Sunday, July 7, 2013

Camotes Island Adventure in Less than 24 Hours!

I am surprised that most of my friends from Davao and Manila who've been to Cebu have not heard about Camotes Islands yet. If you missed Camotes in your itinerary, oh dear, you missed half of your life! So let me share my experience and give you a quick guide on how to get there!

Photo from islandsofthephilippines.com



If you're travelling to Camotes for the first time, I think you should know that there are no malls in the island, no atm machines (though travelcamotes.com say there are atm machines, we didn't see any when we went there), no convenience stores, no taxis! So pack light, but make sure you bring all your necessities (toiletries, your favorite cigar, cellphone loads, etc). And most importantly, bring cash!


HOW TO GET THERE

First, you have to get to Danao Port. You have three options on how to get there. You can either:

(1) ride a bus from City North Terminal in Cebu City. Bus fare ranges from Php40.00-60.00 depending on the type of bus. If you are travelling from Mactan-Cebu International Airport, you may hire a metered taxi outside the airport going to City North Terminal. Taxi fare ranges from Php180-200.00;

(2) ride a taxi. According to http://www.worldtaximeter.com, it will cost you around Php115.00 if you travel from City North Terminal to Danao Port, and lastly;

(3) you may hire a van from SM City Cebu Terminal which is commonly called as V-hire. I highly suggest this option if you are travelling in a group.


At Danao Port

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From Danao Port, take a boat ride to either Consuelo Port or Poro Port in Camotes. You have two options on how to get there. You may take Super Shuttle Ferry or Jomalia Shipping Corp. Check their daily schedule on their website. Click here.

If you are travelling with your own vehicle, Super Shuttle Ferry and Jomalia Shipping Corp also offers roll-on roll-off services. Charges depends on the kind of vehicle and does not include the passenger's fare itself. For SUV's, roro charge is Php1,200.00 which includes a free fare for one (1) person, usually the driver. Regular boat fare is Php180.00 for non-aircon and Php200.00 for airconditioned boats. Travel time to Camotes is between three to four hours so it would be nice if you could bring some refreshments/snacks.

Lucky for us, our good friend's father arranged everything. From the vehicle to the driver and even our accomodation that we did not have to shell out a single peso for travel expenses. Thank you, sir!


With our good friends. Super comfy sa bagong bagong van :)

WHERE TO STAY

So now that you're in Camotes, I think you need to get yourself a place to stay for the night. One good thing about this island is that hotels are really cheap! We stayed in a resort located in Tudela which has a perfect view of sunset right from our window!


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The room was not as grand as that of a five-star hotel but it wasn't so bad for a thousand bucks. It was airconditioned with shower and cable tv, and they have huge comfy beds! Breakfast was free and most importantly, people here are very accomodating. Customer satisfaction: check!

Go find a place that suits your budget here.


WHAT TO DO

When we first arrived in the island, I really thought it will be another boring secluded place. I was so wrong! This is indeed Cebu's hidden treasure! If you're travelling with your college pals, you may take advantage of the multicab tour package for Php2,000.00, regardless of the number of passengers as long as you all fit in! You can visit all of Camotes' tourist spots from and to your choice of hotel, all for two grand! Here's a list of must-visit places in Camotes:

Bukilat Cave
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We arrived at Tudela at around 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon and it was just the perfect time to visit the famous Underground Cave of Tudela. If you're in for a swimming adventure while enjoying the sight of ancient stalactites and stalagmites, this is the place to be! Quick tip: its best to visit the place in the afternoon, around 4 to 5PM as water level is really low during day time. Entrance fee: Php20.00

Buho Rock
Tuck your shoe strings, wear your sunnies and keep you hanky handy! Brace yourself the seemingly endless stairs and the breathtaking view of the neighboring island and the sea expanse! Entrace fee: Php25.00


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Timubo Cave
Make sure to wear your non skid foot wear! I fell in love with the crystal clear water and awesome view of stalactites and stalagmites! Entrance fee: Php15.00


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Lake Danao Park


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Lake Danao is a great place to visit after a long day under the sun. At Php150.00 guys will surely enjoy the fresh air while kayaking!


