If you’re a frequent traveller, a hiker, an outdoorsman or a weekend vacationer, Camiguin should be in your must- visit islands in the Philippines. With so many places to visit within – beaches, mountains, falls, hot and cold springs, Camiguin is a haven for outdoor guys like me.
The laid back aura, friendly people, well paved roads with little or no traffic of Camiguin make it one of the most sought after island for an outdoor vacation here in the Philippines. This is essentially the reason I went back here and brought two other equally la-agan peeps-my Ligaya and Ulan.
We planned a 4 days, 3 nights vacation, dividing the first three days into three distinct tour types and reserving the last day for rest or ahay-ahay according to Ligaya. We hired, Tatay Roger and his rela to bring us to these places.
Day One-The Old Camiguin is basically a spot peek into the famed historical places of Camiguin. This tour is relatively relaxed, requires little or no clothes changes and is mostly a photo travel shoot of the old camiguin. Places we went into during this one day tour includes the following:
- Old Mambajao Town Hall
- Walk way to the Old Volcano
- Sunken Cemetery and The Big White Cross Marker above it
- Gui-ob Church Ruins
- Sto Rosario Church
- Guinsiliban Pier
- Moro-Moro Watch Tower Ruins
- Tanguines Lagoon
Day Two-The Islets of Camiguin is mainly the beach hopping day. Prepare your wet suits, shades, sunblocks, snorkeling gears and camera for this. We included two other spots nearby to save time travelling back and fort. These included:
- White Island/Islet
- Mantigue Island
- Ostrich Farm
- Camiguin Enigmata Treehouse and Sculpture Gardens /Art Gallery
Day Three- Falls and Springs of Camiguin is our hiking and falls hop day. We needed another day for this since going to the different falls and springs of Camiguin requires some hiking and riding a motorcycle. I suggest you bring your GPS or GPS enabled smartphones (if you have one) to guide you on your trekking to the falls. I geotagged the falls and trails on Google Map already.
- Tuasan Falls
- Soda Water
- Macao Cold Springs
- Ardent Hot Spring
Day Four-Ahay-ahay in Camiguin. Ahay-ahay by the way, is Ligaya’s version of bisaya term Pahayahay, meaning to relax or rest. We were thinking of leaving Camiguin this day and move on to Bohol. Bohol is just 2 hours away from Camiguin via fast craft ferry but abandoned the plan because of time constraints for the Bohol leg of our vacation. We spent the whole day visiting Villa Paraiso and then settled in Paras Beach resort to rest, in style. Pretty awkward feeling for me an outdoor guy staying in a pricey resort like Paras, but of course who would say no to a ‘libre”?
- Villa Paraiso Resorts and Apartelle
- Paras Beach Resort
*Day Four to Seven- The Mountains of Camiguin. For an outdoor guy like me, hiking the mountains of Camiguin would definitely be an added fun. I brought my hiking gears with me but since Ligaya and Ulan we’re unprepared for a relatively exhausting trek, we didn’t pursue the idea. There are three famed mountains and a few small ones in Camiguin. I’ve day hike Mt. Hibok-Hibok but I don’t know if other peaks can be day hiked also. My bet is you need at least three days to scale all of these mountains. I hear one foreigner in the lodge rambling about how he tried to scale Hibok-Hibok without a guide, got lost and wasn’t able to reach the peak but had fun still mixing with the locals.
- Mt. Hibok-Hibok (+1,250 m.)
- Mt. Timpoong (+1, 500 m.)
- Mt. Tres Marias
- Mt. Mambajao (+1,400 m.)
*Day Eight- Bike Camiguin. Another way of seeing Camiguin is biking around it or to and from the different spots. I saw a few others doing this and I’d like to try this next time. I’m not that bike secure yet cycling those hilly parts of the island. Maybe when I’m with the cycling buddies.
*Day Nine to Ten- Dive Camiguin! This one I have not tried either, but when I saw divers off Mantigue Islands the locals are promising awesome dive spots for enthusiasts. Mantigue Islands is actually a tip of a mountain submerged in Bohol sea. With reefs surrounding the islands, I’m pretty sure dive spots abound around Camiguin Islands.
Some general tips while visiting/touring/trekking/biking Camiguin:
- Be friendly and accommodating because most people in camiguin are friendly and accommodating.
- Learn some local bisaya terms, “daghang salamat”, ‘tag pila” or “maayong buntag/udto/gabi-i”.
- Make sure you have a place to eat when travelling around Camiguin.
- Be a bit more “adventurous’ and explore little known spots in Camiguin. By far a bit more rewarding for us.
- Get the cellphone numbers of your tour guide, driver, your hotel and all your travel contacts in the islands. Comes in handy all the time.
- When choosing your rela driver slash tour guide, pick the one you can bargain with and is knowledgeable of the roads and trails to the spots. A day tour with a contracted rela and is driver costs Php1,000-1,200.oo per day.
Lastly, here’s another tourist spot map of Camiguin:
There! Camiguin Tour in so many possible ways. I’d be updating this list and the links to post as I write about Camiguin here in my blog!