Mercedes, Camarines Norte: Belle of the Pacific

By Anne Elizabeth Apolona Gumiran - 3:55 PM



If you are into exploring the undiscovered, the seven islands in Mercedes, Camarines Norte perfectly fit into your list.

This group of islands include Caringo Is., Apuao Pequeña, Apuao Grande, Malasugui Is., Quinapagian Is., Canton Is., Canimog Is. in which each of these islands would pamper your inner mermaids and tickle your thalassophilia, satisfy your sight with the hues of aqua and the greens and give you a taste of the pacific ocean. Indeed, it is the "Belle of the Pacific".


We were supposed to go to Calaguas Island that time. However, due to the threat of an inclement weather, we were told by the coastguards that we cannot sail due to the behavior of the waves. Since 'Safety First' is at the top notch of the travelers' rules, we did not insist on this one since Pacific Ocean waves aren't something we'd wanna dare play with. There and then, we searched on the spot for a destination in Camarines Norte in which we would be allowed to safely sail and we came across with 'Siete Pecados de Mercedes'. We didn't knew that such paradise existed around the corner of the upper Bicolandia.





Our jump off was at Cayucyucan/ Kayukyukan Beach. From there it was a 25-30minute boatride going to our first island, Apuao Pequeña.











 The campsite, Apuao Pequeña Island


The trail up to Apuao Viewdeck 👣


There, there. Fruit bats!



A glimpse of Pacific Ocean after a short trek in Apuao Pequeña Island. From there, we traversed and we were lead to the other side of the island.



There are trees in there where you could pose and take your instagrammable beach photos.




The trail got concrete steps halfway up to the lighthouse.

Up in the lighthouse!





Yes, I wore sports bra at the beach because wth I thought it was just a trek 😂

Up in the lighthouse at Canimog Island. We rapelled our way down from the lighthouse to that islet. The very first photo in this entry was taken at that islet.



There are basically two ways to get there:

By plane:
Mnl ✈ Naga Airport
⌚This would take 40-45 minutes
✔ride a jeep/ taxi from the airport in Camarines Sur to Naga City
🚐From Naga City, ride a bus or van to Daet Bus Terminal

Or;
🚌Ride a bus from Alabang (479php), Pasay or Cubao bound for Daet (DLTB Co., Amihan and Superlines)
This costs around 700-750php

Then;

🚏Get off at Daet Bus Terminal
✔From the Bus terminal, ride a jeep or tricycle to Mercedes boundary. Fare is at 40php for a special trip and 10php per head for non-special
✔From Mercedes Boundary ride a tricycle to the port this would take 10-15min minutes and would cost you 10php per head and 60php for special trip.

Boat Rental Rates
⛵Rates range from 2500php to 6000php depending on the number of tourists and the days that the boat will be rented. For 4-8 persons who would rent the boat for the whole day only, it would cost 2500php inclusive of boat transfers and island hopping. If they would rent it overnight, it would be 3500php. For a tour with a maximum of 16 persons, it would cost 6000php with the same inclusions.


ACCOMMODATION
If you want to pay Cayucyucan/ Cayukyukan Beach a visit or check in to a resort nearby, you may want to go straight to Brgy. Cayucyucan through a tricycle either from the port or Mercedes boundary. Nearest resorts include Villa Criselda, Palms Farm Resort which also offers island hopping activities to the aforementioned islands. Or, if you want to spend and a night or camp in the island, you may either choose from Caringo or Apuao Pequeña.

There's a resort in Caringo Island which offers cottages for rent and may also allow you to pitch tent for a certain minimal amount. There's also electricity in the island powered by generators. Apuao Pequeña, vastly bedded by carabao grass and roofed by tall pine trees, on the other hand, promises a relaxing campsite. Its sand is comparable to that of Jomalig's in Quezon because it turns golden at a certain time of the day. There's only one washroom in the island and watersource is a pump. Hence, it is advised that you bring your own drinking water. Lastly, cellphone signal isn't a problem in this island.

As regards the accommodation, if you want a less hassle trip you may contact and avail a package from Kuya Ruel Santilices and Ate Annie. We availed a package from them for two days and one night inclusive of tent rental and sharing, boat transfers and island hopping, sumptuous hosted meals which are buffet in style and local wine. They made our trip and stay indeed worthwhile. The foods were quite commendable! It was only in there where we tasted such. We had fish, pork, seafood, fruits and veggies prepared in their local cuisine! We chose to stay and camp in Apuao Pequeña, by the way.

ACTIVITIES
✔Island hopping
✔Beach bumming
✔Swimming
✔Camping
✔Stargazing
✔Sunset watching in Apuao Pequeña
✔Trekking to the lighthouse (Canimog Is.)
✔Rapelling from Lighthouse and trek to an islet nearby Canimog
✔Trekking in Apuao Pequeña
✔Fruit Bats watching (I swear, these fruit bats are enormous)

Contact Details:
Ate Annie/ Kuya Ruel Santelices - 09985811396
Facebook: Ruel Santelices

Mercedes Tourism Office
discovermercedes@yahoo.com
Facebook page: Love Ko si Mercedes

Palms Farm Resort
09275871001
09175006639
09564439059
Facebook page: Palms Farm Resort

Villa Criselda Hotel
09202011928

Special thanks to Ate Jen Bechayda for the photos and Kuya Ruel for helpig me out on this travel guide and a wonderful trip! 🌴🌺

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