Top 15 Must-see Tourist Destinations in Camiguin Island

Camiguin Island has proven enough that size does not really matter.  Despite owning only a small portion of land in the northern coast of Mindanao, it holds within it the treasures afforded by nature that is, undeniably, flocked by tourists every year.

In this article, I am going to present fifteen (15) of the best tourist spots in the island. However, these are my personal choices and recommendations. Thus, it may vary with other articles that you may see online. Without further ado, let’s get the pages flipping!

The island, which is popularly known as the “island of your imagination”, is composed of five (5) municipalities: Mambajao (capital), Mahinog, Guinsiliban, Sagay, and Catarman. Accordingly, we will also divide the list into these 5 towns.

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Map of Camiguin Island as shown using Google Map 2017.

What is the means of transportation in Camiguin?

Camiguin Island’s means of public transportation is known as “tricycle”. In Mambajao, there are two colors to represent the direction of a certain tricycle: the Orange ones are WEST-bound  (Mambajao Public Market- Naasag) while the Green ones are EAST-bound  (Mambajao Public Market-Tupsan).

Meanwhile, if you are at Benoni Port, you can have a Jeepney/Multicab or Van that is bound for Mambajao just outside the exit gate of the port (Fare: 25.00Php; Van fare is 30.00Php). These will stop at the Jeepney Terminal at Mambajao where you can find tricycles to take you to the places either in the West (orange) or in the East(green) (Fare: 10.00Php).

*Note: The fare changes when you choose to hire the tricycle or Multicab as PRIVATE. You may also rent a motorbike for 500.00Php per day(though you can ask for a discount if you’re going to rent it for a longer number of days). Make sure the motorbike has complete papers, mirrors, and helmet as the island is strictly monitoring the compliance to these requirements. 

Refer to this map:

camiguin-map

The 15 Tourist Spots in Camiguin Island

MAMBAJAO

1. Katibawasan Falls

Katibawasan falls may not be the grandest fall that you’ll ever see but it’s the quiet and peaceful atmosphere here that makes you want to stay longer. Its water cascades beautifully 70 meters down that’s then received by a clear pool. The water in the pool is really cold that it will make you shiver.wp-1485648446442.jpg

Apart from the waterfalls, there are picnic tables where you can eat but make sure you bring your own food as there is no food available inside. There are souvenir shops and small stores outside, though.

Entrance fee: 30.00Php (Regular), 15.00Php (children)

Discounts apply to Senior citizens.

How to get there: It is suggested to hire a Multicab or rent a motorbike when going here. From Mambajao (center), you can drive to the East and take the road beside Jetti Gasoline Station and take the road leading to Provincial Capitol and pass by CAMELCO and then go straight. 

2. Camiguin Nightscapes (Stargazing Park)

This”first ever stargazing park on an active volcano” is located at Itum Mountain, Mambajao and was launched on September 28, 2015 by a group of friends and professionals who aim to “increase awareness about preserving the ecosystem of the island.

It is really recommended to those who love to see the breath-taking view of the night sky of Camiguin Island. Personally, I believe, no one should miss this. It is open for viewing every 3:00 PM – 12:00 AM and tickets are available at the venue or at the Tourism Office, Poblacion, Mambajao. For more details, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pg/camiguinnightscapes/about/ or check their website at http://kilaha.org/?portfolio=project-2-7.

How to get there: They offer shuttle pick-up around 5:30 PM, at Provincial Plaza, with an affordable fare. You may also rent a motorbike and follow a map going to Mt. Itum.

3. White Island

Mt. Hibok-Hibok as seen from White Island.

White Island is situated about 2 kilometers from Yumbing and Agoho, Mambajao. The island is literally made of white powdery sand where it probably got its name. Town people often say that the island changes its shape from letter “C” to “J” and also, “O”. From there, tourists can enjoy a panoramic view of Mt. Hibok-Hibok too!

