Barely 240 square kilometers in land area, Camiguin is the second smallest island of the Philippines in both area and population. It is just 23 kilometers at its longest and just a bit more than 14 kilometers at its widest. Within this small area lie seven volcanoes. Lovely little Camiguin is the island “born of fire.”
Much of the island was formed through earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. In the late 1800s, for example, the eruption of Mt. Vulcan submerged the old town of Catarman – pushing it below the sea, leaving behind the ruins of a church and its bell tower. The Sunken Cemetery, now marked with a huge cross, was also one of the areas in this old town.
Aside from this, Camiguin’s natural attractions keep visitors coming.
White Island, a sandbar, and Mantigue Island, a smaller island off the shores of Camiguin, are great for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.
Cool, refreshing waters amid trees, ferns, and boulders can be found at waterfalls like Katibawasan Falls or the more remote Tuawasan Falls.
Just as refreshing is a dip in the Santo Niño Cold Spring. It offers waters at 20 degrees Celsius and small fishes that will give you a unique massage!
In contrast, there’s Ardent Hot Spring – 40 degree Celsius waters heated by Mt. Hibok-Hibok, an active volcano.
Hikers and mountaineers will never run out of adventure here.
The steep volcanoes are a trekker’s challenge, with one of them rising to a peak of more than 1,600 meters. There are forests and dive sites for exploring, too. This island is a nature lover’s theme park.
As you trek, keep an eye out for what Camiguin is best known for – lanzones fruit, a sweet fruit about the size of a grape, with light brown skin and translucent flesh. Its harvest is heralded by the weeklong Lanzones Festival every October. Colorful costumes, street dancing, and parades mark the celebration.
Apart from the island’s natural beauty, stories of volcanic eruptions lend an air of nostalgic romance. Old Spanish-era churches, ruins of past towns, and ancestral homes from the Spanish and American periods are picture-pretty side trips to Camiguin’s history.
With 7,107 islands, it’s hard for one to stand out. But Camiguin undoubtedly does.