CAMIGUIN is one of the many treasures of the Southern Philippines. This lone island situated in Northern Mindanao boast of white sand beaches, magnificent waterfalls, hot and coldsprings and abundant life underwater. It also takes pride in its people who have sunny sunshine disposition and strong discipline making the province one of the safest places in the entire country with zero crime rate as its trophy. Its beguiling beauty would keep you coming back. Thus its name, Camiguin meaning Come Again! (pronounced in thick Visayan accent). It was meant as a joke but that’s what made it more interesting.
HOW TO GO THERE
- From Manila – take a flight to Camiguin Island via Cebu Pacific or a flight to Cagayan de Oro via Pal Express. Kindly check their websites for flight schedules and rates. Travel may take 1 hour and 45 minutes.
- From Cagayan de Oro – ride a cab or a jeep to Macabalan port then board a ferryboat bound for Benoni port in Camiguin which is a 2-hour travel. Fare is P600. Alternatively, hire a cab or ride a jeep to Agora Bus Terminal. From there ride a Bachelor Express or Rural Transit bus bound for Butuan or Balingoan. Get off Balingoan Terminal. Travel takes 3 to 4 hours depending on the traffic condition. Fare is around P200 – P250. From Balingoan Terminal, you can walk a good 30 to 50 steps to Balingoan port or if you are carrying heavy baggage, you can hire a tricycle for P10/person. From Balingoan, board a ferry to Benoni port. Fare as of November 2014 is P170 and travel time is 1 hour.
- From Bohol – ride a fast craft or Super Shuttle ferry from Jagna Seaport to Benoni port. For travel schedules and fare rates, please contact these telephone nos. (032) 231-0639 | 345-5581 | (0929) 364-6965 and cellphone/mobile nos. (0927) 362-8962 | (0916) 277-0008 | (0917) 626-1200.
- From Cebu – take a flight via Cebu Pacific to Camiguin. Alternatively, you can board a ferryboat bound for Cagayan de Oro or a ferry bound directly to Camiguin. Please call (032) 345 5581 – 5583 for inquiries.
- From Davao City – ride a Bachelor Express or Rural Transit bus in Ecoland Terminal or a van lined up in G-mall bound for Butuan City. Fare is around P250 – P300. From Butuan, take another Bachelor or Rural Transit bus bound for Cagayan de Oro and get off Balingoan Terminal. Fare is around P200 – P250. Total time of travel is 8-10 hours. From Balingoan Terminal, follow instructions above.
- From Surigao – ride a bus (Bachelor Express/Rural Transit) bound to Butuan City. Then ride another bus bound for Cagayan de Oro and alight the bus in Balingoan. Travel time is 5-6 hours.
***Disclaimer: Fare rates are in Philippine peso and some are just estimates. It is still best to check rates with the bus liners/ferry liners prior to travel.
WHERE TO STAY
- Camiguin Highland Resort – located in Lakas, Soro-Soro, Mambajao. Please contact Tel: (088) 387-05-15 to 17 or Cel/Mob: 0917 827 0200 for inquiries, bookings and reservation.
- Paguia’s Cottages – located in Rocky Village,Yumbing, Mambajao. Contact numbers are Tel: (088) 387-9018 & Cel/Mob: 09173107085 | 09198942681.
- Paras Beach Resort – located in Rocky Village, Yumbing Mambajao. Contact numbers are Tel#: (088) 3879008 & Cel/Mob#: 09177152285.
- Bahay Bakasyunan – located east of Mambajo and next to the pier in Balbagon. Contact numbers are Tel: (088) 387-0131 | 387-1057 and Cel/Mob: 0917 721 2798.
- Secret Cove Beach Resort – located in Yumbing, Mambajao. Contact numbers are Tel: (088) 387-9084 & Cel/Mob: 09084149744 | 09262953945
***Rates of most of the Hotels and Inns in Camiguin normally start at P800 for standard fan rooms and P1000 for A/C rooms that can be shared by 2-3 people. Rates may rise during peak season. There are also homestays and backpacking dorms available with rates starting at P300.
WHAT TO SEE IN THE ISLAND
- Stations of the Cross and the Walkway to the old Volcano – a trek to each station of the cross is a must try. Not only that it gives a breathtaking view of the surrounding environment, it also lets you sweat that extra calorie in your belly.
- Soda Water Pool – is man-made pool filled with pristine waters that taste like soda.
- Tuasan Falls – offers a beautiful view of the luscious forest with the gushing waters serving as your lullaby.
- Sto. Niño Coldspring – where you can experience bathing in a pool filled with water nearly zero in temperature.
- Ardent Hotspring – if you are into more relaxing bath, then this is where you want to be come night time in Camiguin.
- Sunken Cemetery – this is one important piece of history of Camiguin embodied by a cross of what might have been an old chapel.
- Old Spanish Church – this is the only place in Camiguin where traces of our once conqueror are evident. This once majestic piece of architecture was destroyed when Mt. Volcan erupted sometime in the 19th century.
- Katibawasan Falls – the other beautiful waterfall in Camiguin that was already made more accessible to tourist by the local government.
- Giant Clams sanctuary – this is where you can discover various species of clams found in our country. A good place for snorkeling and scuba diving too.
- White Island – this made Camiguin famous to tourist. It is a bare island of powdery white sands engulf in turquoise water teeming with diverse marine life.
- Mantigue Island – is a beautiful island near Camiguin known to be an amazing diving spot.
HOW TO TOUR CAMIGUIN
- Through a Motorcycle, more commonly known as “habal-habal” which would cost P500 without the driver and P1000 with driver for a day tour. You may call or text Kuya Nato at 09051161485 for more information.
- Through a mini-van, more commonly known as the multi-cab which cost P1700. This is ideal for people traveling in groups.
OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION
- Katibawasan Falls, Sto Niño Hotspring, Ardent Hotspring and Soda Waterpool requires an entrance fee of P30 per person. While Giant Clams Sanctuary entrance fee is P50 and clams viewing fee with diving gears included would be P400 per person.
- Outrigger boat fee for White Island tour is P450 maximum of 6 people. Snorkeling gears are available for rent. Cost for the life vest is P100, diving mask with snorkel is P50 and flippers for another P50.
- Mantigue Island boat rental is P500 for 6 people.
- Souvenirs cost the cheapest in Sunken Cemetery and there are plenty of them to choose from than anywhere else in Camiguin.
- For sumptuous but inexpensive meal throughout the day, you can always drop by at Check Point located in Yumbing, Mambajao.
- The earliest ferryboat leaves at 4.30 in the morning and the latest is at 4 in the afternoon. In some cases, last ferryboat trips bound for Balingoan port are canceled due to few numbers of passengers. Hence, it’s advisable to catch the 2nd to the last trip to avoid delay due to cancellation.
- Pastel is the best treat (pasalubong) you can bring home to friends and family and it only cost P75 a box.
So there you go! I hope this information would be helpful in planning your Camiguin Island trip. Thanks. See yah 😀