I only had a few days before my birthday and I didn’t have a plan yet. I was in Bali last year but I knew it would be hard to risk and go out of the country this time because of COVID-19 (Man, I was planning to go to the USA).
I’m not sure how it got there but I chose Camiguin, one of the best islands in the Philippines. I booked my flight on a Tuesday night when I was flying that same Saturday. I didn’t even prepare a detailed Camiguin itinerary this time.
While direct flights are available, they would cost me a whopping PHP 8,000. So I opted to book a ticket to Cebu, and then book another from Cebu to Camiguin. There’s a ferry from Cagayan de Oro and Butuan to Camiguin but I wanted the easy way (the flight was only 30 minutes).
First off, a roundtrip ticket from Manila to Cebu cost me PHP 2,100, while a roundtrip ticket from Cebu to Camiguin was PHP 2,300. More or less, my ticket was PHP 4,500. Not bad for a last-minute booking.
I don’t want to give you a breakdown of my expenses because to tell you the truth: it’s not budget-friendly. I splurged this time because I wanted to treat myself on my birthday because why not?
Where to stay in Camiguin
I stayed at Bintana Sa Paraiso – Binunsaran the whole time. It was more than I could ever ask for. I’ll make a separate post for it!
They have two sites: Binunsaran and Naasag. I booked the one in Binunsaran because it’s high up in the mountains but with a sea view as well so I figured it’s all-in-one.
I stayed at their Dome Glamping (PHP 4,500) on the first night, then went to the Tikihut Deluxe Queen (PHP 3,500) on my second night. They also offer pickup to and from the airport for PHP 800/one way. It’s pretty pricey when traveling solo so better bring someone!
I also booked my tours (PHP 2,000 to PHP 2,500 for the multicab) with them so props to them for making my trip hassle-free! This tour is already good for up to four people but since I was alone, it was a little over the budget. I still think it’s relatively cheaper because I spent around PHP 2,000 per day for my joiner tours in Siargao.
Camiguin itinerary (3D2N)
Honestly, it is SO easy to wander around the whole island of Camiguin. Even my tour guide, Kuya Chito, told me you can literally motorbike for two hours (without any stops). A good two-day Camiguin itinerary may just do the trick for the spots.
Another thing to note is that the weather can be very unpredictable just the same as the rest of the islands in the country, so better stay longer if you don’t want to take any chances. I almost didn’t get to go to Mantigue! Prep contingency plans for your Camiguin itinerary!
Day 1 (Flight + Land Tour)
|Flight from NAIA to Mactan Airport
|ETA Mactan Airport
|Flight from Mactan Airport to Camiguin Airport
|ETA Camiguin Airport
|ETA Bintana sa Paraiso Binunsaran
|Proceed to land tour
|Early dinner at Beehive
Here’s the list of places we went to for my land tour:
- Tuasan Falls
- Soda water
- Sto Nino Cold Spring
- Old Church Ruins
- Old Volcano Walkway
- Sunken Cemetery
- Tangob Hotspring
Honestly, you may have to lower your expectations when they say hot or cold spring as it may not always be the case.
While I did like these spots, I didn’t appreciate them that much. I guess it’s because they’re full of either foreign couples or families. Not exactly an ideal haven for solo female travelers but that’s okay!
Meanwhile, you can snorkel at the famed Sunken Cemetery to up your experience. I have a fear of deep darkness and I figured seeing an underwater cemetery wouldn’t be a great idea for me.
Out of all these places, the Old Church Ruins would be my favorite.
Day 2 (White Island + Mantigue Island + Giant Clams Sanctuary)
|Pickup from Bintana sa Paraiso Binunsaran
|ETA White Island port
|White Island; Relax
|ETA White Island port; Head to Mantigue port
|ETA Mantigue port
|Mantigue Island; Lunch
|Back to Mantigue port
|Giant Clams Sanctuary
|Side-trip to Vjandep Bakeshop
|Side-trip to Sea Glass Museum and Art Gallery
|Back to Bintana sa Paraiso Binunsaran
|Dinner and drinks at Bintana sa Paraiso Binunsaran
We added Ardent Hotspring and Katibawasan Falls for today because we weren’t able to visit them on Day 1.
Our first stop was the pristine White Island. You can stay here for as long as you can but an hour or two may be enough in my opinion. I suggest you switch off your phone and bring a book or a journal—it would be a good social media detox spot. Also, bring food for a picnic but bring your trash with you!
You can rent an umbrella for PHP 100. Don’t hesitate to rent one because there are literally no shades.
On the other hand, you can only stay in Mantigue for up to four hours. I liked Mantigue more than White Island because it’s not as hot. The sand also seemed more white and powdery. There’s a mini restaurant should you wish to have your lunch here (with beer!).
I was able to walk around the island for 15 minutes (Yep, I timed it). This is the back part of the island:
I’m not sure what happened here but it reminded me of Life of Pi.
The Giant Clams Sanctuary is the highlight of my whole trip. SERIOUSLY. I wish I had a waterproof camera. Be sure to try snorkeling or you’ll miss out on a lot! Fun fact: there are 11 types of clams in the whole world and there are seven in Camiguin alone.
We passed by Vjandep Bakeshop on the way back and I had to buy their famous pastel as I’d been craving since I first stepped on the island. I was going to save two boxes to take home but I was able to finish a whole box in one go.
Around the area is Sea Glass Museum and Art Gallery, where you can see the famed handmade accessories. Prices range from PHP 150 to PHP 5,000.
Day 3 (Rest + Flight back)
|Head to Mactan Airport
|La Dolce Vita
|Check-in at Camiguin Airport
|Flight from Camiguin Airport to Mactan Airport
As with my other trips, I enjoyed my last day at the hotel. If you’re up for a morning drive, you can still visit spots that are close to your accommodation.
If you’re staying in Bintana sa Paraiso Binunsaran like me, you could do Ardent Hotspring or Katibawasan Falls.
Camiguin Itinerary (Option 2)
To be honest, my initial plan was to go to Mantigue island for my first day. BUT, the weather was not that good at the time so they canceled all boats going to Mantigue.
For more time with your land tour, this may be your best bet. Basically, it will be:
- Day 1 – White Island + Half of the land tour
- Day 2 – Half of the land tour + Mantigue and Giant Clams Sanctuary
Again, this is only for when you’re also coming from Cebu. If you have more time to spare then you can spend separate days for White Island, Mantigue + Giant Clams, and Land Tour.
- You can rent a motorbike for PHP 500 per day to avoid spending extra bucks on a tour. Remember to always wear your helmet as they are very strict with that. However, a solo travel tip that I always recommend is to sign up for tours, whether it be a joiner or a private tour, to actually know more about the locals and spots you’re visiting.
- They have their own version of tricycles called motorella. It’s like a really cute mini jeep!!! Note that there are two colors with respective routes: West Bound (orange) and East Bound (green).
- Everything is relatively cheaper in Camiguin so if you have extra, please tip your tour guide/boatman/etc. A little goes a long way.
- Mosquitoes are everywhere so bring your insect repellant.
- BRING ECO-FRIENDLY SUNSCREEN!
I hope this Camiguin itinerary can help you with your upcoming trip!
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