How to get there: Just ride on an orange tricycle going to the terminals.There are two terminals that take people to White Island; one in Agoho and one in Yumbing beside Paras Beach Resort. The island is very accessible to tourists as it takes only about 15-20mins by boat from the terminals. Boat trip costs 450.00 Php to 600.00 Php (boat fare increases during peak season) and an environmental fee of 20.00 Each boat carries only six (6) passengers. Life jackets are free during the travel but have to pay 150.00Php each if you want to have one while swimming. Also, the boat will wait for you for four (4) hours but if you stayed longer, an additional fee of 50.00 Php will be charged.

  • Fares and Fees Summary (Philippine Pesos)
    • Boat Fare                 – 450.00/ 600.00
    • Overstay charge     –    50.00
    • Environmental fee –    20.00
    • Snorkeling gear      – 150.00 (optional)
    • Life Jacket                –  150.00 (optional)

Tips: During summer or even on a regular sunny day, the sun can be scorching hot in the island. Make sure to apply Sunblock creams and maybe, bring a beach umbrella. Also, it would be a lot cheaper if you bring packed foods than buy on the island. Make sure to watch your steps as there can be some spiky corals around (but very few) and lastly, practice, CLAYGO, Clean As You Go!

4. Ardent Hot Spring

Bridge in Ardent Hot Spring.

The name really says it all! Ardent is a developed natural hot spring (its water is said to be heated by Mt.Hibok-Hibok). Tourists have enjoyed its warm, 33-38degrees water, and peaceful atmosphere with  chirping birds and tall trees above. Aside from dipping into its spring pools, you can also have a picnic with your family here. It has picnic huts for 75.00Php and for those who wished to stay during the night, it also has rooms. Standard room rates range from 250.00 Php to 1,500.00 Php (Rooms appear old and dusty tho.) 

  • Fees Summary (Php)
    • Entrance fee – 30.00 Php (regular), 15.00 Php (children)
    • Picnic huts   – 75.00 Php (regular size)
    • Family huts – 150.00 Php

Ardent Hot Spring used to be one of the favorites of both local and foreign visitors due to its relaxing and calming effect. However, the pools in the upper area have dried already while the lower (also bigger) pools became shallow. Also, the water feels cold unlike how it’s used to be. These started happening early in the summer of the year 2016.

How to get there: Ardent is accessible by motorbike, tricycle, multicab and van. There are actually huge sign boards alongside the national road. Follow the sign boards about 5.5km going to Esperanza, Tagdo where Ardent is situated. This should take only 15minutes.

*Note: As for now, the condition of the spring is still the same. It has gained a bit of water due to successive rainy days but the spring pools remain unlikely hot.

 5. Mt. Hibok-Hibok Volcano

Mt. Hibok-Hibok is the only active volcano among the seven(7) volcanoes present in the Island.  According to wikipidea.org, the said volcano, categorized as a stratovolcano, has an elevation of 1,332m (4,370ft). Hikers have truly developed a great fascination to climb up to its summit due to the stunning fauna and flora species said to be found there. Normally, it takes about 3-5 hours of trekking.

Mt.Hibok-Hibok as viewed from White Island.

How to get there: There are two trails: the one near Ardent Hot Spring and the one from Barangay Yumbing. The trail in Yumbing seems easier to take thus recommended to the newbie hikers.

Tips: Ask for a permit from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) before hiking and make sure to have a local tour guide to take you to the summit for everyone’s safety.

MAHINOG

6. Katunggan Mangrove Park

Katunggan Park is a viewing area for tourists who would love to appreciate a fine Mangrove forest. Its fresh look, calm and cool shade makes it a perfect getaway. Though smaller and has a fewer number of mangroves- black mangroves, it surely can capture the heart and sight of everyone who comes here as it is naturally, awesomely beautiful. “People can easily identify a black mangrove as it has obvious black trunk and heartwood.”

Wooden bridges across the Mangrove park.

The park has wooden bridges (more bridges are being built) for a better viewing experience without harming the mangroves. You can walk through these bridges, take IG-worthy photographs and relax under a cool shade of mangroves (it has few benches around). If you wish to stay longer, you may want to rent a shed for 150.00 Php for 4 hours of stay. An additional charge of 20.00 Php for an hourly excess. Also, you may rent a Treehouse. That which can hold a minimum of 4 people, costs 450.00 Php while that which can hold a minimum of 6 people costs 750.00 Php.

