TheLoneRider
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Exploring Camotes Islands of Cebu Jan 13-14, 2017

Exploring Camotes Islands of Cebu

GPS waypoint: 10°38'45.95"N 124°22'53.72"E
Location: Camotes Islands, Cebu (province), Philippines

Boat for Camotes Islands
After Danao, my logical destination heading south was already Cebu City. But I didn't want to get to the big city before Sinulog. Fortunately, there was a regular boat leaving for Camotes Islands from the port. I haven't been there but somehow curious. Even though the rainy weather was not conducive to being on a beach, I decided to take my chance.

Exploring Camotes Islands of Cebu
morning workout at the Baywalk in San Francisco, Camotes Islands

San Francisco
The boat trip from Danao to Consuelo Port in Camotes Islands was painless (P220, aircon, 2 hours). I even met Carmel, a beautiful Cebuana whom I spent the entire trip talking to. Apparently, Consuelo is not the final destination yet. From there I had to take a habal-habal (single motorcycle, P100, 30 mins) to San Francisco where the main action happens. This is the town center where the market is, eating places, bars, live music and the Baywalk. Like Danao, I noticed that the town is clean...almost manicured, expansive with ample breathing space on everything. It's not densely populated so you feel your elbow room. People are warm, gentle and unhurried. Food is generally cheap. Already, I felt good about this place.

Seaside Guesthouse
My immediate concern, as usual was lodging. This is a resort town and lodging prices are touristy. My habal-habal driver helped me out in sourcing a cheap place. Finally, we found one about half a kilometer from the main drag - Seaside Guesthouse at P200/night for a private spartan room (separate washroom). My window opened up to the sea from the 2nd level. No wifi, no food, but I couldn't complain. At this rate, I could stay longer without hemorrhaging cash.

Bicycle
Instead of renting a bicycle, I negotiated to repair an old beat-up bike for my use. When I leave, I return the bike to the owner in full working order. This would assure me continued use of a bicycle to explore the island without having to pay more for habal-habal. But the bicycle turned out to be in dismal condition - it didn't make sense to put money in it.

Wifi
This was my initial challenge. Normally, cafes and restos provide wifi. But there were no cafes and the resto came in the way of small unpretentious eating nooks - no wifi except for one bar with slow internet. People usually load-up on their pocket wifi for internet. The plush resorts would have it, but they're too spread out across the island and none within San Francisco. I had my pocket wifi finally loaded up, and after a few searches, I found a spot with signal. This really saved the day. Without wifi, my stay here would not be viable.

2 Expats
I started hanging out at a small food kiosk near the Baywalk manned by 2 expats. One is a gifted musician and the other is gifted with analytical thinking...or so they say when they compliment each other. It's just nice to once again have conversation with people my age who have traveled extensively to share insights and ideas with. They also know the island quite well and point me out to its essentials.

One Month Stay
After just one day, I knew I wanted to stay longer in Camotes Islands. Completely unexpected from a conversation, I found this room in a resort "under construction" and was given a special rate - P2500/month! Whoa! The room is new, tiled concrete, almost fronting the water, a south and west window and close to the washroom. Queen-size bed, electric fan but no wifi - at least, not yet. Is this for real? I grabbed it! This starts a new chapter.

The thought that I now have 30 days with no packing and unpacking, not being in transit to somewhere else, not waiting for buses or boats to leave the terminal, not worrying about a place to sleep....wow, that's a whole load off my shoulders. That's a huge sigh of relief! I'm glad I have this 30 golden days!

Ending Thoughts
Lately, I had been contemplating on staying longer in one place - a nice place I could resonate with, without spending too much in rent. I had been traveling continuously for years and I needed a reprieve. Almost without missing a beat, my benevolent universe showered me with its blessing. It never fails. All I need to do is just desire something I need and voila, it's handed to me on a silver platter. I'm beyond amazed, and always...always grateful for the abundance.

