camiguin

Make the most out of your trip in Camiguin. Where are the best tourist spots in Camiguin island and what can you do there? What unique travel experiences does Camiguin have to offer? What cultural experiences shouldn’t you miss when in Camiguin? Pack your bags and take note of this list of things you should add in your itinerary when exploring Camiguin island.

“Island Born of Fire”, a perfect title for Camiguin Island whose history of volcanic eruptions shaped it into the beauty that it is today.

Camiguin is an island province in the middle of the Bohol Sea, 100 kilometers north of Cagayan de Oro City in Misamis Oriental. It is one of the top destinations in the north of Mindanao, the second largest island in the Philippines in the southernmost part of the archipelago. Born from centuries of seismic activity, Camiguin island has become one of the Philippines’ most unique tourist destinations.

For a small island that only measures 92 square miles, there are plenty of Camiguin tourist spots that you can visit. The island is blessed with several gorgeous beaches, waterfalls, hot springs, cold springs, and the sweetest Lanzones fruit in the Philippines.



camiguin things to do

Camiguin is famous for its tourist spots like White Island, Mantigue Island, Mount Hibok-Hibok, and the recently-declared National Heritage Sites; the Bonbon Church Ruins, and the Sunken Cemetery.

Although a booming tourist destination, Camiguin island maintains its rural charm. Mostly because of the locals who participate in preserving the natural beauty and heritage of their island.

So, whether you want a relaxing vacation by the beach, explore mountains and waterfalls, or go on a historical tour,  the pear-shaped island of Camiguin has something for you. Take note of these top tourist spots and things to do when planning your Camiguin island itinerary.


TABLE OF CONTENTS



Explore the Islands and Beaches of Camiguin

white island camiguin

Camiguin is popular as a beach and island hopping destination because of its pristine white sand beaches and turquoise waters that make the perfect tourist spots for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. Here are some island and beach destinations in Camiguin that you should visit:

White Island Camiguin: Witness its shape-shifting beauty

White Island is every beach bum's dream; it has white sand surrounded by crystal clear waters and colorful underwater scenery. You can lounge by the shore and enjoy the panoramic view of Mt. Hibok-Hibok from a distance, go swimming in the shallow waters, or have fun snorkeling.

White Island is technically a sandbar, and so it is easily shifted by changing tides and the movement of sea currents. White Island changes shape throughout the year. How amazing is that?

It is also good to note that White Island disappears during high tide. So, make sure to ask locals about the tide schedule before renting a boat to go there.

The shape-shifting White Island can be found off the northern coast of Mambajao, Camiguin. To get there from Mambajao proper, you can hire a habal-habal (motorcycle) or get on a tricycle to Barangay Yumbing and asked to be dropped near Paras Beach Resort. You’ll find the boat rentals beside the resort. You’ll have to pay an environmental fee of PHP40. 

Mantigue Island: Dive into this underwater haven 

Unlike, White Island which is purely a sandbar,  Mantigue Island has a small patch of forest surrounded by white sand beaches and turquoise waters- a beautiful sight on its own. If that isn’t enough to wow you, know that Mantigue Island hides its best features underwater.

Mantigue Island stands proudly in the middle of a protected marine sanctuary. Fishing is prohibited here, and as you can imagine marine life is thriving. This humble  4-acre islet is perfect for tourists who love snorkeling or diving.

Head out to Mantigue island. Dive into the depths and feast your eyes on the rich and vibrant coral gardens and diverse marine ecosystem.

To get to Mantigue Island, ride a tricycle from Benoni Port at Mahinog all the way to Barangay San Roque where the boat station to the island is. Environmental and snorkeling fee is PHP70.

Kibila White Beach: Marvel at Camiguin’s Giant Clams

Located in a bay in a small village of Cantaan in the municipality of Guinsiliban is the Kibila White Beach. What’s so special with another white beach, you might ask? Giant Clams.

Have you ever seen a Giant Clam? How about 2,600+ of them? That’s what awaits you at the Kibila Giant Clam Conservation and Ocean Nursery. This sanctuary is dedicated to the preservation of the Giant Clams, a species listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This means that the Giant Clams are at risk of becoming Endangered unless humans intervene to improve their survival and reproduction.

Thankfully, the warm waters at the reef on the far end of Camiguin Island in Northern Mindanao are perfect for the survival of these giant mollusks. The Kibila sanctuary is a privately-owned cooperative run by the locals of Cantaan. In fact, the guides are often local Cantaan kids. Pay attention as they enthusiastically show you around the human-made pools where some clams are housed and allowed to reproduce before being moved out into the coral reef off the shore.

