Camiguin Island Tour

Good Morning CDO! We woke up at 4:00 AM and checked out at the inn to catch the 5:00 AM bus trip to Balingoan Port. From Willshire Inn, we rode a cab going to the bus terminal with trips to Balingoan. It took us about 20 minutes to go there. And from there, there are buses going to Balingoan Port. The bus fare is PHP 150.00, and the travel time is about 2 hours. We arrived at the Balingoan Terminal at around 8:00 AM, then we rode a tricycle going to the port. By the way, the port is just 5 minutes walk from the terminal so I think there is no need to ride a tricycle, it just happened that we have lots of baggages. 🙂

Moving on, we paid our terminal fee (PHP 2.50), then boarded the RoRo going to the Benoni Port. The fare is PHP 150.00, and the travel time is 1 hour to 1 1/2 hour. The Benoni Port is the main point entry to Camiguin.

If you want a less hassle trip to Camiguin, you may try Paras Sea Cat that has daily tips from Cagayan De Oro to Benoni Port scheduled at 8:30 AM. Fare is from PHP 400.00 one way.

Port of Benoni

Camiguin. Benoni Port. Camiguin Island is known to the island “Born of Fire”. It has seven volcanoes and several volcanic domes. Volcanic eruptions and land movements have created this spectacular island which is full of natural wonders and historical riches.

We arrived at the Benoni port at 9:00 AM, then met the person who will take us to Paguia’s Cottages (+63910632972). We stayed at the Paguia’s Cottages since I found it affordable. The room cost PHP 1,500, good for 6 persons.

We arrived at the Paguia’s Cottages around 10:00 AM. Travel time was 45 minutes  to 1 hour from the port to our lodging. We found our cottage cozy and nice. It was a big cottage with 1 room, kitchen and private toilet and bath. It can even fit 10 people.

Brunch at Vjandep Restaurant

We quickly dropped our things then started the tour. The one who picked us at the port is also the one who will tour us at the Camiguin Island. The tour cost PHP 1,500.

We had our lunch first at the Vjandep Restaurant. From Paguia’s cottages, it took us 30 minutes to get there.

Vjandep

We are all hungry as usual. And here’s our food:

Vjandep4Vjandep3Vjandep2Vjandep1

The food is affordable, it may be usual but it was good! We’re all full and satisfied with the food. Afterwards, we went to the Vjandep bakery (which is just a block away from the restaurant), and bought the Camiguin’s famous pastel. Vjandep is a bakery in Camiguin that is famous for their pastel – a bun with a yema (custard-like) filling that’s great for merienda or breakfast.

Katibawasan Falls

We started the tour at Katibawasan falls. The Waterfalls measures about 250 feet high, cascades to a rock pool surrounded by ground orchids, wild ferns, trees and boulders. The falls rushes down into its green pool that is really refreshing for a good swim. There’s an entrance fee of PHP 30.00.

FallsFalls

The water was cold. It was refreshing but we can’t manage its coldness so just after we waded in the nature’s pool for about 10 minutes, we left and moved to our next destination.

Before moving on to the next destination, we stopped along the street and took a picture at the picturesque view of the beach and mountains of Camiguin Island.

ViewSunny Day

Walkway to the Old Volcano and Stations of the Cross

Some were tired and lazy to go up so we just took our picture here at the entrance going to the walkway and stations of the cross.

Walkway

Guiob Church Ruins

What remains are ruins of adobe walls, belfry and convent that are testimonials to the devastating 1871 earthquake and volcanic eruption which wiped out the illustrious town of Catarman established earlier as a Spanish settlement in 1697.

Old

Water Soda Pool and Sto. Niño Cold Spring

After the ruins, we went to the Soda pool. We’re all curious why it was named such. By the way, there’s an entrance fee for PHP 50.00 and there are also cottages but we didn’t rent one since we will only stay for half an hour. We took a dip in the soda pool. Hmmm… we tasted it a bit (?) just to confirm if it’s really a soda. It smells like at first but we’re just swimming with same other pool.

Cld Spring

Afterwards, we went to the Sto. Niño Cold Spring. The entrance fee is PHP 40.00. The water is like an ice, it’s colder than the Katibawasan falls. I rented a life buoy and relaxed over the cold spring.

Sunken Cemetery

After we spent our time at the falls and relaxed over the cold spring and soda pool, we came on our much awaited destination, the Sunken Cemetery. I personally asked our driver to take us in the Sunken Cemetery during sunset for us to catch it’s picturesque view. We came on time, just before the sunset and the sunken cemetery didn’t disappoint us.

