There is a place that will capture your heart, the kind you have always promised yourself where you can lounge lazily on tropical islands barely visible on most maps. Camarines Norte, an underrated tourist destination in Bicol, is dappled with some of the finest beaches in the country.
The paradisaical Apuao Grande and its neighboring island – Apuao Pequeña, are far from the cliché white sand beaches fringed by perennial coconut trees. Instead, its shoreline is hemmed with evergreen agoho trees, often mistaken as pine trees. Incredibly cerulean waters hug the coast of these pristine islands. Feel the days flow seamlessly and spoil yourselves with stunning sceneries. Overnight stay in Apuao Grande is possible, just bring your camping gears or ask near the resort for a homestay.
Unlike the uninhabited Apuao Pequeña, Apuao Grande houses an old-forgotten resort (which is for sale as of my last visit). The latter was a local favorite in the 80’s and is owned by Australians and a Filipina lawyer. The area near the resort are dappled with houses of Filipinas who married Australians, some of them are for sale already.
The other side of Apuao Grande is a thriving fishing community and to get here, you could walk by the coast or pass through the abandoned golf-course. Locals living in the island exhibits such genuine kindness and hospitality to weary travelers.
How to get here:
From Daet, Camarines Norte, ride a tricycle to the terminal of jeepneys bound to Mercedes. They stop near Mercedes port where you can hire boats to take you to Apuao Grande. Bring enough food and water, there are small stores in the fishing village but they sell limited choices of goods.