Best Things To Do For A Perfect Day In Daet, Philippines

things to do in daet philippines
| 5 min read

According to the “Vocabulario dela Lengua Vicol,” the first Bicol Spanish dictionary, “daet” means “to make a friend,” giving a hint the kind of reception you can expect from this city. Dubbed the “Gateway to Bicolandia” because of its position as the center of Camarines Norte, this place will certainly serve as a waypoint where you can enjoy a wide variety of activities

1. Ride the waves at Bagasbas Beach

Bagasbas Beach is a great option for surfers, even fledgling ones, as well as skim boarders and kite boarders. There are friendly surf instructors there who can help you ride your first wave in no time. The swells can be as small as three feet (0.9 m) to as high as eight feet (2.4 m).

Aside from surfing, the bestselling point of Bagasbas Beach has to be its tidiness. The local government works hard to ensure that the sand is not littered with all sorts of garbage. Staff regularly scour the shore for clean-up missions to make sure that the beach is clean.

Bagasbas Beach

Address: Barangay Bagasbas, Daet, Camarines

Access: From the city proper, you can take a tricycle to get to Bagasbas Beach

2. Caringo, Malasugui, and Apuao: explore virgin islands

Apuao Island, Mercedes, Camarines Norte, Philippines - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Monette Nyem used under CC BY 3.0

Daet serves as a jump-off point for visitors to reach the Mercedes virgin islands. The most popular of the Mercedes Islands are Caringo Island, Malasugui Island, Apuao Grande, and Apuao Pequena.

Caringo Island is the most popular within the vicinity due to its white sand beach. Visitors can snorkel here if they wish. The downside is that its distance from the city means that there is no electricity on the island.

Malasugui Island will make visitors feel as though they’re contestants of the hit reality show “Survivor,” because the isle is quite small and surrounded by clear waters.

Apuao Grande has a distinct appearance compared with the other islands owing to the number of pine trees planted there. This island is connected to Apuao Pequena via a sandbar. The latter island offers visitors the opportunity to try out an uncommon experience: bat watching.

Those who want to spend the night can do so in either Caringo, Apuao Grande, or Apuao Pequena, as long as they bring their camping gear, as well as sufficient food and water for the duration of their stay. Please note, however, that these islands are practically bare, so staying on any of these may not be a great choice for those who enjoy their creature comforts.

Make sure to coordinate with the local tourism office should you choose to go island hopping. This is to ensure that you will be given the standard rates for this activity.

Mercedes Virgin Islands

Address: Mercedes, Camarines Norte

Price: Each island has a corresponding entrance fee. Prices start at 25 PHP (0.50 USD)

Access: From Daet, you can go on a 15 to 30 minute tricycle ride to the Mercedes Fish Port. From there, you can rent a boat that can take you to these islands.

3. Learn more about Daet’s history

Daet's Rizal monument
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user ~MVI~ used under CC BY 2.0

History buffs will not notice time passing by while in Daet. The town holds the distinction of constructing the first — and thereby oldest — monument to Jose Rizal, the country’s national hero. It was constructed through the efforts of Lt. Col. Antonio Sanz and Lt. Col. Idelfonso Alegre, both of whom are members of the Philippine Revolutionary Army. It was unveiled on December 30, 1898, exactly two years after the hero was executed. The monument is 20 feet (~6 m) tall with a three-tiered spire. Inscribed on the statue are the titles of two of the most famous works of the hero: “Noli Me Tangere” and “El Filibusterismo.”

“Morga” is also inscribed on the monument, which is made of coral previously used for the construction of a Spanish prison, where many Filipinos were incarcerated and killed. This refers to Antonio de Morga, a Spanish lawyer who wrote “Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas" (Historical Events of the Philippine Islands), which Rizal subsequently translated.

A few steps from Bantayog ni Rizal is the Camarines Norte Monument of Martyrs. This was constructed to commemorate the lives of the soldiers and civilians who are natives of the province who gave their lives for the motherland. This was constructed through the efforts of the families of those who lost loved ones during the war. It was unveiled in 1996.

