15 Top Things To Do In Camotes Island Philippines

Published Categorized as Cebu

Going on a Camotes trip and want to know all the best tourist spots in Camotes Island? We have you covered! Below you will find our guide to exactly what to do in Camotes Island, Cebu to plan your ultimate trip.

The Camotes Islands, part of Cebu Province, are perhaps one of the Philippines most underrated holiday destinations – often overlooked for more well-known spots in the north of Cebu such as Bantayan Island or Malapascua. However, as you’ll see below, there’s much to do and see in Camotes, plus the lack of tourists and over-commercialism only adds to the serenity.

Locals greet you with beaming smiles, activities and entrance fees are some of the cheapest we’ve experienced, and you’ll find everything is carried out at a slow, relaxing vacation-style pace!

Named after the Spanish word for sweet potato, the Camotes Islands are made up of 3 islands and 1 small islet. Located about 65km northeast of Cebu City, they were once lovingly known as the “Lost Horizon of the South”.

Close to Cebu mainland yet magically isolated, the islands of Camotes are scarcely populated, have little public transport and are free of shopping malls, fast-food restaurants, and large hotels. Instead you’ll find natural surroundings – not unlike the lush interior of Palawan – with banana trees and coconut groves and locally grown fruits such as sweet mango, pineapple and watermelon.  Farmers till their fields with lumbering mud-covered carabao, and there are acres of rice paddies, plus a surprising amount of cows, pigs and chickens!

And all this alongside secluded beaches and stunning coastal drives, with the constant backdrop of the ocean shimmering in the sun.  Water so clean and clear, it’s easy to spot the marine life that thrives in this remote part of the country.  …and if you’re looking for fresh barracuda or snapper to dine on, it doesn’t come fresher (or cheaper!) than this, with local fishermen still dripping wet from the ocean selling their day’s catch on the beaches.  Ideal for grilling at dusk as you enjoy the calm end of the day when the sky turns all shades of reds and pinks before the sun disappears behind Cebu mainland.

Pacijan Island is the largest of the four islands and is home to many of the great beaches – including the stunning coastline at Santiago Bay, Camotes – plus the beautiful setting of the freshwater Lake Danao. Connected by a long causeway through a dense mangrove forest to nearby Poro Island Camotes (your location for Bukilat Cave, Busay Waterfalls and Buho Rock), these two islands are by far the most popular for cheap accommodation.

Camotes Island Cebu
The stunning beach at Camotes Island Cebu

The small stunning islet of Tulang Diot is 500 meters north of Pacijan – just a quick 5 minute boat ride. And lastly is Ponson Island, greatly undiscovered as almost 2-hours from Pacijan, where locals largely survive by fishing.

Walk, swim, zipline, cliff-dive, go boating on the lake, island-hopping around the islands or diving… all the while soaking up the peaceful vibe, meeting the friendly locals, and appreciating the beauty of the Camotes Islands.

With the recent addition of a fast ferry direct from Cebu City, Camotes won’t stay unknown for long. Go beyond the usual Cebu and make Camotes, Philippines your next Asia adventure!

Below, you will find our Camotes tour blog with everything you need to know about the top Camotes tourist spots, where to go in Camotes Island surrounds as well as exactly where to stay in Camotes Island for your ultimate holiday!!

Top 15 Things To Do In Camotes Island Philippines

Here are the best Camotes Island tourist attraction options. Read through and select the ones that fit your interests and timeframe.

See Underwater Creatures While Scuba Diving

scuba diving

When you think of diving in the Philippines, Camotes is not top of your list – in fact it’s probably not even considered! The amazing Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, Puerto Galera, Moalboal, even Anda in Bohol perhaps spring to mind … but Camotes might surprise you!

You’ll find a handful of basic dive shops across the islands and what awaits is an underwater paradise. Beautiful walls covered in sponges, colourful soft and hard corals, billowing sea fans, crinoids and numerous tropical marine species altogether put on a glorious show!

A “virgin” dive area – as Camotes is too far for most Cebu-staying tourists to hop to for a day’s diving – the dive sites are yours to discover alone. Except that is for the fish, with lionfish, anemonefish, angels, groupers and many other tropical fish swarming around you.

