The Beautiful Island of Camiguin, Philippines
One of the top 25 tourist attractions of the Philippines, Camiguin Island is a ‘natural paradise’, one of the few in the country and perhaps, in Southeast Asia.
Nowhere in my country can you find a single island with so many natural attractions and sights than Camiguin Island. Located in Northern Mindanao (the third island in the Philippines), Camiguin is also called the ‘Land of Fire’. The name came from the fact that there are seven volcanoes within the island itself, and the volcanic eruptions and movements in the past had caused the topography of the island to be what it is today.
Going to the island is an adventure all by itself. From Manila, one will have to take a plane to Cagayan de Oro City or Butuan City. Then it will be a 2-hour (by car) to 2.5-hour (by bus) ride from the airport (both cities are almost of equal distance from the island) to the port of Balingoan, where a ferry is waiting to take passengers to Camiguin Island. These ferries leave the port of Balingoan every hour from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Some Facts About Camiguin Island
Before I go on to the various attractions of this island, here are just some facts about CamiguinIsland:
- Camiguin Island’s capital is Mambajao.
- It is the second to the smallest province in the Philippines (both in terms of population and land area). Its land area is only 238 square kilometers.
- As mentioned above, it has seven major volcanoes (major because, other than these seven, there are also several volcanic domes). The most most famous is Mt. Hibok-Hibok, which is considered active. The last eruption of this volcano was in 1953.
- Its most popular product is the lanzones fruit and October is the month when we can find this fruit in abundance.
- Major languages in this island include Cebuano and Hiligaynon. The native language spoken in this island is called Kinamiguin. English is also a language spoken widely in the island, so foreign tourists will not have any trouble communicating with the locals during their visit.
Volcanoes / WaterfallsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Hot / Cold SpringClick thumbnail to view full-size
Despite the fact that it is only less than 250 square kilometers, Camiguin Island packs quite a punch in terms of tourist attractions. Here are just some of these tourist attractions for you to appreciate:
No trip to Camiguin Island is complete without seeing up close and personal its famous volcanoes. The most famous of them all is Mt. Hibok-Hibok. This volcano is notorious for its landscape-changing eruptions. A volcano 1,250 meters high above the sea level, this is a professional climber’s dream as far as its challenges and barriers are concerned. But it will be well worth it because once you reach the top, you will see the entire island plus the nearby Bohol Province in their entire beauty.
There is also the Old Volcano, which drops off into the sea. It has a sheer drop off of 80 meters! Another famous volcano is Mt. Ilihan. If you want to climb this volcano, be prepared for a 3-hour uphill climb. Once you reach the top, you will see the green ridge of mountains. You can even set up camp at the pinnacle and rest peacefully after the climb.
There are a few actually. There’s the Katibawasan Falls, which is described as a ‘beautiful, clear stream of water cascading 70 meters into a rock pool surrounded by ground orchids, wild ferns, trees and boulders’ (see source below). Then there’s also the Tuasan Falls. To get to these falls, you will have to take a very scenic hike until you reach the falls. With its deep and clear pool and an unspoiled natural scenery, this site is perfect for a quiet and relaxing picnic. The third is the Binangawan Falls, where there are several miniature and gigantic waterfalls gushing through granite rocks and converging in one main pool.
The Hot / Cold Springs
There are also several springs in Camiguin Island. One of these is the Ardent Hot Spring. This is known as a hot spa and its source is Mt. Hibok-Hibok. Due to its heat, swimmers are advised not to stay for more than 20 minutes! Then there’s also Tangub Hot Spring. This is actually a volcanic hot spring located below a sea belt. It is undeveloped and is formed by a pool of sea stones and corals. Scuba divers are also welcome to scuba dive in this area.
For the cold springs, Camiguin Island has the Macao Cold Spring. With its crystal blue, cold water, this pool is surrounded by trees, some of which are more than a century old already! There is also the Sto. Nino Cold Spring. This pool measures 25 m. x 40 m. and cold spring water actually sprouts from the sandy bottom.
Ruins, Sunken Cemeteries, Etc.
The churches, cemeteries and other edifice ruined by previous volcanic eruptions are now known tourist attractions. There’s the Catarman Church Ruins, which are composed of the adobe walls, the belfry and the convent. The church was destroyed in an 1871 earthquake and volcanic eruption.
Another tourist attraction is the Sunken Cemetery. The cemetery sank during the 1871 eruption. A large white cross marks the spot and this place is ideal for snorkeling and diving.
Speaking of diving, there are a lot of dive spots in this beautiful island (4 to 5 dive spots, if I’m not mistaken). Camiguin Island also boasts of a lot of beaches, plus the White Island, which is a white uninhabited sandbar located just 10 minutes away from the capital.
Last but not the least, don’t forget to go there when the people of Camiguin Island hold their festivals. The most popular is the Lanzones Festival, which is usually held during the 3rd week of October. This is a 2-day festival celebrating the abundant harvest of sweet, delicious lanzones. Then there’s the San Juan Hibok-Hibok held on June 24 of every year. This is in honor of St. John the Baptist. Lastly, there’s the Panaad, which is the annual trek around the island in observance of the Holy Week. During this time, thousands of visitors flock to Camiguin Island to observe the Lenten Season.
That's it. Hope you enjoy this hub. Thank you very much for reading it.
Note from the Author: Except for those specifically mentioned, the pictures in this hubs were taken from Camiguin Islands' various sites as cited below.
Some Sites About Camiguin
- Island Camiguin: Explore the wonderful nature | beautiful place spot | tourist attraction | hotel be
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