A visit to Camiguin will not be complete without trying the province's local pastry called PASTEL. Pastel is a small bread bun filled with yema. You can buy this fresh at Camiguin's most popular and original pastel maker VJANDEP (pronounced as VANDEP with a silent J).
Though it's nice to eat the pastel fresh out of the oven, you'll fully enjoy it's taste when you eat it after a day or two so that the filling will be more custardy instead of a bit more moist.
One of the unique places to see in Camiguin is the Sunken Cemetery. It is an old town cemetery which was buried at the sea after the eruption of the old vulcan. The province erected a large cross at the exact location of the cemetery. My advice is to visit the place at sun down so you'll have a more dramatic pictures but if you want to see the graves under the water, visit during the day so you can snorkel it.
When I was first researching about Ardent Hot Spring, I was a bit hesitant to see it because of some bad reviews. But because it is the most popular hot spring in Camiguin, I must see it to give it a fair write up.
We planned to see it the night that we arrived but when we got there, we were turned off by how many tourist are present so we just turned around and decided to just see it in the morning. As it turns out, morning visits in Ardent Hot spring is very ideal. First of all, you'll get to appreciate the beauty of the place and secondly, no crowd! which is sweet because you can enjoy the hot spring in peace and by yourself.
Camiguin is almost unanimous with White Island, the most popular tourist destination here. White island is not actually an island but a sand bar in the middle of the sea. You can get here by riding a pump boat at Paras Beach resort.
Being the most popular destination, expect to see a lot of tourist here. We actually had a hard time finding a space to take a picture that doesn't have a person in it. Be sure to come early in the morning because there isn't any shade unless you'll bring an umbrella, also bring your beach shoes to fully enjoy swimming here because the beach is littered with small rocks.
You'll love the view of Hibok-Hibok, I also like how the water turned from dark blue to light blue when you get to the sand bar.
Discover a church within a church here in Guiob Ruins, what you'll see here is the ruins of a 16th century old church destroyed by the eruption of the Old Vulcan back in the day. What's left of the old church is its base and the bell tower.
Inside, they constructed a smaller church which held mass every now and then. They also planted trees around the ruins. The place is perfect for photo shoots because of the dramatic feel and blast from the past setting.
Since Camiguin has seven volcanoes, one of them very active, it is a must that this island house one of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology or PHILVOCS for short.
PHILVOCS is a government facility that measures and observes the activity of Hibok-Hibok, the active volcano in Camiguin. Situated just above our resort, we had a 5 minute drive going there.
What you will see is a bungalow type of house on top of the hill which houses different types of measuring devices, diagrams and displays of different volcanoes. Aside from feeding your nerdy side, you'll also appreciate the view from here.
Come here early so you can hike the Hibok-Hibok with the guide from PHILVOCS.
If you want to do something different in Camiguin aside from checking out springs, I suggest that you visit Enigmata treehouse, An art gallery and lodge which showcases art works from children and local artists in Camiguin.
Nature lovers will surely appreciate the works showcased in here because they incorporated their love for the earth with their art. My favorite is their collection of old bottles which they put into a wall to make a nice sun catcher and also the bottles that accented their entrance. If you are also the type who would rather stay near the forrest and not by the beach, the treehouse also accept transients. You would love their rooms because it has a very rustic and native feel. Perfect if you wanted to get away from the city and just chill with nature.
Katibawasan falls in Camiguin is by far, the tallest water falls that I've ever seen. It took my breath away when I saw it in full view. Surrounded by trees and other foliage, you can admire the falls closely by climbing down a flight of stairs. Below it is a pool where you could swim. In our case, we didn't dare taking a dip because the water was so cold! Anyway, I think it'll be a perfect stop if you've been under the hot sun for quite sometime.
White Island is a bare island that has white sand and crystal clear blue waters. If you swim far enough to the deeper parts you can actually see a variety of fishes but you can also just stay on the island and admire the view of mount hibok-hibok and the surrounding body of water.
Most of the tourists just come, take pictures and leave. If you go on a weekday, there's barely any people on the island aside from the lifeguard and the government employee who asks for an entrance fee of 20pesos. It's practically like having a whole island to yourself!
You can find giant clams at Kibila Beach, a very nice white sand beach in Camiguin island. There's an exhibit on display of various shells & clams. You'll get to snorkel & see the giant clams underneath the waters a few meters from the shore with a guide for P50. Entrance fee to the exhibit costs P25. We skipped the snorkeling coz we were too tired after swimming in Mantigue Island & I noticed that the water is a little rough. You can also snorkel near the shores for free for a view of smaller clams.
We can find J & A Fish pen in Tanguines Lagoon. You can eat in this famous restaurant by the bay while enjoying the cool breeze. You will be charge P5 for picture taking. This resto is located near Benoni Port. You can eat fresh seafood here.
Mantigue Island is my favorite of all the spots in Camiguin Island. I just love the white sandy beach great for swimming. The sand seems to stretch endlessly out to the waters. It's great to feel the sand underneath the water. We also got to swim further to the marine sanctuary with plenty of huge fishes. Gosh, I never swam that far! You can order food & eat here. We were guided by a local into the mini forest. Banca ride costs P550 roundtrip. Entrance to the island is P10. Table rental P50. Snorkeling in marine sanctuary P50. Banca ride takes 20 minutes from the main island. You can stay beyond the allotted 3-4 hours in the island for an additional charge.
Enigmata Tree House or Tarzan's Nest Resort has dorms & rooms for rent. It is a unique treehouse hotel & art gallery at the same time, one of a kind in the Philippines. It's also home to a group of artists who call themselves the Enigmata Creative Circle. Spread over 3 stories, the airy room were built from natural materials intertwined around three big trees. You can marvel at this must-see dream house 3.5 kms south-east of Mambajao, about 500m off the ring road. It has restaurant & swimming pool too.
Bahay Bakasyunan has good roomy cottages with TV. It has extensive & quiet grounds about 2.5 kms south-east of Mambajao. The resort has a restaurant & swimming pool. You can hire a car to take you around the island or boat to the neighboring islands. Room rates ranges from P2350-P4375. There are plenty of amenities & services offered by the resort.
In Phivolcs, you will learn a lot about the history of the volcanic activity of Mt. Hibok-Hibok, which last erupted in 1951. It also monitors the activity of the volcano. Camiguin has 7 volcanoes with Mt. Hibok-Hibok as the most popular. You can also have a nice view of the scenery below.