Camotes Island is a very affordable vacation spot frequented by people from all over the Philippines. Filipinos love it because it has so much to offer. There are caves, a lake, beautiful beaches with white sands, hotels, and not as many drivers and tourist guides trying to lure you into pricey deals. All of this is available at a fraction of the price you would pay in famous islands like Palawan, Bohol or Boracay.
Santiago Bay is one of the more popular places in Camotes that has the hotel accommodations.
Hotels Located in Santiago Bay, San Francisco Camotes, Cebu City:
1. Santiago Bay Beach Resort – rates start from P1,000.00 – P 5,000.00
2. Bellavista Hotel -P 1,300.00 overnight stay
Camotes island consists of three main towns:
3. San Francisco
*Pilar is the fourth town of Camotes but its separated from the island. People need to ride on a boat to reach this neighboring town because there’s no bridge built to connect them.
There are 3 small Restaurants Located in Santiago Bay, Camotes:
1. Pito’s Sutokil
2. Nena’s Grill and Drinks
3. Rees’ Sizzling and Seafood Restaurant
These restaurants have a few rooms to stay although there’s NO AIR CONDITIONING and private bathroom.
Disadvantage of Camotes
The biggest disadvantage of the island’s hotels is that there’s no wifi and they only have 1 cell tower, its Globe Telecom.
My Camotes Journal
*Jeepney to Port*
On Thursday morning January 24, 2013, I woke up early for my trip to camotes. I rode a jeepney from the mall at the back street of A.S Fortuna. Mandaue. Luckily, the driver sent me directly to the port but they usually drop off the passengers in the terminal. The jeepney routes have now changed. It used to be across Jollibee in A.s. fortuna branch.
Jumalia Shipping trips were cancelled on Jan. 23, 2013 so I had to take a pump boat on the way to Sonog Port.
Outrigger Style Boat (terrifying)
Travelling in the passenger pump outrigger style boat is quite shaky and sometimes scary especially if its raining with big waves in the sea. In the middle of my travel in the wavy sea, I was getting bored yawning looking at the water when I saw a dolphin beside the bamboo ama of the boat! I was very excited and happy seeing more group of dolphins!
Upon arriving, the small boat had a hard time departing because of the big waves. The locals had to help the boatmen pull the rope and successfully tie it on the rocks.
It was continually shaking so I ran fast from the plank to get down from the boat. It was already passed 5 O’clock when I arrived. I hired a driver to send me to a resort to stay for the night.
A Tour Of Camotes
He offered me a tour for a cheap price since we would pass the tourist spots on the way to the hotel. There were three top tourist places I wanted to see in Camotes: A cave, an untouched,very white sand beach and a big lake.
There are many other places to see in Camotes. Places to visit :
1. Timubo Cave – P 15.00 entrance
2. Bakhaw beach – P 10.00 entrance
3. Lake Danao – P 15.00 entrance
4. Bukilat Cave
5. Holy Crystal Cave
6. Tulang Diot
7. Taliwang Bas
8. Mangodlong Rock Resort
As the tour finished, we headed to the resort for my overnight stay in Santiago Bay beach.
As I had a long tiring day, I went to bed early.
The Santiago Bay beach has a very wide beach with white sand.
I started swimming quickly even if the water is only up to knee. After an hour, it was time for breakfast, and a cup of coffee. I took pictures while waiting for the food.
After eating, it was time to pack and check out from the hotel room to catch the afternoon boat trip from Jumalia Shipping, a cargo ship. I felt safer because I didn’t feel it shaking so much from inside while resting in my seat. What I learned is to never travel by sea if there’s a nearby typhoon around Visayas area because its really dangerous.
1. Jeepney fare Mandaue -Danao. – P 30.00
2.PumpBoat fare Danao -Sonog – P 180.00
3. Terminal fee – P 5.00
4. Tour + fare to Santiago bay – P 400.00
5. Fare from Santiago bay to port – P 50.00
6.Jumalia shipping boat fare – P 200.00
7. Terminal fee -P 5.00
8. Jeepney fare Danao -Mandaue. – P 30.00