The beautiful island of Camiguin
Camiguin Travel Blog› entry 3 of 5 › view all entries
April 25th, 2010 – by: cathysioson
Since we could no longer rebook, unless we shell out more dough, I resigned to the fact that we have to spend the first day in CDO.
From Dahilayan, we hurried our way to CDO proper. The L300 van that we rented for the trip to Bukidnon dropped us off at a van terminal near the Agora Bus terminal. As advised by our river guide in CDO, we opted to ride a van instead of bus going to Balingoan port since it's faster and more convenient. The van fare is P100. I think the bus fare is also around the same amount. One lesson I learned in our trip is to always add 30 minutes to the locals' estimated travel time.
We arrived at Balingoan terminal just in time for the ferry that was already open for boarding. We left Balingoan at 2PM and arrived in Camiguin around 3:30 PM. The ferry ride was not supposed to be that long, but our ferry was carrying a fuel tanker so I guess it was run slower on purpose.
The hotel van waited on us while we were having our late lunch at the J&A Fishpen. It took us another 30 minutes to arrive at the Camiguin Highland Resort. CHR is a very friendly resort with a beautiful landscape and nostalgic architecture. I love it! I will definitely stay there on my next visit to the island. The hotel staff offered us welcome drinks as soon as we arrived. After checking in and dropping our bags in the room, the group went straight to the hotel's swimming pool.
We had our late dinner at the hotel. Their foods are delicious and very affordable. At P1,400, the 6 of us had hefty servings of grilled fish dishes, bulalo, veggies, calamares and cake desserts. Their cakes, by the way, cost only P50, and there are two slices per serving! We retired late to our room that night.
The itinerary for the island tour was provided by the hotel. Our package with them included our 2-night stay and the island tour. I will not disclose the amount, but really, we got a very good deal. I think the manager gave us more than 40% discount. Thank you Rey De Lima, you're the best! :)
We left the hotel for the tour at 6:00AM.
Our first stop is Mantigue Island. This island was featured by Howie Severino in one episode of the Reporter's Notebook. Mantigue was previously inhabited by a small neighborhood of fishermen and their families. But the government had them relocated to the main island in order to preserve Mantigue Island and its surrounding marine sanctuaries. Mantigue indeed boasts of white sand that is as powdery as that in Boracay. The beach, however, is a bit rocky. It's ideal for sight-seeing but not so perfect for swimming. Or, you can wear Aqua Shoes, as I did, so you wouldn't feel the pointy shells your feet would be stepping on. The water is superb, though. It's very very clear, way clearer than in Bora.
We wanted to snorkel in Mantigue, but we found out that the shallowest snorkeling spot is 10ft., so we all agreed to pass.
Boat Rental to Mantigue: P550.00
Table fee: P50.00
Environmental fee: P20.00/head
After Mantigue, we were so excited to see the best tourist spot Camiguin has to offer... White Island. From the beach where we would be riding our boat, we could already see the sparkling white sand of White Island. It looked so magical! Very very very lovely even from afar.
White Island exceeded my expectations. The best spot has very fine, sugary white sand, and the water was so tranquil.
We took a stroll to the other end of the sand bar and took a lot of photos along the way. The mountains across the beach provided a perfect background.
We left White Island at 1:00PM.
Boat Rental to White Island: P400.00
Environmental fee: P20.00/head
Since we had late breakfast, we skipped lunch and proceeded with the island tour.
Another stop that we enjoyed is the Ardent Hot Spring. The spring is a certified stress-buster. When you visit Camiguin this is one place that you shouldn't miss.
We were reluctant to leave the hot spring, but we had to because we still have one more spot to visit �" the Katibawasan Falls. Since I've already seen one in Pagudpud (Kaibigan Falls), I was no longer that amazed at the sight of Katibawasan.
Sunken Cemetery - Free
Soda Water Swimming Pool �" P20.00
Sto. Nino Cold Spring �" P15.00
Ardent Hot Spring �" P30.00
Katibawasan Falls �" P20.00
In summary, the highlights of our Camiguin Island Tour are the Mantigue Island, White Island (of course!), the Ardent Hot Spring and the road trip while going from one tourist spot to another. I really enjoyed the sceneries of Camiguin. The houses we passed by are simple, but they all looked homey and pleasant with the flowering plants adorning their small gardens. The fields are in the liveliest shade of green that I wanted to take a dive right into the middle, lie down spread-eagled, and just wait for the day to close.
I miss Camiguin... one day is not enough to take in all its beauty and charm in my mind. I will come again, Camiguin. That's a promise.
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