Camiguin DIY

CAMIGUIN DIY TRAVEL GUIDE 2020: BUDGET & ITINERARY

Camiguin is another province you should take into consideration if you’re planning to go on a vacation in the Philippines. Why? Well for starters, Camiguin is the second smallest province next to Batanes. Hence, you can tour this stunningly beautiful island in less than 2 days! This Camiguin DIY guide will help you with your upcoming trip so keep reading.



There are so many things I can put on the list to describe Camiguin province. It is more than just the home to the sweetest lanzones in the country. The stunning white island sandbar with a breathtaking view of the volcano Hibok-Hibok, historical sites like the sunken cemetery, rich marine biodiversity, chasing waterfalls and many more!

I visited Camiguin last September of this year while I was solo traveling in Mindanao. After a month, I was lucky enough to be invited by Ms. Jen to join the Tourism Promotions Board, Department of Tourism and PTV News to learn about the fascinating history of Camiguin and to join the yearly celebrated Camiguin Festival. Shoutout to the Bloggers and Vloggers I met during this unforgettable trip!

Camiguin DIY Pre-Travel Guide

I know that most of you are looking for a detailed travel guide and I hope this Camiguin DIY travel guide will help you on your upcoming trip! I have gathered every bit of information that you may need from the perspective of a solo-traveler and someone who got the chance to study the rich history of Camiguin with legit locals a.k.a Camiguingnons.. So pack your bags and your island outfits and let’s explore Camiguin together!

Getting to know Camiguin

There’s a reason why Camiguin was dubbed as the island born of fire. Did you know that there are more than 14 active volcanoes in Camiguin? YEAP! Hence, the name “island born of fire“. The volcano Hibok-Hibok and the tres maria are one of the famous volcanoes that can be found in this island province.

As of October 2019, the population in Camiguin run about 94,000.00 including the foreigners who have decided to reside here. The numbers are expected to grow in the coming years now that the tourism in Camiguin is rising fast. As a result, this has boosted the economical status and livelihood in Camiguin, providing more jobs and profit for the locals.

Trivia: did you know that the water per faucet per month in Camiguin cost only PHP10.00? YES!

Brief History

Like what I’ve mentioned above, Camiguin is best known as the home to the sweetest lanzones. The island was discovered by their ancestors with an already abundant lanzones trees.

Ever wondered why the lanzones are sweet in Camiguin? There are 2 reasons why: (1) locals claim it’s because of the volcanic soil which makes their lanzones the sweetest in the country and (2) the locals believes in their myth that the fairies residing in their very own forests made it sweeter. Hence, the Lanzones festival is celebrated yearly in honor of the fairies who made their lanzones fruits the sweetest. Read more about the Lanzones Festival here

Language spoken and Currency used in Camiguin

The language spoken in Camiguin is still bisaya like in other provinces in Northern Mindanao. Similarly, Tagalog is widely spoken but some locals are having a hard time speaking in tagalog as they’ve considered bisaya as their mother tongue. English can be a bit tricky especially to locals but if you go to restaurants and hotels you can find someone to speak with in English.

The currency used here is Philippine peso. Some hotels may accept USD or other currencies but to be sure, just exchange your money before visiting the island province. There are not much ATM machines in Camiguin but some can be found in the main town in Mambajao.

How to get there (Camiguin DIY Guide)

Via airplane to Camiguin

The easiest way for you to get here is via air. You can book your flight from Manila via Cebu Pacific or Skyjet. Take note that the only airline offering a direct flight from Manila (MNL) to Camiguin airport (CGM) is Skyjet. Cebu Pacific has a connecting flight in Cebu if you’re coming from Manila.

The 2 nearest airports in Camiguin are Butuan (BXU) airport and Cagayan de Oro (CGY) airport which are 3-6 hours bus ride from Balingoan port. Below are the steps on how you are traveling from Butuan airport and CDO airport to Balingoan port.

