This brief guide to Camiguin Island will let you know how to get there, what to do, eat, and drink, where to stay, and must-see spots.
Though geographically small and void of high-rise buildings and large shopping malls, Camiguin Island has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Mindanao. It has several natural attractions that include springs, waterfalls, a sunken cemetery, protected areas, smaller islands with sandy beaches, and of course volcanoes which are abundant in the island. It is therefore fitting that Camiguin is dubbed Island Born of Fire as volcanic eruptions as well as earthquakes centuries ago formed the unique landscape of Camiguin. Additionally, it also has man-made attractions in the form of centuries-old churches, ancestral homes, and other heritage structures.
This charming and peaceful little island, the second smallest island in the Philippines, is a wonder to behold and continues to fascinate local and foreign tourists alike.
Best Time to Visit
It’s best to visit the Philippines during the dry season. Dry season in the Philippines spans from November through April. These are the summer months in this country.
Be aware that temperatures and humidity levels are particularly high in April and May.
The best time to be a beach bum and explore the islands is from March to May.
TIP: This guide recommends that booking for Camiguin Island summer trips should be done as early as possible, at least a month before your travel dates, since resorts get fully booked early.
The period from June to October is the rainy (wet) season and is best avoided due to the high possibility of typhoons. The typhoons can not only be destructive, but most tours and activities are cancelled under such circumstances. Transportation via plane and boat is also seriously impacted as well. This happens frequently so beware!
This guide recommends traveling to Camiguin Island in April-May or in November-December, just before and just after the rainy season. This will likely bring fewer crowds, yet pleasant weather, and is also a great time to score a travel deal.
Plug commonly used is Type A but Types B and C are used as well. Bring A to B adapter(s).
There are many ways to get here depending on your starting point. This guide recommends using the following online tools to identify all the available options and cost for each while on Camiguin Island: Rome2Rio and PHBUS. The following are the major ports of entry for this destination.
The following are the modes of transportation available on Camiguin Island …
SEE & DO
The following is your guide to places to see and activities to enjoy while on Camiguin Island.
1 | Ardent Hibok-Hibok Hot Spring
Located at the foot of Mount Hibok-Hibok, Ardent Hot Spring is one of the most popular volcanic springs in Camiguin. It has several pools filled with sulfuric waters heated by Mount Hibok-Hibok. With the water temperature ranging from 33°C to 40°C, taking a dip in one of the pools is surely a good way to end a tiring day exploring the island.
2 | Katibawasan Falls
Katibawasan is the tallest and most popular waterfall in the island. It stands 76 meters and has a small pool at the base where you can take a refreshing dip.
3 | Mount Hibok-Hibok
This small island comprising five towns has seven volcanoes, and one of the most famous is Mount Hibok-Hibok. It is one of the active volcanoes in the country but since it hasn’t erupted and shows no signs of activity since the 1950s, it has become a popular hiking destination for enthusiasts. Reaching the peak can take three to four hours but the spectacular views are definitely worth it.
4 | Bura Natural Soda Water Park
The park surrounded by lush greenery has a swimming pool with natural streaming water that used to have a fizzy taste like soda. It is where the resort got its name from. Over time the taste of the water changed to freshwater but it remains a popular destination to have a refreshing dip.
5 | Sto. Niño Cold Spring
Apart from hot springs, there’s a natural cold spring on the island too. The cool water filling the large pool and smaller pools for children flows down from Mount Mambajao. The temperature of the water is around 20°C, perfect for a refreshing dip especially during hot summer days.
6 | Sunken Cemetery
Camiguin’s Sunken Cemetery is an iconic landmark of a big white cross in the water. The cross commemorates the cemetery driven underwater when Mount Vulcan erupted in the 1870s. Tourists can take a short boat trip to the cross and those who are more adventurous can explore the water and see old tombstones encrusted by corals.
7 | Tangub Hot Spring
Tangub Hot Spring is located on the shore close to the Sunken Cemetery but you won’t even know that it’s there since it is in the sea and the area surrounding it is undeveloped. The hot spring is partly visible only during low tide or when scuba diving or snorkeling.
