Camotes Islands Cebu is composed of four majestic islands namely Pacijan, Ponson, Poro and Tulang. It is located in the northeastern part of Cebu. Once known as the “Lost Horizon of the south”. Pacijan Island has one main municipality which is called San Francisco. Ponson Island has also one main municipality which is called Pilar.
On the other hand, Poro Island has two municipalities, they are Poro and Tudela. And lastly, Tulang Island or locally known as Tulang Diot, an islet or a small island located in Brgy. Esperanza which is still part of the municipality of San Francisco.
Camotes Islands – stretch of natural white fine sand beach (taken at Santiago Bay by CX)
Travel Guide and Tips on How to go to Camotes Islands Cebu?
Destination: Cebu – Camotes Islands
Roro Boat @ Danao Cebu (6:30 am) – Arrived @ 10:30 am in Consuelo Port, Camotes
Day 1 (Saturday)
Camotes Islands Trip 2013 – This year, before celebrating Christmas, I want to discover and explore Camotes Islands.
I first heard of the island from a friend and when I googled it I fell in love with the island already. And so, I planned to have a 3 day vacation leave. At first I was hesitant going to Camotes Islands on the day in the midst of gazillion things to be done in the office. I was thinking that the trip would be less fun with the hanging responsibilities in mind. I don’t want to have a negative impression on my boss that I’m not dedicated with my work. Since my work leave was being approved already and I was very sure about the trip and much preparation and excitement had been set, I pushed through. I woke up 2:20 am and packed-up my things needed for my trip. I called the Bellavistamare Beach Resort for room reservation a day before. From Cebu City,I rode a bus for Danao. The fare was only Php 25.00. After reaching the Danao port, I immediately and excitedly bought a ticket , it cost Php 180.00. So since I arrived there early, I have to wait for about 30 minutes to board the Roro Boat. We departed the pier at about 6-7 am and took almost 3 hours of travel before we reached Camotes Island. The Roro Boat docked at Consuelo wharf and from the port, it took 45 minutes drive to the resort (Bellavistamare Beach Resort or Bella Vista Resort). There were kinds of transportation in the island like Habal – habal (Motorcycle), Multicab or Van, but I chose Habal-habal because of the type of the road or accessibility of the area. The drive was refreshing, the air was so clean and scenery was healthy green for my eyes while me and the driver was on our way to Bellavistamare Beach Resort.
The resort is one of the affordable yet convenient resorts in San Francisco, Camotes Islands. I’ve chosen to stay there not because they were cheaper in terms of room accommodation but because the place was very solemn and at peace. The resort had 2 kinds of room accommodations. They have regular rooms with electric fan which was quite affordable ranging from PHP800 – 1500 a day and air-conditioned rooms ranging from PHP2000-2500. The resort is located on the top of the rocks and surrounded with plants and trees. I arrived at the resort at 11:15 am, so the caretaker guided me the way to my room. In the room, I arranged my stuff and had some rest for about 30 minutes and I was also thinking where to go first. After 30 minutes of having rest, I asked the caretaker to call me a “habal-habal” with driver to go with me. So she called the “habal-habal” driver named “Perpekto/Proktoy” was the one who guided me to the beautiful spots in Camotes Islands. But before our first destination, we first took lunch in one of carinderias (Eatery) in the market. It took 25 minutes of travel from the resort. We ate humba, pork afritada, grilled pork, pork linat-an, 4 cups of rice with 1 L of Coca-cola.
After having our lunch, we proceed to our first destination, the BUHO GARDEN located in Poro, Camotes Islands. It took a few kilometers from the San Francisco market. It’s a garden on top of a rock formation with a small swimming pool, a diving platform and a couple slides to the sea. There was also a stairway which leads the visitors down to sea level pool of clear and cold water. I only stayed there for about 10 to 15 minutes because; I was very excited to see more beautiful spots in Camotes.
It took us 45 minutes of driving from Buho Garden. I thought that was an ordinary cave, but I was wrong. It’s really amazing; I never controlled myself but to get rinsed and soaked my feet in the water. Though, that’s my first time to explore a cave, It was really a nice experience. It’s a small cave and easy to get down inside because of the man-made stairway. The water inside was very clean, clear, and cool and it was just perfect for a relaxed swim or floating around but, I wasn’t able to do that thing because I was afraid of being drowned.Hahaha…By the way, the entrance fee was only Php 20.00 per person. After staying for 30 minutes, me and proktoy (driver) continued our journey.
