Video Guide to the Camotes Islands
Discover the beauty of the Camotes Islands
**Update*** Fastcraft Cebu to the Camotes Island begins again. Fare for Cebu-Camotes or v.v. P380.00 one-way tourist class P 330.00 one-way open-air P280.00 one-way tourist (first 80 pax only). Fare is subject to change without prior notice. Check OceanJet for full terms and conditions.
Many call it Camotes Island, when in fact the Camotes is made up of a number of islands, with the two main islands of Pacijan and Poro being the most popular. If you’re a regular traveller, you’ll know that it is expensive to stay on a tropical paradise, not so with Camotes. Surprisingly it is affordable to stay in a beautiful island like this; sometimes you just need to know where to find hidden gems. Away from the crowds and mainstream tourism, Camotes is only a couple of hours away from Cebu City. Enjoy a piece of seclusion and delight in one of the world’s most undiscovered paradises, home to some of the Philippines best beaches.
For a great resource of up to date tourism on the Camotes check out Camotes News on Facebook.
Best time to visit is March/April when the weather is fine and the waters become crystal clear. For some further reading check out my blog on the Camotes Islands.
Camotes Resorts and Accommodation
Updated video guide to accommodation and resorts in the Camotes Islands.
Video guide to the Resorts in the Camotes Islands
Video spotlight: Mangodlong Paradise Resort. Read more here
Don’t expect 5 star amenities at the resorts in Camotes (although this is coming), mother nature has provided all that you could ever need or want. The islands only has a dozen or so resorts on the island providing affordable yet simple accommodation. The most luxurious resort in Camotes is the 3 star Mangodlong Paradise Beach Resort. Most of the resorts have their own restaurants, as outside the hotels there isn’t a lot of choice (the only place that has a few restaurants on the beach is at Santiago Bay). There are a couple of newer resorts in Santiago Bay one being Aizawa Beach Resort (cell 09351257116/09177949381). Double rooms started from 2000 PHP per night and the family from around 2500 PHP per night. Visit their Facebook page for more details https://www.facebook.com/AizawaBeachResort. Inside the village at Santiago Bay is the Swiss Lagoon Restaurant and Hotel (cell 092 66824 975). Their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Swisslagoon.Camotes. Keshe Resort and Borromeo Beach House are located on the beautiful Bahkaw Beach. If not being on a beach is not a priority you could check out a couple accommodation options in Poro Town. The best being the Heritage Inn or for something cheaper there is Seaview Pension Inn. A few kms away from San Francisco Town is the budget Seaside Guest House (see video above for details). Here the rooms get a nice sea breeze. Fan Rooms start from 300 PHP per night (for one) or 400 PHP for 2 people and each addition guest at 200 PHP. All rooms have a common bathroom. Their cell number is 09294278567/09298126628/0908244718. Below is a list of some Camotes resorts complete with prices and contact details and info.
Camotes Island Attractions
If your dream holiday is about lying in a hammock surrounded by gorgeous white sand beaches, this could be the place for you! One of the best beaches to see is Santiago Bay with its stunning beauty. Beautiful Bakhaw Beach located near Esperanza on Pacijan Island is one of the islands’ lesser known beaches. Lake Danao is a fresh water lake and the largest in the Visayas there you can enjoy its peaceful surroundings. There are 2 small caves to discover, Timubo Cave on Pacijan Island (the island where most of the resorts are located) and Bukilat Cave (10 P entry) on Poro Island. Timubo Cave (15P entry) has a small cavern filled with water that can be swum in. For those who like a bit of trekking, Panganuron Falls (Poro Island) is a 1.6 km hike (around 30 minutes) on a not too good marked trail. Buho Rock is a small spot on a cliff that has cottages and (although rocky) a nice place for a swim or snorkel. It’s not very large and tends to dry up in summer. Tulang Island has a small sandy white beach 5 minutes boat ride from Pacijan Island, you can catch a boat across for 10 p each way. The Camotes is a great place to hire a motorbike and go exploring the islands.
Soli-Soli Festival in San Francisco (3rd weekend in March) named after a plant which is abundant around Lake Danao (used in handicrafts) The street dancing revolves around the Soli- Soli.
Places to eat
The resorts have their own restaurants as outside the resorts there isn’t much options. If you’re staying at Santiago Bay there are couple small restaurant on the beach which serves cheap seafood and other dishes.
How to get from Cebu to Camotes
From Cebu City OceanJet are running a fastcraft to Poro in the Camotes. From Mandaue (banca) at 5.30 am from Ouano Pier (3 hours) and Super Shuttle Ferries ( tel 32 232 3150/231 0639/345 5581) from Danao (a town about 1 hours drive hours north of Cebu City)
Consuelo (Camotes) departs from Danao at 6.30 am (daily) approx 2 hours
Poro (Camotes) departs from Danao at 1.00pm (daily) approx 2 hours
Again the name Camotes came from a misunderstanding with the Spanish and the local natives. The Spanish asked what was the name of the islands but the natives thought they were asking what they were digging for (sweet potatoes – Camotes) so they replied Camotes!