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While waiting, girls may also enjoy fresh buko juice and a relaxing massage by the locals. If I remember it right, foot + back + facial massage only costs Php150.00. It is actually a barangay-based project aiming to empower stay at home moms! You did not just pamper yourself but also helped the women in the area. No entrance fee.

Mangodlong Paradise
We spent our last few hours here. It was a strategic move as this resort is located near the Poro Port. This place is a bit pricey but they serve really good food!




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My friends and I enjoyed the bar on the poolside. Day tour: Php200.00. 
Just right next to Mangodlong Paradise is Mangodlong Rock resort. 
WHAT TO BRING

We were a bit unprepared and did not really have an idea what to expect when we get there. So here's a checklist of must-haves when you visit the island.

(1) camera with water proof casing - take pictures inside the caves of Camotes without worrying about the camera getting wet!

(2) leave your wallet and ATM cards! Bring cash! Lots of it :D

(3) water - it's best to bring your own water rather than risking your health.

(4) over the counter medicines for headaches, lbm, etc. - it's hard to find a 24-hour pharmacy in the island. 

Our trip to Camotes is one of the most memorable days during my pregnancy and my stay in Cebu. Yes, I was five months pregnant to my daughter Huey at the time but was still rocking a two-piece swimsuit! Haha! Camotes is a perfect getaway for people who want some quiet time with nature without really abusing your pocket.



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6 comments:

Debbie Anne said...

Nice one CJ! :)

http://debbieannecastro.blogspot.com/


Anonymous said...

hello i am ALFRED… i have multicabs, aircon van and motorbike for camotes transportation… i have also extra services like reserving your tickets to the ferry in going back home… my transpo rates is very affordable… right now we have a promo… free pick up and drop off to port and resort to port… all you have to pay is the tour…. try to contact me this are my numbers…

GLOBE : 09265296337; SMART: 09108795577; SUN: 09339378870

Anonymous said...

hello i am ALFRED… i have multicabs, aircon van and motorbike for camotes transportation… i have also extra services like reserving your tickets to the ferry in going back home… my transpo rates is very affordable… right now we have a promo… free pick up and drop off to port and resort to port… all you have to pay is the tour…. try to contact me this are my numbers…

GLOBE : 09265296337; SMART: 09108795577; SUN: 09339378870

winzkie j said...

if your looking for a cheap tour guide and friendly driver please contact this number globe 09058793595 or smart 09493760511 .his name is Wilbes Cabatana.For 500php good for two person you can visit our top tourist attractions.

Thank you!

brian cerna said...

Hi there! Permission to post. My name is Brian, a local tour guide on the island. I do tourguiding services on the island. We offer whole day tour packages for couples or, friends or groups. We have motorbikes, aircon vans and apv's as well as multicab. I am a tourism student with a major in tourguiding. I have excellent communication skills and i deliver my services with utmost professionalism with unapralleled customer service. If you would like to come to our humble island in camotes, please feel free to reach me at 09499381098 (smart), 09774633300 (globe), and 09420617494 (sun). Our tour packages includes pick up, tour and drop off. Please call me or text me for any tour reservations. My team are very professional and accomodating :) it is with previlege to be at your service. :)

brian cerna said...

Hi there! Permission to post. My name is Brian, a local tour guide on the island. I do tourguiding services on the island. We offer whole day tour packages for couples or, friends or groups. We have motorbikes, aircon vans and apv's as well as multicab. I am a tourism student with a major in tourguiding. I have excellent communication skills and i deliver my services with utmost professionalism with unparalleled customer service. If you would like to come to our humble island in camotes, please feel free to reach me at 09499381098 (smart), 09774633300 (globe), and 09420617494 (sun). Our tour packages includes pick up, tour and drop off. Please call me or text me for any tour reservations. My team are very professional and accomodating :) it is with previlege to be at your service. :)

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