LAKE DANAO PARK
At around 3 pm we reached Lake Danao Park. Only then, I realized how huge Camotes Islands in terms of beautiful scenery. As much as I would like to row a boat and go fishing but, I’d rather chose to sit on the boat and relaxed. I captured all the eye-catching spots in the place. The lake looks very sad, I thought or at peace, very quiet, where you could hear your heart beating. The lake was surrounded by trees, hardwoods and mangroves secluding the whole lake. The reflection of the skies on the water was just awesome. I really love the place. There, I wanted to shout out loud just to release the child within me. I wanted to sing, laugh and play on the wide green grass around, dance barefooted. But it was so shameful in my part if I did those things, people might see me like I’m crazy. Hahahaha…! At Lake Danao, you’d find that the stress you feel would dissipate and your mind would become clearer. For me, the lake wanted to portray that life is an ever changing process and nothing is final. Therefore, each moment and every new day is a chance to begin anew. The lake was very mysterious indeed.
MANGODLONG ROCK RESORT
It is one of the famous tourist destinations in Camotes Islands as what my driver said. And really it’s a paradise, the entrance fee was only Php 15.00, you can already enjoy the place except for the swimming pool because, you have to pay Php 75.00. For me, never mind the pool, just focus on the beach. (Laughing…). Since the water was so tempting where everybody would love to dip. The place was really perfect for me. When I was there, it was low tide around which I saw huge ripples on the sand with lots of starfishes and jelly fishes too. I decided to go over the rock for me to be able to see the wide deep blue sea. When I was on the top, there were cottages. So, I stayed in the cottage where the Budyong is located. Budyong is a big shell which could produce sounds once you blow some air to it. Again, I enjoyed taking pictures most especially in the man- made mermaid which was surrounded with many blue colored jelly fishes.
SANTIAGO BAY RESORT
We arrived there at around 4 pm. Wow! Can you imagine the white sand beach for free entrance? Amazing… You’ll only pay for the cottage (Hut Type). But I simply sat on a piece of chopped wood and had my sight seeing. The sand was fine and white with pristine waters. I enjoyed the place though there were lots of dark objects at the shoreline but, it wasn’t enough to mess the place. I believed that it could be more stunning if it was high tide and during sunset. Despite of the scorching heat of the sun, still I was able to manage to smile and continue my journey. At around 5:30 pm, I decided to go back to the resort where I stayed for me to have some refreshment and took my dinner as well. The driver took me to the market to have my dinner. We both ate pork barbecue paired with hanging rice. And after the dinner, I took the chance to have a walk around their baywalk. The place was so clean, very well maintained, the cleanliness, the ordinance and everything. Each bench had its own speaker where you could hear Christmas songs. After a long walk, I decided to go back to the resort and had my rest and to prepare for the 2nd day escapade.
Day 2 (Sunday)
I was so excited to wake up for my second day in Camotes Island. But before planning and preparing my things for my next destination, I went out the room and went directly to the lobby and enjoyed looking the sunrise. Hearing those birds singing and the banging leaves of the trees lounging on the natural sounds for warm sunshine and unwind beneath an umbrella as cool breeze caressed me. I enjoyed, chilled and relaxed in the resort. The beauty and tranquility of the resort will surely guarantee a great weekend. I sank my toes into the soft warm sea, laid back on the benches and relax under the blue skies and start to savor the special way of life that only Camotes Islands could offer. After an hour of having my relaxation, I prepared my breakfast – Cup of Coffee, 3 pairs of sandwiches and fruit salad. After taking my breakfast, I quickly took a shower, prepare things to bring – foods, X-tra T-shirt, water and camera and ready to rumble for my second day tour. My first stop was for the 2nd day was in BUKILAT CAVE, located in Tudela Camotes. I really soaked myself in the atmosphere inside the cave, its quiet bigger than the TIMUBO CAVE. I enjoyed the formation of the rocks inside the cave. I felt the textures of every corner behind it and enjoyed taking pictures inside. After 30 minutes of picture2x galore, churva, I decided to proceed to my next destination, the MASAMAYOR BEACH HOUSE AND RESORT, located in San Francisco, Camotes. Still the intense excitement was there (laughing out loud… ^^). It took 45 minutes ride from Bukilat Cave; the resort is located near in Santiago Bay Garden and Resort. The sand was also fine and white and granules felt like a massage on my feet. I was amazed to witness the long-stretched white sands on the island. I wasn’t able to stay longer in the beach because, I want to discover scenery around Camotes Islands and I don’t want to waste time but it was really impressive.
