This island is home to seven volcanoes that continue to shape and reshape its unique landscape and also the home of mysterious Sunken Cemetery which continues to fascinate travelers from all over the world.It also hides numerous waterfalls, natural springs, unspoiled beaches and diving spots that will please adventurous travelers. I’m talking about Camiguin: The Island Born of Fire.
Camiguin is known as the “island born of fire” due to volcanic eruptions that shaped the province. I even did not know that before, not until I visit the province. Given the fact that it is basically an island made up volcanoes, there’s nothing to worry about. Camiguin is a safe and quiet place. A perfect place to be when running away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
At first, I thought there’s just a few things to do in Camiguin. But damn, I was wrong! Four days is not enough to explore the island. So to give you some insights, here’s our itinerary that you can follow.
THINGS TO DO IN CAMIGUIN.
- White Island – Flaunt your favorite swimwear and beach body while basking in the sun on this white sandbar. or swim in the crystal clear waters as marine life surrounds this uninhabited sandbar and is a great spot to view Mt. Hibok-hibok and the Old Volcano from afar. You can capture the best shots and make these volcanoes as your backdrop. Of course, it’s a given an sandbar visit would not be complete without sunbathing!
- Tongatoc Cove – A cliff near the Sunken Cemetery reveals a beautiful secluded cove. You’ll be mesmerized by the sight of deep blue waters and the old volcano. This spot is also best for stargazing! Trust me!
- Tangub Hotspring – This hot spring by the ocean has water temperatures that shift from cold to hot as tide changes. So make sure to visit this place during low tide. A few meters away from the rocky shores is also a great spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. So always come prepared and bring along your snorkeling gear.
- Stations of the Cross at the Walkway to the Old Volcano – Climb several hundred steps while witnessing the 14 Stations of the Cross at the Walkway to the Old Volcano. Given the number of steps to reach the last station, make sure to bring a lot of water, and I suggest hiking the walkway early morning or late afternoon to avoid the scorching heat of the sun as the ascend and descend can take up to 45 minutes to an hour.
- Sunken Cemetery – A volcanic eruption in the 1800s sank most of Catarman, including the cemetery. And in the late 1980’s, a giant Cross marker was built to mark the event. If you’re interested to snorkel in the area, you can do so as the place have a vibrant marine ecosystem you can even see the remnants of the actual cross that sank during the eruption.
- Guiob Church Ruins – What you see today are what was left of the old Spanish church and convent called Cotta Bato which was built in the 16th century but was later brought to ruin by the volcanic eruption.
- Bura Soda Spring – Not sure if the water in the pool are fresh flowing water, but this is for sure, the water in their pool are the best remedy from the hot weather.
- Tuasan Falls – a small, well-kept waterfall in Catarman, Camiguin. Yes, I can say that it is well kept as the surroundings is being developed. Let’s just hope that they will not change a lot in the place, as nature is best experience just the way it is.
- Ardent Spring – The flowing water here comes from a natural waterfall that used to be heated by a nearby volcano, also note that the temperature of the water in the spring can sometimes change, especially if there are several visitors, so make sure check the water temperature before entering. If you want the place by yourself and enjoy the hot water, I suggest coming here early morning.
- Katibawasan Falls – A 250-feet high falls with icy waters, that is surrounded by plants, trees, and boulders which is an ideal place to just chill while listening to the sound of the falling water.
- Mantigue Island – A 30-minute boat ride off Mahinog, you can reach the island of Mantigue. Explore the white sandy paths within the vicinity and witness the ruins of the village and a small lighthouse. You can also rent a glass bottom boat tour that can give you a nice view of marine life around this government-protected island. Swimming up close is also possible if you’re a seasoned swimmer and scuba diver.
- Clam Sanctuary – Kabila White Beach is another white sand beach in Cantaan, Guinsiliban. Near this beach nestles the Giant Clam Sanctuary which is run by the locals. It’s a perfect place to snorkel and appreciate the marine life of about 3,000 giant clams, with it’s number 8 species of clams can be seen on the protected area thriving on the ocean floor. Local kids will welcome you as your guide, and give you interesting facts and an educational tour around the sanctuary.
