A model on Apuao Pequena Island, off the coast of Mercedes, CamNorte. - Photo courtesby of journeyingjames.com
A shot of Mercedes town mainland taken from Apuao Pequena Island. - Photo courtesby of journeyingjames.com
THE TOWN of Mercedes, often called the “fishbowl” of Camarines Norte, is a seven-island municipality surrounded by bountiful coral reefs.
Aside from fine beaches and waters teeming with marine life, Mercedes also offers hiking and mountaineering trails, found on Canimog Island.
In an episode of ‘Weekend Getaway’ that aired last November 24, singing stand-up comedians Osang and Monica tried some Mercedes’ top tourist activities:
Diving around Canimog Island
The coral reefs around Canimog Island, which are especially visible at midday when the tide is low, are guaranteed to delight divers with their schools of butterfly fish and moorish idols.
For a breathtaking view of the surrounding seascape, climb the 104 steps leading to Canimog Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse in Bicol.
Camping at Apuao Pequeña and Apuao Grande
The two islands are connected by a sandbar, and during low tide, tourists can even walk across the sandbar from one island to the other. Weekend Warriors Osang and Monica thought the agoho trees lining the shores were especially awe-inspiring.
Trekking on Mt Man Asupre
Mountain climbers who brave the three-hour hike up Mt. Man Asupre will be treated to an attractive view of the 70-foot-high Colasi Falls.
Need to cool off? Take a dip in the falls’ cool waters, surrounded by tall greens.
Rappelling on Canton Island
Visitors to Mercedes Island should also stop by Canton Island, where there’s a beautiful underwater cave that can only be explored during low tide.
If the cave is not accessible, tourists can also visit any of the island’s fine beaches.
The more adventurous can also go rappelling through Canton Island’s extraordinary rock formations.
Dining in Catandunganon River’s Floating Restaurant
Nothing’s better than being served delicious seafood while cruising along the lush Catandunganon River.
How to get there
A 45-minute flight from Manila to Camarines Sur is available via Cebu Pacific.
From the airport, take a cab to Naga City, where you can hop on a van for another two-hour drive to Daet, Camarines Norte.
From Daet, jeepneys and tricycles can be hired to take you to Mercedes’ town proper.
You can also take a bus from Manila to Daet via Philtranco or Superlines. – GMA News