Camiguin is in the south of the Philippines and best known for diving, at least that’s why most travellers seem to be here. I’ll hopefully get a chance to fresh up my diving soon, but so far I’ve spent my time above water, teaching yoga and exploring the island in my free time. While diving around Camiguin apparently is amazing, the island has so much more to offer.
Camiguin Island is located in the South of the Philippines, only 10 km north of Mindanao, and is a true natural paradise. There are seven volcanoes on the island, which rise up to 1800 meters high, and two are still considered active. Because Camiguin is an volcanic island, most of its beaches are brown or black, but you’ll find tropical white beaches too (see tips below). There are only a few resorts and guesthouses around and the local way of life is still unspoilt from tourism.
Camiguin has a small airport and you can fly there from Cebu, or you can take a boat from Bohol or Mindanao. If you are looking for a tropical paradise without masses of tourists, definitely check out Camiguin.
I recommend to stay at Camiguin Action Gecko (obviously I’m a bit biased as I am teaching yoga here). They are right at the beach and offer a range of accommodation options, from traveller rooms with shared bathroom up to bungalows with sea view. Action Gecko also has it’s own dive base and offers yoga twice a day (if a yoga teacher is at the resort, check before booking).
Here are 5 tips what to do in Camiguin:
Sunset Yoga on White Island
White Island is a sandbar some 1 km from the shores of Camiguin with incredible white sand – hence the name. I went there twice now for sunset yoga and it’s my favorite place on Camiguin. You won’t find any shadow on White Island, so it’s best to come either early morning or late afternoon (though you can rent an umbrella). The sunsets are simply stunning as is the view of Camiguin. You reach White Island with a boat from a jump point near Agoho, rental costs P500 per boat. You also have to pay a small entrance fee of P10 to visit the island.
Hiking to the Macao Cold Springs
The cold spring isn’t really very special, but it’s a nice destination for a hike with a natural freshwater pool waiting for you at the end. We had a great time there swimming, enjoying some snacks and doing a little bit of yoga. The local kids found this quite interesting and the bravest girl even joined us, so cute!
The spring water in the pond is crystal clear and only about 20°C, which feels pretty cold or let’s say refreshing. There are tiny fish nibbling on your feet if you let them dangle in the water – you get a fish pedicure for free!
Snorkeling on Mantigue Island
Mantigue Island is simply mesmerizing! It’s a small island close to Camiguin and a great destination for day trip. When I say small island I’m not exaggerating – you can walk around it in 20 minutes. It’s a true tropical paradise and has been declared a National Park and Sanctuary of different marine species.
It’s deliciously undeveloped, there are no hotels or guesthouses, just a few local families and a rustic place to hold picnics and rent paddle boards. You can go snorkeling right off the beach (with a bit of luck you can see turtles), find some shadow under a palm tree and read a book or explore the inside of the island on a short jungle treck. I loved my day there and can’t wait to go back!
The boat station going to Mantigue Island is located in Barangay San Roque. Boat rental costs around P600. You also have to pay a small entrance fee of P10 to visit the island.
Walking at the empty beaches
I love the beaches in Camiguin! They are long, natural and totally empty! Beside some fishers and local kids playing you hardly see anyone. Where else can you find a beach like that nowadays? For sure not on Boracay or Palawan, other famous Beach destinations in the Philippines. The beaches are brown and natural, nobody cleans up the seaweed and driftwood. The waves are rolling on the beach, sometimes stronger and sometimes the sea is nearly still. A few resorts are hidden behind coconut palms. It’s paradise.
Exploring local life
Rent a motorbike or take a tricycle (the Philippine version of a Tuk Tuk) and drive to Mambajao, the local main town. Here you find a market and some shops, all completely authentic and not touristy at all. It’s the perfect place to wander around, take some pictures and simply people watch.
Have you been to Camiguin in the Philippines? Do you have any other tips what to do? Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear from you.