You’ll find technical wreck diving spots – such as the Boholana Princess – plus cave diving, alongside the more recreational dive spots. You can hope to see smaller sharks and, season dependent, pods of dolphins. And if you’re more interested in the smaller creatures, there’s wonderful nudibranch, anemona, sponges, leaf fish, gobbies, shrimp, crabs and… Well, there’s just so much to see!

Don’t forget your underwater camera, the colours are astounding, and consider adding in a night dive for some top adventure!

Try Snorkeling

snorkeling

Grab your fins and snorkel as the underwater world around the Camotes is equally as beautiful as the stunning islands are above land!

This group of four islands is still well off the usual tourist path and thus you’ll find some of the best snorkelling in all of Cebu province. We suggest that you take along your own equipment as there is little in the way of rental or tourist shops across the islands.  But the snorkeling spots are easy to reach – mostly just by swimming out from the shore – and we found very little current so it’s great for all the family to enjoy.

There’s lots to see, with shoals of colourful fish and some of the smaller reef life such as crabs and shrimps, alongside stunning corals, blue starfish and many sea fans. Just watch out for the crown of thorns starfish which, unfortunately, are attacking the reefs in some parts.

Tulang Diot has probably the best snorkeling, with its coral walls just offshore from the sweeping sandbank. Another great spot is in front of Camotes Flying Fish Resort, at Poro Island. But marine life is so rich here that you can almost take a snorkel anywhere you fancy, enjoying the crystal clear water and playful fish!

Go Island Hopping

Camotes Island Cebu

Enjoy a day of what is most definitely the best fun to be had in the Philippines… island-hopping on a local banca/pump boat, stopping off at stunning beaches, snorkeling in sapphire-blue waters, and dining on freshly caught fish! This is surely living the dream life, Philippines-style!

Start your trip by discovering amazing Santiago White Beach on Pacijan Island – possibly the most gorgeous beach we’ve seen in Cebu and definitely the most famous beach in Camotes. On par with the beaches of Boracay, saying it’s “wide” doesn’t do it justice!

Three small hotels share this public beach, and it’s sheltered on both sides by lush hills that have some interesting rock formations. Unfortunately, we visited post-typhoon when the beach was still covered in debris, but you could see how beautiful it would usually look!  There are a couple of cottages for rent and the water here is fabulous for swimming or snorkeling (look out for the many bright blue starfish).  And there’s a hotel to one side with a swimming pool available for day use that overlooks the whole bay.

The tidal range is dramatic at Santiago, creating an enormous sand bar at low tide, meaning the beach is ideal for a game of beach volleyball and there’s also a basketball court just to one side. Back in the water, you can try your hand at skimboarding or hire kayaks. But we found that most people just enjoy the pristine beach or hang at the open air seafood restaurants enjoying the relaxed vibe of this spectacular beach.

Back on your boat, and it’s a short hop of 15 minutes to the next beach – Mangodlong Rock Resort. There’s a minimal entrance fee – 30PHP per person – and you can enjoy taking photos at a small rock formation that has a giant octopus slide. There are 2-person kayaks to rent (150php for one hour) and a small swimming pool to cool off at.  We found everything being refurbished during our COVID-time visit (the pool and hotel rooms), thus expect all to be looking great once things reopen again!

Next up is our favourite spot – Tulang Diot. A 30-minute ride from Mangodlong, Tulang Diot is a postcard-perfect paradise island that has a picturesque sandbank at one end.  There’s a handful of small bamboo huts to rent, a grilling area and a small beach shop/restaurant selling noodles and local dishes.  We enjoyed some of the best snorkelling here and you can take a short exploration of the interior of the island before jumping back on your boat.

Time now for the history of Camotes Island at Mactang Beach on Poro Island – supposedly the spot where Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan landed in 1521, introducing Christianity to the country. Urban legend or fact… you can decide! But enjoy the beach, which is usually busy with local children swimming and fishermen working their nets.

And, if you have time, we recommend on a separate day heading out to the most remote of the islands – Ponson. Even quieter than the other islands, your boat captain will take you to secluded beaches and you can discover the interior mangrove forests.  Dependent on the sea it can take 1-2 hours to reach Ponson so you’ll need to plan in a full day but can always stop at Tulang Diot on the way back to enjoy the sunset.  At this time you’ll see the local fishermen heading out for their night fishing, with their bright lights sparkling on the horizon throughout the night.

