The Camotes are a small island group in the Philippines. Administratively, they are part of Cebu Province but they are some distance east of Cebu Island (63 km from Cebu City), actually closer to Leyte.
These islands used to see few tourists. Now, their fine beaches and dive sites have attracted development with several resorts and quite a few resident foreigners.
The group includes three main islands and one small islet. The islands of Pacijan and Poro are joined by a causeway; Ponson is separate, a bit to the north. There are several ports around the islands:
- Poro is the main port, where the ferry from Cebu City arrives.
- Consuelo, for the service to/from Danao
- Pilar, for Ormoc on Leyte
In addition, at some other places, such as Kawit, the pumpboat is just pulled up onto the beach.
Cebuano (also called Bisayan) is the main language of the islands. English is also widely spoken.
- Oceanjet. fast ferry twice a day from Cebu City. Departure to Cebu: 6AM/3PM (from Poro Port), ₱500 + ₱25 port tax. Scheduled travel time is 90 minutes.
- Jomalia Shipping lines fast ferry Mactan from Consuelo port departs Mactan at 8AM-noon. depart Consuelo port at 10AM/4PM. travel time is 80 minutes. fare is ₱500
- Jomalia Shipping lines roro ferry from Danao to Consuelo port (five times a day). with a fare of ₱220
- there is also a ferry going from Ormoc from Pilar port Camotes.
Rent a scooter for ₱300 a day or get a driver with a multicab.
- Lake Danao (small entrance and parking fee; restaurants available)
- Timobo Cave (₱30)
- Santiago Beach (restaurants available)
- Bukilat cave
- View point and calvary near Timobo cave
- Walk around Poro town. Enjoy the beaches. Have a swim in the sea.
- Rent a scooter (₱300/day + gas) and explore the island.
- Development Bank. near the market in Poro town has a 24-hour ATM. Only VISA cards accepted. No MasterCard withdrawal. If you run out of money and you don't have VISA card, you can use online money transfer of Western Union, top up it online with your credit card and withdraw money from LBC branch in Poro near the port. Fee is US$5 or €5.
If you are looking for mid-range restaurants, choice will be limited to the resort restaurants. Cheap eateries with lower prices and hygiene standards can be found around the island, especially at the beaches (e.g. Santiago beach) and in Poro (market area).
- Big Z Pension House. Poro Town. near the port. big fan double rooms with shared bathroom. ₱350 a night.
- Sea View Pension House. Poro Town. ☏ . fan double rooms with shared bathroom ₱300 a night.
- RMS Travelers Inn. Pamatasan (400m from San francisco town Public market) . dorm bed for 290 per person. fan double room with own bathroom from 388. free wifi. a good clean low-cost place for backpackers to stay.
- Seaside Guest house, 10 min walk from San francisco town. fan double room, outside bathroom, free wifi 400.