Summer is coming and people are now starting to plan where to go and how to spend it. Some would just be in the nearest beach resort in the city while others are thinking of an overnight stay in a faraway paradise like an island. And of course, there are some who wants to do the fondest thing called Island Hopping.
The Philippines is composed of 7,107 islands which make it the best place to do island hopping. Almost anywhere you go, either you are going to Luzon, Visayas or Mindanao, you will definitely locate a place that cater this activity.
For me and my travel buddy (my boyfriend.. heheh) happened to do island hopping twice in a beautiful island of Panglao in Bohol (both during the rainy season.. isn\’t it cool? 😃). Our first trip was last August 2013 to celebrate our anniversary while the second trip is last December 2014 with our friends (when typhoon hit the province and our supposedly short vacation was extended until December 31).
How to reach Bohol:
There are flights coming from Cebu and Manila. You can check Cebu Pacific or Philippine Airlines. The airport is in Tagbilaran City.
There are ferries also that you can choose to reach the province. You may check here for Fast Ferry Schedule and Regular Ferry Schedule.
From either the airport or port of Tagbilaran City, there are many tour companies offering one-day tour. You can choose from there. Or you can contact ahead.
On our first trip, the hotel where we will be staying offered island hopping. Just to be sure and hassle-free, we arranged our activities with them.
On our second trip, our friends arrange the tour on the same day with those guys offering it (you can see them along the beach).
The island hopping includes dolphin watching (if the weather permits), snorkeling at Balicasag Island, and Virgin Island (a sandbar). Usually it only takes more or less 4 hours for the whole activity.
For our first trip, the night before it, the receptionist informed us that we have to depart at around 5AM so that we can have the dolphin watching and that they will be providing us sandwiches for breakfast.
On our second trip, we started the tour in the afternoon. So, technically the dolphin watching will be skipped since this will be done during early morning only.
For both our trips, we were not able to have the dolphin matching because of the bad weather.
Thus, we proceeded to our first stop, the Balicasag Island. Here, we can rent a non-motorized banca to take us to to the snorkeling area. We enjoyed this a lot seeing different kinds of fish and corals. (Photos below were taken during our trip last August 2013. Thanks to the underwater case and we were able to take underwater photos.)
After that, we went to our next and last stop, the Virgin Island. Here we enjoyed swimming, taking pictures and strolling in the sandbar. Luckily, it is low tide. There is no entrance fee here but there are some vendors selling Buko Juice, Banana cue, Pearls.
That\’s how much fun we had during the island hopping. Though it was not so smooth sailing but the islands waiting there are more than enough. Activities like this will not just let you relax, have fun but also opens your eyes to how lovely Mother Earth and how great the creations of God.
So if you have never been to Panglao, plan a trip now and include their Island Hopping. Definitely, you will not regret it. Happy journey! 😎🚤🐬🐠🐟🐚💚