Camarines Sur Travel Guide

Overview of Camarines Sur

Philippines' Bicol Region contains the province of Camarines Sur. It is located in the southeast of Luzon and is bordered to the north and south by the provinces of Camarines Norte and Albay. Pili serves as the province capital. Camarines Sur is renowned for its numerous outdoor pursuits and natural features. Caramoan Peninsula, which has pure white sand beaches, crystal-clear oceans, and limestone cliffs, is one of its most well-liked vacation spots. Caramoan became well-known throughout the world as a result of its use as a filming location for the reality TV program "Survivor." Malabsay Falls and Nabuntulan Falls are two stunning waterfalls in the province that are great for swimming and hiking.

Where to Go

Caramoan Peninsula

Famous for its pristine white sand beaches, limestone cliffs, and crystal-clear waters, Caramoan is a stunning destination for beach lovers and adventure enthusiasts. The area gained international fame as a location for the reality show "Survivor."

Mount Isarog National Park

A haven for nature lovers, this national park offers hiking trails, waterfalls, and diverse flora and fauna. It's a great destination for trekking and bird watching, with the chance to see various endemic species.

CamSur Watersports Complex (CWC)

Located in Pili, CWC is a world-renowned wakeboarding destination. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced wakeboarder, CWC offers facilities and coaching to suit all levels.

Our Lady of Peñafrancia Basilica Minore

Situated in Naga City, the Basilica Minore is a significant religious site that draws pilgrims from all over. The basilica is dedicated to Our Lady of Peñafrancia, the patroness of Bicol.

Malabsay Falls

A popular eco-tourism destination near Mount Isarog, Malabsay Falls offers a refreshing natural pool beneath a cascading waterfall. The trek to the falls also provides a scenic journey through the lush forest.

Nag-Aso Falls

Located in the town of Nabua, Nag-Aso Falls is a picturesque waterfall surrounded by lush vegetation. The site is ideal for those seeking a tranquil and refreshing natural retreat.

Naga Metropolitan Cathedral

Also known as the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, this historic cathedral in Naga City is a notable religious and architectural landmark.

Adiangao Cave

A natural limestone cave located in the town of Buhi, Adiangao Cave offers spelunking opportunities for adventure enthusiasts. Inside, you'll find impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations.

Hinulugang Taktak Falls

Situated in the town of Tigaon, this waterfall is known for its clear blue waters. It's a popular spot for picnics and relaxation.

Panicuason Hot Spring Resort

Nestled at the foot of Mount Isarog, this resort offers hot spring pools surrounded by lush greenery. It's a great place to unwind and enjoy the therapeutic benefits of natural hot springs.

What to Do

Wakeboarding at CWC (CamSur Watersports Complex)

Head to Pili and experience world-class wakeboarding at CWC. Whether you're a beginner or an advanced rider, the complex offers cable park facilities and coaching for all levels.

Island-Hopping in Caramoan

Explore the stunning islands and beaches of Caramoan Peninsula through island-hopping tours. Visit iconic locations featured in the TV show "Survivor" and enjoy the pristine beauty of the area.

Trekking in Mount Isarog National Park

Embark on a trekking adventure in Mount Isarog National Park, home to diverse flora and fauna. Hike through lush forests, discover waterfalls like Malabsay Falls, and experience the rich biodiversity of the region.

Visit Our Lady of Peñafrancia Basilica Minore

Take a cultural and spiritual journey to Naga City to visit the Basilica Minore, a significant religious site dedicated to Our Lady of Peñafrancia.

Relax at Panicuason Hot Spring Resort

Unwind in the natural hot springs of Panicuason Hot Spring Resort, located at the base of Mount Isarog. Enjoy the therapeutic benefits of the warm waters amidst the picturesque surroundings.

Explore Nag-Aso Falls

Discover the scenic Nag-Aso Falls near Nabua, known for its tranquil ambiance and refreshing pool. It's an ideal spot for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful retreat.

Visit Naga Metropolitan Cathedral

Explore the historical and architectural beauty of the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral in Naga City. Attend mass or simply admire the grandeur of this religious landmark.

Exploration at Adiangao Cave

For adventure enthusiasts, explore the Adiangao Cave in Buhi, known for its limestone formations. Take a guided tour to witness the beauty of the cave's stalactites and stalagmites.

Enjoy Watersports

Aside from wakeboarding, Camarines Sur offers various watersports activities such as kayaking and paddle boarding. Check out resorts and beach areas for equipment rentals and lessons.

When is the Best Time to Visit Camarines Sur

The best time to visit Camarines Sur is during the dry season, which typically spans from November to April. During these months, the weather is generally more stable, with lower chances of rainfall and more sunshine. This period is ideal for outdoor activities, beach trips, and water sports, including the renowned wakeboarding at the CamSur Watersports Complex (CWC).

The dry season provides optimal conditions for exploring the natural beauty of the region, such as trekking in Mount Isarog National Park or embarking on island-hopping adventures in Caramoan, ensuring a more comfortable and enjoyable travel experience.

The wet season in Camarines Sur occurs from May to October and is characterised by higher rainfall and occasional typhoons. While the lush landscapes during this time can be visually appealing, it is important to note that outdoor activities may be impacted by rain.

