Physical Characteristics

The province is geographically located in the central part of the Bicol peninsula which forms the southeastern part of the Bicol peninsula which forms the southeastern part of the island of Luzon. It is about 450 kilometers from Manila and is located between 14O 10' and 130 15' North Latitude and between 1240 10' and 1220 40' East Longitude. It is bounded on the north by the province of Quezon and Camarines Sur Norte, San Miguel Bay and the Pacific Ocean; on the south by the province of Albay ; Lagonoy Gulf on the east; and on the west by Ragay Gulf.

Land Use

The province is the largest among the six provinces of the Bicol Region with a land area of 526, 682 hectares which is 29. 87% of the total regional area, and 1.75% of the total area of the Philippines.

Land Area
The existing land use of the province may be classified into 5 main categories which are:

a.) Agricultural areas- areas devoted to agricultural such as irrigated and rain-fed areas, and lands devoted to crops and fruit trees.

b.) Grassland/Shrubland- consists of grasses, shrubs and pasture lands.

c.) Forest land- includes primary and secondary forest lands and kaingin areas.

d.) Wet land areas- consist of mangrove, marshland and fishponds.

e.) Miscellaneous- areas occupied by residential/commercial/built-up uses, rivers/lakes, beaches, rocks, volcanic ash and other uses.

The existing land use of Camarines Sur is still predominantly agricultural. The next biggest land use in terms of land area is grassland/shrubland.

Towns/Cities Area(Ha.)
BAAO 10,663
BATO 10,712
BOMBON 2,873
BUHI 24,665
BULA 16,764
GAINZA 1,475
GOA 20,618
LAGONOY 37,790
LUPI 19,912
MILAOR 3,364
NABUA 9,620
OCAMPO 11,833
PASACAO 14,954
PILI 12,625
RAGAY 40,022
SANGAY 14,476
SAN JOSE 4,307
SIPOCOT 24,343
SIRUMA 14,127
TIGAON 7,235
TOTAL 548,703


Camarines Sur is generally hilly and mountainous with flat central area known as Bikol plain. It is generally flat at the midsection between mountain ranges with other small coastal plains on the northeastern coast.  These areas are circumscribed by rolling hills. Mangroves and nipa swamps fro along both coasts of the province. The Caramoan peninsula is rough and mountainous with an elevation as high as 904 meters above sea level.

The ravines are deep and steep slopes are covered only by cogon. The Ragay coast is hilly and rolling. Mt. Isarog with an elevation of 1, 976 meters and Mt. Iriga with 1, 196 meters, in the central and southern parts are inactive volcanoes. Also there is the Tangkong Baka mountain range which is the lower portion of the Sierra Madre mountain system and the Calinigan Mountain Range (904 meters) in the Partido area. Other mountains in the province are: Mt. Sugutin- 366m, Mt. Tiis- 610 m, Saddle Peak- 1,028m, Triple Peak- 638m, Mt. Putianay- 640m, Mt. Elizario- 508m, Mt. Talitig- 385m.

The province has three fresh-water lakes, namely: Lake Bato, Lake Buhi and Lake Baao which has an areas of 5,482 has. The area is likewise traversed by rivers, streams, and creeks that serve as natural drainage particularly in the basin area. The Bicol River, the largest in the region with an approximate length of 95 kilometers, begins at the outlet of Lake Bato and flows across through the plain to San Miguel Bay. Its tributaries have formed the famous Bicol River Basin which comprises 312, 000 hectares of fertile agricultural lands including 185, 000 hectares of watershed area.


The province's water resources, both ground and surface waters are very abundant and could very well meet the various demands of development. It was also observed that there are numerous hydo-electric potential resources and also large areas for irrigated area development and expansion.

The province's inland waters consist of an intricate network or rivers, streams, and lakes. The network serves as natural drainage. The Bicol River is the largest river in the region and considered the main drainage channel for the major basin area of the Bicol Plains. The lakes consist of another vital inland water resources for the province. The more important ones include Lakes Bato, Baao and Buhi.


Soil texture ranges from clayey to gravelly. The Bicol plain consists of loam, clay loam and deposits with silt materials along the banks of the Bicol River . Generally, the surface is moderately dense and compact. The plains and valleys of Camarines Sur are covered by secondary soils, while the hills and mountains are of primary soils. The soils of the province are divided into 3 general groups namely:

a.) soils of plains and valleys which are composed of either Pili, San Miguel Guigua or Balongay series;

b.) soils of hills and mountains which are composed of either Tigaon, Bacolod, Faraon and Luisana seriest.

c.) the miscellaneous land types which consist of either hydrosol or the mountains soil undifferentiated.

Land Use Category Area Covered
(in Hectares)
Classified Alienable and Disposable 365,624
Agricultural 295,111
Residential 19,181
Commercial 2,150
Industrial 4,200
Grazing Land 22,524
Mineral Reservation 2,000
Other Land Uses 20,458
Unclassified Forestland 4,354
Classified Forestland 156,704
Timberland (upland) 127,325
Forest Reserve 15,027
National Park 13,145
Civil Reserve 73
Fishpond 1,134
TOTAL 526,682