The Camotes Islands are a group of islands in the Camotes Sea, Philippines. The island goup is located east of Cebu Island, southwest of Leyte Island, and north of Bohol Island. It is 34 nautical miles from Cebu City and is part of the province of Cebu. The Camotes Islands are made up of 3 major islands and 1 minor islet, isolated over 4 districts. On Poro Island are the districts of Poro and Tudela. Pacijan Island’s sole district is San Francisco. Ponson Island’s sole region is Pilar. Tulang Island is an islet and part of San Francisco. The primary islands of Pacijan and Poro are connected by a bridge. Ponson is seperated by the Camotes Sea, lying approximately four kilometers northeast of Poro. Tulang is situated off the northern tip of Pacijan.
The Camotes are low-lying with varous hills, some utilized by a telecommunications organization for relay stations. The highest point is Altavista, 950 feet (290 m) above ocean level, on Poro. Pacijan has a huge lake, Lake Danao,one of the cleanest fresh water lakes in the nation. Palm trees are the dominant plant on the islands. There are additionally various local mixtures of tree grown foods, for example banana, mango, pineapple and other plants. The main port is the Poro Port.
It was once reputed to be the “Lost Horizon of the South”. Camotes has seen numerous incereased guests and tourism particularly in the recent 3 years and a developing expatriate community.
The islands were first told by Antonio Pigafetta in 1521, one of the survivors on Ferdinand Magellan’s portentous voyage, as they held up off the islands for a few days prior going onto Cebu.
When the Spanish initially arrived they asked the locals what was the name of the island and the locals thought they wanted to know what they were planting. They said camotes. This is the manner by which the island got its name and turned into the Spanish word for sweet potato.
In 1942, Japanese forces invade Camotes Islands. In 1945, Japanese fighters slaughtered almost all the people in Pilar which prompted a war crimes trial after the war. The liberation of the islands happened not long after the massacre when Philippine and American officers arrived and battled the remaining Japanese soldiers in the Battle of Camotes Islands.
In the early 1970s, inhabitants uncovered an assortment of relics going over to the 16th century. An excavation was carried out at Mactang, Camotes, uncovering lances, knifes, swords, crosses, iron pendants and a skull pierced with an arrowhead. The inquiry arose: Could Mactang, Camotes as opposed to Mactan, Cebu truly be the site of the fight between the local armed force of Lapu and Ferdinand Magellan’s forces where Magellan was executed?
Getting There: You can take a boat from Cebu City going to Poro on Camotes Island. The cheaper way is taking a bus from Cebu City to Danao and a boat going to Camotes. There are several boats here going either to Consuelo, San Francisco, Poro or Kawit. Upon arrival on Camotes Island plenty of tricycle drivers will be waiting for you. If you want to travel with a car or a van, a lot of car rental in Cebu are offering there services. RO-RO barge are also availabale so you can bring a vehicle too. The island is very organized as there is a standard fixed rate to every destination.