Caving, cliff-diving, and walking along the white sand in Santiago Bay are the most anticipated activities to do on Camotes Island. Located East of Cebu and Southwest of Leyte, Camotes Island is becoming even more popular than before. In fact, it is already one of the top summer destinations in Cebu. So we’ve came up with this ultimate travel guide to Camotes Island with what to do, where to go, budget and itinerary included. Book a private tour here.
Camotes Island Travel Guide
Camotes Island is composed of 3 major islands and 1 islet. Poro Island, Pacijan Island, and Ponson Island are the three major islands while Tulan Island, which is part of San Francisco, is an islet. On the other hand, there are also three major ports in Camotes which connect a lot of visitors from major travel hubs in the Visayas region.
The Camotes Island Map
Camotes Island at a Glance
Why do tourists visit Camotes island?
Camotes Island is known for cliff diving, caving, and its beaches which is an exciting combination of activities for most tourists.
Is Camotes island open for tourists?
Yes, Camotes Island is open for tourists.
How do I get from Cebu to Camotes Island?
Take a ferry from Danao port or Cebu City Pier 1 to Camotes Island. You can book your tickets for Jomalia Shipping here.
How to get to Camotes Island?
Camotes Island has 3 major ports where tourists from various parts of Visayas can enter the island. The most popular route is by going to Cebu as the jump-off point. From there, you can either go to Danao City or take the Oceanjet ferry from Cebu to Camotes. Book your tickets here.
How to get to Cebu by Air
You can catch a lot of flights to Cebu since Cebu is one of the major tourist destinations in the country. Tourists from South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Dubai, and the likes can travel directly to Cebu. If not, you can take a flight to Manila and take another one to Cebu.
How to get to Cebu by Ferry
The travel time for Manila to Cebu ferry is approximately 22 hours. Cebu City Pier 1 is the major and the busiest port in Cebu which accepts ferries to and from Manila, Cagayan, Bohol, Ormoc, and a lot more. Also, big ferry companies like 2Go Travel, Cokaliong, OceanJet, and LiteFerries depart and arrive here.
Note: As of July 1, 2021, Cebu is open for domestic tourists ONLY. A negative swab test result is required for inbound domestic travelers. A confirmed accommodation is also required for tourists.
Cebu to Camotes Island
|COMPANY||DEPARTURE||ARRIVAL||TRAVEL TIME||SCHEDULE||CHECK PRICES|
|Jomalia Fastcraft||Mactan Wharf|
|1 hour and 10 minutes||8:00 AM|
|Ocean Jet Fastcraft||Cebu Port, Pier 1||Poro, Camotes||1.5 hours||6:00 AM|
|Jomalia RORO||Danao Port||Consuelo Port||2 hours||5:30 AM|
From Mactan Wharf to Camotes Island
From Mactan Airport, the most convenient way to get to Camotes Island is by taking the Jomalia fast craft from Mactan Wharf. The trip only takes about 1 hour and arrives in Consuelo Port in Camotes Island. This trip leaves at 8:00 AM and 12 NN, daily. On the other hand, Consuelo to Mactan trips leaves at 10 AM and 4 PM, daily.
Jomalia fast craft Ticket Price from Mactan Wharf to Camotes Island
- Adult – PHP 595/way
- Senior Citizen or PWD – PHP 520/way
- Student – PHP 540/way
- Minor Child – PHP 350/way
- Infant – FOC (no ticket, no seat)
From Cebu Port, Pier 1 to Camotes Island
If you are in Cebu City, you can take an OceanJet fast craft from Pier 1. Travel time is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes and it arrives in Poro Port. On your way back from Camotes to Cebu, Pier 1, the fast craft leaves at 8 AM and 5 PM.
OceanJet fast craft Ticket Price from Pier 1 to Camotes Island
- Open-air – PHP 500
- Tourist Class – PHP 500
- Business Class – PHP 800
From Danao Port to Camotes Island
You can take the Jomalia RORO or fast craft from Danao Port to Consuelo Port in Camotes Island. Travel time is 2 hours. To get to Danao port, take a bus or v-hire from SM City Cebu or North bus terminal.