Butuan Airport to Balingoan Port (Camiguin DIY)

The closest airport next to Camiguin is Butuan (BXU) airport which is 2.5 hours away from Balingoan Port. From the airport, ride a multi-cab to the Butuan City Integrated Bus Terminal. At the bus terminal, look for buses going to Cagayan de Oro that will pass by Balingoan Port. Advise the driver that you are going to Camiguin so that they will drop you at Balingoan Port. The fare is approximately PHP235.00 (as of September 2019).

CDO Airport to Balingoan Port (Camiguin DIY)

CDO (CGY) airport is just as close like Butuan airport. The only downside is the CGY airport is an hour away from the main city in CDO. Outside the airport, ride a van going to Agora terminal. It’s almost an hour ride and the fare costs PHP199.00. From Agora terminal, ride a bus bound to Balingoan Port. The fare is approximately PHP175.00 and the travel time is roughly 3 hours (as of September 2019).

Balingoan Port to Benoni Port in Camiguin

Balingoan port is the gate entrance to get to Camiguin. The travel time is roughly 2 hours depending on the weather. Below is the daily schedule from Balingoan port to Benoni port in Camiguin and the ferry fare is PHP210.00 for a one way trip (as of September 2019).

Getting around Camiguin – Camiguin DIY

There are several ways for you to get around Camiguin. Just like in any island in the Philippines like Siargao and Siquijor, you can always rent a motorbike as long as you have your valid ID and driver’s license with you. The regular rate of renting a motorbike is PHP350.00 per day. This is the cheapest way to get around the island province especialy if you have a companion with you.

Other option includes Camiguin’s public transportation: Motorela (similar to taxi-jeep). Regular fare is PHP9.00 and you can just ask around what motorela will be passing by to the destination you’re going like white island in Mambajao or Mantigue Island in Mahinog.

You can also hire a habal-habal for a day tour in the island. If you want to visit all attractions like the waterfalls, sunken cemetery, Gui-ob church and Mantigue island, PHP700.00 is a reasonable fare for the whole day trip. You can find lots of habal-habal drivers along the way and the package will still depend on your negotiating skills and the tourist destinations included.

Camiguin Tour Package – Where to Book Ultimate Camiguin Tour?

Similarly, for hassle-free package tours I highly recommend WayPH! They have tours available in Camiguin and other places in the country as well. Check them out below!

BOOK CAMIGUIN TOUR PACKAGE WITH WAYPH HERE

camiguin DIY

Where to eat

During my solo travel here last September, I wasn’t able to try the best restaurants in the island province since I only had 2 days in Camiguin. Luckily, during the Lanzones festival last October we were able to try the best restaurants in town!

For budget travelers (Camiguin DIY), you can dine at Checkpoint foodpark in Mambajao. It’s just along the main highway and is walking distance to white island.

Some of the best restaurants we have tried are: J&A Restaurant (Filipino restaurant), La Dolce (Italian restaurant), La isla Cucina (Spanish restaurant), Guerrero restaurant (mix of Asian cuisines) and Northern Lights restaurant.

Click here for the full blog and review for these restaurants.

Where to stay

For budget travelers (Camiguin DIY), I recommend Medano Island resort. This is a very chill place and they have their own private swimming pool. There are rooms for backpackers and is 2-3 minutes walk to White island port. The fan room for backpacker’s cost PHP400.00 and is not bad since it’s very accessible and close to Checkpoint foodpark as well. This is where I stayed while I was solo-traveling and it was good enough for me.

If you wish to stay in a close to nature with a very relaxing vibe, I highly recommend Bintana sa Paraiso. They have the best views for your IG feed and a promising vacation surely awaits for you in Bintana sa Paraiso.



Another recommended hotel is the Camiguin Highland resort. It has a beautiful overlooking view plus it has a huge private swimming pool so I personally enjoyed my stay here too.

Things to do in Camiguin

Attend the annual Lanzones Festival during October

This year, Camiguin celebrated the 40th Lanzones Festival and I am more than happy and honored to have witnessed it. Big preparations are made by the locals yearly to present a very energetic performance and colorful costumes during street dance competitions and other festival-related activities.

