Backpacking Philippines,  Mindanao,  Philippines,  Travel Guides

CAMIGUIN DIY TRAVEL GUIDE 2024 (Itinerary + Budget)

The white water kissed the shore as it washes away the grains of sand off my feet. The sound of the waves was resounding; the only sound I’ve been craving for to hear. The air was thick and salty on my skin but it felt good. I took a few steps and felt the brine up to my knees, making my heart beat faster as I take one or two more until my body is finally one with the ocean again. It is the only thing that my senses could perceive in the moment.

I closed my eyes and realized that this is just one of the many things that Camiguin has made me  perceive. There goes the sound of the waters falling gracefully from heights down to the basin of cold fresh water; the taste of the sweet fruit that is found everywhere in the island;  the sight of the vastness of the oceans, the skies and the land below as I stood up on the mountainside, the magical feeling of being surrounded by different schools of fishes and swimming with enormous turtles, the comfort of the warm waters in the hot spring and the refreshing ice cold waters of the other; and the sound of the locals who speak a familiar language with different accent from my own. My senses were all awake.

“I am here and now and this is no imagination nor a daydream. This is Camiguin.”

About Camiguin

The province of Camiguin was previously a part of Misamis Oriental until the late 1900’s. It is the smallest province of the Region X – Northern Mindanao and the second to the smallest in the Philippines. Albeit small compared to the other islands and provinces of the country, it holds and boasts a variety of gems – from beaches, marine sanctuaries, mountains and volcanoes, rivers, waterfalls, springs to historical and cultural sites.

Yet small, the island is a home to seven volcanoes in which one, Mt. Volcan (Mt. Vulcan), had the most remarkable and devastating eruption in 1871. This is the reason why the province is also dubbed as the “Island Born of Fire”.

The language that is spoken at large by the Camiguinons is Cebuano or Bisaya. They have their own language called Kamigin but only a few could speak and understand. This language is said to be a variety of the Manobo’s native language. Locals could speak fluent Tagalog and understand the English language, too, making the province a tourist-friendly one.

The Treasures of Camiguin Map from Camiguin transport

Places to Visit for a Camiguin DIY Trip

1. White Island

White island is but a sandbar of cream-white sand surrounded by clear turquoise waters. During low tide, the tourists can swim around it as there are thriving underwater creatures and life nearby. There are no shade providers but the big umbrellas that can be rented out.

Environmental fee: Php 50.00
Boat rental: Php 450.00 for sharing (up to 4 persons per boat)
Snorkeling gear rental at the boat parking: Php 200.00 to Php 250.00 (optional)
Umbrella rental – Php 150.00 (optional)
Mat rental (banig) – Php 50.00 (optional)

The boats won’t wait for you till you decide to leave. You’ll have to inform the boatmen as to what time would you want to go back to the main land since they return in there to pick up and drop off more tourists. There are no nipa huts but beach umbrellas only since it’s more like a long stretch of sandbar. Best time to visit is at 6:00 AM to 8:00 AM on sunny days.

2. Mantigue Island

The view of Mt. Hibok-Hibok from Mantigue Island
I personally love the vibe in this island. It is among the best spots to enjoy the gorgeous sunrise with a view of Mt. Hibok-Hibok. The beaches are clean and the island is truly a laid back one. I won’t actually mind to spend a day in here.
Environmental fee: Php 50.00 per head

Boat rental – Php 600.00 for sharing (up to six persons per boat)

Activities in the island: 
Swimming and Snorkeling (Entrance to the marine sanctuary) fee – Php 50.00 per head
Dive Guide fee – Php 200.00
Glass boat rental (30 minutes) – Php 300.00
Stand up Paddle Board (30 minutes) – Php 250.00

Island Day-Tour Accommodation:
Picnic Shed – Php 150.00
Long Table – Php 100.00
Short Table – Php 50.00

Lunch in the island:
There’s a small convenience store in the island but only sells limited goods. If you prefer to have fresh food on your plates, you may opt to have them cook for you. They have meat (pork), chicken, shells and fish and you only have two options in terms of cooking it: grilled or with soup. A kilogram of it starts at Php 350.00.  A cup of rice is at Php 20.00.

The tourists should be reminded that they are given 4 hours to stay in the island. Should they go beyond the allowable time, they have to pay Php 75.00 per hour and per boat. Best time to go to Mantigue Island is in the morning til until noontime since waves get a little rough late in the afternoon.

Freediving in Mantigue Island with Decathlon’s SUBEA freediving gear

Mantigue Island has a Marine Sanctuary. It is among the best diving spots I’ve ever dove into. During my visit, we saw schools of fishes of different species (there’s even a Barracuda), turtles and other small and colorful ones). An amount of Php 200.00 has to be paid to a guide. These guides can take you to the best spots of the marine sanctuary.

