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I'm just one ordinary Tarlaqueno who loves to travel and travel and travel and revel in God's wonderful creation. Through this blog, I get to share my travel experiences with everyone.

Overnight Camiguin Island Tour


White Island Camiguin
View of Camiguin and Mt. Hibok-hibok from White Island

Do you ever feel like there’s no chance for you to spend your usual 2 days off in a distant, relaxing place? A lot of employees depend on their leave credits in order to make time for a short vacation somewhere that’s a bit away from where they live. If you are planning to visit Camiguin, forget about filing a leave! An overnight Camiguin island tour is possible. All you need to do is free your 2 nonworking days of any activities to make way for a short yet grand vacation in the so-called Island Born of Fire.

I think the only downside about overnight trips is that you don’t get to explore as much places as you would if it was a 3D-2N trip. Nevertheless, what’s important is that you get to treat yourself to a relaxing vacation without having to worry about loads of work waiting for you in the office. Let me help you turn your Camiguin dream into reality by relating some of my experiences last January 2012. It sounds obsolete but I think it’ll still apply in most cases. The prices are the only ones that are most likely to change.


Lumbia Airport
Lumbia Airport

GETTING THERE
First thing to consider: getting there. Cagayan de Oro City will be your starting point. If you live outside Mindanao, check out the airlines that fly to Cagayan de Oro (CDO) City. Make sure you catch the earliest possible flight to CDO and book the latest possible flight home. Flight to Lumbia Airport in CDO from Manila will take about 1 hour and 25 minutes and about 50 minutes from Cebu. Here’s the latest airline schedule for CDO that will work for your overnight trip (times indicated are departure times):

Philippine Airlines
MNL-CGY          M/F/Sat        0435, 0600, 0900 hrs
MNL-CGY          T/W/Th/Sun     0600, 0900 hrs
CGY-MNL          Daily          1435, 1720 hrs

Cebu Pacific
MNL-CGY          Daily          0415, 0710, 0810 hrs
CEB-CGY          Daily          0500 hrs
CGY-MNL          Daily          1425, 1805, 2120 hrs
CGY-CEB          Daily          1945 hrs

AirPhil Express
MNL-CGY          W/F/Sun        0410, 0745 hrs  
MNL-CGY          M/T/Th/Sat/    0745 hrs
CEB-CGY          T/Th/Sat/Sun   0530 hrs
CGY-MNL          Daily          1555 hrs
CGY-CEB          T/Th/Sat/Sun   1500, 1820 hrs
CGY-CEB          M/W/F          1820 hrs

Zest Air
The airline has flights to CDO but are temporarily unavailable due to rerouting operations.


For quick overnight trips, your worst enemies are time and public transportation. One way to save time is to rent a vehicle ahead of time. This may be more expensive but will save you a considerable amount of time. Most of the resorts in Camiguin offer car rentals to make vacations more convenient. In our case, since we reserved rooms in Bahay Bakasyunan sa Camiguin (BBC), which by the way is a stylish resort in the capital Mambajao, we asked the resort to book a roundtrip CDO-Camiguin van for us. This van will drop you at the port in the municipality of Balingoan. It’s a bit costly at 5500 pesos, but it was so convenient and there were actually 9 of us who shared the cost.


Balingoan Port
Balingoan Port, Misamis Oriental

From Balingoan, hop on a ferry boat for a 1-hour trip to Camiguin. A one-way ferry ticket costs 170 pesos. Ferry schedules may be erratic, but at least one boat leaves every hour. Upon arrival in Benoni Port in Mahinog, there are multicabs available for rent that can take you to your resort. Rental rate ranges from 500-800 pesos, one way. Again, you may ask your resort because they may be providing transport services going to and from the resort. BBC provided us transportation in going to the resort and back to the port, the cost of which was already included in the van rental for the island tour.

Ferry boat from Benoni Port also leaves every hour for Balingoan. Make sure you allot ample time for the travel back to Balingoan and to the airport in CDO. 


Benoni Port
Benoni Port, Mahinog, Camiguin

If you prefer a shorter ride from the airport, you can head to Macabalan port in CDO via taxi. From here, take a fast craft going to Benoni Port in Camiguin for around 600-700 pesos. Travel time at sea is longer at 2 – 2.5 hours, though. The fast craft leaves for Benoni at 8:30AM and returns to CDO at 4:00PM.

For residents of Bohol, a ferry boat leaves for Benoni Port from Jagna daily. For Mindanaoans, CDO is just a bus ride from Davao, Butuan, Iligan, and other key cities. 


