Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sunday, March 20, 2016
Costa Carina Beachfront Resort in Santa Ana
A cove at Matara Beach of Gonzaga

S A N T A   A N A


Extending my 6-day tour of Cagayan was an easy decision for me. Having come from Manila, I was craving for more of what the province could show me after visiting the less explored town of Baggao, the windswept attractions of Palaui Island, and Sta. Ana's pristine beaches. I was determined to check out Matara Beach, a newly-opened tourist destination that some locals in the province are not even aware of. Since my chosen resort in Sta. Ana for my vacation extension was Costa Carina Beachfront Resort, I had all the time to hie off to the neighboring town of Gonzaga where the exotic beach is. Both are less than 30 minutes apart anyway.

Booked At Costa Carina Beachfront

Booked at Costa Carina Beachfront Resort for an overnight stay, I got off my chartered boat ride from Palaui Island at the San Vicente Port. I was exhausted after a day-long tour of the island's old lighthouse and waterfalls, so settling into my comfy room at the resort was quite relaxing. I truly deserved the rest after an 8-hour hike and the property was thankfully complete with the basic amenities that I needed before finally calling it a night. My booked room was at the second floor of the three-storey main structure where most of the resort's lodgings are. It had a strong Wi-Fi access which let me engage in social media duties for a few hours until my restful sleep.

The rock wall opening at Matara Beach
A room at Costa Carina Beachfront Resort
The serene beachfront of Costa Carina
Costa Carina Beachfront Resort

Resort Amenities

For breakfast, I ordered directly from a staff member of the resort since its F&B facility was temporarily closed that time. I checked out its location at the beach and fantasized dining there at night with sea breeze combing my hair because the spot where it is looked sensational. I was told that it would resume operations soon this summer and that patrons are also looking forward to when the resort will start the construction of its own swimming pool. It's a good thing that it also has its own convenience store so that guests won't have to leave the property for supplies.

Photo Shoot Location of Survivor Cast

I strolled around and determined the property to be sprawling. It was actually a very apt location for morning jogs or simply reflecting by the beach since it's located at the beachfront. I learned that it was there where the cast and crew of the hit American reality TV show Survivor had a photo shoot for its "Blood Versus Water" Series 27.

Rock formations at Matara Beach
No Boat Transfer To Matara Beach

After taking my breakfast, I hopped on my local friend's car to visit the next town of Gonzaga to finally see Matara Beach which is just a few minutes away. I was told that the way to it from the highway used to be a dirt road, so seeing it as newly-cemented during my visit made me realise why some locals are not even aware of the new tourist attraction that didn't need any boat transfer. A chartered tricycle ride from Sta. Ana's public market will suffice to reach the place where visitors can see picturesque cornfields along the way.

Reaching Matara

Matara's shore is a public beach where a small fishing community is based. For visitors who are interested to stay and make use of the community's open cottages, a small fee can be settled at the hamlet post where the newly constructed road ends. Since we were there only for a day tour, we simply parked our car and bypassed the post to stroll the beachfront for a few minutes.

Costa Carina Beachfront Resort
Rooms at Costa Carina Beachfront Resort
Matara Beach
Costa Carina Beachfront Resort

Less Explored Coast

Studded with rock expanse in some parts, the beach resembled Pangasinan's shoreline. The sand, though, was much like the same as Sta. Ana's beach where Costa Carina is located. It was fascinating to see oddly shaped rock formations at one side of the beach where one can easily cross a rock wall opening to reach a cove that has a highly vegetated beachfront. Some rocks even looked like giant boots and hats.

Both Costa Carina Beachfront Resort and Matara Beach are underrated destinations in the northern part of Cagayan that deserve a visit by the intrepid traveler who is not easily lured by tourism gloss. They might have been part of my vacation extension only but they sure made my week-long adventure worth the 15-hour road trip from Manila.

Costa Carina Beachfront

Address: Centro Santa. Ana, Cagayan 3500
Mobile: 0915-378-6901

Want To Visit Palaui Island?
Boat Rental Contact: Ariel of Palaui Island
Mobile: 0935-122-8545

Check out other Cagayan-related attractions:

• Duba Cave of Baggao
• Laglagto River and Rock Formation of Baggao
• Country Inn Hotel and Restaurant in Baggao
• Country Inn By The Sea in Sta. Ana
• Palaui Island: Cape Engano Lighthouse, Baratubot Falls and More
• Nangaramoan Beach of Sta. Ana

More Photos Below:

Matara Beach
A rock wall and expanse at Matara Beach
Matara Beach
Matara Beach

Costa Carina Beachfront Resort


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