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When you hear the name Cebu, what images or ideas form in your mind? Which is better? Swimming with whale sharks and sardines at Bantayan and Malapascua Islands, or canyoneering at Kawasan Falls? Are you aware, however, that there is yet another intriguing island close to Cebu City? 

It’s known for its beautiful beaches, calm lake, and cliff-jumping opportunities. In part because of this, the natural beauty of the area now known as the “Lost Horizon of the South” has survived largely untouched despite its reputation. 

Camotes Island is a true treasure that has been kept secret for too long. And in recent years, it has experienced a surge in tourism and an expanding expatriate population. Aside from its stunning natural attractions on land, the island boasts many dive sites around its shores.

What are you waiting for? Now is your time to discover the beauty of Camotes Island and dare to travel beyond!

Know More About Camotes Island

camotes island nipa hut
Mangodlong Rock

In the Philippines, Camotes Island is an archipelago of islands in the Camotes Sea, between the main island of Cebu and Leyte. It comprises four main islands: Poro, Pacijan, Ponson, and Tulang.

But did you know that the Camotes Islands are made up of three major islands and one minor islet? Which are divided among four municipalities. 

Poro Island is home to the municipalities of Poro and Tudela, while San Francisco is the only municipality on Pacijan Island. Pilar is the only municipality on Ponson Island, and Tulang Island is an islet that is part of San Francisco. 

A 1.5-kilometer-long causeway connects the main islands of Pacijan and Poro, while Ponson Island is approximately four kilometers northeast of Poro, across the Kawit Strait. Tulang Island has located a short distance to the north of Pacijan.

How to Get to Camotes Island

To get to Camotes Island, you can follow these steps:

1. Fly to Mactan-Cebu International Airport: 

Camotes Island is located in the province of Cebu in the Philippines. The nearest airport to Camotes Island is the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

Related reading: Philippines Travel Requirements: What Documents Do I Need To Travel To The Philippines

2. Travel to Port:

Travel to Danao Port:

From the airport, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach Danao Port, which is about 30 kilometers away from the airport.

Travel to Pier 1 or Pier 3:

You can take a direct ferry from Cebu City to Camotes Island, available at the Cebu City Pier. The ferry ride takes around 2 hours. 

Take a taxi or van from Mactan-Cebu International Airport to Cebu Pier 1 or Pier 3 (depending on the ferry line you choose)

3. Take a ferry to Camotes Island:

Travel from Danao Port:

Once you reach Danao Port, you can take a ferry to Camotes Island. The ferry ride takes about 1.5 to 2 hours, and several ferry companies operate on this route.

You can conveniently book your Jomalia Shipping or Super Shuttle Ferry tickets in advance for this ferry journey.

Travel from Pier 1 or Pier 3:

Several ferry lines operate from Cebu City to Camotes Island, including Jomalia Shipping, Poro Shipping Lines, and OceanJet

Ferry travel time ranges from 1.5 to 2.5 hours, depending on the ferry line and port of origin.

Travel by Private Boat:

Private boat operators also offer transport to the island, but it is important to ensure they have proper safety measures and permits before boarding.

4. Arrive at Camotes Island:

Note that there are two ports on Camotes Island – Consuelo Port and Poro Port. Most ferries arrive at Consuelo Port, but some smaller ones arrive at Poro Port. You can take a tricycle or a habal-habal (motorbike taxi) from either port to your island destination.

The journey from Mactan-Cebu International Airport to Camotes Island can take 3 to 4 hours, depending on traffic and the ferry schedule.

Getting Around Camotes Island

To get around the island, here are some options:


Renting a motorcycle is one of the most popular options for getting around Camotes Island. You can easily rent a motorcycle for around 400 to 500 PHP daily. The roads are generally in good condition, but you should always wear a helmet and drive cautiously.


Tricycles are a popular means of transportation in the Philippines and available on Camotes Island. You can negotiate a fare with the driver, but expect to pay around 50 to 100 PHP for a short trip.


Habal-habal is a type of motorcycle taxi found all over the Philippines. They are a bit more expensive than tricycles but are faster and can take you to more remote areas of the island.


A more leisurely pace can be achieved by renting a bicycle for around 100 to 150 PHP per day. A bicycle is a great way to explore the island at your own pace and get some exercise in the process.

