The Diver’s Guide to Camiguin

Long known for fascinating attractions that include Spanish-period ruins, forest-flanked waterfalls, and sweet lanzones fruit—Camiguin is now out to prove that its raw beauty runs deep. SMILE checks out five—of thirty!—dive spots that make this volcanic island such an intriguing diving destination!

Old Volcano

Situated next to Mount Vulcan, this dive meanders through volcanic structures underwater. The highlight is finning through a narrow gap between two massive boulders, emerging on the other side along a wall adorned with large sea fans.

Sunken Cemetery

One of the most photographed landmarks on the island is a huge concrete cross that marks the site where a cemetery subsided into the sea due to volcanic activity. Over more than 150 years, the submerged graves have been overtaken by a dense and lively growth of corals teeming with colorful fish and banded sea snakes.

Turtle Point

The sandy western end of Mantigue Island is a playground for green sea turtles that can be seen gliding along in the deep blue or resting nonchalantly on the sea floor. Schools of shimmering trevally further into the shallow dive are a great bonus.

Burias Shoal

This location offers the opportunity for challenging plunges. Experienced divers can relish the strong currents that bring in larger marine animals, such as manta rays and whale sharks. Thresher sharks—deep-sea sharks with whip-like tails—can be spotted here from February to April.

Black Forest

Likened to a Japanese garden, this gorgeous dive site near White Island features a seemingly manicured landscape of barrel sponges, feather stars and tree-like black corals. This is also where sea turtles like to frolic and where well-camouflaged giant frogfish crouch perfectly still to ambush their prey.

 


 

Take the plunge at Black Beach Divers

Black Beach Divers is the newest dive center on the island, run by Axel Brode, a German dive instructor who first fell in love with scuba diving in Camiguin. To ensure a quality experience, his dive groups number no more than six and are led by Romeo Grado, one of the most experienced local guides, with more than 20 years of experience diving in the province. Brgy. Agoho, Mambajao; fb.com/blackbeachdivers


 

Restore the reefs

Since 2014, environmental NGO Sangkalikasan Producers Cooperative has been spearheading coral restoration projects in Camiguin. Divers may volunteer to replant staghorn corals in Guinsiliban, where a coral nursery has revived a typhoon-damagedreef. Sitio Lacas, Brgy. Poblacion, Mambajao

 


This article originally appeared in the September 2019 issue of Smile Magazine.

Written by

Edgar Alan Zeta Yap

Photographed by

Edgar Alan Zeta Yap

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