Despite only being a short ferry ride away from Bohol, you probably haven’t heard of Camiguin. This luscious island is an excellent destination for those looking for something a little off-the-beaten-path! It isn’t even that well known with Filipino tourists – despite being one of the most beautiful and safest islands in the country.
Whilst this seclusion is great for adding to a sense of adventure, it can make finding a place to stay quite difficult. The island is roughly divided into five sections, but not all of these contain hotels – and many of the accommodation options only provide basic needs.
That’s why we’ve created this guide! We’ve figured out the best parts of the island to stay in as a visitor, and tried to uncover some of the great accommodation options available across Camiguin. There’s plenty on offer, it just takes a little bit extra research – so we’ve combined our experience with information from local experts and travel writers.
So let’s dive right in!
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Camiguin
- Where to stay in Camiguin for the first time – West Mambajao
- Where to stay in Camiguin on a budget – Catarman
- Best neighborhood in Camiguin for families – East Mambajao
- Where to stay in Camiguin for nature – Guinsiliban
- Coolest place to stay in Camiguin – Mahinog
Where to Stay in Camiguin
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Camiguin.
Best Hostel in Camiguin: Hostel Lions
As the only hostel on the island, Hostel Lions had to take our top spot for backpacker accommodation in Camiguin! Though it is actually attached to a larger hotel complex, they offer the best prices on the island and have some great facilities. The small guest numbers keep it cosy and intimate.View on HostelWorld
Best Airbnb in Camiguin: Private Home
There are far more Airbnb options in Camiguin than hotels – making this a great, cost effective way to stay on the island! Many of the homes, including this Catarman villa, can sleep a large number of guests – perfect if you are visiting as a large group.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in Camiguin: Mabini Lodge
This four star hotel is great for those that want the typical hotel experience whilst staying on the island! It comes with great reviews thanks to the high levels of service, as well as all the facilities you could possibly need for a short stay on the island.View on Booking.com
Camiguin Neighborhood Guide
Camiguin is truly a hidden gem located close to Bohol. Surrounded by brilliant blue waters and filled with verdant forests right to its core, this is a great destination if you just want to hide away from the world for a few days and enjoy some peace and quiet. If you’re looking to party just stick to the main resorts elsewhere in the Philippines – but if you want an ambient getaway like nothing else in the country, set aside some time for Camiguin!
Whether you arrive by plane or ferry, motorcycles are the most popular way to get around the island! These can be rented cheaply, and it only takes a few hours to travel the full circumference of Camiguin.
If this is your first time on the island, it’s likely you will be based in Mambajao. Not every area on the island has accommodation, and Mambajao is by far the largest taking up around a third of the total area of the island! For this reason, we have split it into East and West Mambajao – but travel between the two doesn’t take long.
West Mambajao is where you will find the most popular natural attractions on the island, as well as the largest cluster of hotels – making it the ideal place to check out all the highlights and gather your bearings. Nevertheless, families might prefer East Mambajao! This area still benefits from all the tourism facilities of the west, but is a little bit quieter and more family friendly.
Whilst the Philippines in general is quite cheap, Camiguin’s secluded nature makes it one of the more expensive options. There’s not really any way to avoid this, but you will find prices are slightly cheaper in Catarman than other parts of the island! For visitors, this area is also a great way to experience local culture whilst still staying close to the major attractions.
Finally, we have both Mahinog and Guinsiliban in the west. These areas are both great for veering even further off the beaten path, but have their own individual charms as well! Guinsiliban has some more secluded natural beauty – whilst Mahinog has a unique local culture and some of the best seafood in the country.
Sagay, which is walking distance from both, is a great destination for natural springs and waterfalls – however, as there is no accommodation in this area you will need to make your own way. It is well worth the visit, however, and can easily be covered in half a day.
Still undecided? Check out our extended guides below.
5 Best Neighborhood to Stay in Camiguin
Let’s take a look, in more detail, at the five best neighborhood in Camiguin. Each caters to different interests, so be sure to pick the neighbourhood that’s right for you.
Mambajao is the largest section of the island, taking up roughly the entire northern third. The west side of Mambajao is the perfect spot for first time visitors that want to check out all of the main attractions on the island! There are more hotels on offer in this area, with some great budget options for backpackers.
West Mambajao is also where you will find most of the motorcycle rental shops – giving you a great way to get around the island with ease! Most of East and West Mambajao can be reached within a short walk, and it’s less than an hour by bike to the other side of the island.
