Camiguin Island: Where To Go And What To Do?

I quit my job and went on a spiritual healing in Camiguin island and it was beautiful. I regret nothing.

No. I am not implying that you should quit your job too. You see, going on a trip while jobless is never an easy thing. Aside from your trip expenses, you still have obligatory finances to attend to. That is why when I went to Camiguin Island, I was really tight with my expenses and made sure everything is within the budget. So here I am sharing you our Camiguin Island itinerary on a tight budget.

 

camiguin island

Camiguin Island

Before anything else, let me say a quick introduction about the island first. “Island born of fire” – it is called. A small volcanic island ushered with a cataclysmic history, Camiguin Island emerges in between the main island Mindanao and Bohol. The size of the island is deceptive against preconception because the humble island is filled with wonders that can make you speechless and a storyteller. Another good thing is that you can actually circumnavigate the island and take a glimpse of each of these places in just a day or two. But I think you need more than that, as each of these places can suck you into another world of wonder. It can make you come again as how its name sounds like. “Come-Again”. Just to mention a few, here are some of the places and activities that I recommend you visit and do when in Camiguin Island.

 

White Island

camiguin island

One reason that made Camiguin Island on the tourism pedestal is its famous White island. The island puts an irony on the reputation of the volcanic nature of Camiguin island. A subject to ponder, how a strip of white pristine sand bar emerge just a few kilometers away from the main Camiguin island, which is known to host several notorious active volcanoes.

camiguin island

White Island is just around 15 minutes boat away from the main Camiguin Island. Pump boats take passengers from the main Camiguin Island to the white island and back. Enjoy the strip of white sands and pebbles along with its crystal clear water.

Additional Information:
  • Round trip boat rate to the island is 450 php (maximum of 6 people)
    • Trip takes around 15 minutes
  • Island entrance/environmental fee 20 php per person
    • Children 7 years old and below are free of charge
  • There are big umbrellas for rent on the island which costs 150 php

 

Mantigue Island

camiguin island

Aside from the white island, Camiguin island is also graced with another fellow island named Mantigue. Located at the far eastern side of the main Camiguin Island, Mantigue Island is another not too far away paradise especially for the beach lovers. Unlike the White Island, Mantigue Island is wider and has a sustainable vegetation.

camiguin island

The island also has marine sanctuaries, perfect for divers thrilled to explore the depths of the marine world. It is said that sea turtles often visit the island to lay their eggs.

Addition Information:
  • Round trip boat rate heading to the island is 600 php (maximum of 6 people).
    • Trip takes around 15 minutes
    • Additional 200 php if you wish to go to the snorkeling spot. (depends on your haggling skills)
    • Snorkeling fee is 50 php per person
  • Environmental fee on the island is 30 php per person
  • Table for rent on the island is 50 php

 

Giant Clam Sanctuary

camiguin island

Speaking of sanctuaries, Camiguin island also houses a sanctuary for the gargantuan clams. What better way to see clams thrive on their natural atmosphere than to actually dive in Camiguin Island’s Clam Sanctuary. The Clam Sanctuary actually is a project of one of the governments bodies. It is a move to preserve, study, and educate the people about the vulnerability of the clams and their contributions in the ocean ecosystem.

camiguin island

In the Sanctuary, visitors can see clams of different sizes and colors on their maintained aquariums and concrete ponds. You can also actually dive and see giant clams in the ocean bed.

camiguin island

The clams are so big that I swear they can fit me whole.

Additional Information:
  • Entrance fee to the sanctuary is 25 php per person
  • Diving guide fee is 500 php (maximum of 5 people)
  • There are snorkeling gears and fins for rent
    • 100 php for snorkel rent
    • 100 php for fins rent

 

Walk way to Camiguin Volcano

camiguin island

Aside from the beaches and other islets, Camiguin Island is an evidence of historical natural events. Due to its volcanic nature, the island withstood the decades of volcanic eruptions. One must not miss climbing the historical Camiguin Volcano (Mt. Vulcan) which now serves as a historical trophy of the island. The walkway to the top is now developed by the locals and serves mainly as penitential walkway especially during the holy week. Here, devotees climb the volcano to recollect and renew their Christian vows. There are stations of the cross where devotees offer their prayers. The old sunken cemetery can be seen from the top and at the dead-end of the walk way.