WHERE TO STAY
Camiguin has lots of resorts ranging from budget inns to luxury accommodations. Here’s a list of some of the island’s accommodations:


Bahay Bakasyunan sa Camiguin
BBC Deluxe room

Bahay Bakasyunan sa Camiguin *Luxury*
Mambajao
Offers native-style cottages with first class amenities inside. Has a mini-spa, swimming pool, game room, restaurant, and souvenir shop. Set on top of a rock cliff, it provides a view of Bohol Sea.  This is where we checked in for an overnight stay. Check out my review of this resort on my succeeding post.
Deluxe Room             4,850/4,550/4,300 pesos
Superior Room           4,400 pesos       
Supreme Room            4,300 pesos
Standard Room           3,900/3,300 pesos
All rooms based on overnight stay for 2

Paras Beach Resort *Luxury*
Mambajao
Family Room (3 pax)     4,000 pesos
Garden Room             4,000 pesos
Ocean View Room         4,000 pesos
Family Loft             3,500 pesos
Economy Room            2,250 pesos
Dormitory (12 pax)           5,500 pesos
All rooms based on overnight stay for 2 unless otherwise specified

Golden Sunset Beach Resort *Midrange*
Mambajao
Poolside Family (8 pax) 4,500 pesos
Poolside Family (6 pax) 4,000 pesos
Superior Ocean View     2,500 pesos
Deluxe Room             2,200 pesos

Villa Paraiso Resort *Midrange*
Mambajao
Family suite (6 pax)    3,500 pesos
Dormitory (12 pax)      3,000 pesos
Deluxe Room (2 pax)     2,500 pesos
Family Standard (4 pax) 2,000 pesos
Superior Room (2 pax)   2,000 pesos
Standard Room (2 pax    1,500 pesos
Economy Room (2 pax)    1,000 pesos

Cabua-an Beach Resort *Budget*
Mambajao
Family Suite (2 pax)    1,650 pesos
Cottage with heater     1,100 pesos
Cottage for two         900 pesos
Dormitory               150 pesos per person

For a more complete list of hotels and resorts in Camiguin, you may visit the Provincial Government's Hotel and Resort Directory.


PLACES TO SEE
You can choose from a variety of places and activities in the island. With your overnight schedule, you can actually tour the island during the remaining hours of your first day and the morning of the second day. I’ve listed here the most popular places that you can visit. With the island-province's small area, it is actually possible to visit all that's listed below. I’ll be featuring the places we were able to visit on my next post so as not to make this post too lengthy. Haha.


Katibawasan Falls
Katibawasan Falls

White Island
White sandbar reachable in 10 minutes by boat. You may swim or snorkel here.

Magsaysay Island
Also known as Mantigue Island, it has a forest, fishing village and sanctuary

Ardent Hot Spring  Resort  
Features hot spring pools to soothe your tired body after a day of touring the island

Santo Nino Cold Spring 
Offers a 1,000-square meter pool with cool natural water

Katibawasan Falls 
A 250-feet high falls with a small pool of freezing-cold water at the bottom

Tuasan Falls 
Requires a short trek to get to the 25-meter high waterfalls

Guiob Church Ruins  
Check out what was left of this church complex after an earthquake and volcanic eruption hit the town of Cotta Bato

Sunken Cemetery 
A cross marker is the only memory left of this cemetery after the Mt. Vulcan holocaust


Magsaysay Island
Magsaysay/Mantigue Island

Here's a simple itinerary of an overnight Camiguin Island tour:

Day 1
0415-0540 - Flight to CDO (CebuPac's sked)
0540-0800 - Travel to Balingoan
0800-0930 - Buy ferry tickets; travel to Benoni Port
0930-1030 - Travel to resort; check in; short rest
1030-0700 - Tour (4-5 spots); eat meals
0700-1000 - Go back to resort; hang out

Day 2
0630-0700 - Breakfast
0700-1000 - Tour (1-2 spots); go back to resort
1000-1100 - Pack stuff; check out
1100-1130 - Travel to Benoni Port
1130-1300 - Travel to Balingoan; eat lunch
1300-1500 - Travel to CDO
1500-1800 - Travel to airport; wait till boarding
1800-1925 - Flight home

There, I hope I was able to help you in a way. I also hope I was able to encourage you to try traveling on a short weekend. A good vacation doesn't necessarily have to be scheduled on a long weekend or during summer only. Any weekend will actually do! Happy traveling!

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