If you needed proof that good things come in small packages, just look at Camiguin: the country’s second-smallest island is also one of its most beguiling
Where? Camiguin is a tiny island just off the northern coast of Mindanao.
How? Fly into Cagayan de Oro airport from from Manila, Iloilo or Cebu. From Cagayan, jump on a bus to Balingoan from Agora Bus Terminal, then nip to Camiguin by barge or ferry.
Why? Game of Thrones fans will like Camiguin’s nickname: it’s known dramatically as the island ‘born of fire’, thanks to its seven volcanoes. The island is 23km at its longest section and 14km at its widest bit, making it blissfully easy to explore and navigate.
What? Camiguin may be small, but it doesn’t stint on attractions. Spend lazy beach days on White Island, an idyllic off-shore sandbar, or go snorkelling with tropical fish around Mantigue Island. Gawp at the striking white cross in the sea that marks the site of a sunken cemetery, which was swept under water during Mt. Vulcan’s 1871 eruption. If mermen and mermaids went to church, they’d surely choose to worship at Santo Rosario Church, which is decorated with chandeliers fashioned from driftwood and woven bamboo walls. Dips come in all forms here, thanks to the island’s volcanic makeup: get steamy at Ardent Hot Springs, whose waters push 40 degrees; cool things down in the Santo Niño Cold Springs (where obliging fish will give you a friendly pedicure, nibbling away at your feet), then get bubbly in the Bura Soda Water Pool. Chase waterfalls at Katibawasan Falls and Tuasan Falls, then admire local art at Enigmata Treehouse, whose eccentric charms include a hand-shaped labyrinth made by Mindanao artist Kublai Millan. Don’t miss Guiob Old Church Ruins, which come with a panoramic sea view.
Try… Lunch or dinner at a floating restaurant – there are a few to pick from by Benoni Port.