Camiguin is a pear-shaped island located approximately 90 kilometers from Cagayan de Oro City. It is the smallest province in Northern Mindanao. An island by itself separated from the mainland by the Macajalar Bay to its south and the Bohol Sea to its north; Camiguin is a tiny province composed of five municipalities and is home to 81,293 people of mixed tribal origin. When the weather is cloudy, the island disappears.
How to Get There
From CDO City, you can either take the bus that will take you to the Balingoan seaport. From there, a ferry boat will take you to the Benoni wharf in an hour. Trips starts from 4:00 am till 5:00 pm. A bigger port is located in Balbagon, Mambajao where the bigger ships call to take passengers for CDO City.
If you want to enjoy the calm waters of the Bays, take the early schedule as the sea tends to get choppy in the late afternoon.
For visitors who have more time on their hands and wish to experience shipboard romance, a ferry trip from Manila to CDO City would be more exciting. It takes 21 to 28 hours of cruising aboard the big ships of Superferry and Negros Navigation.
Where to Stay
Once you are already in the island, it is not difficult to find a hotel or a resort that will cater to your preference; unless, you go there during the festival season and the Holy Week. The beach resorts surrounding the island are the best places to stay where rent is cheaper.
Eight of the best hotels in Camiguin are found in Mambajao, the capital town. After you have settled in, it is now time to explore this island paradise and learn everything about the place and its people.
A useful site for finding hotels and other accommodations in the area is HotelsCombined.com. Hotels Combined makes it easy to search over 30 of the world’s leading hotel reservation sites at the same time.
Every year since the 18th century, the island celebrates two major festivals. The Lanzones Festival, every third week of October, is a thanksgiving for the bountiful harvest of the fruit of which Camiguin is known of, the sweet Lanzones. Thousands of catholic devotees flock to the island during the Holy Week to fulfill their “Panaad” or spiritual promise to Christ by trekking the Walkway up in Mt. Vulcan Daan.
Every municipality in Camiguin has a scenic attraction visited by tourists every year. Among the popular sites are:
Katibawasan Falls is about 5 kilometers southeast of Mambajao. The crystal clear waters cascade about 70 meters down to a pool walled by different species of ground orchids, ferns and old trees. The terraced open cottages are a favorite picnic site.
Tuasan Falls is 6 kilometers northeast of Catarman. This cascade looks unspoiled with its thick vegetation growing wildly. Access to the falls is through the village of Mainit in Catarman.
Bura Soda Water Swimming Pool in Bura, Catarman is a pool of natural sodium salt water loved by the locals and tourists alike.
Mt. Hibok-Hibok Ardent Hot Spring is located southwest of Mambajao. The sulfuric scent of the hot spring is sourced at the hot bowels of the active volcano. The 40 degrees Celsius pools are claimed to have therapeutic benefits.
Santo Niño Cold Spring is located about 4 kilometers north of central Catarman. Cold water springs from the bottom of the big pool. The place is packed with bathers during the weekend.
Tangub Hot Spring located 12 kilometers west of Mambajao is a hot spring under the sea. Water temperature changes as the tide also changes. This site is virtually undeveloped with beautiful little villas built along the cliff overlooking the sea.
White Island is located 2 kilometers across the sea from Agoho and Yumbing. This white sandbar is uninhabited and marine life is protected. The islet can be reached by a small pump boat from the mainland.
Mantigue Island is a popular swimming spot just off the coast of Camiguin and can be reached by a small boat or banca. The islets are home to hundreds of different species of marine life.
Sunken Cemetery at Catarman is often featured in local and foreign movies. Now one of the popular diving spots in the country today, this century old cemetery was reclaimed by the sea during the great eruption in the 18th century.
Mount Vulcan is located about 13 kilometers west of Mambajao. The old Vulcan drops 80 meters towards the sea. The steep cliff overlooks the beautiful coral reef below.
There are no limits to the adventure and excitement that can be found in the island of Camiguin. The pleasurable experience is different every time you visit the place. This little paradise is still unsoiled by the demands of the modern times, truly a little hideaway.