Catanduanes is an island province located in the Bicol Region of the Philippines. It is situated in the eastern part of Luzon, the country’s largest island. Catanduanes is known for its natural beauty, including pristine beaches, lush mountains, waterfalls, and diverse flora and fauna. The capital of Catanduanes is Virac, which is also the largest municipality on the island. Other municipalities in Catanduanes include Bato, Baras, Caramoran, Gigmoto, Pandan, Panganiban, San Andres, San Miguel, and Viga.
The economy of Catanduanes relies mainly on agriculture, with abaca (a type of banana plant used for its strong fiber) being the primary crop. Fishing is also an important industry due to the province’s coastal location. Tourism is a growing sector, with visitors attracted to Catanduanes for its unspoiled natural attractions, such as beaches like Puraran Beach and Mamangal Beach, and the scenic Maribina Falls.
Catanduanes has a rich cultural heritage influenced by its history and the traditions of the Bicolano people. Festivals like the Abaca Festival, which celebrates the province’s main agricultural product, and the Catandungan Festival, showcasing the local culture and arts, are held annually.
The best time to visit Catanduanes is during the dry season, which typically runs from December to May. This period offers the most favorable weather conditions with less rainfall, making it ideal for outdoor activities and beach exploration.
Specifically, the months of February to May are considered the peak tourist season in Catanduanes. During these months, you can expect sunny weather, calm seas, and clear skies, perfect for enjoying the island’s beaches, waterfalls, and other natural attractions. It is also a great time for surfing at popular spots like Puraran Beach, which is known for its “Majestic” wave.
While the dry season is generally the best time to visit, it’s important to note that weather patterns can be unpredictable, and occasional rain showers can occur even during the dry months. It’s advisable to check the weather forecast and be prepared for any changes in conditions.
If you prefer a quieter and less crowded experience, you may consider visiting Catanduanes during the shoulder months of December and January, as well as towards the end of the dry season in April and May. During these times, you can still enjoy good weather and have a more serene and relaxed vacation.
It’s worth mentioning that Catanduanes is occasionally affected by typhoons (tropical cyclones) due to its geographical location. The typhoon season in the Philippines typically occurs from June to November, with the peak being around September. It is recommended to avoid planning a visit during this period, as the island may experience heavy rainfall, strong winds, and disrupted transportation and activities.
Ultimately, the best time to visit Catanduanes depends on your preferences and priorities. Consider the activities you want to engage in and the type of weather you prefer, and plan your trip accordingly.
To travel to Catanduanes, you have a few transportation options depending on your starting point. The province is accessible by air through the Virac Airport, which serves as the main gateway. Alternatively, visitors can travel by boat from the nearby ports in the Bicol Region. Here are the ways on how to get to Catanduanes:
BY AIR – The quickest way to reach Catanduanes is by taking a domestic flight. There are regular flights from Manila to Virac, the capital of Catanduanes. The flight duration is approximately one hour. Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific are the main airlines that operate flights to Catanduanes. Upon arrival at Virac Airport, you can easily access various destinations on the island by land transportation.
BY LAND & SEA – If you prefer a combination of land and sea travel, you can take a bus or drive to Tabaco City in Albay, which is the jump-off point for ferry services to Catanduanes. From Manila, you can take a bus to Tabaco City, which takes around 12 to 13 hours. Several bus companies offer trips to Tabaco City, such as Philtranco, Cagsawa, and Penafrancia.
Once you reach Tabaco City, you can board a ferry or a roll-on/roll-off (RORO) vessel to Catanduanes. The ferry ride usually takes about 3 to 4 hours, depending on sea conditions. The two main ferry ports in Catanduanes are the Virac Port and the San Andres Port, depending on your intended destination on the island.
Once you arrive in Catanduanes, various modes of transportation, including tricycles, vans, and jeepneys, are available for getting around the island and reaching your desired destinations.
The Happy Island, Catanduanes is a hidden gem in the Philippines, offering visitors a range of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy, a laid-back island lifestyle. And with ZCHEDULISTA Tours, exploring the best of Catanduanes has never been easier. Here are some highlights of what the province has to offer:
NATURAL WONDERS – Catanduanes is renowned for its beautiful, unspoiled beaches stunning natural landscapes. The island boasts pristine beaches with crystal-clear waters. One of the most famous is Puraran Beach, known for its majestic waves that attract surfers from around the world. Other stunning beaches include Mamangal Beach, Twin Rock Beach, and Balacay Point Beach. These beaches are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying water sports like surfing and snorkeling. This province is also a home to a cluster of beautiful islands that are perfect for island-hopping adventures. Lovers’ Island, Pajar Island, and Calabagio Island are just a few examples of the stunning islands you can explore.
How can we forget that the province is also home to enchanting waterfalls? The famous Maribina Falls that is located at Brgy. Lictin, is a popular spot for swimming and picnicking. Binurong Falls in Brgy. Guinsaanan is another enchanting waterfall surrounded by lush greenery which offer scenic spots for relaxation and exploration.
The island is also blessed with charming towns and heritage sites. The capital town of Virac is a charming place to explore, with its Spanish-influenced architecture, historic churches like Virac Cathedral, and local markets where you can find fresh produce and local crafts. Other towns on the island also offer glimpses of the local culture and heritage, with landmarks like Bato Church, Luyang Cave, and the Old Spanish Lighthouse in Bagamanoc.
ADVENTURE & OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES – Catanduanes is a haven for adventure and eco-tourism enthusiasts. The province offers opportunities for hiking, trekking, and mountain climbing, with destinations like Mt. Lantad, Mt. Magsumuso, and Mt. Cagmasoso. The rugged terrain is ideal for off-road biking and motorcycling adventures. Eco-tourism activities like bird-watching, wildlife spotting, and exploring mangrove forests can be enjoyed in areas such as Balacay Point, Hitoma Lake, and Palumbanes Islands. You can also try the newest tourist spot of this island names San Miguel River Park, where in you can experience different types of water activities that you can only find in here.
FESTIVAL & CULTURAL EVENTS – Immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture by participating in festivals and cultural events. The Catandungan Festival, typically celebrated in October, features street dances, beauty pageants, and showcases local crafts, local delicacies which features fresh seafood and Bicolano dishes, and local music.
Catanduanes is the “Abaca Capital of the Philippines” due to its extensive abaca plantations. During May, Catandunganon celebrates the “Abaca Festival” which showcases the province’s abaca industry through various activities, parades, and trade exhibits. Here are the sample photos of the Festival Queens that the Catandunganons witnessed and celebrated with recently:
These are just a few of the many things that Catanduanes has to offer. The province’s natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality make it a worthwhile destination for travelers seeking a unique and memorable experience. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a deeper cultural immersion, ZCHEDULISTA’s well-crafted itineraries and dedicated service will undoubtedly make your journey memorable.
So what are you waiting for? Contact ZCHEDULISTA today and let us turn your dream trip to Catanduanes into a reality!