Things to See and Do in West Mambajao
– Hop on board the ferry to White Island – this secluded resort of the coast doesn’t have a population, but does have gorgeous beaches
– A little bit further inland, Tangub Hot Spring Resort is the place to be if you want to sit back and relax whilst admiring views of the island
– The walkway to Camiguin Volcano starts in West Mambajao – set aside the whole day, though it is suitable for most ability levels
– Agohay Beach is the main coastal resort in the area, with views across the sea towards White Island and excellent facilities
– At the base of Camiguin Volcano there is Camiguin Sunset Yoga – they offer a range of classes throughout the day, with the sunset offering being their best rated
– There are plenty of great restaurants and bars on the waterfront – we recommend Guerrera Restaurant for local cuisine and Peninsular Kape Art for drinks
Best Hostel West Mambajao: Hostel Lions
Located within the larger Medano Island Resort, this hostel benefits from having access to most of the same facilities as the hotel itself! It is located right in the heart of the main tourist strip, giving you easy access to all of the best known attractions. There is a large kitchen, as well as a spacious outdoor area.View on HostelWorld
Best Airbnb in West Mambajao: Mountain View Duplex
A little bit away from the main strip, but still well within walking distance of all the most popular attractions, this duplex is a secluded little getaway set amongst the Filipino forest! Sleeping up to two guests in a single cabin, this is a great pick for couples looking for a romantic break on the island.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel in West Mambajao: Bahandi Beach Lodge
As one of the best rated hotels on the island, Bahandi Beach Lodge offers high standards of service and excellent facilities! They offer shuttles from the airport, and each unit is fitted with air conditioning. The property is surrounded with a beautiful garden, and parking spaces are available.View on Booking.com
Southwest of Mambajao, Catarman is the second most popular area for tourists visiting Camiguin! Whilst the Philippines, in general, is a very cheap country, Camiguin’s isolation means prices are slightly inflated. Catarman is a little bit cheaper than the other parts of the island, however, as the tourism industry hasn’t encouraged vendors to shoot their rates up.
Aside from the reasonable pricing, Catarman has some great attractions in its own right! This is a good base for those that want to hike into the mountains – and it is more spread out than Mambajao, giving you an even more laid back atmosphere.
Things to See and Do in Catarman
– The trail from coastal Catarman heads right to Tuasan Falls in the centre – this is a gorgeous trek for all abilities
– St Nino Cold Spring is on the way – as the name suggests, it isn’t as comfortable for bathing as other springs but still provides fresh water
– Gaisano Grand Mall is the only shopping mall on the entire island – it is located just outside Catarman, and has an interesting selection of local vendors
– Mount Mambajao is right in the heart of the island – we recommend taking the trail from Tuasan Falls to the summit for the best views
– Relax by the side of the beach with some local cuisine, great cocktails and a chilled out atmosphere at The Beehive Driftwood Café
Best Airbnb in Catarman: Private Home
Built in the typical style of the area, this Airbnb is a great way to live like a local whilst in Catarman! It also comes with reasonably high speed WiFi (especially by Camiguin standards) meaning it can be a great choice for groups of digital nomads heading to the island.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel for Backpackers Catarman: Shenahjhane Travellers Inn
Though officially a homestay, Shenahjhane Travellers Inn offers both private and dorm rooms – making it a great choice for backpackers that would rather stay in Catarman! For guests staying in private rooms, they also allow pets. A complimentary Asian style breakfast is provided every morning.View on Booking.com
Best Hotel in Catarman: Camiguin Island Home
This is one for those on a shoestring! Though it is only a one star resort, Camiguin Island Home still comes with excellent reviews thanks to their high service standards. Rooms are well equipped with Cable TV and WiFi. A complimentary breakfast is included, and there is a barbecue area for guest use.View on Booking.com
As Mambajao is such a large area, we’ve split it into two for this guide. East Mambajao is more catering to families than the west as it has a calmer atmosphere! This is where you will get to mingle with locals and discover a more authentic way of life. There are also plenty of excellent family friendly attractions across the area.
Like West Mambajao, this neighborhood is well connected to the rest of the island – with some basic transport networks available. It is also where the ferry to Bohol and Cebu arrives and departs, making it a great pick for those only in Camiguin for a night or two! If you want a laid back town with abundant tourism facilities, this is the ideal neighborhood for you.
Things to See and Do in East Mambajao
– Hike up to the PHIVOLCS Observatory where you can enjoy sweeping views towards the volcano and learn about how they predict eruptions
– Another great trek is the one out to Katibawasan Falls – this is a relatively easy going walk right into the island’s interior
– Take to the skies with Camiguin Aviation – they offer excellent tours of the area, as well as some beginner’s flying lessons
– Villa Paraiso Water Park is a pretty basic recreation complex but their pools and slides are a great way to entertain the kids
– Viola’s Snack Bar have an excellent range of deserts – we especially recommend their daily gelato specials
– If you want to splash out, head inland to the Camiguin Highland Restaurant where you can enjoy local cuisine and admire views across the whole island
Best Airbnb in East Mambajao: Camiguin Country House
This lavish mansion is perfect for family reunions and large groups visiting the island! Sleeping up to twelve people, the traditional country house also serves as a little piece of Camiguin history. It comes with full air conditioning, a spacious kitchen and three bathrooms (plus an individual toilet).View on Airbnb
Best Hotel for Backpackers East Mambajao: Sunrise Pension House
Another excellent homestay option, Sunrise Pension House gives you the opportunity to stay with a local family during your stay on the island! They have free WiFi access throughout the property, and the room comes with sea views. There is also a large terrace in the garden.View on Booking.com
Best Hotel in East Mambajao: Mabini Lodge
With free WiFi throughout and spacious parking facilities, this is the best hotel on Camiguin Island for families! A complimentary breakfast is provided every morning that comes with Asian, American and British options. They also have a spacious pool with floatation aids surrounded by a spacious sunbathing area.View on Booking.com
Camiguin as a whole is a nature lover’s paradise, but if you want something a little bit off the tourist routes you should consider staying close to Guinsiliban! This area in the south of the island has some of the most beautiful views in Camiguin, with a few local attractions scattered throughout to keep you connected with civilisation.