Seeing Camotes by boat is one of the best things to do and should be top of your list of things to do in Camotes. Remember to barter a good deal (including a seafood bbq lunch) and ensure there are lifejackets on board. It’s also always best to actually view the boat before confirming your booking!

Take A Refreshing Dip At Busay Waterfalls

Busay Waterfalls
The beautiful Busay Waterfalls

To the east of Poro Island you’ll discover Busay Falls. A small waterfall (we’re talking mini-sized!), it opens into a beautiful pool that is super refreshing for a quick swim, especially when you’re discovering the rest of the island on an organised tour or by motorbike.

You can dive from the surrounding rocks into the blue/green waters – around 10 feet deep near the waterfall. There’s also a bamboo bridge (very basic) that you can jump from and a hanging swing when we visited… But just do as the locals do!

And for young children, there are some concrete steps into the lower small pool so they can also play safely or they can chase the large frogs that we found hopping around here!

The walk to Busay Waterfalls
The walk to Busay Waterfalls

The highlight for us though was the stunning location – with a 5-minute walk from the main road through gorgeously lush forest.  You need to cross the shallow river three times before reaching the pools so it’s best to wear shoes that you don’t mind getting wet, and there are some slippery rocks to climb across.  Then suddenly you’re at the brilliantly blue/green pool surrounded by rich flora on all sides.  A really stunning Camotes spot, so vibrant with colour.  And we appreciated the cooler temperatures thanks to the towering trees with fresh air and the cool waters that made us feel alive!

Explore Lake Danao Park

Lake Danao Park
Lake Danao Park

In the northern part of Pacijan Island, this famed guitar-shaped lake is often referred to as Lover’s Lake and is easily one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island.  However, we visited during COVID time and we had it all to ourselves!

If you love nature this will be a standout place for you, with the tranquil atmosphere only broken by bird song and the wind blowing through the trees. Diverse flora and fauna flourish here, some cultivated but mostly natural, and our kids adored watching the ducks diving down for long periods in search of fish.

Vegetables are grown including yams and sweet potato (which literally translates to “camote”). Indigenous medicinal plants are also grown near to the lake’s banks, and in the lake itself, freshwater fish such as the local tilapia thrive. Purple herons and migratory birds also call the lake home.

Boats at Lake Danao Park
Duck boats at Lake Danao Park

Take a picnic, relax, or get out on the scenic lake. There’s a variety of boats for rent, including small rowing boats decked out to resemble large ducks, kayaks, paddleboats or you can join a sakanaw ride (a local-styled motor-powered catamaran that accommodates up to ten passengers and cruises the entire lake).

This one-hour cruise can be pre-arranged with the management of the park at the entrance or just wait at the jetty for the next boat. Then during your cruise, you can expect to stop at either of the lake’s two islets – Crocodile or Snake – for some nice photos.

Island middle of Lake Danao cruise
Island middle of Lake Danao cruise

 

There’s a small local-styled bar that serves hot food and drinks, including fresh coconut juice. And if you’re with a large group, you can rent your own hut for a picnic or simply to hang out lakeside.  And for the children, there’s a mini zoo that seemed mainly full of monkeys and there were horses for short rides around the lake.

Zipline at Lake Danao Park
Zipline at Lake Danao Park

For more thrills, try the zipline that for just 200PHP shoots you over to another islet that sits farther away from the main park. Breathtaking views for sure, but you need to look quick as it’s a fairly short ride!

We found that most of the boats look in need of a little touch-up or repair, but the beauty of the lake makes this an outstanding place to visit. The staff are helpful and friendly, and the lunch we enjoyed on the lake ride was some of the best food we had in Camotes. And the zipline gives a unique twist to your Lake visit!

To reach the lake – the largest in all of Cebu Province – either rent a motorcycle or for large groups consider a van-hire for the day. There’s a checkpoint at the entrance to the lake where you’ll pay a notional entrance fee of around 15PHP per person, making a day at Lake Danao in Camotes one of the best value things to do across all the islands.

Take A Selfie At Buho Rock

Buho Rock Camotes Island Cebu

There are many stunning views around the Camotes, but Buho Rock Camotes on Poro Island is well-deservedly one of the most noted. The rawness of nature is on display here, with jagged  coral rocks rising from the azure waters. Strangely shaped like a ship, Bulho Rock is – when we visited – an abandoned resort that the local government cares for.

