I was a bit iffy about going to Camiguin island in the Philippines as on the Australian government they have mild warnings and recommend thinking of changing your travel plans to go there. Long story short: i’m so glad I went, it was amazing!
From Bohol I got on a four hour ferry to Camiguin island and when it arrived I made friends with a German girl who like me, hadn’t yet booked any accomodation so we jumped on a tricycle together. I had done a little research in regards to accomodation and come to realise it was going to be expensive however GV Hotels have discount rates during the quiet season so we ended up getting a room with two single beds for 500 pesos (12AUD) a night and split between the two of us we were only paying 250pesos a night so it ended up very cheap!
We both rented a scooter each for 350pesos a day which I found is the best way to explore the island. It isn’t a very touristy area so you won’t find many restaurants unless you go for a drive which is why it’s best to have a scooter. If you aren’t confident riding a scooter its a great place to learn as the roads are in good condition and there is little traffic.
The next morning I got up at 6am and went off on my scooter with my bathers, backpack and a map of the island. I first went to the hot springs which were only a 10 minute drive from the hotel. The spring pools were beautiful and blue and even though the temperature wasn’t very hot, it was luke warm which partly resembled a warm shower that I had been craving after weeks of cold showers!
After that I drove until I came across a restaurant and had a buffet breakfast which was delicious (egg, rice, bread and coffee-so good!). I also stopped at Soso Pool which is just a nice cold pool to swim in and it had nice seating areas where you could have a picnic after a swim.
Down the bottom of the island you can snorkel out to the sunken cemetery. I would recommend going to the tourist office where you can hire snorkels and a guide to swim out with you. We swam out 100 metres and the water was quite strong, there is a lot of coral and fish so it would be best to go with a guide. I got to see nemo fish, a sea snake and lots of other small fish! Depending on the tide you just need to be careful when you get closer to the cross as waves are breaking and it gets very shallow, I ended up scraping my leg on some coral because the waves were crashing on me and I couldn’t see where I was going So I highly recommend going with a guide from the information center!
I also went to Tuasan Falls and Katibawasan Falls. They were both nice to see but I wouldn’t necessarily say anything special like you see at the waterfalls in Cebu. However after riding on a scooter in the sun it’s very refreshing to have a swim and get a few photos. There wasn’t too many tourists either which made it more enjoyable and better if you want an instagrammable waterfall picture!
There are also several volcanoes on the island hence the black sand beaches. I was going to hike Mount Hibok-Hibok the following day however I had read that it can be a tough hike which takes roughly 3-4 hours one way. Even though I think I would have managed I sometimes struggle hiking up steep hills and also having been in the sun all day on the scooter I didn’t like the thought of being in more sun so I didn’t do the hike and left the next morning to get a move on to Palawan.
If you aren’t very confident at riding a scooter or it’s your first time, I think Camiguin island is a great place for you! The roads are very quiet with very little traffic and it only takes an hour or two to drive around the entire island. Definitely a perfect place for a DIY tour like I did. Download maps.me or get a printed map of the island (I got one from the guy I rented a motorbike from) and the waterfalls/springs and off you go. I had an amazing day by myself cruising along at my own pace. It is one of my favourite days I had in the Philippines!
I stayed at GV Hotels which is in the town of Mambajao and you can find their other locations here http://www.gvhotels.com.ph/.
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