If you are short on time but still want to see the beauty of the Philippines, there’s one place I would suggest visiting – Camiguin Island. It may only be a small island, but you would be surprised by the number of things you can do here. It’s one of the best provinces in the country where you can actually experience an ultimate adventure.
Camiguin Island is an island province located in the northern coast of Mindanao region. It is dubbed as the ‘Island Born of Fire’ because it was formed after a series of volcanic eruptions. In fact, this island has a total of seven volcanoes, one of which is an active one called Mount Hibok-Hibok.
Top Places to visit in Camiguin Island
You will never run out of things to do in Camiguin. Whether you are in for a hiking or diving adventure, the island has activities in store for you. The entire island can be explored in a day, but to have the best experience, I highly suggest staying for 2 or 3 days. It has historic landmarks and natural wonders that will surely leave you in awe.
If you are on a window seat, your eyes will instantly gravitate towards a white sandbar as soon as you are near the airport. White Island is a white sandbar with the Old Volcan and Mt. Hibok-Hibok in the background. This sandbar can be reached within 10 minutes from the mainland.
Sto. Niño Cold Spring
Sto. Nino Cold Spring is a huge pool of cold spring water located in Catarman. Because of its cold water, a lot of people like to spend some time here to relax. There are picnic huts, stores, and toilets readily available for visitors.
Old Catarman Church Ruins
Perhaps, one of the few remnants of Camiguin’s past is the Old Catarman (Gui-ob) Church Ruins. What used to be a grand church during the Spanish settlement are now just ruins of walls. This destruction was caused by a devastating earthquake in 1871 that wiped out the town of Catarman.
Cross Marker and Sunken Cemetery
Due to the deadly volcanic eruptions in 1871, the community cemetery sunk to the sea. Because of this, the people of Camiguin had installed a huge cross in 1982 to mark the location of the sunken cemetery and held honor to the graves of their forefathers.
Stations of the Cross / Walkway (Old Vulcan)
Mt. Vulcan Daan is one of the mountains you will find in Camiguin Island. In order to reach its peak, you will have to pass a walkway that leads to it. This walkway is also complete with 14 Stations of The Cross. Upon reaching the top, you will be able to see the best aerial view of the entire island.
One of the most popular waterfalls in Camiguin is Tuasan Falls. The waterfall itself is 25 meters high and is also a mini-hydro source of power. Huts, stores, and toilets are readily available in the area for visitors.
Mt. Hibok-Hibok is a stratovolcano and is one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines. It has an elevation of 1332 meters or 4370 feet. Hiking to the summit crater lake of this volcano is a popular activity in Camiguin Island. The trail is relatively easy, but steep and slippery.
Ardent Hot Spring
Camiguin Island is not only blessed with cold springs. If you are up for a relaxing hot spring experience, head over to Ardent Hot Spring. This waters in this hot spring are run down from Hibok-Hibok volcano. If you go on a hike to Mt. Hibok-Hibok, make sure to visit this hot spring right after to give your tired muscles a therapeutic effect.
We were told that the spring water in Soda Spring is not only for swimming but for drinking as well. I didn’t try it though, but I’m sure it’s worth trying. Soda Spring is one of the most popular spring resorts in Camiguin. Just like the other resorts, huts and stores can be found in the area.
The Giant Clam Sanctuary is a sanctuary dedicated to the preservation of Giant Clams. And when I say giant, it’s GIANT. I never thought I’d see one with my own eyes. The biggest one I’ve seen is the size of a table. You can also choose to dive the waters in this sanctuary to get up close and personal.
Katunggan Mangrove Park
This small mangrove forest showcases the black Mangrove or Avicennia germinans. There are huts surrounding the mangrove area if you want to spend an afternoon here.
Just like White Island, Mantigue Island offers you clear, blue waters and fine white sand. It’s one of the best places to visit if you want to see the beauty of life in the waters of Camiguin Island.
Other Places of Interest
There are surely more places to visit in Camiguin Island such as Katibawasan Falls and Binangawan Falls. It’s a beautiful island filled with many interesting spots. Whether or not you are up for an adventure to the mountains or the sea, you will surely find something in Camiguin.
And if you just want to sit and stare at the sky, it’s one of the best places in the Philippines to witness the sunset.