GPS waypoint:10°41'54.95"N 124°20'15.65"E Location: Barangay Sonog, San Francisco (municipality), Camotes Islands, Cebu (province), Philippines Admission: P20 (US$0.40)
Another Cave After visiting Crystal Cave, I continued with my push-bike until I came upon another cave sign - Timubo Cave. I was on a roll!
Manicured Cave There is no guide for the cave. Instead, they lit up the inside and paved the path all the way to the swimming area. This reminds me of the massive cave in Halong Bay that was turned into a park - complete with colorful lights, hand rails, and concrete steps. There was even an office desk inside the cave! It felt like a theme park instead of a cave adventure.
Swimming With all the installed lights and concrete paving, what would otherwise be a petrifying chest-deep wading in a pool inside a pitch-black cave, it just felt like a night dip in a swimming pool. All that potential Indiana Jones excitement is lost. Having said my misgivings, it was still a refreshing dip in its crystal clear water.
Further Up The lights only extended up to the swimming area but the cave goes deeper. If there was a guide to take the daring few deeper into the cave, where you rely on your headlamps and feel your way through tactile perception, the excitement would still be won.
Ending Thoughts By paving the way all the way inside the cave and providing lights, the Indiana Jones feel of exploring the cave is lost. On the other hand, this made the cave accessible to those who are physically challenged. I believe the best compromise is to provide a guide to those who wish to venture deeper into the cave without the benefit of installed lights or concrete paving. Altogether, Timubo Cave is spectacular specially with the crystal clear water to take a dip into.
Camotes Islands, Cebu, Philippines
Lake Danao Park - inland twin lakes in San Francisco
Santiago Bay Beach - stretch of fine white sand with a cluster of beach resorts
Buho Rock - dive boards perched from a high rock outcropping, Poro
Tulang Diot - white sand beach on a tiny island just 10 minutes by boat from the main Camotes Island
Busay Falls - groomed plunge pool, dirt trail walk with 2 stream crossings, Tudela
Capasanan Spring - crystal clear open spring water source in San Jose, Poro. Free
Hagnaon Spring - clean drinking water coming out of the rocks, dipping pool you might share with carabaos in San Jose, Poro. Free
Camotes Islands is a group of islands composed of 4 municipalities:
San Francisco - this is the biggest municipality covering the West major island. Its town center is the busiest with the market, eating places, live music and the Baywalk. The beach resort clusters, however, are concentrated in Santiago Bay, Mangodlong and Esperanza
Poro - Poro is on the other big island to the East. It has its own port and the town center is likewise busy
Pilar - this occupies the small north east island
the busy area where most of the social gatherings take place, eating places, is located at the Baywalk area of San Francisco, 30 mins by motorcycle from the Consuelo Port. Travellers usually stay in their resort outside the Baywalk
the resorts in Camotes Island are scattered around the island. There are none around the Baywalk area of San Francisco
perhaps the only downside to Camotes Island is the inescapable deafening sound of karaoke - it is played very loud and it's everywhere. In Baywalk, there are 3 karaoke bars beside each other going full blast all at the same time
Camotes Island Cost Index
(US$1 = Php 49.82 as of Jan 15, 2017)
PHP 100 habal-habal ride from Consuelo Port to San Francisco
PHP 55 Pale Pilsen beer
PHP 10/pax regular fare for habal-habal within San Francisco
PHP 500/tour habal-habal rate for island tour up to 2 pax
PHP 800/tour tricycle rate for island tour up to 4 pax
Cebu City to Camotes Island
via Poro - from Pier One in Cebu City, take the Ocean Jet for Poro, 2 hours, daily trip - 6am and 3pm (0936.823.8762 |0956.270.6610 | 0999.889.9999).
via Consuelo - from Cebu City, take the northbound bus passing through Danao and get off at the Danao Port. At the Port, take a Jomalia Shipping boat for Consuelo (San Francisco, Camotes), P220/pax, a/c, 2 hours, daily trip - 5:30am, 7:00am (special trip), 8:30am, 12:00 noon (express), 2:30pm, 5:30pm and 9:00pm (express, Fri/Sat/Sun only).
Camotes Islands to Cebu City
Poro - Cebu City (fastest and most direct) - go to Poro and take the 8am or 5pm Ocean Jet to Pier One in Cebu City, P380/pax/aircon, 2 hours
Consuelo - Danao - Cebu City - go to Consuelo (San Francisco) and take the Jomalia Shipping boat to Danao, P220/pax, a/c, 2 hours, daily trip - 5:30am, 7:00am (special trip), 8:30am, 12:00 noon (express), 2:30pm, 5:30pm and 9:00pm (express, Fri/Sat/Sun only). From Danao, take the Ceres Bus to Cebu City
Cebu City to Dumaguete, Negros Oriental by Boat
George and Peter Lines - Mon/Thur/Sat/Sun 10pm, (035)225.4337, 0922.557.1023
Oceanjet - via Tagbilaran, daily 6am, email@example.com, 0918.898.2188
Cokaliong - Mon/Tue/Wed/Thur/Fri/Sat 7pm, Sun 12pm, 6 hours, (035)225.3599
Danao to Camotes Island
via Consuelo - at the Danao Port, take a Jomalia Shipping boat for Consuelo (San Francisco, Camotes), P220/pax, a/c, 2 hours, daily trip - 5:30am, 7:00am (special trip), 8:30am, 12:00 noon (express), 2:30pm, 5:30pm and 9:00pm (express, Fri/Sat/Sun only).
via Poro - at the Danao Port, take the Super Shuttle Ferry for Poro (Camotes), P?/pax, 3 hours, daily trip - 9:00am and 5:00pm (0936.823.8762 |0956.270.6610 | 0999.889.9999).
Camotes Island to Danao
via Consuelo - go to Consuelo (San Francisco) and take the Jomalia Shipping boat to Danao, P220/pax, a/c, 2 hours, daily trip - 5:30am, 7:00am (special trip), 8:30am, 12:00 noon (express), 2:30pm, 5:30pm and 9:00pm (express, Fri/Sat/Sun only).
via Poro - take the Super Shuttle Ferry in Poro (Camotes) for the Danao Port, P?/pax, 3 hours, daily trip - 5:00am and 1:00pm (0936.823.8762 |0956.270.6610 | 0999.889.9999).