Though there aren’t any accommodation options in neighbouring Sagay, we also recommend checking this area out! It can easily be reached by Guinsiliban on foot, and has some of the best natural springs on the island.
Things to See and Do in Guinsiliban
– Visit the Giant Clam Sanctuary to learn about the conservation of the species as well as other local marine life
– Butay is a smaller mountain than Mambajao, but still benefits from great views across the south of the island – perfect for those with little hiking experience
– Cabuan Community Village and Coastal Tour is a unique insight into local culture in this little corner of the island
– Take a look at Ardent Hot Spring to discover the raw beauty of Camiguin’s volcanic landscape
– Lubelle’s Bakeshop is a small, unassuming bakery by the side of the road on the way into Guinsiliban with some of the best pastries on the island
Best Airbnb in Guinsiliban: Beach Front
Located right on the beach, this Airbnb is only a short walk away from a popular diving spot – making it ideal for those that want to explore what lies beneath Camiguin’s shores! Though a little basic, it comes with fantastic reviews and provides guests with excellent views of the sunrise.View on Airbnb
Best Airbnb in Guinsiliban: Aida’s Vacation Home Rental
There aren’t many hotels in Guinsiliban – but there are plenty of good Airbnb picks for the area! Sleeping up to six guests, this is a good option for larger groups wanting to base themselves in the south of the island. It is built in the typical 1960s style that local architecture is known for.View on Airbnb
Best Guest House Guinsiliban: Taylor’s Country Home
This gorgeous guest house might be a little secluded, but it has great links to nearby neighborhoods allowing you to discover all of the main attractions in South Camiguin with ease! They offer an array of three bedroom villas, each with their own kitchens and barbecue areas.View on Booking.com
Sprawled across the island’s east coast, Mahinog is one of the least visited areas by tourists – making it a true hidden gem for those looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience! The town has some great unspoiled beaches, as well as a market that is popular with locals and some excellent diving locations.
Mahinog is also the landing point for ferries to and from Mindanao Island – making it an excellent overnight spot for backpackers travelling through the country! Amongst tourists that venture this far, Mahinog is known as a great place to sample seafood – both fresh and pre-prepared at restaurants across the area.
Things to See and Do in Mahinog
– Excursions to Mantigue Island depart from Mahinog – this is a great spot for enjoying unspoiled beaches and gorgeous scenery
– Ajis Aqua Sports offer a variety of water sports classes and equipment hire – including scuba diving and freediving
– Katunggan Park and the neighbouring Taguines Lagoon area form one of the most beautiful natural park areas on the island
– Visit Mahinog Ostrich Breeding Farm for a unique attraction that shows you why the bird was imported to the island
– Mahinog Public Market is a great place to pick up fresh produce – including local fish – as well as some small souvenirs and crafts
– There are plenty of excellent restaurants in the area, but we recommend Lagoon Restaurant in particular for their seafood menu and great views
Best Airbnb in Mahinog: La Estella Transient House
Housing up to sixteen guests, this is another great option for larger groups visiting the area! It comes with a private pool, as well as beautiful gardens where you can admire the native Camiguin forest life. The house comes fully air conditioned with a well stocked kitchen.View on Airbnb
Best Airbnb in Mahinog: Room for 2
Another excellent Airbnb in the area, this is one for smaller groups! Also coming with its own pool, they accommodate families, couples and even solo travellers. There is a games room within the building featuring karaoke and billiards, and a gorgeous garden area.View on Airbnb
Best Hotel Mahinog: Camiguin Blue Lagoon Cottages
Located right on the coast, this collection of cottages provides guests with unbeatable views across the ocean! There is a small restaurant on-site offering both local and international cuisine, as well as a spacious terrace where you can enjoy the view and mingle with other guests.View on Booking.com
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Camiguin
Camiguin is absolutely off-the-beaten-path, but it is well worth dropping by if you are feeling adventurous! Gorgeous volcanic landscapes, white sand beaches and luscious forests make this the perfect destination for nature lovers. There are also some unique cultural highlights dotted around Camiguin.
In terms of the best area, we are going to stick to Mambajao! Both East and West have great connections with other areas of the island, and come with the most accessible attractions and tourist facilities.
That being said, each area has its own charms – especially if you have particular interests or just want some peace and quiet! We hope this guide has helped you plan your itinerary.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!
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