Exploring Camiguin - The Island Born of Fire in the Philippines
by Diane T.
Itching to take a break from all the hustle and bustle of the city? Looking for a day trip or two to keep yourself sane?
I have the perfect place for you.
A small and peaceful island in the Philippines, Camiguin, has a number of spectacular beaches and waterfalls you can visit. It’s considered the second smallest island in the Philippines and you can tour the entire place in a day. However, it’s pristine beauty will change your mind to stay much longer.
Camiguin was formed out of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, hence, called ‘The Island Born of Fire’. This magical island is located in the Bohol Sea, about 10 kilometers off the northern coast of Mindanao.
Places To Visit
1. White Island
This breath-taking view of White Island, located at Mambajao is a must-see place to visit in Camiguin. Whether you’re basking in the sun or swimming in the crystal clear waters, the experience is pure bliss. You can also see two volcanoes which are just superb.
Fun fact about this place is that it’s not even an island, it’s a powdery white sandbar among the plethora of sandbars in the Philippines.
Just the warmth of the sun and the soothing sound of the waves can really take the stressed away. For a while, you could forget your monotonous daily struggles.
Tips: Boat rentals are available for 480 php. It is advisable to leave early in the morning around 5am-6am as it could get really hot by the day. If you aren’t ready to be sun-kissed, there are umbrellas for rent for a very cheap price. Lastly, don’t forget to bring your sunblock and sunglasses!
2. Sto. Niño Cold Spring
Free your mind and be one with nature in this lovely paradise. After a long hot day-tour, this Cold Spring is the perfect remedy. Enjoy the refreshing cool waters under the sunny skies. Although, you need to be cautious of the depth of this spring as it is 8 feet deep.
The best part of this place is you can bring food and rent cottages/tables. You are also allowed to cook.
Tips: You can hire a motorcycle to get to the place. Entrance fee is 30 php and floaters are available for only 20 php .
3. Katibawasan Falls
Camiguin is just full of surprises. From beaches to cold spring and now waterfalls.
Katibawasan Falls is one of the most accessible falls I’ve ever been to. The place is really close to the entrance and with just a minute or two hikes, you’ll get to the destination. Awesome, right?
The most astonishing part of this experience was that I can clearly hear the sound of nature. Birds chirping everywhere and the gushing sound of the waterfall can really lift up your spirit. This place is surrounded by rocks and a lot of trees.
Tips: Entry to Katibawasan falls requires a 35 php entrance fee. You can bring foods and there are tables available for free.
4. The Old Spanish Church
If you love history, the ruins will enchant you.
The Old Catarman (Gui-ob) Church Ruins was destroyed when Mt. Vulcan erupted. What used to be a church ground is now covered with grass and ferns. There isn’t much left to see, but still, the view of this place is magnificent. Also, the gigantic century old tree remains.
Tips: This is not incumbent, but if you happen to meet some locals in front of the Old Spanish Church who will offer to tour you around, please give them some tip (any amount will do). Their stories will fill your heart and they’re very friendly too!
5. The Sunken Cemetery
The Sunken Cemetery plays a significant role in the history of Camiguin. The volcanic eruption of Mt. Vulcan has caused the cemetery along with the capital city surrounding it to sink below sea level.
At sight of the huge cross, which marks the cemetery, a lot of tourists admire its beauty. There’s an entire story of history underneath that cross. This place remains to be one of the most photographed attractions in the province.
Tips: If you want to take a closer look of the cross or dive beneath it, there is an available boat ride that could take you for only 100 php.
Taste the Delicious Grilled Banana
Grilled Banana, also known as “Ginanggang” is one of the popular street foods in the Philippines. The name “Ginanggang” is a Cebuano word which literally means “grilled”.
This delicious snack is an unripened banana grilled over charcoal, coated with margarine and sprinkled with white or brown sugar. You can usually find this outside their market or in the local street. Truly, each bite is a perfection!
Tips: You can buy this for only 20 php.
Eat, Drink and Chill at Peninsular Kape Art
This fab place is located at Rocky Village, Yumbing, Mambajao. The positive energy vibe of this restaurant can alleviate your tired soul. Huge green garden with humongous trees and Indian treetrunk seating, gorgeous seaside Thailand style bamboo raised platform to hear the waves break against the sea wall by your side, all in all, a natural and comfortable chill experience.
Tips: Don’t miss the sunset!
Few Reminders Before Travelling
- I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, don’t forget to bring your sunscreen.
- Make sure to bring zip lock bags as you will be hopping from one place to another. The last thing you want is to get your camera or phone wet!
- Ensure wearing comfy shoes or slippers as you will do a lot of walking.
- Do some research of the place or ask some locals to avoid getting lost.
Exploring Camiguin was one of the best travel experiences I’ve had. For a very small island, this place is indeed enchanting. Away from the crowds, the solitude of just being – I was able to reflect and be reminded of how nature is full of surprises and that life is beautiful.
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January 4, 2019
January 18, 2019
Good review! Can\'t wait to go there.