Known throughout the Philippines as an area of great natural beauty, Bicol (“bee-col”) comprises the mainland provinces of Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay and Sorsogon, and the island provinces of Catanduanes and Masbate. The area is rich in adventure sports, from surfing in Camarines Norte and volcano-climbing in Albay to whale shark-watching in Sorsogon. Another highlight is the cuisine, which is some of the best in the country, characterized by the use of chillies and coconut milk.
Continue reading to find out more about...
CamSur Watersports Complex (CWC)
A major new tourist destination located roughly halfway between Naga and Pili, CWC (t054/477-3344, wwww.cwcwake.com) is an international-standard wakeboarding course. There is a beginners’ winch park, where you can practise standing up on a straight run, and it’s also possible to use a kneeboard on the main course. The main course involves six turns and an assortment of ramps and rails for those who know what they are doing. Prices vary depending on what you want to do, for example P370 for half a day on the main course including rental of a beginner’s wakeboard and other equipment.
Building something like this with taxpayers’ money was certainly a gamble, but it seems to have paid off. Within a few years of opening CWC has helped CamSur to become second only to Boracay in terms of tourist arrivals, and international competitions are already being held here. There are ambitious plans for further development, including a golf course and mountain biking track. The complex already has a swimming lagoon and a small skatepark.
There is also a range of accommodation, from tiki huts (P1000–1499) and converted shipping containers (P1500–1999) to private villas (P5000–6999). Hardcore wakeboarders tend to favour the cabañas (P1500–1999) as they are right beside the cable park, while if you’re on a tight budget you might try fan-cooled huts at the Ecovillage (P499 and under), which is a little further from the action. The site also has a bar (3pm–7am) and a café (6am–midnight). There is wi-fi on site and in some of the rooms.
CWC is located within the Provincial Capitol complex in Pili. From Naga, take a bus or jeepney to the Capitol Junction (15min from the main terminal; P10) then a tricycle (10min; P10). Alternatively there are shuttles running from the SM City mall and along Magsaysay Avenue – contact CWC for the current timetable. From the airport, a tricycle will charge you a rather steep P150.