3. Tongatoc Cove

No Entrance fee
A perfect spot to take photos overlooking horizon and the Tongatoc Cove

4. Katibwasan Falls

Entrance fee: Php 50.00

Katibawasan falls is among the highest waterfalls I’ve ever seen. Compared to Tuasan, the waters from the mountains cascade softly down the plunge pool. There are souvenir shops and small stores to buy snacks and food from outside. Thus, it is an ideal place to stay long.

5. Ardent Hot Spring

Entrance Fee: Php 50.00
There are also cottages for rent around the hot spring but tourists aren’t required to get one.
The spring is closed every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday for cleaning.

6. Sto. Nino Cold Spring

Entrance fee: Php 50.00
Fish (Kiss) Spa – Php 10.00 per head
Floater rental – Php 20.00
Sto. Nino Cold Spring is also an ideal place to have lunch. The following are the important rates:
Cottage rental – Php 75.00
Lunch paluto starts at Php 300.00 per viand good for 2 to 3 persons
Rice platter – Php 100.00

7. Tuasan Falls

Entrance fee: Php 50.00
Tourists with the height of 4 ft and below: Php 25.00
Senior Citizen and PWD: Php 40.00
Compared to Katibwasan, Tuasan falls may be lower but the water cascades powerfully. Swimming is allowed except from the area where the water falls. There is a lifeguard stationed near the swimming area.

8. Soda Water Pool

Entrance fee: Php 50.00
Below 10 years old: Php 10.00
Senior Citizen: 24.00
Picnic Shed: Php 75.00

The Bura Soda Water Pool is known to have fresh and clean water. This isn’t just any typical pool with its waters where you can take a plunge and swim but you can actually drink from, too. Yes, you read it right, our local tour guide said that it tastes like soda. Worry not for you’re not going to take a gulp from the pool but there are drinking fountains with the waters continuously flowing. Free soda for everyone!

The Soda pool is closed every Monday because it is their cleaning schedule.

9. Old Volcano Walkway

Entrance Fee: Php 10.00
The Walkway to the Old Volcano which is Mt. Volcan has more or less a thousand steps to the top. It also features the fourteen station of the cross with the resurrection at the end. Make sure that you are wearing comfortable foot wear shall you decide to finish it til the last station. There may be stairs but there are none beyond the seventh station.

10. Bonbon Church Ruins

Entrance fee: Php 10.00
Bonbon Church or the Old Gui-Ob Church Ruins is located at Brgy. Bonbon in Catarman. It has been among the remains of the town after the volcanic eruption of Mt. Volcan in an evening of May year 1871.

11. Sunken Cemetery

The Sunken Cemetery is one of the remaining aftermaths of the disastrous Mt. Vulcan’s eruption in 1971. The cemetery’s cross has still stood few meters away from the shore with a stunning coral bed around it. It is also one of the best spots to end the day with a breath taking sunset.

No Entrance Fee
Boat ride to the cross: Php 100.00 per boat
Souvenirs are available at the entrance

Things to do in Camiguin

Ready to explore Mantigue Island’s Marine Sanctuary with my complete freediving gear from SUBEA by Decathlon Philippines.
There’s quite a lot to do in this island. To read more about the 10 BEST things to do in Camiguin, click here: 10 BEST Things to Do in Camiguin Island, Philippines.

Getting to, Around and Away

How to Get There (Camiguin DIY Guide)

From Manila or Cebu to Camiguin
1. Take a flight directly from Manila and Cebu to Camiguin. Skyjet, Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific have direct flights from Manila to Camiguin.
Manila to Camiguin via Cagayan De Oro
1. From Manila, take a flight to Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental. There are several commercial flights daily from Manila to Laguindingan Airport.
2. From Laguindingan Airport, there are vans outside that will take you directly to Cagayan De Oro City or Agora Market Terminal. Fare is at Php 199.00 per head. This is about less than an hour of land travel.
Aside from vans, you may also take a cab to Cagayan De Oro City downtown. This costs Php 400.00 – Php 500.00. Another option that is relatively cheap is through taking the bus to Cagayan de Oro City. From the airport, you may take a cab or motorella to the highway where the buses pass by. Get into one that goes to Cagayan de Oro City.
3. From Agora Market Terminal, take bus bound for Surigao, Butuan or Balingoan. There is a terminal fee (Php 3.00) per head. Ask the driver to drop you off Balingoan Terminal. This trip will take you an hour and a half or two. Fare in air-conditioned buses is at Php 175.00 per head and the ordinary bus fare is at Php 110.00.
If you’ll be spending a night in Cagayan de Oro City prior to your trip, you may just take a motorella from your hotel to Agora Market Terminal. From the downtown, fare is at Php 30.00.
4. From the Balingoan terminal, buy the ticket for the ferry going to Benoni Port in Camiguin. You can either take the Super Shuttle Ferry or the Philstone. Fare is at Php 205.00. 20% discount is also given to students, Senior Citizens, PWDs and active personnel from PNP, AFP and PCG. This trip might take an hour to an hour and a half. Terminal fee is at Php 15.00. Take note that Philippine Ports Authority exempts students and Persons with Disability  from paying the terminal fee as long as they have their valid Identification Cards with them.
5. Take a motorella from Balingoan terminal to Balingoan port.