  • Fees Summary (Php)
    • Entrance fee –    25.00 Php(regular), 15.00 Php(children above six years old)
    • Shed rent fee – 150.00 Php (4hrs)
    • Treehouse       – 450.00 Php (4pax)/ 750.00 Php(6pax)

How to get there: The park is located right beside the national highway. Its nearest landmark is the Taguines Blue Lagoon. It can be accessed very easily by commuters. From Mambajao, hop on in a Jeepney bound to Benoni Port (Fare: 25.00Php) and from the port hire a “habal-habal” (motorcycle) and ask the driver to take you to Katunggan Mangrove Park (Fare: 10.00Php). Time travel should only be 45mins. Hiring a private motorbike or multicab is a lot faster and convenient, though.

7. Mantigue Island 

Camiguin is blessed with amazing white beaches. Mantigue Island, however, is not just a common sandbar. It is a 4-hectare white sand beach with lush green forest and crystal-clear sea water about 3.5 km off the coast of San Roque, Mahinog. You can do diving/snorkeling, have a picnic, sunbathe, explore the forest and take photographs.

How to get there: If you have a private motorbike or mutlicab/van, then you can just drive to the east and stop at San Roque, Mahinog. There are signs along the road so it is truly easy to locate. If you want to commute, ride a Jeepney from Mambajao Jeepney Terminal and tell the driver to bring you to Mantigue Island Terminal. (Taking a jeepney takes time as drivers normally want its seats to be filled in before it departs)

From the terminal in San Roque, you can easily find the ticket center. Ask for a boat ticket from the collecting officer. Boat trip costs between 600.00 Php – 650.00 Php (6 persons) for 4 hours of stay in the island. An hourly excess will be charged to you for 150.00 Php. After paying, you will be given a boat number and will be guided to it. Also, you need to pay an environmental fee of 20.00 Php at the island.

  • Fees and Fare Summary (Php)
    • Boat fare                        – 650.00
    • Environmental fee      –   20.00
    • Snorkeling gear           – 150.00 (optional)
    • Life Jacket                     – 100.00 (optional)
    • Picnic table                   –    75.00 (optional)
    • Shed                               –  150.00 (optional)
    • Sanctuary viewing fee  –   25.00 (required when viewing the sanctuary)
wp-image-1787175920jpg.jpg
Mantigue Island as seen from the boat!

Tips: It will save you more if you bring personal diving equipment and do not forget your underwater camera ’cause everything is truly worth capturing underwater. If you have no snorkeling/diving gears with you then you can ask from the boatmen and save 50.00 Php. They have snorkeling gears for rent for only 100.00 Php. Also, I would personally recommend Jhomong, a very nice, cheerful boatman, to take you to the island. He will definitely tour you around and guide you at the sanctuary. You may ask for him around, everybody knows him for sure.

*Note: Staying overnight is not allowed. Tourists need to return to Camiguin at exactly 4:00 PM. 

8. Taguines Blue Lagoon

Photo credits to Ric Anthony at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Qemv2Mo_T0

It is the only place in Camiguin where you can do zip line, do single or tandem kayak. It also has pedal boats and stand-up paddle boards to give you more choices of aqua-sports to try. Its zip line may not be one of the longest one yet it’s not bad for 250.00Php.

In the area lies also restaurants that serve fresh and mouthwatering seafood dish fresh from its sanctuary. I would definitely commend the cook of Lagoon Bistro and J&A Fishpen for a truly tasty food.

GUINSILIBAN

9. Giant Clam Conservatory

Photo credits: Thoughtstalesandwhatnot.com

If you are looking for a jaw-dropping beach in Camiguin, then you should rush to Giant Clam Conservatory also known as KIBILA.Personally, I am in awe of how amazing the view is. The green trees that match perfectly the white sand and greenish-blue, pristine seawater. This could be the best view that you’ll ever see in Camiguin!

