13 BEST CAMIGUIN ISLAND TOURIST SPOTS

White Island Camiguin Island

So, you want to go to Camiguin Island. We don’t blame you, it’s pretty special! If you’re looking for the ultimate guide to Camiguin Island tourist spots, you’ve come to the right place. Zowie was born there and spent the better part of her early years calling Camiguin home. She’s done just about everything you can do on the island, knows all the local spots, and wants to share this little slice of paradise with fellow travellers.

Camiguin is small, like really small. In fact, at just 238km2, it’s the second smallest province in the Philippines. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in rugged, Jurassic Park style vibes. With more volcanoes than towns (14 in total, with one still active) Camiguin is teeming with things to do, places to see, and has remained mostly untouched. For the adventurous traveller, you’ll find everything you need in our guide to Camiguin Island tourist spots below.

Camiguin Island Jungle

HOW TO GET TO CAMIGUIN ISLAND

Camiguin Island is part of the Mindanao region and is located about 10km north of mainland Mindanao, between Cagayan de Oro and Bohol. There was a time when people were afraid to visit any part of Mindanao, Camiguin included, and this sentiment still lingers in the minds of those who don’t know any better.

But rest assured, Camiguin is one of the most laidback, peaceful islands you’ll find in the Philippines. There are four ways to get to Camiguin Island, depending on where you’re coming from:

Fly from Manila
SkyJet Airlines has a 90 minute direct flight from Manila, running 3 times a week for around $90 USD one way. It’s a great option if you’re in the capital, plus SkyJet includes 10kg of baggage, so if you’ve packed your backpack correctly, this is all you should have. We do have to warn you though, since this route is relatively new and not often busy, SkyJet may cancel your flight due to reduced operations. This happened to us right before Christmas when we figured flights would be at their peak, but not this one apparently!

Fly from Cebu
Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines fly from Cebu to Camiguin every day. It’s a short 45 minute flight and will only set you back around $25 USD. This is our preferred way to get to Camiguin since we’re often in Cebu.

Ferry from Bohol
If you’ve just spent some time hanging out with Tarsiers in Bohol, the good news is you don’t have to backtrack to Cebu to get to Camiguin. There’s a daily SuperShuttle ferry from Jagna port Bohol to Balbagon port Camiguin that takes around 4 hours and tickets are only $9 USD. The schedule has changed a bunch of times in the years we’ve been taking this route, so make sure to check online before your trip.

Ferry from Balingoan
If you’re coming from Mindanao, you can take a SuperShuttle ferry from Balingoan port in Misamis Oriental to Benoni port in Camiguin for $3 USD. Ferries run from 4:15am – 4:15pm with almost hourly trips in between, and it’ll take around an hour to get there.

WHERE TO STAY

There’s no shortage of accommodation on Camiguin Island, from homestays and hostels to boutique resorts and big hotels. For all the options on the island, check out Hostelworld, but if we had to recommend one resort it would have to be Bintana sa Paraiso! They have two properties, cliffside in Naasag and in the mountains of Binunsaran. Their Naasag property is great for couples wanting to retreat and reconnect since it has no signal or WiFi, and starts at around $100 a night. But if you’re wanting to keep your pulse on the outside world, their Binunsaran property overlooks the stunning White Island, has WiFi and will only set you back $65 a night.

HOW TO GET AROUND CAMIGUIN ISLAND

The best way to see Camiguin Island is by motorbike. There’s a rental place in Benoni across from the port in front of a bakery but if you have trouble locating it just ask a local and they can point you in the right direction. The going rate’s around $8 for 24 hours. There’s also rentals in Mambajao, the main town, and many accommodation providers have bikes to rent.

WHITE ISLAND

Camiguin Island Guide
White Island – Camiguin Island Tourist Spots

Location: Mambajao, Camiguin
Price: $9 for boat of 4pax, $1 environmental fee per person.

When people think of Camiguin, White Island is usually the first thing that comes to mind. This shapeshifting sandbar is easily Camiguin’s main attraction, with its sparkling white sand and turquoise waters. Since Camiguin is so volcanic, its beaches have black sand and rocks, making White Island all the more popular for its stark contrast. Don’t come here expecting the powdery sand of Boracay though, it’s mostly fine, crushed shells.

To get to White Island, you’ll need to take a pump boat from the port in Yumbing, right next to Paras Beach Resort. It’s $9 for the boat rental which fits 4 people plus $1 each for the environmental fee. With absolutely no shade on the island, we recommend going as early or as late as possible to avoid those midday rays, or at least renting an umbrella for around $5. You can also rent snorkelling gear at the port before setting sail.

HOT & COLD SPRINGS

Location: Ardent Hot Spring / Sto. Niño Cold Spring / Bura Soda Swimming Pool / Macao Cold Spring / Tangub Hot Spring
Price: $0.60 for Ardent, Sto. Niño and Bura, free for Macao and Tangub.

