It was a constant invitation. The stunning White Island was within view from Paras Beach Resort, where I stayed. Even during lunch, I couldn’t help but be hypnotized by this inviting stretch of white sand not very far from the resort’s beachfront. It wasn’t long until we finally gave in and allowed ourselves to be drawn to this naked, sparkling sand bar.

More commonly known as White Island, Medan Island (or Medano Islet) is 10 minutes away from the northern coast of Camiguin. In Barangay Yumbing, boat rentals are available for P480. Resorts also offer their own day tours to this pristine, powdery paradise.

Medan Island is more popularly called White Island
Medan Island is more popularly called White Island

Although it often looks like a boomerang, the island’s shape changes according to the tides. It is uninhabited and there are no permanent concrete structures here — no houses, no towers. Even trees are absent here. It’s just a beautiful dump of fine sand with Mt. Hibok-hibok and Mt. Vulcan as the backdrop. When we arrived, however, there was a tent under which sat a man, who had been renting out big umbrellas to tourists for P50. (To be on the safe side, don’t forget to bring hats, sunglasses, and sunblock, of course.)

There were umbrellas for rent when we were there but we only used it to protect our belongings from the sun. We allowed ourselves to be kissed by the sun.
Twin peaks! View of Mt. Hibok-hibok and Mt. Vulcan from White Island
Twin peaks! View of Mt. Hibok-hibok and Mt. Vulcan from White Island
Look how powdery the sand is!

There was another group sharing the island with us but they were staying on the other end of the island that it still felt like we were the only ones there. As I stood in the middle of this beauty, I noticed that while the waves on one side were pretty strong, the other was calm and gentle, harboring seagrass. One may choose to snorkel on this more peaceful side of the island.

The side of the sandbar with gentle waves
The side of the sandbar with gentle waves
Leaving a mark!

The sun was smack overhead when we arrived and we just told our boatman to pick us up at around 5pm. At first, we were not sure if it was a good idea. We didn’t know how to spend four full hours in an island as bare as this but time really flies when you’re having a blast. The whole afternoon was spent by us swimming and braving the waves. Every time we got tired, we buried ourselves in the sand, bathed in sunlight, built small sand castles, and scribbled messages on the sand with a stick. Before we knew it, our time was up and it was time to go. We wanted more time but we didn’t want the dark to catch us.

White Island, Camiguin Sunset

The sun was just about to take a plunge in the horizon when our boatman returned to fetch us. According to our boatman, most tourists choose to drop by the island early morning until before lunch time to avoid the sun’s harsh rays at noon. We kept it in mind for next time. In the meantime, our eyes were still glued to the island as our boat sailed away back to the resort. The sun was just setting and the island was turning golden. I never expected that I would enjoy a bare island with no trees on it but I did. I guess that’s what adds character to it. That’s what makes it special. That’s what makes it inviting, that even when we were on the main island, we couldn’t help but throw admiring gazes towards this white, glittering paradise. It glistened like the irresistible smile of someone urging us to come back.

How to get to White Island: From Manila, you can fly to Camiguin via Cebu. Alternatively, you can fly to Cagayan de Oro, take a shuttle to Agora Terminal (P199), then ride a bus to Balingoan Port (P110). Board a ferry to Benoni (Camiguin). Take a multi-cab or tricycle to Brgy. Yumbing, the jumpoff point to White Isladnd. Boat rental is P480/boat, travel time 10 minutes.


Top Resorts and Hotels in Camiguin

Based on Agoda review scores.

Balai sa Baibai Resort. (Photo via Agoda)

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Yoshke Dimen
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Glen Villar

I have lived four years of my life in CDO but I was too young then to have an interest in tourism. But anyway, maybe I can go back there someday and pay a visit to this nice little bare island. ^_^

The Poor Traveler

I just used CDO as a gateway for this trip and I have not explored the city yet. Do you recommend anything? :D

Glen Villar

Hi,

Back in 1988, when I was 10, me and my childhood friends would usually walk on foot from Kauswagan to Hotel Alta Tierra. Back then, it used to look like a deserted hotel, more like a ghost hotel because you won’t see anyone coming in or out of it if you go there.

It was located on a hill top, and we had to climb the the steep hill at the back just to get there to avoid detection of the caretakers. LOL!

From there, the view down the hill was nice. Just like that and when ours eyes get satisfied, we would take a dive into the river near it and let the river current take us back to Kauswagan. A very tiring but a worthy swim.

I heard it was now changed to Pryce Plaza and there was SM Mall within a few kilometers from there.

Maybe I’ll pay a visit someday just to reminisce the old days. Laughs! :)

Rolando Javellana Loredo

Surreal!

The Poor Traveler

Yep!

Chris Pineda

Bucketlist for 2013. My travel plans will be starting at Davao then boat ride to Camiguin off to Bohol ride a Roro to Cebu then take a plan to Matnog, Sorsogon take a rest maybe 2 days then road trip to Pagudpod, Ilocos Norte and on my way home pit stop will be at Benguet to hike/climb the amazing Mt. Pulag. Thank you Lord for giving us such beautiful country the Philippines.

The Poor Traveler

Sounds like a good plan! Share with us your experiences after the trip! :)

Joy

Your itinerary are very detailed! Anong camera po yung gamit niyo? Such beautiful pictures.

The Poor Traveler

Hi! I use an entry-level camera lang. Canon 550D. :)

Joy

*itineraries

melvin

we went to the island early pero andami ng tao and we couldnt stay for so long kasi sobrang init na around 8am pa lang.

The Poor Traveler

Aaaaw. There were only one other group when we were there. I guess we were lucky! :D

Anton Clark

My favourite place in the World… True paradise on earth

The Poor Traveler

Preach!

Maia

I spent my childhood summers in Camiguin, from the 70s up to the mid-80s. I’m a Kagay-anon, but Camiguin is my second home. It’s my mom’s birthplace, too. Camiguin always manages to soothe tired souls and to relax the weary.I’m glad you enjoyed your stay there!

Jana

i would really sound stupid by asking this… BUT..
how do you get to that island? you fly from manila to??

The Poor Traveler

Thanks for dropping by, Maia! Yes, I really enjoyed Camiguin. It’s quiet and beautiful. :)

Wind

Perfect place to Sail, I ‘m selling non-motorized sail boat made in the USA.

Barbie

Hi, we just went there earlier this month and I would say that it was really a beautiful place. My friend and I really had fun exploring the place. It was worth a trip! :)

yoshke

Woot! Thanks for sharing, Barbie! Glad you and your friend had fun in White Island!

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KL

woahh nice photos! been there several times since camiguin’s my lola’s hometown! the other side’s the black coral forest, I was actually looking for photos haha.
It has more tents and vendors now, but still a nice place to relax. People are also “stealing” sands and littering… and I hope they would stop doing so.
Btw, it’s best to sail at around 5 or 6 in the morning! :D and I love your blog

Noel Engwa Jalog

I miss it! Hope I can come back someday.

Nanay Net

wow!!

Randy Medel Villarama

Beautiful place

The Blue Wanderer

It looks amazing. Philippines are still om my wishlist. I should make an effort to get there!

Karlo San Tiago

What do you really do on “White island”?

Ofie Tumbocon

Ang ganda ng buhangin

George Shepherd

Where in phillipines iv been there 3 times now I’d love next year go see this can someone send me post where this is

ian | going places

Premier sight of Camiguin Island!