6. Take the ferry from Balingoan port to Benoni port in Camiguin.
7. From Benoni Port, take a motorella to your hotel accommodation.
Super Shuttle Ferry Schedule (Balingoan v.v. Benoni)
At Balingoan Terminal
From Jagna, Bohol to Camiguin
Super Shuttle Ferry sails once a day from Jagna, Bohol to Camiguin at 1:00 PM. From Camiguin, the same ferry sails at Php 8:00 AM. The sea travel takes more or less four hours.
For bookings and queries regarding this route, you may reach them at:
Mobile: +63 916 508 2236
Mobile: +63 915 646 6857
Mobile: +63 917 707 0634
From Butuan, Agusan Del Norte
1. From the bus terminal, ride a bus going to Cagayan de Oro City. Alight at Balingoan Terminal. Travel time is around an hour and a half to two hours.
2. Take a motorella or walk from from Balingoan terminal to Balingoan port.
3. Take the ferry from Balingoan port to Benoni port in Camiguin.
From Surigao City
1. From the bus terminal, ride a bus going to Cagayan de Oro City. Alight at Balingoan Terminal. Travel time is around four to five hours.
2. Take a motorella or walk from from Balingoan terminal to Balingoan port.
3. Take the ferry from Balingoan port to Benoni port in Camiguin.

Getting Around  (Camiguin DIY)

1. Rent a motorbike. One of the most convenient and cheapest means of getting around the island of Camiguin is through renting a motorbike. You may coordinate with your hotel staff regarding the rental or you can just look for a shop around Mambajao or Yumbing that has motorbike rental. Rental starts at Php 500.00 for the semi-manual one and Php 600.00 for the automatic for twenty four hours excluding the gas. Take note that the LGU is strict and particular about bringing one’s driver’s license and wearing of helmet when driving.
Tourists also opt to rent a bike with a guide already. This costs Php 1,000.00 for eight hours.
2. Rent a multicab. Multicab may also be rented with driver for 8 hours for Php 1,800.00.
3. Motorella. It is among the main means of transportation in going around especially the jeepneys only go to and from limited routes and trips. However, these are not allowed to be rented for tours.

Where to Stay

On our first two nights, we stayed in an AirBnB (more like a homestay) in Bonbon, Catarman. This is just a kilometer or two away from the Sunken Cemetery and the Walkway to Old Volcano. It is actually a house tended by Tatay Vicente and his wife.

A snapshot of the common area, my most favorite spot in the house!
Get up to Php 2,200 on your first booking! Sign up and book now here.
On our last day, we stayed on a mountain resort in Binunsaran. It is quite far from the town proper as it is seated on the mountain side of Hibok-Hibok. But what we liked is that we got a day to chill in this boutique hotel and resort.

Bintana sa Paraiso Binunsaran. Click here for an honest review.
Book here!
Lanzones Cabana: Fun Place to Stay in Camiguin
Lanzones Cabana
Book here!
Camiguin Volcano Houses - Panoramic Guest Room
Camiguin Volcano Houses
Caminres Homestay
Rooms for as low as Php 900.00 and below!


3:00 AM – Agora Market Terminal
5:00 AM – Balingoan Terminal
5:15 AM – Balingoan Port/ Departure for Benoni port
6:15 AM – Expected time of Arrival at Benoni Port
6:30 AM – Breakfast
7:00 AM – Start Country Side Tour
Places to visit:
Katibwasan Falls
Ardent Hot Spring
Tongatoc Cove
Sto. Nino Cold Spring
Tuasan Falls
Soda Water Pool
Old Church Ruins
Old Volcano Walkway
Sunken Cemetery
5:30 AM –  Rise and Shine; Breakfast
6:00 AM – Boat parking for White Island tours
6:15 AM – White Island
9:00 AM – Back to boat parking
9:45 AM – Mantigue Island Registration Office
10:00 AM – Mantigue Island
12:00 NN – lunch
2:00 PM – back to mainland
3:00 PM – back to accommodation/ Check out
5:00 PM – Benoni Port
The last trip depends on the waves and weather condition. On days with fine weather, the last trip is usually at 5:30 PM. The usually visited points of interests in Camiguin can be visited in two days. But then, two days in the island feels like ‘never enough’.

