Cebu City is known to be one of the most visited tourist destination in the Visayas Region of the Philippines. And I have always heard that Camotes Island is one of the Queen City of the South’s pride. And dear, the island is astonishing and the trip was very ‘sulit’ if you only have 24 hours! Let me share you my experience and give you some guides.
Before that, let’s get a quick glance in history.
Legend has it that Spaniards who arrived here [Camotes Island] came upon some natives farming. When asked what the island’s name was, the natives replied “camotes” (sweet potatoes), thinking they were being asked what they were harvesting. This is just one of the charming things about the Camotes Islands.
Camotes Island in Consuelo, Cebu City has a virgin white sand beach and is really fascinating and a must visit paradise with a truly relaxing ambiance. There are a lot of beaches that can be found in Cebu such as the islands of Mactan, Malapascua and Bantayan, however, I find Mactan beach being overrated though it is the most accessible when you are in Cebu, while Bantayan and Malapascua is a bit far. Camotes Island is just two (2) hours away ferry ride from Danao Port, Cebu to Consuelo Port in Camotes.
Camotes Island has no atm machines, so make sure you have everything you need. Pack light and bring cash!
First you have o get to Danao Port. You have four options to get there,
(1) ride a bus from Cebu City North Terminal. Fare ranges from 40Php to 60Php depending on the type of the bus;
(2) ride a taxi. It will cost you around 150Php to 250Php depending on the traffic;
(3) hire a van (V-hire) from SM City Cebu Terminal. Recommended if you travel in group; or
(4) ride a jeepney (Cebu City – Danao). Fare is 35Php but this option will take you extra time.
From Danao Port, take a boat ride to either Consuelo Port or Poro Port in Camotes Isalnd of either Super Shuttle Ferry or Jomalia Shipping Corp. If you are travelling with your own vehicle, Super Shuttle Ferry and Jomalia Shipping Corp also offers roll – on roll – off services. Charges depends on the kind of vehicle and does not include the passenger’s fare itself. Regular boat fare is Php180.00 for non-aircon and Php200.00 for airconditioned seats. Travel time to Camotes is between one hour and forty-five minutes to two hours for Express boats and three to four hours for non Express boats. It would be nice if you would have some refreshments/snacks and/or neck pillows on your boat trip.
We arrived at Consuelo Port around 8AM and was approached by a driver and his friend which my friends’ had contacted earlier to accompany us on our tour. The multicab package tour costs around 2000Php to 3000Php. Not bad if you are in group. Number of passengers does not vary as long as all fit in inside the multicab. You can tour the whole island and visit 7 – 9 destinations (e.g. beach, cave) for one day. TM 101.
Great thing about Camotes Island is that hotels and resort rooms are really cheap. We stayed in Bellavistamare Beach Resort which has a perfect view of the beach.
The room isn’t air-conditioned but it was okay. It could save you a fold and the crew were accommodating. You can also search for other options.
When we arrived on the island, I was all hyped up to discover more from my country — The Philippines. Camotes Island is indeed Cebu’s hidden treasure! Here’s a list of must visit destinations in Camotes Island:
Mangodlong Rock Resort
The first destination we visit. My friends went for a swim here and I was busy taking pictures. You could see clear sea water underneath rock cottages.
Location: Mangodlong, Heminsulan, San Francisco, Camotes Island
Entance fee: 20Php
It is a famous underground cave in Tudela. The cave is old but its worth the sight.
Location: MacArthur, Poro Island
Entrance fee: 20Php
We weren’t able to visit Timubo Cave due to time constraints but reviews say it has crystal clear waters.
Location: Experanza, San Francisco, Camotes Island
Entance fee: 25Php
Buho Rock Resort
Brace yourself for the MUST try cliff jump! When I say cliff jump, I meant MUST.
Also, Buho Rock has my kind of view. You could see breathtaking views of neighboring islands, the calmness of the sweet sea, the vast open blue sky and the seemingly endless stairs to forever. LOL. We catched the sunset here and it was amazing.
Location: Poro, Camotes Island
Entrance fee: 20Php
Lake Danao Park
If you want to chill for a while and enjoy peace, calmness and fresh air under the sun, you must try kayaking or the bicycle boat. Kayaks costs 50Php per head and you can go on your own, in partners or in groups of four.
Location: Sitio Patabog, Barangay Union, San Francisco, Camotes Island
No entrance fee.
If you are into swimming, you can visit Paraiso Cave.
Location: San Francisco, Camotes Island
Entrance fee: 25Php, 35Php if you would swim
Holy Crystal Cave
Now this was the highlight of our trip. Good thing we decided to descend even if its 6PM already. Up on the ground was already dark and we have to fit in a small hole underground. Now that’s real adventure! Among the caves we visited in Camotes, this one is my favorite and I would go in again if I will have a chance. The story behind the cave is interesting and the owner/caretaker was amazing. He is Mr. Evito Formentera and I adore him. He is entertaining and informative.
The cave is in Effort Level 8 on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest. What you will see underground was unbelievable and amazing. The glowing crystals, growing stalactites and stalagmites and the rock formations we’re beyond appreciation. Today I have decided to marry The Philippines.
Location: San Francisco, Camotes Island
No entrance fee. Donations are welcome.
Try Pito’s Sutukil Restaurant. They have very affordable and delicious foods. The restaurant is situated right in front of the beach and you get to eat freshly caught and cooked food that is to die for. Tasty with so much flavour.
WHAT TO BRING?
If you want to remember every travels you had with a delightful smile on your face, you should be prepared. Here’s a checklist of must haves when you visit the island:
(1) Camera with a water proof casing
(2) Bring cash. Lots of it. LOL.
(4) Sun block cream
(5) Best summer outfit
(6) Over the counter medicines for headache, lbm, etc.
So that’s it. I really had a great time on our trip to Camotes Island. It was one of my best summers’ ever. My stomach was full and my eyes were full. I couldn’t ask for more. Shout out to my Ate’s and Kuya’s, Kisha Ann Baroy, Jose Jerico Ross Melo, Jessica Diane De Oca, Bea Alon, Virland, Joedim Magallano, El John Fandialan, John Rey, and Roegin Mangalos, Jea Jimenea.
Indeed, another experience that strengthens my love for the Philippines. Where to go next???????
PS. I really should marry the Philippines.