Discover the best things to do in Camiguin – Where to stay, eat and how to get there.
Camiguin Tourist Spots – The Ultimate Travel Guide.
How to describe Camiguin in few words? Imagine an island composed of four volcanoes, located in the middle of the sea (well.. not really middle), covered in green and surrounded by the Bohol Sea.
Add it the friendly local people and the fact that it’s the second smallest province in the Philippines.
In this post, I’ll review Camiguin interesting tourists spots, which includes attractions, hotels, and restaurants. So if you’re heading (or even planning) to Camiguin Island – this post is for you.
Most travelers never heard about Camiguin Island, and for those who did, it’s just out of their travel itinerary.
Here’s my personal travel guide for what to do in Camiguin, where to stay and more tip…
Luckily, since tourists do not yet overrun Camiguin, the local people are quite new to this tourists things. They are still fascinated by foreigners, and everywhere you go they’ll wave for hello.
The island is quite small, and you can encircle it within just a few hours by scooter, and stop for many attractions, which I’ll elaborate on few of them in this post.
How come Camiguin is not yet popular among travelers? I guess it’s because tourists revealed this place only in the past few years, and since then it becomes more and more popular, and for a good reason.
I must admit that Camiguin wasn’t on my bucket-list and I got there absolutely spontaneously.
During my first night in Alona Beach Bohol, I met 2 travelers in a local bar that told me about their intention to visit the island and about the things they’re to do there.
Next morning I packed my stuff and went to the pier, and the rest is history.
Best Things to do in Camiguin
1 Rent a Scooter – and Get lost in the Island
Since Camiguin island is small you can make a full circumference of the island in just a few hours.
The Island is full of attractions you can stop by, such as waterfalls, hot spring, snorkeling places, old Spanish church ruins and more.
One of the things I most enjoyed during riding the scooter is getting a chance to see to local’s authentic way of life.
Renting a motorcycle should cost about 350 PHP for a day.
2 Mantigue Island
Mantigue Island is located 3.5 km from Camiguin and within 20 minutes travel time with a small boat, and you are in paradise.
As I see it, visiting Mantigue Island is a must!
The crystal water, white sand beach, coconut trees and amazing underwater view (absolutely world class for snorkeling and diving destination) makes this place a real paradise.
For some reason, Mantigue is not known as the White Island, but I found this island much more impressive than the second. I could literally live there!
A boat to Mantigue should cost ~500 PHP for up to 6 people round-trip. In addition, you should pay about 50 PHP per person tax which funds the government is charging for preserving the island and nature.
One last thing you should know before getting there, there’s no place to rent snorkeling equipment on the island, so you should rent in Camiguin before getting to Mantigue.
3 White Island
I must admit, the first time I saw the White Island from Camiguin shore, I didn’t understand what it is all about.
Just a piece of little sandy beach in the middle of the sea, approximately 1.5 km from the shore, what so special about it?
What not.. I traveled many places but never saw or been in a small piece of island composed solely of white sands, no trees, no shelter from the sun and with a panoramic view of a volcano.
In order to get to the While Island you have to take a boat – 6 persons round trip boat should cost ~450 PHP and takes no longer than 15 minutes. Once again, they’re charging a tax of ~30 PHP per person.
You can definitely stay there for few hours BUT should know 2 things:
- As mentioned – there’s no shelter, so be prepared to get fried from the sun. you can rent a parasol but anyway you’ll get burned.
- There’s no food or restaurant on this island so bring with you snacks if you want. (surprisingly they do sell beers on this island…)
4 Volcano Hiking
One thing I regret I didn’t make is climbing to Hibok-Hibok volcano.
The climbing should take about 4 hours, and from the top, you should see a fascinating view of Bohol, Cebu, and Negros on a bright day.
Other travelers that I met there described the hiking as challenging, so be prepared.
There are few waterfalls you can stop by while taking a longtail trip around the island circumference. I visited Tuasan falls.
I got to be honest and say this waterfall won’t shock you. I mean it’s a great place to stop by for refreshing and relaxing and even swimming but I wouldn’t take a special tour to see just this place.
A few months ago, a typhoon caused mudslide near the waterfall, so getting with a scooter to Tuasan falls become a bit difficult, especially for newbie riders.
Cold springs, hot springs, soda springs or whatever springs you thought about.
As a result of volcanic activities, Camiguin is endowed with plenty of springs you can see and bath.
Most of them charge entering fees, but this is an excellent way to wash and relax.
I visited Sto Niño Cold-Spring – it cost just 30 PHP to enter, the place is full of local people, but it’s not crowded.
It’s an absolutely magical place to swim and take a rest before you continue your island tour.
7 Giant Clam Sanctuary
To be honest, I’m not sure what I think about this place.
The good thing about this place is the fact they preserve these unique giant clams (really giant!), and educates the visitors about protection and sustainability.
Why didn’t I like this place?
The idea and the intention are great! But there were 2 things that made my visit there not so endearing:
The first one is the staff there – they spoke perfect English (even the little kids), but with so cold and no emotions. It was looking like they are reciting a book they read and memorize.
