Camiguin · Philippines · Travel Tales

A Camiguin Day Tour, Part One: Katibawasan Falls and Mantigue Island

A day tour of Camiguin is much like many day tours of smaller provincial islands in the Philippines: you hop on a jeep or multicab, stop at certain points of interest, and sightsee all day. I went around Guimaras and Siquijor this way. But I was astounded by the many things one can do in Camiguin!

A day tour of Camiguin involves lots of moving around in your multicab to sights as this one.
A day tour of Camiguin involves lots of moving around in your multicab to sights as this one.

For our day trip, we’d hired a multicab (P1700) operated by a husband-and-wife team of accredited tour guides. They went to our resort to take us first to Katibawasan Falls.

Katibawasan Falls
Katibawasan Falls

At 75 meters in height, this is the tallest falls in Camiguin and probably the tallest falls I’ve ever swum near. And the water is cold,but after immersing ourselves there for 30 minutes, it felt blessedly relaxing.

Entrance fee to Katibawasan Falls is P20.

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We ate kiping to keep our stomachs full till our next stop, which was the Mantigue Island Nature Park.

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On the way to Mantigue Island

Mantigue Island is a short boat ride (P550) away from the boat terminal in the town of Mahinog. On the island, we also paid P20 for the environmental fee, P50 for the snorkeling fee, P50 for the rental of a small table and chairs, and P150 for the rental of flippers.

All worth it? Heck yes.

View of Camiguin from Mantigue Island
View of Camiguin from Mantigue Island

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I walked around barefooted to take pictures. I loved feeling the soft white sand underneath my feet, even though it was already quite hot under the almost-noontime sun!

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The marine sanctuary is just a short swim away. I went around the buoy lines, though I didn’t swim too far out because I was alone. Also, a school of jackfish scared me away, because they looked as though they could attack me from all sides. 🙂 But after swimming a bit and seeing nothing but sea grass, I was rewarded with a sight of the usual residents of protected Philippine reefs such as some blue tang (e.g. Dory in Finding Nemo), parrotfish, sweet lips, butterflyfish, cleaner wrasses, and several others I can’t identify, including little electric blue fish. There was a nice reef wall with branching and table corals which I got nearer to before said school of jackfish appeared. There was also a family of clownfish which appeared to be challenging me by their anemone home (when all I really wanted was to say hi). I wonder how much more I’d see if I’d gone on and on.

Mantigue Island and its clear, clear waters
Mantigue Island and its clear, clear waters. To the right is the marine sanctuary.

We spent a couple of hours on Mantigue Island before we went back to Camiguin. Lunch was at J&A Fishpen Restaurant, also in Mahinog, which was by the Tanguines Lagoon and where there was a 1100-meter zipline. We did away with the zipline, but the food was good. We ordered buttered shrimp, crab soup and fish.

J&A Fishpen Restaurant
J&A Fishpen Restaurant

We treated our tour guides here as well and had a short chat with them. I asked them where the lanzones were, since I’d seen a stall in Balingoan selling “lanzones from Camiguin”. They’re not from Camiguin, apparently, as lanzones season is in October and there’s none to be found in Camiguin in summer months. Ah, you learn something (or in today’s case, several things) new every day.

Parts two and three of my Camiguin Day Tour can be found here: Part Two | Part Three

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