Travel Guide: Camiguin Island

White sand bar
White sand bar

Camiguin is the second smallest province in the Philippines. It is dubbed as the “Island born of fire” because of the seven volcanoes that lies in the area. It is known for its white sand beach and the historic Sunken cemetery.

How to get there:

If you’re coming from Manila, the nearest airport in Camiguin is in Cagayan de Oro and Butuan.

From CDO

From our accommodation in CDO, we rode a motorella going to Agora terminal. Since the bus is still waiting for passengers, we decided to took a van going to Balingoan. We got off at the corner of the port and just walk.

Travel time from Balingoan port going to Benoni port is 1.5 hours to hours by ferry.

Balingoan port
Balingoan port
Ferry ride going to Camiguin
Ferry ride going to Camiguin

From Butuan

From the airport, you can ride a multicab going to Butuan City Integrated bus terminal. Travel time is 20 minutes. From there, take a bus bound to CDO and tell the conductor to drop you off at Balingoan Bus terminal. From there, you can just walk or take a motorella going to the port. Travel time is about 2 hours.

From Cebu 

By air – Cebu pacific flies from Cebu to Camiguin (Monday/Wednesday/Friday)

By ferry –  Every friday, the super shuttle roro depart from Pier 8 to Balbagon port in Camiguin at 8pm.

Where to stay:

While planning our trip, I considered one of the famous accommodations in Camiguin, the Paras beach resort. But since we’re on a budget, we opted a cheaper one. It doesn’t mean though that we have to sacrifice our comfort.

We stayed in Paguia’s Cottage located in Mambajao, the capital of Camiguin. It is a walking distance going to white sand bar.

paguias-cottage
Our home for two days and one night

The staffs are very accommodating and kind. The place is clean and spacious. We stayed in a cottage which is good for 10 persons. It has air-conditioned room,  spacious toilet and bath, a cable television, sink and dirty kitchen if you wish to cook.

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Internet connection via wifi is also available, though the connection is not that good. But who cares! We went there to enjoy and explore.

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This is my favorite spot.

For inquiries and quotation, you may contact Sir Roel Paguia in his cellphone number 09173107085. If you can, please send my best regards to them. 🙂

Since we had limited time to explore Camiguin, we decided to get the package from Paguia. We paid Php5,450 good for 4 persons. The inclusion of the package are accommodation, transfer from and to port, multicab tour with guide,  entrance fees(Station of the cross, Sto. Nino cold spring and Ardent hotspring), boat to white sand bar, and breakfast.

If you want to explore the island by yourself, motorcycle for hire is also available.

Our experience:

Before leaving Balingoan port, I texted Sir Roel Paguia to make him informed that we are on our way.

When we reach Benoni port, we we’re welcomed by Kuya Jojo, our super kind tour guide.

A warm welcome from kuya Jojo
A warm welcome from kuya Jojo

We arrived late so we had to start our tour immediately to finish our itinerary. We started by dropping off at Katibawasan Falls. Entrance fee is Php 30.

Entrance of Katibawasan falls
Entrance of Katibawasan falls
Katibawasan Falls
250feet high waterfalls down-rushing into a man-made pool

The water was so cold and refreshing. We wished to stay longer but we had to leave after a few minutes. Me and my travel buddies still have more to go.

kiping
We can’t leave without trying their famous Kiping for snacks.

After a quick lunch, we then proceeded to Walkway to the old volcano and Station of the cross.

Several steps from the bottom of Mt. Vulcan
Several steps from the bottom of Mt. Vulcan

The stairs are shaded by the trees that’s why we aren’t exposed to too much sunlight. But according to those who finished the 8-kilometers path, the shades are just up to the fourth station. We weren’t able to make it to the top and just climb up to the first station. It requires perseverance and dedication to complete the 14 station of the cross and top of the old volcano(ironically, it is the youngest volcano born in the island).

We were just up to this point
We were just up to this point

Sunken cemetery is one of the most photographed attraction in Camiguin especially during sunset. But staring at this cross makes me sad knowing the history behind this.  You can go near the cross by boat for 20 pesos.You can also swim underwater to see the colorful corals and different fishes.

A cross was build in solidified lava to mark the former Capitol's cemetery
A cross was build in solidified lava to mark the former Capitol’s cemetery

Our next stop was the Old Gui-ob church ruins. We were welcomed by the kids and volunteered to be our tour guide.

That girl in red is the one who brief us the history of the ruins.
That girl in red is the one who brief us the history of the ruins.
Lighted some candles inside the old church
Lighted some candles inside the old church

It was constructed in 16th century but met it’s destruction when Mt. Vulcan erupted in 1871. Although the church has lost it’s roof, it’s sturdy wall remains standing today.

Inside the Gui-ob church ruins
Inside the Gui-ob church ruins

gui-ob-church_

Ruins of Gui-ob bell tower
Ruins of Gui-ob bell tower
Beautifully lined up trees
Beautifully lined up trees

This century old tree which stands at the edge of the cliff becomes my inspiration. Despite of the destruction in 1871, it remains standing big and strong.

Century tree
A century-old tree

After a tiring day, it’s time for a relaxing swim. We went to Sto. Nino cold spring to take an afternoon dip. It is a huge place of natural cold water. The water is so clean and there are small fishes that tickles. We stayed there for an hour before we went to Ardent hotspring.

Cold spring

Beautiful sunset
Beautiful sunset

Before we call it a day, we dine-in at Northern lights. It was featured in Byahe ni Drew and decided to give it a try.  The restaurant has a nice location and ambiance. During the day, you can see the white island and Mt. Hibok-hibok from the open terrace at the second floor.

northern-lights

The servings are huge and foods are delightedly yummy! We will definitely go back and try their other menu.

dinner

The next morning, we had to woke up early because we want to be in White island as early as we can because we need to go back in CDO. We walked going to pumpboat which will bring us in the island. Don’t forget to put your sunblock and bring your own snorkeling gear if you have to save money.

10-minutes boat ride going to the island
10-minutes boat ride going to the island

White sandbar in Camiguin is one of my dream destination in the country. There are no trees in the island so better go there in the morning or afternoon.

Touchdown, Camiguin sandbar!
Touchdown, Camiguin sandbar!
jumpshot
Jumpshot with the group
Trying out the sea urchins. Just be mindful if you have allergies.
Trying out the sea urchins. Just be mindful if you have allergies.
Mt. Hibok-hibok and Mt. Vulcan as the backdrop
Mt. Hibok-hibok and Mt. Vulcan as the backdrop

The water is clear and the sands are white and fine just like in Boracay. The picturesque island is ideal for swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, and viewing of sunrise and sunset.

There’s a lot of things to see and explore in Camiguin. So if you can, I suggests to stay longer.

Itinerary and expenses:

budget

 

Happy travels!

“Kill nothing but time, leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures, keep nothing but memories”

 

 

 

Gail

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing. This is already in my bucketlist.

    1. Yes! Camiguin is a must-visit place. Thanks for dropping by. 🙂

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