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Camiguin Tour: Spots to See in the Island


Sunken Cemetery
Sunset at the Sunken Cemetery

Although the second smallest province in the Philippines in terms of land area, the island province of Camiguin is not to be belittled in terms of the natural wonders it possesses.  With its line up of relaxing springs, towering waterfalls, fine beaches, crystal clear waters, and many other breathtaking sights, Camiguin is considered by Filipinos as one of their top local dream destinations.




Camiguin lies 10 kilometers north of Misamis Oriental in the island of Mindanao. With the widely available transportation system going to the island, getting there is not a problem. As I have mentioned in my previous post, transportation is convenient and the island is just small, so a carefully planned overnight itinerary in the island is possible.


Swimming at Katibawasan Falls
Swimming at Katibawasan Falls

During my visit in the island with siblings and friends, we were able to stay overnight and explore several spots. I'd like to share some information  about the places that we had visited, along with photos. I must say that every place is worth visiting so make sure you don't waste any time so that you'll even get to visit the other popular spots that we weren't able to visit.

We availed of our hotel's (Bahay Bakasyunan sa Camiguin or BBC) van services for only 4,800 pesos, inclusive of driver's fee, gas, and use of towels. The rate was good for 9 people for 1.5 days.


Mantigue Island
The sandy shore of Mantigue Island


KATIBAWASAN FALLS
First spot on our itinerary was Katibawasan Falls. It is a 15-minute drive from BBC, passing by some government offices and a winding uphill road. Entrance fee to the falls is only 15 pesos. The punchbowl-type waterfall is one amazing stream of water flowing down through a small crevice from a height of 70 meters. It was interesting to see that the landing pool is small compared to the fall's height. The water in the pool was refreshing but freezing-cold! The area surrounding the pool is filled with ferns and boulders.


Katibawasan Falls

Katibawasan Falls

Katibawasan Falls
Gulp gulp.LOL

Katibawasan Falls
Pool of freezing water

Katibawasan Falls

      
WHITE ISLAND
Our next stop was the highly anticipated White Island. Before, I thought that Camiguin's shoreline was composed of fine white sand. Apparently, we had to travel to a smaller island in order to enjoy a white sand beach. The nearest is called White Island. It was called such because of its fine white sand, white sand, and white sand. Haha. Yes, all you will see in the island is white sand. No trees, no huts, no floating leaves nor trash.

I think White Island is one of the best islands that I have visited. The white sandbar was just amazing. Add to that the spectacular views of Mt. Hibok-Hibok, Old Volcano and the entire Camiguin Island.

Make sure you bring sunblock, shades, hats, or scarves when you visit this island as there are no available sheds for you to stay under when the heat of the sun strikes.  


Mt. Hibok-Hibok and White Island
Long white sandbar with view of Mt. Hibok-Hibok
 
White Island

The gang without me

Sea urchin at White Island
Cultured sea urchins for sale

White Island
My favorite photo, taken by my sister.

White Island

White Island is located across Brgys. Agoho and Yumbing and can be reached in as fast as 7 minutes via pump boat. Aside from in-house resort tour services, there is a government-controlled facility that organizes tours to the island. Boat rental is 400 pesos, good for 8 people. Each person has to pay 20 pesos for the environmental fee.   

SUNKEN CEMETERY
This attraction in Bonbon, Catarman is one of the most popular spots in Camiguin due to its historical background. The giant cross marker commemorates the death of thousands of locals during the destructive eruption of Mt. Vulcan in the 1800's. 
 

Sunken Cemetery Cross Marker
The only thing left of the cemetery
Sunken Cemetery Sunset
Magnificent sunset

The area is also an interesting dive site, as divers will see coral formations amongst structures covered in hardened lava. Visitors have the option to view the cross marker on a view deck or see it up close by renting a boat.

Viewing the cross marker on the view deck is free for charge. As a bonus, we were fortunate to have arrived at sunset, making the experience more dramatic. Hehe.


GUIOB CHURCH RUINS
Another attraction that was a witness to the wrath of the Old Volcano was Guiob Church. Its remains are indicative of how devastating the eruption was. In here you will see pillars, torn-down walls and boulders of the old church. 


Guiob Church Ruins
Chapel built inside the old church complex

Guiob Church Ruins

This site is a few minutes away from the view deck of the Sunken Cemetery. Entrance is free of charge, but donation is encouraged.


ARDENT HOT SPRING RESORT
This was our last stop during our first day of touring the island. It is always best to cap off a tiring day tour with a relaxing swim in a hot spring, whenever there is one in the place. It's a good thing that Camiguin is blessed with several springs. Our driver took us to Ardent Hot Spring Resort because this one was nearer to our resort. 

A night swim costs 30 pesos per person. It was nearing 7pm when we went there, so after some swimming and chit-chat, we decided to eat our dinner in the resort's restaurant. The food tasted average but the price was just okay. 
 

MANTIGUE ISLAND
This island was reserved for our 2nd day in the province. Despite the continuous rain, we pushed through with our itinerary and braved the giant waves going to the island.

Magsaysay Island, or popularly known as Mantigue Island, is a small island within the jurisdiction of Mahinog town. It is inhabited by a few families who at the same time maintain the Mantigue Island Nature Park, a forest trail that is one of the featured attractions in the island. 

Aside from the informative walk to the forest, you can do some snorkeling in the fish sanctuary, or simply walk along the white sand shore. 

 
Mantigue Island
View of Mantigue Island

Mantigue Island Entrance Arch
The gang without me again.

Mantigue Island Forest Trail
One of the numerous reminders in the forest trail

Mantigue Island Forest Trail

Mantigue Island Shore
Gloomy when we got here
Mantigue Island Snorkeling

To get to Mantigue Island, you may rent outrigger boats in Mahinog at a roundtrip rate of 550 pesos, good for six people. Snorkeling gear may also be rented at 150 pesos per set (price is negotiable, though). Entrance fee in the island is 20 pesos, while an additional 50 pesos will be charged for snorkeling in the fish sanctuary. 

There is a small store in the island where you can buy food and basic toiletries. I was even able to charge my camera's battery in the store for free.

There are other places that you can visit aside from the ones that I've mentioned above. Try Tuasan Falls, Bura Soda Water Pool, Sto. Niño Cold Spring, Tangub Hot Spring, Macao Cold Spring, and Tanguines Lagoon if you have more time. You may check Camiguin Province's Official Website for more details.

If in case you find airconditioned vehicles too expensive to rent, you may rent public jeepneys or even motorelas (extended motorbikes) at cheaper rates to take you around Camiguin Island.  

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