CAMOTES Islands: Travel Guide + Itinerary (Updated)

Get lost in Paradise

Brief History

Legend has it that Spaniards who arrived here came upon some natives farming. When asked what the island’s name was, the natives replied “camotes” (sweet potatoes), thinking they were being asked what they were harvesting. This is just one of the charming things about the Camotes Islands.

Source: http://itsmorefuninthephilippines.com/camotes-islands/

How to get to there

Via Tacloban City, Leyte

Although Camotes is under Cebu province, it is geographically closer to Leyte.

From Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport, Tacloban City, ride a jeepney (P13 fare) and ask the driver to drop you off near Grand Tours. Ride a van from Tacloban to Ormoc (P150 fare)  and ask the driver to drop you near the port. In Ormoc City, ride a tricycle to Punta Port (P8 fare), which is is just beside the SuperCat terminal. Ask the locals for boat trips Poro Island. The trip to Poro Island depends on the availability of the boats, so, make sure to be there before 10AM. Travel takes 2-3 hours and depends on the route of the boat. They sometimes stop at Pilar or Cawit to load and unload goods and live stocks and this might add extra 15-30mins of your travel time. Fare depends on the boat operator and ranges from P180-200 pesos depending on your haggling skills.

According to online posts, there are 19 tourist spots in Camotes Island. You will need at least a day or two to visit some of them. Make sure to visit Tripadvisor and read some reviews  to help you choose your destination and manage your expectation. The boat will dock at Puertobello wharf, this is the north-east tip of Poro Island, which is closest to Ormoc City. At Puertobello, you can rent a motorcycle for 500/day. You can rent it for two (2) days to save money. Riding a habal-habal to Poro town proper will cost you 150/head or to San Francisco ( Mangodlong /Santiago) for P300/head.

This is the boat with the trip from Puerto Bello, Camotes to Ormoc City and vice versa

This is the boat with the trip from Puerto Bello, Camotes to Ormoc City and vice versa

via Cebu City

From SM Cebu, ride a jeepney (#27) to Danao City. Travel time from Cebu to Danao is about an hour (P20-30 fare). From Danao City port, ride a ferry to Consuelo. You can reach the island in 2-3 hours, depending on the current. The trip starts as early as 5:30AM and as late as 9PM. Ordinary fare costs P180.00 and for Air-conditioned P200.00 for Jomalia Shipping Corporation. For more details, please visit this site.

Where to Stay

There are six (6) hotels in Camotes Islands. Here is the list:

  • Camotes Flying Fish Resort 3 Star Hotel

    • Location: Brgy. Cagcagan, Poro Camotes Island, Camotes Islands, Cebu, Philippines
    • Agoda Review Score: Fantastic 8.2
    • Rates per night from:
        • Seafront Cottage Breakfast Included  PHP 2,232
  • Coco Grove Nature Resort and Spa 3 Star Hotel

    • Location: Mangodlong, San Francisco, Camotes Islands, Cebu, Philippines 6050
    • Agoda Review Score: Pleasant 6.4
    • Rates per night from:
      • Standard Aircon with Complementary Breakfast Included  PHP 1,711
  • Bano Beach Resort 2.5 Star Hotel

    • Location: Mangodlong, Himensulan, San Francisco, Camotes Island, Camotes Islands, Cebu, Philippines
    • Agoda Review Score: Pleasant 6.4
    • Rates per night from:
      • Standard PHP 1,518
      • Superior PHP 1,786
  • My Little Island Hotel 3 Star Hotel

    • Location: Esperanza, Poro, Camotes, Camotes Islands, Cebu, Philippines
    • Agoda Review Score: Good 7.0
    • Rates per night from:
      • Standard Room PHP 1,607
      • Deluxe Room PHP 1,875
      • Junior Suite Breakfast Included PHP 2,500
      • Executive Suite Breakfast Included  PHP 3,214
  • Santiago Bay Garden and Resort 3 Star Hotel

    • Location: Santiago, San Francisco, Camotes Island, Camotes Islands, Cebu, Philippines 6050
    • Agoda Review Score: Above average 6.0
    • Rates per night from:
      • Deluxe Room PHP 1,639
  • Heritage Inn 1 Star Hotel

    • Location: Eastern Poblacion, Poro, Camotes Islands, Camotes Islands, Cebu, Philippines 6049
    • Agoda Review Score: Good 7.4
    • Rates per night from:
      • Standard Private B Breakfast Included  PHP 806
      • Standard Private D Breakfast Included  PHP 968
      • Standard Private C Breakfast Included PHP 1,209
      • Standard Private A Breakfast Included  PHP 1,451

Recommendation

We stayed in Heritage Inn at Downtown Poro. Not a resort but for budget travellers like us, it is the most practical. Room rate starts at 850/night. If you buy it in Agoda, it will only cost you 1000/night including breakfast.

