Lovely, Little Camiguin: An Island Born of Fire

In terms of area and population, Camiguin ranks as the second smallest island in the Philippines. It only occupies 240 square kilometers of land area. There lies the  seven volcanoes. People would always talk about that lovely little Camiguin as an island “born of fire.”

This is true for much of the island was formed through earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. For instance, in the late 1800s, the eruption of Mt. Vulcan submerged the old town of Catarman – pushing it below the sea, leaving behind the ruins of a church and its bell tower.

These stories of volcanic eruptions lend an air of nostalgic romance on top of the island’s bewitching beauty. Needless to say, that the  ruins of past towns, and ancestral homes from the Spanish and American periods are picture-pretty side trips to Camiguin’s history.

Its charming citizenry believe that as a natural paradise, the island is perhaps unmatched anywhere else in Southeast Asia. The local government’s web portal says it all: “This exquisite island province of varied ecosystem stirs the imaginations and baffles the mind.”

It’s really difficult to stand out especially in a country composed of 7,107 islands. But Camiguin undoubtedly made its mark. There are more than a hundred reasons for you to think about. To start with, let us give you an overview of the top 7 things to do once your feet touch the ground of Camiguin.

1 Dip into the waters

Camiguin’s natural attractions keep visitors coming to its magnificent shorelines and coastlines with swaying coconut trees. It is known as a diver’s paradise and haven for snorkelers and beachlovers. Fine beaches offer sun-filled days of relaxation and the clear blue water, enchanting marine life and coral reefs beckon diving enthusiasts from all over the world.

View the sunrise and sunset at White Island, an uninhabited white sandbar located 2 kilometers across the sea from Agoho and Yumbing. As its backdrop is the picturequse Mt. Hibok-Hibok and Old Volcano as its backdrop.

Off the shores of Camiguin, a magnicient view of Mantique Island awaits a tourist. It is

4 hectares of evergreen forest, fringed with white granule sand beaches. A fishing village is found in the north of the island. One side of the island is a white sand beach with coral offshore, and the other opposite side provides a deep drop-off for snorkeling and diving. One gets there by light water craft in 25-30 minutes from San Roque, Mahinog.

2 Delight in the spray of majestic waterfalls

Cool, refreshing waters amid trees, ferns, and boulders can be found at waterfalls like Katibawasan Falls or the more remoteTuawasan Falls.

3 Bath in at night

Located 6 kilometers southwest of the town of Mambajao, Ezperanze Ardent Hot Spring, this mineral pool bubbles with water around 40 degrees celcius. Of this stunning beauty, the local government portal had this to say: Mist rises from the heated waters that run down the vents of the dormant Hibok-Hibok volcano. The springs are ideal to bathe in at night surrounded by cool mountain air. It has therapeutic effects. Picnic huts and tables are available in the beautifully landscaped gardens and there is a restaurant on site.

A volcanic hot spring below the sea bed, Tangub Hot Spring can be reached 12 kilometers west of Mambajao. The small area is formed by a pool of sea stones and corals and is completely undeveloped.

4 Treat yourself to a unique massage

Just as refreshing is a dip in the Santo Niño Cold Spring. It offers waters at 20 degrees Celsius and small fishes that will give you a unique massage!

5  Dive into a marvelous underwater world

While here, never miss an opportunity to dive, paddle and swim in tranquil bliss. Be in love with the magnificent beauty of a secured marine sanctuary which has become a subject of support and research  known as the Camiguin Coastal Resource Management Project of the New Zealand Aid Programme, municipal governments and communities.  There are about  31 Marine Protected Areas distributed within the province.

They say that it does not matter where you are in the province’s five localities –Mambajao, Mahinog Guinsiliban, Sagay or Catarman–  for  “each has a remarkable story to tell, and an even more fascinating underwater spectacle to show.”

In Catarman, the trip is about relishing the story of the volcanic holocaust of 1871 and witnessing the spectacular rhythms of the underwater world, in the Sunken Cemetery,  Pasil Reef Marine Sanctuary, Catibac Marine Sanctuary, Lawigan Marine Sanctuary and Poblacion Marine Sanctuary. Be amazed with the underwater topography of Catarman’s best dive sites.


6 Challenge yourself for a trek

Hikers and mountaineers will never run out of adventure here. The steep volcanoes are a trekker’s challenge, with one of them rising to a peak of more than 1,600 meters. This island is a nature lover’s theme park. Get entranced by the beauty of nature as you trek the heights of Camiguin volcanoes, discover and explore unknown trails and caves.

7 Dance to the tune of Lanzones

As you trek, keep an eye out for what Camiguin is best known for – lanzones fruit, a sweet fruit about the size of a grape, with light brown skin and translucent flesh. Its harvest is heralded by the weeklong Lanzones Festival every October when the island is transformed into a panoramic beauty of colorful costumes worn by its vibrant people on a street dancing.

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