For me, it’s all felt like they are getting forced to be there and working (can’t blame them – sometimes I feel like this myself…)
The second is the entering fees – there were like few different fees you have to pay in order to enter.
Enter fees, fee if you want snorkeling in the clams’ area, snorkeling gear (even if you bring your own they are charging 50% of what you would pay if you rent from them).
Honestly, I wouldn’t mind to 500 PHP if it includes everything, but it just changed the whole experience and made me feel like a walking wallet.
Unfortunately, these two things turned the entire visit in the sanctuary to a quite negative experience. Sorry..
There’re plenty of stuff to do and attractions to see in Camiguin that I did not mention, such as seeing Guiob Spanish church ruins, snorkeling the Sunken Cemetery, bathing in more waterfalls and springs.
The magic of Camiguin is about the people and nature, don’t forget just slow down, taking a deep breath and embracing your stay in this particular magical island.
Camiguin Hotels – Where to stay
Most of the hotels and resorts are located in the Western-northern part of the island, and their selection is quite limited.
You can pay 300 PHP for dorms or 4,000 PHP and more for a deluxe room.
The first night I stayed in Medano Resort – the one thing I’m willing to say about this place is that I’m not recommending staying in this “hotel” (or renting a scooter from them).
The rest of my stay in Camiguin, I stayed in Paras Beach Resort.
Paras Beach Resort
The resort is located at the edge of the island and providing a view of the ocean and the White Island.
Paras Beach Resort is operating for more than 20 years, and they offer an ocean view, garden view rooms, cottages and family rooms.
I highly recommend one of the ocean view rooms which are located on the 3rd floor, as it is relatively isolated from the rest of the rooms and have a fantastic view of the ocean.
The hotel has a shared pool, just in front of the ocean with few hanged hammocks. Also, there are a restaurant and a bar with 2 pool tables you can play during the day.
The rooms are spacious and have most of the things you need, but don’t expect a luxury place.
Although it’s pricey resort relatively to other hotels in its area (and need renovation), it is a great place to stay in with an excellent service and amenities.
More information – parasbeachresort.com
Paradiso Hillside Resort
Although I didn’t stay there, I highly recommend this place for those who are looking for a different and unique place.
It’s easy to understand from its name that Paradiso resort is located on a hillside and has a magnificent panoramic view on Camiguin.
It’s isolated from other areas, but they help you with rides from and to the town if you need.
I found this place from recommendations of other travelers that visited Paradiso restaurant.
The place is running by an Italian man that prepare all the meals by himself – homemade pasta, pizzas, and salads.
Paradiso is an absolutely magical place, and I highly recommend visiting it, if not for staying at least eating in the restaurant.
More information –hillside.agoho.ph/
Camiguin Weather – When is the best time to go?
Luckily, anytime during the year is possible traveling Camiguin, just make sure before the weather is comfortable, and no serious storm is about to hit the island.
The best time to visit there by local people is March – May, but as I mentioned you might visit all year long.
Where to eat in Camiguin
For me, a major part of traveling experience is the food, whether is local or not.
2 restaurants I must recommend eating in during your stay in Camiguin:
As a foodie and a true professional glutton, and one that ate in many places, I can honestly say Guerrera is one of the tastiest Asian food I’ve ever eaten in.
The restaurant located on a side farm, and growing a big portion of the ingredients needed for their dishes.
It’s amazing seeing them going outside and picking the ingredients after getting a dish reservation.
The menu is changing daily and based on the available ingredients they have at the moment (how do I know? I’ve been there 3 different times during my stay in Camiguin)
Seriously, they know what they’re doing there.
Great place for Italian cousin. Usually during the time I travel I prefer eating the local food, but sometimes you just craving for a particular food.
As one that worked 5 years in an Italian restaurant, I find myself pretty often craving for Italian food.
The place is quiet, despite it is located on the main road, and serving great homemade Italian dishes.
The stories tell that the place established by the Italian guy who runs these days the Paradiso hillside resort and sold it to another Italian man that is running the restaurant until today.
How to Get Camiguin – Flights and Ferris
2-4 weekly flights from Cebu to Camiguin Airport “Cagayan De Oro”, with Cebu Pacific by ATR airplane (for those like me that it matters).
This flight is getting fully booked 2-3 days before, and usually delayed so get ready..
I paid around 4,000 PHP for one way flight from Camiguin to Puerto Princesa (Via Cebu).
By Ferry, from:
- Bohol – Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, it takes 4 hours and cost about 500 PHP, and a student discount is available 🙂
- Cebu – 12 hours, on a daily basis as far as I know.
Ready for a trip to Camiguin?
If you like these small unknown destinations, that hasn’t been fully revealed by most of the travelers – you’ll love Camiguin.
I really hope that you’ll enjoy and have a fabulous trip to Camiguin, after all, it’s a really special place and not just an ordinary destination.
After all the things I mentioned, the most important thing is to relax and enjoy the place, interact with the locals, eat where they eat and respect the nature.
Feel to ask any question about Camiguin and share your insights from there