Travel Guide: Camotes Islands

Categories Travel Guide, Visayas

“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.


  • 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


  • 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

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Camotes undewater
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106 thoughts on “Travel Guide: Camotes Islands

  1. ■ Want to tour here in Camotes Island? I’m here to serve! I have two(2) multi cab that can occupy 17 seaters and a van and motorbike or habal habal if you like…■

    This is Eil Saying………. “Travel Safely with my service” Just contact my # for more information. → 0909-563-9412→ or→ 0912-979-8560→. VON VOYAGE EVERYONE!!! God Bless……………..

  2. Hi there! nextweek we will go to cebu were planning to go to camotes island. Please i need your help.. From cebu view inn how to get there in camotes island? thanks

  3. whew! sobrang ganda ng Camotes Island at very affordable ang budget.
    one thing I like the most is yung kalsada nila, sementado talaga kaya napa-smooth ng byahe kahit sa habal-habal ka lang naka-sakay hindi masyadong nakaka-pagod. kung may lubak man na daan napaka-konti lang halos di ko nga napansin. at yung driver namin nakalimutan ko pangalan nya, pero ang bait nya at sya din ang tour guide namin.

    we stayed in Bella Vista Resort kasi fully boked na ang Magodlong at Santiago Resort. Ok naman yung rates nila at madaming katabing kkainan. Napakaganda ng Bukilat Cave, Timubo Cave at “Queshee Beach” if I’m not mistaken sa name nya.

    tahimik yung lugar sa gabi at higit sa lahat walang cellphone signal sa parte ng Santiago, pero ayos lang para walang iistorbo 🙂

    Must See talaga ang Camotes Island

  4. Hi…. this is Eil of Camotes Island I just post my contact number 09095639412 or 09424759223 in case you want a tour guide here. I have only motorbike. thank you and God Bless!!!

  5. Camotes=GREAT!! Loved the island-I stayed at Santiago bay garedn Resort- best place in my views=i send my local GF over ther to check all out 2 months before my arrival-spent 5 days there in may(late) weather beautiful! Resort service very good -foods also great. There is a ferry service running every 2 hours from danao daylight times. One can also get a ride from SM Mall in cebu city. Motorbikes are available in resort areas- they will ask for 500P daily yet I usually dont start till noon so I offered 200P -and most will accept. Many Koreans go there also.Ive herd they usually wreck the motorbikes as roads are NOT made for fast travel. That island is the only one ill ever go to again-was a wonderful experience!! Sandy beaches -views & service just great! Diveing if u wisg -yet im told malaspucna is. is best for that?

  6. heading to bantayan (june 8-9)-malapascua (9-10) and camotes (11-12). lemme know if anyone’s going 0x9x1x6x9x6x7x8x8x53

    please let me know how i can get around the camotes island the cheapest means.. super budget ako . 4k budget for 5days in cebu… wah! letchon lang talaga kakainin ko… the rest yakisoba nalang

  7. heading to bantayan (june 8-9)-malapascua (9-10) and camotes (11-12). lemme know if anyone’s going 0x9x1x6x9x6x7x8x8x53


  9. would you know if i can bring my dog(shih tzu)? any requirements when we ride the boat? any hotels that allow pets? thanks

  10. Hi! 🙂

    Would you know and rate the difference between the fineness and whiteness of sand in Camotes, Bantayan and Malapascua Island? 🙂

    Thank you!! 🙂

  11. hi admin. i have a little business in camotes island. i offer transportation in camotes island. we have motorbikes, aircon van. multicab and tatos vehicle. i can give cheaper package deal for transpo compare to other transportation in camotes. Im ALFRED LIM. and you can contact me with this numbers 0926-529-6337 and 0910-879-5577.
    thank you so much admin.
    God bless and more power!

  12. how can the native reply camote when the word is spanish/mexican? there should be a local term for the camote plant

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