Thinking twice if you have to go to Camotes Island, Cebu? Doubt no more. You may think it is a hassle for you to go there, but reading this blog may change your mind. This presents the top 10 reasons why you should go to Camotes Island for your holiday vacation. Moreover, this provides instructions in going there…and other tips!
Here are 10 Reasons why Camotes Island Should be Your Dream Travel Destination:
1. Budget-friendly Fees for Spots and Accommodations.
Although Camotes Island has the cleanest city (San Francisco) of the region and amazing tourist destinations, their rates are super friendly. You can go to a great public beach with very white, long shoreline at no cost- in Santiago Bay. Further, fees for tourist spots range from 10 to 50 Philippine pesos only! You do not usually get these deals from exceptional tourist attractions of Cebu.
Moreover, decent hotels, like Santiago Bay Garden Resort and Mangodlong Rock, do not cost as much as those you find in other parts of Cebu. With breathtaking views and beaches, swimming pools, and nice amenities, you can enjoy the resort for at least 1,000 Philippine pesos.
2. Diverse Tour Destinations and Activities.
This tiny island brings huge travel opportunities. Unlike Bantayan Island where you can just stay put in one or few areas, Camotes Island offers a lot of places for you to visit, and varied activities.
Like most islands, you would want to have insta-worthy photos with your swimming attire at white, clean beaches: Santiago Bay, Mangodlong Rock, Tulang Diot, and Bakhaw Beach.
Also, if you wish to dip in cool, fresh waters in the pretty caves, you can do so. Some of these caves you can find in Camotes Island are Timubo Cave, Bukilat Cave, and Paraiso Cave.
Another popular destination of the island is Lake Danao. In this lake, you can do fun activities, like kayaking (a must-try!), Sakanaw cruising, horse back riding, boat riding, and others.
Then, if you are up for a heart-thumping activity, you can jump off cliffs at Buho Rock.
To get to these interesting spots more conveniently, you can book with Cebu tour package of Travel Cebu.
3. Pristine Beaches: Santiago Bay, Mangodlong Rock, Bakhaw
If you go to Cebu, you should not want to miss its beaches. Camotes Island Cebu has many stunning beaches, such as Santiago Bay, Mangodlong Rock, and Bakhaw.
Santiago Bay is where you can find one of the most beautiful shorelines. The shoreline stretches to up to 1 kilometer. The sand is white and is great for swimming as you need not worry about rocks in the waters. Most of the time, the waters are shallow, so it is safe for youngsters to dip in the water of Santiago Bay.
Since Santiago Bay Garden and Resort and Mangodlong Rock Resort are sister resorts, if you happen to check in at Santiago, you can just look in on and enjoy Mangodlong Rock beach as well. It is developed with tropical huts as cottages. There is a sand-bar connecting to its restaurant. Further, if you wish to have satisfying swimming experience with shallow and deep waters, this beach is good for you. You can also jump and dive in from their formed rocks with cottages.
Another beach that has been just discovered by tourists recently is Bakhaw Beach. At least five years ago, this beach was only known to the locals, and used to be public/without fee. Currently, it has been said that a cheap, 20-Philippine peso fee is to be paid to be used for cleaning/maintenance of the beach. You can have picnic under shades of trees while basking to the scene of white sands and blue waters.
4. Interesting Caves.
Camotes Island is truly one of a kind as it does not only give us the beaches but also the caves. They have multitude of these natural underground chambers. Moreover, their caves are extraordinary.
As mentioned before, the most popular are Timubo, Paraiso, and Bukilat. However, another equally beautiful but not yet officially developed is Holy Crystal Cave.
Timubo and Bukilat caves have P20 entrance fees. Timubo used to be the most sought-after because it is just near other tourist spots in San Francisco, Camotes, like Lake Danao, Santiago Bay, Mangodlong Rock and Tulang Diot. Years ago, its entrance fee was only P10. On the other hand, Bukilat Cave is in the other town of Camotes – in Poro Island. According to tourists, Bukilat cave is the “grandest”. They say going inside it is surreal since looking at it from the outside, you would never have guessed that it is huge inside. Plus, it does not smell because there are natural openings in the cave, so sunlight enters in, and odors escape.
Paraiso Cave is the more pricey one. It costs p 50. However, it is also “classy” since there are guides in the cave. You will have to move your way inside small openings. And, when you finally are able to get through, it is a very satisfying experience. This cave is also near Consuelo Port, one of the ports that can get you to Camotes.
Finally, Holy Crystal cave is the largest among the others. It has eight levels. And, surprisingly, no entrance fee is required. According to the owner, he believes that the cave is miraculous. And that it brings spiritual message through the formations of stalagmites and stalactites. For almost two hours, you are able to see magnificence in the cave formations. Thus, although you are not asked for a fee, you may want to give a large donation. My relative gave one when we went there.
5. Other Bodies of Water: Lake, Falls, Springs
So, I’ve already told you about the diversity of Camotes Island. This island has beaches and caves, but it also has other bodies of water, like lake, falls, and springs.
Lake Danao has always been Camotes Island’s favorite spot. Legend has it that Lake Danao is formed due to a couple who kept on fighting, Isyong and Isyang. These couple were then separated by waters and became islets. These islets named Crocodile and Snake constitute Lake Danao. This is one of the most striking spots you could ever visit. So try going to their islets, have picnic there with your loved ones!