Aside from the white beach, the giant clams conserve in its tank and also in its sanctuary is a must-see. You don’t get to see these colorful sea creatures that up close every day. Plus, you get an on-the-spot lecture from women who will share to you information about the clams’ species and its nature.

It only has picnic sheds and table for 50.00Php to 100.00Php and also serves lunch from its small kitchen. If you desire to go to the sanctuary, a fee of 150.00Php will be collected and other fees for gears (yet these can be optional).

  • Fees Summary (Php)
    • Entrance fee                  –   25.00Php (regular), discounts apply to students
    • Shed/Table                     –   50.00Php/100.00Php
    • Sanctuary viewing fee – 150.00 Php with guide
    • Googles                          –  50.00 Php (optional)
    • Snorkel                          – 100.00 Php (optional)
    • Flippers                         – 100.00 Php (optional)
    • Life Vest                        –   50.00 Php (optional)
Photo credits: https://thoughtstalesandwhatnot.com/2014/08/03/camiguin-giant-clam-sanctuary-and-kibila-white-beach/

How to get there: It is advisable to have a motorbike even though multicabs can also make it through. It is because the road is really steep, also rocky at some point. Just beside the national highway in Guinsiliban, you can see a huge sign to Kibila. From there, you need to go down the slope take the road straight until you reach a small basketball court, take the road beside it and just go straight. (Feel free to ask for directions from villagers as they are pretty approachable)

Tips: Water is too salty for swimming. Make sure to have moisturizing gel or cream after swimming and have sandals on while wandering at the beach as there are small corals around that could hurt your feet. Lastly, take nothing but pictures and a wonderful experience.

SAGAY

10. Binangawan Falls

Binangawan falls may not be the grandest if you’ve seen bigger waterfalls yet it possesses a magic that truly attracts people to come. It is in the heart of Sagay, Camiguin and is not often visited by tourists. However, many who’ve been there testified that it’s going to be a different kind of experience.

Photo credits: http://www.islandtrotters.com/camiguin/braving-binangawan-falls.html

The music of nature and peacefulness in the area, hear nothing but the sound of water gushing from the falls,  makes it a perfect escape. A friend, a Sagaynon, who’ve been there shared that, “A rainbow forms as soon as the sun rays hit the falls every sunrise.”

How to get there: Go to Sagay and from there, ask a habal-habal driver to take you to a trail to Binangawan Falls where you still need to walk down the slope. It’s a dense forest so be ready for an adventure!

*Note: Wear proper hiking clothes and make sure to go there early and on a nice sunny day.

CATARMAN

11. Old Guiob Church Ruins

Photo credits: Wanderingsolesph.com

The island of Camiguin is not only a home of rich natural wonders but also of history. It is in history how Japanese and Spaniards managed to make a settlement here at the island and Catarman’s Old Church Ruins is left as a wonderful piece of evidence.It is located in Barangay Bonbon, Catarman and said to be there since the 16th; a product of a Spanish-era.

Photo credits: Meet the X-plorers: Camiguin: Catarman’s Old Church Ruins

The remains include the church walls, convent, an altar and a bell tower. Most of it were covered by green moss which, I think, makes it even more beautiful and fascinating. Also in its grounds stood a century old tree beside the convent.There is no entrance fee yet a donation box can be found before you enter the church ruins.

How to get there: It’s either you take a Jeepney from Mambajao that is bound for Catarman (not bound for Benoni, as it’s in the other way) and tell the driver to stop at Old Church or have a motorbike/van/multicab and go to Bonbon. It’s just beside the main road.

Tips: This often becomes a venue for prenuptial pictorials and among others. Make sure you’ve got your best camera ready!

12. Soda Water  Pool

Soda is a wholesome alternative to regular water and has a lot of health benefits like relieving stomach ache, constipation, for hydration and lastly, to decrease the risks of heart diseases. Pretty informative huh, but these should be enough to convince you to jump into a pool of Soda.

Photo credits: https://www.tripadvisor.com.ph/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g701653-d4766618-i124725610-Soda_Swimming_Pool-Camiguin_Mindanao.html

Nothing much about Soda Water Pool actually but it can be a good stop to cool down and enjoy its health benefits.  It’s a favorite family picnic venue for locals as well. It has picnic sheds for about 75.00 Php and a small restaurant that serves fresh fruit juices and buko juice.

