a seeker in search of Easter Eggs
Exploring Bukilat Cave, Camotes Islands Feb 28, 2017

Exploring Bukilat Cave, Camotes Islands

GPS waypoint: 10°39'34.86"N 124°30'52.38"E
Location: McArthur (barangay), Tudela (municipality), Camotes Islands, Cebu (province), Philippines
Entrance: P10/adult, P5/kids
Parking Fee: P10/car, P5/motorcycle
Tip: do-it-yourself caving, no guide needed nor provided. Make sure you go there on a high tide

Road Ride
After an 18km bicycle ride from San Francisco to McArthur in Tudela, passing through Poro and Tudela town proper along a mostly coastal route with the occasional hillclimbs, I finally reached Bukilat Cave after a leisurely 2 hours and 30 minutes on the saddle.

Cave History
From the posted sign outside, Bukilat Cave was used by the town's people during the naval battle between the Japanese armada and the US navy between Camotes and the Gulf of Leyte. During the 70s, the parish priest had students clean up the cave regularly. Masses were also conducted there on some occasions.

Exploring Bukilat Cave, Camotes Islands
top-lit from a roof opening

Top Lighting
What makes Bukilat Cave magnificent is the natural light coming from 7 openings on top. It gives off a beam of light on a cathedral-like expanse reminiscent of Bethlehem's nativity scene.

High Tide Swimming
Like Tumibo Cave in San Francisco, you could swim inside the cave when the tide is high. Low tide means no water. Unfortunately, when I arrived at 9:30am, it was low tide, but by the time I left, there was about 2 inches of water already as the tide kept coming in. At its highest, the water level could be chest deep. The posting outside claims the water is brackish, but being entirely dependent of tidal swings, I can't see how there would be a component of fresh water there.

Like Timubo Cave, Bukilat has been re-designed to make it more tourist-friendly. It's a groomed cave. Don't expect any Indiana Jones adventure here. Stairs with concrete steps were made, an elevated walking perimeter was likewise developed, similar to the edge of a swimming pool. Even the pool itself has been leveled with a flat bottom and a rim.

Cave Depth
There is that one big area as big as a function hall, but I noticed other holes within the cave that could be explored further. I tried going a little into it and it looked promising. But without a guide, I had no idea just how far it went.

Ending Thoughts
Again, I'm a little torn on having a manicured cave. On one hand, it makes the cave accessible to a broader audience. On the other hand, it dilutes the adventure sense of being inside a cave - you might as well be in a cave-themed park. What cannot be denied is the spectacular natural lighting of the cave together with its cathedral-like cavern. A must-visit when in Camotes Islands. One last thing - make sure you get there on a high tide!

--- TheLoneRider

Next stop: Capasanan Spring

road sign to Bukilat Cave at the cave entrance naturally lit staircase big cavern with central top lighting meeting new friends from Laguna - Grace and Jen (picture courtesy of Grace) the main gallery looks like a theater stage headlamps are handy water slowly coming in through a dark opening stalactites and stalagmites paved walkway top opening more stalagmites other cave openings to be explored

Google Map Camotes Islands, Cebu, Philippines

tourist attractions in Camotes Island tourist attractions
  • Lake Danao Park in Camotes Island Lake Danao Park - inland twin lakes in San Francisco
  • Santiago Bay Beach in Camotes Island Santiago Bay Beach - stretch of fine white sand with a cluster of beach resorts
  • Buho Rock in Camotes Island Buho Rock - dive boards perched from a high rock outcropping, Poro
  • Tulang Diot in Camotes Island Tulang Diot - white sand beach on a tiny island just 10 minutes by boat from the main Camotes Island
  • Busay Falls in Camotes Island Busay Falls - groomed plunge pool, dirt trail walk with 2 stream crossings, Tudela
  • Capasanan Spring in Camotes Island Capasanan Spring - crystal clear open spring water source in San Jose, Poro. Free
  • Hagnaon Spring in Camotes Island Hagnaon Spring - clean drinking water coming out of the rocks, dipping pool you might share with carabaos in San Jose, Poro. Free
caves in Camotes Island caves
  • Timubo Cave in Camotes Island Timubo Cave - groomed trail inside cave with lights, swimming inside, limited penetration
  • Bukilat Cave in Camotes Island Bukilat Cave - cathedral-like caverns, top lighting from cave openings, high tide swimming
  • Holy Crystal Cave in Camotes Island Holy Crystal Cave - cave formation glitters, human bones, limited penetration
  • Paraiso Cave in Camotes Island Paraiso Cave
places in Camotes Island important spots
  • San Francisco San Francisco - town center, wet market, municipal hall, eateries, live music, bar, Baywalk
  • Poro Poro - town center of Poro Municipality, port to Cebu City and Danao
  • Tudela Tudela - town center of Tudela Municipality
  • Pilar Pilar - town center of Pilar in the island of Ponson Island
  • Consuelo Wharf Consuelo Wharf - port for Danao ships
  • Poro Port Poro Port - port for Danao and Cebu City ships
hotels in Camotes Island resort hotel

