White Island is probably the most sought-after destination in Camiguin. It’s an island with literally nothing on it but a heap of white coral sands shifting it’s shape according to the tides. No trees, not even a single plant — totally uninhabitable. But what makes this place amazing is the majestic view of Mt. Hibok-hibok and Mt. Vulcan and the inviting turquoise water that surrounds the island.
Just a 10-minute boat ride from the port in Mambajao (locally pronounced as mam-ba-haw), the journey to the island is one of the shortest we’ve experienced so far. The short sea travel allows us to have extra time to visit other nearby attractions such as the Sunken Cemetery, Tungatok Cove, and Old Church Ruins among others.
See also: Mantigue Island, Camiguin
White Island Camiguin — Our Experience
Although the sea travel was short, it was a bit rough because the weather was not in the mood during our first visit. Dull and gloomy skies, not really an ideal condition for an island trip. But I’m loving the fact that the water still looked vibrant despite the cloudy skies. How’s that possible?
It even rained heavily just minutes after we set foot on the island and while doing the semi-prenup shoot for our friends. We waited for a couple more hours just under the beach umbrella that we rented hoping the rain would stop, but it didn’t. Then we all agreed to just come back the next day.
It rained even harder upon reaching the mainland so we had no choice but to go back to our hotel. By the way, we rented motorcycles for the whole day and it’s sad that we were not able to fully use it. And since we’re planning to go back the next day, we requested for another one day extension for motorcycle rental.
On our second visit to White Island, which is our third/last day in Camiguin, things seemed to fall into place. The sun was happily shining and we went to the island excited and cheered up. The weather was nice in the island that morning. But the sun was hiding behind Mt. Hibok-hibok & Mt. Vulcan as it was still too early. I guess it’s best to visit the island at least past 9 am. Still, we were happy that we were able to see the twin peak’s silhouette.
The sands here aren’t that powdery fine so it’s not so barefoot friendly. There are parts where you can walk barefoot but you will still need to carry your slippers as you would still encounter sharp coral pieces as you continue walking around. I admire the cleanliness of the island though.
My favorite part is the farthest tip of the island as there’s no crowd there. And we were able to somehow see the shape of the sandbar from there. Although it seems dangerous to swim on that part as the ocean current is quite strong.
As much as we wanted to stay for an hour more so that we could see Mt. Hibok-hibok & Vulcan clearly, but we still have few more destinations from itinerary before we leave Camiguin. In our original itinerary, the last day is our time for relaxation. But we need to make up for our second day as it was kinda wasted. There’s really no assurance that the weather would cooperate all the time.
White Island Camiguin Travel Guide
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.
- From Benoni Port, take a jeepney (25 php) or van (30 php) to Mambajao terminal. From there you can charter a tricycle or habal habal to White Island Ferry Terminal (as registered in Google Maps), which is just beside Paras Beach Resort. If you will rent a motorbike, it’s 350 php per day.
- Register at the tourist information and ride a boat to White Island. Boat fee is 450 php per boat which seats 6 passengers maximum. Entrance fee is 50 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 fee||450 for 6 passengers||75|
|Snorkeling masks and life vests||100|
Note: This is assuming you’re 6 persons splitting the cost. Kindly adjust the cost per person accordingly.
Other Important Info
- Overnight camping not allowed in the island.
- You can stay on the island until 5pm only.
- The island is bare so it’s necessary to rent a beach umbrella if you plan to stay for hours.
- Upon registration, you will be given a copy of your boatman’s contact number. Keep it. Your assigned boatmen won’t wait for you unless you will stay for less than an hour. It’s important to keep the contact number just in case you need to leave the island earlier than the agreed time. They are minimizing the presence of boats in the island which is great so we could enjoy it fully.
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