- Moro-Moro Tower – is the remains of a centuries-old watchtower. This historic landmark was used as a watchtower to safeguard and warn the locals against incoming marauders and pirates.
So there you have it, the few places that we were able to visit and other activities to do. Actually there’s still quite a few add-on to the list. Unfortunately due to time constraint we where not able to visit some of them. But I will be sharing it with you so you can customize your itineraries depending on what you are into.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO DO:
- Binangawan Falls
- Sto. Nino Cold Spring
- Macao Cold Spring
- Burias Shoals
- Hike Mount Hibok-Hibok
- Taguines Lagoon and AquaSports
And if you have the budget, a friend told me that you can experience Sightseeing Tours aboard a Cessna plane from Camiguin Aviation. I guess it’s worth every penny.
WHERE TO STAY?
Given this itinerary, it will take you several days to do it. Need not to worry as here are few recommendation for your accommodation.
From my personal experience we have stayed at Pabuas Cottages since we’re quite on a budget. The aircon room cost only 1000 PHP/night and good for four. Please note not to expect that much given it’s cost. The room doesn’t have a kitchen and hot and cold shower and even complimentary water.
But to give you more options, here are some of the other options you have:
- Bintana sa Paraiso Binunsaran or Naasag – this is actually my preferred accommodation, due to the Bali vibe that it have, but unfortunately our pockets wouldn’t allow it. If you’re interested you can find them in Airbnb, don’t have an account yet? Sign up using this LINK, and get 1 600 PHP off on your first accommodation booking and 600 PHP off on your first adventure.
- Paguia’s Cottages
- Paras Hotel
Here’s Pabua’s Cottages contact number: 0906 415 2557.
GETTING AROUND THE ISLAND.
There are a lot of options on how to tour the entire island. These are as follows:
• By tricycle tour
This is the most popular choice as it is cost-efficient and tailored to budget travelers especially if you are travelling as a group on a budget. Rates start at ₱1,000/day depending on your haggling skills and number of pax.
• By multicab tours
If you are in a big group, this is the most ideal option. Also it offers more comfort. Rates starts at ₱1 500/day.
You can contact kuya Archie of Archie Land Tours at 0905 741 8825. You can ask for kuya Ching as your driver, he’ll be glad to tour you around the province and even help you out in taking your pictures.
• By motorcycle
Motorcycles are up for rent in the island. As soon as you arrive, locals will welcome you with this offer. The normal rate is at ₱300/day and you’d be the one to gas it up. Please make sure to have your driver’s license with you and always keep your helmet on when driving. you don’t want to be asked to pull over and fine you for not doing so.
WHERE TO EAT AND CHILL
There are several restaurants in Camiguin that offers wide range of cuisine. And here are some of the places we have tried.
- CheckPoint – If you’re looking for a breakfast buffet, then this is the place for only 175 PHP. Also they have value meals for 100 PHP, which already includes meat (fish, pork and chicken), a side dish, 1 cup of rice and drinks. And at night they also serve barbecues.
- Alex Restobar – Ideal place to chill at night, they have live bands every Friday and Saturday.
- Northern Lights – Pizza and home made ice cream is their specialty so better try those out.
- Gimeno’s Catering – Well this one is located just outside Bura Soda Swimming Pool. So if you found yourself near the place you can check this out. They have big serving of home cooked meals. You should try there native chicken, it taste so good compared to the ones available at the supermarkets.
- Gorres & Exchaure Eatery – This one is ideal for travel on a budget as there food are cheap, but don’t worry their food still taste good. Trust me.
- Mantigue Island Restaurant – the only restaurant on the island, but if you’re on a budget I suggest to bring along some food with you when you visit the island. Given it’s location that foods being serve are from the mainland there food is a bit higher compared to other resto’s.
Also a few resto’s that we are not able to try that you can check out are the following:
- Hayahay cafe
- Peninsular Cafe Art
- Camiguin Sunset Lounge
If you’re planning to do some groceries at their market or Gaisano, please make sure to be there before it closes. Camiguin is ain’t a big city, most establishment closes at 7 PM.
Here’s some additional photos from our trip.
So there you have it, the things you need to know about Camiguin: The Island Born of Fire.
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