Virac Catanduanes: 25 Fun Things to Do

Travel to Virac, Catanduanes and find out it’s a must-add in your travel bucket list. What are the must-see Catanduanes tourist spots and activities that you should add to your itinerary? What are the must-try restaurants in Virac? Bookmark this essential guide when planning your itinerary for all the things to do, food to taste, and activities to experience in Virac!

Catanduanes Island, located off the coast of Luzon’s eastern seaboard and directly on the path of oncoming typhoons brewing in the Pacific Ocean, is a popular spot for surfing enthusiasts longing to ride the waves during typhoon season. But there is more to the island than just surfing.

Its provincial capital, Virac, is a coastal town on the southern end of the island. At 152.4 square kilometers, Virac is a compact town, but its smallness offers a charming respite from the hustle and bustle of the big city. The town also has great beaches that are near the town proper, so you can go for a day trip to the beach in a snap!

Its surrounding towns also have a lot to offer to travelers, from pristine beaches to quiet fishing villages, centuries-old cathedrals to natural caves. Virac is certainly ready to exceed expectations! With beautiful natural and man-made attractions, this provincial town is steadily gaining ground as one of the must-visit travel destinations in the Philippines.

There are many ways to get around Virac and its nearby towns. Within the city center, you can hop on tricycles, jeepneys, multicabs, and buses that will take you around the town. You can also hire a van or rent a motorcycle, so you can freely go around the island.

Here is a list of highly-recommended tourist spots and activities that you shouldn’t miss when in Virac, Catanduanes.


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Virac Catanduanes: 25 Fun Things to Do

Soak in the Natural Pool of Maribina Falls and Swim in the Beaches of Virac

There are numerous beaches in the Philippines, and a lot of them have big waves from the Pacific Ocean that surfers absolutely love. Non-surfers don’t need to worry, though, because there are also beaches with calmer waters, such as the beautiful beaches of Virac. Plus, there are also picture-perfect waterfalls within and near Virac that you can hike up to. And the best thing is you can reach most of these beautiful sights via tricycle! Here are 9 of the best beaches and waterfalls to include in your Virac tour.

1. Fall in Love with Picture-Perfect Maribina Falls

Maribina Falls in Bato, Catanduanes, is well-loved by the locals and is the island’s most popular and most accessible waterfall. Its name came about by combining the names of the two barangays where the waterfall is located: Barangays Marinawa and Binanwahan. The water from the falls cascade down the mountain into a series of pools that you can wade into.

The Maribina Falls is about 10 kilometers from Virac town proper. To get to the falls, you can hire a tricycle or a motorcycle to take you there.

2. Take a Leisurely Walk Along Amenia Beach

Located in the neighboring town of San Andres is Amenia Beach, a long stretch of cream-colored sand and shallow waters that is safe for kids to swim in. At low tide, you can see wave-combed sand that stretches for miles.

To get to Amenia Beach, you can take a tricycle to Amenia Beach Resort. If you’re not staying in the resort, you just need to pay the PHP 40.00 entrance fee to access the beach.

3. Swim in the Tranquil Waters of Mamangal Beach

Right within Virac is the equally beautiful Mamangal Beach. The beach is lined with trees where you can set up your sarong and lie down on the shaded sandy shore. At low tide, you can easily see various seagrass in between wave-combed cream sand. Scuba divers can also take the plunge to see marine life off the coast of Mamangal Beach.

Mamangal Beach is just about 3 kilometers south of Amenia Beach. You can ride a tricycle to get to Mamangal Beach. The entrance fee is PHP 10.00 per person.

4. Find Solitude in Balite Beach

If you want to feel as if you have a whole stretch of unspoiled beach all to yourself, head over to Balite Beach. Locked in between a small fishing village and a mangrove forest, this beach is a hidden gem practically devoid of visitors. It is also lined with trees along the shore, so you can watch the waves under the shade or while you mingle with the locals.

