Visiting Sorsogon has been a dream of ours for a while, and recently we had the opportunity to explore this stunning province located at the southernmost tip of the Bicol region.
If you’re considering a trip to Matnog, this travel guide is a must-read.
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How to get to Matnog, Sorsogon
There are two transportation options to reach Matnog, Sorsogon. The quickest route involves taking a flight from Manila to Legazpi, Albay, while the alternative is a bus journey directly from Manila.
- Book a flight from Manila to Legazpi Airport.
- From Legazpi Airport, ride a tricycle going to bus terminal.
- From the bus terminal, ride a bus or van bound to Sorsogon City.
- Lastly, from Sorsogon City, ride a jeep/van/mini bus to Matnog.
- Ride a bus from any of the terminals at Cubao, Buendia, Pasay and Alabang bound to Matnog, Sorsogon.
- Travel time may take 14 – 16 hours including rest stop.
Situated at the southernmost point of the Bicol region, Matnog serves as the entrance for travelers, motorists, and cargo trucks crossing between Matnog Port and the Visayas region, and vice versa. This scenic destination boasts breathtaking white sandy beaches, impressive rock formations, and lush hills.
While in Matnog, one of the top activities to experience is embarking on an island-hopping tour to discover its picturesque coastal areas.
Register and Book your Island-Hopping Tour
Make your way to the Matnog Tourism Office located next to the Matnog Public Market, where you can make arrangements for your island-hopping tour. Whether you prefer a day tour or an overnight tour, the tourism office can assist you. Additionally, please note that you will be required to pay registration and environmental fees.
Places to Visit in Matnog
Juag Lagoon Fish Sanctuary
The initial stop on the island-hopping tour is typically Juag Lagoon, which is approximately a 30-minute boat ride from Matnog Port.
Please make sure that you have not applied any sunscreen or sunblock to your body, as feeding the fish is strictly regulated and guests who have applied such products, especially on their hands, are not allowed to participate. Your boat captain and “bangkero” (boatman) will also provide reminders about the do’s and don’ts while visiting the tourist attractions.
During our visit, we encountered various fish species such as pampano, talakitok, and lapu-lapu. It’s important to note that these fish are solely for feeding purposes and not available for sale. Fishing activities are strictly prohibited. Apart from fish feeding, you can also enjoy snorkeling and swimming in Juag Lagoon.
Undoubtedly, one of the highlights of the island-hopping tour in Matnog is the remarkable stretch of pink sandy beach found in Subic Beach, also known as Subic Daco, located on Calintaan Island.
Subic Beach offers a picturesque setting with its pinkish sand and breathtaking turquoise waters. It is an ideal destination for swimming and considered one of the top attractions in Matnog. For those seeking an extended stay, resorts and cottages are available, while backpackers have the option of camping.
Subic Beach provides power supply for visitors, and you can find small stores where you can purchase essential food items, souvenir items, and even get a henna tattoo, among other amenities.
On the opposite side of Subic Daco, you’ll find Subic Liit, a smaller version of the beach but equally beautiful. It offers a serene shoreline with fewer crowds and less noise, making it a tranquil alternative.
During your island-hopping adventure, a brief stop at Calintaan Cave is highly recommended. If the waves are calm and the weather is favorable, the boat can approach the cave closely, allowing tourists to capture stunning photos with the cave as a picturesque backdrop. It’s a worthwhile spot to visit and adds to the overall experience of the island-hopping tour.
Villa Francisco Hills
If you’re seeking a breathtaking ocean view from an elevated vantage point, look no further than Villa Francisco Hills.
Located just a short boat ride away from Subic Beach, this hilly destination offers a unique experience for tourists on their island tour. After reaching the shore, a trek of less than 30 minutes will lead you to the peak where the campsite is situated. At Villa Francisco Hills, you’ll find cottages and ample camping grounds capable of accommodating a large number of campers and tourists. It’s an ideal spot to enjoy the scenic surroundings and take in the awe-inspiring panorama of the ocean.
Last but not least, we have Tikling Island, which stands out as the most exceptional island among all the destinations we explored. Its untouched and pristine beauty captivates visitors. While there are no resorts on Tikling Island, you have the option to pitch a tent if you wish to stay overnight. However, it’s important to coordinate this arrangement with the tourism office, as it is not a typical overnight spot for tourists.
On Tikling Island, you can bask in the delight of its powdery sand beach and take refreshing dips in its cool, bluish waters. This island is conveniently located closest to Matnog Port but is usually the final stop on the island-hopping tour.
Things You Need to Know
• It is advisable to bring your own food and snacks to the island to avoid higher costs. You can purchase these items at Matnog Public Market conveniently located next to the tourism office.
• Remember to bring and apply skin protection for your own safety.
• Electricity is available in Subic Beach and most parts of Calintaan Island.
• Don’t forget to bring cash with you.
• Always follow the instructions of your guide or boat captain, as they are trained and familiar with the rules set by the Matnog Tourism Office.
• Show respect for the locals and their culture during your visit.
• Help preserve the cleanliness of the places you visit.
• Avoid littering and always adhere to the “Leave No Trace” principle wherever you go.
• Lastly, enjoy your trip and stay safe!