Get your cameras ready for gorgeous pictures from this natural viewing deck or watch the colourful reef fish below as they dart in and out of the rocks. And this being the Philippines, there’s native-style cottages to rent for lunchtime picnics or an afternoon tipple!

However, the best is yet to come, as the rocks are a favoured cliff-diving location. Locals, especially, think nothing of hurtling themselves from the high rocks into the calm sea below!

Buho Rock is an ideal afternoon venue for groups or families looking for somewhere to hang out, without the need for a beach or swim (unless you’re diving in!). There are lots of stairs to reach the rocks, so be ready for those, but the view – and especially as the warm late afternoon colours fill the sky and hit the rocks – are spectacular!

Pay Cultural Visits To St. Joseph Parish And Sto. Niño Church of Poro

St. Joseph Parish Camotes Island
St. Joseph Parish

The oldest church in Camotes, St Joseph Church can be found on Pacijan Island in the town of San Francisco. Dedicated to the Fatherhood of St Joseph, the church dates back to 1886 when a modest wooden church with a nipa (palm) roof was constructed. These days only the name remains as you’ll find a modern-day church that historically represents the birth of Christianization to the islands.

If possible, time your visit for the third Sunday of March when the Church celebrates the Soli-Soli festival with a parade of colourful dances, discos, live music presentations and beauty pageants!

One of the main landmarks in the area, you’ll easily spot the Church just minutes from the bay walk and the Causeway which links Poro and Pacijan Islands. And after your visit take the Causeway over to Poro to discover Sto. Niño Church – the “old stone Church of Poro”.

Sto. Niño Church of Poro
Sto. Niño Church of Poro

Poro was once the seat of the Spanish Government in the region and, similar to many of the old Spanish districts, the town revolves around a wonderful plaza where the Church and the Government Hall are located.

First built in 1849 under the supervision of two Spanish friars, the walls are made of thick coral stones. Wonderful engravings of eight-pronged suns, half and full moons and faux columns decorate the facade. Unfortunately, the original bell tower hasn’t survived and the current belfry slightly separate from the Church was added in 1963.   Alas, the interior is rather modern and garish, but the exterior makes it well worth a visit.

And Poro and the surrounding villages are some of the most beautiful we’ve seen in the Philippines. Twisting coastal roads take you through immaculate local villages, full of colourful flowers and plants, set alongside stunning sea views that stretch to Leyte and back to Pacijan and Cebu.  An unforgettable drive – whether by car, scooter or motorbike.

Add in a visit to Busay Caves after your church discoveries.

Go Spelunking At Bukilat Cave

Bukilat Cave, Camotes Island
Bukilat Cave

A cave system in Tudela on Poro Island, Bukilat Cave has seven openings with the middle one large enough to allow light to enter the cave in atmospheric fashion. And the most prominent features are the various pools of water. Shallow, at only knee-deep level, the water is cool and refreshing but not freshwater as per other caves on the islands. This is brackish water, supposedly connected to the Camotes Sea.

Relatively underdeveloped, there’s a set of steps that take you to the pools  Stalactites and stalagmites are everywhere, and we found this a rather dramatic cave – almost resembling the interior of a large cathedral.

It came as no surprise to learn that back in the 70s Christian mass was often held here. And history tells that the cave was used by locals to shelter from the Japanese army during the Second World War, plus there’s even a fable about buried treasure!

Sit And Relax At Tulang Diot Island

Tulang Diot Island
The gorgeous Tulang Diot Island

Nicknamed “Little Boracay”, Tulang Diot Island is an absolute must-do during your Camotes stay. Literally translated as “Little Island”, Tulang is the reason many people visit Camotes. Soft fine white sand forms a large sandbank on one side of the island, giving it an almost Maldives appearance as you arrive by boat from Pacijan (a 5-minute crossing for 30php per person entrance fee).

You’ll find zero hotels on this gorgeous island, and you’ll most likely want to bring your own food and make arrangements with locals if you want things cooked… but that’s all part of the fun! Though you will find a couple of shacks selling snacks, drinks, kerosene for grilling and one small shop that sells noodles and cooked local dishes.

Tulang Diot Island Sandbar
Tulang Diot Island sandbar

What to do? Swim, snorkel, take lots of photos and relax – a perfect day at the beach. Rent a small bamboo hut for only 300php and grill fish at the communal area. Later, you can explore this 1.5km island by taking an easy hike to the small lighthouse which has a good view from the top. And if you’re there late in the afternoon get ready for an epic sunset, when you can also watch the daily flotilla of small fishing boats that depart from Pacijan out towards Leyte for overnight fishing.