Heritage Inn, Poro, Camotes Islands

Home away from home at the cheapest rate. Room rate starts from Php 850.

Camotes Islands’ Native Tounge

Cebuano or Bisaya is the primary language of Porohanons (Camotes Island residents). Although there are differences of how they pronounce some words, but the difference is negligible.

  • Good morning = Maayong buntag
  • Where is ___ = Asa diri ang ___
  • How much is this? = Pila ni?
  • Thank you = Daghang salamat
  • Good evening = Maayong gabi-i

Where to Eat

There are lots of small eateries or carinderias in the island. The price ranges from Php40-100 a meal. If you want a classier and cozier ambiance, exclusive resorts like Santiago Bay and Mangodlong Rock Resort have restaurants that are open to the public. The restaurant at Santiago Bay Resort is overlooking the Santiago Bay and one of the best places in Camotes for viewing the sunset. If you like to have a delicious SUTOKIL experience you must visit Pito’s Sutokil Restaurant located just outside Santiago Bay Resort. Click here for more information.

Getting around

The major mode of transportation are motorcycles. Upon arrival at the port, there are plenty of tricycles and multicab drivers that will offer a tour of the island. You can also bring your own tricycle or you can rent for P500/day from 8AM until night. Fortunately, for us, the owner agreed to bring the motorcycle to us as early as 7AM. If you don’t know how to drive and want focus on the trip itself, you may opt to have a driver instead. Multi-cabs offer a tour around the island for P1500–P2000, which is good for 10-12 pax and tricycles or habal-habal for P500-700/day for 2pax. Prices are negotiable and vary among operators. Ask for a bargain but please don’t forget to give the driver a tip and offer snack or meals.

Shoutout

If you need a ride, you can contact Brian, a local tour guide in Camotes. You can contact him through 09499381098 (Smart), 09420617494 (Sun), and 09774633300 (Globe). For more information, visit his Facebook page here.

Must visit places

  • Holy Crystal Cave

    • LocationUnion, San Francisco, Philippines
    • Contact Number: 949 153 7402
    • Entrance Fee: No fixed entrance fee. Depends on how much you will give to the tour guide.
    • Comments and suggestions: The cave’s path is very challenging due to the effort of Mr. Avito to preserve the cave. It has 6 sections and each section has beautiful and amazing stalactites and stalagmites formations especially the last. This is really good for first-timers to enter a cave because the it is only small and the tour will only take 40 minutes to 1 hour. Below are the pictures we took inside the cave.
  • Lake Danao

    • Location: Sitio Patabog, in Brgy. Union, San Francisco
    • Entrance Fee: Php 15 per person
    • Activities:
      • Boat ride for Php 150 for 2.
      • Sakanaw ride for Php 700 for 12 pax.
    • More activities and amenities:
      • Horseback riding
      • Swimming pool
Route to Lake Danao

Route to Lake Danao

Lake Danao Landscape

Lake Danao Landscape

This is the boat we rented for Php 150

This is the boat we rented for Php 150.

Sakanaw ride for Php 500

Sakanaw ride for Php 700

Wild duck at Lake Danao

Wild duck at Lake Danao

Lake Danao has also swimming pool.

Lake Danao also have swimming pool.

 

  • Mangodlong Rock Resort

    • Location: Mangodlong, Heminsulan, San Francisco, Camotes Island, 6000 Cebu City
    • Contact Number: +6332 328 0500 ; +639399216835
    • Entrance Fee: Php 20 per person.
    • Swimming pool fee: Php 75 for adults. Php 50 for kids.
    • Shower fee: Php 15 pesos.
    • Comments:  The magnificent white beach and rock formation with man-made landscapes is breathtaking.
Fine white sand and rock formation in Mangodlong rock resort. This is an amazing place.

Fine white sand and rock formation at Mangodlong rock resort.

Amenities and fees.

Amenities and fees.

Bluish water is just an irresistable force temping you to take a dive.

Bluish water was just irresistible tempting me to take a dive.