After touring you around the nursery pools, they will invite you to view the clams in their natural habitat in the sea. Say yes. It will be money well-spent! Not only are you helping fund the sanctuary and boosting the local economy, but you will be witnessing a sight you’ll likely never see anywhere else again.

To get to Kibila White Beach, hire a motorcycle from Benoni Port. 

Chase the Waterfalls of Camiguin

camiguin katibawasan falls

Getting a refreshing shower under one of Camiguin’s many waterfalls is a great way to end a day of jumping from one tourist spot to the next. Take a dip in their natural pools and feel refreshed within seconds. Here are three Camiguin waterfalls you shouldn't miss:

Get Refreshed at Katibawasan Falls

Tucked at the foot of Mount Timpoong, Katibawasan Falls is the most visited waterfalls in Camiguin. The mere sight of it will take your breath away. This 250-meter high waterfall cascades from a cliff covered with lush wild ferns and drops into a small waist-deep basin of clear and cold water.

Secondly, it is highly maintained by the local government and easily accessible to the public. Despite its popularity, Katibawasan Falls keeps its natural charm thanks to its untouched flora. Surrounded by various species of orchids, tropical trees, and giant ferns, Katibawasan Falls is the perfect oasis for every travel-worn tourist. You can rent a habal-habal from Mambajao to take you to Katibawasan Falls. Entrance fee is PHP20.  

Retreat into Nature at Tuasan Falls

Standing at 25 meters, Tuasan Falls is shorter compared to Katibawasan; although just as beautiful. It is surrounded by rich vegetation and towering moss-covered boulders. Tuasan Falls tends to be less crowded, and so it has a more peaceful and raw vibe.

It also helps that Tuasan Falls is a little more secluded than Katibawasan. Tuasan is located in Barangay Mainit, Catarman, two kilometers from the main Camiguin Highway. It’s the perfect adventure for travelers looking for an easy and short hike to a serene environment.

You can get there by public transportation from Mambajao (prepare for 45-minute jeepney ride), and asked to be dropped at Tuasan Falls. You'll know you're there because you'll be greeted by prominent signage at the corner of Mainit. You can hike the rest of the way, or you can hop on a habal-habal for a 10-minute ride to the Falls. Entrance fee is PHP30.

Go on Mini-jungle Adventure to Binangawan Falls

Up for a more challenging hike to a waterfall? Add Bingawan Falls in your itinerary. Nestled in the highlands of the town of Sagay, hiking to Binangawan Falls will take you through a mountainous rainforest trail that is steep at several points. The trail can be challenging, but the view of the waterfall will be all worth it.

Bingawan Falls got its name from the Bisaya root word “bangaw” meaning “rainbow." This is because of the rainbow that forms when the sun hits the mist produced by the waterfall.

To reach Binangawan Falls, go to Sagay. Just past Sagay National Highschool is a road that leads to Malingin. You can start your hike there. But be warned that the road is steep and can take 3-4 hours of walking. It will take another 1-2 hours of trekking from the jump-off point of the trail to Binangawan falls itself. 

You can always opt to get on a habal-habal to take you to the jump-off site. From there it will be 1-2 hours of hiking. Either way, this trek will not be a walk in a park by any means. Instead, it's a mini-jungle adventure. As such, always watch your step, wear proper hiking clothes and footwear, and leave nothing behind but footprints.

Hike and Trek Around Mount Hibok-Hibok

camiguin  mount hibok hibok

 Mount Hibok-Hibok and its surrounding attractions are on the top of the list of every avid hiker aiming to explore Camiguin. The pristine forest surrounding Mount Hibok-Hibok, officially known as Mount Timpong - Mount Hibok-Hibok Natural Monument, is declared as an ASEAN Heritage Park.  As a result, Mt. Hibok-Hibok, while well-explored, remains immaculate. At the foot of this imposing volcano lies several springs and lagoons that make the perfect post-climb reward.

Conquer Mount Hibok-Hibok

Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned hiker, Mt. Hibok-Hibok is a must-climb. It’s a beginner-friendly trek that is still challenging enough as a day-hike.

An active stratovolcano with an elevation of 1,332 meters above sea level (MASL) climbing the peak of Mt. Hibok-Hibok typically takes 3-4 hours. Jumping off at Ardent Hot Springs in Mambajao, expect a steep trail ahead. Thankfully, the scenery becomes more beautiful with every step.