Additional Information:
  • Make sure to bring enough water.
    • Trekking can be exhausting especially on hot summer days.
  • Bring umbrella or anything to protect you under the sun or from the rain.
  • There is a small entrance fee around 25 php per person

Sunken Cemetery

camiguin island

The old sunken cemetery holds one of the proofs on how devastating the volcanic explosion was, decades ago. A once graveyard above the sea is now destroyed with its remnants underwater. Only the large cross can be seen above the water and serves as the pin spot of the cemetery. Diving at the old cemetery spot might sound eerie but you’ll get surprised by the world beneath the surface. The once graveyard now spawns colorful marine life. It can easily be one of the favorite diving spots of divers, not only because of the evident marine life underwater, but also the history packed together with it. One surely does not want to miss this place when visiting Camiguin island.

Additional Information:
  • The big cross is best viewed during sunsets
  • There are souvenir shops nearby
  • There is no entrance fee

 

Mt. Hibok-Hibok

camiguin island

I believe what makes the island the Camiguin we know now are the volcanoes. Camiguin island is also famous of its sweet and mouth-watering fruits, especially lazones. It is believed that the underground activities of the volcanoes brings forth minerals on the surface, thus making their fruit trees produce the best tastes we experience today. Mt. Hibok-Hibok is one of the active volcanoes not only in the island but in the entire Philippines. But let it not scare you.

camiguin island

The trail heading to the mouth of the volcano displays out of this world sceneries. Dense forests with the songs of the tropical insects and birds for the ambiance will make you believe you are transported into the elvish world.

camiguin island

The trail heading to the mouth of the volcano is quite easy especially for the experienced climbers. But mountain climbing does not suit for everybody.

Additional Information:
  • Mt. Hibok-Hibok is still one of the active volcanoes in the Philippines
    • Proper planning and research must be done before climbing the mountain
  • Make sure to bring a guide when going up the mountain
  • Bring enough food and water
  • Wear protective sleeves. There are plenty of rattan plants on the trail. Be careful of the thorns.
  • Always wear proper foot wear. The trail might get slippery especially during rainy days.
  • It can really get cold at the top of the mountain. Fogging is normal.
  • The mouth of the volcano may sometimes be flooded with water depending on the weather.

 

Ardent Hot Spring

camiguin island

Well if you happen to get tired and sore from your Mt. Hibok-Hibok trek, or your trip, well you can drop by to one of the hot springs on the island. Ardent Hot Spring is not too far away from the foot of Mt. Hibok-Hibok. The hot spring is one of the easy go-to places for the locals to spend time with their families. There are multiple pools with different temperature levels on the area.

camiguin island

Here you can relax and unwind while enjoying the soothing and therapeutic water of the spring.

Additional Information:
  • Entrance fee is 30 php per person.
    • Children 10 years old and below will enjoy the 15 php rate.
  • There are comfort rooms and shower rooms on the vicinity.
    • Abundant flow of fresh water is available.
  • Tables and cottages for rent are available.
  • There are also rooms if you wish to stay overnight.

 

Sto. Nino Cold Spring

camiguin island

Not only hot springs, but Camiguin Island also houses cold springs.

camiguin island

If you wish to literally chill-out, then you can go visit Sto. Nino Cold Spring.

Additional Information:
  • Entrance Fee:
    • Regular Rate is 30 php per person.
    • Below 10 years old is 15 php per person.
    • Senior Citizen and PWD is 24 php per person.
  • Spaces for rent:
    • Picnic shed is 75 php.
    • Table with 4 chairs in open area is 50 php.
  • There are also rooms available if you wish to stay overnight.

 

Soda Swimming Pool

camiguin island

Or if you want to just wash of the sweat and dirt, then you can submerge yourself in the deep pool they call Soda Swimming Pool.

camiguin island

Additional Information:
  • Entrance Fee:
    • Regular Rate is 30 php per person.
    • Below 10 years old is 15 php per person.
    • Senior Citizen and PWD is 24 php.
  • There are concrete tables and sheds which I think is for rent.
  • Cooking and grilling stations are available in the vicinity.
  • There are comfort rooms with abundant water supply in the vicinity.

