Nested in the Northern Mindanao is a pear-shaped volcanic island of Camiguin, roughly 100 kilometers north of Cagayan de Oro City in Misamis Oriental.
Camiguin Island is said to be created by volcanic eruptions and land movements, thus the moniker “Island Born of Fire”. It has a total of seven volcanoes including Mount Hibok-Hibok, an active one with last recorded eruption in 1953.
Another famous landmark of Camiguin is “White Island“, a sandbar northwest of mainland, approximately two kilometers off the shore of Barangay Yumbing, Mambajao. White island submerges substantially during high tide but a favorite among tourists as it offers a panoramic view of Mount Hibok-Hibok and neighboring mountains.
With all its natural wonders and historical treasures, Camiguin Island is undoubtedly an inviting paradise! Let us discover and rediscover the magic of the island!
How to Get to Camiguin
Camiguin has its own airport in Mambajao but Cebu Pacific is the only commercial airline that has regular flights to the province from Cebu City. For those coming from Manila, make your way to either Cagayan de Oro or Butuan City.
Via Cagayan de Oro
From Laguindingan Airport, ride a shuttle (Magnum Shuttle or LAX Van at P199.00/pax as of Dec 2016) direct to Agora Market where you can catch a bus (P148.00/pax as of Dec 2016) or a van (~P200.00/pax) to Balingoan for a two-hour ride. Get off in Balingoan Terminal and walk to the port. From there, ride a ferry (~P150.00/pax) to Benoni Port of Camiguin. Ferries from Balingoan Port to Benoni, Camiguin leave almost every hour from 5Am to 5PM, travel time is two hours.
From Butuan Airport, catch a motorella or taxi to take you to the bus terminal and hop to any Cagayan bound bus (~P200.00/pax), travel time is more than two hours. The bus will stop at Balingoan Terminal just a short walk to the port where you can catch ferry to Camiguin (~P150.00/pax).
via Jagna, Bohol
Super Shuttle Ferry serves Jagna, Bohol – Camiguin. Visit their website for schedule.
Where to Stay in Camiguin
There are numerous hotels/lodges in this island to choose from for budget or high-end tourists. Most are located in Mambajao. There are also decent homestays, cottages and lodges for as low as P500.00 per room.
One of the populars is Paguia’s Cottages located in Barangay Yumbing, Mambajao. It is owned by Ma’am Hospecia Paguia, contact no: (088)387-9018. A nice room for up to 6 people for only P1400/night.
Top-Rated Budget Accommodations in Camiguin
The Yellow House
Top-Rated Hotels in Camiguin
Balai sa Baibai Resort
Kurma Yoga Dive and Beach Resort
What to Do in Camiguin
Camiguin is best experienced than described, they say. Rent a multicab for a tour of the island (~P2500.00 for a big multicab that can fit 12 persons, including port transfers). With its natural wonders and historic landmarks, tourists will definitely enjoy these sites:
- Old Catarman (Gui-ob) Church Ruins: In Barangay Bonbon, 16 kilometers from the center of Catarman. What remains are ruins of adobe walls, belfry and convent that are testimonials to the devastating 1871 earthquake which wiped out the illustrious town of Catarman established earlier as a Spanish settlement in 1967.
- Cross Marker and Sunken Cemetery: Sixteen kilometers from Catarman proper; a huge cross was installed in 1982 to mark the community cemetery which sunk during the 1871 volcanic holocaust. A fluvial procession usually organized by the townsfolk of Barangay Bonbon is held to honor the sunken graves of their forefather.
- Stations of the Cross(Via Cruzes) / Walkway (Old Vulcan): A walkway complete with 14 Stations of The Cross leads to the peak of Mt Vulcan Daan. Thirteen kilometers west of Mambajao, it has 70 to 80 meters drop and is a landmark of the PANAAD Pilgrimage.
- Katibawasan Falls: Five kilometers southeast of Mambajao center is a waterfalls which measures 250 feet high cascades to a rock pool surrounded by ground orchids, wild ferns, trees and boulders. Its cold water provides an ideal summer splash to bathers and picnickers.
- Tuasan Falls: Six kilometers northwest of Catarman, the trek to this 25 meter high rapid waterfalls entails a very scenic hike passing thru the quaint Barrio Mainit. The falls can be tapped as a mini hydro source of power.
- Binangawan Falls: Where several miniature and gigantic waterfalls gushing through majestic granite stones that converge in one main pool, covered with luscious unspoiled vegetation, and a mystical rainbow is arched by the fall’s mist as the sunlight penetrates through it.
