Virac Airport is the only airport serving the island province of Catanduanes in the Bicol region of Luzon. The airport takes its name from the provincial capital of Virac.
Although the municipality is the most populous in the entire province, Virac remains a place where one can relax and enjoy a slower pace just minutes away from the big cities. There are daily flights to and from Manila via Cebu Pacific. A short 45-minutes flight takes visitors to this rugged and down-to earth island that is home to many beautiful beaches and surfing spots.
Upon arriving at the Virac Airport, one can take a local tricycle ride to town. Some local hotels and inns also provide airport shuttles. Like many provincial towns in the Philippines, the tricycle is the primary mode of transport within the city. Travelling from Virac or to other points of interest in the province are by local buses, jeepneys or tricycles. Rental vans with drivers are also available.
Virac lies in the southern tip of the island and is generally known to be within the typhoon belt. It is bounded on the north and east by the Pacific Ocean and is heavily affected by tropical storms during the period from July to October. The wild weather however has not fazed the steady stream of tourists and adventurers coming to the island. The best time to visit is during the summer months of March to June, when the chances of rainfall and heavy winds are lesser.
The eastern coast of Catanduanes is a very popular year-round destination for surfers for its huge waves and fairly undisturbed beaches. The rugged and mountainous northern region of the island is also visited by tourists for outdoor activities such as trekking and spelunking.
Catanduandes is still quite low on the tourist radar in the Philippines, but it is slowly gaining much popularity, not just with surfers, but for travellers looking for a laid-back weekend getaway. In addition to the attractions within the town proper, Virac has a number of popular sights and is the gateway to a several interesting attractions within a short travel distance. The following are all within easy reach from Virac and its surrounding towns --
Located in Lictin, San Andres, this mysterious and historic cave served as a hiding place and became the tomb of the massacred natives who fled from the Moro pirates during the 17th century. Today, the cavern and tunnels are a popular destination for this historical fact and its magnificent stalactite and stalagmite formations. A grotto and altar was also built on the site in memory of the massacred locals.
Puraran Beach, located at the nearby town of Baras, boasts of its so-called “Majestic Waves,” which makes it one of the top surfing destinations in the country. Aside from the surfing experience, you can also enjoy other outdoor water sports activities like snorkeling and sailing, or simply laze on the beach and soak in the sun. Surfing season is October to January.
Maribina Falls is the most visited among the many waterfalls in Catanduanes. Hiking trails lead to this beautiful secluded waterfalls which fall in several layers and segments. Take a dip in its cool waters, rest on the large boulders along the gushing rapids, or even dive for prawn in the rock pools. Marbinia is a favorite weekend hangout for locals and has picnic areas and rustic overnight facilities.
In recent years, spelunking or caving has become an increasingly popular recreation activity in Virac. Buyo Cave is 4 kilometers away from town, and is notable for its beautiful stalactites, stalagmites and underground lake. The gentle rolling hills leading to the cave’s large entrance seem tame and belies the amazing sights hidden in the cave.
Situated by the river, the Spanish-era Bato Church is the oldest church in the province. The beautiful baroque church built in 1830 has withstood countless typhoons, and in fact has been the refuge of the locals during those trying times. The moss covered limestone and coral walls are a sight to behold. The interiors with its classical artifice are a bit of a disappointment though.
Virac is also a cheaper and lesser known gateway to another popular island paradise -- Caramoan. This group of beautiful limestone islands surrounded by pristine beaches and the crystal clear waters is a very popular tourist destination. When you’re done exploring Virac, head out to the Caramoan Islands. It only a 45 minute pumpboat ride away.
Enjoy the beauty of Catanduandes in many unforgettable ways. The island has a lot to offer-- great ocean adventures for surfers, lazing at the beach, scuba diving to the natural reefs, trekking and explore the waterfalls and caves. Find the best flight for you by searching for promo fares to Virac Airport in Virac, Catanduanes on Skyscanner Philippines.
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