  • Santiago White Beach Resort

    • Location: Santiago, San Francisco, Camotes
    • Entrance Fee: Free because this is a public beach
    • Parking fee: Php 5
    • Comments and Suggestions: You must visit this place at high tide because the shore is almost flat at even at 50 meters from the shore. After swimming, you can ask the parking assistant or guard where you can take a bath for free. Or you can directly approach their tourist information desk in front of the beach.
Santiago White Beach

Welcome to Santiago White Beach

Santiago white beach has a huge shore area.

Santiago bay is a public beach in Camotes and has a long shoreline. The sand is sugary pristine white and provides a nice backdrop during sunset.

BTW, the sunset and sunrise from this area is A-m-a-z-i-n-g!

  • Bakhaw Beach

    • Location: Near Brgy. Ezperanza, San Francisco
    • Entrance Fee: Php 5 pesos
    • Comments and Suggestions: We used google map to help us find this place. We drive through rough roads. The beach is very good for swimming because of the fine white sand and the water level is deep enough for swimming.
Bakhaw beach coconut trees providing shade under the heat of the sun.

Bakhaw beach coconut trees provides shade from the heat of the sun.

Camotes Island provide unlimited white beaches and you are not going feel satiety.

Camotes Islands provide unlimited white beaches and you are not going feel satiety.

  • Other Tourist Spots

    • Buho Rock

      • Location: Poro, Camotes Islands
      • Description: Buho Rock Resort is a ship-like rock and was a former resort but abandoned. Now, it is being maintained by the local officials as tourists destination. – See more at: http://www.cebu-bluewaters.com/buho-rock-resort.html
      • You can jump off a cliff as high as 40ft! Unlimited!
    • San Francisco’s Baywalk Trail

      • Location: Poblacion, San Francisco
      • Description: A park with facilities for physical exercises.
      • You can take your lunch or dinner here. There is a line of barbeque stalls located across the baywalk that serves grilled seafood or meat with “puso”, famous Cebuano rice that is cooked inside woven coconut leaves. A meal could cost you around P40.00-P60.00.
    • Timubo Caves

      • Location: Experanza, San Francisco
      • Description: A subterranean cave where you can swim. The water inside the cave is so clear and cold and is just so refreshing.
    • Bukilat Cave

      • LocationMacArthur, Poro Island
      • Description: A nice cave but it was ruined due to the development/construction done to the cave. But for tourists, it is still worth visiting.
    • Busay Falls

      • Location: Tudela, Poro Island

Going back to Ormoc City

Go to Puerto Bello port. According to Puerto Bello locals, there are daily trips departing for Ormoc City at 1PM via M/B Junmar. Small boats can also be chartered for Php1500 to Ormoc City. Small boats can accommodate up to 10 passengers and fare will split amongst passengers.

This is the small boat that will take you to Ormoc in case big boats is not available.

This is the small boat that will take you to Ormoc in case big boats are not available.

Super calm sea after typhoon Amang.

Super calm sea after typhoon Amang.

Worth Noting

Along the way, there are beaches, caves, and falls but not so popular that we can’t see it in the net. It is better to search and prepare your itinerary to avoid wasting your time. There’s a DBP ATM now at Poblacion Poro near the Poro Port.

These are one of the tourist destinations that can't be easily search on the internet.

These is one of the tourist destinations that can’t be easily searched on the internet.

Itinerary and Budget

Below, is a sample 3 days and 2 nights itinerary via Ormoc City and estimated budget for 2. Airfare is not included.

Day and Time Activity Budget Remarks
Day 1    
6:00 am Touchdown at Tacloban City
6:30 am Grandtours Terminal  ₱300 Farex2
7:00 am Tacloban City Departure
9:30 am Arrival at Ormoc City and take a motorcycle to Punta Port ₱16 Farex2
11:30 am Lunch ₱200 Foodx2
12:30 pm Ormoc City Departure ₱400 Farex2
2:30 pm Arrival at Puerto Bello and rent a motorcycle ₱1500 Rent
3:00 pm Busay Falls stopover ₱40 Entrance feex2
4:00 pm Bukilat Cave
5:30 pm Arrival and Check-in at Heritage Inn ₱1700 Hotel
7:00 pm Dinner ₱100 Foodx2
Day 2
7:00 am Departure at Heritage Inn
7:30 am Baywalk Trail and Breakfast ₱100 Foodx2
8:30 am Lake Danao ₱20 Entrance feex2
₱150 Boat Ride
10:00 am Holy Crystal Cave ₱200 Tip
11:15 am Bakhaw Beach ₱10 Entrance feex2
12:00 pm Lunch ₱100 Food
12:30 pm Timubo Cave ₱30 Entrance feex2
1:30 pm Mangodlong Rock Resort ₱40 Entrance feex2
3:00 pm Santiago White Beach Resort ₱5 Parking fee
6:00 pm Back to Heritage Inn
7:00 pm Dinner ₱100 Foodx2
Day 3
7:00 am Breakfast ₱100 Foodx2
8:30 am Departure at the Hotel
9:00 am Buho Rock Resort ₱20 Entrance feex2
10:00 am Start of the travel to Puerto Bello
11:00 am Arrival at Puerto Bello and Lunch
1:00 pm Departure at Puerto Bello ₱400 Farex2
3:30 pm Arrival at Ormoc City
5:00 pm Departure at Ormoc City ₱300 Farex2
7:30 pm Arrival at Tacloban and Stay at a Hotel ₱1000 Hotel
8:00 pm Dinner ₱200 Foodx2
₱200 Snacks
₱200 Gasoline
Total ₱7331

