Where to stay
- Kemji Resort and Restaurant, P. Burgos St, San Isidro Village; www.kemjiresortandrestaurant.com. A well-maintained hotel with colorful rooms and a large pool.
- Marem Pension House, 136 Rizal Ave; +63 929 162 0000; www.marem.com.ph. A centrally-located budget hotel that’s within walking distance of the Provincial Capitol Compound and Virac Youth Complex, where major events are usually held.
- Twin Rock Beach Resort, Igang, Capilihan; +63 928 836 8648. You wouldn’t mind staying at this resort all day, what with amenities like a private beach, a pool, a rock climbing wall and a zipline.
Where to eat
- Blue Café, Catanduanes Circumferential Rd; facebook.com/viracbluecafe. Kick back and relax with coffee and desserts at this pleasant café.
- Café de Au, Salvation St; +63 947 325 8082; facebook.com/cafedeau. Treat yourself to some of the best frappuccinos in town.
- Sea Breeze Restaurant, Pier, +63 52 811 0664. Dine al fresco and enjoy the ocean breeze (as the restaurant’s name suggests). The menu includes an extensive range of pastas and seafood like king crab, lobster and blue marlin.
- Sunday Blossoms, Rizal Rd. Portions here are sizeable, yet affordable. Be sure to order sisig rice (rice with bits of pig’s head and liver).
What to do
- Balacay Point, Baras. Take a 30-minute hike to the summit, where you’ll be rewarded with picturesque views of the surrounding hills and the ocean.
- Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Rizal Ave. Marvel at the intricate stained glass windows of this church, which is also known as Virac Cathedral.
- Malabsay Falls, Zone 6, Brgy. Panicuason. This beautiful waterfall located at the foot of Mt. Isarog makes for the perfect photo op!
- Mamangal Beach, Brgy. Balite. This scenic beach makes for a great scuba diving spot.
- Maribina Falls, Bo. Nato. Put on your hiking boots and trek to these falls, where you can enjoy a picnic set against a backdrop of beautiful cascades.
- Puraran Beach, Baras. The waves at this popular surf spot have a special name – the powerful, barrelling “Majestics”. If you’re a novice, sign up for lessons with Pururan Surf Camp (+63 977 182 7537; www.puraransurf.com).
- St. John the Baptist Church, Bo. Bato. This historic church was established in the late 1500s, making it one of the oldest churches on the island. Constructed from mortar and coral stone, it exemplifies 19th-century Filipino-Spanish architecture.
- Sto. Domingo River. Instead of hanging out by the beach, try picnicking on the banks of the river. It’s a popular hangout among locals.
- Virac Public Market. Bargain for a wide selection of goods, from crafts to food items like pili nuts.