Mahabang Buhangin beach in Tinaga Island, Camarines Norte, about 300km west of Manila, is one of a group of 20 islands in Calaguas. It has a gorgeous 500m stretch of powdery white-sand beach, a paradise for beach lovers and wild beach campers. Archipelago contributing photographer and instagrammer Vera Venus says “it’s really like Boracay! Fine white sand, turquoise water clearer than Boracay’s but without the crowds so it’s very relaxing.”
Here are a few more snaps of Mahabang Buhangin on Instagram...
HOW TO GET THERE Take a Philtranco bus from its terminal in Cubao, Metro Manila to Daet in Camarines Norte. Get off Daet terminal, and take a Paracale-bound bus. From Paracale town proper, take a tricyle to the village port, from where you can hire a boat for the two- to three-hour crossing to Calaguas.
WHERE TO STAY Waling Waling Eco Village has 14 native-themed cabanas, each able to accommodate six day guests or four staying the night. Toilet and bath are communal, but clean. There are also split-level kubols (thatched cottages) with private bathroom and able to sleep up to six guests. From P3,000 (about US$60) per night for two to four people.
The best time to go is on weekdays so the crowds are less. It’s also ideal to do the boat crossing in the morning when the waves are calmer. Calaguas is an outlying island in the Pacific Ocean.
Originally published in InFlight Traveller December 2016 to February 2017. Updated January 2017.