8 | White Island
While it’s called White Island, this beautiful destination off the coast of Camiguin Island is actually not an island but a white sandbar in the middle of pristine waters. You can take a short boat trip to the spot and lounge on the sand or swim in the shallow part of the water. There are no trees, sheds, or any kind of structure to take shelter from so best to go in the morning or rent a beach umbrella from locals selling snacks in the area.
9 | Ancestral Houses and Churches
If you are charmed by centuries-old houses and churches, then you’re in for a treat in Camiguin. There’s Santo Rosario Church in 1882 where it’s facade is considered an Important Cultural Property of the Philippines. Of course let’s not forget the old Bonbon Church of Catarman, also called Gui-ob Church. Like the Sunken Cemetery, the church was destroyed during a volcanic eruption in the 1870s. What remains of the old church is the upper part of the structure which is now covered with moss and grass.
10 | Protected Areas
The Philippines is blessed with natural resources which ought to be protected by the government and concerned groups to prevent deterioration. Camiguin has their own share of those natural resources. The Timpoong and Hibok-Hibok Natural Monument is the island’s only remaining forest and houses some endemic and endangered flora and fauna. The Giant Clam Sanctuary is inhabited by various species of giant clams and corals while Mantigue Island Nature Park is a sanctuary for sea turtles, corals, and several other marine life.
NOTE: The Lanzones Festival occurs annually in Camiguin Island the 3rd week of October.
EAT & DRINK
The following is your guide to the flavorful food to enjoy and restaurants to try while on Camiguin Island.
1 | Casa Roca Inn Restaurant
Aside from being a full service inn, Casa Roca Inn has a restaurant that offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks. They take pride in serving the freshest meals and ever-changing specials based on the available resources. The restaurant has a serene and relaxing ambience overlooking the sea. It’s a great spot to watch the sunset while enjoying wine, cocktail, or ice cold beer.
2 | Checkpoint Food Palace
Checkpoint offers various local dishes including silog meals and grilled meats which even foreign tourists find delicious. The generous serving, reasonable prices, and great service make this restaurant one of the most loved restaurants in Camiguin. Try their seafood platter, vegetable tempura, and fruit shakes.
3 | Guerrera Restaurant
Serving a mixed of Asian cuisines, Guerrera Restaurant takes the farm-to-table concept seriously by using fresh ingredients harvested from their own backyard. The restaurant stands in the middle of the rice field and offers scenic views of both Mount Hibok-Hibok and the sea. Try their Tom kha Gai, Bahn mi, Chicken Rendang, and calamansi tart.
4 | Hayahay Cafe
Hayahay Cafe has a selection of healthy dishes with vegan and vegetarian options. It offers smoothie bowls, shakes, vegetable meals, and hot teas. With all the delicious foods, good service, and cozy ambience, this little cafe is truly a gem on the island.
5 | J&A Fishpen
Want to fish for your own meal? J&A Fishpen is the place to be! The restaurant is located on the edge of a lagoon where you can fish from the restaurant’s terrace and have the restaurant cook what you caught. Eating here means eating seafood fresh from the water.
6 | Kurma Kitchen
The restaurant at Eco Beach Lodge, Kurma promotes healthy living by offering healthy dishes made from fresh local ingredients. With its friendly ambience and tasty dishes, customers keep coming back to Kurma to enjoy what it offers. While coconut burger is the most popular, other dishes are equally worth trying.
7 | La Dolce Vita
Based on the restaurant’s name, you never have to guess what it offers. This restaurant in front of Camiguin Airport has a selection of Italian antipasti, homemade pasta, pizza, and some other European dishes. It’s best known for its brick oven pizza and their desserts, particularly tiramisu, are great too.
8 | Peninsular Kape Art
This restaurant with a sea view serves Spanish cuisine and other European dishes. This restaurant has an outdoor garden setting that makes it more cozy and relaxing for anyone who prefers less crowd and noise. Must-tries are paella, tapa, and tortilla de patatas.
9 | The Beehive Driftwood Cafe
This seaside restaurant with a rustic setup is a great destination for coffee, ice cream, and sunset. The structure is mostly made of wood with wooden furniture and native decors. Try their dragon fruit ice cream and Macadamia nut coffee.
