December 31, 2014

Backpacking 101: Camiguin Island Travel Guide, Budget and Itinerary (Plus Dahilayan Adventure Park and Camp Phillips Bukidnon Side Trip)

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Camiguin is in everyone's bucket list. Its charm as an island continues to attract foreign and local tourist who want to hide from the city and plunge into happiness of the beach and underwater adventure. We were blessed to experience the charm of Camiguin – the Island born of fire so here I am sharing you not just our experiences but my travel notes to help you build your Camiguin adventure.  

White Island
Camiguin is Paradise

Camiguin is not just an island province in Northern Mindanao. It is a volcano. There are actually seven volcanoes on it. That helped to shape what Camiguin is right now. No wonder it is called The Island Born of Fire.

Camiguin comprises of five municipality that offers a variety of tourist attractions. 

Mambajao

Mambajao is the commercial and political capital of Camiguin. Most of the resorts and hotels are located here. Banks, restaurants and the Airport are also located in Mambajao. Some of the tourist attraction in Mambajao are: White Island, Ardent Hot Spring, Katibawasan Falls, Macao Spring and Tangub Spring. There are also a lot of Old Houses along the streets of Mambajao.

White Island early morning

Catarman

Most of the famous attraction in Camiguin are located in Catarman. If you love to swim in cold springs you might spend most of your time here. Some of the attractions here are: Sunken Cemetery, Walk Way to the Old Vulcacan (Stations of the Cross), Old Church Ruins, Bura Soda Water Park, Sto. Nino Hot Spring and Tuasan Fall.  

Sto. Nino Cold Spring 

Old Church Ruins

Sagay

Due to our limited time we did not had the opportunity to visit Sagay. Some of the attractions in Sagay are: Binangawan Falls, Sinablayan Spring, Pamunglo Spring, Langojanan Ki Inggoy Tubod Swimming Pool and Sagay Church

Guinsiliban

Guinsiliban is the smallest municipality in the Island Province of Camiguin. According to DOT Camiguin some of the attractions in Guinsiliban are: Taguines Lagoon, Katunggan Mangrove Park, Queobe Eco Park, Monte Calvario Station of the Cross, Giant Clam Sanctuary and Moro Watch Tower. 

Mahinog

Benoni Port the gateway to Camiguin is located in the Municipality of Mahinog. Aside from Mantigue Island (Magsaysay Island) and Camiguin Zipline the municipality of Mahinog also has the Ostrich Farm and Sabo Dam on its list of attraction.  

Mantigue Island



How to Get There

Because of recent infrastructure development in the entire archipelago there are now two ways in which you can step foot in Camiguin:

Option 1: Air-Land-Sea

This route is not the most convenient but it is the more scenic. It would take you a whole day for this option given the stops and waiting time.

  1. From Manila take a plane to Laguindingan Airport (Cagayan de Oro Airport). 
  2. From Laguindingan Airport take a van, taxi or bus to Agora Market in Cagayan de Oro. Trave time is about 45-60 minutes. 
  3. In Agora Market take a bus bound to Butuan and tell the conductor to drop you Balingoan Port. This would take 1.5 – 2 hours travel. 
  4. Take a ferry in Balingoan Port Benoni Port in Camiguin. This would take 1-1.5 hours travel time. 
  5. Once in Benoni Port you may take a Habal-Habal, Motorela, Multicab or Van to your desired destination. Habal-Habal to Mambajao is Php200.00. If you arrived early you can take a Van that in my observation is more faster than Habal-Habal. Van from Benoni to Mambajao is Ph30.00. Good thing with the Habal-Habal is that it will take you straight to your hotel/resort.

One reason we chose this route is that I want the more scenic one. It relaxes me whenever I am in the road. Plus, we wanted to do a sidetrip in Bukidnon's Dahilayan Adevnture Park and I wanted to see the pineapple plantation of Del Monte.

Option 2: Transfer Via Cebu

Cebu Pacific flies to Camiguin via its Cebu Hub 5 times a week. You can fly to Cebu then transfer to Cebu-Camiguin route. PAL and Cebu Pacific flies regularly to Cebu. If you do not have a lot of time to spare on the road this option is recommended for you. This one might be more expensive. Just wait for promo fare.

