A month ago, I got a message from my friend, Shirly, asking if I want to spend her birthday with her. I missed her big birthday bash in Phuket last year because I had work. This time, I did not have vacation plans for November and my work schedule is manageable. It was so easy to say “Yes!”. She planned to go to Cebu which was convenient for me because we just have to meet halfway.
I booked an overnight ferry to Cebu. I specifically asked for a top bunk because I feel more secured when I can see everyone.
Good thing, I was also placed near the window so I can see what is outside.
I took the boat because it leaves Nasipit port at 7pm and arrives at the Cebu pier at 5:30 am the following. I have enough time to catch the 9AM fast craft to Camotes Island. Shirly took an early flight from Manila so we agreed that I drop by the airport to pick her up (with my cab from the pier) and proceed to the wharf which was just around one kilometer away from the airport. The cab driver got lost actually. He brought us to Island Mall in Lapu-lapu instead of the Island Central Mall in Mactan which was just across the more popular Marina Mall. Inside the mall was a ticketing counter of Jomalia Shipping. The wharf was just a walking distance from the mall. It was just near the Cebu Yacht Club.
We arrived Camotes at around 10:30 AM. Our tricycle from the resort was already waiting for us. We were booked at Sunset Vista Seafront Guest House. It was located in Esperanza, a quaint and secluded barangay in San Francisco, Camotes Island. Shirly said that we were easily sold at the “quaint and secluded” description because we both wanted the peace and quiet areas. (The tita blood in us is showing! Ha!)
Esperanza was a quiet fishing barangay.
Our first order of the day was to find a place to eat lunch. Our guest house was not serving lunch because their cook was on vacation. Good thing there was good pizza in the next resort.
We had nothing planned for the afternoon because we were chill like that. Ha! We took a nap and before we knew it, it was time for dinner. We were there to relax. So, relax we did!
We did all the touring the next day. Here is our guide showing Shirly all the spots we would be visiting.
I learned that both of us were non-swimmers. Before we entered the cave, we asked the lady at the entrance if there was going to be a guide. She said no. We asked how deep the water was. She said the deepest part was 6 feet deep so we were both careful. So careful that we only dipped near the steps and never went further down. Ha! Better safe than sorry!
It was a beautiful lake. There were kayaks and boats you can hire. We just opted to sit in the grass and let the sun dry our clothes a bit.
The cave was underneath a well-manicured garden. Stairs, lights and railings were there to make it easier for tourists to access the cave pool.
Amazing Cave and Beach Resort
Yes, there was a cave in this area. I just do not have a picture. I have a video clip though. I will post my Camotes video on my Youtube channel once I am done editing it.
Mangodlong Rock Resort
After all the cave pool swimming, we were looking forward to the beach. We found one in this resort. They also have a large octopus-shaped slide that dropped to the ocean.
If only we have known how nice and wide this beach area is, we would have booked a resort near this place. Next time, next time. We went on a weekday and an off-peak season so there were few tourists and beach-goers. This is the kind of vacation this introvert likes the most- peaceful and no crowds.
San Francisco Baywalk
We were wondering where the market area was since all we saw in Esperanza were small stores. We found our answer when we visited the Baywalk area.
Our last stop was Tulang Diot. It is a small island near Esperanza. It was not part of the usual tour package of the Camotes. You need to pay additional fee to get there but since our resort was just a short walk away from where boats were docked to cross to the island, we were not charged for the trip. We just have to hire a boat. It was a short boat ride and, as a bonus, we have Moana on board!
The beach was pristine. For a Php5 environmental fee per person, the beach was kept clean and immaculate.
It was raining on and off when we arrived Camotes. Since we were billeted in Sunset Vista, I have been looking forward to seeing the sunset. I was glad to finally see the sunset in Tulang Diot.
As a bonus, we also saw a rainbow. I hope you can see the rainbow in this photo.
What a beautiful way to celebrate a birthday! Happy Birthday, Shirly! Thank you for inviting me on this trip!