KNOWN FOR: Pastel, a soft bun filled with sweet custard (yema).
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WHERE TO STAY
There are many different types of accommodations available in this destination ranging from hostels to luxurious resorts. The following is your guide to our top choices for each range on Camiguin Island.
1 | Marianita’s Cottages (Budget)
2 | Camiguin Island Golden Sunset Beach (Mid-Range)
3 | Nouveau Resort (Luxury | Resort)
This guide recommends using the following sites to conduct research online of where to stay on Camiguin Island or for a specific destination:
Book your room with these trusted online booking sites. Booking online in the Philippines almost always guarantees the best price and a room when you arrive. We use these sites frequently to get the best prices and enjoy convenient bookings. Click each of the buttons below to find the best place for you at the lowest rates:
TIP: Camiguin Island Golden Sunset Beach is the best property to experience this destination.
Use the chart below to get an idea of how much to budget daily. Actual amounts will depend on YOUR travel style. Keep in mind these are daily averages … some days you’ll spend more, some days you’ll spend less. Prices are in USD.
A bed in a hostel dorm costs from 350 PHP ($7 USD), but smaller dorms can cost from 500 PHP ($10 USD). For a private double, prices start around 700 PHP ($14 USD).
Most budget hotels begin at 700 PHP ($14 USD) per night for a double room and usually include free wifi and breakfast. For a three-star hotel, prices begin around 1,400 PHP ($28 USD) per night. AirBnB is also widespread throughout the country, with private rooms starting from as little as 500 PHP ($10 USD) per night. For entire apartments, expect to pay at least 1,400 PHP ($28 USD) per night.
Resorts and luxury accommodations vary greatly from 1,400 PHP ($28 USD) to 5,000+ PHP ($100+ USD). However, there are some really nice resorts and luxury accommodations which are surprisingly affordable.
Local food is extremely cheap, with street food costing under 50 PHP ($1USD). For an inexpensive meal at a local restaurant, prices start around 100 PHP ($2 USD). For a meal at a mid-range restaurant with drinks and table service, expect to pay from 200 PHP ($4 USD). Knowing that their target customers are primarily tourists, Western food venues can be pricey compared to Filipino food. Also, some of the ingredients need to be imported, which contributes to the higher cost. Western food (burgers, pizza, pasta, etc.) is much more expensive but is still relatively affordable at around 200 PHP ($4 USD) for a meal and drink.
Fast food like McDonalds will cost around 200 PHP ($4 USD). A beer at the bar will cost around 50-100 PHP ($1–2 USD).
A week’s worth of groceries will cost between 300-600 PHP ($6-12 USD) per person. However, food in this country is so inexpensive, and kitchens & refrigerators are hard to come by, I don’t recommend cooking your meals here since there is plenty of delicious street food to eat at very cheap prices. You won’t make it as good as they do and the food is too delicious to miss!
There are many modes of transportation available in the Philippines and each varies greatly.
Public Transportation is cheap. Bus services on the islands are inexpensive. Local buses (called jeepneys) are the most common type of transportation in towns and cities. The fare is usually between 7-25 PHP ($.20–.50 USD).
On islands without a bus system, a taxi or tricycle is the only form of transport with fares starting at 50-500 PHP ($1-$10) USD for short trips.
Taxis are everywhere, and they’re very cheap. Most fares shouldn’t cost you more than 500 PHP ($10 USD) around town.
To get between islands, you’ll need to take a boat or to fly. There are ferries that connect the island together since they aren’t too far apart but, generally speaking, flights are the most realistic option.
Flights between islands usually cost about 2,000-3500 PHP ($40-70 USD). However, this isn’t the cheapest way to travel. It’s only recommended if you have limited time.
Attractions & Activities
Most attractions and activities in the Philippines are pretty cheap. Most attractions throughout the area are FREE to enter, though some of the more well known and popular ones cost 5-100 PHP ($.10-$2 USD) to enter.
Depending on the activity, most day tours only cost around 1,000-1,500 PHP ($20-30 USD), oftentimes less. You have more bargaining power if you go with a group. If you are expecting to do some climbing, remember to pack some warm layers. It gets cold at the top!