Transportation Around the Island

Habal-Habal or Single Motorcycle

Just say hi to a man with  motorcycle and you'll have a tour guide! Finding your way in Camiguin is easy as ABC. Habal-Habal or single motorcycles are scattered all over the island for local and tourist needs. It is one of the means of transportation and livelihood for the locals of Camiguin. A tour with the Habal-Habal cost Php800.00 for 8 hours (please treat the driver for lunch and snack). Short distance ride cost Php10.00. If you opt from point to point (i.e. Mambajao to White Island Jumpoff or Mambajao to Ardent Hot Spring), Habal-Habal usually asks for Php50.00 to Php200.00. Of course depending on the distance and your haggling skills.

If you know how to drive a single motorcycle you may rent it for Php500.00 per day excluding the gas. You can get it for a lower price if you rent it for more than one day.   

Motorela

Motorela is a customized single motorcycle that could fit 10 people. Talk about ingenuity ;) It is their jeep in Camiguin. Motorela is available in the highway and you can hail them for short distance travel (i.e. resort to Mambajao, resort to a certain restaurant located in the highway). Basically you cannot rent it for a day tour. It could not go uphill for sure. 

Minimum fare is Php8.00

Vans, Multicab and Jeep

Vans, Multicabs and Jeeps are both used for public transportation from one point to another point. Vans, Multicabs and Jeeps are usually located in Ports and city center. From Mambajao to Benoni Port Van cost Php30.00 while Multicab cost Php22.00 - Php25.00. 

Like the Habal-Habal you may rent a Van, Multicab and Jeep for a tour. This is recommended if you are in a large group of six and up.   

Van Rental - Php2,500.00 good 10 - 12
Multicab Rental - Php1,500 - Php1,700.00 good for 8; Php2,000.00 good for 10-12
 Jeep Rental - Php2,000.00 good for 16-18 

Resorts/Hotels usually has their own tour or they cab recommend one for you. 

Accommodation in Camiguin 

We stayed in Seascape Resort in Mambajao. It is located 20 minutes away from the city center. Our room is big, sea front, and with veranda and hammock. It cost me Php800.oo per night. WiFi is available only in the lobby. 

Contact - 0908-3332439

Other Accommodation

Catarman Coral Drive Resort - 0910-6938255; 0906-5319698
D&A Cotteges - 0946-8281438
Casa Roca Inn - 0918-3887185
Creekside Paradise Resort - 0999-7644110; 0921-7316542
Tabada's Homestay - 0918-6306672
Chumz Travelodge - 0917-3037305; 0939-9062110
Enigmata Treehouse - 0919-9999877; 0917-3264474
Paras Beach Resort - 0917-7152285
Jje Pension House - (088) 387-2094
Somewhere Boutique Resort -  0999-6767-583
July Haven Seaside Lodge - 0917-7075466  

Travel Itinerary 

Here I share to you our actual itinerary and expenses including the Dahilayan Adventure Park side trip. 

DAY 1 – DAHILAYAN ADVENTURE PARK

6:00 – Arrival at Laguindingan Airport (Cagayan de Oro Airport)
6:30 – 7:30 – Travel to Agora Market in Cagayan de Oro
  • Van – Php400.00
7:30 – 8:00 – Breakfast in Agora Market – Php120.00
9:00 – 10:00 – Travel to Camp Phillips, Bukidnon
  • Van – Php120.00
10:00 – 10:30 – Camp Phillips to Dahilayan Adventure Park
  • Habal-Habal – Php500.00 (Back and Forth)

10:30 – 12:00 – Dahilayan Adveture Park
  • Zipall Packange - Php1,200.00 (Php600.00 each)
  • Picture – Php300.00
  • Snack – Php205.00




12:00 – 12:30 – Dahilayan Adventure Park to Camp Phillips
12:30 – 1:00 - Camp Phillips (Photo Ops)





1:00 – 2:00 - Camp Phillips to Puerto, Cagayan de Oro
  • Van – Php120.00
2:00 – 3:30 - Puerto, Cagayan de Oro to Balingoan Port
  • Bus - Php300
4:30 – 6:00 - Balingoan Port to Benoni Port, Camiguin
  • Ferry – Php340.00
  • Terminal Fee – Php5.00
  • Envorinmental Fee – Php4.00



6:00 – 7:00 - Benoni Port, Camiguin to Seascape Resort, Mambajao
  • Habal-Habal – Php200.00
  • Dinner – Php210.00
DAY 2 – WHITE ISLAND AND CAMIGUIN ISLAND TOUR