--- TheLoneRider

at Danao port, lining up for boat ticket to Camotes Islands meeting Carmel and spending the entire trip in conversation arriving in Consuelo after a 2-hour trip disembarking Carmel on her way to her hometown got a habal-habal for the 30-min trip to San Francisco my room at Seaside Guesthouse view from my room....really beautiful at the town center church is always the cornerstone of any local community Camotes Islands takes recycling seriously! Jose Rizal stands tall fronting the municipal hall Camotes Islands hums to its leisurely pace the Baywalk where promenaders stroll for open space and sea breeze wide open space without the congestion the main town has local establishments...foreigners keep a low key dried fish in the market from Camotes Islands, you can board an a/c bus and step out in Pasay, Metro-Manila - P1900, 11 hours eating places are characterized by small locally owned carinderias the wet market has wide open spaces with flow-through air street ice cream...always too sweet but always cheap, P5 coastal side increasingly, colorful reef fishes are being sold at the market....they used to be ignored a generation ago. This is a precursor of the demise of the reef system the terror of the reef, the Titan Triggerfish, is no match to the fishermen slow pace market scene ukay-ukay town plaza is where locals gather and meet up live music on weekends at Carlito's Pizza


Reader Comments:

FriendCamotes Expat
(Jan 16, 2017) I see you've already met Mitch and Grant, well I'm the other normal foreigner here! The rest are all a bit weird. When and if this rain stops, come out and visit us for lunch and a swim.

Google Map Camotes Islands, Cebu, Philippines

tourist attractions in Camotes Island tourist attractions
  • Lake Danao Park in Camotes Island Lake Danao Park - inland twin lakes in San Francisco
  • Santiago Bay Beach in Camotes Island Santiago Bay Beach - stretch of fine white sand with a cluster of beach resorts
  • Buho Rock in Camotes Island Buho Rock - dive boards perched from a high rock outcropping, Poro
  • Tulang Diot in Camotes Island Tulang Diot - white sand beach on a tiny island just 10 minutes by boat from the main Camotes Island
  • Busay Falls in Camotes Island Busay Falls - groomed plunge pool, dirt trail walk with 2 stream crossings, Tudela
  • Capasanan Spring in Camotes Island Capasanan Spring - crystal clear open spring water source in San Jose, Poro. Free
  • Hagnaon Spring in Camotes Island Hagnaon Spring - clean drinking water coming out of the rocks, dipping pool you might share with carabaos in San Jose, Poro. Free
caves in Camotes Island caves
  • Timubo Cave in Camotes Island Timubo Cave - groomed trail inside cave with lights, swimming inside, limited penetration
  • Bukilat Cave in Camotes Island Bukilat Cave - cathedral-like caverns, top lighting from cave openings, high tide swimming
  • Holy Crystal Cave in Camotes Island Holy Crystal Cave - cave formation glitters, human bones, limited penetration
  • Paraiso Cave in Camotes Island Paraiso Cave
places in Camotes Island important spots
  • San Francisco San Francisco - town center, wet market, municipal hall, eateries, live music, bar, Baywalk
  • Poro Poro - town center of Poro Municipality, port to Cebu City and Danao
  • Tudela Tudela - town center of Tudela Municipality
  • Pilar Pilar - town center of Pilar in the island of Ponson Island
  • Consuelo Wharf Consuelo Wharf - port for Danao ships
  • Poro Port Poro Port - port for Danao and Cebu City ships
hotels in Camotes Island resort hotel

Camotes Island FYI / Tips

Camotes Island Cost Index

(US$1 = Php 49.82 as of Jan 15, 2017)

Cebu City to Camotes Island

Camotes Islands to Cebu City

  1. 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
  2. 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

Danao to Camotes Island

Camotes Island to Danao

Currency Converter

Camotes Islands Blogs by TheLoneRider

  1. Daghang Salamat (Many Thanks) Camotes Islands, Goodbye Apr 6, 2017
  2. A Culture of Noise Apr 5, 2017
  3. Exploring Tulang Diot (Little Island) Apr 2, 2017
  4. In Search of the Hidden Beach Apr 1, 2017
  5. Pizza-Making Party in Camotes Islands Mar 25, 2017
  6. Zesto and Exploited Child Labor Mar 20, 2017
  7. The Bayot (Gay) Construction Worker Mar 20, 2017
  8. Yoga Calisthenics in Camotes Islands Mar 3, 2017
  9. Bathing with the Carabaos at Hagnaon Spring, Camotes Islands Feb 28, 2017
  10. Taking a Dip at Capasanan Spring, Camotes Islands Feb 28, 2017
  11. Exploring Bukilat Cave, Camotes Islands Feb 28, 2017
  12. Exploring Tudela and Busay Falls, Camotes Islands Feb 21, 2017
  13. Settling Down in Camotes Islands Feb 19, 2017
  14. Clam Chowder Pizza from Scratch on a Rice Cooker Feb 15, 2017
  15. Exploring Timubo Cave of Camotes Islands Feb 9, 2017
  16. Exploring Holy Crystal Cave of Camotes Islands Feb 9, 2017
  17. Exploring Camotes Islands of Cebu Jan 13-14, 2017

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