A little pearl-shaped Island of the Philippines nestled on the northern coast of the Mindanao region, Camiguin Island is a Filipino gem to treasure and enjoy. A tropical paradise packed with friendly locals, clean beaches, laid-back restaurants and incredible natural tourist spots.
Most of my relatives on my mother’s side reside in Camiguin, but it’s been more than two decades since I have been to this Island. Every summer when I was young, my mom used to take us here to visit my “Lola” (grandmother). As a kid, everything was an adventure. The beauty of this Island has lingered with me until now. I wanted my new family to experience the wondrous island that I experienced when I was a kid. So we did! We decided to visit in my mom’s homeland again and I am sharing with you our Itinerary for our 3 days Escapade on Camiguin Island, Philippines.
Getting around Camiguin Island
Camiguin Island is the second smallest province in the Philippines. It is possible to see the whole island in one day by either motorcycle or car. But, if you want to soak it in and enjoy each tourist spot of the island, it could take more than three days to savor the fun without any rush.
One of the very local ways to get around Camiguin Island is the Multicab. This cab is the usual vehicle that you will see everywhere on the Island. It can fit up to 8-10 people and if you are trying to see the whole Island with a private driver, hiring a Multicab is the best deal in town. He can drive you for a whole day to all the tourist spots for a very fair and negotiable price.
Check out his details here if you decide to see the island with a Multicab!
Name : Liven Samante
Phone Number : (+63) 0906 181 5814
Day 1 in Camiguin Island
San Nicolas de Tolentino Church
A spiritual quest is a wonderful way to start your day. The Philippines is known all over the world as the most populist catholic country and Camiguin Island has one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. San Nicolas de Tolentino Church is in Mambajao, Camiguin and was built in 1800’s. Let your faith guide you on your travels and appreciate the beauty of old and modern architecture.
Also while in Mambajao, Camiguin, check out the main store of Vjandep Bakery and get some fresh from the oven Pastels. Pastel is a Spanish term for cake, but Vjandep Pastels are soft buns with yema(custard) fillings. They are so good and they just melt in the mouth once you get a bite. You can eat them for your tea time or merenda, but most Filipinos would just eat them any time. Today, Vjandep has 8 different Pastel Fillings that are so heavenly. I would still just stick to the original yema filling. They also have a distribution store in Cagayan de Oro if you want to buy them there.
Known as an “Island Born of Fire”, Camiguin Island has seven volcanoes. The most popular active one is Mt. Hibok Hibok. With this one, you can learn more about the active volcanism when you visit the PHIVOLS Observatory. Come check out how they monitor the volcanoes by a seismograph. PHIVOLCS Observatory is on top of the Pahayan Hills and it has an amazing view overlooking the island. So, don’t forget your camera and have fun strolling around the grounds.
Casa Roca Inn
When the day is long and hot, it is always wonderful to end it with a wine and dine over-looking a vast beautiful ocean. Located in Naasag, Mambajao, the Casa Roca Inn offers a haven of deliciousness. Grab a few drinks and recline your seat while enjoying the cliff view. I suggest you to come before sunset, so you have time to capture the hues of the Camiguin Sunset. Their menu is american style and their servers are friendly. They have wide array of wine selections as well as cocktails. Aside from their good food and view, Casa Roca Inn also offers B&B services as well. Check out CASA ROCA page for more information.
Day 2 in Camiguin Island
Get an early start (6 or 7 a.m.) in the morning on day two for your Adventure to White Island. White Island is basically a sand bar that looks amazingly white from atop the mountains and is flanking the island of Camiguin. It is uninhabited which means no houses or trees to get shade. However, there are beach umbrellas that can be rented on the Island. This is also why you want to be early. It can get really hot from around 9 a.m. until early afternoon. I was mesmerized by the majestic turquoise water and white sand of the Island. No matter what angle you take, your photos will definitely be an Instagram-worthy!
The jump off point on the way to White Island is in Yumbing, Mambajao. From there, you can get a boat rental for P650.00 for 6 people and P50.00 per head as an entrance fee. The boat will take you back and forth to the Island with a 7-min trip each way. Just remember the name of your boat, as you will need it to get you back from the island.
