Somewhere among the islands of Cebu, Bohol, and Leyte lies one of Visayas’ best kept secrets.
These are the Camotes Islands, just an hour away from Cebu City.
The Camotes Islands is composed of four major islands, namely Pacijan, Ponson, Poro, and Tulang. These group of islands have earned the nickname “Lost Horizon of the South,” because of its unspoiled beauty.
You can see this unspoiled beauty for yourself by checking out any of the Camotes Islands’ wonderful beaches. There’s Santiago Bay and Mangodlong Beach in the town of San Francisco on Pacijan Island, as well as Mactang Beach in Poro town on Poro Island. But rest assured that whatever beach you find yourself on, you’re sure to see the clear turquoise blue waters and fine white sand that Camotes is known for.
Another must-see in the Camotes Islands is the Danao Lake, the largest natural lake in all of Cebu. It’s earned the nickname “Lover’s Lake,” thanks to its secluded location. But don’t worry, you don’t need to have a lover to enjoy the pristine beauty of Danao Lake. You can also take a boat ride or have a picnic along the lake’s shores.
Or you could always take a walk on the wild side and do a bit of spelunking. Check out Bukilat Cave in Tudela or Tangub Cave in Poro. There’s also the Timubo Cave in Sonog to explore. You can even take a subterranean swim in the cave’s freshwater pool!
Divers and snorkelers can also find themselves right at home in the Camotes Islands. Head on over to the newly discovered Lucban Shoal just off the coast of Barangay Consuelo, where you can spot all kinds of underwater species.
Feeling hungry from all that exploring? You’re in luck as the Camotes Islands has a number of local dishes for you to try out. A famous local dish is sutukil. It’s a dish that’s a combination of grilled tuna, fish soup, and fresh raw seafood mixed with vinegar.
And of course, you can’t leave the Camotes Islands without having some of the sweet potato that they were supposedly named after. Local legend has it that the group of islands got its name after a Spanish soldier asked some locals about where he was. Thinking that he was asking what they were harvesting, the locals replied, “Camotes (sweet potatoes),” and the name stuck.
Aside from trying out camote by itself, make sure to check out the products made with the sweet potato too, like camote crinkles, camote polvoron, and camote cookies.
The Camotes Islands may not be as well known as Bantayan or Mactan, but don’t count out it out just yet. If you’re someone who’s hoping to get a feel of what real island life has to offer, book your next plane ticket to the Camotes Islands.
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