Camiguin has a whole bunch of natural springs, both hot and cold, and we have the volcanoes to thank that. It would be a crying shame to visit Camiguin and miss out on any of the springs, so be sure to pay them each a visit. There’s Ardent Hot Spring, Sto. Niño Cold Spring and Bura Soda Swimming Pool (soda as in naturally carbonated!) that are all well documented on just about every Camiguin tourism brochure. There’s a $0.60 entrance fee for all 3 major springs and you can pay around $2 for a shaded picnic table. And then there are the local gems, Macao Cold Spring and Tangub Hot Spring that aren’t as popular but are just as worthy of your time. These don’t have entrance fees and are only visited by Camiguin locals.

CHASING WATERFALLS

Camiguin Island Guide
Waterfalls – Camiguin Island Tourist Spots

Location: Katibawasan Falls / Tuasan Falls / Binangawan Falls
Price: $1 for Katibawasan & Tuasan, free for Binangawan & Mantalaga

Camiguin Island is home to 4 waterfalls, all very different but equally as impressive. Katibawasan Falls & Tuasan Falls are on everyone’s radars and are the most visited on the island, for good reason! They’re super easy to get to – no hike needed, just drive straight up and enjoy the powerful falls. Katibawasan is a staggering 76 metres high and dammed off to create a swimming area, whilst Tuasan is around 20 metres with a natural swimming area flowing into a river. These Camiguin Island tourist spots should not be missed if you plan on visiting!

Binangawan Falls (pictured) are for the more adventurous and require a steep decline deep into the jungle, but it’s well worth the trek. No entrance fee here, and you’ll likely have the place to yourself. Mantalaga Falls are so lowkey you won’t find them on Google Maps, in fact, we’re not even sure we found them the right way since we ended up on top of the falls. The easiest way to get there is to go with someone who knows where they are, but if you insist on going solo take the road leading to Katibawasan Falls and from there you’ll need to ask locals to point you in the right direction.

MT HIBOK HIBOK

Location: Mambajao, Camiguin
Price: Starting at $12 per person for a group of 4

Hiking Mt Hibok Hibok – Camiguin’s last active volcano – isn’t for the faint of heart… or lungs (which is why Zowie hasn’t hiked it before). The return trip is anywhere from 6-9 hours, depending on your fitness level, where you start from and how long you stay at the summit. The most established trek begins at Ardent Hot Springs, but the new Itum trail was recently opened to the public in 2019. You’ll need a guide which can be organised through the Camiguin Tourism Office or by emailing them at  [email protected].

The jungle is incredibly dense and diverse, and is in fact one of 8 ASEAN Heritage Parks in the Philippines. Once you reach the summit after 3-4 hours of trekking, you’ll be rewarded with an unmatched view of the crater lake, the coastline and White Island in the distance. For a more leisurely trip, you can even opt to camp the night at the summit.

MANTIGUE ISLAND

Camiguin Island Guide
Mantigue Island – Camiguin Island Tourist Spots

Location: Mahinog, Camiguin
Price: $12 for a boat of 6 people, $0.60 for environmental fee per person.

Mantigue Island is Zowie’s favourite spot in Camiguin for a whole bunch of reasons. It’s like White Island, but with a rainforest, small fishing village and an incredible protected reef. Mantigue Island is just 20 minutes from the port in San Roque, Mahinog and the boat rental is $12 for 6 people, plus $0.60 for the environmental fee. If you want to snorkel in the protected area, which we definitely recommend, it’s $2 for the snorkelling mask and entrance, or $1 if you have your own gear. Aside from snorkelling, you can walk around the island, or through it along the rainforest path and meet the locals that call Mantigue Island home. There are also jetskis, glass bottomed boats and standup paddle boards for rent.

LANZONES FESTIVAL

Location: The whole island!
Price: Free

Every year, during the third week of October, Camiguin celebrates its annual Lanzones Festival. Expect 4 days of fun, festivities, food and fruit. Lots and lots of lanzones fruit. The lanzones fruit is Camiguin’s main export, which is why the island celebrates its harvest in the way of street dancing, parties, parades and beauty pageants. It’s all very Filipino, so if you’re deciding when to visit Camiguin and you don’t mind the additional crowds, then you have to come during the festival. Most of the shows and festivities happen at the Camiguin Sports Complex in Mambajao, but there’s a new schedule each year which will tell you where everything is happening. We make a point of going every year, so maybe we’ll see you there!

SUNKEN CEMETERY

Sunken Cemetery
Sunken Cemetery – Camiguin Island Tourist Spots

Location: Catarman, Camiguin
Price: $1 entrance fee, $3 snorkel fee, $2 gear rental

You’ll be hard pressed to find something like this elsewhere in the Philippines, or the world for that matter. Sunken Cemetery is exactly what it sounds like. Way back in 1871, Mt Vulcan erupted causing catastrophic damage to Catarman, what was once the capital of Camiguin. The continued eruptions from 1871 to 1875 eventually submerged the Catarman cemetery, and in 1982 they built a giant cross on the solidified lava to mark the site. That cross actually fell down, and in 1995 (or thereabouts) an even newer cross was built, and this is the one that still stands today.

