Travel Guide to Camiguin: The Island Born From Seven Volcanoes Edit

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Michelle Tobias  • Contributor
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Cover photo by Jerah Ebao. Graphics by Manel Solsoloy. Video by Noodle Donato.

At a Glance

The seven-volcanoed Camiguin has more volcanoes per area than any other island on earth. It has two brilliant white islets and dozens of well-kept waterfalls, hot springs, and cold springs. Its 64km main road makes for a great motorbike adventure with splendid sea views.

Overview

Known as The Island Born of Fire, Camiguin is a feisty jewel located 20km north of mainland Mindanao. At only 238 square kilometers, it’s about the size of Cook Islands and a little smaller than Maldives. The island rose from volcanic eruptions and tectonic movements, lending lush jungly landscapes accentuated by the sloping hills and peaks of its seven volcanoes.


The island is a sweet treat due to its fresh and serene atmosphere and zero crime rate, so unlike the established tourist sites in the Philippines such as Boracay or El Nido. Its most loved destinations are offshore—its satellite white islets called Mantigue Island and White Island. Both offer perfectly warm, turquoise waters and snorkeling areas, with a scenic backdrop of the volcanic island.


Of its many peaks, Mt. Hibok-Hibok (1,332m) is a mainstay in the bucket list of outdoor enthusiasts. Trekking this offers spellbinding views of its crater lakes and the beautiful island. Camiguin’s two famous landmarks are the lava-ruined Gui-ob Church and the Sunken Cemetery. The latter used to be above ground until it was sunken into the sea by consecutive volcanic eruptions. It’s now a dive site featuring coral-encrusted tombstones and crosses amongst schools of colorful fish and giant clams.


You may also get on a motorbike, tour the entire island for a day, and have captivating views of the sea, mountains, and peaceful roadside villages. Stops include several bone-chilling waterfalls dropping from a steep mountainside, nature hot springs for some proper relaxation, and a romantic black mangrove forest. Every October, the island is packed with tourists celebrating the Lanzones Festival, a tribute to the sweet-tasting, knuckle-sized fruit.

8 Stunning Attractions that capture the Philippines’ most volcanic island—CAMIGUIN!

Written by Colleen Cabili

White Island

White Island is Camiguin’s premier destination for beach lovers. This shimmering bend of fine white sand surrounded by turquoise waters is naked in the hot sun, so don’t forget to bring an umbrella and loads of sunscreen.

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Photo from instagram.com/pinoytravelfreak.

Mt. Hibok-Hibok

Though not the highest peak, Mt. Hibok-Hibok is notorious for its five eruptions since 1827. The latest in 1951 killed approximately 600 people. The volcano has three crater lakes and six hot springs.

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Photo by Faith Patayon.

Ardent Hot Spring

The water in this well-known spring resort is sourced directly from Mt. Hibok-Hibok. Guests who have tried bathing in Ardent Hot Springs swear by its calming effect.

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Photo by Jessa Abejero.

Sunken Cemetery

The huge iron cross protruding from the sea marks the location of Catarman’s Sunken Cemetery, a graveyard-turned-dive-spot submerged by the consecutive volcanic eruptions of Mt. Vulcan. 

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Photo by Michael Liboon Laspobres.

Mt. Vulcan

Mt. Vulcan is frequented by tourists and devotees alike during Holy Week. Visitors would pass by scenes of Christ’s Passion, carved in life-sized cement. The final station offers a panoramic view of the sea, the Sunken Cemetery, and the sunset.

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Photo by Stephanie Bidouze.

Sto. Niño Cold Spring

Aside from the Sunken Cemetery and Mt. Vulcan, another destination worth visiting in Catarman is Sto. Niño Cold Spring. The crystal-clear water flows directly from Mt. Mambajao and is filtered by the mountain’s mineral-rich surface.

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Photo by Franz Molina.

Katibawasan Falls

The highest among Camiguin’s many waterfalls, Katibawasan Falls is six to eight-storeys high. The water dropping from such a great height creates blasts of cold air and is potentially deadly.

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Photo by Rinan Calunia.

Mantigue Island

Mantigue Island is an amalgam of dreams related to the sea. This 4-hectare sanctuary is rich with white sand beaches and spots for diving and snorkeling.

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Photo by Rinan Calunia.

Where is Camiguin

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Camiguin is located in southern Philippines, about 20km north of Misamis Oriental. Graphics by Manel Solsoloy.

How to get to Camiguin

Only one air carrier goes directly to Camiguin, and that is through Cebu Pacific Airlines from Cebu City. If you are coming from another major city, you may book a connecting flight to Cebu and then to Camiguin. Otherwise, you can book a flight with Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, or Air Asia to Cagayan de Oro or Butuan City in northern Mindanao. From either location, get onto a bus to Balingoan Port, and from there, take a ferry to Benoni Port, Camiguin Island. Touring the island is easy. You can hop onto a jeepney going to the direction of your destination, or just hail a motorbike. Within towns, the common mode of transport is the tricycle. You can also rent a motorbike, van, or jeepney for an entire day’s service.


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