The Philippines is one of our favourite destinations and places like White Island, Camiguin easily show why that's the case. A quick and simple guide to everything you need to know about getting to White Island, what to bring and how much it'll cost.Did we get totally sucked into White Island, Camiguin thanks to some exotic and romantic photo we saw online? Yes. Totally. And who the heck wouldn’t? I mean, look at this thing! So, of course, the most beautiful photos are usually aerial ones and unless you can fly or you have a drone, you’re probably not going to see it from that perspective. Good thing that going to White Island is still worth it without wings.

White Island is an uninhabited sandbar just a 10-minute boat ride off the northern shore of Mambajao located on the island of Camiguin. It sits in a prime location with Mt. Hibok-hibok and Old Vulcan in the background and is surrounded by marine life. Known locally as Medan Island or Medano Islet, visitors can only come to the island during daylight although given that it is literally just sand and no shade, you’re going to die if you’re there for any longer than a few hours.

How to Get to White Island from Camiguin

Getting to White Island from anywhere on Camiguin is cheap and easy. The ferry terminal is marked on Google Maps (below) and in Maps.ME.

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EASY To Follow Steps To Use Google Maps & MAPS.ME Offline

  • Take a tuk-tuk to the boat terminal to White Island. Shared Jeepneys travel around the island in both directions so just hop on and get off at the main road before the port. We travelled 15 km and paid 20 PHP per person. 
  • The return boat from the port to White Island is 450 PHP for up to 6 people. If you aren’t travelling in a group, we suggest waiting until more people arrive to share a boat and split costs. You will then need to agree on a time to leave the island.
  • You will also need to pay an entrance fee of 20 PHP per person for White Island.

Getting to Camiguin

If you’re not planning on visiting Camiguin and are just considering making the distance to visit White Island, don’t do it. Sure, the place is beautiful but come on, don’t come ALL this way just for a sandbar. Camiguin is actually a very interesting island with plenty to offer so at the very least, make it to the island for a few days.

You can get to Camiguin from a number of different locations by air or ferry.

Flights are available from Manila and Cebu with Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific but can be quite expensive if you don’t get them on sale. Alternatively, depending on where you are coming from, you can take a ferry (or a few) which is cheaper but time-consuming.

White Island

What to Bring to White Island?

    • Sun protection: unless you want to leave looking like a lobster, come prepared! There are no trees or shelter so you should bring a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses and even your umbrella if that’s your thing. You can also hire beach umbrellas from vendors on the island.
    • Swimwear: that’s an obvious one! It’s totally fine to wear a bikini here too.
    • Snorkelling gear: the water around the island is calm and shallow, making it a great spot for snorkelling. You will see a lot of smaller fish and some coral and the water is a cool and comfortable temperature to swim in. Just remember, don’t touch anything!
    • Drinking water: you can purchase this from vendors on the island but to reduce plastic, we recommend that you bring a reusable drink bottle and
    • Cash: sufficient to pay for the boat, entry fee and transport to the port.

Is White Island crowded?

Given that Camiguin isn’t the busiest of islands itself, White Island doesn’t draw in the same volume of visitors as other popular places (we’re looking at you, Boracay). However, given its relatively small size, you definitely don’t want to be here during the busiest time of the day. The best time to go is early in the morning (before 8 am) or late in the afternoon (after 4 pm). Even then, don’t expect to necessarily have the entire place to yourselves although it won’t be too crowded.

Tips for White Island

  • Please use reef-safe sunscreen to product the diverse marine life and coral around the island. We love the sunscreen by We Are Feel Good Inc because it is actually good quality stuff.
  • Don’t leave your belongings near the shore. The tide changes so a rising tide could see all of your things could be washed away!
  • Go before 10 am or after 4 pm to avoid the middle of the day given the lack of appropriate shade and heat. The sun is at its strongest from around 11 am – 3 pm so this can be dangerous.
  • White Island is great for viewing sunrises OR sunsets!
  • Check the weather before going. We experienced all kinds of weather in Camiguin during the dry season. It’s best to not make any concrete plans and play by ear the morning of.
  • Please bring all rubbish with you from the island. Anything left behind will just get washed into the water.

Want more from The Philippines? Make sure you check out some of our other guides like Kawasan Falls and Alcoy in Cebu or Nacpan Beach in Palawan.

Will you be visiting White Island on your trip to the Philippines? Please let us know if you have any questions in the comments below.

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3 thoughts on “Guide to White Island, Camiguin (The Philippines)

  1. Jackie S. says:

    Wow! I haven’t been to the Philippines. Your photos make me want to go visit right now! Camiguin is beautiful and looks so relaxing. Thanks for sharing the info!

  2. Malvika says:

    Such gorgeous photos – I really have to visit. It looks so serene! Pinned for later; thanks for all the useful info 🙂

  3. faramagan says:

    The Philippines are number one on my bucketlist mainly because I’ve heard so much (and seen so many stunning pictures like yours) of Camiguin. Such a valuable guide, especially by including prices & packing list ideas! Will definitely be saving this for later.

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