The Most Adventurous Route to the Mystic Camiguin Island
In the middle of the sea
Where is Camiguin Island?
Camiguin is a mystic island located in the heart of Northern Mindanao, Philippines. It has the most alluring natural beauty and the mystic appeal of a far-away island with a very rich culture and history. It is known for its captivating scenery - waterfalls, hot springs, cold springs, white sands, and the sweetest Lanzones in the archipelago.
Camiguin is popular among local and international tourists wanting to feel rural living with much affordability and ease. Speaking with the locals is easier than anywhere else in the country. English is also widely spoken, especially in schools where it is used as the medium of instruction. Spanish and American are its most known influences even in dialects and culture. Only one among its five municipalities retained "Kinamiguin" the oldest tribal dialect in the island since the Pre-Spanish era in 1521.
The economy is primarily fishing and farming, but Camiguin's economy has improved much due to its growing tourism. The tourism industry had successfully bank on its natural wonders as a come-here feature of this mystic island; mystic because of so many enchanted stories told about its origin.
Take a ride!
The Regular Route to Camiguin
This article will tackle the most adventurous route to the island, but the adventure is in the last set of transfer before reaching the island. For you to appreciate what this article offers, you must know the regular routes taken by most tourists who frequent the islands every summer and even on ordinary days, captivated by its beauty and calm.
Here is the detailed list of how to go to Camiguin. Sit back and relax, as this helps you find Camiguin the easy way.
- First option is to take a plane from your country of origin to the NAIA Terminal in Manila Philippines. From there, another plane ride will take you from Manila to Laguindingan airport where a lot of cabs can actually take you to Agora Bus Terminal in Cagayan de Oro City. A bus with a sign “BALINGOAN” will take you to a port where there are ferries ready to accommodate you for a safe, comfortable, and convenient 45-minute ride to Camiguin Island.
- Second Option is through Mactan International Airport where there is another flight that can drop you off the same Laguindingan airport in the province of Misamis Oriental. Therefore, the same cabs can take you to Agora Terminal. A bus with a signboard BALINGOAN waits for you. Balingoan is the place where both regular ferries and fast tracks station for a 45-minute daily passenger transfer to Camiguin Island.
- Third option is to go straight to Macabalan Pier in Cagayan de Oro instead of Agora Terminal. A fast Craft is waiting to transfer passenger from Cagayan de Oro straight to Camiguin in four hours. Not so tiring huh? But if you want more adventure, there’s got to be more which I can explain in detail later.
The Geographical Location
Balingoan Port in Misamis Oriental where a Ferry transfers tourists to the Island of Camiguin daily.
The Island's Capital.
The Portal to Northern Mindanao where a bus in Agora Terminal brings you to Balingoan port.
Laguindigan International Airport may or may not accommodate a plane directly from your city of origin, but domestic flights lands here from NAIA.
Second option - International airport where you can catch a domestic flight to Northern Mindanao via Laguindingan Airport.
Skip the Ferry and Ride the Waves
This is the most exciting part of your trip. Make the whole journey the most adventurous one by taking the not-so-normal routes. People take this route mostly in summer. In fact, there are even more adventurous than these routes, but from my viewpoint, nothing beats this, especially when you plan the trip during the wet season - June to December. It is not everyday these months that you'll be riding the waves, but most of the time, it is going to be a tough journey, but that's a part of the adventure. You'll never know what to expect on these days. So let's get it going!
- Take a speed boat ride. In Balingoan, there is a place called Mantangali drive where you can rent a speed boat for a speedy ride to the island. Some areas are shark infested, although, there are also amazing dolphin areas that feed your senses.
- Take a Pump boat ride. You have two choices when we mention Pump boats. One is a big pump boat looking like a house drifting from Mantangali Drive to Camiguin. This can take a whole family of 8 or ten, while the other one is a small pumpboat accommodating 3 passengers excluding the driver. The latter is more adventurous than the first. Prepare your towel, brimmed hat, jackets, rain coats, sunscreen (if you can't stand being wet for the rest of the trip.
- Take a Manual boat ride. Oh Lala! Better be ready with your muscles and paddles! This is the most challenging of the three bullet-ed choices. I must admit, I can't and I haven't tried this. Although, for some adventurous soul, this will send their adrenaline pumping. Now, I don't think a local can drive with you in a meager budget. For a big cash, someone might take you there. The big cash is just about right, considering that you are his responsibility. This also means you have to sign a waiver with the locals that they won't be held responsible, whatever happens during the trip. I don't mean to scare you, but the distance is 45 minutes by ferry, which means you will be paddling all the way to the island for several hours. (that means, this is not for a typical tourist, but for an adventure-thirsty individual who always wanted death defying activities).
- Take a Life Buoy ride. Oh my! This is definitely the most out-of-this world way to go to Camiguin. By using rubber air-filled donut-like life saver, you will be creating a world record as the first to do that in Balingoan-Camiguin route (actually, I just thought about this as a possibility while I was writing. LOL!). This is an attention seeking, fun-filled and most adventurous way, using rubber donuts and sailing alone towards the island. Looking from the insiders point of view, (the people of Camiguin) , this is an out of this world challenge, but definitely possible.
- Take a surfboard and a flipper and start riding the waves not the surfer's way. The surf board will just be there to lift and maintain your buoyancy, something you can hold on to, whenever you'd be tired from flipping. Technically, you'll just swim all the way to Camiguin. Nobody has tried this yet, but talking about the most adventurous route to Camiguin, this is by far one of the riskiest. Funny that nobody has ever thought about this, but if I was a surfer, I could have tried this a long time ago.
Other Things To do
When you get there by any means of transportation, there are a lot of things you can do.
- You can tour around the island - on foot, by a motorcycle for hire, or by a jeepney for hire, starting off at this coastline back to this same coastline. At 64 Kilometers, 3 days on foot and regular pace is possible. One day tour if you're taking any means of transportation.
- Visit places - natural and manmade. Topping the list is Ardent Hot Spring, Sto Nino Cold Spring, The Old Church Ruin, The Resurrection Site with 14 Stations of the Cross going up above a hill, a Cross in the Middle of a Sunken Cemetery, mantigue island, and the white island.
- You can ask a local to show you how to fish, or literary ask them to take you fishing with them. The locals in this very coastline live on fishing as the main source of living.
- You can do "bisita de Iglesia" a church to church visit when you come to the island on a Good Friday. About millions of people visit the place during lent for "Panaad" a Filipino-Bisaya way of saying "VOw". It is a religious vow offering physical sacrifices of walking around the island for a certain request to be granted by God.
- You can go directly to the White island and spend the rest of your day there.