Wahaha, Gelli de Belen???
Camiguin is definitely the highlight of our trip! I thought 2 days would be enough but I wish we stayed longer, I really would have stayed longer in the cold and hot springs!
We woke up early cause we were off to Camiguin. We considered so many options but I think the most convenient one is the van service located behind Gaisano Mall. I read this on a blog and it really is the best. I texted them for reservations days before cause I just like being prepared. We checked out and took a cab to the Gaisano Mall parking lot. It’s a good thing I made reservations cause we got good seats and they were very proactive in texting and they are awake so so early. I think that’s the second trip of the day, the first one was at around 2am. This is literally the easiest way to get to Camiguin from CDO. It costs PHP530 pesos, you take the van from Gaisano Mall and you travel by land to the Balingoan Port in CDO. Then, you get off the van and get on the ferry to travel to Benoni Port in Camiguin. Then you get on the van again, which will take you to your hotel / lodge. It was almost noon when we got to the cottage. I definitely recommend this, it’s the most convenient one, I promise.
In Camiguin, we stayed at Marianita’s Cottages. It’s located in Yumbing, not exactly in the center but closer to White Island. I think it’s actually a really good location (I always pay attention to location when I’m booking accommodations.) cause it’s near the port to White Island, and this area where restaurants are located. It’s also located in the beach front and we can literally see the people on the island from our cottage.
We ate lunch at a carinderia near our cottage, which was super cheap! We only paid PHP80 for both of us! Then, we were off to White Island. The port is right next to Paras Beach Resort. I forgot how much the boat was, but I remember it being cheaper than what I saw on blogs. Then we paid for the snorkeling gears – which I wish I didn’t cause I actually had goggles with me, and when we got there, we rented an umbrella. White Island is actually a huge sandbar and there are no trees so when it get it’s too hot, nothing would protect you from the sun. So it’s necessary to rent an umbrella. Also, there is really no time limit, you can stay there as much as you want. At some point, Dave and I were probably the only 2 people on that sandbar, aside from the lifeguard. I love White Island, it’s so beautiful, the water is so clear, it’s long stretch of white sand, there’s a nice view of Mt. Hibok-Hibok in the background, and it’s just a 10-minute boat ride from our cottage. Definitely one of the best beaches I’ve been to! 👍👍
WARNING: NAG-PHOTOSHOOT KAMI NANG MATINDI. HAHAHA.
We stayed there for about 2 ½ hours before we went back to our cottage. I was quite tired, we wanted to go to Ardent Hot Spring after but I actually wanted to stay in bed LOL. We ended up just going to Hayahay Café after. It’s about 2km away from our cottage, so we took a mini-jeep there. We were the only people there, and it started raining once we started eating so we had to move to another table with a roof. I love the ambiance of the café, it’s like having breakfast in your own yard. You can literally “hayahay” cause it’s super comfy. I was concerned for the throw pillows when it started raining. I ordered the Peach Perfect Smoothie Bowl, and it’s sprinkled with santan and coconut flakes. The coconut flakes were so yummy! I did eat the santan, too but not the huge flower. LOL.
Ok, public transpo is quite hard in Camiguin, especially once the sun has set. We finished eating at around 7:00 pm and I literally thought we were going to walk 2km back to our cottage. The jeeps were coming by so infrequently, and they were usually full. We were lucky enough to come by an almost empty one after walking for a while. There were also a lot of dark roads. It’s not scary though cause I had Dave with me and I think people n Camiguin are so nice. But if I was alone, I would have been quite scared and literally wait for a while in front of Hayahay Café for a jeep.
On our second day, we rented a motorcycle (with a driver haha) to take us around town. We were planning to go to Mantigue Island first so we asked the driver to come pick us up at noon but he offered to take us the port going to Mantigue as well. It was really far. Mantigue Island is actually closer to Benoni Port so maybe it would be good to go there first upon arriving and just leave your bags at the port / visitor center. It’ pretty much the same as White Island, we paid for the boat and the boatmen took us to the island. We paid extra to go around the island and we saw some sea turtles! Since Mantigue Island is quite far from the port, the boatmen actually stayed at the island and waited for us. We stayed in the island for about 4 hrs, and even had our lunch there. It reminds me a little bit of Mamutik Island in Kota Kinabalu. The island has inhabitants and I think the workers there are people who have been living there before it was opened to visitors. It’s bigger and definitely has a lot more things going on than White Island but I like White Island more. I think it’s cleaner and I really like the pinkish sand.
MORE PHOTOSHOOT LOL
After spending a few hours at the island, we started our city tour. Our first stop is Sto. Nino Cold Spring. It’s super awesome! It’s so beautiful, I love the trees sprawled everywhere! They also have a fish spa, I only paid PHP10 and it’s unlimited! I had to pay in USD in Siem Reap for 20-30 minutes of the exact same thing! We pretty much stayed there the entire time cause we didn’t want to go swimming again as we just came from Mantigue.
We could only go to one falls in Camiguin and we opted to go to Tuasan Falls. It’s quite far from the main road, but close to the Soda Swimming Pool. I actually prefer going to falls during the latter part of the year cause I feel like the gush of water is stronger. LOL. Nevertheless, this is pretty majestic. We crossed to the other side and dammit, it was difficult cause I was wearing flipflops! I was scared to fall cause my backpack could get wet. It was really rocky, too.
We wanted to visit the Sunken Cemetery during sunset but it will be out of the way if we do that. I’m surprised that it’s super close to the view deck. There was a boatman there who helped us take cute photos. I think it’s a thing at the Sunken Cemetery. This, along with Old Guiob Church Ruins, have a very interesting history. You will read all about the 1871 earthquake at the church ruins.
Ok, I really thought I could do The Walkway in the Old Volcano but no, we only did it until the 9th station. I was very tired, y’all. I really tried. Hahaha. But we were able to see the Sunken Cemetery cross from there. Also, it started drizzling after that and it was almost sunset, so went our way to Ardent Hot Springs.
I wish we really took Kuya’s suggestion to go the day before because I think Ardent Hot Springs look amazing during the day. But then, I think going to a hot spring is better at night. It was a pretty nice way to end a long day.
Instead of going to Luna Ristorante, which we thought looked boring, we went to this restobar nearby instead cause they had a live band that night. I forgot the name but it’s also in the same area. The food is good, I loved the milkshakes, but the service was really slow.
I totally fell I love with Camiguin. 2 days is definitely not enough. Here is a compilation video from our time in Camiguin: