Travel Guide: Camotes Islands

“Camote”, replied the island ancestors when asked by the Spaniards about the name of the place. The natives were harvesting sweet potatoes (camote) then and thought that the Spaniards were asking what they were digging. That was how the group of islands got its name according to local folklore.

Camotes is a group of islands composed of four towns of Cebu (Poro, Tudela, Pilar and San Francisco), geographically located east of the province mainland, in between the islands of Cebu and Leyte in central Philippines, two hours away by boat from Danao, north of Cebu City.

It is a small piece of paradise… of beautiful white sand beaches, great underwater treasures, amazing caves and lake, rich culture and history and lovely people.

Go beyond the usual Cebu. Discover, explore, experience and fall in love with the charm of Camotes Islands.

Going There

Cebu City is where tourists usually touch down before going to Camotes Islands . From Cebu City, catch a multicab or bus going or passing in Danao. Travel time usually takes an hour. Fare is less than P30.

In Danao Port, ride a public boat to Camotes. Boats from here usually go to Port of Consuelo, in the town of San Francisco, Pacijan Island. The boat ride is approximately two (2) for P180.00. In the port, there are multicabs and motorbikes (habal-habal) that offer hotel transfer for P50.00 per passenger.

By Air

Going to Cebu City from any point the country is easy. Being a prime Visayan city, it serves as a hub of most airlines and shipping companies. There are direct flights to Cebu from Manila, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, Puerto Princesa, Legaspi, General Santos, Surigao, Siargao, Clark, Dipolog, Ozamis, Butuan, Dipolog, Roxas, Caticlan, Dumaguete, Bacolod and Iloilo via Philippine Airlines, AirphilExpressCebu Pacific Air and Zest Air.

Cebu City is also accessible from major Asian cities with direct flights from Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Incheon, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, Taipei and Qatar.

Via Land/Water

Cebu is accessible via ferry ride from different ports of call in the country. Numerous shipping lines link the two cities to the others, these include SuperFerry, Negros Navigation, Cokaliong Shipping, Montenegro, SuperCat and OceanJet, among others.

By land from Mainland Luzon, Cebu can be reached by bus from Manila through Batangas via RORO passing Masbate or by traversing the Eastern Philippine Highway passing to Bicol, RORO to Samar and Leyte before crossing via RORO again to Cebu City.

Alternate Route

The town of Pilar in Ponson Island is geographically nearer to Ormoc City, Leyte, only an hour by boat. There are public boats serving the route. There are also public boats that connect Pilar to the other islands and towns of Camotes.

Timabu Cave

Where to Stay

Bella Vista Mare Resort (formerly Beach View Resort) offers cheap room with a great view of Santiago Bay. We stayed in a decent fan room for as low as P850 per room overnight. It is along Santiago Bay in Barangay Santiago, San Francisco, where most tourists stay. Contact Number: +63905-3508883, they prefer to be contacted from 07:00AM to 08:00AM and 06:00PM to 08:00PM.

Beside Bella Vista Resort is a popular hotel resort in town, Santiago Bay Garden and Resort. It has a restaurant and a swimming pool. Other accommodations in town include: Masamayor Beach Resort and Payag Beach Resort in Santiago; Mangongodlong Rock Resort in Mangongodlong; and Harbor View in downtown San Francisco.

Activities

  • Diving/snorkeling: There is only one dive operator in Camotes Islands
    Ocean Deep Dive
    Mangongodlong, San Francisco, Camotes, Cebu
    Email: tim[at]oceandeep[dot]biz
    Mobile: +639084579355
  • Beach bumming in Santiago Bay, Mangongodlong and other white sand beaches in the islands of Pacijan, Tulang, Poro and Ponson
  • Island tour: Lake Danao, Timabu Cave, Baywalk, Buho Rock, Bukilat Cave in Tudela, St. Joseph Parish, Kalbaryo, Alta Vista, Guadalupe Cave and Busay Waterfalls
  • Beach sports: volleyball, frisbee
Santiago Bay

Tips

  • Going to Consuelo, Camotes from Danao: Jomalia Ferry 830AM, RJR Pumpboat (11AM) from Danao
  • Going out of Consuelo, Camotes to Danao: Jomalia Ferry 5AM, RJR Pumpoboat (2PM) to Danao
  • When to go: Summer and dry season
  • No electricity everyday from 6PM-7PM
  • Mobile signal is weak in some areas of Pacijan Island, especially in Santiago and southern barangays of San Francisco
  • No ATM or bank in the island
  • Non-aircon room rate good for two is as low as P850.00/room/night in Bellavista, Aircon room rate for two is at P1200.00/room/night
  • Consuelo Port to hotel transfer is P50.00 one way
  • Half day motorcycle tour rate is P500.00 for the following spot: Lake Danao Park, Timabu Cave, Baywalk, Buho Rock and Bukilat Cave
  • Motorbike Driver Contact: Kuya Elmer’s cellphone number: +639067100831

Lakwatsero Experiences

Camotes undewater

52 Comments on “Travel Guide: Camotes Islands

  1. hello i am ALFRED… i have multicabs, aircon van and motorbike for camotes transportation… i have also extra services like reserving your tickets to the ferry in going back home… my transpo rates is very affordable… right now we have a promo… free pick up and drop off to port and resort to port… all you have to pay is the tour…. try to contact me this are my numbers…

    GLOBE : 09265296337; SMART: 09108795577; SUN: 09339378870

    thanks you…

  2. you can also contact this number wilbes 09264808365.Hes a good driver and an excellent tour guide as well.Very cheap and negotiable.