5. Take a Break at Batag Beach

Right next to Marilima Beach is the small, but no less stunning Batag Beach. Its powdery white sand beach is bordered by coconut trees. Behind the trees are small hills that are similar to Bohol’s Chocolate Hills.

It is said that on a clear day, you can see Mayon Volcano in Albay and Bulusan Volcano in Sorsogon from the shores of Batag. The entrance fee to Batag Beach is PHP 20.00 per person.

6. See the Jesus’ Face Rock at Talisoy Beach

Virac Catanduanes: 25 Fun Things to Do

Located in a small cove a few minutes from Virac town proper is the clean and well-kept Talisoy Beach, also known to locals as Jesus’ Face Beach because of the unique rock formation that is said to look like the face of Jesus Christ. Beyond this unique feature, you can also go sunbathing on the fine white sand beach or swim in the cove’s clear, calm waters (the seabed is a little rocky, so make sure you wear aqua shoes if you want to take a dip).

The entrance fee to Talisoy Beach is PHP 50.00 per person. You can also rent a nipa cottage near the beach if you plan to stay in the area for the day.

7. Indulge in Fun Activities at Igang Beach

Near Talisoy Beach is Igang Beach, a popular spot for surfboarding and windsurfing. Igang Beach is also called the Twin Rock Beach because of the huge rock formations that are located on both ends of the beach. Because the waters of this beach run quite deep, swimming is prohibited in most areas, though there is a deep pool near the rock formations that has become a popular diving spot for tourists.

Located at Igang Beach is the Twin Rock Beach Resort, so you can book your accommodations there before you explore the other beaches around Virac.

8. Take in the White Sand and Bright Blue Water Views at Marilima Beach

In between Balite and Batag Beaches is Marilima Beach, another beautiful stretch of creamy white sand beach lined with coconut trees and surrounded by clear blue waters. Its simple beauty will seduce you into taking a dip in the water or lie down on the sand to get the perfect tan. On a clear day, you can even spot Mayon Volcano in Albay from Marilima Beach.

There is also a small fishing community near Marilima Beach, so expect to see small fishing boats dotting the coast.

9. Marvel at the Breathtaking Beauty of Nahulugan Falls

According to local legend, Nahulugan Falls is named after a farmer and his carabao who fell while crossing the hilltop. Water then began to cascade from where the farmer and his loyal companion fell. No matter what its real origins are, the Nahulugan Falls is a majestic wonder of nature. Getting to the beautiful three-tiered Nahulugan Falls in Gigmoto is like unwrapping a precious present. The falls are surrounded by lush forests that filter the sunlight, giving the whole area a secret, magical aura.

Visit and Explore Popular Inland Tourist Spots in Virac

Virac Catanduanes: 25 Fun Things to Do

Catanduanes Island is not all about its beaches. Inland, there are also natural and man-made wonders that you can visit to complete your tour.

If you want to take a break from soaking up the sun, sand, and sea, here are some of the popular Virac tourist spots that you can add to your itinerary.

1. Marvel at the Beautiful Stained-Glass Windows at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

Also known as the Virac Cathedral, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception has beautiful stained-glass windows surrounding its walls. Inside the cathedral, the ceiling has been remodeled and patterned to look like the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.  Virac Cathedral is located along Rizal Avenue at the center of town.

2. Hike Up to Binurong Point

Batanes isn’t the only Philippine destination with rolling hills and fabulous viewpoints. Binurong Point in Baras town is another place that offers equally jaw-dropping views of the open ocean crashing against rocks. Be prepared for a bit of a hike, though, as you will be passing forest trails, hiking up former pasturelands, skipping through boulders, and walking on narrow paths. But the view from the top of the cliff (especially during sunrise) will be worth the hike.

Baras is about an hour’s motorcycle or tricycle ride away from Virac. The entrance fee to Binurong Point is PHP 50.00 per person. Trail guide fees cost around PHP 200.00.