Planning on camping overnight, then don’t worry as tents are provided.  But note that the island currently has electricity powered by a generator that’s switched off at 10pm – which means you’re in for some awesome star gazing!

The downside to being so beautiful is the island gets rather crowded during the middle of the day. Time your visit well – early morning or late afternoon to avoid the larger crowds. But staying overnight is probably the best way to experience the quiet and beauty of Tulang.

Tulang Diot Beach Hut Rental
Beach hut rental at Tulang Diot

 

If you’re dropping by as part of a longer island-hopping tour you’ll pay your environmental fee of 30PHP directly to the island’s shop.  Tents and cottages are the only options for overnight stays, all of which are offered at very reasonable rates. And finally, if you fancy a boat tour around Tulang Diot be sure to arrange it with a boatman from the smaller island once you arrive – it’s more than half the price of what’s promoted at Tulang Daku jetty!

Have A Swim At Santiago White Beach

Santiago White Beach
Santiago White Beach

Located on Pacijan Island, Santiago Camotes is home to White Beach – the most famous beach across all the islands. Wide, clean, safe for swimming and with fine-white sand… It sure ticks all the boxes!

This tropical escape is popular with both locals and visitors, and is ideal for all age groups. Young children adore the wide sandbank that’s displayed at low tide. Older teens and adults enjoy the many water sports on offer (kayaks and diving), plus beach volleyball and basketball.

Groups of Filipino friends rent cottages and tents, grilling bbqs of fresh fish or chicken, usually singing karaoke tunes. The summer vibe is strong here, with music and laughter filling the air.  Yet the beach is rugged, and this is still a greatly undiscovered part of the Philippines thus don’t expect top facilities, plus part of the charm of the Camotes is everything happens at a slow pace.

A couple of rustic seafood restaurants open onto the beach for snacks and cold drinks. And there are three resort hotels (one with a great swimming pool that overlooks the bay) that share the beach, yet it rarely feels overcrowded. In fact, there was hardly anyone around when we visited over lunchtime.  Simply relax, unwind, eat, drink and swim in shallow shores that seem to never get deep, making this a perfect spot for children to paddle.

No trip to Camotes is complete without a visit to Santiago White Beach.

Visit Sleepy Pilar on Ponson Island

Ponson Island is without doubt the least visited of the islands that make up Camotes. There’s only one town to discover, Pilar, which is home to around 8,500 people.

10 kilometres long, the island remains uncommercialised and is remarkable for its many white-sand beaches. There’s cliff diving at Coraza’s Cliffyard Resort which, though not as high as that at Buho Rock, is still a fairly adrenaline-inducing thrill!

For divers, explore underwater at the Pilar Municipal Marine Park – previously awarded the prestigious “Most outstanding Marine Protected Area of the Philippines”. Or stay above the water and paddle a kayak around the stunning coastline.

This quiet island is a snippet of local life, with fishermen happy to say hello on the beach and local kids always smiling and greeting you. A slow-paced life, that is exaggerated by the calm seas, the hot days and the lack of other tourists. We found this to be a wonderful place and would definitely visit here again. Do note though, there’s almost no mobile signal or internet connection… so you actually have to talk to each other!

You’ll find a couple of low-budget hotels if you’re planning on making Ponson Island your base and, if so, check out the direct ferry from Danao City to Cawit Pilar.

Disconnect from our fast paced world and check out Pilar!

See The Cavern At Timubo Cave

On the northern end of Pacijan, Timubo Cave in Camotes is a great add-on to your Danao Lake Park trip. Slap bang in the middle of a farm growing corn and fruits, the cave surprisingly supplies freshwater to much of the nearby residents and is fabulous for a quick dip!

For sure the exterior doesn’t look like much – just a small hole in the ground, with a cement barrier leading down into blackness, but the interior is splendid with a good number of stalactites and stalagmites. The large cavern covers a pool of water that is supposedly 6ft deep and we enjoyed a swim here, but as expected it’s rather chilly!

If you don’t fancy a dip, discover the cavern but be careful as the pathway can be rather slippery. There’s natural light poking through the cave in many places and some electric lights, yet some parts are still rather dark.

