Camotes Island is a group of islands in the Camotes Sea, Philippines. The island group is located east of Cebu Island, southwest of Leyte Island, and north of Bohol Island. It is 34 nautical miles (63 km; 39 mi) from Cebu City and is part of the province of Cebu. Sometimes known as the “Lost Horizon of the south”, within recent years Camotes has seen increased visitors and tourism and a growing expatriate community. Apart from natural attractions on land, there is also a score of dive sites around the islands.
Also in the Camotes Islands you can find tourist spots such as Buho Rock, Greenlake Park, Mt. Calvary (Kalbaryo), Lake Danao and the vast mangrove swamp along the sides of the road from Pacijan (San Francisco) to Poro. There are many underground caves such as Bukilat Cave, Timubo Cave and Guadalupe Cave which has a fresh water underground lake. There are also two waterfalls, one in Poro and one in Tudela. There is diving and snorkeling opportunities at some of the resorts. Camotes Resorts List click link for list.
April of 2013 was when I had the chance to visit Camotes Island together with my two closest friends in the world ; Yami and Nikki. We took a leave from our jobs just so we can celebrate Yami’s 24th birthday and share the moment with her. Let me take you down to memory lane, and reminisce the memories in Camotes With Love : White Sand Paradise In The Southern Philippines.
A surprise for a close friend
Midnight of the 12th of April 2013 (Friday) Nikki and I were on our way to surprise Yami after her evening shift at a hospital where she worked as a nurse. We brought her a cute little cake together with our gifts and party balloons, she was indeed surprised. I am pretty sure that was one of her most memorable birthday celebration ever. Although we just stayed at a local pizza house and just ordered pizza, it really didn’t matter that time – we were caught up with the occasion. We waited for our other friend Mariane and then we just ate pizza right after. It was around 1am when we decided to part ways with Mariane, Nikki and Yami are staying at my place we still need to travel to Camotes Island that dawn.
The dawn of the gateway
As expected we woke up late, we were supposed to wake up 3am so we can take the first bus trip to Danao City but we woke up at 4am. We were all cramming, worried we might get left by the barge to Camotes Island . We arrived in the bus terminal around 5am, we took the first bus available even though it was the ordinary one. The bus ride was about an hour and twenty five minutes by the time we arrived in the port, the barge that we supposed to get into already left (bugger). The next trip was not until 8am, we were disappointed, famished, and very sleepy. Nice way to start our getaway – Frustrated.
Finally, at around quarter to 8, we were asked to board in the barge, two and half hour after we were to dock at Camotes port.
It’s Camotes Island Baby – Beach Getaway
Upon arrival we were all ecstatic and excited for our beach getaway,we completely buried our previous frustrations. Our stay was kind of limited since we only get one day to enjoy the island. We have to be back to the city a day after, Yami got to work while me and Nikki will hang out for the entire weekend. And so we hired 2 sets of motorcycle and went directly to the resort where I reserved a deluxe room at Agoda (Global) for us, at the Santiago Bay Garden & Resort
The motor ride was about twenty minutes, we couldn’t contain our excitement in the extent that we keep on talking about our plan for the entire trip. And that’s a very short trip. Upon arrival we went straight to the receptionist, they were bit busy a group of Koreans were trying to check in to their respective rooms as well and it took a lot of time due to communication struggle. But finally after 15 minutes or so we were able to get our key and was assigned to a room over-looking the sea and it was breath-taking!
It was a view worth appreciating for. I think what’s refreshing about it was that we don’t usually get to see the blue sky, the sea and the sun all together. We were all trap in a concrete jungle around the city, used to seeing the buildings and the litters all over it. That view was truly a breath of fresh air. Then we settled in our room and decided to take some time off to rest.
After taking our much-needed rest, we headed to the beach and savored the moment, that was a perfect getaway to get into. It was Friday, the sun was on its peak, I am with the best people, not to mention it was Yami’s birthday. I must admit though, anywhere we go as long as I’m with these people, it will always be a perfect getaway.
After spending our entire afternoon at the beach, by the time we went back to our hotel room we were all worn out, dead tired. With our sun-kissed skin, we then get ready to go outside and look for a cheaper place to eat. We figured foods at the hotel cost more, and we were up for some barbecue by the beach. What I like most about that gate-away was that I was with the people I am most comfortable being with. With them I can be myself, no pretensions. It was 9pm when we finished eating, by then we already finished 3 bottles of beer. We were a bit drunk, but still sober. We even went to the pool right after to dip our stressed muscles into the soothing warm water.
Our night was far from getting over, and we intended to enjoy every bit of second we spend in that island. So we open the bottle of tequila we bought at the main-land, sliced some lemon, and a grab some potato chips. We were good to go! We just talked and bonded the entire time, talked about life, experiences. It was a helluva birthday celebration we had in Camotes. The next day, the hangover was excruciating, but we had to move our asses, ate our breakfast at Santiago Bay Garden & Resort, and before noon we were already on our way back to the port. And then back to reality.
Visit Lonely Planet (Philippines) for more suggestions on where to visit for your coming vacation.
April 12, 2013 : a moment to remember!