Jomalia RORO Ticket Price from Danao Port to Camotes Island
- Adults, Economy: ₱220 (₱250 for aircon)
- Seniors/PWD, Economy: ₱157 (₱179 for aircon)
- Students, Economy: ₱176 (₱200 for aircon)
- For Minors (3-10), Economy: ₱110 (₱125 for aircon)
Best Beaches in Camotes Island
When thinking about Camotes, the first thing that we can think of is the white sand in Santiago Bay. However, not known to many, there are a lot more beaches on Camotes Island.
Santiago Bay Beach
Santiago Bay Beach is the most popular beach on Camotes Island. You can find a lot of resorts which have a good view of this white sand beach. If you want to spend the day here, you can also rent cottages and tables by the beach. Moreover, there are also restaurants nearby. The beach is perfect for families and kids because of its shallow water.
Mangodlong Beach consists of a white sand beach and turquoise water. It can be accessed through Mangodlong Paradise Beach Resort, a private resort located in Heminsula, San Francisco, Camotes Island. The beachfront in Mangodlong Rock Resort also shares the same beauty with the beach found in Paradise Beach Resort as it is located just a stone’s throw away from each other.
Bakhaw Beach is a secluded beach located in Esperanza, San Francisco. Just like the rest of the beaches on the island, Bakhaw Beach also has a white sand beach but aside from that, it has a very natural and raw charm. Tourists who visit here enjoy the serenity of the place and the little to no entrance fee.
Esperanze Beach shares the same shoreline with Bakhaw Beach so automatically, this beach is as beautiful as the other. This beach, unfortunately, is not intended for relaxation since it is mainly a docking port for fishing boats.
Tulang Diot Beach
Tulang Diot is an islet located across Tulang Dako. While Tulang Dako serves as a docking port for the fishing community, Tulang Diot serves as a tourist location where anyone can relax and swim in the clear seawater. Both have beautiful white sand beaches though. To get to Tulang Diot, you need to take a boat from Tulang Dako.
What makes Tulang Diot special is the sandbar that appears during low tide and disappears during high tide. Guests can enjoy limited access to cottages in the area.
What makes Mactang Beach one of the best beaches to visit in Camotes is the controversy that surrounds it. It is said that the historical Battle of Mactan actually took place in Mactang in Poro, Camotes Island, and not in Opon (now known as Mactan, Cebu). Mactang, Camotes even has artifacts in their municipal museum which are said to have existed during the time of Lapulapu. If you too are curious about this claim, you can check out Mactang in Poro, Camotes Island.
The most popular resort you can find in Buho Beach is Buho Rock Resort. It is very famous for its cliff diving spot. This is why it is one of the best beaches on Camotes Island.
Where to Stay in Camotes Island
Camotes Island Backpacker Hostels and Hotels
|Camotes Island Backpacker Hostels and Hotels||Price per night starts||Rating||Check Rates|
|RMS Travellers Inn||$7||Very Good||Book Here|
|Villa Marquez||$14||Exceptional||Book Here|
RMS Travellers Inn
RMS Travellers Inn is located in Pamatasan, Northern Poblacion. It is one of the high-demand properties for budget travelers. For only $7 a night, you can already enjoy a decent room with a shower. You can choose from their double room, family room, and mixed dormitory room. Free wifi is also available in the vicinity of the hostel. There are no beaches close to the hostel but you can rent a motorcycle for only PHP 300 per day. Check their rates and photos here.
Villa Marquez is located in Tulang Dako, Esperanza. The closest beach from this hostel is Tulang Diot which is just one short boat ride across Tulang Dako. Timubo Cave is also 1.2 kilometers away from the hostel. What guests love the most in Villa Marquez is the serenity of the place since it is located far from the urbanized areas in Camotes. Check their rates and photos here.
