Ah, The Philippines. This country has many natural wonders, impressive landscapes and a wide range of activities for anyone to experience. Whether you have considered visiting the Philippines or are currently there and looking for the next adventure to add to your bucket list, there is one place that must be on your itinerary: Camiguin Island.
An island known as one “Born of Fire,” it is the home of seven volcanoes as well as many more volcanic domes. Do not be intimidated by this – while volcanoes may appear scary or somewhat volatile if they are close-by, those found in Camiguin are safe. Whether you have been around the Philippines once or twice or are currently planning your very first trip to the country, this ultimate guide to Camiguin will break down all you need to know about Camiguin Island, help you plan the perfect Camiguin Island itinerary, and make it easier for you to find an ideal hotel to consider when planning your trip. Let's Get Started!
How to Get to Camiguin island
Getting to Camiguin Island can be a bit challenging depending where you are travelling from, in or out of the Philippines. However with a challenge you are rewarded with an abundance of experiences, exciting activities and a life-time of memories to create. Below we have listed a few travel alternatives to help you get to Camiguin Island.
Route A - By Air
The easiest way to get to Camiguin Island is by catching a direct flight straight into Camiguin Airport (CGM) from Cebu City, which is one of the top 10 most populated cities in the Philippines. The only airline that currently operate flights into Camiguin Island is Cebu Pacific, with only one flight a day from Cebu.
Route B - A mix of Air, Land and Sea
An alternative route, is to catch a ferry from Balingoan Seaport to Benoni Seaport located on Camiguin Island. If you are coming from Mindanao or South of Philippines, travelling to Cagayan de Oro City is likely to be your best option. Cagayan de Oro does have an airport of its own, Laguindingan Airport (CGY). Once you reach Cagayan de Oro you will want to head over to Balingoan Seaport. This is the main ferry port which visitors catch a ferry from, mainly because it is the closest port to Camiguin Island and there are ferries every hour, with the last one departing at 5:15pm.
We took a flight to Butuan City from Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Then we headed from Butuan City to Balingoan Seaport by private transport which cost us PHP 4000 (Approx $80) for a 4 hour journey. If you are travelling from Cagayan de Oro, it should cost around PHP 2000 ($40) for a private transfer which takes approximately . Private car/van transfers can usually be found at the bus terminal stations from both cities. The ferry from Balingoan Seaport to Benoni Seaport costs PHP 315 (Approx $6) and the journey takes around 1 hour 15 minutes.
Must have before entering Camiguin Island
We all know Covid-19 has effected the way we travel, and there are a few regulations required before entering Camiguin Island. Having the below documents ready will save you so much time and hassle before you reach the ferry port/airport.
〰️ Covid-19 Vaccination document
〰️ Valid Passport
Getting Around Camiguin Island
You’ve made it! Now, how can you get around Camiguin Island? As is the case in most parts of the Philippines, your best bet is to rent a scooter. Getting around the island is difficult without one – although not impossible. You can try to rely mainly on public transport, such as jeepneys (local buses) which cost around PHP 50 ($1.00) for a ride or taking tuk tuks, but it can be limiting.
It is best to have a scooter so you can ride around the island freely, without being restricted to where tuk tuks and jeepneys can reach. Aside from this, you can also rent a multicab which comes with a driver. Usually, you can rent this for the whole day, but check with the company of your choice to make sure you have access to exactly what you need.
Renting a scooter costs around PHP 300 (Approx $6) per day. We rented our scooter from Rob Island Camiguin Tour and Rentals.
Where to Stay on Camiguin Island
Now that you are ready to tour around the island and take part in many activities, you also need a place to lay down and relax at the end of an eventful day. So, where can you stay on Camiguin Island? As part of the range of Camiguin Island hotels, you have many options: budget-friendly hotels, mid-range priced hotels, and luxury stays. The majority of hotels are based close by White Island Ferry Port. This area is a great spot to stay, as there is a variety of places to eat, it is close to Mambajao Town Centre and is a great location to branch out and explore Camiguin Island's main tourist attractions. Check out the list below for recommended places based on your budget:
Budget friendly hotels
July's Haven Seaside Pension - Relaxing stay, affordable, spacious, good breakfast
SJ Pabua Travellers Inn - Established place, great value for money, Air-con
Mid-range priced hotels
Mabini Lodge - Welcoming staff, value for money, close to downtown, great WiFi
Balai sa Baibai Resort - Clean, cozy facilities, friendly staff, good breakfast
Nouveau Resort - Amazing breakfast, great staff, newly built modern facility
Where to Eat on Camiguin Island
The island is the home of many kinds of cuisines that are bound to satisfy everyone’s cravings. The majority of the time when we travel, we opt for street food, or where the locals eat. You'll find the renown slow roasted chicken also known as "Lechon manok" in many places across the island. A great spot to try it out is Ricos, located close by White Island Ferry Terminal. A whole chicken with rice only costs around PHP 220 (Approx $4.50).
If you are a fan of freshly cooked seafood, you need to try I 8 See Food. This place honestly serve the best grilled seafood in town. If you do visit, try out the spicy/garlic marinated prawns for starters, followed by freshly grilled Pampano fish. If you're a fan of dessert, end with something sweet, they serve a delicious banana split with chocolate/vanilla ice cream. This place won't disappoint! A 3 course meal with a drink will set you back around PHP 500-750 (Approx $10-$15).
For those craving a good pizza, La Dolce Vista is a must-have. They have vegetarian-friendly and vegan options as well, and the prices range from around PHP 150 ($3) to PHP 500 ($10). Casa Roca Inn is also well-known in the area and serves a mix of dishes that cover international, fusion and Filipino options. For those looking for a healthier alternative, the Hayahay Cafe offers international food options, bistro-style meals and Israeli delicacies. For an even cheaper kind of meal, including your typical burger and fries, head over to Kurma Kitchen.
Things to Do on Camiguin Island
The island has all kinds of activities for you to experience. For example, you can head over to White Island for a relaxing day by the beach, take a dip in Katibawasan Waterfalls, snorkel or free dive at the Sunken Cemetery, hike Mount Hibok Hibok, visit the Nino Cold Springs and much more. To find out more about this, head over to our article that focuses specifically on this! This article gives you all kinds of information so you can figure out exactly what to do on Camiguin Island, namely giving you a great itinerary to plan out.
Staying Fit on Camiguin Island
Now, we all know that traveling is all about trying out new kinds of experiences, and some of this includes going out to all kinds of restaurants to try out new foods. That being said, when we try out all kinds of foods, including very sugary and fatty meals, we tend to also feel like running around and spending some of the extra energy we are consuming. Aside from this, if training and being fit are part of your lifestyle, you may be worried about having to put your gym sessions on hold for the duration of your trip.
On Camiguin Island that does not have to be the case – head over to the Island Gym! Found at Purok 4, Mambajao, 9100 Camiguin, Philippines, the gym has everything you need to stay on track with your fitness. Of course, you can also go on various hikes if you prefer having nice views to look at while getting your cardio done. If you are looking for other kinds of gyms in the area, feel free to have a look at the Top Ten gyms near Camiguin Island here. At Island Gym, the cost for one session is only 50 PHP ($1.00), and don't worry about protein or water, the gym supplies these at similar costs of the entrance fee.
Interested in doing something else in the Philippines? Consider renting out your own private island resort! Any other cool ideas? Share them with us in the comments down below!
We hope you found this quick guide useful, please do share it across your social channels, with friends and family. Follow our Youtube to get a real experience of the places we travel to, hoping to inspire you to travel and plan out your next travel journey.Safe Travels ✈️ 🙂