The Philippines is an archipelago and consists of thousands of small islands with some of the most interesting land features, in the world. Camiguin is an island located in the Bohol Sea, and although it is a politically a part of the Northern Mindanao Region, it’s actually about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) off its northern coast.
It is the second smallest province in the country, next to Batanes. Its capital, Mambajao, is the largest municipality in the province and offers its visitors several top natural wonders. The white sand beaches and some remnants of the historical occurrences that transpired here are of interest for most tourists.
1. Irresistible white sand beaches
The color white can suggest a sense of purity, innocence, wholeness and perfection. Indeed, the white sand beaches of Mambajao are quite a jolt of freedom for those who have been chained with life’s troubles and hassles. White Island, in Mambajao, is one place you can stop and walk along and with its white sand tickling your toes, the water will never fail to lure you into taking a dip.
White Island is also known as Medano Islet and is located 1.4 km (0.87 miles) and about 10 minutes, off the coast of Mambajao. This area with its powdery white sands is surrounded by seagrass, which gives it a boomerang shape. There are no houses here, no trees and no huts to provide shade. The colorful beach umbrellas, in contrast to the white sand background, is quite a sight and are available to rent if you want to take a break.
Enjoy a photo shoot here, in the changing shape of the island’s borders, during high and low tide. And if you want to stay overnight on the island, head to Agohay Beach, where you can enjoy night swimming and other activities. Cottages are available here, for those who would like to stay for the sunset.
Address: Mambajao, Camiguin Island
Agohay Beach Resort
Address: Agoho, Mambajao, 9100 Camiguin
Price: from PHP 2050 (40.83 USD), extra person can be added for PHP 350 (6.97 USD)
2. A titillating experience in Mantigue Island
The fine white sand beaches of Mambajao are a common characteristic of this region and ideal for swimming. But this place offers you more than just swimming and an amazing view. Mantigue Island is a 4.4 hectare (9.9 acre) area that includes an evergreen forest bordered by white sand. On one side of the island, you can find a coral reef, just offshore, while the other side, is a deep drop off, ideal for diving and snorkeling.
This area is a sanctuary for marine and land animals and can be reached by light water craft in 25–30 minutes from Brgy. San Roque, in the town of Mahinog. In less than an hour, Camiguin will bring you to a sunrise and a sunset, that will stimulate your senses to the max.
Address: Mambajao, Camiguin
3. Hot and cold indulgences near Mt. Hibok-Hibok
Mount Hibok-Hibok is classified as a stratovolcano. It is an active volcano that is actually part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Its elevation reaches 1,332 meters (4,370 ft), with a base diameter of 10 kilometers (6.2 mi). Its peak provides a view of White Island, Bohol to the north, eastern Mindanao to the east, and the island of Siquijor to the west.
The sight of the green covered crater is a sight to feast on. The dome shaped of the mountain has been attributed to the five times the volcano has erupted. Its summit can be reached in three to five hours and the usual journey begins at the Ardent Hot Springs. This hot spring has water that comes out of the forest with a temperature a little over 40 degrees Celcius (104 Fahrenheit). It is then mixed with cold water to make it ideal for a relaxing dip. The water is distributed to four naturally designed pools that fall in stages, down a steep rocky slope.
The hot springs are located in the east of the province and there are cold springs to the west. Santo Nino Cold Spring is a natural cold spring that runs through Mt. Mambajao and is sieved through the minerals from the mountain and hence, pure and clean. A temperature of about 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) cools you down from the hot beams of the sun. It is simply one of Camiguin’s best attractions.
Address: Camiguin, Philippines
4. The confounding view of the Sunken Cemetery
The Sunken Cemetery is a large cross, off the coast, that marks the place of the remains of locals when the cemetery was buried by a series of volcanic explosions from Mt. Vulcan. A visit to the cross will require you to take a trip off the coast from the Benoni Wharf. A ferry will then take you to the large cross where, on the way, you will be treated with a view of the mystic aura of Mt. Hibok-Hibok. A Camiguin experience is not complete without a visit to the place where, below the cross, history gave rise to tourism.
Address: Camiguin, Philippines
Website: Sunken Cemetery
5. Refreshing treat at the Katibawasan and Tuasan Falls
Cool cascading water, tumbling over big boulders is always a beautiful scene, in nature. The 250 feet (76.2 meter) high Katibawasan Falls, located at the base of Mt. Timpoong, barangay Upper Pandan, are approximately 5 km (3.11miles) southeast of the municipality of Mambajao. The water that cascades from the top, falls into a man-made bluish-green rock pool. Huge rocks are complemented by giant ferns and ground orchids contribute to the ravishing greenery, at Katibawasan Falls.
On the other hand, a hidden gem revealed itself, after new roads were built. Tuasan Falls is located in Brgy. Mainit, and is accessible by multicab (this is a light truck, commonly used as transportation in the Philippines), but a motorbike rental is best if you are touring around the island and is only PHP 300-500 (6-10 USD). When you arrive, there’s not much here other than the sight of the waterfalls. But what makes Tuasan Falls interesting is the journey to get there. Take note of the hills, cliffs and the road leading to Tuasan, to appreciate the gem in between the big rocks, from which it dwells.
Address: Camiguin, Philippines
Address: Brgy. Mainit, Catarman
6. Walkway to the Old Volcano and Stations of the Cross
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
The Walkway to the Old Volcano and Stations of the Cross is one experience that travelers will not want to miss. Although the quality of the statues might seem rather plain, the path to the summit is fulfilling. The path begins with the different stations, underneath the green canopy. But the climb seems to parallel the story of Christ’s journey, as shown through the statues, and eventually becomes a steep challenge with the absence of trees and the sweltering heat of the sun. With perseverance and the desire to conquer the mountain peak, you will reach the peak and one of the jaw-dropping view of western Camiguin.
Walkway to the Old Volcano and Stations of the Cross
Address: Catarman, Camiguin, Philippines
7. Ruins and remnants in Camiguin
During the 1870’s, Camiguin faced a tragic event when an earthquake struck and part of the island sunk into the sea. It somehow left fragmented structures of buildings, some built in the 16th century. The old Guiob church ruins are now under the care of the Philippine government and, although at first glance, it looks as though all that remains is a big brick wall, with nothing interesting beyond, they are still a sight to behold.
Even in its simplicity, the once beautifully designed Spanish-era buildings, consisting of the belltower, the convent and the remains of the church, with its cracked, moss-covered stone walls, somehow emits the sense of solemnity, that every church possesses. The church ruins in Camiguin are a breathtaking sight, worthy of a shout out in the deafening silence, under the century-old trees. So take a look and share the experience.
Old Church Ruins
Address: Catarman, Camiguin
8. Giant Clam Sanctuary
There is a place in Guinsilban that works with the breeding and preservation of giant clams. In fact, they even have a graveyard for these species, to remind all visitors of the importance of such organisms. Visitors are educated on the importance of preservation of these creatures and the prevention of their extinction by creating ecological balance. Take part and be part of its cause.
Giant Clam Sanctuary
Address: Cantaan white beach, Guinsiliban, 9102 Camiguin
Making memories is a steep financial challenge for some. But even when travel entails spending a certain amount, the incomparable experiences are worth more than their monetary value. So start creating and accomplishing your traveling dreams, with a jump-start in Mambajao, Camiguin.
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