Make the most out of your trip in Camiguin. Find the best tourist spots in here and discover the unique travel experiences the island has to offer. Pack your bags and take note of this list of things you should add in your itinerary.
“Island Born of Fire” is a perfect title for one of the most beautiful destinations in the Philippines — Camiguin Island. The remnants of its 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. 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 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 complete day 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:
White Island is every beach lover’s dream; it has white sand surrounded by crystal clear waters and colorful underwater scenery.
The 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.
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.
You can lounge by the shore and enjoy the panoramic view of Mount Hibok-Hibok from a distance, go swimming in the shallow waters, or have fun snorkeling.
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 also have to pay an environmental fee.
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.
The Sunken Cemetery has since stood as an eerie reminder of Camiguin Island’s violent past.
The eruption of Mount Vulcan in 1871, the same one that destroyed the Old Bonbon Church, also submerged the coastal area of Catarman. A big cross was erected in 1982 to mark the location.
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 to see the tombstones underwater.
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.
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. There is an environmental and snorkeling fee.
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.
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.
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. There’s a DENR registration fee.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A visit to the province of Camiguin is not complete without stopping by this church.
If you’re 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.
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.
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.
If you’re craving for an exhilarating adventure that doesn’t entail hiking for hours, head on over to the Taguines Lagoon Aqua sports 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 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.
Paved along the slope of Mount Vulcan, 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.
The Walkway is regarded as a sacred religious area, so be respectful of the place when you come to visit.
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.
On top of that, it is also a watershed blessed with waterfalls, cold and hot springs, and rivers.
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.
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!
Located in a bay in a small village of Cantaan in the municipality of Guinsiliban is the Kibila White Beach. The most special thing with this beach is the giant clams.
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.
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.
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.
The Gui-ob Ruins is approximately 30 minutes away from the center of Mambajao. You can take a habal-habal to reach the ruins.
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.
Camiguin Island truly has a lot to offer. It’s a great destination no matter what kind of vacation you’re looking for as it will satisfy your wanderlust.
Whether you simply want to try island-hopping excursions, unwind and chill by the beach or in natural pools, 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.
Since Camiguin island is accessible from Cagayan de Oro, make sure to check out Cagayan de Oro tours and activities you can try while on your trip to the Philippines. You can also check out other destinations where you can experience island hopping in the Philippines.