Other activities such as Island Hopping, scuba diving, helmet diving, swimming with whale sharks, jungle trekking, canyoning, ATVs, jet skis, wakeboarding, cruises, parasailing, horseback riding, cultural experiences, and tours can cost as much as 1,250-5,000+ PHP ($25-100+ USD).
The Philippines is one of the least expensive places to learn how to scuba dive. Learning to scuba dive usually costs about 15,000-20,000 PHP ($300-400 USD), but often includes FREE accommodation for the duration of the course, which lasts three or four days.
Always book your tours and activities when you arrive. Stick to travel agents who are selling on the ground. If a travel agent won’t negotiate with you, move on to the next until you find one that will. Booking tours online is almost always more expensive.
Typical Costs on Camguin Island in 2023:
- Hostel Dorm Bed: 250-350 PHP ($5–7 USD) night
- Budget Hotel: 700 PHP ($14 USD) night
- Mid-Range Hotel: 1500 PHP ($31 USD) night
- Street Food: 50-150 PHP ($1–3 USD) meal
- Restaurant Meals: 200-300 PHP ($4–6 USD) meal
- Local Beer: 50-100 PHP ($1–2 USD) bottle
- 1.5L Bottle of Water: 38 PHP ($.75 USD) bottle
- Jeepney Ride: 7-25 PHP ($.20–.50 USD) ride
- Tricycle Ride: 20-100 PHP ($.5-2 USD) ride
- Public Ferry Ride: 200-300 PHP ($4–6 USD) ride
- Domestic Flight: 2,000-3,500 PHP ($40–70 USD) flight
- Island-Hopping: 1,000-1,500 PHP ($20-30 USD) trip
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The following is some of our best advice on traveling to Camiguin Island. Learn what you need to know BEFORE you go!
Tips & Hacks
he following are our Top 10 Tips when visiting this destination in the Philippines:
- Be aware that a tourist VISA is only 30 days. You can extend it upon arrival, or within the first 30 days, for an additional 30 days for a fee of approximately 3,000 pesos.
- Don’t buy into the fear factor. The Philippines has an unjustified reputation of being a dangerous place. It’s true there are security guards everywhere, but that is to deter theft.
- Manila is NOT the Philippines. Get outside of the cities to see the real Philippines.
- Don’t over plan. Boats, buses, and even airplane schedules are notoriously unreliable. Be flexible.
- Check the weather. The weather varies greatly throughout the Philippines daily.
- Typhoons can have a huge impact on your plans. Account for this when planning your trip.
- It’s not cool to raise your voice or show outward frustration in public.
- Be polite at all times. Realize that your country’s sense of humor may be different from Filipino humor and take this into account when interacting with Filipinos and while in public places.
- Things move at a slower pace. Accept it … don’t get frustrated … but do account for it.
- Don’t drink the tap water… but stay hydrated! Save money by buying large bottles (6-10 liters) of water and using it to fill your water bottle or hydration bladder in your backpack.
For a complete list of our travel tips & hacks, check out the following guide and be sure to download a FREE copy for yourself.
The Philippines has its own currency called the Philippine Peso. Banks, ATMs, and money-changers can be found on the island. If you are exploring the neighboring islands or provinces, make sure to bring enough cash that will last until the next time you get to an ATM or bank since most tours, transportation, and budget accommodations only accept cash.
Health & Safety
While overall the Philippines is a safe country to visit, as is Camiguin Island, you need to use common sense just as you would in any country, especially when traveling, and in a city, town, or area you are unfamiliar with.
Consult your hotel or resort front desk as they are more likely to give you reliable information than a random stranger on the street. Be careful when approaching strangers and selective about who you approach. Always pay attention to your gut feeling and follow it.
There are many things to consider when traveling in order to stay safe … things that we may not be accustomed to during our normal everyday lives. The following are articles about tips on how to stay safe while traveling in the Philippines:
- 6 Common Accidents to Avoid
- How to Beat the Heat in the Philippines
- Taxi Safety Tips: Dos and Don’ts
- Motorbike Safety Tips
- Beach & Ocean Safety Tips
- Sun Safety Tips
Staying fit & healthy can be challenging when traveling in the Philippines.