The trail is teeming with ferns, mosses, pitcher plants, and other bushes you’ll never find in your backyard; so, take your time to appreciate the lush greenery. When you reach the peak, you will be greeted by the view of the mossy crater of the volcano, and a full 360 of Camiguin Island. Take in the view, then snap a photo as a remembrance.

To climb Mt. Hibok-Hibok, you’ll need to secure a permit and an accredited guide by the Mambajao DENR Office. From DENR, hire a habal-habal to take you to Ardent Hot Spring. DENR registration fee is PHP200. Good luck on your hike! And remember to leave no trace.

Take a Dip at Ardent Hot Spring

Admittedly, hiking is not for everyone. But don’t worry, Camiguin has many more attractions for you to explore! If you’d rather not climb to the peak, you can at least experience the attractions at Mount Hibok-Hibok’s foot. Ardent Hot Spring is one such attraction.

Because Camiguin is a volcanic island, it has several hot springs. Ardent Hot spring is the most popular with its six pools. The topmost pool is the hottest at around 40 degrees Celsius. As the water cascades down to the lower pools, the water cools gradually-giving tourists options.

Dip into the pool of your choice and immerse yourself for 20 minutes of relaxation. If you choose to dip in the upper pools, don’t stay longer than 20 minutes to avoid possibly irritating your skin. If you’re descending from your Mount Hibok-Hibok hike, plunge into a pool to relax your aching muscles. It’s the best post-climb treat you can ever give yourself!

You can reach Ardent Hot Spring by hiring a habal-habal from Mambajao. Entrance fee is PHP30.

Go on an Eco-Adventure at Mount Mambajao

The center of Camiguin island, Mount Mambajao is hard to miss.  Adjacent to Mount Hibok-Hibok, Mount Mambajao is the highest elevation in the Island, proudly standing up to 1,713 MASL. It is also a natural park that homes fauna endemic to Camiguin.

Its elevation, rich biodiversity, mossy forest, and open grassland are what makes it popular among hikers.

On top of that, it is also a watershed blessed with waterfalls, cold and hot springs, and rivers.  How can you say no to all of those attractions?

Chill at Sto. Nino Cold Spring

If Camiguin’s east side has hot springs, the west side has its cold springs. Situated in the town of Sagay, the Sto. Niño Cold Spring is a tourist hot spot during the sweltering Philippine summers.

The Sto. Niño Cold Spring is a huge pool of refreshingly ice-cold spring water with a depth range of four to eight feet. The crystal clear water is 20 degrees Celsius and bubbles forth from the pool’s naturally sandy bottom. The water flows down from Mt. Mambajao and gets filtered by layers of minerals from the mountain creating this natural oasis.

The vicinity of the Sto. Niño Cold Spring is fitted with native huts and as well as toilets for the comfort of visitors. After a long day of touring Camiguin Island, plunge into the Sto. Nino Cold Spring and discover what it truly means to be “chillin’ like a villain."

The spring is two kilometers off the national highway in Catarman. You can hire a habal-habal, or hop on a tricycle or jeepney. Entrance fee is PHP50.  

Get A Doze of Adrenaline Rush at Taguines Lagoon

If you’re craving for an exhilarating adventure that doesn’t entail hiking for hours, head on over to the Taguines Lagoon Aquasports and Recreational Facility, a man-made inland lagoon in Mahinog. Initially created for fish breeding purposes by the Bureau of Fisheries, the lagoon was later developed into a recreational facility to maximize it for tourism.

You can ride a kayak or a paddleboard, drive a pedal boat, knock yourself out on a Zorb ball, or glide across the lagoon on a zip line. You can even check out aquaculture cages where green mussels and milkfish are being bred. Try Tanguines Lagoon’s many activities and get your blood pumping!

Taguines Lagoon is just a few minutes away from the Benoni Port.

Discover one-of-a-kind Camiguin Tourist Spots 

camiguin guiob ruins

Camiguin is also home to unique tourist spots like the Sunken Cemetery that has helped place this small island province in the list of rising travel destinations in the country. Don’t miss these when you’re in Camiguin:

Walk Through Memory Lane at  the Gui-ob Ruins

Also known as the Old Bonbon Church Ruins of Catarman, the Gui-ob Ruins are the remnants of the Spanish Era church after the catastrophic 1871 eruption of Mount Vulcan. The ruins tell a story of destruction and resilience.