Private car or van: 

If you would rather travel comfortably and conveniently, you can hire a private car or van with a driver. This can be more expensive, but it’s a great option if you’re traveling with a group or if you have a lot of luggage.

Regardless of your transportation mode, be sure to plan ahead and bring plenty of water and sunscreen with you. Enjoy your trip to Camotes Island!

Things to Do in Camotes Island

camotes island cave
Bukilat Cave

Camotes Island offers a variety of activities and attractions to explore. Listed below are a few things you can do on Camotes Island:

1. Explore the Beaches

Camotes Island is known for its beautiful beaches, such as Santiago Bay, Mangodlong Beach, and Buho Rock Beach. Spend the day swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing on the white sandy beaches.

2. Visit Lake Danao

This freshwater lake is a well-known destination for boating, fishing, and picnicking activities. You can rent a paddleboat or a kayak to explore the lake or hike around the surrounding hills for stunning views.

3. Go Island Hopping

Camotes Island is surrounded by smaller islands that offer beautiful beaches and great snorkeling and diving opportunities. Several boats are available to take you to these islands, such as Poro Island, Pacijan Island, and Tulang Island.

4. Visit the Caves

Camotes Island has several interesting caves worth exploring. It has several types of caves, such as the Bukilat Cave, Paraiso Cave, and Timubo Cave. Each cave offers a unique experience, and it’s essential to inquire about the caves’ difficulty level, safety guidelines, and entrance fees.

5. Try Local Delicacies

Camotes Island is known for its delicious local food, such as Lechon, kinilaw, and balut. Visit local restaurants and markets to try these dishes and other local delicacies.

6. Attend Festivals

Camotes Island celebrates several festivals throughout the year, such as the Pintos Festival, which honors the island’s patron saint, and the Camotes Cassava Festival, which celebrates the island’s cassava industry. Check the festival calendar and join in the celebrations.

7. Go Camping

There are several camping sites on Camotes Island, such as Santiago Bay Garden and Resort, Mangodlong Rock Resort, Lake Danao Park, and Paraiso Cave. These sites offer access to the beach, lake, or cave and amenities such as showers, toilets, and restaurants.

These are just some of the things you can do on Camotes Island. With its natural beauty and laid-back vibe, Camotes Island is a great destination for anyone looking for a relaxing and adventurous getaway. 

In fact, 26 Tourist Attractions in Camotes Island are waiting to be explored! 

Things to Consider Before Going to Camotes Island

camotes Island cottage
Mangodlong Rock

Before embarking on a trip to Camotes Island, there are some things to consider:

Where to Stay in Camotes Island

Here are some hotels in Camotes Island:

1. Mangodlong Rock Resort

Located in San Francisco, this beachfront resort offers comfortable rooms, a swimming pool, a restaurant, and a private beach.

2. Santiago Bay Garden and Resort

Situated in San Francisco, this resort features a garden, an outdoor pool, a restaurant, and comfortable rooms.

3. Coco Grove Nature Resort and Spa

This resort is in Tudela and offers comfortable rooms, a swimming pool, a spa, and a restaurant. The resort also has a private beach and offers activities such as kayaking and snorkeling.

4. Camotes Seaview Resort

This beachfront resort in San Francisco offers comfortable rooms, a swimming pool, and a restaurant. The resort also offers activities such as island hopping and snorkeling.

5. My Little Island Hotel

This hotel is in Poro and offers comfortable rooms, a swimming pool, and a restaurant. It’s a great option for travelers on a budget.

Of course, these are only a few examples among many hotels on Camotes Island. You can find other options by searching online or contacting a travel agent.

Travel Budget 



  • Php500.00/day
  • max of 2 pax plus driver
  • can be self-drive


  • Php1,000/day
  • max of 4 pax plus driver
  • Prices vary depending on the places you will visit. There is a standard itinerary, but you can choose the places you want to visit.


  • Php2,000.00 – Php3,000.00
  • For bigger groups

Prices vary depending on the places you visit. There is a standard itinerary, but you can choose the places you want to visit.

Tour Rates:

For updated tour rates/packages, you can visit these Facebook pages and message them with your inquiries.

