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Introducing Camiguin

In a country of thousands of islands it's hard for one to stand out. Camiguin (cam-ee-gin) manages to distinguish itself, at least in part because of its fortuitous location. It's far removed from any threat of violence, but because it's part of Mindanao, many people scratch it off their itinerary. Because it's uncorrupted by large numbers of tourists, those who do come tend to feel proprietorial about this little jewel and guard news of its treasures like a secret.

The landscape is lush and varied like other islands, but volcanic Camiguin rises more dramatically from the sea like a Hawaiian island, managing to be both imposing and inviting, a less menacing version of Jurassic Park. The island is only 33km long and 14km at its widest, and it's possible to see the islands of the southern Visayas on clear days. Besides the usual diving, snorkelling, sandy beaches, waterfalls and hot and cold springs, Camiguin offers the chance for jungle trekking, volcano climbing, rappelling as well as the general opportunity to figure out your own way around the many natural attractions.

Islanders are mostly fishing folk, and they are extremely warm and friendly to tourists who are increasingly important to the economy. No wild nightlife here, and no-one seems to mind.