After the performances, eat-all-you-can and take-all-you-can lanzones for everyone is done outside the grand stage in Mambajao and there are free tasting of products made out of lanzones like lanzones jam, wine, ice cream and more. You can read my full blog about the 40th Lanzones Festival in Camiguin this year.

Try local delicacies and signature foods

The most obvious food you should try in Camiguin is their lanzones. After all, it’s famously known for the sweetest lanzones in the Philippines. To give you some pointers about their lanzones, the sweetest type is the native lanzones. In the market you’ll see various types of lanzones which are the native lanzones of Camiguin, Thailand lanzones and Kalong.

For pasalubongs, the Pastel bread is the best to bring home for your friends. There is also Pastel in CDO but we were told that the Pastel bread in Camiguin is the sweetest since the water used to bake it is a soda water from the soda water spring. For freshly baked Pastel breads you can visit Gasa by: Vjandep in Mambajao.

Unique food includes those made out of lanzones which are the lanzones wine, lanzones ice cream, lanzones jam, lanzones vinegar and candy.

Tour the whole island in a motorbike (Camiguin DIY)

Drive that motorbike and explore the whole island province with vast coconut trees as your view for a joy-ride trip. I don’t know about you but driving a motorbike in an island always makes the best adventures of all time.

Visit historical places

Historical places includes those that have been ruined by volcano Hibok-Hibok during its eruption in the early 1950s. The sunken cemetery is one of those places that rose to fame because of an actual cemetery buried deeply by thick lava and ashes from an erupted volcano.

Explore the underwater world

As expected, the underwater world in Camiguin did not fail to amaze me! There is a rich marine biodiversity in Camiguin which explains a number of dive resorts located in Mambajao. For freediving activities, you can contact Kurma Eco Beach Lodge in Camiguin. Some of the best freediving sites are in Mantigue island and White island.

Trivia: Did you know that there are 6 accredited dive operators with world class equipment in Camiguin?

Watch the sunset at the Sunken Cemetery

The sunset at the sunken cemetery is somehow a very beautiful sunset to watch. The vibe is different plus the view is super great! I honestly had a hard time choosing between photo-shoot with the sunset or just take a good time watching it as it sets down from the horizon.

Tour around the air

Camiguin boast off tour around the air activity! If you have more time to burn in Camiguin, try checking out the whole island in a bird’s eye view. Wouldn’t that be great?!

Mountain Climbing

If you’re up for a cardio workout, you can try mountain climbing. There are honestly lots of mountains in Camiguin and if you want to explore the forests of this stunningly beautiful island province, you might be up for this. Although, I’m not so sure if trekking to one of the volcanoes are allowed, lol.

Bird watching at Mt. Timpoong Hibok-Hibok Natural Monument

The last activity we did in Camiguin is waking up early before sunrise and went our way to Mt. Timpoong Hibok-Hibok Natural Monument for bird watching. Don’t get me wrong, these birds aren’t in a cage. They are freely roaming around in their natural habitat in a rain-forest. But, if you’re quiet enough, you might spot a few rare birds and try not to scare them away.

Places to visit in Camiguin

Sunken Cemetery

The sunken cemetery is probably the most popular tourist destination in Camiguin. It’s quite ironic that a cemetery tops up to the most visited destination. Still, a sunken cemetery with a huge cross above sea is enough to be intriguing.

The best time to come here is during sunset before 5PM. Furthermore, it’s one of the places that got destroyed during the eruption of Hibok-Hibok back in the 1950s. This is the very reason why the cemetery was buried down under the ocean.

Boat fee: PHP100.00/USD2.00

White Island

The white island is a stunningly beautiful sandbar with a powdery white sand and is accessible with just a 15 minute boat ride from the port. Best time to come here is before sunrise and sunset where you’ll get a beautiful view of the volcano Hibok-Hibok. This island is like the naked island in Siargao where there is only literally a piece of sand in the middle of the sea. Moreover, since there are no trees, it’s expected to be relatively hot during afternoon.

