the camotes adventure

Cebu Travel Blog

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camotes island in cebu is a one stop shop for adventure-seeking travellers. i first heard of the island from my friend Zsazsa and when i googled it fell in love with the island already. my friends  from Stratpoint and i organized a trip to cebu when cebu pacific had one of their super-low fare promo. we bought our roundtrip plane tickets for 700 pesos, lucky us.

it was the independence day long weekend and we thought we had just enough time for an adventure in camotes. from cebu city, we took the fastcraft at pier 1. it leaves the pier at 9am and takes 3.5 hours to travel to camotes island. camotes is even nearer to ormoc/leyte than to cebu.

the fastcraft docks at poro port, which is 45 minutes drive from our resort, the santiago bay resort. a golf-cart-like vehicle picked us up the pier and drove us to santiago. the drive was refreshing, the air was clean and scenery was healthy green for our eyes. (we paid 150 pesos each for the ride)

the mode of transportation in the island is by habal-habal (motorcycle) . for multicab or van, you have ask the resort to get you one to rent.

santiago bay resort

santiago bay resort is one of the 4 resorts in camotes (camotes resorts). we chose to stay there because it has a huge white-sand beach area.  we paid 1800 pesos for our room which was  good for 3 persons  (2 beds with extra matress). the resort has its own restaurant and you have no choice but to eat there since there are no restaurants nearby. food ranges from 150-250 per dish (can serve 2 persons), not that great except for the lechon kawali.  food takes time before they can serve it, so better order it ahead �" like 2 hours before you plan to eat.

when we were there (june) low tide comes at around 5pm. during low tide you can see huge ripples on the sand, with lots of crablets running around and hiding if they see people coming.  lots of starfish(they are so many, you have to step on them!), blow fish and jelly fish too.  so better bring an anti-jelly fish sting lotion (godiva lotion which can be bought at mercury drugstore) and anti-histamines �" their stings can trigger your skin allergies.

some may be “turned off” by the sea weeds, but i really don’t mind.  it’s the way nature works.  but definitely the beach is rich with marine life. there are a few litters on the shore, which could be been cleaned up by the resort. let’s face it, there are just irresponsible tourists. and once you put up a resort in any nice place, tourists will flock and litters are unavoidable, there’s no other choice but to be responsible for keeping it clean.

there’s a nearby white-sand cove, we attempted to walk through the water to go there but it was getting deep already so we didn’t pursue it.  we then took a kayak to get there and we saw lots of big jelly fish and thick sea weeds in the area, we’re lucky we didn’t walk through it.  when got to the cove, we realized it was  a cemetery.

mangodlong beach resort

mangodlong is another beach resort in camotes and is around 20 minutes habal-habal  ride from santiago bay resort. outside santiago bay resort, there’s a habal-habal terminal. we paid 60 pesos each for the roundtrip and just gave extra since the driver waited for us for 2 hours.

mangodlong has a smaller beach area but it is great for snorkeling. Four meters from the shore and you can already see a variety of marine life,  lotsa fish of different colors and sizes. Just be careful, we saw a black and white banded sea snake. It was long and was coming after us. snokeling gears can be rented at the resort, 150 for the mask and snorkel and 150 for the fins.  There’s an entrance fee of 25 but you don’t have to pay if you’re a guest at santiago bay resort since they have the same owners.

lake danao

another must visit in camotes is lake danao. the lake is surrounded by hardwood mangrooves secluding the whole lake. the reflection of the skies on the water is just awesome. there’s a nipa hut where visitors can view the whole lake and enjoy the peace and quiet.  but i recommend to cruise the lake in a sakanaw �" a lake boat.  the sakanaw ride costs 100 pesos per person. the sakanaw cruise will take you around the lake and and to an islet passing by some wild ducks. (entrance fee is 5 pesos)

poro church and town

at poro town, we visited poro church. we bought some snacks and medicines ans we also ate our lunch at the market. lunch was pork+liver+chicken barbeque, puso rice, coke and some fruits.

buho rock

buho rock is just a few kilometers from poro town.  it’s a garden on top of a rock formation with a small swimming pool, a diving platform and a couple of slides to the sea. there’s also a stairway that takes visitors down to sea level pool of clear and cold water. (entrance fee is 10 pesos)

timubo cave

timubo cave is quite a small cave and easy to penetrate because of the man-made stairway. the water inside is very clean, cool and clear and is just perfect for a relaxed swim or for floating around. (entrance fee is 15 pesos)

bakhaw beach

bakhaw beach has sugary white sand, really clear waters and is secluded. (entrance fee is 5 pesos) we would have stayed there if we knew that we could rent a room or a house there. it’s only now that i know that there’s the borromeo’s bahay bakasyunan (Contact: Jocelyn Delfin at mobile +639086267585) which offers 4 bedrooms, but 1 room can be rented for 1,200 pesos. In my next trip to Camotes, definitely i’ll be staying there.

camotes has more to offer

there are still more  in camotes that we missed to visit.  three days and 2 nights are not enough to explore the 4 islands that compose camotes. cut i don’t mind because it leaves me a reason to keep coming back to that wonderful place.

i would love to visit tulang diot, bukilat cave and busay falls when i go back. i would like to go diving too but the only diveshop i’ve seen there is in mangodlong. i’d love to do some biking too, hmm and mountain trekking.

For more info:

More of our photos:

Mangodlong Beach Resort

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photo by: TravellinChic