Camotes Island, dubbed as Cebu’s best kept secret, is located at the north eastern part of Cebu province. It is famous for its white sandy beaches and quaint island life adventures. If you want a quiet and relaxing weekend getaway at the beach, then Camotes is definitely the place to go. Camotes for me is just like Boracay but minus the night life, restaurants, and high-end hotels. It basically equates to one thing – the beach.
Here are a few travel tips I’d like to share:
How to get There: You can get to Camotes either by Fastcraft, Pump Boat, or Ferry Boat. Ocean Jet has a fast craft called Golden Express, which travels to Camotes from the Ouano Wharf in Mandaue City everyday. Tickets cost about P400 per person per way. There are a lot of pump boats that go to Camotes as well. The pump boats depart from Danao (45min drive from Cebu City) and usually take about two hours to Camotes. Tickets range from P300-P400 round-trip per person. I don’t recommend taking the ferry boats since their schedules are unreliable unlike the fastcraft and the pumpboats.
Once you get to Camotes there are many tricycles that can take you to your resort. If traveling in a group, you can rent out a small jeepney or multicab.
Where to Stay: There are many nice resorts you can check out. Two of the most famous resorts in Camotes are Santiago Bay Garden & Resort and Mangodlong Resort. Accommodation rates at these resorts can go as low as P1000/night for two pax. We didn’t stay at these resorts though. We were lucky enough to have one of our friends come along with us who owns a beach house in Camotes so we didn’t pay for accommodation. Although, if you’re interested you can rent their houses for a very reasonable price. The location of the houses is perfect since its right by the beach. The houses can accommodate up to 15 pax each as well. (contact details below)
What to Do/Places to See: Visit Lake Danao, jump off the cliff at Buho Rock for only P2.00 (seriously, I mean two pesos), go for a swim in their underground caves, hop on a motorized banca and check out how fishermen weave their fish nets at a neighboring islet called “Ila Diot” (if I’m not mistaken), and of course – hit the beach!
The jeepney rental for the island tour costs P1500. The small jeepney is good for 10-12 people and the driver basically served as our tour guide. It was the same jeepney that picked us up and dropped us off at the port.
*Editor’s note: We’ve gotten so many inquiries about the Camotes beach house so here’s a direct link to their site.