History and Culture
The 4 Awesome Backpacking Things To Do In Camiguin, Philippines!
Randè Daquiado | May 29, 2018
From its nickname “The Island Born of Fire”, this cute little paradise in northern Mindanao will capture your wanderlust spirit and drag you to its truly amazing natural wonders. Camiguin is an island province that you can hit the road around by motorbike in just a day. The island itself is really smaller in size but take note; it has number of volcanoes on it. That's what makes it lovely!
Camiguin’s environment is very calm, relaxing and not so crowded. Fewer tourists and travelers are visiting due to not so well-known as Boracay, Cebu and Bohol. But when the time you arrive then I tell you, you’ll love to stay here as long as you can. If you’re planning to explore Camiguin any moment from now, here are some things to do in the island to check out.
#1 - Get wet in the waterfalls
Packed in your best swimwear as the island has three majestic natural waterfalls from which a day is absolutely enough for visiting all of it! First stop; soak yourself in its pool of the island’s tallest Katibawasan Waterfall located just in the province’s capital Mambajao.
As you go counter clockwise around the island, the wild flowing water of Tuasan Waterfall is second on the row situated about 7 kilometers from the main highway of Mainit town. For more adventurous ambiance, the last on the list is the Binangawan Waterfall going approximately 9 kilometers up to the mountain packed with ravishing sceneries. This waterfall is really remote and the trail is not developed yet so for safety, just get a guide.
Note: Guides at Binangawan Waterfall are stationed along the road in an old house near the entrance going to the waterfall. They have no fix guide fee, just hand them a generous amount.
#2 - Visiting old churches and ruins
In the southern part of the island you can visit the old but still holding regular masses, the Sagay Church. The church was named after the place itself.
Not far from Sagay is the fair town of Guinsiliban where the ruin of the Watch Tower was set. Locals deeply believed that the watch tower was built to protect the island for any invasions
On the other hand, on the west lie the ruins of Gui-ob Church. This church was severely destroyed and buried because of volcanic eruption happened long time ago and now became a major tourist attraction in Camiguin.
Note: Please buy some candles to the vendors before entering the Gui-ob Church Ruins. Lighting even a single candle is a sign of respect in commemoration to those who died during its sad past.
#3 - Hiking a volcano
You heard it right! Yes! A volcano! Vulcan volcano is one of the seven volcanoes in the island. That’s why from time after time you can feel gentle aftershocks because of those awesome volcanoes; locals are very used to it.
Anyway, hiking on it is prettily amazing! Make sure you’ll take a bottle of water with you. Why? Owhh, this volcano was turned into a religious site where before reaching the top you need to pass on the stations (14 Stations of the Cross). Other visitors only made it at the middle but for those who like hiking it’s just nothing.
Note: The trail is quite dangerous so be sure to wear your best footwear to avoid injuries like slipping. If you don’t have insect repellent with you, better wear long comfortable pants.
#4 - Going to seaside and islands
When it comes to beaches and seashores especially with ravishing views no one can’t even resist visiting them, I know! Camiguin is also blessed with those natural aspects.
In the town of Cabuan is the Cantaan Giant Clams, a seaside sanctuary of different kinds of clams that can be found in Camiguin waters. Some of the clams are endangered so the locals took actions and built the sanctuary to save those precious marine species.
Going to the other side, spend your sunset in one of the island’s major spots – The Sunken Cemetery! Once a cemetery but due a past seismic event, it was ravaged and swallowed by the sea. The giant cross was built as a mark of the cemetery that once in existence.
For beach lovers, the White Island is a paradise located in Yumbing town not far from the capital Mambajao. Carved like an inverted letter C, it’s an island where have nothing but only jaw-dropping white sand. It’s incredibly amazing and awesome!
Note: Bring some sunscreens. The only transportation going to the White Island is by motorboats and if you’re going alone or in a group it’s the same price. So if you are travelling by yourself, you can wait for other solo travellers and split the boat fare.
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Macau Spring and the Lookout Point
Macau Spring is a natural cold spring in Hubangon town with flowing turquoise water and only a few visitors knows that this place exists while the Lookout Point in Volcan town holds an exquisite view of the island’s north western part.
(Special mention also covers Ardent Hot Spring. I feel sorry that I didn’t include it to the fact that the hot spring during my visit was badly running out of water in some circumstances. I went to the place but I didn’t enter. I was very disappointed because Ardent is one of the major tourist attractions in Camiguin. Better luck the next time.)
Check in: Cabua-an Beach Resort
I’ve found Cabua-an Beach Resort by asking locals where is the cheapest place to stay around Mambajao. This place is really cool and absolutely cheap. Rooms are made of wood. From the floor to the walls up to the balcony with the view of the beach, it’s totally nice! For as low as 180 Pesos per night (5 single beds with bathroom and toilet).
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How to get there:
Mambajao has only one airport that serve regular flights departing from any major Philippine Cities such as Manila and Cebu. The other option is by sea travel, Ferries/RoRo have scheduled trips from Jagna, Bohol to Mambajao, Camiguin and from Balingoan, Misamis Oriental to Benoni, Camiguin.
For more, visit me on Randè EnRoute