Camiguin is an island born of fire. It comprises seven recognized volcanoes (more than on any other island of its size, anywhere in the World) with at least ten volcanic vents.
Fortunately, perhaps, only two vents (on Mount Hibok-hibok and Mount Vulcan Daan) are considered active. The most recent eruption was that of Mount Vulcan Daan, which last erupted in spectacular fashion (during a period spanning 1948-51 ), resulting in the out-migration of more than half the island’s population.
The island is mountainous, reaching a maximum height of approximately 1,615 meters above sea level (Mount Timpoong). Sadly, less than 20% of Camiguin Island remains covered with virgin rainforest. On Mount Timpoong (pronounced tim-po-ong) at least five endemic (found nowhere else on the planet) animal species have been identified and described: the Camiguin narrow-mouth frog (Oreophryne nana); a critically endangered forest rat (Bullimus gamay); a forest mouse (Apomys camiguinensis); a bright green parrot (Loriculus camiguinensis); and, most recently (2011), an owl – the Camiguin Hawk Owl (ninox leventisi). Regrettably, despite these notable discoveries, it is only recently that there has been a concerted effort to accurately document the extent of the island’s flora and fauna.
Within the rainforested slopes rise scores of springs that feed a myriad of streams and rivers, many offering spectacular waterfall vistas as they exit the forest and cascade to lowland plains. The river waters flow crystal clear for much of the year and have, historically, allowed vibrant coral reefs to flourish around the perimeter of the island.
Camiguin has two outer islands – White Island and Mantigue Island – that are in the process of being converted into protected areas. Apart from on the two outer islands, almost all the beaches feature black sand or black and maroon pebbles.
According to police officers (seconded from more distant Philippine islands) at Camiguin’s Mambajao airport, the island can claim to be one of the most crime-free places in the Philippines, and possibly in the whole of Asia; anecdotal evidence from residents supported this view,with many saying they most often sleep with windows and doors unlocked.
Camiguin is a first class, alternative water sports destination . . .