Camiguin is an island province in the Philippines located in the Bohol Sea. It is politically part of the Northern Mindanao Region of the country and formerly a part of Misamis Oriental province. Camiguin is the second-smallest province in the country in both population and land area after Batanes. It comes with five municipalities, such as Catarman, Guinsiliban, Mahinog, Sagay and its provincial capital Mambajao.
The island is also known for its Lanzones Festival which is a yearly celebration every October.
How to get to Camiguin
From Manila, you will need to ride a plane going to Laguindingan International Airport for about an hour and 45 minutes. When you are arrive in Laguindingan International Airport, there are already vans waiting outside going to Cagayan de Oro or buses from Super 5 and Rural Transit for php120.
From Cagayan de Oro City, you will need to go to Agora Bus Terminal to ride another bus going to Balingoan Port, Misamis Oriental. The travel will take up to 2-3 hours depending traffic from city. It is better take the night trip so you can get the first boat trip to Camiguin the following day.
From Balingoan port, a ferry boat will take to you to Benoni Port for an hour depending on the weather condition. The time between trips varies during the day and starts from 4:00 am to 5:00 pm. The ferry fare is php170 and terminal fee if php15.
There are also direct flights from Manila to Camiguin. Just check flight schedule of airline of choice. Their airport is located at Mambajao, the capital province of the island.
Places to visit in Camiguin Island
When you go to Camiguin, you can either check -in a beach resort or have a day tour. What I did was to rent a motorbike for php 400 good for 24 hrs. Normally, once you arrive at the Benoni Port, locals will ask you if you wanted to rent either a motorbike or a mini-van to tour the island. For solo traveler, you can be accompanied by someone in your tour for a different price. But if you know how to drive then you can go ahead take it but make sure you have a license. The tourism office will provide you a map that will serve as your guide in the island.
Katibawasan Falls is Located 5 km (3.1 mi) southeast of Mamba, the Katibawasan Falls cascades 250 ft. (76 m) down to a pool surrounded by orchids and ferns. An invigorating dip on the pool is popular especially on warmer days and several hiking trails are within the park. This is also the favorite jump-off point for trekkers and mountaineers in search of adventure on the slopes of Mt. Timpoong. The entrance fee is php30 per pax.
Tuasan Falls is located 6 km (3.7 mi) northeast of Catarman. Unfortunately getting to the falls no longer entails a scenic hike passing through the Barrio of Mainit, Catarman and along the rocky -river bed. There is no entrance fee when you enter the waterfalls premise. However, tourist are prohibited to go near the waterfalls because of its strong impact. No entrance fee.
Tansod Cliffs/ Tongatoc Cove
Before you reach the sunken cemetery in Bonbon, you will pass the cliffs of Nasaag and Yumbing area. You can stop over, take pictures and enjoy the fresh sea breeze. Though, the place is not suitable for swimming due to big waves going to the shore line and it is difficult to trek downhill. This side of the island has never been a tourist spot and only adventurous travelers do drop by this area just for a cliff photo.
During the volcanic birth of Mt. Vulcan that lasted from 1871 to about 1875, some areas in the town of Bonbon subsided, sinking the cemetery of the town to below sea level. The original underwater cross and the cemetery were damaged due to weather changes so the local government constructed another one which indicates the specific location. You will need to pay an entrance fee, environmental fee and obligated tour guide fee.
Bura Soda Water Swimming Pools
The Soda Water Swimming Pool in Camiguin is the first of its kind in the entire Philippines. It became part of the tourist destination in the island since 2007. It is made into a swimming pool for human enjoyment and satisfaction. The Soda Swimming Pool is located in the town of Catarman. It was named as Soda Pool because according to the locals, it used to taste like soda. But one thing has changed, it was not like the soda pool before, even though that the bubbles underneath the pool is still visible but then you will get disappointed when you taste the water. The entrance fee is php30.
This is one of Camiguin’s tourist destination. A strip of white sand bar which is 10 minutes aware from Yumbing or Agoho by a motorized boat. This area is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, scuba, free dive and fishing. The boat fee is php450 good for 6 pax. If you are solo traveler, the locals will let you join a group in order for you not to pay the entire fee. But you still have the option so take the boat by yourself.
Magsaysay Island or commonly known as Mantigue Island is a 4.9 hectares of forest and sandy beach. It is located northeast side of Benoni Port. The boat fee is php500 good for 6 pax. If you are solo traveler, the locals will let you join a group in order for you not to pay the entire fee. But you still have the option so take the boat by yourself.
Giant Clam Sanctuary
The Giant Clam Sanctuary in Camiguin is located in a bay near Cantaan. In Kabila Beach where a sanctuary of giant clams awaits the tourist. Kabila Giant Clam Conservation and Ocean Nursery homes more than 2,600 clams including the giant clams in which one can find the seven (out of nine) species of giant clams in the world. Kabila Giant Clam Conservation and Ocean Nursery is a non-government project and all proceeds are used in the maintenance and conservation of giant clams as well as the marine sanctuary. An entrance fee of php25 which includes area tour at the clam laboratory and you can also enjoy the white sand beach. There is a table charge of php100 (big) and php50 (small). If you want to view the clams underwater, you will need to pay php150 with tour guide.
They have also dive gears for rent such as snorkel mask (php100), flippers/fins (php100), goggles (php50) and life vest (php50). However, if you have your own swimming gear, you will still need to pay 50% of what they charge per gear. For example, you have your own flipper/fins, it will be php50 instead of php100.
- Cagayan de Oro City to Balingoan – Php120 (php240 round trip)
- Balingoan to Camiguin- php170 (php340 round trip)
- Terminal Fee- php15 (php30 round trip)
- Motorcycle Fee – php400 (24 hrs usage)
- Gasoline -php200 (full tank twice filled)
- Katibawasan Falls- php30 per pax
- Bura Soda Pools- php30 per pax
- Giant Clams Sanctuary- php150 per pax
- Swim Gears Corkage – php75 ( flipper & goggles)