Camiguin is known to be the “Island Born of Fire”. The moniker alone, surely, seals this tiny northern Mindanao Province as a hot island destination.
The pearl-shaped island province lives up to it’s… ummm… shape. This gem of an island is roughly 125 kilometers north of the coast of mainland Mindanao. It is a convenient 2-hour Supercat ride away from Cagayan De Oro. It takes the same easy two-hour ride from Bohol, Jagna Port. Making it a convenient option for a weekend getaway or for a backpacking trip.
It is a small island. Its only 37 kilometers on its longest side and 14 kilometers on its widest. It is that small. But, this small is, but, terrible.
It ranks second to Batanes as the smallest province. And just like Batanes, what it lacks in size apparently stunning natural wonders undoubtedly make up for it. Camiguin is blessed with stunning islets/sand bars, hot springs, cold springs, and good dive spots, waterfalls and a lot more; all stunning and picture-perfect.
This island born of fire was the result of several volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. The island is mostly rocky as it is entirely made up of volcanic deposits. In its tiny land area lays seven volcanoes. Mount Hibok-Hibok is the only active and the last flare-up was in the early 50’s. The steep Mt. Hibok-Hibok makes a challenging trek for hikers.
Camiguin’s volcanic soil proves to be a good and fertile ground for various crops. Among its exports are coconut, cassava and, of course, lanzones fruit. It is known to produce the sweetest of its kind. This brown skinned fruit with the size of a grape has a sweet translucent flesh. A festival is celebrated every October- harvest season- called Lanzones Festival.
Mambajao is the biggest municipality and also the capital of the province. It is where the Camiguin Airport is conveniently located. Cebu Pacific is the only airline company that services this route.
Here are 10 activities that will surely delight every traveler to this small but spunky island.
10. Check Out Tanguines Lagoon – A man-made lagoon near Benoni Port in the town of Mahinog. It is a good place to commune with nature. Rugged cliffs. Big boulders. Rolling hills. Crystal-clear waters. Soothing sight of the sea. It is, indeed, a perfect place to relax and while away lazy summer days.
9. Take a Dip at Sto. Nino Cold Spring – Nothing beats hot summer days better than taking a dip into this cold Sto. Nino spring. Refreshing is an understatement. The place is complete with pic-nic tables, cottages, cookout facilities and a restaurant. It is ideal for family bonding.
8. Relax at Ardent Hot Spring – After a tiring day of exploration, a dip into the hot spring is just fitting. It will surely soothe those tired muscles.
7. Eat a lot of Vjandep Pastel – Almost synonymous to the Giant Cross Marker of the sunken cemetery as a Camiguin landmark is this bun with custard filling. This bread is sweet, tasty and delicious. No visit in Camiguin is complete with out a box of Vjandep pastel as take-away.
6. Eat Plenty of Lanzones – This volcanic island definitely grows trees that produce the sweetest tasting Lanzones. A festival is held every October named Lanzones festival.
Photo Credits (Wikimedia Commons): Lanzones by RamonFVelasquez
5. Visit Mantigue Island – This four-hectare island is an untapped paradise located 14 kilometers south of Mambajao. It is a good spot for diving and snorkeling.
4. Hang Out at Katibawasan Waterfalls – The view of water falling from the high cliff is an attraction in itself. Swimming in the cold water is a solace to experience.
Photo Credits (Wikimedia Commons): Katibawasan Waterfalls by BingR
3. Hike or Trek Mt. Hibok- Hibok – A thrilling hike to this steep active volcano is definitely for adventurous souls. It is challenging but rewarding. The peak offers stunning panoramas of nearby islands Cebu, Negros and Bohol on a clear day.
Photo Credits (Wikimedia Commons): Mt Hibok Hibok by Magalhaes
2. Visit White Island – This sandbar dispenses postcard-worthy view of the charming Camiguin Island. It is best to visit early in the morning. It is a picturesque in itself.
Photo Credits (Wikimedia Commons): White Island by justDonque
1. Explore the Sunken Cemetery – This is the Eiffel Tower of Camiguin. The infamous and imposing giant cross is a reminiscent of what used to be a cemetery that had sunken by Mount Vulcan’s eruption more than one hundred years ago. Now, it is ideal for diving and snorkeling. This site is perfect for sunsets. Sunken cemetery is in Bonbon, Catarman.
Photo Credits (Wikimedia Commons): Sunken Cemetery by WolfgangH
Have you been to Camiguin? Feel free to share your tips and recommendations.