So my 3rd stop was in TULANG DIOT ISLAND.
It took about 30-40 minutes of drive from Masamayor and another 3 minutes of riding motorized boat to reach the island of Tulang Diot. I checked out how fishermen wove their fishnets at a neighboring islet “Tulang Diot” (If I’m not mistaken) and of course, hit the beach. The place was excellent for foreign and local tourists because they can have a total relaxation in the place. I really enjoyed my island hopping. And since it was about 12 noon, me and Proktoy decided to go back to the market for a while and had our lunch. After taking our lunch, we directly proceeded to my next destination which was in KALBARYO. While riding to Kalbaryo, I observed that there were public schools both elementary and high school. In terms of internet connections, they also have internet cafes and wifi in some beach resorts. Aside from that, they have convenient stores so you don’t have to worry where to buy food and snacks. By the way, the island has a wide plain which is good for constructing an airport. I hope they will be able to have one in the future… Back to Kalbaryo, It took 40-50 minutes of driving to the place. The Kalbaryo is located near the Timubo Cave. A high peak mountain located at barangay Sunog, where you can view the island on top. The place commemorates of activities during the Holy Week of Roman Catholic Church. Every station, I took a pause and had some picture-picture. On the top, you could see the aerial view of Lake Danao. It took me almost an hour or more to reach the top. When I’m at the top, I smiled. I basked the glory of life, appreciated the gift of nature. I really found the happiness in nature, in the beauty of the mountains, in the serenity of the sea and the lake. I found the happiness and satisfaction in everything I did there in Camotes Islands. This ended the 2nd day of my journey.
Day 3 (Monday)
I woke up late at around 1o am because, I had a good night sleep dreaming those trips I made during the 2nd day. Proktoy fetched me at the resort to go to the market to eat breakfast. We only had a hot choco and a puto maya for breakfast. I also visited their “Tabo” – a gathering of vendors and customers to buy and sell of various goods, in their market. At around 11 am, I already repacked my things ready for my trip scheduled at 5 pm bound for Danao, Cebu and ready to get back to work on the next day. I wasn’t able to see all the must- see’s which I listed in San Francisco, Poro and Tudela since I ran out of time. But with everything I had or experienced, I was absolutely satisfied. But my trip never ended there. I’d still want to go back and have my biking, mountain trekking and snorkeling to see those wonderful marine lives. And besides, the Camotes locals are very friendly, warm and helpful. I hope this island will be developed without sacrificing the beauty of nature to cater more tourists. I really enjoyed my stay there. If you’re looking for a place where you can relax, a place that is far from the busy urban, then I strongly recommend this island for your next vacation because, Camotes is serene. Camotes Islands is like a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. After a week long stress in the office, house or school, we all deserve a perfect getaway weekend. Ever imagined of getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city life? Ever dreamt of relaxing and taking a nap while listening to the sounds of the waves? or ever thought about laying in the sand, Red Horse in one hand, trashy novel in the other? If you wish to do all the lazy activities, the sun-kissed Camotes Islands is the perfect place for you. As what I’ve seen Camotes is famous for its unspoiled natural beauty, rich culture and heritage, hospitality and smiling faces, it is regarded by many as the island of enchantments, defined by its spectacular white sand beaches. Camotes Islands is spiced with the beauty of nature like the Boracay minus the atm machines (few ATMs), night life, restaurants and high- end hotels. It basically equates to one thing – the beach. 🙂
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Credit: tweakiwiki.com for the photos (site is no longer available)
to GOD be the glory @2015