SANTIAGO BAY BEACH, CEBU: IMPORTANT TRAVEL TIPS

Santiago Beach is the typical destination you’d see in the Philippines’ countryside. Characterized by rustic houses, with a mix of high end and budget accommodations, a bucolic vibe, swaying coconut trees, soft white sand, and glass-like waters, the beach is the perfect place to forget about the worries of city life and just enjoy a day or two doing nothing.

How to Get There

Nearest Airport: Mactan Cebu International Airport (Cebu)

By Air
  1. There are direct flights from Manila to Cebu that are frequent throughout the day and the week.
  2. Once in Cebu City, there are two options to get to Camotes Island — via Pier 1 or via Danao Port.
     
    Via Pier 1: Board an Ocean Jet boat from the city’s pier 1 to get to Camotes Island. The shipping lines rates are P335 for the cheapest tickets and P550 for business class.
     
    Via Danao Port: Boats bound for Camotes Island from this port cost around P180-P200 for either non-aircon or with air conditioning; travel duration may take up to 3 hours, depending on the weather.
By Sea
  1. If you failed to get a cheap ticket to Cebu, you can get to this Visayan city by land and sea. 2Go operates a Manila to Cebu route on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. The cheapest ticket is approximately P1050 one way for the tourist class.
  2. Once in Cebu City, there are two options to get to Camotes Island — via Pier 1 or via Danao Port.
     
    Via Pier 1: Board an Ocean Jet boat from the city’s pier 1 to get to Camotes Island. The shipping lines rates are P335 for the cheapest tickets and P550 for business class.
     
    Via Danao Port: Boats bound for Camotes Island from this port cost around P180-P200 for either non-aircon or with air conditioning; travel duration may take up to 3 hours, depending on the weather.

 
Getting around Camotes Islands, it may cost you P50 for habal-habal ride from one destination to the next. You can also rent a multicab for up to P3000 for the day depending on group size.

 


Entrance Fee and Other Charges

  • Entrance Fee: It depends on where you choose to go and stay. Some areas, especially if you are not entering from a resort, have no entrance fee.
  • Camping Fee: It depends on the area where you want to pitch your tent. Ask permission first. Usual rate starts at P50.
  • Cottage Rental Fee: Rates vary from one resort to another. Rates range from P300 to P500.
  • Others: P450 (tent rental good for 4-5 persons); P500 (day rental of motorcycle); Around P3000 (multicab rental for a day)

Don’t Miss

  • Santiago Beach is the perfect place to relax, unwind and enjoy wading or swimming in the shallow waters. Lie on the soft, sand beach with your favorite book in one hand and a cold drink in the other. Parts of the shore are shallow enough for young kids to swim in.
  • There are also sections where you can pitch a tent instead of staying in a guesthouse or hotel.
  • There are also a handful of activities you can do such as kayaking, volleyball, and renting a videoke machine.

Don’t Forget

  • Bring enough money for your trip to pay for transactions in carinderias, stores, accommodations, and rentals.
  • Bring your own snorkeling gear if you want to snorkel but don’t want to rent.
  • Bring a tent and camping gear if you plan to rough it for a night or two. You can also bring your own volleyball and Frisbee disc if you don’t want to rent.
  • Leave nothing but footprints.

If You Have More Time and Budget

  • After spending a day or two on Camotes Island and seeing its attractions, spend an afternoon getting lost in Cebu City’s eclectic mix of modern and centuries’ old streets and structures. Try the famous lechon and dried mangoes.
  • If you have a few more days to spare, visit Moalboal for the sardine run or go canyoneering/canyoning.

Where to Stay

There are nearby resorts if you want to spend more time in Santiago Beach, but if you are extending your visit to other parts of Camotes Islands, here are some of the recommended resorts according to Agoda users (as of July 2017).

Photo was provided by the resort via Agoda.

For more options, search here: Cebu Hotels


Reminders

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