We couldn’t recommend this for anyone travelling with small children, also anyone who might feel claustrophobic by the small entrance to reach the cavern, and note there’s a knee-deep pool of water to cross before you reach the larger main pool.

A little difficult to locate, you might need to make this part of an organised tour or don’t be shy to ask locals once you reach Barangay Sonog Town, and expect to pay a small entrance fee of around 15PHP.

Go In Search of Dolphins

dolphin camote

Not specifically advertised anywhere on the islands as an excursion, we happened to find more dolphins around the Camotes Islands than anywhere we’ve yet been to in the Philippines!

Rent a pump boat early morning – around 5.30-7am – and ask your captain to head out between Cebu and Pacijan.  You’re in for a treat as we saw at least 8 different pods during the course of 2 hours, with many spinning and flipping in the air.

Our hotel owner also mentioned that they are common to see around the reefs once the heat of the day has gone, so keep a beady eye out for these playful creatures!

Admire The Sunset At Mangodlong Beach

Mangodlong Paradise Beach Resort
Mangodlong Paradise Beach Resort

A Philippines vacation is incomplete without an epic sunset picture and there’s nowhere better for that in the Camotes than at Mangodlong Paradise Beach Resort, in Mangodlong, Camotes Island.

This 4-star resort has an infinity pool that faces the sea and a small beach with brilliant white sand. Surrounded by Maldives-like villas with thatched roofs and lush-green gardens, the hotel is an absolute delight.  Play pool in the main Bamboo Restaurant and Bar area, or grab a drink and settle down for the coming sunset at the Pool Bar.

Available for day-entry at 300php per person, you won’t be disappointed!

Mangodlong Paradise Beach Resort infinity pool
Taking in the lovely views from the infinity pool

Get A Tan At Bakhaw Beach

After your fun at Lake Danao, why not relax the rest of the day at nearby Bakhaw Beach. A little off track, this is a less visited rustic beach that is ideal for anyone hoping for a peaceful sunbathe or swim.

You’ll drive through coconut plantations and banana groves to reach here, along unmade but well-traveled dirt roads. Suddenly, you’re faced with a long stretch of white sand bordered by clear blue water on one side and a long line of coconut trees on the other. Yet another picture-perfect Camotes beach!

Undeveloped, unspoiled, there’s little here to spend your money on. Bring along your own snacks and water, set up your beach towel in the shade of a palm tree or rent a small nipa-hut cottage, enjoying this slice of Philippines paradise!

If you feel a little restless, there are small paddle boats for some fun. There are also some rubber tubes – possibly tires from old vehicles – to rent, for floating in. Definitely nothing too energetic happens at Bakhaw Beach!

Located about 35 minutes from Consuelo Port, you might find this best by taking a habal-habal (riding on the back of a motorbike). Alternatively, rent a tricycle (motorbike with sidecar) or your own motorbike/scooter and self-discover this hidden gem of a beach.

Best Things To Do In Camotes Island Cebu Map

Camotes Island Things To Do Map
Click the Map to open in Google Maps. You can then access directions to each of the locations discussed in this article

Best Place To Stay In Camotes Island

So, where to stay in Camotes Cebu? When it comes to places to stay in Camotes you might well feel slightly confused. With four islands to choose from which island is best to make your base? We recommend focusing on Pacijan or Poro as these two islands hold the majority of the attractions.

Accommodation is mainly budget-friendly yet there’s still a couple of standout options and to help you out we’ve listed below a select few – a budget, mid-range and more expensive option.

BEST – Camotes Island Ocean Heaven Resort Review

Location, location, location! This sprawling hotel is located in popular San Francisco on Pacijan Island, just 2 minutes walk from beautiful Mangodlong Beach and near Santiago Bay in Camotes.

Perhaps the most modern accommodation across the Camotes, the hotel offers rooms with air-conditioning, flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fridge, kettle and hairdryer. Rooms come with a private bathroom with shower, and many have pool views. Room types include Family Room with Balcony for up to 4 people, a Family Room for 6 people, Deluxe Double or Twin Room with Pool Access for up to 2 people, plus Superior or Standard for 2 people.

The feature of the hotel is its large outdoor swimming pool and water park (various slides into the pools). There’s a helpful 24-hour front desk, with staff on hand to help arrange day trips, recommend activities and transfers from Cebu City or Mactan Airport.