Camping Rates:

  • Santiago Bay Garden and Resort: 300-500 PHP per person per night.
  • Mangodlong Rock Resort: 300-500 PHP per person per night.
  • Lake Danao Park: 50-100 PHP per person per night.
  • Paraiso Cave: 50-100 PHP per person per night.

Boat Rental:

  • The boat rental rates in Camotes Island can vary depending on the boat type and the rental duration. The rental rates can range from 1000-5000 PHP per day, depending on the boat size and features.
  • Has several types of boats available for rent, such as motorized boats, paddle boats, and kayaks. The type of boat you rent depends on your preference and the number of people in your group.

NOTE: Rates indicated above may change.

Important Things to Bring on your Trip

When traveling to an island, it’s important to bring several essential items to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable trip. Here are some of the important things you should consider bringing:

Sunscreen: protect your skin from sunburn and damage.

Insect repellent: protect yourself from bites.

Comfortable footwear: Comfortable shoes for uneven terrain and sand

Water bottle: Bring a reusable water bottle to keep hydrated.

Swimsuit: You’re going to an island, so you’ll want to be able to enjoy the water! 

Light clothing: clothing that will keep you cool and comfortable.

Snorkeling gear: This can save you money and ensure a proper fit.

Cash: Bring cash just in case.

Camera: You’ll want to capture all the beautiful scenery and memories from your trip.

Headlamps/Flashlights: For the lowlight issue in the caves.

Medications: Bring enough prescription drugs for your trip.

Tips to Make the Most of Your Trip

Beach in Camotes Island
Santiago Bay

Here are some travel tips to help you make the most of your trip to Camotes Island:

1. Plan your trip ahead of time: research the best time to visit Camotes Island, Plan your itinerary and book your accommodations to ensure you enjoy your time on the island.

2. Explore the island’s stunning beaches: Take some time to explore the stunning beaches, go swimming or snorkeling, or just relax and soak up the sun.

3. Visit the stunning rock formations: Camotes Island has some incredible rock formations. Take a guided tour to explore these natural wonders and learn more about their history and significance.

4. Try the local food: Camotes Island is famous for its delicious seafood dishes, including grilled squid and fresh fish. Don’t hesitate to try the area’s cuisine and sample some of the island’s unique flavors and dishes.

5. Take a boat tour: Rent a boat or join a guided tour to explore the surrounding islands and coves around Camotes Island. 

6. Rent a motorcycle or bicycle: This will allow you to explore the island at your own pace and discover hidden gems off the beaten path.

7. Respect the local culture and traditions: Learn about the local customs and etiquette, and be mindful of your actions and behavior while on the island.

8. Bring sunscreen and insect repellent: protect yourself from the sun and pesky mosquitoes.

9. Practice responsible tourism: Don’t litter, respect the environment, and support local businesses and communities.

Following these travel tips, you can make the most of your trip to Camotes Island and make unforgettable memories on this lovely island paradise.

Best Time To Visit Camotes Island

The best time to visit Camotes Island in the Philippines is during the dry season, which runs from November to May. During this time, you can expect warm and sunny weather, calm seas, and great visibility for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.

However, it is worth noting that Camotes Island is a popular destination, so if you want to avoid the crowds, it’s best to plan your visit during the shoulder season from June to October. There may be occasional rainfall during this time, but it is usually brief and followed by clear skies.

It is also worth noting that the Philippines is prone to typhoons, which can occur from June to October. Therefore, If you decide to visit during this time, it’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast and plan accordingly.

Related reading: Best Time To Visit The Philippines

Final Thoughts

After traveling to Camotes Island and experiencing its beauty and charm firsthand, I can say that it has exceeded my expectations. The stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and unique natural attractions have left me in awe.

But beyond its natural beauty, what made my experience in Camotes Island truly unforgettable was the warmth and hospitality of the local people. From the kind and helpful staff at the resorts to the friendly locals I met while exploring the island, everyone made me feel welcome and at home.

I also appreciate the efforts of the community and local government in preserving the island’s natural resources and cultural heritage. It’s clear that there is a strong sense of pride and ownership among the people of Camotes Island, and I feel grateful to have witnessed and supported their efforts.

In the end, I feel that traveling to Camotes Island has not only given me wonderful memories but also a deeper appreciation for nature, culture, and human connection. It’s a place that I would love to visit again and again, and I hope that others will have the chance to experience its magic as well.

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