Island Getaway: Apuao Islands 2014

4:52 PM

Approaching summer season reminded me of my island adventure backlog last May! This getaway is still a part of the #DateInDaet bloggers' event organized by Ms. Apple Allison of Sole Searching Soul

If you haven't read the first part of our DiD adventure yet, you can click here to know more about that. We ransack all the corners of Daet to find the perfect place to dine in, have fun and experience the bona fide Camarines Norte.

So hey! Here comes the second day! Our island getaway to Apuao Islands! Technically, this is not a part of Daet anymore, but still part of Camarines Norte. Apuao is part of Mercedes, the second class municipality of Camarines Norte. 


How to get to Mercedes?

By Air. 45 minute direct flight from Manila to Pili Airport in Camarines Sur. From the airport, 15 minutes drive to Naga City. The van terminal to Daet is located beside the LCC Mall. Currently, the van fare Naga-Daet is just Php180. Another 2 hours-drive from Naga City to Daet, Camarines Norte. And from Daet, you can ride a jeepney or rent a tricycle going to Mercedes fish port or what they also call "Pandawan."

By Land. You can take the bus from Manila through South Maharlika highway to Daet. Bus companies with daily trips to Daet are Philtranco with terminals in Pasay City and Cubao, Quezon City and Superlines in Cubao, Quezon City. From Daet, you can take the jeepney or hire a tricycle to reach Mercedes town proper. If you have a car service, it will take you just 10-15 minutes to drive to the Mercedes town proper. 


Going to the Island

From the fish port, you have to rent a boat going to the island. The boat ride will just take you 30-45mins to reach your paradise destination. Boat rentals usually costs Php2,000-Php2,500, but this still depends on your agreement with your bangkero (boatman).

After reaching the fish port, the mayor of Daet, Camarines Norte, Mayor Tito Sarion was so kind enough to prepare breakfast for us at a restaurant overviewing the sea. Isn't this so nice? *u*

There are a number of restaurants in the Mercedes fish port where you can ask them to cook what you had bought in the Pandawan. But for us, it's Tinapa-Itlog-Kamatis-Sinangag  (smoked fish, egg, tomato & fried rice) combo it is! Perf way to start our adventure. So yes, let's go travel to the Apuao after the yummy breakfast, shall we?

Apuao Grande is one of the 7 beautiful islands of Mercedes, Cam Norte. The other 6 islands of Mercedes are Apuao Pequeña, Canton, Quinapaguian, Caringo, Canimog, Quinapaguian, and Malasugui. 

Though Apuao Grande is the most famous of all of the islands, all of these islands offer different beauty and adventure experience, including mountain hiking and trekking, boating, kayaking and even snorkelling!

Two of the seven islands of Mercedes, Apuao Grande and Caringo, are inhabited by residents. You don't have to worry about cellular signal here because all networks work here. There is also electricity in the island, but only for a limited scheduled time on the day.

Apuao Grande offers room accommodation to tourists, but if you like camping, you can also try setting your tents to this camping grounds of the island.

This paradise was once a privately owned resort by the Swagman Hotel Chain until the Typhoon Reming in 2006 run-down the island. The resort was so ravaged that the owners decided to just abandon the island. That's why if you'd explore the island, you'd still see the remains of its once productive resort.

The island also has a golf course in it. Currently invaded by horses, cows and other wildlife.

On low tides, Apuao Grande connects to another island called Apuao Pequeña. We were lucky to encounter a low tide during our visit so we also explored the island of Apuao Pequeña.

In this photo, you can see the sandbar that connects the two Apuao islands.

You can sight a lot of driftwoods in the seashore. I want take home one and transform it to a beautiful furniture! If only it's allowed~

Our tour guide told us that the owner of the Apuao Pequeña originally wanted this island to be a mini zoo that they imported some wild boars in the island. And currently, it's still roaming around.

And then suddenly.. Oops! Baby wild bore spotted! Though the mother of this little wild-ey, they say, is very seldom sighted, extra caution should always be taken to people who will explore this island.

Apuao Pequeña had also became a sanctuary of bats. 

We hiked to reach the top of the island for a scenic view of the Pacific Island. I think it took us approximately 15 minutes just to reach this. I was so unprepared for this that I hiked using my maxi dress and flip-flops! But all the sweat and tiring "tiis-ganda" hike was all worth it when we saw the view on the top of the island! They call this place the secret surfing spot. Too bad I only brought my 50mm camera lens! This photo didn't give much justice to the beauty we've seen that day.

These islands are just two of the treasures of Mercedes, Camarines Norte. There are still lots to discover in this municipality. If you are looking for new kind of adventures and virgin islands to explore, this is the place to be. Easy and, I think, much affordable to reach compare to other famous beaches right now.

I hope this post enticed you to visit Apuao Islands this summer! It's waiting for you to get explored!

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SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR PARTNERS AND SPONSORS:
Accommodation - pineapple island resort - daet / Pineapple Island Resort - Daet, Camarines Norte
AM Snacks - KICK Milk Tea
Lunch - Bigg's Diner Daet SM Hypermart Branch
PM Snacks - #Kundalini Healthy Cuisine
Dinner & other arrangements - Mayor Tito Sarte Sarion & LGU #Daet
Breakfast & Boat ride to Apuao Islands - LGU Mercedes
Lunch - COP
PM Snacks - Alvinos Roast, Grill & Fry
Dinner - Chef Mama
Yummy Goodies & Gift Packs - Jannah's Pasalubong
Giveaway & Prize Tshirts - Gush Shop
#Calaguas Getaway Prize - Travel and Sand


Some photos taken by Nick Pahati


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