Sunken Cemetery

According to local historians, Mount Vulcan had four historic eruptions. The first one was in 1827 but records of this eruption were nil. The second one was in 1862 when thick ashes from the crater flowed and overtook people who were fleeing towards the sea, resulting in 326 fatalities. The third one started in 1871. Previous experience had taught some of the Camiguin people of the dangerous whims of Mount Vulcan. Thus, when earthquakes were felt, they fled as far away as possible from the volcano, but some stayed behind. There were spasmodic eruptions and the people who fled decided to stay away until the time when the volcano finally subsided in 1875. But when they returned, they have lost their land and their friends.

The whole capital of Camiguin, with its cemetery, sunk under the sea. In the following years, the sunken land and the gravestones can still be seen when the tide is low. But in 1948 until 1953, Mount Vulcan erupted again, sinking the whole area deeper, to around twenty feet. In 1982, a large cross was built on the solidified lava to mark the site that became the graves of the ancestors of the Camiguin people. It has become a sunken cemetery. Now, it is one of the world’s most unique diving sites.
We rented a boat and took us to the cross.

Sunken Cross

Afterwards, we went back to the shore. As we sailed the 3 feet deep sea, we saw gravestone covered by dead corals. We also saw some starfish and other fish.

Marlon has a trauma with small boats, he got nervous when Aphol slipped into the floor. He got scared, so all the boatmen lifted up the boat until it reached the shore. 🙂

Sunken Pic

Ardent Hibok-Hibok Hot Spring

It was already 5:00 PM, and we moved on to the last part of our tour.

Ardent

It was good to have this on the last part of the tour, entrance fee is PHP 30.00. The hot spring made us relaxed, eased our back aches and moved away our stress. Anyways, there are lots of people at the spring so we had a hard time finding a good spot. We spent an hour at the hot spring. It was nice and I felt good, it was my first time at the hot spring!

HotSpring

Afterwards, we bought some pasalubong outside the resort. This was the end of our tour and we went to Paras beach resort to have dinner.

Paras Beach Resort – Restaurant

We took our orders first then we’ll just come back after 30 minutes because we needed to wash up and take a shower at our cottages. Paras Beach resort is just a walking distance from Paguia’s.

Our tour guide left and I asked him to fetch us tomorrow at 8:00 AM so we can catch the 9:00 AM ferry trip to Balingoan Port. Moving on, we went back to Paras Beach Resort and had our dinner. Here’s our food – sobrang gutom na kami:

Paras Food6Paras Food3Paras Food1

The food didn’t disappoint our hungry stomach. It was a delight after a tiring day. We went back to our cottages, we calculated our expenses. Afterwards, we slept. Good night Camiguin!

Trip Tips:

  • There are two ways to reach the Camiguin Island;
    • Ferry at Balingoan Port (4 – 5 hours travel from CDO to Camiguin Island)
    • Fastcraft at CDO which leaves at 8:00 AM daily (2 hours travel time from CDO to Camiguin)
  • There are numerous bus trips from Cagayan De Oro going to Balingoan Port at the bus terminal in Agora Market.
  • Ferries leaving for Camiguin Island’s Benoni Port from Balingoan port starts leaving at 6:00 AM. It has an hourly departure frequency until 5:00pm.
  • There are no good white sand beach in the Camiguin Island itself so I think it is not necessary to choose a beach front resort.
  • For Paguia’s Cottages room, pick up and tour rate, please contact Paguia’s Cottages at +63910632972.

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8 Responses

  1. marxtermind says:

    Taking the bus will get us to Camiguin earlier while the ferry has one to two sailings only.

  2. marxtermind says:

    Taking the bus will get us to Camiguin earlier while the ferry has one to two sailings only.

  3. Anonymous says:

    i've been searching for infos about camiguin since i have plans to go there too. i wnt 2 ask lng why did you chose the more hassle way of going to camiguin (since u said in ur blog that the less hassle trip is via paras sea cat)? is it just because of the 100 pesos difference in fare?(which i wont mind kc travel time wise its faster db?) or is it the boat? or stunning view on the way to balingoan?

  4. Akiko says:

    I really love the Katibawasan Falls and the Ardent Hot spring. Thanks for sharing with us your experience. Keep on posting.

  5. Akiko says:

    I really love the Katibawasan Falls and the Ardent Hot spring. Thanks for sharing with us your experience. Keep on posting.

  6. marxtermind says:

    @Ian, yes overnight trip!

  7. Ian says:

    Your Camiguin trip was good introduction for my on-going plan to visit Camiguin. Is this an overnight trip? I enjoy reading.

  8. Ian says:

    Your Camiguin trip was good introduction for my on-going plan to visit Camiguin. Is this an overnight trip? I enjoy reading.

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