The Philippines is home to some of the world's most beautiful islands. It is the place to be if you're looking for a travel destination that combines unspoiled beauty and old charm. The country boasts of pristine beaches, magnificent mountains and volcanoes, sublime festivals and events, and fun-loving people. All of these features are packed into a small island called Camiguin.
Camiguin is considered the tourism capital of Northern Mindanao. Although it is the second smallest province in the country after Batanes, Camiguin is big in tourist attractions. Travelers can choose from a wide variety of scenic spots from majestic volcanoes, hot springs, and waterfalls to white sand beaches and awesome coral reefs and rock formations.
The province, which can be reached by boat or small plane from Cagayan de Oro, is basically an agricultural-based economy. Its people, the "Camiguingnon," depend on farming and fishing for their livelihood. Visitors in Camiguin are always welcomed with a big smile, giving tourists a sense of comfort and coziness.
Here is a travel guide to some of the must-see attractions in Camiguin, an island "born of fire."
Mt. Hibok-Hibok is one of the popular tourist attractions in Camiguin. It is one and the only active volcanoes out of the seven on the island. Mt. Hibok-Hibok, which stands at 1,552 meters above sea level, is popular among local and foreign climbers. Scaling this majestic peak is no easy task though. Hikers must first hurdle loose rocks and boulders before getting their reward - a breathtaking view of the entire island and Bohol.
Another frequently visited site in Camiguin is the White Island. This white sandbar, also known as Medan Island, provides a picturesque view of Mt. Hibok-Hibok and Mt. Vulcan. Located two kilometers across the Agohay and Yumbing beaches, White Island is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing, and seashell collecting. Motorized boats from nearby resorts and vacation rentals take vacationers to this wonderful natural wonder.
Never leave Camiguin without taking a dip into the crystal clear waters of Katibawasan Falls. Located around five kilometers south of the capital, Mambajao, this natural treasure measures some 250 feet high. Its cool water and green surroundings often come as a welcome relief during hot and humid days. Giant ferns and ground orchids serve as added visual treats for visitors.
Some might consider the Sunken Cemetery in the municipality of Catarman surreal. But to local residents and most tourists, this landmark is naturally appealing and amazing. The cemetery, which lies 20 feet underwater, can be explored by snorkeling or scuba diving. A huge cross serves as a marker for the site of the remains of a volcanic-triggered tsunami that sank an entire community in 1871.
Another tourist magnet in Camiguin is the annual Lanzonez Festival. The event is held every third week of October to celebrate a bountiful harvest of lanzonez, a tropical fruit considered the most important source of livelihood in the province. The festival is characterized by a colorful parade and street dancing.
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Allan Leandro Merin has been writing for a living since 2008. After leaving a career at a daily electronic newspaper, he joined a web development outsourcing company and linked up with Local Philippines, the most comprehensive online directory of Philippine destinations, events, and attractions.