The onsite restaurant offers American and Asian breakfast options and is open for lunch and dinner. You’ll also find a bar, gorgeously lush gardens and enjoy free WiFi in the communal parts of this great hotel.

Click here for the latest prices.

MID-RANGE –  Mangodlong Paradise Resort Review

This 28-room resort is often pictured on Camotes promotions due to its splendid private beach. Jutting out slightly from the shoreline, the stretch of sand is surrounded by the pool on one side and the azure sea on the other. Gorgeous!

This Mangodlong Camotes Cebu, Pacijan Island accommodation comes with Asian and modern inspired room styles. Built alongside the private beach or around the large infinity pool, room types fit all budgets and group-sizes. You’ll find Standard, Deluxe and Beachfront, to Cabana with one or two bedrooms, plus a Two-Bedroom and highly luxurious Paradise Suite.

The Bamboo Cafe is available for afternoon coffee, or enjoy a sundowner at the Sunset Bar or Pool Bar. Relax on white lounge chairs under the shade of umbrellas, savouring the peace of this quiet resort.

For meals, the onsite restaurant offers a buffet breakfast and all-day dining menu which has perhaps the widest selection of food across the entire island – including salmon and steak.  And there’s a gaming area where guests can enjoy billiards, plus WiFi is free but limited due to a generally poor reception across the island.

Click here for the latest prices.

BUDGET – Villa Marquez Review

At the northern tip of Pacijan Island, close to Lake Danao, Bakhaw Beach and opposite Tulang Diot, you’ll find a little slice of paradise. Villa Marquez is a 4-star guest house that is a home-away-from-home Camotes budget option.

Air-conditioned rooms come with garden views and free WiFi. Mainly favoured by couples – for the large Double or budget-double rooms – Villa Marquez also has one Family Room with bathroom that’s good for 6 people in 3 double beds. Accommodation is clean, spacious and features spacious balconies and patio areas.

There’s a seaview restaurant onsite – with wonderful paella and home-made thirst-quenching drinks, plus a continental or a-la-carte breakfast with fruits and hot pastries. You’ll also find a BBQ if you wish to grill some fresh seafood.

Other services include free parking, room service and dry cleaning services.

Click here for the latest prices.

How To Get To Camotes Island

lunch boat cruise Danao Park

Reaching Camotes Island can really be a bit challenging but the trip is surely worth it. You can either get there via bus, ferry or motorized boat.

Coming from Cebu City, you can take a fast craft to Camotes Island which takes approximately 1 to 1.5 hours. Another great option is to ride a bus or taxi to Danao town and catch one of the ferries going to Camotes Island.

If you need to take a bus, click here for the latest timetables and bus prices.

To see all the latest ferry timetables and prices, click here.

You can also hire a car to get you there by clicking here.

Camotes Island With Kids

Zipline at Lake Danao Park
Zipline at Lake Danao Park

Hey kids, we’re going to be spending a few days on vacation in the Philippines, hanging out at various paradise beaches with fun water sport options, volleyball and basketball. Oh yes, also we’ll be visiting one of the largest freshwater lakes in the country where we’ll rent kayaks and maybe have lunch onboard a catamaran in the middle of the lake.

And we’re planning on going island-hopping to some spectacular beaches, snorkelling with lots of reef fish, perhaps even cliff-diving in a few locations, and there’s a small island with a massive sandbank to discover.

If that’s not enough, there’s a mini-zoo, a short zipline, fishing, caves with pools and massive caverns, a small waterfall and – strangely – a massive orange Octopus slide into the ocean!

So, if your kids are anything like mine, they’ll find Camotes a blast! Young or teenaged, there’s something for everyone to enjoy across the islands, with the gentle slope of Santiago White Beach especially perfect for toddlers and younger children.

Put the iPads away, cell phones down and immerse in nature, healthy fresh air and enjoy the warm sun!

Final Words

Admiring the beautiful sunset Camotes Island
Admiring the beautiful sunset

A Philippines paradise with one of the best beaches in Asia, flourishing marine life and everything at budget prices. Connect with the raw beauty of nature and visit Camotes before tourism increases.

Read more Cebu guides here.

By Julia Rolph

Julia first discovered the Philippines in 2011, eventually settling in beautiful Bantayan Island, Cebu, with her daughter and Filipino partner.  The family spend every vacation exploring the Philippines, and Julia enjoys helping others discover this wonderful destination.