Mercedes Islands

October 15, 2014 Travel

I have always wanted to visit the 7 islands of Mercedes, Camarines Norte. The islands have been a favorite among backpackers, campers and mountaineers.  

The Mercedes seven-islands, composed of Caringo, Canimog, Apuao Grande, Apuao Pequeña, Canton, Quinapaguian and Malasugui Islands, are all known for its white-sand beaches.

There are two points from where to start island-hopping -- first is via the Mercedes Port and the other is from Cayucyucan, Mercedes. Since our objective for visiting the islands wAS to recon for our outreach group, Trails to Empower Kids, we decided to take the latter, which is closer to Quinapaguian Island.

Quinapaguian Island is one of the three islands in the cluster which has a community and an elementary school.  The others are Apuao and Caringo.

Quinapaguian Island

The boat ride took more than 30 minutes and we sailed on rough seas.  We traveled the day after Typhoon Glenda ravaged the country so we were still a bit panicky.  

After that boat ride came this calm scene.

Kids were playing on the beach. We were so tempted to swim with them despite the scorching heat of the sun. Plus, sands got mixed with the wind. It was like having diamond peel.

That didn't stop us though from having our photos taken at the sand bar.

After that, we did what we came there for, which was to survey a school. 

Apuao Island

Our next destination was Apuao Island, which was another 30 minute boat ride.  After the school visit, we explored the rest of the island.

Apuao is the most popular of all the seven islands.  This used to be a popular beach destination with a resort managed by a popular chain.  It is now for sale.  

Tourists can still go there and avail of the cottage and other services.  The big cottage rents for P 2,500 and can accommodate very big groups.  Water though is an issue in the island so all drinking water should be bought from the mainland.  

Apuao is another beautiful island.  It is sad that the resort is no longer operational and tourists are no longer coming to the island because the locals need the income.    

We wanted to visit Caringo also but we didn't have enough time.  We went back to Cayuyucan and spent the night in Bagasbas.

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