An interesting hidden cove in the Caramoan islands

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Tinago Cove as seen from a promontory
Tinago Cove as seen from a promontory

I was in awe of the vertical rock faces, karst forests and rugged terrain that make up the Caramoan islands as our motorized outrigger (READ: banca) sped off from the shallows of Caramoan town’s beach to a far eastern destination within the peninsula.

Survivor Caramoan was there. Yes. Survivor Holland to be exact and the popular beaches in the islands and islets were unfortunately off limits. But then, this beautiful peninsula has more to offer and for a group of travelers with only a day to spare, decided to explore the beaches less visited by tourists.

The banca slowed down as we entered a cove, the deep waters giving way to the shallows and corals were suddenly in view. “Tinago Cove,” our guide, Jojo informed us as we marveled at the almost paradisaical scenery: low hills that seemed to have grown out of the water’s surface and covered with short vegetation. The jagged rocks hardly peering from the greenery as blue starfishes amidst corals down the water were becoming apparent as we entered deeper into the cove.

Tinago Cove is beautiful. Aptly named, it has three white sand beaches hidden within the hilly formations. The two smaller patch of beach were occupied thus we went to the biggest strip where at one side, under the shade of trees, a group was having their lunch. Our bangkero adroitly led the banca to it where we eventually anchored.

Although I’ve seen better beaches, it was a bit wild here, in a sense that it was unlike those in Boracay’s White Beach where cleaners are up as early as 4AM to sweep the sand and retrieve trash. Here, it has none of those but dried leaves, bits of corals and stones, drift wood and such. Jojo climbed a series of rocks up to an exposed surface of the hill and I followed.

As I looked down, I was just bowled over the view! Words can’t express the sheer beauty of the place: shallow water with corals and patches of white sand, beach strips, people frolicking with outrigger boats anchored. These dwarfed by the low lying hills carpeted with green while at my area, sharp rocks contrasted with the overall view. It was just beautiful.

I explored the upper portion of the hill, photographing here and there, getting closeups of the knife like edges of these rocks. After a few minutes, I carefully went down but not without some cuts and slices on my skin and rubber slippers. I took a dip in the warm water, marveled at the lone jelly fish that came my way. After several minutes of lingering, our guide called out. It was time to move to another beach.

Within these formations is the Tinago Cove
Within these formations is the Tinago Cove
Our bangkero slowly inching its way to one of three white sand beaches within the cove
Our bangkero slowly inching its way to one of three white sand beaches within the cove
One of the hills with its jagged surface and a good vantage point to the cove
One of the hills with its jagged surface and a good vantage point to the cove
Tinago Cove with the green hills and jagged rocks, seen from above a promontory
Tinago Cove with the green hills and jagged rocks, seen from above a promontory
Beautiful rock formations above the cove
Beautiful rock formations above the cove
Jagged rocks and sea located above the cove
Jagged rocks and sea located above the cove
The white sand beach that we visited within the Tinago Cove
The white sand beach that we visited within the Tinago Cove

Thanx to Naga City Tourism, Naga Excursions and Jojo Villareal for pointing this out to me

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications.

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces.

I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

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