The Provincial Capitol is not just the place where the Governor of Camarines Norte holds office. It also carries the province’s rich history. Inside its grounds is Museo Bulawan, which contains various collections of artifacts from the town’s history such as paintings, jewelry, old currency, and antique utensils and clothing. Art lovers may be interested to know that the museum has the Amorsolo Corner, built as a tribute to National Artist Fernando Amorsolo, who grew up in Daet.

Just a few meters away from the Provincial Capitol is the Daet Heritage Center. It was previously the town’s municipal hall before it was converted into a police station. It now contains a library and a museum, which, like Museo Bulawan, contains relics of Daet’s past. It also holds memoirs of famous Daet residents, such as Manuel Conde, who was a multi-awarded director.

Another historical attraction is the Rufino Pabico Ancestral House. Built in 1917, it continues to retain its antique structure and décor, including the paintings, furniture, and sculptures decorating it.

Those who have a religious bent can also visit Parroquia de San Juan Bautista (Church of St. John the Baptist). The building was built in 1611. However, it was razed during World War II. As such, the structure standing now is not the original one, but it is nonetheless a faithful reconstruction.

Kalayaan Park, where Bantayog ni Rizal and the Camarines Norte Monument of Martyrs are located, has several murals and structures that also provide visitors a glimpse of the history and culture of Daet.

Bantayog ni Rizal

Address: Kalayaan Park, Daet, Camarines Norte

Access: It is a short walk from the Provincial Capitol

Camarines Norte Monument of Martyrs

Address: Kalayaan Park, Daet, Camarines Norte

Access: It is a short walk from the Provincial Capitol

Camarines Norte Provincial Capitol

Address: F. Pimentel Ave., Daet, Camarines Norte

Daet Heritage Center

Address: Magallanes Iraya cor. J. Lukban Street, Camarines Norte

Access: It is a short walk from the Provincial Capitol

Rufino Pabico Ancestral House

Address: Vinzons Ave., Daet, Camarines Norte

4. Taste the sweetest pineapple in the world

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ramon FVelasquez used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Camarines Norte is the home of the Formosa pineapple, said to be the sweetest in the world. Don’t let its small size fool you; residents will attest that the smaller the size, the sweeter the pineapple. If you’re dropping by Daet, don’t forget to include a taste of pineapple on your itinerary.

5. Mampurog River: relax at a natural spa

Over the river and through the woods. Mampurog River, outside of Daet, Camarines Norte.

Posted by Paul E Drecksler on Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Mampurog River is located in San Lorenzo, which is roughly 30 minutes away from Daet. It is now being marketed as a natural spa, owing to the relaxing sensation you get when you lean on the rocks with the water flowing by.

Mampurog River

Address: San Lorenzo-Ruiz Daet Road, Camarines Norte

Access: The river is 30 minutes away from Daet

6. Taste local delicacies

Bicol Express
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Raymund Macaalay used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Bikolano food is distinctive from other Filipino dishes for combining coconut milk with a specific spiciness. Make sure that you do not miss out on popular dishes such as Bicol express (pork stewed with coconut milk), tuhad-tuhad (a type of seafood), and binut-ong (a kind of rice cake). The best Bicol express can be found at Mrs. Doyet Garcia’s Lutong Bahay

Mrs. Doyet Garcia’s Lutong Bahay

Address: Mercedes Road, Daet

Price: from 200 - 500 PHP (3.97 - 9.93 USD)

Contact: (+63) 928-5011821

A gateway to Bicol

Daet has a lot to offer its visitors, so much so that a day may not be enough for travelers to check out the different attractions the city offers. As its reputation suggests, Daet can very well be the gateway that tourists require in order to explore the rest of the Bicol region.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Melanie is a freelance travel writer. She considers freelancing for Trip 101 to be a combination of two of the things she loves: writing and traveling.

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