Camotes Island is a tropical paradise off the coast of mainland Cebu in the Visayas region of the Philippines. If you’re looking to explore beyond the beaches, we’ve put together this guide to 5 awesome Camotes Island caves that you absolutely can’t miss while you’re on the island!
Best time to visit Camotes Island
Camotes Islands is a popular weekend destination for mainland Cebu, so we recommend avoiding weekends and public holidays for a much quieter island. You’ll also want to aim for the dry season from November – April.
How to get to Camotes Island
The quickest way to Camotes Island is by fast craft from Mactan in Cebu. However, if you need to take a car to the island you can get a roro ferry from Danao Port just north of Cebu City.
What to bring to Camotes Island
5 Awesome Camotes Island Caves
1. Bukilat Cave
Out of all the caves in Camotes, Bukilat is by far the biggest and the one we have to recommend you don’t miss out on. It’s one of the most popular Camotes Island tourist spots, attracting people from all over to marvel at this subterranean destination. A short descent down rocky steps will lead you to Bukilat Cave, an enormous expanse of stalagmites, stalactites and rock formations.
At the centre of Bukilat Cave is a shallow tidal pool, and so we recommend visiting at high tide when the water has risen high enough to wade in. Towards the back of the cave is an open skylight, where trees are visible and vines hang low. Beneath this sits a stalagmite altar, where you can live out your Indiana Jones fantasies or simply pose for a pic.
Entrance Fee: 20 PHP
2. Paraiso Cave
Another epic cave in Camotes is Paraiso Cave, a turquoise swimming hole deep below ground level. Paraiso Cave is the most developed of the caves on Camotes Island, with a restaurant and resort having been built around it. There are even sitting areas carved into the rocks underground so you can spend quite a bit of time in the cave, claustrophobia permitting.
Paraiso Cave is deceptively deep, with water so clear you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s only a foot deep. In fact, if you visit during high tide, you’ll be chest deep in some of the clearest water you’ll likely ever see in your life.
Entrance Fee: 100 PHP
3. Heaven Cave
One of the lesser known Camotes Island caves is Heaven Cave. Whilst not as popular with tourists as Bukilat or Paraiso, Heaven Cave is still a beautiful swimming hole and one worth visiting if you have the time. We stumbled across Heaven Cave accidentally as we drove around the island, not having any clue beforehand that it existed.
We paid a small entrance fee of 60 PHP to an old lady on the property before heading underground to Heaven Cave. It wasn’t yet high tide, so the water was quite shallow and we had to awkwardly crab crawl around the cave. The elderly lady told us to keep an eye out for crystals, however we weren’t really sure where to look, but just something to keep in mind!
Entrance Fee: 60 PHP
4. Amazing Island Cave
Amazing Island Cave is by far our favourite cave on Camotes Island. The name says it all, and thankfully it does not disappoint. Unlike the others, there is so much space to swim and it’s even deep enough where we recommend you bring a mask and snorkel.
At the very entrance of Amazing Island Cave is a narrow channel, which is already deep enough for a good swim – just watch your head as it’s a tight space and we bumped our heads a few times on the rocks. If you swim through the channel it opens up into a large cavernous pool. This is where you’ll want to have your mask and snorkel! And fear not, if you’re not the strongest swimmer, you can use the life jackets provided.
Entrance Fee: 60 PHP
5. Timubo Cave
Timubo Cave is by far the least developed cave on Camotes Island and is little more than a hole in the ground in the middle of nowhere, however, that’s what makes us love it even more. Aside from the cement steps and lighting, the only other manmade intervention was a Catholic grotto, but there was nothing explaining the significance of this.
A dark and somewhat treacherous trail underground leads to an opening of crystal-clear water. It was deep enough to warrant our mask and snorkel as we swam along and inspected the cave floor.
Entrance Fee: 60 PHP