Thursday, November 16, 2017

#FeelCamiguin: 9 Things to Do in the Island Born of Fire

The island province of Camiguin may be the second smallest province in the country in terms of land area and population, yet it offers plenty of amazing attractions which cater to the varied preferences of tourists and travelers. It boasts of white sand beaches, waterfalls, dive sites, mountains, forests, volcanoes, heritage structures, hot and cold springs and the country's sweetest variety of lanzones.

My family recently went for a 3-day vacation in Camiguin. Scroll below to check our amazing experience in the Island Born of Fire....

1. Mantigue Island

From the Port of Benoni, our hired multicab took us to the nearby Barangay San Roque where the boat station to Mantigue Island is located. Boat rental is P550 with a maximum capacity of 6 persons. The boat ride took about 20 minutes.

Mantigue Island (also known as Magsaysay Island) is blessed by powdery white sands, crystal clear waters, mini-forest and a marine sanctuary. Even on its shallow parts, you can snorkel and see a variety of fishes. My 9-year old daughter was delighted upon seeing Nemo (clownfish) on its natural habitat.

2. Sto. Niño Cold Spring

Located in the town of Sagay, Sto. Niño Cold Spring Resort has natural spring water from Mt. Mambajao flowing down to a wide man-made pool with depth of 4 to 8 feet. There is also a smaller pool intended for children. The water here is really ice cold and perfect for washing off the saltiness of seawater from Mantigue Island. We also enjoyed the ticklish sensation of their fish spa, wherein small fishes nibbled on the dead skin of our feet. Lunch can be ordered at the restaurants outside the resort but prices are a bit expensive. Several souvenir items are being sold near the entrance.  (Entrance Fee: P30.00-adult; P15.00-children)

3. Tuasan Falls

What used to be a hidden gem accessible only through trail hiking is now accessible to the public via the newly-constructed concrete road. Situated in Barangay Mainit, Catarman, Tuasan Falls impressed me with its towering height, thunderous drop and ice cold water. It is surrounded with boulders and green vegetation and its basin is left on its natural state wherein one can take a relaxing dip.
(Entrance Fee: P30.00-adult; P15.00-children)

4. Bura Soda Swimming Pool

Our swimming continued in Bura Soda Swimming Pool. It consists of two wide pools filled with clear waters from volcanic springs. Not as cold as Sto. Niño Cold Spring but still refreshing to swim into.
(Location: Bura, Catarman; Entrance Fee: P30.00-adult; P15.00-children)

5.  The Old Church Ruins

The ruins of the Spanish-era church which was destroyed when Mt. Vulcan erupted on May 13, 1871. The thick walls stood like an ancient fortress covered in moss and surrounded by towering trees. Also within the complex are the ruins of convent and bell tower. Don't forget to check out the huge century-old tree near the convent.
(Location: Bonbon, Catarman; Entrance Fee: Donation)

6. Sunken Cemetery

A huge cross marks the site of a public cemetery which sank during the Mt. Vulcan eruption in 1871. An excellent diving and snorkeling spot due to its vibrant marine life, it is also one of the island's best spots to watch the sun setting on the horinzon.
(Location: Bonbon, Catarman; Entrance Fee: None)

7. Ardent Hot Spring

Consists of man-made pools fed with hot spring water as it is situated at the foot of Mt. Hibok-Hibok. It is here where visitors usually wind up their tour at the end of the day, to relax their bodies by soaking in the hot, sulfuric water. During our visit, however, I observed that water in the big pools are not hot anymore and in the lower level pools, it is only a bit lukewarm.
(Location: Esperanza Tagdo, Mambajao; Entrance Fee: P30.00-adult; P15.00-children)

8. White Island

The highlight of every Camiguin tour will always be a visit to the White Island. An entirely bare sandbar with powdery white sands, sparkling clear emerald waters and a great view of Mount Hibok-Hibok. As it has no vegetation and cottages, the best time to visit White Island is early morning, before the sun goes full blast.
(Location: Mambajao; Boat Rate: P450.00 good for 6 persons)

9. Lanzones Festival

We were fortunate to have visited Camiguin on a Lanzones Festival weekend. Camiguin's lanzones has been hailed as the country's sweetest and every third week of October, a grand festival is held to showcase their most famous produce. Street dancing, float parade, agri-tourism trade fare, concerts and fireworks are just some of the activities which liven up the festivity.

Due to time constraints, we were not able to climb up the Walkway to Old Volcano and visit the Katibawasan Falls.

My family thoroughly enjoyed our Camiguin vacation. The small island sure packs a lot of punches in terms of must-visit tourist attractions. With proper time management, you could actually visit most of these attractions within one day. But I recommend spending two to three days and take time to thoroughly enjoy each place.

How to Get There:

Jump off to Camiguin is at Balingoan, Misamis Oriental. From Agora Bus Terminal in Cagayan de Oro City, we rode the Butuan-bound airconditioned bus. Fare up to Balingoan is P165.00 and travel time is 2-3 hours. Boat tickets are sold in ticket booths situated at Balingoan Bus Terminal. Boat fare is P170.00 and travel time from Balingoan Port to Benoni, Camiguin is about one hour.

Camiguin Multicab Tour:

We hired a multicab to tour us around the island for one day. Rate is P1,700 good for 8 hours, including driver and fuel. The multicab could fit 10 or more persons. For Camiguin Multicab Tour booking, you may contact Franklyn @ 09068590385.


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