As our ferry puttered toward the island of Camiguin, Philippines, it felt as if we were sailing toward a lost world. Set amid the cobalt sea, the untamed oasis felt worlds away from the crowded beaches of Boracay and Bohol. Fringed with lush palms, lime green rice paddies, and pebbled beaches, its appearance was deceptively tranquil. Also known as “the island born of fire,” Camiguin is actually composed of seven volcanoes. Jutting from the center of the island is Mount Hibok-Hibok – Camiguin’s sole active volcano. It’s towering peaks are constantly shrouded in clouds, adding to the dramatic beauty of this island paradise. Perhaps it was Camiguin’s rugged good looks, but there was something that immediately drew me to the island. No matter what it was, it was apparent that Camiguin was going to be the perfect place to do some prime exploring and to get an authentic glimpse into local island life.
For most travelers, Camiguin isn’t necessarily a go-to destination in the Philippines. Although, those who do make the effort to reach this slightly remote island will be handsomely rewarded by its natural beauty, plethora of outdoor activities, and genuinely friendly locals. Camiguin is located just off the coast of Northern Mindanao, Philippines. And the lack of regular ferry transport makes it somewhat difficult to reach. I suppose its remoteness was something that attracted Aaron and I to the small island in the first place. We wanted a place that was going to be quiet, a place that wasn’t overrun with tourists and touts. But really, we just wanted someplace to ring in the New Year without the inflated hotel room prices of more touristy destinations in the Philippines.