AMAZING – the best word to describe the Camiguin Island. A natural beauty and well preserved island here in Northern Mindanao. No fast food chains and malls in any part of the island, as much as this is to prevent any pollution that may cause damage to the island as well as being commercially unviable. We were so blessed to experience the beauty of Camiguin, and this beauty is further enhanced by its 7 dormant and semi-active volcanoes: Mt. Hibok-Hibok, Mt. Mambajao, Mt. Guinsiliban, Mt. Timpoong, Mt. Vulcan, Mt. Uhay, and Mt. Tres Marias, hence the name Camiguin, which means “island born of fire.”
Perhaps now is a good time to start talking about the itinerary we had in our day and a half trip to Camiguin on a budget of around Php 2,500 each. We visit mostly of the Camiguin tourist spots. Now, allow me to share with you our Camiguin tour.
If you want to have an earlier trip which is actually more advisable, the first trip of the Butuan bus from Cagayan de Oro City is around 3:00 am, so be at the bus terminal before that time. Being early also means getting the first barge trip at around 5:00 am going to Benoni Port. In reality we missed the 3:00 am bus so we had to settle for the next one at around 4:30 am.
Once in Camiguin, we rented a multicab mini-jeepney for Php 3,200 for a day and a half tour. We simply provided the driver with a copy of our itinerary.
4:30 am – 6:30 am | 2 hours travel time from Agora Bus Terminal, Cagayan de Oro to Balingoan Barge Port on a Butuan bound bus. You need to tell the bus conductor/ticket seller that you are going to the Balingoan Port so the bus can drop you off there.
Bus fare: Php 160.00
Terminal fee: Php 3.00
6:30am – 7:30am | Balingoan Port to Benoni Port
Barge fare: 170 php
Terminal fee: 2.5 php
Fare for 4 wheeled vehicles: 1,300 up
Fare for 2 wheeled vehicles: 300 php
9:00am – 10:30am | Breakfast at A&J Fishpen
Appetizer 235 – 250 per order
Soup 250 – 265 per order
Crabs 110 – 130 per 100 gram
Breakfast Menu range from 100 php – 125 php
Beverages 20 php – 50php etc.
11:00 -12:30 | Giant Clams Sanctuary
Entrance Fee: 25 php
Tables: 100 php big | 50 php small
Clams Viewing Fee: 150 php
Snorkelling gear fees: Mask 100.00 | Flippers 100.00 | Goggles 50.00 | Lifevest 50.00
12:30 – 1:00pm | Moro Watch Tower
Located today inside the campus of the Guinsiliban Elementary School, the former Spanish Watch Tower was also called a Moro Watch Tower because it served to warn people of the arrival of Muslim marauders and pirates who rampantly raided the coastal Christian communities, kidnapping and pillaging wherever they went. On the day of our tour however, we could not enter the tower because for some reason it was closed to the public.
1:00pm – 2:30pm | St. Nino Cold Spring
When you say cold spring, it can be literally bone chilling cold, and what makes it nicer are the small fish that swim with you. Isn’t that cool? No pun intended. If you are not able to bring any food with you, there is food available outside the entrance gate and is sold on a per kilo basis, and ready to be cooked. The cooked food is then delivered straight to your cottage complete with plates and utensils. A normal fish menu on a per kilo basis will cost around Php 400.00.
Regular Entrance fee: 30 php
Below 10 years old: 15 php
Senior Citizen: 24 php
Picnic Shed: 75 php
Table & Chairs: 50php
2:30 pm – 3:00pm | Old Church Ruins
The old Catarman Church and the old Catarman town were destroyed and partly submerged by volcanic debris during the eruption of Mt. Vulcan from 1871 to 1875. Also known as Gui-ob Church, only the ruins of the church and bell tower remains of what once a lively town.
3:00pm – 3:30pm | Tausan Falls
Reaching the falls is easy via the highway. You can park your vehicle at the highway and it’s only a few minutes’ walk to the falls. On the way to the falls you can see Mt. Tres Marias at your back.
3:30pm – 4:00pm | Sunken Cemetery
During the birth and eruption of Mount Vulcan from 1871 to 1875, parts of the town of Bonbon sank below sea level including the town cemetery. Today the Sunken Cemetery is visible at low tide. However, Mount Vulcan erupted again in 1948 and in 1953, the whole area sank deeper. To mark the community cemetery, a large cross was built on the solidified lava in 1982.
Boat Ride: 100php
5:00pm – 7:00pm | Camiguin White Island Resort
We could not avail of our reservations at the Paras Beach Resort since the room was only good for 6 persons and there were 12 in our entourage. We decided to hop over to nearby Camiguin White Island Resort where we were able to get a room at Php 1,300.00 with 2 beds and 1 extra bed. It had free Wi-Fi and you can cook your meals and even borrow their utensils. The picture below was taken during breakfast time outside our Narra cottage
7:30pm – 9:00pm | Ardent Hot Spring
Day 2 – The last destination of our itinerary was to the Island of Mantigue instead of going to the more popular White Island. It was simply a change in our itinerary at the last minute.
9:00am – 1:00pm Mantigue Island Nature Park
While waiting for lunch time, we walked around the beach and explored the forest area. We really got to love the beaches on the island. This was the last leg of our trip and the whole adventure was tiring but all a worthy and wonderful experience.
A video and more pictures of our trip will soon be uploaded on our Koikai channel on YouTube while a slideshow will also soon be uploaded on this page.
Boat fee to Mantigue Island: Php 540.00 for 6 persons (round trip)
Environmental Fee: Php 20.00
Table fee: Php 100.00
Snorkel Rental: Php 150.00
Fins: Php 150.00
Snorkeling Fee: Php 50.00
So that sums up our Camiguin Island trip, if given the chance I would travel to this place again. Truly a place to be called a piece of heaven here on earth.