Mantigue Island (also known as Magsaysay Island) is a little sanctuary about 3 kilometers off the coast of Camiguin mainland. It is one of the best places to visit in Camiguin and it’s just a short 15-min boat ride from the port.
This tiny island paradise is round in shape and decorated with lush vegetation and powdery white sands encircling the whole island.
The island is surrounded by clear vibrant waters and amazing marine sanctuary. In fact, it’s underwater scenery is one of the best we’ve seen so far!
See also: White Island, Camiguin
Mantigue Island — Our Experience
We visited Mantigue Island on the first day of our Camiguin trip. This was not supposedly our first destination but due to Cebu Pacific’s multiple changes of flight schedule, it kinda ruined our itinerary. Supposedly, we’re about to visit the Giant Clams Sanctuary in Kabila White Beach in the morning, then head to Mantigue Island after lunch. But since it was already 10 am when we reached Benoni Port in Camiguin and the chances to visit both places decreased, we had to decide which to prioritize. We chose Mantigue Island and it was the best decision I’ve done in my life!
We first left our luggage at our hotel’s front desk at Camiguin Blue Lagoon Cottages, drove for 10 minutes to San Roque Port (we rented a motorcycle), registered in the tourism office, took our much needed brunch at a carenderia nearby, then finally sailed to our dream island.
By the way, while in the tourism office, there were two Chinese tourists who approached us asking if we could share the boat with them so they could split the cost with us. The boat is good for a maximum of 6 passengers. We were four and they were two so there’s nothing to be worried about, not even COVID-19 😁. They’re from Zhejiang China taking their holiday break in the Philippines. The one is shy type, and the other is the complete opposite (he’s the one with us in the photo above). Apparently, we agreed to share the boat with them. I even touched his phone when he asked for a photo. Talked to him in a very short distance. But of course, we still took basic precautions. I never touched my face. Two weeks later, we’re still healthily breathing.
The game plan was just to beach bum for an hour, do a semi-prenup shoot for Sel and Gel, then head back to the mainland. Because at the back of my mind, I’m still hoping to visit Giant Clams Sanctuary in Kabila Beach. However, our boatmen approached us offering a snorkeling tour. I was hesitant at first, but I tried not to show it because Jeric looked very interested and I didn’t want to destroy his burning desire!
Snorkeling at Mantigue Island Camiguin
We rented a table and chairs (I’ll share all the rates later), so we could have something to sit on and to put our stuff into. To find out later that it’s kinda useless because we need to put our important stuff (wallets, phones, cameras) somewhere safer. We couldn’t bring them with us eventhough it’s in a dry bag because we have to swim our way to the snorkeling site! We just left our stuff in the island’s tourism office.
Our boatmen (forgot the names as usual), took us to the snorkeling site by dragging us using a life ring with rope. Guide and tourist ratio should be 1:3, meaning up to 3 persons only per 1 life ring. And each guide is limited to hold only 1 life ring for safety purposes. Since we’re 4 and the 2 Chinese friends did not join us, we still agreed to have 2 guides to accompany us so that it’s 1:2.
The photos below are just screenshots from our video so I really don’t have even a single decent photo.
Our photos are so limited but there are actually so much to see! There were sea stars, lots of fish, and even giant clams! It’s funny how we struggle to notify each other everytime we see something amazing. I actually swallowed a little saltwater when I tried to call Jeric’s attention when I saw a school of angel fish while he was also trying to call me when he found Nemo! We were like, “Look! Look! Okay I saw it! Now look here! And there!”. Imagine how we understood each other without uttering any word. There were no dull moments, none at all. Everywhere we look, it’s just plain beautiful.
We need to leave the island at 2pm and it was already 2pm and we’re still in the middle of the ocean. Our two Chinese friends were already waiting on the shore for our departure back to the mainland. Good thing they are nice and they’re kinda used to Filipino time already.
The weather wasn’t so nice in the mainland so we ditched the idea of doing another ocean activity. We decided to head north instead and visit Katibawasan Falls and Ardent Hot Spring. More about that on a separate post!
~ Mantigue Island Travel Guide ~
Okay, enough of chitchat. Let me now share you how to get to the island, the rates and fees, and some tips and tricks about this little paradise on earth!
Camiguin Island has it’s own airport but only Skyjet Airlines flies directly to the port. Other nearest airports from Camiguin are the Laguindingan Airport in Cagayan de Oro and Bancasi Airport in Butuan City.
From Cagayan de Oro (Laguindingan Airport) – our route
- Take a bus or van going to Agora Bus Terminal. In our case, we arrived at the airport at around 11pm and there were no buses available at that time. Our only option was to take a van just fronting the arrival exit. Fare is usually 199 per person, but we got it for only 100 because the van operators were competing just to get us. No haggling skills needed. 😁 Travel time was 30 minutes because it was midnight. Could be longer depending on traffic.
- Take a bus bound for Butuan and disembark at Balingoan Ferry Terminal. Tell the bus attendant that you’re going to Camiguin. Fare is 147 php and travel time was 2 hours (it was midnight).
Note: There’s a minimal 3 php entrance fee per person at the Agora Bus Terminal.
- Board a ferry going to Benoni Port in Camiguin. First trip is 4:15 am and ferry schedule is every one hour until 5pm. We chose the 7:15am schedule. Fare is 210 php and terminal fee is 15 php.
- Charter a tricycle/multicab/motorcycle to take you to Mantigue Island Departure Area in Mahinog. Prepare around 100-150 php for the tricycle/multicab. And if you will rent a motorcycle, it’s 350 php per day.
- Register at the tourism office and ride a boat to Mantigue Island. Boat fee is 600 php per boat good for up to 6 passengers. Environmental fee is 30 php per person.
From Butuan City (Bancasi Airport)
- Take a multicab going to Butuan City Integrated Bus Terminal. Fare is 20 php and travel time is 20 minutes.
- Take a bus bound for Cagayan and disembark at Balingoan Ferry Terminal. Tell the bus attendant that you’re going to Camiguin. Fare is around 200 php and travel time is 2 hours.
- Follow instructions number 3 through 5 above.
Rates & Fees
|Item||Cost (PHP)||Per person (PHP)|
|Boat fare||600 for 6 passengers||100|
|Table w/ chairs||50||13|
|Snorkeling masks and life vests||150|
|Snorkeling guide fee||200 per guide||100|
Snorkeling guide fee regularly costs 300 per guide and each guide can only handle 3 persons maximum. But since we were 4, our guides agreed to 200 per guide and each guide will only handle 2 persons.
Other Important Info
- Overnight camping not allowed in the island.
- Each island tour is limited to 4 hours. There’s an extra fee of 50 php per hour exceeding 4 hours.
- The island is open until 5pm only.
- The guide and tourist ratio of 1:3 is strictly implemented.
- You can tour without a guide but the management will not be liable.
- There’s an eatery and sari-sari store on the island in case you forgot to bring your food and drinks.
- There are also cottages available for rent for 150.
- The island is clean and tranquil so dispose your trash properly.
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