Where in the world can you have the unique experience of swimming in the crystal clear waters of a cavern? I don’t know of any other places, but if you live in or travel to the Philippines, Timubo Cave on Camotes Islands is the place to go for this one-of-a-kind and refreshing adventure. The Camotes Islands are located in the Camotes Sea, east of the island of Cebu and southwest of Leyte Island, very “laid back”, picturesque, and peaceful, non-touristy, and very accessible to residents of or tourists in Cebu City.
Timubo Cave is located in/near Sonog town on San Francisco Island, Camotes. When we arrived, we paid the entrance fee, which I believe was 20 pesos per person -a real bargain for being able to stay there and enjoy swimming in the cave as long as you want during their hours of operation. I’ve always loved swimming and being in the water and would certainly “get our 20 peso’s worth”!
We then proceeded to the mouth of the cave, accessed by steps going down and some interesting signage telling about how the waters of the cave have long been used as a source of drinking water for the locals of Sonog.
Once we entered the mouth of the cave, we continued maybe another 50 yards into the cavern following the stairs and downward-sloping path that leads to the pool of water at the bottom. Although the cave is dark, the path was lit well enough with lights that you do not need to carry a flashlight. The path was relatively safe but slippers, so you have to be careful especially if wearing “flip-flop” sandals (which are commonly referred to as “slippers” in the Philippines). And check out the stalagmites and stalactites.
Then finally we got to the bottom, where the pool where you can swim was waiting for us. There’s a little landing with rocks that serves as a “beach” where you can put your towels and shoes etc., and on the right side there is a small grotto with a shrine for the Virgin Mary and several “no smoking” signs.
While this is fresh water and not salt water connected to the sea, there must be some kind of an air interlock to the sea that exerts a piston effect with the moon’s pulling of the tides on the ocean, because there is a high tide and a low tide, as indicated by the sign. You can go pretty far back into the cave, but the part that is lighted is not extensive (see the first pic below, which shows the dark and narrow passages). The water is generally quite shallow (5 feet at deepest in low tide, and 6 feet at high tide), so it’s quite suitable with appropriate adult supervision for children who are unafraid of the water and confident/decent swimmers… very close supervision of course for small children. For about half of the time we were down there (we stayed quite a long time), we had the whole cave to ourselves, which was kind of cool.
We had a great time at Timubo Cave; it’s a family-friendly attraction and a unique natural asset where you can partake in a refreshing swim in an unusual environment… all for P20 per head! I would highly recommend it for any tourists and visitors to Camotes Island. I hope to post more on Camotes soon, thanks for reading and please stay posted!