Camotes Island Beach Front Hotels and Resorts
|Camotes Island Beach Front Hotels and Resorts||Price per night starts||Rating||Check Rates|
|Mangodlong Rock Resort||$36||Excellent||Book Here|
|Aladin White Beach Resort||$16||Good||Book Here|
|Santiago Bay Garden and Resort||$32||Very Good||Book Here|
|Camotes Flying Fish Resort||$42||Very Good||Book Here|
Mangodlong Rock Resort
Mangodlong Rock Resort has beachfront rooms consisting of 1 double bed and 1 single bed or 2 double beds and 1 single bed perfect for family use. The resort also has an on-site restaurant, an outdoor pool, water sports activities, and a massage service. The resort is also kid-friendly. Check their rates and photos here.
Aladin White Beach Resort
Aladin Beach Resort features a private beach, an outdoor 7-ft swimming pool, a bar, and an onsite restaurant. The prices in Aladin White Beach Resort are very reasonable. If you want to try their foods, their pizza is one of the top recommended items on the menu. Aladin Beach Resort is located close to Tuland Diot and the fishing community in Tulang Dako. The popular Lake Danao is also located nearby. Check their rates and photos here.
Santiago Bay Garden and Resort
Santiago Bay Garden and Resort is one of the favorite resorts on Camotes Island. It has the best view of Santiago’s white sand beach where you can easily enjoy from their infinity pool. There are also two infinity pools in the resort which can be used by adults and kids. You can also access the beach one stairway away if you want to enjoy afternoon walks. Check their rates and photos here.
Camotes Flying Fish Resort
Camotes Flying Fish Resort is definitely not for those who are looking forward to nightlife and fun noises. It is located in a very remote area in Poro where guests can enjoy a quiet vacation. There is no seashore for the beach but Camotes Flying Fish Resort has an amazing view of the ocean. Guests can also enjoy kayak and snorkeling in the beachfront since there are a lot of beautiful fish living nearby. Check their rates and photos here.
Camotes Island Luxury Hotels and Resorts
|Camotes Island Luxury Hotels and Resorts||Price per night starts||Rating||Check Rates|
|Mangodlong Paradise Resort||$58||Excellent||Book Here|
|Camotes Island Ocean Heaven Resort||$51||Excellent||Book Here|
Mangodlong Paradise Resort
Mangodlong Paradise Resort offers convenience and luxury in one. Located in the heart of Camotes, this luxury resort is perfect for any type of traveler. It has complete amenities but the highlight of the resort is its infinity pool where you can enjoy a sip of your favorite drink at the poolside bar. The private beach is also a good place to hang out because it does not get too crowded. Check their rates and photos here.
Camotes Island Ocean Heaven Resort
Camotes Island Ocean Heaven Resort does not have a private beach but guests and kids can enjoy their outdoor pool. They also have great amenities and offer all sorts of activities to do while on the island. They boating, a golf course, a waterpark, water sports activities, and a massage service. It has a complete package for the entire family. Check their rates and photos here.
Where to Eat in Camotes Island
Best Restaurants in Camotes Island
- SantiagoBay Restaurant – Serves Filipino and Asian menu where you can dine in an open-air area overlooking the beautiful view of Santiago beach.
- Pito’s Sutokil – Offers seafood meals, sisig, and other classic Filipino dishes by the beach. They also have fresh mango shake for an affordable price.
- Nena’s Grill and Drinks – serves seafood and grilled dishes in a very affordable price. It is also located along the beach.
- Lake Danao Sizzling Bar – great staff and inexpensive options of Filipino and Asian meals. Perfect place to eat while in Lake Danao.
- Dos Mares Chill and Restaurant – Spanish-owned restaurant which serves Filipino and Spanish dishes. They can also accommodate vegetarian meals.
Best Cafes in Camotes Island
- Chill Station Cafe Ysla De Camotes – offers coffee and milktea in the island. Perfect for meeting up with friends or just giving up to your milktea cravings.
- Bamboo Cafe – Specializes in Filipino foods, pizza, and pasta. A glass of wine can also be best enjoyed here because of its amazing sunset view.
- 3 Beans Cafe – one of the highly recommended cafes in camotes. They have affordable lattes and shakes.