The tropical Philippines climate requires you to prepare for illnesses that you may not normally be accustomed to.
The following are our Top 10 Tips for Staying Healthy while Traveling in the Philippines:
- Maintain a Balanced Diet
- Stay Hydrated but Only Drink Bottled Water
- Get Plenty of Rest
- Allow Your Body Time to Adjust
- Keep Active
- Sanitize Often
- Be Aware of Food Safety Concerns
- Take Your Vitamins
- Practice Safe Sex
- Be Prepared Should You Get Sick
You need to have a local-based SIM card in order to stay connected when in the Philippines. Network giants such as Globe and Smart have SIM cards you can use to make calls, send text messages, and also to connect to the Internet. A SIM card costs around 50 PHP ($1 USD) and usually comes with a FREE load worth 50 PHP ($1 USD). You can buy a card containing a code you can enter on your phone to replenish your load or buy an electronic load that is available almost anywhere in the city.
While you may not have problems with signal strength when in the city, it is not always the case when on islands or in remote areas of a province. So when arranging for transportation pick up, say when renting a boat to take you to and pick you up from the island, it would be best that you make it clear what time you need to be picked up before the boatman leaves.
Recommended Travel Apps
Apps for smartphones and tablets can be useful both before you leave and while you’re traveling. Most are available for iPhones and Android phones.
- Grab (taxis/ride shares)
- Angkas (motorbike ride-hailing)
- WhatsApp (phone calls)
- Skyscanner (flights)
- Rome2Rio (transportation)
- Agoda (accomodations)
- Booking.com (accomodations)
- AirBnB (accomodations)
- Traveloka (flights, accomodations, activities)
- Klook (attractions & activities )
Be certain to download and set up apps BEFORE leaving on your trip to make certain each is installed and working properly.
For our complete list of travel apps that we use and recommend while traveling in the Philippines, checkout our checklist below. Download a FREE copy for yourself as a PDF.
Trying to decide what to do when traveling to a destination for the first time can be a bit overwhelming given your lack of familiarity with the place along with all of the available options.
We’ve created the following itinerary to help simplify the process and ensure that you get the most out of your trip. Although we provide a 7 day itinerary for this destination, it can always be adjusted to fit the length of your trip.
The secret to a successful and stress-free trip is to start by using a packing list. This will reduce anxiety from the start and ensure that nothing important is forgotten when packing. To make this process easy for you, we’ve created a detailed packing list. Click the link below to download it for FREE now.
Carrying your checklist with you during your travels can be useful when repacking, by helping to ensure that you do not leave anything behind.
Things to Remember
This guide recommends to take note of the following while traveling on Camiguin Island or in the Philippines in general.
There is a nationwide ban which prohibits smoking in public places including indoors, the streets, on sidewalks, in restaurants , and on public transportation, requiring smokers to use designated smoking areas. Selling tobacco to and purchasing from or for minors is also prohibited. Violators are subject to fines (up to 5,000 PHP | $100 USD) and even 4 months in prison.
The minimum legal drinking age is 18. Alcohol such as beer and hard drinks can easily be bought in grocery and convenience stores. The most common alcoholic beverage is beer, generally served cold. Local alcoholic drinks include tuba (coconut wine which is usually very strong) and potent moonshine-like clear liquors made from sugar or fruit. Imported beer, wine, and name brand hard alcohol are available but expensive.
Drugs are illegal in the Philippines. Don’t use, buy, or sell any non-prescription drugs while in the Philippines … not even marijuana. It is considered an especially heinous crime to buy from, for, or sell drugs to children. The penalties are severe … up to and including death.
Public nudity is illegal in the Philippines and is not tolerated. Most locals consider it offensive. There are laws which prohibit provocative and erotic clothing and swimwear, therefore carefully consider your clothings and swimwear choices to make certain they are not too revealing.
Foreigners & Expats
If you are not a Filipino citizen, remember that you are a guest when visiting this country … be certain to act accordingly. Respect the people, their customs, and the environment and wlidlife. You can be deported and banned … so behave … but have fun and enjoy all that this wonderful destination has to offer.
Don’t Forget …
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