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“Peaceful Island Beauty”
Review of Camiguin Island

Camiguin Island
Ranked #2 of 28 things to do in Camiguin
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: The island-province of Camiguin is a pear-shaped volcanic island in the northern tip of Mindanao. It is approximately 90 kilometers north of the City of Cagayan de Oro. It is bounded to the north by Bohol Sea, to the west by Macajalar Bay, to the southeast by Gingoog Bay and to the east by Butuan Bay.
Washington, DC
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Peaceful Island Beauty”
Reviewed 2 October 2013

I'm an American who grew up on the East Coast of the United States (Washington, DC actually), which means I'm used to a few months miserable humidity in the summer and two or three months of overcast dampness in the winter. My wife, however, is from Cagayan De Oro. Together we have visited Camiguin several times and stayed at various hotels, all of which were very good. Camiguin is truly a magical place, very much like the mysterious Bali-Hai of "South Pacific" fame. Having grown up where I did, I always wanted to visit a place like Bali-Hai, where the waters were warm, the sun shined all day and one was caressed by the gentle warmth of the ocean's breeze. Well, that's Camiguin in a nutshell: lush tropical greenery, aqua-colored shoals and sand so brilliantly white your sunglasses need sunglasses! I absolutely love Camiguin and we hope some day to buy a little villa there where we will spend the remainder of our years in tropical tranquility and beauty.

Visited November 2012
6 Thank mike2travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Manila, Philippines
Level 6 Contributor
392 reviews
226 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 549 helpful votes
“Naturally Beautiful, Lovely People, Good Governance = Camiguin”
Reviewed 26 September 2013

Camiguin is a complete tourism package. No other tourist destination in the country can equal Camiguin’s diverse natural attractions. It is a small island that can be explored in a day on a well paved circumferential high way from Benoni port southeast of the province going northward towards the capital Mambajao, continuously westward passing the municipalities of Catarman and Sagay all the way to the southernmost town of Guinsiliban then back to Mahinog. The beauty and charm of Camiguin lies in its diminutive size which was made bigger by the number of tourist attractions available. In great contrast with Palawan where it could take 5-6 hours from Puerto Princesa to El Nido by van or more than an hour’s drive from the city to the underground river, in Camiguin it would only take minutes from one destination to another making it possible to see many attractions as possible in a day’s tour. While one can drive around the island in less than a day, a three-day stay in Camiguin would make one still feel wanting; looking to see more what this beautiful island can offer. There are about twenty (20) tourist attractions around Camiguin starting with the Ostrich Farm near Benoni, the Macao Cold Spring in Mahinog-Mambajao boundary which is only 0.5 KM from the main road, Katibawasan Falls in Mambajao which is 4.5 KM from the high way, Phivocs Viewing deck, Ardent Hibok-Hibok Hot Spring is only 3 Km inward from the high-way. Walkway to the Old Volcano, Sunken Cemetery, and Old Church Ruins are just few KM apart along the boundary of Mambajao and Catarman. Next are Soda Water Swimming Pool and Sto Nino Cold Spring. Tuasan Falls which is accessible by trekking is about 6 KM from the main road. Holy Rosary Church is in the Municipality of Sagay. Binangawan Falls and Pamunglo Springs are both accessible by trekking. Kebila Clam Sanctuary can be found in Guinsiliban together with the Moro-Moro Watch Tower while Taguines Lagoon is just some distance away from Benoni Port. White Island and Mantigue Island are both accessible by boats - the former near Yumbing in Mambajao (450 pesos for 6 pax 2-way in a boat) the latter near Mahinog (550 pesos for 6 pax 2-way in a boat) – are two must see attractions in Camiguin. White Island is a strip of pure fine white sand (sand bar) forming an islet about 20 minutes by boat from the shoreline. It has no vegetation or any form of shelter against the heat of the sun. The best time to go there is very early in the morning before sun rises or late in the afternoon when the sun is about to set. Mantigue Island is best for picnic, swimming, boating and snorkelling. It offers boat rentals, cottages and tables. Sometimes, fresh fish catch of the day can be ordered grilled or fried. Worth exploring also is its small forest. For the more adventurous who wanted to see more of Camiguin, climbing up to see the Majestic Volcanoes is an experience of a lifetime.
Aside from beautiful sceneries and natural attractions of Camiguin, the island prides itself of its people who are generally friendly and hospitable. One feels safe and welcome even in home stay with locals or in more expensive hotels and resorts. Camiguinons who are used to influx of tourists year in and out and whose income depends largely on tourism industry learned to entertain and value visitors, extend due courtesy and show affection to every guests, local or otherwise. A far cry from touts of Tagaytay and Talisay in Batangas where boat ride to Taal pegs as much as 1600 pesos or more (which is more expensive compared with a whole-day island hopping off Alaminos’ Hundred Islands) and a short-course horse-back ride costs 950 pesos per person, people of Camiguin charges only 550 pesos for a 2-way boat ride to Mantigue Island and a 500-peso motorcycle rentals for 24 hour. A motorcycle carries as much as three persons. Tourists riding tricycles, multicabs, or vans in and out of towns are charged the same way locals are being charged. Tricycle ride from Yumbing six (6) KM to town proper of Mambajao is charged 7 pesos per person in Camiguin compared with 100 peso tricycle ride covering almost identical distance from White Beach to town proper of Puerto Galera. Much worst was a 9 Km motorcycle (habal-habal) ride in Lake Balinsasayao Negros Oriental where opportunist drivers charge for 300 pesos per person. Young Coconut fruits (Buko) costs 100 pesos in Taal; the same is worth 20 pesos in Camiguin. ‘Helping Hands’ offering foot bridges when you get off a boat costs 50 pesos in Taal; it is free in Camiguin. People of Camiguin do make this island paradise a lot more different and uniquely enjoyable.
More importantly, the government took aggressive role in tourism development, promotion of the province and protection of its guests. Road networks are well-paved leading to almost every tourist attractions making every inch of Camiguin accessible to tourists. Warning signs, railings, safety markers, distances are well placed along the roads. Signage and directions are adequately posted in almost every turns leading even a newcomer exactly to where he is going. There’s no way you get lost in Camiguin. The government directly manages almost every tourist attraction with control and regulations obviously in-placed. Boat rides to White Island and Mantigue Island are well managed unlike in Alaminos’ Hundred islands, Pagsanjan and Taal wherein touts abound and dominate. Greedy opportunists seem to dictate the order of tourism business in other places while the local government looks helpless. In Camiguin, it is exactly the opposite. There’s more real fun here than anywhere else in the Philippines.