Declared a National Cultural Treasure of the Philippines, only the church and bell tower remain intact of this 16th Century structure- one of the oldest in Camiguin. Today, a small chapel stands within the walls of the old church. Stop by the Gu-ob Ruins; you don't have to be a history buff to appreciate the beauty of this archaeological site.

The Gui-ob Ruins is approximately 30 minutes away from the center of Mambajao. You can take a habal-habal to reach the ruins.

Pay Your Respects at The Sunken Cemetery

The eruption of Mount Vulcan in 1871, the same one that destroyed the Old Bonbon Church, also submerged the coastal area of Catarman-including its local cemetery. A big cross was erected in 1982 to mark the location. The Sunken Cemetery has since stood as an eerie reminder of Camiguin Island’s violent past.

Beneath the surface, the tombstones have become an unlikely home to a variety of fish and Giant clams, making the Sunken Cemetery a unique a diving and snorkeling site you won’t find anywhere else.

To get to Barangay Bonbon in Catarman, ride a multicab from Mambajao or rent a habal-habal. Instruct the driver to drop you off at the site of the sunken cemetery. You can also ride a boat to get a closer look at the cross and snorkel for PHP50 to see the tombstones underwater. 

Follow the Steps of The Walkway in The Old Volcano

Paved along the slope of Mount Vulcan (The Old Volcano), is a concrete path lined with statues depicting the Stations of the Cross. As you can guess, The Walkway in The Old Volcano is a popular destination during the Catholic Holy Week.

But the area is not exclusive to devotees; anyone can climb up its steps up to the summit of Mount Vulcan to witness the panoramic view of the Sunken Cemetery and surrounding mountain ridges.

The Walkway is regarded as a sacred religious area, so be respectful of the place when you come to visit.

Let Camiguin Aviation Take You to Cloud Nine

You want to get a bird’s eye view of Camiguin Island without the trek? Say no more. Camiguin Aviation offers sightseeing tours and aerobatic flights to tourists who want to see the island from a different perspective. You’ll fly over the Island and all it’s wondrous attractions-it’s Camiguin like you’ve never seen before.

It’s a once-in-a-lifetime tropical-island experience, and you shouldn’t miss it. So, stop second-guessing and strap in for an aerial adventure!

Check out the San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish

Built in the 1800s, the San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish witnessed a significant part of Camiguin island's history and is as much a historical landmark as the more popular ruins. Located at Mambajao, the church looks simple on the outside. When you go in, it’s minimalistic and somewhat quirky interior will amaze you.

A visit to the province of Camiguin is not complete without stopping by this church.

Have A Bubbly Time at Bura Soda Water Park

If you think you’ve seen everything,  you haven’t heard of Camiguin’s soda water pool, Bura Soda Water Swimming Pool. You heard that right. It’s a pool of fresh, clear water that tastes like soda-the only one of its kind in the Philippines.

The water comes from the volcanic springs of Bura in Catarman and overflows into the two large pools of the resort. Bubbles making their way up from the bottom of the pool-just like soda, are very visible. Entrance fee is PHP30.

Witness the Joyous Lanzones Festival

Lanzones is a tropical fruit that grows abundantly on the north-central coast of Mindanao. The sweetest Lanzones in the country, however, grows specifically on Camiguin island. Thus, Lanzones farming is one of the most lucrative livelihoods on the island.

To give thanks to the bountiful harvest, Camiguin holds a four-day grand celebration every third-week of October. The festival features street dancing competitions, parties, cultural shows, a beauty pageant, and a trade on local handicrafts and products.

There is no better way to truly experience a Philippine island, such as Camiguin than to immerse yourself in the vibrant local fiesta.

Come On Over to Camiguin Island!

camiguin lanzones festival

This island truly has a lot to offer. It’s a great destination no matter what kind of vacation you’re looking for. Camiguin Island is sure to satisfy your wanderlust. Whether you simply want to unwind and chill by the beach or in natural pools, go waterfalls-hopping, explore historical ruins,  go on an underwater escapade and witness colorful coral reefs, or go on an exciting hiking adventure through the mountains.

Thanks to the Island’s volcanic nature, Camiguin is blessed with an array of unique scenery and attractions the likes of which you can’t see anywhere else.

As Camiguin’s tourism campaign says, no words can ever be enough to describe the mystic charm of the island. You have to experience and feel Camiguin for yourself.

Are you going to Camiguin Island soon? Plan your trip by checking out Camiguin Island tours and activities that will let you experience the wonders offered by the Island Born of Fire!