Camotes Island FYI / Tips

Camotes Island Cost Index

(US$1 = Php 49.82 as of Jan 15, 2017)

Cebu City to Camotes Island

Camotes Islands to Cebu City

  1. Poro - Cebu City (fastest and most direct) - go to Poro and take the 8am or 5pm Ocean Jet to Pier One in Cebu City, P380/pax/aircon, 2 hours
  2. Consuelo - Danao - Cebu City - go to Consuelo (San Francisco) and take the Jomalia Shipping boat to Danao, P220/pax, a/c, 2 hours, daily trip - 5:30am, 7:00am (special trip), 8:30am, 12:00 noon (express), 2:30pm, 5:30pm and 9:00pm (express, Fri/Sat/Sun only). From Danao, take the Ceres Bus to Cebu City

Cebu City to Dumaguete, Negros Oriental by Boat

Danao to Camotes Island

Camotes Island to Danao

Currency Converter

Camotes Islands Blogs by TheLoneRider

  1. Daghang Salamat (Many Thanks) Camotes Islands, Goodbye Apr 6, 2017
  2. A Culture of Noise Apr 5, 2017
  3. Exploring Tulang Diot (Little Island) Apr 2, 2017
  4. In Search of the Hidden Beach Apr 1, 2017
  5. Pizza-Making Party in Camotes Islands Mar 25, 2017
  6. Zesto and Exploited Child Labor Mar 20, 2017
  7. The Bayot (Gay) Construction Worker Mar 20, 2017
  8. Yoga Calisthenics in Camotes Islands Mar 3, 2017
  9. Bathing with the Carabaos at Hagnaon Spring, Camotes Islands Feb 28, 2017
  10. Taking a Dip at Capasanan Spring, Camotes Islands Feb 28, 2017
  11. Exploring Bukilat Cave, Camotes Islands Feb 28, 2017
  12. Exploring Tudela and Busay Falls, Camotes Islands Feb 21, 2017
  13. Settling Down in Camotes Islands Feb 19, 2017
  14. Clam Chowder Pizza from Scratch on a Rice Cooker Feb 15, 2017
  15. Exploring Timubo Cave of Camotes Islands Feb 9, 2017
  16. Exploring Holy Crystal Cave of Camotes Islands Feb 9, 2017
  17. Exploring Camotes Islands of Cebu Jan 13-14, 2017

Caving Blogs by TheLoneRider

  1. The Return to Hinagdanan Cave Nov 5, 2017
  2. Exploring Hinagdanan Cave Oct 24, 2017
  3. Exploring Guimba and Sog-ong Caves of Loboc Oct 22, 2017
  4. Exploring Combento Cave Pool June 29, 2017
  5. Visiting Cabagnow Cave Pool of Anda Jun 28, 2017
  6. Exploring Bukilat Cave, Camotes Islands Feb 28, 2017
  7. Exploring Timubo Cave of Camotes Islands Feb 9, 2017
  8. Exploring Holy Crystal Cave of Camotes Islands Feb 9, 2017
  9. Exploring Bakwitan Cave of Gigantes Island Dec 30, 2016
  10. Visting Pangihan Cave of Malay Dec 14, 2016
  11. Exploring Maanghit Cave in Libertad Dec 9, 2016
  12. Visiting Ati Cave in Libertad Dec 9, 2016
  13. Visiting the Elephant Cave (Goa Gajah) July 9, 2016
  14. Visiting the Nam Lot and the Pha Khong Caves of Phan District May 18, 2016
  15. Visiting Batu Caves of Kuala Lumpur Feb 18, 2015
  16. Exploring Silop Cave of Surigao City Jun 22, 2013
  17. Exploring Bakwitan Cave of Tuburan, Surigao del Sur May 25, 2013
  18. Exploring Campamento Cave of Lanuza, Surigao del Sur May 17, 2013
  19. Exploring Dayao Cave of Tandag, Surigao del Sur May 12, 2013
  20. Exploring Sumalsag Cave of Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon Apr 21, 2013
  21. The Fabulous People of Roxas City (Igang Cave) Nov 25-27, 2012
  22. Exploring the Cantabon Cave of Siquijor Feb 23, 2012
  23. Marinduque with UPM's Rumble Reggae (Sawa Cave) May 29 - June 1, 2009
  24. Backpacking Cagayan de Oro (Macahambus Cave) Mar 7-9, 2009
  25. Sagada Cave Connection - Lumiang Cave to Sumaging Cave September 12, 2008
  26. Mountaineering with Lakay Kalikasan Mountaineers (Kalinawan Cave) November 25, 2007
  27. Sabang, Palawan (Underground River) November 14-21, 2007
  28. Sagada (Sumaging Cave) October 18, 2005
  29. The Cordillera - Day 5: Sagada (Sumaging Cave) May 3, 2005
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