The boat first trip to White island is everyday at 5:30AM and the last trip is at 3:30PM. Take note that overnight is not allowed in the island but tourists can stay until 6PM in the island.

Boat rental fee: PHP450.00/USD9.00 good for 4 person
Entrance fee: PHP50.00/USD1.00

Camiguin DIY

Mantigue Island

Another island that you should not miss is the Mantigue island located in Mahinog. The port going to Mantigue is very near to Benoni port. Snorkeling, glass boat, forest tour and freediving are some of the activities you can do here. There are sea turtles and dolphins nearby. We saw a herd of dolphins when we went to visit Mantigue island with the team.

Also, the forest in the island has a large variety of plants and trees that can only be seen in very few places in the countries. It will last about 15-20 minutes to finish the walking tour and is guided by a local.

camiguin diy

Boat rental fee: PHP 600.00/USD12.00 good for 6 person and maximum of 4 hours only

Mantigue island rentals:

  • Cottage – PHP150.00
  • Chairs only – PHP50.00
  • Goggles – PHP100.00
  • Snorkeling fins – PHP150.00
  • Glass boat – PHP300.00

Gui-ob Church

The church ruins is another attraction that will surely make your Camiguin trip a wonderful experience. It is one of the structures that got destroyed during the eruption of Hibok-Hibok. The church ruins is already enchanting when you see it but when you get to see the 200-year old huge tall tree, it makes the place more and more enchanting. In addition, it is just a few stones away from the sunken cemetery.

Entrance fee: PHP10.00

Camiguin DIY

Tuasan Falls

Some of Camiguin’s gems are its waterfalls. Compared to Katibawasan falls, Tuasan has stronger and more water pouring down. You can also swim by the water surrounding it but there is a line where people are not allowed to swim. On your way to Tuasan falls, you’ll get to see the view of the Tres Maria volcanoes. My habal driver and I stopped by to get a picture of it.

There are wild honeys that are being sold at a low price outside Tuasan falls so you might want to check it since the price of wild honeys in the cities cost about thrice the price. You might wanna try kiping-kiping, it’s a local food sold outside which cost PHP10.00.

Entrance fee: PHP 50.00/USD1.00

Katibawasan Falls

The Katibawasan falls is a 1 tiered 100-feet waterfalls. The swimming area is very chill since the water is not as strong as the water pouring in Tuasan Falls.

Entrance fee: PHP 50.00/USD1.00

Soda Swimming Pool

The soda swimming pool is actually one of my favorite place here. Well frankly the swimming pool looks like just an average swimming pool. But what makes it special is the soda water of the pool.

Fun fact: did you know that the water in the pool is a soda water that comes directly from the volcano Hibok-hibok?

Entrance fee: PHP 50.00/USD1.00

Camiguin DIY
Camiguin Bloggers/Vloggers Team

Sto. Nino Cold Springs

This is literally the coldest of all public baths we’ve been to that day. The water in both waterfalls are already cold enough to endure but this cold springs is the coldest of them all. I literally swam while shivering here, lol. There is also fish spa inside the cold spring resorts if the water is too cold for you.

Entrance Fee: PHP20.00
Picnic Hut: PHP50.00

Tongatoc Cove

A breathtaking view of the Tongatoc Cove is just by the main highway going to Tuasan falls from Katibawasan. This is actually very hard to miss since the view is surreal.

Mt. Timpoong Hibok-Hibok Natural Monument

One of my favorite places in Camiguin is the Mt. Timpoong Hibok-Hibok Natural Monument. Why? Simple reason includes an experience close to nature, rain-forest adventure, a serene atmosphere and spying on birds, lol. Bird watching is why people come here early in the morning to do some photo-shoots on rare types of birds that live here. But you have to be quiet so you won’t scare them away. In addition to that, a variety of flora and faunas can be found here too.