Old Gui-Ob Church or Bonbon Church Ruins, Bonbon, Catarman, Camiguin


Laguindingan Airport to Agora market terminal – Php 199.00
Terminal Fee – Php 3.00
Cagayan de Oro City to Balingoan Port bus fare – Php 175.00
Balingoan Terminal to Balingoan Port – Php 10.00/ head
Balingoan Port to Benoni Ferry fare – Php 205.00
Balingoan Port Terminal Fee – Php 15.00
Benoni Port to Mambajao – Php 30.00
Katibwasan Falls – Php 50.00
Ardent Hot Spring – Php 50.00
Sto. Nino Cold Spring – Php 50.00
Tuasan Falls – Php 50.00
Soda Water Pool – Php 50.00
Old Volcano Walkway – Php 50.00
Old Church Ruins – Php 10.00
Sunken Cemetery – (Php 100.00/ 2 – boat to the cross) Php50.00
Food – Php 300.00
Motorbike rental – Php 250.00 (Php 500.00/2)
Gas – Php 75.00 (Php 150.00/2)
Accommodation – Php 500.00/ head
TOTAL: Php 2,122.00
DAY 2:
boat to White Island – Php 113.00 (Php 450.00/4)
White Island Environmental fee – Php 50.00
boat to Mantigue Island – Php 200.00 (Php 600.00/4)
Mantigue Island Environmental fee – Php 30.00/ head
Mantigue Island Swimming and Snorkeling fee – Php 50.00/ head
Motorbike rental – Php 250.00 (Php 500.00/2)
Gas – Php 75.00 (Php 150.00/2)
Food – Php 400.00
Mambajao to Benoni Port – Php 30.00
Terminal Fee – Php 9.00
Ferry fare – Php 170.00
Bus from Balingoan to Agora – Php 175.00
Agora Market Terminal to Laguindingan Airport – Php 199.00
TOTAL: Php 1,751.00
GRAND TOTAL: Php 3,873.00
Take note that plane ticket and souvenirs are not yet included in the total expenses.

Contact Details for Camiguin DIY Travel

For tours and vehicle rentals, you may contact the following:
1. Kuya Jun Hugbaca (Motorbike driver and tour guide)  +63 905 837 5507
Facebook account: Juncabs Hugbaca
2. Kuya Ted (Multicab and motorbike rental)  +63 917 521 9391
For hassle-free Camiguin experience, I highly recommend the following travel and tours:
1. – booked our Countryside tour with them
2. WanderMae Travel and Tours  +63 917 138 9907
Booked our island tour with themSuper Shuttle Ferry Contact Details
Bohol v.v. Camiguin route

Mobile: +63 916 508 2236
Mobile: +63 915 646 6857
Mobile: +63 917 707 0634Balingoan Port v.v. Benoni Port route
For inquiries  (passengers and rolling vehicles) you may reach them at the following:
+63 917 707 0634
+63 920 253 9007
+63 915 646 6857
+63 999 889 9999
+63 942 445 3708

Things to Remember when Traveling to Camiguin

Bonbon Church Ruins
1. Take note of the ferry schedule if entering the province through Bohol or the mainland Mindanao (i.e. Balingoan Port).
2. If you decide to explore the island on a motorbike that you wanted to drive on your own, don’t forget to bring your driver’s license.
3. Students, Senior Citizens and PWDs should always bring valid ID because they can get up to 20% discount on fares.
4. There are several souvenir shops around and at the tourist spots.
5. Bringing of cash is a must. There are Automated Teller Machines at Mambajao and Mahinog but none in most parts.
6. Most establishments and restaurants only accept cash and in Philippine Peso currency.
7. If you crave for some night life, the best place to stay is at Yumbing. There are restobars in the hotels near the beach.
8. Rates on boat rental for White and Mantigue islands are for sharing. You can share boat rental fee with the tourists where boats going to White Island and Mantigue Island dock. In our case, we waited for a few and talked if it’s okay to share the fees with them. One way to make friends, too!
9. Travel responsibly. Respect the locals. Clean as you go.Camiguin is truly a province that will make you come again. I admire how their LGU responsibly takes care of the island’s tourism. Most of all, I love how the people are so welcoming! Have you ever been to this island, too? What’s your most favorite part of your trip? Tell us your experience about it!

Anne Elizabeth Gumiran, also known as Queenie, is a 20-something, full-time public school teacher, a part-time travel blogger and a freediver. She started putting her stories of adventures and misadventures into words and pictures in 2017 and continues to do so as she shares her advocacy, Sustainable Traveling.


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