How to Get to Camarines Sur

By Air

The most convenient way to reach Camarines Sur is by air. Naga City has an airport, the Naga Airport (WNP), which serves domestic flights. You can book a flight from Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila to Naga Airport.

Several airlines operate flights to Naga, and the flight duration is approximately one hour. Upon arrival at Naga Airport, you can take local transportation to various destinations within Camarines Sur.

By Sea

While Camarines Sur doesn't have a major international seaport, you can still reach the region by sea. The nearest major seaport is the Port of Tabaco in Albay.

From there, you can take a bus or van to Naga City in Camarines Sur, which is approximately a 2 to 3-hour journey depending on traffic and road conditions.

By Car / Bus

If you prefer a scenic land journey, you can take a bus or drive to Camarines Sur. Buses and vans operate from major cities like Manila and Legazpi to Naga City. The journey by bus may take around 8 to 12 hours, depending on the starting point. Alternatively, if you're driving, you can take the Pan-Philippine Highway (AH26) or other major roads leading to Naga City. Travel time by car depends on your location, but the road trip offers picturesque views of the countryside.

How to Get Around

By Taxi / Ride-Sharing Services

Taxis are available in urban areas of Camarines Sur, particularly in Naga City. However, ride-sharing services like Grab may not be as widely available as in larger cities. In urban centers, you can hail a taxi or inquire at transportation hubs for their services. While taxis and ride-sharing options provide convenient point-to-point transportation, they may be limited in more rural areas.

By Car / Motorcycle

Renting a car or motorcycle is a convenient way to explore Camarines Sur, especially if you prefer flexibility and independence. Several car rental agencies operate in Naga City, offering a range of vehicles. Motorcycles or scooters are also available for rent.

What to Eat

Camarines Sur offers a diverse selection of dining establishments catering to a range of budgets and culinary preferences, ensuring there is something to suit every taste.

Local Food

Camarines Sur boasts a vibrant local food scene, showcasing the rich flavors of Bicolano cuisine. Here are some notable local restaurants in the area such as Kambingan sa Dalan-Dalan, Biggs Centro, Triboo Grill and Kuya J Restaurant.

Fresh Seafood

Camarines Sur, with its coastal location and abundant marine resources, boasts a thriving seafood scene. Here are some of the notable restaurants such as Pirate Shack, Pandawan Seafood Restaurant, Cjzave BBQ & Grill and Pusitan ni Boss Bulalo.

Western Food

Camarines Sur's culinary landscape extends beyond local flavours to embrace a diverse Western food scene, catering to a variety of tastes. In urban centers like Naga City, you'll find restaurants and cafes offering Western-inspired dishes such as West Food House, B'West Restobar, The Barrel Pit and Parrilla Vaca Bar & Grill.

What to Buy

When in Camarines Sur, bring home the essence of the region with Pili nut treats, vibrant abaca handicrafts, locally woven textiles, and rich Bicolano flavors in the form of spices, sauces, and traditional snacks. Explore the coastal beauty with woodcrafts, bamboo products, and seashell crafts, and support local artists by acquiring unique artworks. Discover the therapeutic benefits of herbal products and choose meaningful souvenirs that showcase the province's craftsmanship and flavours.

Where to Stay

Camarines Sur offers a variety of accommodation options to suit different preferences and budgets. In Naga City, the provincial capital, you'll find a range of hotels, inns, and guesthouses that provide convenient access to local attractions and amenities. Coastal areas, such as Caramoan, offer resorts with picturesque views and beachfront locations.

Budget-friendly options like hostels and lodges cater to travellers seeking affordable yet comfortable stays. To make the most of your visit, consider choosing accommodation based on your planned activities, whether it's exploring the city, indulging in water sports, or immersing yourself in the province's natural beauty.

What to Bring

  • Bring sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses to shield yourself from the sun's rays.
  • Comfortable sandals or flip-flops are ideal for beach outings, while a pair of sturdy walking shoes may be useful for hiking or exploring.
  • If visiting during the wet season, a compact umbrella and a lightweight rain jacket can come in handy.
  • Stay hydrated by carrying a reusable water bottle, particularly if you're engaging in outdoor activities.
  • Ensure your electronic devices stay charged by bringing the necessary travel adapters.
  • While there are ATMs in urban areas, having some local currency can be useful, especially in more remote locations.

What to Wear

When packing for your trip to Camarines Sur, consider the tropical climate and plan accordingly. Lightweight and breathable clothing is essential due to the warm temperatures. Pack comfortable and casual outfits such as shorts, T-shirts, sundresses, and swimwear, especially if you plan to engage in water activities or visit the beach.

Things to Note

  • Stay hydrated, especially in the warm weather, and use sunscreen to protect against the sun. Consider bringing insect repellent, particularly if you plan to explore nature reserves.
  • The local currency is the Philippine Peso (PHP). While ATMs are available in urban areas, it's advisable to have some local currency on hand, especially in more remote locations.
  • Keep a list of important contacts, including the local emergency numbers, contact information for your accommodation, and the nearest embassy or consulate.
  • Filipino and English are widely spoken, but learning a few basic Filipino phrases can enhance your travel experience and interactions with locals.

Book your flights and hotel today and start planning your Camarines Sur escapade today! Click Here!