Exploring Camiguin on a Motorcycle

Friday, May 03, 2019

motorcycle tour camiguin
If you are to ask me right now what my top destinations are, Camiguin would be right up there along with Batanes, Catanduanes, and Apayao. I don’t know what it is about islands and motorcycles but three out of four involved exactly those. 

In Batanes, where my husband proposed, we got around on a combination of bicycles and motorcycles. In Catanduanes, we spent five days (almost) looping the Happy Island on a Mio, which – like our bodies – was put to so much abuse. And in the two times I’ve been to Camiguin, motorcycles have played a prominent role in my discovery of the island’s offerings. As for Apayao, well, you could read all about that here.
celine murillo

At any rate, one of my life’s greatest triumphs was learning how to ride a motorcycle, but I’ll save this later for another soliloquy. Now, we talk about how you can get the most out of your stay in Camiguin by renting a motorcycle.

Motorcyle Rental Fee - Php300 to Php500, depending on make and model, good for two, includes helmets, full tank of gas, whole day; Resorts and Pension Houses usually offer motorcycles for rent.
Entrance Fees - Php300 to Php500, depending on number of pax and the destinations
Meals - Php300 to Php500
Suggested: Php1500/day, for two pax

Minimum - Overnight; Highly Recommended - 3D2N (so you could visit the other islands)

The places listed here are those that wouldn’t require another mode of transportation to reach, or more than half a day to enjoy. 

Sunken Cemetery
This landmark is synonymous to Camiguin and it’s also a great stop when looping the province. You may choose to view it from afar or you can rent a boat to get to the cross. You can even go snorkeling to check out the underwater graves!

Guiob Church Ruins
On May 13, 1871, Mount Vulcan erupted, destroying homes and structures in the island. One of the casualties was the Guiob Church. It was a grand structre back then but with trees arching above, serving as its roof, it looks more poetic.
guiob church camiguin

Katibawasan Falls
This 70-meter cascade is perhaps one of Camiguin’s most popular tourist spots. Set in a lush forest, this slender stream feeds a basin where one can take a dip. It’s easily reached via stone steps so one shouldn’t worry about trekking. The water is freezing cold, however, so brace yourself. 
waterfalls in camiguin

Tuasan Falls
You can’t get more accessible than Tuasan Falls in the town of Catarman. It’s literally just a few steps from the parking area, concealed by a protruding rock face. The water here is cool and trees provide ample shade. 
tourist spots in camiguin

Related Adventure: 8 Waterfalls Near Manila

Ardent Hot Springs
Camiguin has plenty of volcanoes and volcanoes mean natural springs. For some warmth, head over to Ardent Springs. Come early so there’s a good chance you can have it all to yourself. 

Bura Soda Springs
Fabled for its soft-drinks-like waters, this place is popular not just with tourists but also locals. Don’t miss the chance to taste the “soda” – it’s very similar to sparkling water. Don’t go on a Monday. They empty out the pools for cleaning! 

Katunggan Mangrove Forest
Located in the town of Mahinog, near Benoni Port, this small mangrove forest is not as popular as other destinations in the island. So if you’re looking for some place quiet where you can relax and do some thinking, this is the place to be.

magrove forest camiguin

Taguines Lagoon
Also in Mahinog, just a few minutes away from Katunggan, this man-made lake plays host to a variety of activities like kayaking and zip line. I’ve also spotted an inflatable water park during my recent visit. If you’re not into that, you can just pull over from the highway and take a quick snap. 