Other viewpoints near Virac that are also worth visiting are the Balacay Point (also in Baras) and the PAGASA Weather Radar Station (in Bato).

3. Visit Bato Church, the Oldest Church in Catanduanes

Standing tall since the 1800s, St. John the Baptist Church, more commonly known as the Bato Church, is the oldest church on the island. The church is a simple, freestanding two-story structure made from coral stones.  To get to Bato Church, you can take a 20-minute jeepney or tricycle ride from Virac to Bato.

4. Learn About Catanduanes History and Culture at Museo de Catanduanes

Museo de Catanduanes displays artifacts and memorabilia that tells the story of the province’s rich heritage and culture. The museum is on the second and third floors of the old capitol building at Virac town proper and is open on weekdays. Entrance fee to the museum is PHP 50.00 per person.

5. Go Soul-Searching at Fiat House Cave-Inspired Chapel

This small chapel in Cavinitan was made to look like a cave. Take a break from beach-hopping and spend a few minutes in quiet contemplation within the chapel.

Recover and Unwind at These Virac Beach Resorts

Virac Catanduanes: 25 Fun Things to Do

Since Catanduanes is an island, there is no shortage of beach resorts that offer a wide variety of land and water activities that everyone can enjoy. Here are the top Virac beach resorts that are popular with travelers.

1. Have Unlimited Family Fun at Twin Rock Beach Resort

The Twin Rock Beach Resort in Igang Beach is the perfect accommodation for families looking for a place to stay in Virac. The resort has its own pool and restaurant, as well as zip line and rock-climbing facilities. For those looking for water activities, the resort has a diving board on a nearby rock formation that drops into a natural deep pool. You can also go kayaking, windsurfing, and surfboarding.

2. Find a Home Within the Town Proper at Kemji Resort & Restaurant

If you’re the type to stay within the town during your entire stay, book a room at Kemji Resort & Restaurant. Rooms are cozy, have hot and cold showers and basic bathroom necessities. Wi-Fi and cable TV are also available. The resort has its own pool, restaurant, and bar. As a bonus, the resort is located close to the airport, and the resort offers airport transfers.

3. Have Direct Access to the Beach at Amenia Beach Resort

Located just outside Virac’s town borders, Amenia Beach Resort in San Andres town has direct access to Amenia beach. It offers basic, no-frills accommodation that is perfect for backpackers. Day tour visitors can also rent cabanas. From the resort, you can take a tricycle or motorcycle tour to the other beaches along the Virac coast.

4. Ride the Waves at Majestic Puraran Beach Resort

Surf’s up from July to October along the coast of Catanduanes Island, especially at Majestic Puraran Beach Resort, home of the “Majestic” surf break. Advanced and professional surfers will enjoy the huge right-hand barrel waves that come crashing on the coast during these months. Beginners can try their hand at surfing during the months of February to June, when the waves have calmed down a bit.

If you want to surf all day, book a cottage at the resort. From its beachfront cottages, you can enjoy the sound of the waves as you take an afternoon nap. Surfing lessons cost about PHP 350.00 per hour, inclusive of surf instructor and board rental.

5. Destress from City Life at Puraran Surf Beach Resort

Just a few steps from Majestic Puraran is the Puraran Surf Beach Resort. This resort offers fan cottages and air-conditioned rooms for couples and small groups. Backpackers can rent out fan rooms that has shared bathrooms. The resort has its own restaurant and bar/lounge where you can chill after a long day of surfing and swimming.

Binurong Point is only a short distance from Puraran Beach where both Majestic Puraran and Puraran Surf Beach Resorts are located and is always worth a visit.

6. Go for a Rustic Experience at the Mamangal Beach Resorts

Mamangal has a number of small, simple, no-frills resorts owned by the locals that you can rent overnight. For day tours, you can rent picnic huts and tables. Make sure to bring your own food, as there are no restaurants in Mamangal Beach.

