Philippines, as we all know, contains over 7,000 beautiful islands. There’s so many that even Filipinos can’t memorize all the islands in the country.
With Boracay closing for rehabilitation, locals and tourists are given a chance to check out other nearby islands to visit.
Coming from Cebu, we were able to visit Camotes Island for the first time. And yes, the beautiful island has white sand beaches.
Take a cab or a Grab car going to Pier 1 of the Cebu City Port. They have scheduled ferry trips for 6 am, 10 am, and 3 pm going to Camotes Island. It will take about an hour and a half to reach the island. The ferry has an air-conditioned area and an open area. It’s usually on a first come first serve basis so if you prefer a specific one, it’s best to go there early and request them to get you the specific seat you want.
You can also take a bus going to Danao from Cebu City and take a ferry there that will go straight to Camotes. A ferry going to Camotes can also be found in Mactan near the Marina Mall.
We went for the ferry in Pier 1 as that’s the closest to where we are coming from, which I also recommend if you’re coming from Cebu City.
There are multiple beach resorts and Inns to stay at there in Camotes. Agoda can be a good place to check it out. Santiago Bay is the top of all the places you’d want to stay at as it’s where almost everything is plus you get to have tons of food options and not to mention, very affordable.
We stayed at the Aladin White Beach Resort area and it’s about a 30-40 minute drive to Santiago Bay. It may be far from the Santiago Bay but it has its own beach and a pool that’s 7 feet deep with a mini bar. Yes, you read it right. But for those who are scared of being in deep pools, the water in the pool comes from the ocean so it’s basically salt water which means it’s also easy to float.
WHAT TO VISIT
Aside from the white sand beach, Camotes Island is also filled with multiple caves and places that you might want to check out. Below is a list I piled up of the places we’ve visited.
Entrance Fee: 50 PHP
We didn’t bother to swim in this cave as it was crowded when we went there. Although, you also might want to go around the place as it’s also a resort.
Entrance Fee: 5 PHP
You can see how clear the water is in this cave but people who are a bit tall have to watch their heads on the way.
Entrance Fee: 15 PHP
Parking: 20 PHP for cars / 5 PHP for bikes
We went in the morning and had breakfast there which I also think is the perfect time to visit this place.
We’ve always said to ourselves that if ever we’re going back to Camotes, we should be staying in this resort. They also have the perfect view of the entire Santiago White Beach.
Santiago Bay White Beach
The place where everything is. Souvenirs, food, beach activities, it’s all here. Some people would also rent out tents and sleep on the beach overnight. The sky can be pretty clear and filled with tons of stars to gaze at. So if you’re feeling more adventurous, or maybe just being all romantic, go for it!
There are still many other places that we didn’t get to check out as we only stayed there for 2 days. However, below is a list of places you can also add to your itinerary.
- Holy Crystal Cave
- Amazing Island Cave
- Tulang Diot Sandbar
- Bukilat Cave
- Bakhaw Beach
- Mangodlong Rock Resort
Expect that some drivers would charge you a bit extra. When we got to the port, we paid 140 PHP per head for the driver to take us to the resort. However, on the next day, we rented a multicab for only 1,500 PHP and the driver took us to all the places that can fit our schedule. He picked us up at the resort and dropped us off at the ferry port at the end of the day so it’s totally worth it.
Rates / Fare:
- 500 PHP / head
- 5,000 PHP / night (air-conditioned); Good for 5 pax
- 2,500 PHP / night (air-conditioned); Good for 3 pax
- 1,800 PHP / night (air-conditioned); Good for 2 pax
- 1,500 PHP – Pick-up and Drop-off
Camotes Island is kind of the same as Malapascua but just a little bigger and maybe a bit more civilized due to its size. However, both islands are a must to visit. I’ve always been a huge fan of visiting islands and swimming on the beach. I’m even happy with the tan lines I got just in our 2-days stay there. If you haven’t heard of Camotes Island, now’s your chance to add it to your travel list. Should I ever go back there again? DEFINITELY!