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Unspoiled Camiguin – Your Perfect Idea of Laidback Island Paradise

The Camiguin Tourism Office sells the island as an “island born of fire” due to its volcanic origin. No, it’s definitely not a “hell island.” 😉 Unspoiled Camiguin is simply one of the 7,641 beautiful islands in the Philippines you’d love to explore – and camwhore ’till you drop!  😀

My girlfriend and I have always planned in visiting the country’s 2nd smallest province a countless times but all aborted for various reasons. And finally, last September, we circled the island in three days – at our own pace.

September is not an ideal month to be coming over as the monsoon usually happens around this month. But since we already booked everything, we had no reason for a staycation.

Related: Sunset in Boracay

Camiguin Island Philippines White Beach
Joey, our guest blogger, at the White Beach island in Camiguin (Philippines).

How to get to Camiguin

The nearest airport is Cagayan de Oro. From the airport you need to shell out ₱199 for van fare going to Agora Terminal. From there, take a bus bound for Butuan City and get off at Balingoan. The travel time is around 2 hours.

From the bus stop, you can either walk or hire a trisikad (motorized tricycle) to the ferry terminal which is just minutes away.

The Ferry Ride. From Balingoan you will then take a 1.5 hour ferry ride to Benoni or Guinsiliban. I’d recommend Benoni because transport is more accessible there. The trip would cost you around ₱150-₱170.

Flights from Cebu City. There are direct flights daily from Cebu City to Camiguin via Cebu Pacific Air.

How to get around Camiguin Island. We rented a motorbike for a couple of days for easy transport to these places. Daily rates for motorcycle rental is ₱300-₱500.

Must-see Places to Visit in Unspoiled Camiguin 

Katibawasan Falls

This picturesque waterfalls is located just 5 kms from Mambajao (Camibuin’s capital city). You can either rent a motorcycle or hire one with a driver. Entrance fee is ₱30.

Ardent Hot Spring

Though it is not as hot as I can remember, tourists still flock to this place. Located high up in the mountains of Tagdo, Mambajao, the place is within a lush forest. Entrance is ₱30.

Old Church Ruins

When Mt. Hibok Hibok last erupted, this old church refused to be totally destroyed. However, walls of the old church still stood in its place along with the old bell tower. Mostly used for pre-nup shoots and movie locations, the ruins can be found in Bonbon, Catarman. Entrance: Free

Sunken Cemetery

Camiguin Island Sunken Cemetery
The sunken cemetery in Camiguin Island (Philippines).

Just a few metres away from the Old Church Ruins is the Sunken Cemetery (aka, the old graveyard). A cross was built in 1982 to commemorate the old burial ground that sank in the 1871 volcanic holocaust. The only remnant is the old cross 20 feet below the sea. Snorkeling? Yes, you can – but beware of the sea snakes! Entrance is free. Boat: ₱100.

Sto. Nino Cold Spring

Do you still remember that feeling when you did the Ice Bucket Challenge? Well, this spring is way colder and you won’t last longer wallowing in the icy cold waters. Best during summer, it’s the best place to relax and have your lunch when touring around the island. Native chicken is being offered here at ₱350/kilo – adobo, tinola, ginataan or fried – name it, and they’ll cook it for you. Entrance fee is ₱30.

Tuasan Falls

Just like Katibawasan Falls, this majestic 70-m waterfall is a sight to behold! You can bask in its icy cold water and enjoy the view. Entrance:₱30

Giant Clam Sanctuary

Camiguin Island White Beach
Camiguin Island is famous for its Lanzones Festival.

This is a must visit place. It’s a haven for snorkeling fanatics. A guided tour is provided with all the scientific terms by kids. No! I’m not kidding. Kids! Grade schoolers will entertain every visitor here with a very detailed description of how everything works! Pretty amazing really! Boat tour plus snorkeling ranges from around ₱1000-₱3000. Well, you can probably haggle for a lower price – if your charm works. 😉  Entrance is ₱20.

Mantigue Island

White beach, crystal clear water, luscious greens – these are what you need when you’re in paradise.! This is the place! Best visited early in the morning, the island has snorkeling spots. It is abundant with seafood but a little expensive. But I have a secret to tell you: ask your boatman to take you to the back of the island where you can order seafoods at a much cheaper price. They cook the fish alive literally. You can’t get any fresher than that!

Entrance is ₱40. Boat: ₱400; Snorkeling fee: ₱200; Snorkel rental:₱100; Food:₱200-₱500.

White Island

This is a C-shaped island with the scenic Camiguin island in the background. This is an Instagramable place to visit with its crystal clear waters and sugary white sands. Entrance: ₱40; Boat: ₱400; Beach Umbrella: ₱100 (optional).

Suggested Travel Itinerary for 4 Days in Camiguin

Day One

Kamiguin Island Mambajao Sunset Where to Stay Hotel Philippines
Sunset in Camiguin Island

Explore Katibawasan Falls, Ardent Hot Spring, Old Church Ruins, Sunken Cemetery and Sto Nino Cold Spring on your first day. All these places are accessible with our motorbike. If you’re a first timer though, have that Google maps ready.

Day Two

Since it is an island off the coast of Camiguin Island, one whole day is needed to visit Mantigue Island. You can have your breakfast in Mantigue then lunch in Lagoon, Benoni. They offer a wide variety of seafoods. After lunch, Giant Clam Sanctuary is just a few minutes away from Benoni.

Day Three

Visit early in the morning when it’s still low tide so you can walk on the sandbar. This white island can be accessed via a 30-minute boat ride. In the afternoon you can visit Vjandep Bakery and their famous pastels.

Day Four 

Homeward bound.

Glamping in Mambajao Philippines
Glamping in Camiguin Island, Philippines.

GLAMPING IN CAMIGUIN

If you are up for a new experience in accommodation, you should try glamping at Ysla Beach Camp and Eco Resort in Mambajao. It’s clean, relaxing, and the staff members are helpful to make your stay the best vacation you’ve ever had. You can book it via Booking, Expedia, and TripAdvisor.

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