Tourists flock to this peculiar attraction to take photos from the shore, go out to the base of the cross, or even snorkel through the site. An honest heads up before you go: whilst the coral formations, colourful fish and giant clams are pretty spectacular, don’t go out expecting a literal underwater graveyard. It’s been submerged for a long time and nature has done its thing, reclaiming the area. You’ll be able to see one tombstone as well as the original cross from 1982 amidst the vibrant marine life. We still absolutely recommend this to anyone visiting Camiguin.

OLD SPANISH CHURCH RUINS

Location: Catarman, Camiguin
Price: $0.20 entrance fee

The Old Church Ruins in Catarman are another casualty of the Mt Vulcan eruption. The ruins are only 500m down the road from the Sunken Cemetery, so you’d be silly not to pay them a visit before or after the cross. Here you’ll get a glimpse into the history of the island, as these ruins are one of the last standing reminders of the 16th century Spanish occupation of Camiguin. The outer walls of the church remain, as well as the shell of the convent and a towering 100+ year old tree. A small chapel has since been built within the walls of the church allowing the locals to practice their faith on this sacred site. If you’re a fan of history and appreciate the culture of the places you visit, the Old Church Ruins are worthy of a stop.

KIBILA GIANT CLAM SANCTUARY

Camiguin Island Guide
Giant Clams – Camiguin Island Tourist Spots

Location: Cantaan, Guinsiliban, Camiguin
Price: $1 entrance, $5 snorkelling fee including equipment, $2.50 if you BYO mask

Aside from volcanoes and lanzones fruit, Camiguin is also home to a Giant Clam Sanctuary, dedicated to the preservation of these underwater goliaths. If you snorkel at the Sunken Cemetery you might see a few of these clams, but if you want to see hundreds then you need to make your way to the other side of the island, in Guinsiliban.

There are two options for clam encounters here: firstly you can pay $1 to see baby clams growing in tanks, or you can pay $5 including gear rental to snorkel amongst the ocean nursery ($2.50 if you bring your own snorkel gear). We highly recommend the latter, as it’s the only way you’ll get to see actual giant clams up to 4 feet long, as well as some stunning coral formations and other marine life.

BEEHIVE DRIFTWOOD CAFE

Location: Catarman, Camiguin
Price: Free entry, pay for food & drinks

BeeHive Driftwood Cafe is hands down our favourite spot to hang out and watch the sun go down. The cafe itself is super cool, made up of driftwood furniture, decor and bits and bobs. It also serves as an organic store where the owners, Raphael and Princess, sell their farm fresh honey, coffee beans, coconut sugar and more. The menu at BeeHive is a mix of Filipino classics and International dishes, but you can guarantee everything is fresh and organic.

CHAN LOOKOUT POINT

Camiguin Island Guide
Chan Lookout – Camiguin Island Tourist Spots

Location: Mambajao, Camiguin
Price: Free

Just about everywhere you look on Camiguin is picture perfect, but one of the best views is found at Chan Lookout Point, or above if you have a drone! This curvy coastline is lined with coconut trees and drops dramatically to the ocean below. Just punch in Chan Lookout Point into Google Maps and it’ll take you right there, where you can pull over onto the side of the road and admire the view.

WALKWAY TO THE OLD VOLCANO

Location: Catarman, Camiguin
Price: $0.20 entrance fee

The Walkway to the Old Volcano is mix of history and religion, and serves as an incredible viewpoint at the top. This is the same volcano, Mt Vulcan, that’s responsible for the catastrophic eruption of 1871 which destroyed the town of Catarman. It’s since been turned into a paved hike with the 14 Stations of the Cross along the way. It’s a 1 hour return journey and is relatively easy, but you’ll definitely get hot and sweaty along the way so we recommend bringing plenty of water.

TAGUINES LAGOON

Camiguin Island Guide
Taguines Lagoon – Camiguin Island Tourist Spots

Location: Benoni, Mahinog, Camiguin
Price: Dependent on your choice of restaurant

Taguines Lagoon is pretty much a gigantic manmade fishpond, not far from the port of Benoni. To actually make use of the lagoon, you can have a meal at J&A Fishpen or Ajis Aqua Park. J&A farms their fish on site and has an extensive seafood menu (among other things) and Ajis has a floating aqua playground for kids (and kids at heart), as well as stand up paddle boards and pedal boats. Ajis has a $1 entrance fee which you can put towards your restaurant bill or the aqua activities, and 1 hour on the inflatable park will set you back $5. Definitely add this to one of your must-visit Camiguin Island tourist spots.

Camiguin is easily one of the most beautiful islands in the Philippines, and we hope our guide to Camiguin Island tourist spots helps you experience everything this little island has to offer! We’d love to hear about your own Camiguin adventure, so drop a comment below or find us on socials @No.Postcode.

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Camiguin Island Philippines Travel Guide 2

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3 Comments

  1. David Vandergriff

    From an Aus Matanda I thank you for your wonderful advice. Hope to be heading there after Easter.

    Reply
  2. Lyn Cedie

    Thank you! This is very helpful. Planning to go there this coming August

    Reply
    • No Postcode

      Glad you found this helpful, enjoy your stay in August!

      Reply

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Philippines | Asia

May 30, 2020

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