8:00AM to 8:20AM - Travel to Katibawasan Falls
8:20AM to 9:00AM - Explore
9:00AM to 9:15AM - To Ardent Hot Springs
9:15AM to 10:00AM - Explore
10:00AM to 10:10AM - Travel to Kurma Ecolodge or Hayahay Cafe
10:00AM to 11:00AM - Brunch
11:00AM to 11:20AM - Travel to Sunken Cemetery
11:20AM to 11:30AM - Photo ops by the viewdeck (you may stay longer here and ride a boat to the cross)
11:30AM to 11:40AM - Travel to Guiob Church Ruins
11:40AM to 12:00NN - Explore
12:00PM to 12:20PM - Travel to Bura Soda Spring
12:20PM to 12:45PM - Explore
12:45PM to 1:00PM - Travel to Tuasan Falls
1:00PM to 1:30PM - Explore
1:30PM to 2:00PM - Travel to Katunggan Mangrove Park
2:00PM to 2:30PM - Explore
2:30PM to 2:35PM - Quick Stop by the Taguines Lagoon
2:35PM to 3:35PM - Back to Mambajao, stop for some photo-ops along the way, if you like

Hike up Mt. Hibok-Hibok
If hiking is your thing, then a trip up Mt. Hibok-Hibok should be in your itinerary. Its newest trail, the one in the village of Itum, features a diverse trail that is arguably one of the most beautiful in the country. Make sure to get in touch with the Camiguin Tourism Office before going. You’d need to secure permits.

Related Adventure: Mt. Hibok-Hibok Hike

Relax at Mantigue Island
For a chill time, head over to Mantigue Island. I could easily spend a whole day here. It’s got a beautiful view of Mt. Hibok-hibok, and the clear waters make up for some good swimming time. There’s also an area for snorkeling. Plus, if you’re into trees, you must check out the beach forest!
i love mantigue

Get Your Tan at White Island
This swirl of cream-colored shoal is best visited early in the morning or in the afternoon when the sun’s not so harsh. It’s a bare sand bar with chalky sands, surrounded by cerulean waters. It also got a great view of Camiguin’s mountain ranges.
celine murillo
Photo by Rhonson Ng

Cebu Pacific, and Philippine Airlines have connecting flights to Camiguin from Cebu. SkyJet is also set to fly directly to the island from Manila. 

You also have the option to fly to Cagayan De Oro and take a bus to Balingoan Port. From here, ride a ferry to Benoni Port in Camiguin. 

Alternatively, from Butuan, you may get on a bus to CDO and have the driver drop you off at Balingoan Port. 

I stayed in JJE Pension House during my first visit. Then in Villa Paraiso Resort and Waterpark on my second. Both are located in Upper Poblacion, along JP Rizal Street.

JJE Pension House
JP Rizal Street, Upper Poblacion, Camiguin
+63 88 387 2094
JJE Pension House Facebook

Villa Paraiso Resort and Waterpark
JP Rizal Street, Upper Poblacion, Mambajao, Camiguin
+63 88 387 0419 / +63 917 308 9296
Villa Paraiso Resort and Waterpark Facebook

I highly suggest Hayahay Cafe,  and Kurma Eco Lodge. Both are in Mambajao and offers vegan-friendly dishes. Another personal recommendation is Guerrera’s, also in Mambajao. Most of their dishes can be made vegan. The local specialty called Hibok-hibok Express is a must-try!

Related Adventure: Where to Eat Vegan in Camiguin

There are also roadside stalls all over the island selling delicacies like kiping – a crispy sweet snack made from sweet potato flour and topped with latik (caramelized coconut cream) – as well as ginanggang – skewered and grilled saba banana brushed with sugar and margarine (just skip the margarine to make it vegan).

Hayahay Cafe
Mambajao, Camiguin
+63 915 240 7372
Tuesdays to Sundays - 8AM to 7:30PM, Closed on Mondays
Hayahay Cafe Facebook

Kurma Eco Lodge
National Highway Yumbing, Mambajao, Camiguin
+63 917 104 0610
Mondays to Sundays - 7AM to 9PM
Kurma Eco Lodge Facebook Page

Pearl Street, Rocky Village, Yumbing, Mambajao, Camiguin
+63 917 311 9859
Mondays to Sundays - 12NN to 2:30PM; 5PM to 9PM
Guerrera's Website

If you’re a large group, renting a Multi-cab might be a better idea. Rate is Php1,800 for an 8-hour island tour. 

Motorelas – an iteration of the tricycle – are also an option if you want to try public transportation. 

Mountain bikes are also available for rent.

For more information, check out Camiguin Loop by Scooter.

What’s your favorite island destination? 

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