Suggested Itinerary

2 Days and 1 Night (Camiguin DIY)

Day 0: Arrival in Camiguin
Check-in in Hotel accommodation in Mambajao
Dinner, socials, lights out
Day 1: (White island, Soda water pool, Sto Nino Coldspring, Gui-ob Church, Sunken cemetery)
4:30AM Wake up time, prepare for White Island tour
5:30AM Assembly town in port to White Island
6-8AM Sun-rise in White Island, swim, photo-op
08:30AM Breakfast at Checkpoint foodpark (walking distance from the port)
10:00AM Soda water swimming pool resort
11:30AM Lunch
01:00PM Sto. Nino Cold Springs
03:00PM Gui-Ob Church Ruins
4:30PM Sunken Cemetery
6:00PM Buy souvenirs in Gasa by: Vjandep in Mambajao
7:00PM Back at the hotel, Dinner, Socials
9:00PM Lights out
Day 2: (Mt. Timpoong Hibok-Hibok Natural Monument, Katibawasan falls, Tongatoc Cove, Tuasan Falls, Mantigue Island)
4:30AM Wake up time, prepare for bird watching in Mt. Timpoong
5:00AM-7:00AM Mt. Timpoong Hibok-Hibok Natural Monument
7:30AM Back to Hostel, breakfast, prepare for tour
8:30AM Proceed to Katibawasa Falls
9:00AM Katibawasa Falls
10:00AM Tongatoc Cove
10:30AM Tuasan Falls
11:30AM Lunch
12:30PM Proceed to port in Mahinog
01:30-04:30PM Mantigue Island, swim, snorkel, glass boat, freediving
06:00PM Back to Hotel, pack up, early dinner
Flight back to Manila




3 Days and 2 Nights Itinerary with Lanzones Festival (Camiguin DIY)

Day 0: Arrival in Camiguin
Check-in in Hotel accomodation in Mambajao
Dinner, socials, lights out
Day 1: Lanzones Festival
Street-dance competition
Lanzones eat-all-you-can
Party and events
Day 2: (White island, Soda water pool, Sto Nino Coldspring, Gui-ob Church, Sunken cemetery)
4:30AM Wake up time, prepare for White Island tour
5:30AM Assembly town in port to White Island
6-8AM Sun-rise in White Island, swim, photo-op
08:30AM Breakfast at Checkpoint foodpark (walking distance from the port)
10:00AM Soda water swimming pool resort
11:30AM Lunch
01:00PM Sto. Nino Cold Springs
03:00PM Gui-Ob Church Ruins
4:30PM Sunken Cemetery
6:00PM Buy souvenirs in Gasa by: Vjandep in Mambajao
7:00PM Back at the hotel, Dinner, Socials
9:00PM Lights out
Day 3: (Mt. Timpoong Hibok-Hibok Natural Monument, Katibawasan falls, Tongatoc Cove, Tuasan Falls, Mantigue Island)
4:30AM Wake up time, prepare for bird watching in Mt. Timpoong
5:00AM-7:00AM Mt. Timpoong Hibok-Hibok Natural Monument
7:30AM Back to Hostel, breakfast, prepare for tour
8:30AM Proceed to Katibawasa Falls
9:00AM Katibawasa Falls
10:00AM Tongatoc Cove
10:30AM Tuasan Falls
11:30AM Lunch
12:30PM Proceed to port in Mahinog
01:30-04:30PM Mantigue Island, swim, snorkel, glass boat, freediving
06:00PM Back to Hotel, pack up, early dinner
Flight back to Manila

Camiguin Travel Vlog in Youtube

Travel hacks and tips from Joan’s Footprints – Camiguin DIY

  • Phone and internet connection – phone reception and data is fast in some places in Camiguin like in Mambajao.
  • Camiguin DIY is highly recommended since Camiguin is a very small island province. You can actually our it in 2 days.
  • Rent a motorbike for cheaper travel costs.
  • Budget hostels are located in Mambajao.

Thanks to his team! (Bloggers, Vloggers, Tourism Promotions Board, Department of Tourism, PTV News, Region 10 Director)


Help me improve my travel guide! By commenting suggestions in the comment section below, I am very open to new ideas. 🙂
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For proposals: email me at contact@joansfootprints.com

RELATED ARTICLE: WHERE TO EAT IN CAMIGUIN?

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