A long long time ago when the heavens poured down natural scenery on the Land of the Morning, Philippines, a place called Camarines Sur caught most of it. Blame the colossal titans inhabiting the land; they were holding celestial buckets during that time.
Camarines Sur (Central Bikol: Habagatan na Camarines; Filipino: Timog Camarines; and better known as CamSur at present) in the Bicol Region may have suffered a dramatic decline in the number of visitors in 2013, a year after it was being declared as the country’s top tourist destination, but it remains as one of the most sought after destinations in the Philippines. The credit goes to its diverse attractions from front line to off the beaten path. Extreme sports, recreation, cultural, nature, adventure, and religious tourism spots are almost countless—and these are close to if not within Naga City’s vicinity.
In 2016, the Philippine Dairy Inquirer, the most widely read broadsheet newspaper in the Philippines with over 2.7 million nationwide readers daily, once again confirmed that CamSur is the most visited province, with 2.06 million tourists in 2015, or 45.5 percent of arrivals. Being the second home of this blog’s author since 2013, promoting tourism for the province has been one of Stories of the Wandering Feet & Mind’s serious missions.
With Camarines Sur’s continuous tourism power since 2006, when the CamSur Watersports Complex (CWC) began full operations, evidenced by the Philippine Statistics Office and Department of Tourism‘s reports, there is no doubt that it is still on top of the best destinations in the Philippines. Impressive limestone formations and pristine beaches in public or secluded areas for beach bums, pulsating adventure spots for the brave souls, biking and hiking trails for contemporary health enthusiasts, among others are only some of what makes the province an absolute standout.
Take a peek at Pinoy Travel Blogger SonyboyFugaban and Professional Landscape Photographer Rodel delos Reyes, with the big help of their fellow Instagram wanderers, have to say about the grandeur (i.e., upcoming destinations that you should add to your travel bucket list) that is #CamSur through their photos and as to why it should always be one of the most and must visited provinces in the Philippines.
The CWC in Cadlan is equipped with world-class water-based entertainment facilities not only for wakeboarding and water skiing but motor cross, skateboards, and BMX trails.
Add to that the equally attractive sites that serve as perfect side trips in every visit to CWC: the Eco Village and Lago del Ray.
CWC is definitely back to the grind; it hosted the “2016 Wake Park World Championship” last year (October 2016).
The immaculate beaches of Caramoan will not disappoint both locals and foreigners; it is still the province’s, not to mention Bicolandia’s, ultimate summer capital.
“The Philippines’ best beaches and islands” that was published on CNN’s website in November 2016 recognized Caramoan as the sixth placer on the list.
The lofty Mt. Isarog is not only a paradise for mountain climber’s but even bikers for its adventure friendly trails.
This mountain, which stands 1,966 metes above sea level (MASL), is actually a natural park with rich biodiversity and fresh countryside views.
For those who are up to recharging their batteries from the zest-draining workplace stress, Panicuason offers natural hot springs and modern outdoor adventures.
Panicuason is the blogger’s next must-see CamSur destination.
The home to the world’s smallest edible fish in the world, Lake Buhi, and the only white pebbles beach in Camsur and the whole Bicol Region give the same treat.
These places offer an unscathed scenery that will force any sightseer to put his mobile phone down.
They literally define a laid-back yet quaint place, which makes a getaway to either of these two truly rejuvenating.
This province is also teeming with historical churches that radiate ancient Spanish vibe and festivals—such as Karanowan, Harana, Partido Baybayon, Kaogma, Boa-Boahan, Tumatarok Lagonoy Kadahoman, May Ilaoud, Bikol Pastores, Kamundagan including the two of the country’s most celebrated ecumenical and offering festivals Peñafrancia and Tinagba respectively—all year round.
Finally, CamSur is home to a variety of authentic Bicolano food such as Pinangat, Laing, Bicol Express Pasta, Pancit Bato, and Laing Pasta.
Naga City is, of course, swarming with restaurants and eateries along Magsaysay, Peñafrancia, or Mayon Avenue where these delicacies can be found.
Verily, Camarines Sur is not only Bicol region’s financial, commercial, industrial, business, and cultural hub, but a reliable tourism icon of the Philippines with its spectacular nature wonders and modern entertainment facilities of various forms that will make every visitor, be it a traveler or tourist, come back for more.
This is my entry to Ms. Gretchen Filart Dublin of Filipina Explorer‘s PTB Year Opener Blog Carnival titled “Best Upcoming Destinations for 2017”.
10 Extreme Adventures in Camarines Sur (traveling-up.com)
5 Places to Visit in Camarines Sur (travelbook.ph)
Camarines Sur Festivals (flyphilippines.biz)
Caramoan Travel Guide 2017 (thepinaysolobackpacker.com)
Naga City Review, Camarines Sur, Philippines (survivetravel.com)
Stay, Stray, Play and Feast: Ten Delicious Uniquely CamSur (camsurstaystray.blogspot.com)
The Leaning Tower of Milaor (nagacitydeck.com)
Cafes in Naga City (bicolblggers.com)
(Feel free to comment on the things that were missed from you personal list.)