Before leaving for Australia, I wanted to go on an out of town trip with close friends from the office.. So we planned a Cagayan de Oro (CDO)/Camiguin trip for 3 days/2 nights..
Both Cagayan de Oro and Camiguin are located in the northern part of Mindanao. Since the two places are close to each other, its quite easy to cover these 2 places in one trip.
Cagayan de Oro lies along the northern coastline of the island of Mindanao in the country’s southern portion, while the island-province of Camiguin is a pear-shaped volcanic island in the northern tip of Mindanao. It is approximately 90 kilometers north of the City of Cagayan de Oro.
Day 1 – CDO to Camiguin
Camiguin is a small separate island, so the only way to get here is via a ferry ride. Since its nearest to CDO, what we did was took a plane from Manila to CDO.. and then after from CDO go to the pier that will take you on the ferry ride to the island.
To get to the pier, we took a cab from the CDO airport to get us to the Agora bus terminal.
After we hopped off the bus we walked to the pier to ride the ferry that will take us to Camiguin. The total time spent on this was around 6 hours.
We stayed at Paras beach resort (http://www.parasbeachresort.com/) in Camiguin. They have some family rooms that can hold 7 people, so it ends up being cheaper when you come as a group.
After freshening up, we hired a local driver for our whole stay in Camiguin to take us around the different sights in the island. I’m not sure if he is still available now, since we did this trip back in 2008, but if he is I recommend you contact him. His name is Frank Pojas (cell num 09205405582) he was super friendly and helpful in bringing our bags and taking all the group pictures for us. He also was the one who suggested places where we can eat.
After freshening up it was off to see the following places
Day 2 – Camiguin to CDO
On the 2nd day we took a boat ride to White Island, known for the beautiful white sand.
After we’ve had enough of beach bumming, we left to go to back to the ferry that will take us back to CDO. 10 minutes from the pier is this restaurant Fish Pen where we had lunch.. Its a bit pricey though, their specialty is seafood, and you can choose to do some fishing.. If you catch something they can cook it for free (but you have to pay to fish)
After lunch it was the ferry ride back to CDO (take note of the times, so that you can adjust the activities beforehand)
After a loooonnnnggg commute, arrived in CDO around 6 pm (i think) and then prepared to have dinner. We stayed at the Good news inn hotel in CDO. (http://cdoguide.com/hotels/others/goodnews-conchita.html)
Day 3 – CDO to Manila
In CDO it was all about sports activities.. we went for the Macahambus adventure park (http://www.cdorafting-map.com/macahambus/index.html) zipline + canopy walk and Kagay whitewater rafting (http://www.cdorafting-map.com/index.html) package which included the transportations to and from the place as well as lunch after.
The whitewater rafting is around 2 hours for the beginner’s course.. which is around 14 rapids but if you decide to take the advanced course its longer (don’t know how long though)
After all of this, we took a shower and were taken to the airport to end our trip.
Travel/Budget tips in the Philippines:
– in taxis (especially coming from the airport), don’t ride until you first confirm that the meter in the taxi is on.. especially from the airport, what the drivers sometime try to do is ask for a set price that is higher compared to if you use the taxi meter.
– in the ferry ride to Camiguin, you can get a discount if you’re a student.. just need to show the student ID, and the price of the fare from P135 will be P115 (they don’t even check if the ID is valid)
– when we were in the Good news inn in CDO, we found out from the receptionist that they knew the owner of the Paras resort, if we had asked, they might have been able to get us a discount price for the Paras resort (try to ask this)
– when you book with Kagay water rafting, the pick up and drop off transportation was included.. if you want to go to the airport right after the white water rafting, you can just ask them to drop you off there without extra pay.
– for CDO rafting, make sure you put sunblock, its a long ride you’ll get sunburned if you’re not prepared.. Try to wear long jogging pants and long sleeve shirts. They sell there sleeves that you can put on your arms so its covered from the sun.
– for rafting, they can also take pics for you during the rafting and put it in a CD, P250 per cd.
– find out the timetable for the ferry to and from Camiguin, so that you can plan your activities and not end up waiting too long in the pier. Paras resort should have the timetable there.