07 Aug Camiguin Island 2018 | Third Year Anniversary – Part 1
My husband and I recently traveled to Camiguin Island for our third wedding anniversary. This time, we spent a good 3 nights and 4 days going round the island and me? Mentally collecting info for this blog post.
Camiguin Island | All You Need To Know
Camiguin Island is famous for its beautiful scenery and its quick access to White Island and Mantigue Island. It has become a tourist spot for those who want to get away from the city for a quick break or for foreign nationals who find Boracay Island and Palawan a bit expensive. It’s also the best place to really experience the Filipino culture where most people are still hospitable and very humble. You can ask one question and locals will tell you an answer with 5 additional tips.If you’re planning to visit, here’s a quick guide on:1) How to get to the island 2) What to do when you’re in the island 3) How you can save a some bucks.
How To Get There
There are direct flights from Manila or Cebu to Camiguin. My husband and I live in Cagayan de Oro so we traveled by land. We brought “Iron Hide” (motorbike) with us from our city, Cagayan de Oro, to the Island.
It took us 2 hours to reach the port in Balingoan. From there, we traveled by ferry and paid 135 pesos/each for the fare and around 430 pesos to get Iron Hand on the ferry. I didn’t ask how much it costs for four wheel cars to get on the ferry but it should be around 1,100 pesos.
Balingoan to Camiguin Island usually takes an hour but longer depending on the weather.
Things to Remember:
- The Ferry follows a set schedule of departure. Please make sure to get a hold of this schedule so you can time your arrival in Balingoan.
- If you’re traveling with your car/motorbike, it would be good to arrive a little earlier so you can get necessary permits.
- There’s a lot of fixers in the port. Believe me, you don’t need to pay extra as the process is fairly easy and you can do it yourself. Filipino people are very hospitable, especially if you’re a foreigner so they will help you and entertain any questions you might have.
What To Do In Camiguin Island
There’s a lot of tourist spots in Camiguin. But what I would really recommend visiting are:
- Mantigue Island
- Giant Clams Sanctuary
- Tuasan Falls
- Ardent Spring
If you’re looking for a place to have fun during the night, you can check out “Checkpoint” in Mambajao. There are barbecues, drinks and a live night band and get your fave cocktails at Alex’s grill.
When we arrived on the island, we just had our dinner and went to Ardent spring straight away to relax a little bit after the exhausting travel. We then went back to our accommodation and called it a day.
The following day, we went around the island with Iron Hide. You can literally circle the island in one day stopping by every tourist spot. However, this might not be the best strategy as there’s literally nothing to see on the other sides of the island, just resident area. So you might want to organize your itinerary if you’re only spending a day or two in the island.
Where to Eat
Most resorts on the island are owned by foreigners married to a Pinay so most of them offer Western or Mexican food. At least you can taste something that’s familiar to home if you’re not a Filipino. There’s a lot of restos in Mambajao where you can enjoy a meal with the sea in view.
Here’s a list of places we’ve tried and definitely recommend:
- Little Bridges
- Casa Roca Inn
I’ll try to write a review for these places within the next few days so definitely watch out for those. We also ate in other places but I’m not going to include them in my recommended list as I think they weren’t worth it.
It’s really hard to get around the island as there’s no clear transportation. The good thing is, most accommodations offer rental for motorbikes and cars and I strongly suggest you take one for convenience. Doesn’t matter where your driving license is issued, as long as you have one.
The law in Camiguin to wear helmets is very strict. Even if you see locals aren’t wearing helmets, make sure you and whoever’s with you do as you never know where these checkpoints exist. My husband and i had the impression it’s OK if I don’t wear one until we reached one of the checkpoints. Good thing is, the enforcers were kind enough to understand we were tourists and were not made aware of the law there as it’s different in Cagayan. The next day, we made sure we both had helmets on.
This isn’t an extensive guide on what you can do in Camiguin Island but this should help you get a good grasp on what Camiguin is like. I’ll write more detailed blog posts on places we went and reviews on our accommodations. Watch out for our photos as well on my media site!