5:30 – 5:40 – Seascape Resort to White Island jumpoff
  • Habal-Habal for 8 hours Island Tour – Php800.00 (good for 2)
5:40 – 6:00 – Registration and Breakfast
  • Environmental Fee – Php40.00
  • Boat 2 way good for 6 – Php450.00
  • Breakfast – Php90.00
  • Snorle – Php150.00

6:00 – 6:10 – Travel to White Island
6:10 – 9:30 – White Island
  • Table and Umbrella – Php150.00
  • Snack in white Island – Php190.00



9:30 – 9:40 – Travel back to jumpoff
9:40 – 6:00 – Camiguin Island Tour
  • Swimming at Katibawasan Falls – Php60.0
  • Meryenda Kiping – Php30.00
  • Swimming at Ardent Hot Spring – Php60.00
  • Lunch – Php465.00
  • Sto. Nino Cold Spring – Php60.00
  • Tuasan Fall - Free
  • Bura Soda Water Park – Php60.00
  • Snack – Php135.00
  • Old Church Ruins - Free
  • Sunken Cemetery
  • Boat – Php100.00
  • Guide Tip – Php50.00
Katibawasan Falls

Kiping




Tuasan Falls

Tres Marias on my back




Sunken Cemetery


6:00 – 7:00 – Dinner – Php200.00

DAY 3 – MANTIGUE ISLAND (MAGSAYSAY ISLAND) AND CAMIGUIN ZIPLINE

6:00 – 6:30 – Seascape to Mambajao
  • Motorela – Php16.00
  • Breakfast – Php60.00
7:30 – 8:30 – Travel to Brgy. Mahinog (Jumpoff to Mantigue Island)
  • Van - Php60.00
8:30 – 9:00 – Travel to Mantigue Island
  • Boat – Php550.00 (Maximum of 4 hours in the Island, plus Php50.00 per hour in excess)
  • Environmental Fee – Php40.00
  • Rent Snorkle – Php300.00
9:00 – 12:00 – Mantigue Island (Snorkling, Beach Bumming and Forest)
  • Table – Php50.00
  • Snorkling Fee – Php100.00
  • Boat to Marine Sanctuary Php200.00
  • Lunch – Php290.00












12:00 – 12:30 – Travel back to jumpoff
12:30 – 1:00 – Shower at jumpoff – Php20.00
1:00 – 1:30 – Travel to Camiguin Zipline in Benoni
  • Motorela to Benoni – Php16.00
  • Benoni to Camiguin Zipline – Php50.00 (back and forth)
1:30 – 2:00 – Camiguin Zipline – Php500.00 (Php250.00 each)
2:00 – 3:00 – Travel to Seascape, Mambajao
  • Van – Php60.00
  • Motorela – Php16.00

5:00 – 7:00 Walking Tour in Mambajao, Pasalubong and Dinner



  • Motorela – Php16.00 (to)
  • Motorela – Php16.00 (from)
  • Pasalubong - Php600.00
  • Dinner – Php200.00
DAY 4 – CAMIGUIN TO MANILA

7:00 – 7:30 – Seascape to Mambajao town proper
  • Motorela – Php16.00
8:30 – 9:30 – Mambajao to Benoni
  • Van – Php60.00
  • Breakfast – Php50.00
10:00 – 11:00 – Benoni to Balingoan
  • Ferry – Php340.00
11:00 – 1:00 – Balingoan to Agora Market, CDO
  • Bus – Php300.00
  • Lunch – Php300.00
2:00 – 3:00 – Agora Market to Laguindingan Airport
  • Van – Php400.00
5:00 – 6:00 - Laguindingan Airport to NAIA T3
  • Terminal Fee – Php400.00
Note that all figures except for the Island Tour (Php800.00), Boat ride to White Island and Mantigue are for two person.   

Total - Php10,772.00
Accommodation - Php2,400.00
Airfare - Php5,100.00 (Manila - CDO vv for two)
TOTAL COST - Php18,272.00 (for 2 person)

Important Numbers
Department of Tourism - (088) 387-1097 loc 120
Philippine National Police - (088) 387-0038
Philippine Ports Authority - (088) 387-4001
Super Shuttle Ferry - (088) 387-4034
Ocean Jet - 0926-4492255

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