Old Vulcan and Stations of the Cross
Moving on to our next stop of the day is the walk way to the Old Vulcan and Stations of the Cross. As I have mentioned earlier in my post, Filipinos are great Catholic Christian devotees. The walk way to the Old Vulcan is a pilgrimage way for holy week. It takes about an hour for a 8-kilometer hike and has 14 stations. Every station has life sized statues representing the Passion of Christ. There is an entrance fee of P10.00 and don’t forget to bring your water bottle. While this hike is rated for beginners, the heat of the sun can drain your energy quickly. The view from the top is fantastic and breathtaking. It will make all your efforts and sweat worth it.
In front of the Walk Way entrance, there are shops for souvenirs and munchies. They have a bunch of cute items that you might want to get for yourself, family or friends.
Another local icon in Camiguin Island is the Sunken Cemetery. A mile a way from Walk Way lies the entrance and the closest photo-op for the Sunken Cemetery. There is no entrance fee but there are bunch of locals that will ask you if you want a boat ride.
Day 3 in Camiguin Island
Take a whole Island Trip
Again, you can see the whole island in a day. With a vehicle of course. It is rich in floras of different kinds. While fishing is obviously one of the main sources of living in the Island, you will see wonderful green patches of rice fields and bunches of coconut trees.
For our third day in Camiguin, it didn’t turn out the way we expected. It was a little gloomy in the morning and we were even caught up by the rain on our way to the north of the island. However, we were still hoping for a beautiful day. We really enjoyed the wonderful greeneries of the rice fields, the viewing of the Carabao grazing and watching the local vehicles going about their business.
We never did get a chance to visit Mantigue Island because the water was choppy and I was too afraid of the ocean waves. The sun was out when we reached the docking area going to Mantigue but the beach waves were still a little crazy for me. They said, it was only a little wavy but I couldn’t risk the chance. Especially because we have our little son with us. But this didn’t mean that we’re not going to see the rest of Camiguin. We toured the entire island and here was our agenda for the day!
Giant Clams Sanctuary
Located in the municipality of Guinsiliban, A sanctuary for Giant Clams is a must see and you’ll see as soon as you arrive.
They basically have an entrance fee of 25 php or $0.50 which includes a guided tour of the clam lab. Their tourist guides are local students that share their knowledge about the area and the clams. We were impressed (or at least I was impressed) of how familiar they are with the terms and lives of the clams. With the tips that they get from guiding, it adds to their extra school allowance. If you want to stay for a little while, they have rental tables for picnicking at P100 (big) and P50 (small). They offer clam viewing while snorkeling for P150 and gear can be rented for P100. It is indeed interesting to see the sanctuary where the baby clams are planted.
Furthermore, if you’re into photography, check out the back area where you can see the turquoise sprawling beach at the end of the tour. There is also a ruined rock house which made a good backdrop for a photo-shoot with my sister and I. This is also a nice place where you can enjoy swimming or maybe just feel the ocean breeze while watching the mountain hovering at the end of your line of site. I’m sure, you’re not going to want to leave this paradise.
Sto. Nino Cold Spring
Camiguin Island is not just about beaches. Another spot is an amazing cold spring at the foot of Tres Marias Mountains. This is the Sto. Nino Cold Spring Pool. It is one of the natural attraction that flows down from Mambajao and filtered by layers of minerals from the mountain. The pool is measured 25 by 40 meters with 8 ft deep and as the water flows to the pool made for kids which is 4 feet deep. The pool has a bunch of mini water geyser sprouting from a sandy bottom. They also clean the pool every Monday and Thursday morning.
See Below for Details:
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays – 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Mondays and Thursdays – 10:30 AM – 8:00 PM
Regular Rate P50.00
Person with height of 4 feet below P25.00
Senior Citizen (20 % discount) P40.00
Picnic Shed P75.00
Table and 4 Chairs P50.00
There are Food Stalls and food servers who are accredited by the office of Sto Nino Cold Spring Resort and some of them will approach you before you get in to the resort. The prices are reasonable and the food that we had was delicious. My husband and brother also enjoyed ice cold beer.
One of the unique areas at the resort is the “Doctor Fish” pool. For P10, you can enjoy the relaxing and exotic experience of having your feet cleaned by these busy little creatures. Doctor fish are also known as Garra rufas, and are freshwater fish. These fish are known to nibble dead skin, which encourages growth of new and healthy skin. Research has found that these fish produce an enzyme, called diathanol, in their saliva. This enzyme fastens the regeneration process of the skin.
Whether or not the treatment is actually effective, the sensation and the experience is well worth a try.
With all the scenic natural beauty, Camiguin Island is ready for you to be explored. Have one of the most incredible adventure of your life!
Watch a video of our Camiguin Island Family Escapade on YouTube.