Camotes Islands: Best Things To Do In San Francisco, Philippines

things to do in san francisco philippines

Last year, this fourth-class municipality won the most ideal place to live, work, play, invest, and do business award at the yearly Our Cebu Program. In other words, it is regarded as the best town in Cebu. San Francisco in the Philippines may not have the Golden Gate Bridge, but its lakes, beaches, and other natural wonders are enough to captivate you. Make your trip to this town memorable by trying out these seven activities. Whether you want to relax or go for an adventure, this list has got you covered. Let the exploring begin.

1. Experience paradise at Santiago Bay

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Head to Santiago Bay Garden and Resort for an opportunity to fully appreciate Camotes Islands. The 2.5 hectare (6.1 acre) sanctuary offers not only lush scenery and luxurious facilities, but also access to the beach with powdery white sand. Prices of family villas are around 100 USD per night while the non-air conditioned rooms for two people cost around 20 USD. You can swim and relax at the beach or try out some water sports for a more adventurous experience. At the resort, you can dip your body into the pool or play a game of pool. There’s also a restaurant that offers different types of delicious dishes. Without a doubt, it’s an ideal vacation spot.

Santiago Bay Garden and Resort

Address: San Francisco, Cebu

Phone: 639 323458599

Website: Santiago Bay Garden and Resort

2. Visit Lake Danao Park

Danao Lake
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Stoni111121 used under CC0

Just north of Santiago Bay is a guitar-shaped lake that will bring you closer to Mother Nature. Visit Lake Danao Park and enjoy the lush surroundings and tranquil atmosphere. If you’re coming from Pacijan, you can reach the site by motorcycle for about 2 USD. There will be additional charges if you’re from the farther areas. When you reach the lake, you can go fishing or have a picnic with your friends or family. Another popular activity is the boat ride on the calm water, which costs around 3 USD for one hour and 1 USD for 30 minutes. The cruise is the best way to see the beautiful trees and the ducks. It will also take you to the islet where you can take photos.

Lake Danao Park

Address: Poblacion, San Francisco, Camotes Island, Cebu

Opening Hours: 6:00 am to 9:00 pm

Price: from 0.20 USD (adult); 0.10 USD (child)

3. Explore Timubo Cave

Sunset Cave
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user André Farinha | L... used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Near Lake Danao is another masterpiece of nature. You may not be amazed when you see the hole in the middle of a farm because of its simplicity, but inside it is the majestic Timubo Cave. Explore the cave and let the unique stalactites and stalagmites mesmerize you. It’s also well-known for its natural pool, which reaches up to six feet (1.8 meters). You can go for a swim in the cool water or just relax and absorb the tranquil vibes. The cave’s path is slippery most of the time, so make sure you’re extra careful when you walk through especially if you’re traveling with children.

Timubo Cave

Address: Lake Dano Walking Trail, San Francisco, Cebu

Opening Hours: 7:00 am to 5:30 pm

Price: from 0.30 USD

4. Dine, drink, and have a good time at Nena’s Grill and Drinks

Grilled fish
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user pompi used under CC0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Marvel at the view of the beach and satisfy your appetite at Nena’s Grill and Drinks in Santiago. The beachside restaurant offers dishes that will please the taste buds. You can try out the favorites such as the barbecue, grilled fish, fried vegetables, pasta, chili shrimp, grilled fish, and sizzling squid. As for the beverages, they have a wide variety of soft drinks and beers. If you’re in the mood for dessert, then make sure you order the “halo-halo”. It’s a beloved Filipino dessert consisting of crushed ice, milk, and different types of sweets. The staff of Nena’s is also said to be friendly.

Nena's Grill and Drinks

Address: Santiago San Francisco, Camotes, Cebu

Phone: 639 066407549

Facebook: Nena’s Grill and Drinks

5. Be enthralled by the sights at Arqui's Viewing Deck

Monte Alegre
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jan Ludewig used under CC BY-SA 4.0

It used to be just the meeting place of the Mayor and his associates, but now it’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in San Francisco. Arqui’s Viewing Deck is on the highest point of Monte Alegre, and apart from its relaxing vibes, it’s also the spot where you can admire Lake Danao and the islands of Cebu and Leyte from afar. Make sure you bring your binoculars to fully enjoy the panoramic view. Another highlight is the one-of-a-kind wood formation, which you will see upon arrival. In order to reach the site, you must pass through the Union-Campo Road until you reach the intersection. Arqui’s is located across the road that leads to the hospital and airport. Admission to the site is free, and there are caretakers who will assist you. You can give them a small amount if you want. After marveling at the sights, head to the function hall to relax and take in the calmness.

Arqui's Viewing Deck

Address: Monte Alegre, San Francisco, Cebu

Price: Free

6. Witness the beauty of Mangodlong Beach

Mangodlong Resort
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user The Wandering Angel used under CC BY 2.0

Stay at Mangodlong Paradise Beach Resort in Heminsulan to enjoy the turquoise waters and soft white sand. The staff always makes sure that the beach remains clean. You can swim, relax, or go snorkeling to see the enchanting corals. As for the resort, it’s renowned for its infinity pool and Asian and modern-themed rooms. Standard rooms cost around 7 USD for two people per night while the Paradise Suite is around 146 USD. The restaurant serves the best Filipino and Chinese dishes while the bar next to the infinity pool offers not only refreshing drinks, but also the perfect sunset view. Other activities you can try out here include jet skiing, kayaking, banana boat rides, and half-day tours of the neighboring islands.

Mangodlong Paradise Beach Resort

Address: Mangodlong, Heminsulan, San Francisco, Camotes, Cebu

Opening Hours: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

Phone: 639 323280500

Website: Mangodlong Paradise Beach Resort

7. Enjoy Bakhaw Beach with the family

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Lsj used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

If a secluded paradise is what you want, then this is the place to be. Take a trip to the Bakhaw Beach in Barangay Esperanza and let its peaceful atmosphere give you a blissful feeling. After absorbing the serene vibes, go for a swim in the blue water or just relax on the white sand and marvel at the view of the sea and the coconut trees. There are no commercial establishments around, but there are traditional cottages where you can rest at an affordable price. There’s also a store selling basic goods such as snacks, water, soft drinks, and canned food. The best way to reach the beach is from Consuelo Port. You can take a motorcycle ride, which is around 2 USD.

Bakhaw Beach

Address: Barangay Esperanza, San Francisco, Camotes Islands, Cebu

Price: from 0.10 USD

A perfect getaway in San Francisco

Heaven on earth: Camotes Island
Source: Photo by user dahon used under CC BY-ND 2.0

If you want to fully enjoy the beaches and other scenic spots of San Francisco, then dry season is the best time to visit. It usually starts in November and ends in the month of May. So, take out your swimsuit and fulfill your fantasy of the perfect getaway in this charming town.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Freelance writer by day, rap artist by night. When he's not making music or joining rap battles, Paolo writes about anything under the sun. Throughout his eight-year experience as a copywriter, he...Read more

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