We had been contemplating to visit Camiguin since we missed it on our backpacking adventures in Northern Mindanao. Torrential rains immobilized all ferries to depart Balingon port so we moved to Butuan City instead. Besides, being close and accessible to Cebu, flights to there are quiet cheap so we decided to do it as a separate trip. A few weeks later, I had a long weekend break from work so we booked our flights to visit Camiguin for a couple of days.
Camiguin is located just off the coast of Northern Mindanao, Philippines. I suppose its remoteness was something that attracted the Mister and I to the small island in the first place. After having a blast motorbiking in majority of our travels, renting scooters on Camiguin was a no-brainer. Measuring only 23 km long and 14 km wide, Camiguin is the second smallest island in the Philippines. This lush island is the perfect size to explore by motorbike and it’s more than feasible to lazily circumnavigate its perimeter in a day.
Motorbiking around Camiguin was a special experience. We spent the afternoon coasting along the island’s streets. And since most locals were at home with their families, it felt like we had the roads all to ourselves. As we rolled along, we saw just how simple life is on Camiguin. We were stared at by curious families as we passed through rural villages, we had to stop periodically for herds of goats, stray dogs and boulders.
I can’t say that Camiguin is blessed with perfect white sand beaches like those I witnessed in picture-perfect Bantayan Island or during my island hopping tour in El Nido. That being said, Camiguin makes up for its lack of beaches in spades. Dozens of attractions dot the island’s perimeter – old church ruins, White & Mantigue Islands, and the sunken cemetery are among the most popular. But my favorite sites are hidden in the island’s interior. In my opinion, hot springs and stunning vistas are what Camiguin specializes in.
Cebu Pacific Air offers direct flights from/to Cebu for a very reasonable price. Of course, there are many ways to reach Camiguin but this is by far the fastest, most affordable and convenient option if coming from Cebu.
Our flight was at 6AM which means I was half asleep while making our way to Camiguin. I hate early morning flights but the sunrise aerial view can be very rewarding. So, okay… I’ll stop complaining now. 🙂
WHERE TO STAY
We noticed a whole block of guesthouses in Yumbing which is convenient for backpackers like us who don’t pre-book our stays plus, the competition also drags down the rates. So, if you are looking for affordable and decent accommodation, Yumbing area is the perfect place to be.
Have you been to an unspoiled island like Camiguin? Which natural attractions did you love the most?