HOW TO GET TO CAMIGUIN (From Cagayan de Oro and Butuan)

Imagine an island with beautiful, white-sand beaches, cerulean, crystalline waters, rich history, and a chill atmosphere. This is a real place, and it is Camiguin in Northern Mindanao. The province is one of the smallest in the country, but despite its size, it has many noteworthy attractions that keep tourists coming back for more. Its idyllic and relaxing ambiance allow visitors to leave their worries behind.

White Island is one of the most popular spots in the province. It’s one, big white clump of fine sand in the middle of the sea. Relax, unwind and swim in its waters with beautiful views of Mt. Hibok-Hibok as your background. There is also a handful of springs to douse the heat in and revitalize your body like Ardent Hot Spring, and Sto. Nino Cold Spring. Drop by the spectacular Katibawasan Falls to take photos and enjoy nature. Outdoorsy visitors can enjoy a hike up Mt. Hibok-Hibok.


How to Get to Camiguin

Cagayan de Oro and Butuan are possible gateways by plane and boat.

From Cagayan de Oro

The route that tourists follow often when they visit Camiguin is through CDO. With many direct flights to this city, it is a convenient and affordable option. After arriving at Laguindangan Airport, board a van bound for Agora Terminal. The trip can take up to 45 minutes and costs around P199.

Taxi fare to Agora Terminal from the airport costs around P450 to P700, depending on if you ride a regular one or an airport taxi.

Once in Agora Terminal, look for buses or vans traveling to Balingoan Port. The fare is around P150 and could take up to three hours. The air-conditioned buses are definitely more convenient. The non-aircon ones take longer with more stops and may be uncomfortable for some; only take it if you’re trying to save money.

Once you reach the Balingoan Port bus terminal, you can walk to where the boats departing for Benoni Port in Camiguin are. The boat fare is around P130 to P170. There’s also a P5 terminal fee and P4 environmental fee. The ride can take up to two hours depending on the weather. Once you reach Benoni Port, you can board a van to Mambajao for P30 if you booked a place to stay there. The trip takes approximately one hour.

You can also hire a habal-habal driver for a day tour for P800. You can ask him to drop you off at your accommodation before starting the tour.

From Butuan

If you were unable to book cheap flights to and from Cagayan de Oro for your Camiguin trip, you can look for tickets to Butuan. It is an alternative gateway to the island. Manila has regular direct flights to this city.

After arriving, go to the parking lot and look for multi-cabs with the ‘R4’ sign. This can drop you off at the Butuan City Integrated Bus Terminal. It will cost you P20 and the trip can take up to 20 minutes. At the bus terminal, look for a bus bound for Cagayan de Oro; there are many. Tell the conductor you’ll alight at Balingoan Port. If you tell them you’re going to Camiguin, they’ll know where to drop you off. The trip can take up to two hours and fare is around P200.


Exploring the Island

You have a couple of options when it comes to visiting the attractions on the island. Short distance rides on a habal-habal (motorcycle taxi) is only P10. However, if you want to visit certain destinations like the waterfall, pools and White Island, you might spend approximately P50 to P200. You’re better off hiring the driver for the day, this costs P800. If you know how to ride a motorcycle, rent one for a day, rental costs P500.

If you’re traveling as a group, you can rent a multi-cab for P1700. This can accommodate up to eight people. You can also rent a van to tour the island comfortably, but this option will set you back P2500. This option can accommodate around 10 people.


Where to Stay in Camiguin

This island has a number of hotels, guesthouses, and resorts for a comfortable stay. You can find accommodation near Benoni Port if you want to check-in as soon as you arrive or plan to leave early the next day. Camiguin is small enough to cover the highlights in a day, so staying near the port could be a good option.

Mambajao is also a good base to explore all that the island has to offer. The town proper has accommodations that are within your budget. You can find a place to stay for around P500 a night. If you have a bigger budget and want a more luxurious stay, there are resorts for approximately P4100 a night. Some resorts have their own swimming pool. The town is also an ideal place to rent transportation for day trips. You might also want to consider these top resorts according to Agoda users (as of January 2019).

Agohay Villa Forte Beach Resort
Photo was provided by the resort via Agoda.

For more options, search here: Camiguin Hotels


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