Visited September 2013
11 Thank TravelBug1469
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dumaguete City, Dumaguete, Philippines
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“All about Camiguin Island - Amazing!”
Reviewed 15 September 2013

Getting there: we took a flight from Cebu to Cagayan de Oro. From Cagayan proper, ride a vhire van in Agora market fare is less tha 200php per person. It will take almost two hours to be in balingoan port. from the port you will need to ride a ferry going to benoni port of Camiguin, fare is 100+ pesos (sorry forgot the exact amount), it will take an hour of travel. In Camiguin, there are several spots to visits: ardent hot spring, sto. nino cold spring, white island, sunken cemetery marker, katibawasan falls, church ruins etc. we had a whole day tour, so it is best to travel as early as 3am from Cagayan if you will not spend overnight in the island. we were able to visit all the tourist spot in the island, I suggest you have a tour package as low as 800+ pesos per person, the package is worth since it is already all in - shuttle service, entrance fees and tour guide, it was teddy's tour and he can also be your instant photographer in need :-)

Visited August 2013
5 Thank Mai_0605
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manila, Philippines
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 September 2013

After all the reading and asking to other travelers here at tripadvisor, finally I was able to experience it. Aug 31 fresh from Hospital Duty, I headed to the airport for my 12noon flight to CDO, which was 20min earlier as we boarded and left 1140am ( Hooray for Zest Air ). Upon arrival at CDO Laguindingan Airport, was surprised how far it is. This can be a big issue to budget travelers as the taxi charges P700 to bring you to the City. My friend picked me up, pass by Divine Mercy Monument (no shorts and sleeveless please) as we reach CDO we passed by SLERS for their Chicharon and Ham and Percimon Bakeshop for their famous Bake Siopao (pre-order for Sept 2). Drive around to see CDO and finally Dinner of Seafoods and Dessert at Candy’s Centrio Mall. Sleep at 10pm because tomorrow will be the highlight of this trip. Camiguin Island here I come. Sept 1 at 3am I am up and took a Bus at Agora Bus terminal ( Terminal Fee P2.00 Take an AC Bus to Butuan P143 and alight at Balingoan Bus Station ( contrary to most of the peoples review it is only 2hrs travel and not 3HR so better stay awake ) No need to take a trike, walk towards the main hiway /road and you will see Manok ni Sr Pedro to your Right. few more steps and to your Left is the Pier . Pay P170 for the roro P2 for the environment fee and P2.25 for terminal fee. 1HR after travel and there Benoni Pier Camiguin. The most interesting part. Avoid making arrangements from tour guides charging 2500 and 2700. There’s a lot of them on Google and other travel reviews. Upon arrivial locals will welcome you with an honest rate of P1700 for a full day of Tour ( multicab ) my Bisaya friend even told me that they can do as low as 800 if you’re a Bisaya too. But anyway I still tried to haggle and I got mine for P1500 with Free Transfer to my Hotel Roundtrip. ( another warning hotels will charge you P 500 for the transfer were in fact this can be a freebie since your hired tour guide / multicab will really bring you to your hotel 1st, they will not tour you around with your valuables and luggage. ( I saw all the place and it was all Great – Personal Favorite is Sto Nino Cold spring which is ice cold even at 2PM and don’t forget to order coconut P20 while you soak and cool down in that Pool. Very nice – I will have separate review for other places here ). Food at the Restos is pricey at P300 for a pasta and the streetside food like BBQ on stick is not nice. I forgot the name of the Buffet Lunch / Dinner but for P125 it’s a Good Deal with really Good dishes ( all tour guide knows this so just tell them to bring you here – this is the most worth it meal I had in this island and good quality ) Nighttime I am back to my Hotel and enjoyed my room by the beach, with my lechon manok and beer. Next day sept 2 at 6am, a small boat P530 picked me up infront of my beach house room and I enjoyed white island for an Hour, really amazing island, nice crystal water, after this head back to my hotel prep and head to the pier. Personally after computing the Time weve been running around the island The P1500 rate is very fair. I am sure the gasoline eat up half of the P1500 so when I left next day, I even gave a tip of P300 on top of the P1500 that was agreed upon. Left Benoni at the 815am roro back to CDO. took the Bus to CDO Agora Bus Terminal, Friend picked me up and pass by Persimon to take my Baked Siopao and head to Laguindingan airport. Bye Bye CDO. very quick but nice Vacation over the weekend.

Visited August 2013
7 Thank BrawnJoeBlack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manila, Philippines
Level 5 Contributor
39 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 August 2013

Youll gonna love this Island I Swear, it was a perfect place for nature tripping , quiet place . take a Manila and to Cagayan de Oro, then a ferry to Camiguin , must try the Katibawasn Falls, Soda pool, Cold Spring, Beaches and the Famous Sunken Cemetery , Stay at the Paguia's Cottage and rent a multi cab for tour ,

Visited December 2012
2 Thank lopezalvin1387
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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