    • by 500php good for 2 pax, you can already go to 8 destinations of their tourist attractions.just contact this number wilbes- 09475465768 0r 09264808365.price is still negotiable.He’s a good driver and good tour guide as well.

  3. Update: The info here is old. There is electricity 24 hours per day. There is an ATM in Poro at the port. Motorcycle rental is 500 for full day.

    Camotes is one of the cleanest and safest places in the country and the roads are better then Bohol for example and the white sand is finer then Boracay is many places.

    • Thanks for the info. This post really needs updating.

      • During the last February typhoon ( name B something) One of the best beaches Bakhaw, did lost it`s white sand! The sea took it off, because it was during the high tide in the night! Sad! There`s only big rocks left, sad to say what we did find on March 2014.
        Also in Poro there is ATM…but usually no money in it! Everytime empty!

  4. Hi bleue!! punta ko camotes tom :)) ganda ng kuha mo!!! :) im excited :)

    • Hi Phinee! Medyo luma na itong travel guide na ito, hindi na updated. Hahaha! Enjoy Camotes!!! :))

  5. hi. my family is planning to go oslob and camotes. is there any way we can transfer to camotes after oslob?and if yes, how?

  6. we are living in Cebu and would like to visit the Camotes Is. i would like to bring my car there. can i ship it from Danoa to the island vis ferry? if so what ferry and the cost? thank you!!!! bill & helen

  7. Hi Eil, can you help me find a good resort to stay on Dec. 23-26, 2013 in camotes island.

    • ok sir/mam that’s my pleasure… kindly contact via my cell no. 09095639412..thank you God Bless

  8. Hi, may I ask how can we to go Camote Island and the Mangodlong beach resort? Were coming from Mactan International airport. I’ve never been in Cebu that’s why Im looking on internet on how am I gonna start back packing thanks

  9. we will be visiting Cebu one weekend on June. We plan to visit Camotes Island. Our flight back to manila is at 8AM. We plan to visit Camotes island the day before and stay there overnight. Are there ferries/boat that can take us back to the mainland early so we can make it to the airport by 8AM?

    thanks!

  10. Hello, My friend and I are planning for a 3day/2nights stay there at Camotes island. May I ask where can we stay? if possible the cheapest one and how much is the whole day tour?

    Thanks!

    • hello! im from tudela camotes island. i recommend you to stay in mangodlong paradise resort. im sure you will enjoy ur stay there! :)) for more info you can visit their website here mangodlongparadise.com :))

    • hi ill contact jessie.. my hubs and i will visit camotes 1st week feb for our 3rd anniv…. thanks

    • Good morning, Im ginia from iligan city. im gonna accompany my mom and her co-workers in Camotes Island, and would like to ask for some advice.

      There’s 18 of us in total, and we havent arrange for transportation or rooms yet for our trip there this coming May. I dont know the full details of the trip yet, all i know, its gonna be first week of may, 3 days at least.

      Im also interested in the diving excursion i see on the net, but the thing is, im a newbie, so i dont know how to get around that. But im really interested.

      My contact number is 09355420576. An email would be deeply appreciated too–> chibi_ginia@yahoo.com.

      Thank you very much. ^_^

  11. Pingback: The Most Read Travel Guides of 2012 | Lakwatsero

  12. Hi Ill be bring a group of people(aprox 35) in Feb 15-17 2013, need a price for a 1/2 day island tour on 16th morning please?? Ben

    • gud day sir ben, this is eil from camotes island,, ok our usually rate for tour is only 2500. otherwise we have also 1500. but let us talk about that a day before you came here in camotes. thank you, also contact me via my cel# at 09095639412. thank you sir God Speed…………….

  13. hi admin. i have new vans for camotes island tour. my rate is just the same with non aircon vehicle… for more info you may call or text : 0926-529-6337 ; 0910-8795577 ; 0922-2291336. im the only one here in camotes have an aircon van for hire. i have 4 white vans… thank you very much admin…

    • hello sir alfred lim,

      are your vans still available for rent? we’ll be in camotes and plan to have a half day land tour… how much is your rate?
      we’re 11 adults and 6 kids… ages (2y/o – 6y/o). May i know the itinerary, please? thanks.
      hope you hear from you the soonest.

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