Entrance fee is 25.00 Php for adults and 15.00 Php for children.

How to get there: It is located in Lawigan, Bura. It is very accessible but road are pretty tricky as it has lots of turns to take but just follow the signs on the road and you’ll definitely get there (if you choose to go around without a guide).

*Note: It is closed every Monday as it is the scheduled day for cleaning.

13. Sunken Cemetery

wp-1485648698628.jpg
Evidence of the sunken cemetery. Photo credits: Atlas Obscura

Don’t be scared, scenes here do not include corpses pulling your feet underwater like that of movies. Honestly, it’s really a wonderful sight down there but you might wonder how it happened, right? wp-1485652492262.jpg The cemetery sunk during the 1871 volcanic eruption of Mt.Vulcan. It was then that a huge cross was built, in 1982, “which lies 20 feetunderwater” to pay respect to the rested souls and to commemorate the community cemetery.

sunken-cemetery
On the boat going to the cross.

How to get there: The sunken cemetery terminal is can easily be seen as it is just beside the national highway just 10 minutes away from Old Church ruins. It has 5.00 Php entrance fee and from there, a small boat will take you to the Cross for only 500.00 Php inclusive of snorkeling gears and a guide. Activities that you can do here includes snorkeling and also enjoying the magnificent view for photographs.

Tips: Come here around 5:30 PM and catch the sunset. It’s breath-taking!

14. St. Nino Cold Spring

In contrast to Ardent Hot Spring, the Cold Spring in Sto.Nino Catarman has a temperature of 20degree Celsius. It has a large pool which then flows into a smaller pool. What’s exciting here is the small fishes underwater that seems to be relaxing whenever you place your feet still and the fishes try to bite it (it won’t hurt, no worries). It actually feels like you’re having a spa!

Entrance fee is around 30.00 Php for adults and 15.00Php for children. Ring life buoys of different sizes are available for only 10.00Php to 25.00Php depending on the size.Picnic sheds costs 75.00Php while tables with chairs costs 50.00 Php.

  • Fees Summary (Php)
    • Entrance fee       – 30.00 Php (regular), 15.00 Php (children)
    • Picnic shed         – 75.00 Php (optional)
    • Tables w/Chairs – 50.00 Php
    • wp-1485591027156.jpg
      Large pool area.

      The large pool area.

If you didn’t prepare food then don’t worry as there are food servers bringing a menu card and you can ask them to cook what you have chosen from the menu for a certain price.

How to get there:Go to the direction of Catarman and take a turn before you reach the longest bridge called “Dinanggasan”. Follow the signs along the road.

*Note: It’s closed on Thursdays as it is an scheduled day for cleaning. Overnight stay is allowed. On peak seasons, it becomes too crowded here.

15. Tuasan Falls

Camiguin is known to have 3 majestic waterfalls. These waterfalls, though in the same island, gives off a different impression. Tuasan falls may not be as developed, yet, like Katibawasan Falls, but it is its pristine environment that makes it look refreshing and invigorating.

Forceful water falling from Tuasan’s crest.

It is a 25 meters high strong waterfalls located in Mainit, Catarman. The water, which falls forcefully from its crest down to the pool area, feels cold yet relaxing. Not many people come here before but since the road became developed and paved, many tourists already started coming.lrm_export_20170215_180022

No entrance fee is collected. For foods, you may bring your own as there won’t be much choices when you buy it from small stores outside

How to get there: I suggest that you rent a private motorbike/multicab as it can take about 45 minutes away from Mambajao proper. You can take the same road going to Soda Water Pool and just follow the signs on the road.

Tips: Get here as early as you can if you want to take pictures of the falls properly.

Visit these tourists destinations and share your adventures in the comment box below. Camiguin Island is waiting for you!

Disclaimer: The images here with a photo credit captions are not claimed nor owned by this blog. Owners of the images are credited to protect their rights to intellectual property.

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