Have an Appetizing Meal at These Authentic Restaurants in Virac

Virac Catanduanes: 25 Fun Things to Do

Catanduanes is part of the Bicol Region, which is home to delicious cuisine characterized by generous use of gata (coconut milk) paired with liberal amounts of chili for that spicy kick. In Virac, there are also restaurants that serve fusion cuisine. Have the best of what Catanduanes has to offer at these well-recommended restaurants.

1. Taste Amazing Home Cooking in Sunday Blossoms

Dining at Sunday Blossoms will make you feel like you’re back home and indulging in your grandma’s home cooking. Sunday Blossoms is a Spanish-style mansion that was turned into a restaurant serving hearty Filipino dishes such as beef caldereta, kare-kare, and adobo rice. They also have their own Blossom bicol express. But the best items on their menu are the desserts. Try their bestsellers, the Mango Torte and Blueberry Cheesecake. Main dishes go from PHP 65.00 to PHP 200.00.

Sunday Blossoms is located along Salvacion Street in Virac, and is open daily from 7:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M.

2. Play Board Games While Enjoying Your Coffee and Snacks at Café de Au

Fancy a cup of coffee over a game of sungka (traditional Filipino strategy board game played with small stones on carved wood with cup-shaped holes) and other board games? Drop by Café de Au. This restaurant serves coffee with locally grown and roasted beans, as well as pasta dishes, sandwiches, and cakes.

If you want a savory snack, try the Ala Nachos, made with fried molo wrappers (similar to spring roll wrappers), topped with grilled beef, vegetables, and cheese. Coffees at Café de Au go from PHP 50.00 to PHP 85.00, while main dishes and cakes are priced between PHP 65.00 to PHP 120.00.

Café de Au is located along Salvacion Street in Virac, and is open daily from 9:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M.

3. Feast on Seafood at Sea Breeze Restaurant

Have your fill of delicious seafood with the gentle sound of the waves as your soundtrack at Sea Breeze Restaurant. This restaurant serves a wide variety of seafood dishes, as well as popular Bicolano dishes. Try their deliciously spicy Szechuan Crab, their freshly-caught lobsters, and the sinigang na isda (fish sinigang) with calamansi. Main dishes are priced at PHP 90.00 to PHP 350.00.

Sea Breeze Restaurant is located at Virac Port, and is open daily from 7:00 A.M. to 12:00 M.N.

4. Order Sisig Pasta and Shawarma Pizza at Carrie’s Pasta, Pizza and More

At Carrie’s Pasta, Pizza, and More, they combined the crunch and saltiness of the sisig with pasta, resulting in a hit fusion of Filipino and Italian! They also serve the classic bicol express, crunchy and cheesy shawarma pizza, and spicy buttered chicken.

Carrie’s Pasta, Pizza, and More is located in Gogon Sirangan, Virac. It is open daily from 8:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M.

5. Have Your Fill of Asia’s Best Foods at Fernando’s Asian Cuisine

This Asian fusion restaurant serves traditional Filipino and other Asian cuisines, such as Korean, Japanese, and Chinese. Try their Zesty Lemon Chicken, Chicken Yakitori, and Japchae. The restaurant has regular dinner buffet specials at around PHP 400.00.

Fernando’s Asian Cuisine is located at Virac Town Center. It is open daily from 10:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M.

Make Your Trip to Virac, Catanduanes Happen!

While Virac is not yet well-known to many travelers, it is home to a lot of natural wonders and is poised to become one of the most sought after travel spots in the Philippines. Because of the wealth of natural attractions and tourist destinations within Virac and around the island, Catanduanes is now starting to be called the “Happy Island.” Its beautiful beaches, lush forests and green hills, and picturesque spots will definitely leave you very happy by the end of your trip.

Planning a trip to Virac, Catanduanes soon? Check out various Virac tours and activities so you can add it to your itinerary for the complete experience.