After lunch at Mangodlong Rock Resort, we travelled about 20 minutes further north to see Santiago Bay Garden and Resort, the very first tourist enclave in Camotes. Situated in the peaceful village of Santiago, the resort is a 2.5 hectare of lush greenery, with 19 world-class cottages, charmingly tucked in the profusion of landscaped exotic foliage overlooking a wide expanse of fine white sand, and a dazzling blue ocean. The establishment, which is probably managed by the same owners as Mangodlong (they share one brochure) is conveniently divided into two: the sandy swimming area, and the cliffy hill with the classier cottages. It is quite a stretch of a place, perfect for those who love their treks in caves and hills. From the cliffs, you can come down the grounds and explore the caves, some of them have decorative tables and benches. Like Mangodlong, entrance to the premises is P15 (a silly $ 0.35).
After sitting under huts, looking out to the seas, we headed back to the town proper of San Francisco. I walked the main area where the market is. There were little stores facing the sea, and finally some tindahans (stores) that sell toiletries, the brands of which I’ve never heard til now. After a short walk around the municipal hall, we proceeded to a curious little resort called Buho located in the town of Poro (where we arrived from our fastcraft from Cebu City). Now, Buho Rock Resort is an abandoned establishment, but it’s beauty inspires. From the viewing deck, you need to walk a steep flight of winding stairs to get to the main structure down below. There, you can enjoy a dive, which is probably a good 20-30 feet from your drop-off point, then swim your way towards the nearby shore, and go up the stairs. More and more tourists have been visiting this place thus, the barangay townsfolk have manned the place to collect entrance fees – PhP2 – or a ridiculous $0.05!
Next stop was a major cave in the town of Tudela called Bukilat Cave! There’s a well-built stairs that lead you to a body of water (the sea of course). From inside this cave, you can walk further on until you get to a clearing of cool clear water. We saw a small group bathing there. Entrance: P15 - $0.34! Our other visits included a walk around the town proper of Tudela – the park, the church, the port.
Bukilat Cave, one of the biggest caves in Camotes, with well built stairs and a swimming area down below.
Swimming area in Bukilat Cave, Barangay McArthur. Caves abound in Tudela. A pool of freshwater provides a refreshing dip for spelunkers. There are other countless caves in the area. Mag-agay-ay is said to have a very interesting shoreline, with stunning rock formations.
Port Hagutapay, Barangay Puertobello, Town of Tudela, Camotes Island. This port services pumpboats that travel to the nearby beach resort of of Cawit where overnight campings are frequent, as well as the enchanting blue lagoon of Naukban in San Isidro - all in the island of Pilar (20 minutes away). Some bigger vessels also travel to Ormoc.
Map of Camotes Island, situated in the Visayas, between the island of Cebu (to the west) and Ormoc (to the east).
Visit the first post on Camotes Island. A lot of visitors seem to miss this first posting. - http://eye-in-the-blue-sky.blogspot.com/2008/05/camotes-island-in-land-that-time-forgot.html