduanes and there are also jeepneys but they usually wait for the seats to be full before leaving. As for traveling, it is better to contract a tricycle driver or rent vehicles as it will be very hard to tour around. Some parts of the island are hard to get a ride back.

HILLS AND THE PACIFIC SEA

A MUST visit for the hill-lovers!
Many say that Catanduanes is a replacement for Batanes BUT thru my own eyes, I think not. Catanduanes has her own charm that you will have to see yourself. For me, this island is my fave so far, more than Boracay and Siargao. Cheap food, my type of invaluable scenery, and kind locals, what more can I ask for?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The name’s Fiorucci (pronounced as Fee-yoh-ru-chi), I’m not Italian but I can eat pasta for a whole week…or a month…or more. Hop on my story as I travel the world ‘one destination at a time’ while juggling with my full-time work, freelancing and building my own business to gain freedom from this monotonous corporate society.

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