If you like to share this information, you are free to do so. Thank you for dropping by and I am looking forward on your next visit.

Updated February 19, 2016

jundy

R&D Supervisor && Traveller && Nature Lover

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14 thoughts on “CAMOTES Islands: Travel Guide + Itinerary (Updated)

  1. jundy Post author

    Thank you for visiting my site! 🙂 Yes, I agree, 3D2N is the best option because I’ve heard that Tulang and Pilar Islands have beautiful places also.

    1. jundy Post author

      Thank you for your appreciation. It means a lot! I hope that I will be able to help on your future travels.

    1. jundy Post author

      Damo nga salamat liwat han pagbisita han ak website. This site is still running because of this kind of compliments I received from my visitors.

  2. Elton brian cerna

    Hi sir jun permission to post.

    My name is Brian and i am a local tourguide/tour operator on the island of Camotes. I can cater to all tour needs or motorbike rentals .we have multicabs and new motorbikes. I am affiliated with Camotes tourguides association and the local municipality tourism. My rates are fairly cheap and i cater to tours which includes pick up and drop off either at Puertobello port or in Consuelo port. Summer is fast approaching. If you want to spend your vacation at Camotes, we are now accepting reservations for summer!!! Call or text 09499381098 (smart), 09420617494 (sun), and 09774633300 (globe). If anyone havs questions and clarifications please feel free to contact me or drop a message at my inbox.

    Thank you sir Jun. By the way this is a nice review. Only that other info needs updating like the sakanaw, its 700 good for 12 pax and the entrance is now 15/pax. Thanks and God bless sir!

    1. jundy Post author

      Hi Brian, I appreciate your comment and informing me on some of the changes on fees and other updates. I would love to include your contact details on my post. You are the kind of visitor that I really like because you give some constructive comments and new information. Hopefully, this won’t be you last visit.

      1. brian cerna

        Thank you Sir Jun,

        Yes from time to time if I have time, I will update you with changes in prices and whats new in Camotes. Maybe this April zipline and cable cars will be available in Lake Danao for a tentative price of 200 per pax. (It includes zipline going to the other part of the lake and cable car going back to the lake.) And we have one added transportation from Cebu to Camotes which will dock directly at Poro Port. We now have OceanJet sailing daily from 10 am at Pier1. Travel time is only 1 hour and a half. It ducks directly at Poro Port. 🙂 These are the new updates for now 🙂

  3. Carl

    I love reading your blog. It’s updated and very informative. I’ve been searching for an itinerary as I am planning to visit Camotes Island next month. I am wondering how much it would cost me to stay in this Island for 4 days. I’ve read in other posts that there are motorbike rentals there. Do you know where I can find a store or do you have a contact number I can call?

    1. jundy Post author

      Hi Carl, Thank you for visiting my blog. Below are the details of motorbike rentals:
      You can bring your own or you can rent for Php 500 per day from 8 am until night. Fortunately for us, the owner agreed to bring the motorcycle to us as early as 7 am. We asked the hotel staff to contact motorbike for us.

      Another is sir Brian, he is a local tour guide in Camotes. You can contact him through 09499381098 (Smart), 09420617494 (Sun), and 09774633300 (Globe). For more information, visit his Facebook page here.

  4. Maulene

    Hi sir jundy I love reading your blogs. That was so informative.I’ve been to many sites but I can’t find complete guide in going to camotes from ormoc.good job!!! May I ask how much would be the fee in the ferry if I’ll a bring my motorcycle with me? Thanks!

  5. doms

    Beautiful beach!!! Craving for vitamin sea 😦 You might want to rent motorbike the next time you travel.. you can at book2wheel.com 🙂

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