 

Tuasan Falls

camiguin island

And if you are a nature lover and are one of those who constantly seek the thrill of adventure, then you might consider visiting this beautiful waterfall. Tuasan Falls is located near the foot of Mt. Hibok-Hibok.

camiguin island

Its cold waters came from the Looc river which collects the water from the dense forest of Mt. Mambajao. The water is cold and is also perfect for total relaxation.

Additional Information:
  • Entrance Fee is 30 php per person.
  • Just around 10 minute walk from the main concrete road.
    • Ample space for parking is available.

 

Taguines Lagoon

camiguin island

Well, if you are the type of person who is just contented by just hanging out and enjoying your time alone or with friends and family.

camiguin island

Or do some fishing I guess and enjoying the good food with a view, then you might want to enjoy your lunch in Taguines Lagoon. Here you can also rent pedal boats and go around the lagoon.

Additional Information:
  • The food here has the same average price of a city average restaurants.
  • Zip line is not functional anymore during our visit (February 2018).

 

Katunggan Park

camiguin island

Just few meters away from Taguines Lagoon is a mangrove park called Katunggan Park. There are plenty of mangroves in the area and the locals were able to make board walks for the visitors to go around the park. There are also huts which are for rent. Here you can enjoy the peaceful lapping sound of the waved and the cool breeze of the ocean.

Additional Information:
  • Entrance/Environmental fee is 20 php per person.
  • There are small cottages for rent if you wish to stay longer.

 

Sunset watching

camiguin island

If you are a sunset type of a person, then you’ll never get disappointed by the sunset views on the island especially near the shores.

camiguin island

 

Enjoy the side street views

camiguin island

There are also plenty of views just right along the highway.

camiguin island

 

Additional Tips and Reminders

camiguin island

  • Going around Camiguin Island
    • The island is quite small and highway traffic does not exist on the island.
    • There are motorcycles for rent which ranges from 300 to 500 php
    • If you go by group, then you can charter a whole multi-cab for around 1,000 – 1,500 per day
      • Some accommodation hotels, inns, and pension houses have contacts or even offer day tours.
    • If you wish to go on by public transportation
      • There are only few jeepneys that go around the island. Hitch riding is common on the island.
      • Jeepney fare usually plays around 10 – 30 php, depending on the distance.
      • There are also tricycles and motorcycles plying along the highway.
      • Tricycle and motorcycle fare plays around 20 – 50 php, depending on the distance and haggling skills.
      • It is hard to catch a ride especially by night. Only few public vehicles will be available by 7 pm and beyond.
  • Where to stay?
    • There are plenty of accommodations available on the island. From the pricey ones down to the backpacker friendly simple abode.
      • Make sure to stay nearby shops for you sudden supply needs.
      • As for us, we stayed in Pabua’s Cottages.
        • It is near the jump-off wharf heading to the White Island.
        • There are also cheap eats nearby (karenderias) where you can have a full meal in for just around 50 php. Perfect for travelers on a tight budget.
        • It also has a very budget friendly rate of 1,300 per night for an air-conditioned room. Good for 6 people and with private toilet and bath. Rates can really depend on your haggling skills.
        • The place also offers free WI-FI connection.
  • Where to eat?
    • There are also plenty of restaurants on the island. You can get adventurous with your palette.
      • I suggest you try the own-recipe ice cream of Northern Lights restaurant.
    • For people on a tight budget, there are karenderias available.
  • Always observe responsible tourism
    • Always respect the locals and their culture
    • Guides are there to guide you and not your personal assistant or “yaya”
    • Never ever litter or throw your trash anywhere. Observe proper disposal.
    • Do not disturb insects and/or animals from their natural habitat.
      • Never play with starfishes when you see one. Leave it for your eyes only.
    • Paying Entrance/Environmental Fee does not give you the power to freely leave your trash behind or do whatever pleases you.
      • Sadly, there are still people with this mentality.
    • Always keep in mind the preservation of the place.
    • Leave No Trace
    • Lastly, enjoy Camiguin Island!

camiguin island

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