Measuring about 29 hectares, Camiguin Island is the second smallest island of the Philippine archipelago. The island is only about 23 kilometers long and 14 kilometers wide and is located about 90 kilometers north of Cagayan de Oro in Northern Mindanao.
Camiguin may be minuscule in size but huge in terms of topography. In it lie no fewer than seven volcanoes. Interestingly, this tiny pear-shaped island province had been formed by natural phenomena such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.
The province has five towns and a very low population of about 75,000. The rich volcanic soil has given the province a lot of fertile ground conducive for vegetables and fruits. Its people boast of a very colorful and creative culture made up of various Visayan traditions.
Camiguin’s unique features attract visitors from other regions and countries, especially those with a passion for natural wonders and picturesque sceneries.
There are many flights you can take from Manila or Cebu up to Cagayan de Oro City. From Manila, the flight takes about an hour and a half.
Another option is by sea. Some shipping routes stop at Cebu, Iloilo, or Bacolod. From Cebu, it’s a 10 hour ferry ride to Cagayan de Oro.
From Cagayan de Oro airport, you can take either a taxi or bus to Balingoan, where you will take the ferry bound for Camiguin Island. The ferry ride takes about 3 hours to reach Benoni Port in Camiguin.
Key Places to Visit
This is a sandbar across Rocky Village in Mambajao, capital of Camiguin. It is made up of pure white sand with absolutely no other vegetation. The surrounding waters teem with lots of colorful corals and fishes, so it’s a perfect spot for snorkeling. To get there, you need to go the port beside Paras Beach resort in Rocky Village. This is generally accessible just by walking if your accommodations are in the area. There you can rent a boat for about two hours to reach the sandbar. The best time to visit the sandbar is from sunrise to about 9:00 AM. Just a warning: There are no shaded areas around the sandbar so you need to apply lots of sunblock on yourself.
Mantigue Island. Located about 3 ½ kilometers from the coast of Barangay San Roque is the tiny white-sand beach of Mantigue. The surrounding mountains offer a picturesque backdrop. Like White Island, this place also has a marine sanctuary rich with fishes and corals. Here’s another perfect place to go snorkeling, strolling, or simply bumming around.
Want a really exhilarating cool shower? Visit the falls located about 5 kilometers southeast of Mambajao. You’ll be greeting by a majestic 250-foot tall waterfall bordered by lovely orchids and ferns. Just a few steps down from a concrete platform, and you’re right at the catch basin. What a way to cool off!
Ardent Hot Springs.
While Camiguin is blessed with numerous hot and cold springs, this one takes the cake. Its water comes from the dormant Mt. Hibok Hibok. The water temperature can reach up to 40 degrees C. Great for relieving those aching muscles!
Cross Marker and Sunken Cemetery.
A main landmark of the island is the huge cross marker that indicates a community cemetery which was sunken by a volcanic eruption in 1871. Due to the eruption, the town’s cemetery is now below sea level. You can hire a boat to bring you to the cross. The best time to visit this place is during the late afternoon, so you can also catch the magnificent sunset.
Catarman Church Ruins.
Located in Barangay Bonbon, an old Spanish settlement and its church was totally wiped out and submerged by debris from the 1871 eruption of Mt. Vulcan. Only the bell tower and some ruins are left of this town.
The Old Volcano Trail.
Religious devotees and pilgrims get a treat of hiking up a trail to the peak because they will encounter the 14 Stations of the Cross along the way. Each station has life-sized statues depicting the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus.
This shoal is a real treat for nature lovers and explorers. After a 30-minute speedboat ride, you will reach the perfect diving point where you will find hordes of marine life, like tuna, mackerel, and barracuda.
Giant Clam Nursery.
Located in Barangay Cantaan, this is a breeding center for various types of clams. The place has glass aquarium displaying the varieties.
Oh if you’re looking for a place to eat, the must-try is Luna Ristorante – their pizza is the best in the island! It is just right off the National Highway. Just ask your tricycle driver to drop you there.