- White Island: An uninhabited white sandbar with Mt. Hibok-Hibok and Old Volcan in the backdraft that reflects the grandeur the Province of Camiguin has ever achieved. It is reached within 10 minutes through a banca from anywhere in Yumbing, Mambajao area.
- Ardent Hot Spring: Six kilometers west of Mambajao is a mineral pool with water around 40 degree centigrade. Vapor rises from the heated waters that run down the vents of the dormant Hibok-Hibok volcano. The springs are ideal to bathe in at night surrounded by cool mountain air. It has therapeutic effects. Picnic huts and tables are available in the beautifully landscaped gardens with a restaurant on site.
- Sto. Niño Cold Spring: Located 4 kilometers north of Catarman is a huge pool of cold spring water with a sandy bottom. The area has native stores, picnic huts and toilets for visitors and guests.
- Others: Taste the Pastel de Camiguin, a very yummy yema filled bun; visit Macao Cold Spring, Tangub Hot Spring, Mantigue Island and Taguines Lagoon; dine in Luna Ristorante; dive or snorkel in the diverse and unspoiled waters around the province; tour nearby Cagayan de Oro City, Bukidnon and Butuan.
Sample Itinerary (Camiguin-CDO-Bukidnon)
Day 1: Camiguin En Route and White Sand Bar Sunset
0600H – 0825H: Assembly in NAIA 3 / Check-in
0825H – 0950H: Manila to Cagayan de Oro Flight
0950H – 1030H: Assembly / Baggage Check-in
1030H – 1100H: Cagayan de Oro Airport to Agora Terminal
1100H – 1300H: Agora Terminal to Balingoan Port
1300H – 1400H: Lunch
1400H – 1530H: Balingoan to Benoni Port, Camiguin
1530H – 1600H: Benoni to Paguia’s Cottages
1600H – 1630H: Check-in/Fix-up
1630H – 1830H: Camiguin to White Sandbar (by boat) / Sunset at White Sand Bar / Back to Mainland Camiguin
1830H – 1930H: Wash-up Fix-up
1930H – onwards: Dinner / Socials / Lights off
Day 2: Camiguin on a Day
0600H – 0800H: Call Time / Breakfast
0800H – 1300H: Multicab Tour: Ol Vocano Station of the Cross / Sunken Cemetery / Gui-ob Church Ruins/ Sto. Niño Cold Springs
1300H – 1400H: Lunch
1400H – 1800H: Katibawasan Falls / Ardent Hot Springs
1800H – 1900H: Wash-up / Fix-up
1900H – onwards: Dinner / Socials / Lights off
Day 3: Wild Water Ride
0345H – 0430H: Call Time / Paguia’s to Benoni Port
0430H – 0600H: Benoni Port to Balingoan
0600H – 0800H: Balingoan to Cagayan de Oro
0800H – 0900H: Check-in New Dawn Pensionne / Heavy Breakfast
0900H – 1800H: White Water Rafting!!!! (Buffet Lunch included)
1800H – 1900H: Wash-up / Fix-up
1900H – onwards: Dinner / Socials
Day 4: Zip High in Bukidnon
0500H – 0600H: Call Time / Breakfast
0600H – 0800H: Travel CDO to Bukidnon
0800H – 1100H: Zip, Zorb and more in Dahilayan (Lunch and Snacks Included)
1100H – 1300H: Travel Bukidnon to CDO
1300H – 1400H: Hotel Check-out / Travel to Airport
1400H – 1555H: Assembly / Airport Check-in
1555H – 1720H: Travel CDO to Manila
Budget for Camiguin-CDO-Bukidnon (Approximately P5,000 – P5,500 each for a group of 6)
Taxi (Airport to Agora Terminal): P50.00
Bus (Agora To Balingoan): P143.00
Ferry to Camiguin: P150.00
Multicab (Tour/Transfer): P250
2 Nights Camiguin Accomodation: P600
Boat to White Island: P150
Ferry Camiguin to Balingoan: P150.00
Bus (Balingoan to Agora): P143.00
Taxi to New Dawn Pension: P30.00
1 Night CDO Accomodation: P350
White Water Rafting + Zipzone: P1999
Terminal Fee CDO: P30
Miscellaneous/Foods/Entrance Fees/Etc: P1000
Approximate Budget: P5100
*First published: 29-March-2008. Updated: 10-December-2013; 02-November-2017.