In addition to a lake, Camotes Island has Falls! Busay Falls is in Tudela, Poro. It is not a usual destination among tourists because it may be farther than the other spots found in San Francisco. However, locals would recommend Busay Falls to tourists. After a ten-minute hike, you will be amazed at the clear pool of the Fall. You can even jump in at a 10-feet cliff. Also, the entrance fee is very cheap at P 10.
Other fresh waters found in Camotes Island are Capasanan Spring and Hagnaon Spring. These are springs in San Jose, Poro. Tourists have yet to discover these. These places do not require fees. However, since the springs are open and no one seems obliged to clean and care for them, there may be times they would need cleaning.
6. Wonderful Islet: Tulang Diot
A place where my loved ones think that take their breath away is the Tulang Diot. Tulang Diot, in English is “Little Island”. Across this, is the Tulang Dako or “Bigger Island”.
White sand and beaches cover the southern part of this Tulang Diot. The surrounding sight is riveting.
And, it is not far from the mainland Camotes. A motorized boat transports you to the islet in ten minutes. Further, it only costs P 10 per person by boat. And another P 10 for environmental fee as you step on the islet.
7. Best Resort: Mangodlong Paradise
Listed in the Top Resorts in Cebu is Mangodlong Paradise Beach Resort. Compared to the other resorts in the list, Mangodlong Paradise costs the least. This is true to Camotes Island’s nature of giving the best value for your money.
If you wish to get quality, world-class resort at affordable rate, Mangodlong Paradise Beach Resort is the place to be. Besides the amazing beach, beautiful facilities and amenities await you. There are infinity pool, winery, mini bar, and music-filled ambiance. The resort offers intimacy and privacy among its guests.
8. Fresh Foods at Minimal Costs.
In the public Santiago Beach are arrays of food stalls. There are SUTUKIL stalls. Sutukil is a blended word for three cooking techniques: SUgba (which means Grilled), TUwa (which translates to stewed) , and KILaw (which means “to eat raw”). Since this is a land surrounded by waters, the main dish consists of fish and other seafoods, such as crabs, shrimps, prawns, and even lobsters.
The foods served in their mini restaurants consist of produce freshly taken from the waters of Camotes Island. A massive fish which costs four times in the city is accessible for your consumption. You can enjoy variety of foods, especially seafoods, at affordable rates in Camotes Island.
9. More Transport Options.
Going to Camotes Island may mean you have to ride different modes of transportation. However, do not let that discourage you. Instead, take that as the joy of the travel. You are able to experience the thrill of these transportations.However, if you wish to have hassle-free tour where all you have to do is sit back and relax, you can book with Travel Cebu.
Unlike the other must-visit Islands of Cebu, like Bantayan Island, Sumilon Island or Malapascua Island, the options in reaching to Camotes Island are wider. There are various ports where ferries would take you there.
Before, the only way was to travel about 2 hours from Cebu City to Danao. The route from Danao is still the only option for those who have vehicle on board. Travel time from Danao to Consuelo Port in Camotes is two hours. Consuelo is in San Francisco, Camotes where tourist destinations abound.
However, now, you do not need to travel long to Consuelo Port. The other option besides the Northern Danao, is the Mactan wharf (which is near the airport). If you have just arrived at the airport, Mactan wharf is just few minutes away. The Jomalia Fastcrast will take you to Camotes in only one hour and thirty minutes.
The final choice is Pier 1, which is in Cebu City. The point of destination though is in Poro, Island in Camotes. Travel time is one and a half hours. If you wish to return and dock in Cebu City, you may choose this route. An Oceanjet Fastcraft will take you.
10. Laid-back, Respectful People.
Camotes Island is surely a place where people do not rip you off. With all the affordable deals from accommodation to entrance fees and foods, this island is where you feel secure of the money you spend on.
People are very respectful of you, and would NOT offer over priced rates. However, do not be surprised when drivers would quote high prices for transportation. Transportation is the only costly thing in the island. Apparently, you have to understand why that is. In most islands, fuel is hard to find, and is difficult to transport to a secluded island like Camotes.
HELFPUL REMINDER AND TIP:
There are many areas where cellular phone signal is weak. If you do not have contact with local drivers, you can book with Travel Cebu to arrange the proper itinerary as well as private transportation for you. Travel Cebu has partner drivers who will be ready to serve you. Plus, you may find that having booked with a private transportation may actually MINIMIZE YOUR COST as drivers of motorcyles, tricycles and multicabs would charge you high for a tour. For example, a 15-minute habal-habal (motorcycle) drive would charge you 100 Philippine pesos. A tricycle drive from Mangodlong to Poro wharf would cost 600 to 700 Philippine pesos.
There are myriad of places to go and things to do in Camotes Island. A day or two trip to this place is jam-packed and satisfying enough. However, exploring ALL the amazing spots of Camotes Island would take more than two days to complete. Anyway, you can always go back to this captivating island. The accessibility of transportation, the affordability of everything (expect land transportation), and OF COURSE, THE BEAUTY OF THE ISLAND, would lure you to keep coming back to Camotes Island Cebu.