Best places to Drink in Camotes Island
- Dread House Reggae Bar – A very chill place to spend the night in Camotes. You can experience the best island nightlife here.
- Hut Karaoke – if you want to sing your heart out, Hut Karaoke is a karaoke bar with great selection of drinks and foods.
What to do in Camotes Island
Camotes has beautiful white sand beaches like Santiago White Beach and Tulang Diot. A lot of resorts also have their own private beaches where you can lounge the entire afternoon. Sunsets are also immaculate in Camotes and are best viewed along the beach. Check here to book accommodations with the best sunset and beach view.
Tulang Diot has an entrance fee of PHP 10 per head. Cottage rental is PHP 500 per day and tables cost PHP 150 per day.
Watersports in Lake Danao
Lake Danao is said to be the biggest natural lake in Cebu. And because of its very romantic ambiance, Lake Danao is also hailed as the Lover’s Lake. You can do all sorts of activities in Lake Danao like kayaking, boating, and even horseback riding. Lake Danao opens from 6 AM to 6 PM, daily. The entrance fee costs PHP 15 per head (excluding the rate of each ride). Click here to book a Camotes private tour.
Cliff diving in Buho Rock
The rock formation in Buho Rock is the most popular cliff-diving site in Camotes. In fact, there are two diving boards in Buho Rock where one is higher than the other. To enter the site, you must pay the entrance fee of PHP 20 (adults ) and PHP 10 (kids). You can also have a little picnic in the area since they allow outside foods and drinks.
Aside from the water activities, you can also explore caves in Camotes. Don’t worry though because these caves are easily accessible– usually with concrete stairs. There are 4 popular caves in Camotes but as I was told, locals keep discovering new cave entrances on the island. Here are the caves you can explore in Camotes:
- Paraiso Cave – PHP 50 per head
- Holy Crystal Cave – free entrance
- Bukilat Cave – PHP 20 per head
- Timobo Cave – PHP 15
Sample Travel Itinerary in Camotes Island
3D2N Camotes Island Itinerary
Day 1 – arrive in Camotes early. On your first day, you can go caving. Based on Camotes Island Map, Paraiso Cave, Heaven Cave, and Timubo Cave are located on the same island while for Bukilat Cave, you still have to cross to the other island to get there. On your way to Bukilat Cave, you can take your lunch in San Francisco Baywalk or any restaurant of your choice. If time permits, you can also go to Buho Rock for cliff diving. If not, you can watch the sunset instead of in Santiago Bay and have your dinner along the beach before going back to your hotel.
**For easily travel around Camotes, you can rent a motorbike which usually costs around PHP 300 per day. If traveling in a group, you can rent a jeepney or a van.
Day 2 – Wake up early for Tulang Diot and have your lunch there. After you can also visit nearby beaches like Esperanza Beach and Bakhaw Beach or you can go straight to Mangodlong Rock.
Day 3 – On your last day, visit Lake Danao before going to the port.
Budget for 3 days/ 2 nights Camotes Island Itinerary
- Backpacker budget – More or less PHP 4000 (1 pax)
- Midrange budget – More or less PHP 6000 (1 pax)
- Luxury budget – Sky is the limit. Spend as much as you want.
Travel guide in Camotes Island
- I would highly suggest to rent a motorbike or your own ride during your stay in Camotes since tourist attractions in Camotes are located everywhere in the island. Renting your own means of transportation will help you save time and money.
- Bring enough cash. ATMs (most especially international ATMs ) are rare in the island. And even if you can find one, it usually runs out of cash or undergoing a maintenance. Majority of the establishments in Camotes are operating in a cash only basis so you can’t really rely on your credit/debit cards for paying your bills.
- Bring a dry bag most especially when going caving. You can also wear an aqua shoes instead of slippers.
- Travel responsibly. Make sure to follow minimum health protocols and sanitize all the time. Be mindful of your trashes and do not leave anything behind.
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Traveling around the world one baby step at a time. On a normal week, I juggle the life of a Software Engineer and a small business owner. I also write stories about my experiences while traveling– the adventures and the misadventures.