Quick Travel Guide: Camotes Islands, Cebu

Camotes group of islands comprises three major islands and one minor islet that are situated within Camotes Sea. When viewed from the map, three island provinces seemingly enclose these laid-back islands of Poro, Pacijan, Ponson and Tulang. Camotes islands are located southwest of Leyte, north of Bohol and east of Cebu with which the island group is under jurisdiction. For its undisturbed beauty, Camotes Islands was dubbed as the Lost Horizon of the South; a moniker attested by a local from Cebu City when she likened it to the renowned Boracay Island because of its fine, white sandy beaches, less the crowd.

Rock formation in Santiago White Beach

Legend has it that the island supposedly got its name from sweet potatoes, or kamote. Some natives were farming by the time the Spaniards arrived and asked what the name of the island was. "Kamotes", the natives replied thinking that they were being asked what they were harvesting. I wonder though if it will make sense to call the locals of Camotes Islands as "anak ng Camotes"? (Last ko na 'yun. Promise!)

From Manila to Camotes Islands

Getting to Camotes Island will consume a big chunk of your itinerary as you will be traveling in a matter of 5 hours from Manila, through all modes of transportation.

Camotes Islands seen from afar

By Air

Local airlines have daily flights bound for Mactan International Airport at a number of frequency. Travel time usually takes an hour.

By Land
  • You may opt to take a taxi ride from the airport going to Cebu North Bus Terminal. I would suggest that you insist on using the taxi meter to avoid overpricing.
  • If coming from downtown Cebu City, like us since we spent a night there, take a public jeepney numbered with "01K". Jeepney routes in Cebu are numbered this way and these 01K types ply the route to the bus terminal. Don't be surprised if traffic situation is reminiscent to that of Metro Manila. Fare: around PHP 20; Travel time: 20-30 minutes, depends on traffic
  • At the terminal, take the bus bound for Borbon and ask the driver to get you off at Danao City port. You'll be passing by the towns of Mandaue City, Liloan, Consolacion, and Compostela. Fare: PHP 35; Travel time: 1.5 hours

By Sea
  • Ferries of Jomalia Shipping Lines operates daily in Danao City port departing as early as 5:30 a.m. and at 5:30 p.m. for the last trip. Fare: PHP 180; Travel time: 2 hours, aboard a slow ferry
  • At Conseulo Wharf in Camotes, a swarm of multicabs and habal-habal (motorbike) drivers offer hotel transfers and island tours as well.

Danao City Church

SIDE TRIP: If you arrive at Danao port ahead of your preferred ferry schedule and still have time, take a side visit to the rustic Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Church just in front of the port.

Where to Stay

Bano Beach Resort is a homey resort in the fishing village of Mangodlong in San Francisco municipality, located just 10 minutes away from Consuelo Wharf. We scored a significant discount on our accommodation at their air-conditioned room from its regular rate of PHP 1700 per night, good for 4 persons and an additional PHP 250 per night for an extra bed. Contact: (+63) 09398348152 or book here.

READ ALSO: Camotes Islands, Cebu: Off-season Stay at Bano Beach Resort

Bano Beach Resort's infinity pool

Check other island accommodations in Camotes Islands in this list from Cebu-Bluewaters.com.

Wandering Around

A mile-long causeway connects the main islands of Pacijan and Poro, thus traveling across by land is possible through multicabs, habal-habal rides or your resort's service shuttle if there's any. Ponson Island located nearest to the province of Leyte and Tulang Islet which is a short distance from Pacijan can be reached by pump boats. Listed are some of the fun activities these islands has to offer.
  • Cave-hopping! Visit the naturally illuminated Bukilat Cave; make your way down and take a dip at the subterranean water pools of Timubo and Paraiso caves.
    READ: Cave Hopping Around Camotes Islands
  • Go on a nature trip with family and barkada at Lake Danao Park or at Green Lake Park.
    READ: Quick Nature Trip in Lake Danao Park
  • Spice up your trip by jumping from the cliff of Buho Rock Resort.
    READ: Buho Rock, the Spice of Camotes Island Getaway
  • Go beach bumming, try different water activities, and have a taste of the island's delicacy at Santiago White Beach.
    READ: A Day in Santiago White Beach
  • Visit Mangodlong Paradise Beach Resort's popular rock formation.
  • Take a walk along Santiago Baywalk and munch on the island's inihaw delicacies.
  • Scuba dive in Tulang Island
  • Visit Poro Church
  • Visit the Pilar heritage houses of Ponson Island

Kayaking at Santiago White Beach

It would be ideal to allot four days for Camotes Island trip provided that you catch an early flight to Cebu and a late afternoon flight back. Visiting the attractions within the connected islands of Pacijan and Poro is possible to complete in one whole day, though much better if done in two days.

Trip Notes

  • Jomalia ferry schedules and fees posted as of writing are the same from Danao City to Consuelo and vice versa. Ferry departs at 5:30 AM, 8:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 2:30 PM, and 5:30 PM. Be sure to be at the port an hour before your preferred time. Ferry rates:
    • Adult: PHP 200 (Aircon); PHP 180 (Economy);
    • Senior Citizen: PHP 160 (Aircon); PHP 145 (Economy)
    • Student: PHP 170 (Aircon); PHP 150 (Economy)
    • Child 3-10 years old: PHP 100 (Aircon); PHP 90 (Economy)
    • Note: Student and Senior citizen ID's need to be presented to avail discount.
  • No ATM or banks in the island.
  • Mobile signal is weak in Pacijan and Poro islands, especially in Santiago White Beach where SMART network signal is non-existent.
  • Entrance fees: Bukilat Cave: PHP 25; Timubo Cave: PHP 20; Paraiso Cave: PHP 25; Lake Danao Park: PHP 15; Buho Rock Resort: PHP 20 (adult)/PHP 10 (child)

Santiago Baywalk

Camotes Islands Experience: A Day in Santiago White Beach | Quick Nature Trip in Lake Danao Park | Cave Hopping Around Camotes Islands | Buho Rock, the Spice of Camotes Island Getaway
Lodging: Bano Beach Resort: Off-season Stay at Camotes Islands, Cebu
Camotes Islands Travel Guide: Quick Travel Guide: Camotes Islands, Cebu


DJ Rivera is an I.T. professional, entrepreneur, travel blogger, writer and the online publisher of PinoyTravelogue.com based in Rizal province, Philippines. Click here to know more.

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