I must admit that Camiguin (this wonderful island so beautiful filled my dreams for weeks) was not initially part of my itinerary for my Mindanao tour. My reasons? All of them were stupid and I rather keep them to myself. But anyway, after days of thorough thinking, I finally decided to spare a day for this island so I could finally get rid of that thing (that constant voice in my head screaming “Go to the island!!”) that has been bugging me for years, also so I could take it off my bucket list. Never have I imagined that I would fall in love with it over and over.
If you’re on a budget and would like to explore the southern part of the Philippines, please do spend a day in Camiguin. I promise it wouldn’t eat up much of your travel money and it will be worth it. Here are the reasons why.
1. Camiguin White Island
I know many people would have told you this famed white island in Camiguin is just so overrated. In fact this is not even an island. It is a sandbar of white powdery sands surrounded by clear turquoise water which is just one of the many sandbars in the entire 7,107 islands of the country. So what makes it special other than patches of white powdery sands? I don’t know but I love it. Be the judge! See it for yourself!
Tips and How to’s: From the Balingoan port, please ask to be taken to Rocky Village in Yumbing, Mambajao where outrigger boats taking tourist to white island are found. Fee is P450 but you can share it with 5 other people. So you know the drill.
2. Giant Clams Sanctuary
If you wanna experience something different then you would love diving to see giant clams and their colorful world. You would absolutely love the experience as it will broaden up your perspective about other creatures under the sea.
Tips and How to’s: From Balingoan port, hire a motorcycle (habal-habal) driver to take you to the Giant Clams Sanctuary. Going there is not usually part of the tour offered by the guides in the island (as it is far and time consuming) so you may have to pay for it separately. It’s up to you. If you have super excellent haggling skills then you might get it a bit cheaper than usual.
3. Mantigue Island
Mantigue Island is so intriguing that you wouldn’t help but want to find out what it is made of. If you are someone who’s fond of making love with the sea and its amazing creatures, then nothing will make you happier but to dive into the richness of this island and its surrounding waters.
Tips and How to’s: From Balingoan port, ask some locals where you can find a tourist boat willing to take you to the island or might as well ask your hotel accommodation for tour packages including Mantigue Island. If you haven’t prepared any reservations, tour to the island would cost P500 but of course you can always look for people to whom you can share the boat fee with.
4. Mt. Hibok-Hibok Ardent Hotspring
What’s the perfect way to cap off the night in Camiguin? It’s having a very relaxing bath in Ardent Hotspring. Nights in Camiguin can sometimes be so cold and one way to chase it off is to have a quick dip in a warm running water. This is usually the best place to meet and converse with other tourist, local and foreign alike.
Tips and How to’s: Going to the hotspring is normally part of the tour package offered my local guides and/or hotels in Camiguin but if you only intend to go to the hotspring, you can always hire a motorcycle (habal-habal) for P80 – P100. Entrance fee is P30.
5. Sto. Niño Coldspring
Camiguin Island always has the answer to your needs. There’s the hotspring to help you relax and wash away that cold lonely nights but if you prefer something more refreshing then there’s Sto. Niño Coldspring where you can swim for hours and enjoy the cool running waters under the sunny skies.
Tips and How to’s: This is situated in Barangay Sto. Nino, hence the name. You can hire a motorcycle to take you there or better yet ask to include this to your tour package. Entrance fee is P30. If you need floaters, just add another P20.
6. Stations of the cross and the walkway to the old volcano
If you are a devout Christian who wants to experience the stations of the cross in a brand new light or someone who simply want to trek up the mountain but doesn’t want the arduous task it requires then you would love to see the stations of the cross. This is just an approximately 1 hour trek up the top of the hill where the last station could be found. It is so rewarding that you would want to do it again.
Tips and How to’s: Bring extra clothes and towel because surely you’ll be sweating your ass off making you look like you’ve taken a bath in the rain.
7. Sunken Cemetery
This also made Camiguin famous. The sunken cemetery is a remnant of that havoc which had once plagued the island and almost swept it out of existence. It is represented by a huge cross of what have been an old chapel. An adventurous heart won’t be content with seeing what is on the surface and would love to dive and explore the world beneath it. If you are that kind of person then this is the perfect place for you.
Tips and How to’s: If you want to explore this little piece of history but you hate getting wet then you can always ask fishermen to take you on a boat ride around sunken cemetery for P100.
8. Tuasan Falls
If you are a nature lover and a big fan of waterfalls then you will be happy to visit Tuasan Falls. As of November last year, the area near the waterfalls is under construction but that should not discourage you from visiting the place as it hasn’t taken away it’s beauty one bit.
Tips and How to’s: Be careful with huge boulders if you would go swimming in the Tuasan Falls.
9. Katibawasan Falls
Katibawasan Falls reminds me of a princess from the ancient times – graceful, soft and delicate – because of its waters. Unlike Tuasan Falls where the waters come falling down with power hitting the ground with so much might, Katibawasan’s is like pouring a tea in a cup.
Tips and How to’s: Entry to Katibawasan Falls and its vicinity requires P35 entrance fee.
10. The Old Spanish Church
If you are a history buff and you love seeing ruins or you appreciate classic architecture then you should visit the Old Spanish Church. Actually, there’s not much to see but gazing at what was left of this once magnificent structure will give you a glimpse of how glorious it has been before it was shattered into pieces by the powerful Mt. Volcan.
Tips and How to’s: This is not obligatory but if you happen to see that vendor selling bread in front of the Old Spanish Church when you get to visit this place, please buy at least one bag of bread. That’s just P20 and enough to see her smile as she and her family already has something to get through the day.
11. Soda Water Pool
When I was younger, I used to think of this as a waterfall or a stream where the water taste like Sprite or Mountain Dew. In fact, this is the very reason why I got so hooked up of Camiguin Island when I was still a child that almost every summer I would ask my dad to come take me to the island so I could drink it all up. But that was not the case unfortunately. Although, yeah, the water is sweet and taste like sprite but not quite.
Tips and How to’s: Before you could get your unlimited fill of soda spring water, an entrance fee of P30 is required.
SUMMARY OF EXPENSES
Motorbike rental – P500 without guide (you will drive yourself around the island) or P1000 with driver who will also serve as your tour guide. You may contact Kuya Nato at 09051161485 for more information.
Boat rental fee (White Island) – P450/6 = P75
Boat Rental fee (Mantigue Island) – P500/6 = P100
Entrance Fees – P200
- Katibawasan Falls – P35
- Soda Water Pool – P30
- Sto. Niño Coldspring – P30
- Ardent Hotspring – P30
- Stations Of the Cross – P25
- Giant Clams Sanctuary – P50 (If you wanna go clams viewing then you will need to shell out another P500 more or less for diving gears and tour guide)
There you go folks! These are the 11 Tourist Spots in Camiguin that you might want to visit on less than a P1000 budget. You can even do away with just P1500 budget and that would cover everything from food to transportation expenses and even souvenirs. Remember when you travel, it’s all about priorities and making the most out of every moment no matter how little your time or your money is. What’s important is it makes you happy.
If you need other information other than what’s stated in this article, feel free to shoot me a message or visit TRAVEL GUIDE: Camiguin Island. Please follow my blog to keep up with me. You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook. Please don’t forget to share! Share! Share! 🙂