Few outdoors activities can be more fascinating than island-hopping if planned right. In this article, I will cover some pointers which will guide you through the maze of Philippines island-hopping and how you and your partner can have a pleasurable time doing it. So, let us take a trip to the Philippines and check out the possibility of island-hopping there. You will enjoy fun-filled scuba diving experience, delectable meals, and pristine coral reefs blanketed with colorful fish, and even more.
Philippines Island-hopping is second to none because the Philippines, as an island, is composed of 7,100 islands located in Southeast Asia. What makes Philippine island-hopping in this island paradise even more enticing is that you it will not cost you an arm and a leg.
If you are a nature lover, you will enjoy every minute of your visit and activities: fine white sand beaches, excellent and delectable meals, and breath-taking sceneries. You will also enjoy all kinds of water sports activities: scuba diving, parasailing, surfing, snorkeling, and more.
What would you do with 7,100 islands in one country? Exploring some of them could be an obvious response, if time is on your side. At any rate, this is probably what you could be doing during your upcoming trip to the Philippines.
Since you have decided to go Philippines island-hopping, grab a piece of paper and jot down a plan. Make it real, doable, and flexible. As you will venture out in foreign territories, make sure that you include plan B within your overall plan because sometimes the ferries run late, the plane may delay, and a host of other unknown factors caused by Mother Nature.
Time is an important factor to consider in your plan. Let us say you want to go to Cebu, a province of the Philippine for island-hopping. Supposedly, upon your arrival from the USA, you stay at a hotel in Manila, the capital city. It will take around 45 minutes to get from Manila to Cebu by air. All things considered, when you arrive in Cebu City, Cebu, you may want to rest a bit and begin your island-hopping journey the next day. In all probability, you need a day or even more to move from one island to the next.
In your journey, you will use domestic flights, small boat, known as bancas for short trip, roro boats, and ferries for longer ones, if needed. On land, you may have to take public transportation, such as buses, taxis, and vehicle-for-hire or hire a private car with driver at very reasonable cost. There will be plenty of food and drinks to satisfy your needs nearly everywhere. These should not be a big concern to you. Make sure that you carry your own potable water or drink water from sealed water bottles only.
You can plan to island-hop the following destinations once you are in Cebu City: Bohol, Mactan Island, Negros Oriental, Leyte, Siquijor, and even more. For the sake of the argument, among these five islands, I will show you how to island-hop Bohol and Leyte only. You can easily do the others based on the first two, applying the same proceedings and principles.
Let us proceed. Make sure you check the Philippine Calendar for holidays as these could dampen your tour. You should travel very light. Wear comfortable clothes and water-proof shoes. You should carry a light backpack and a water-proof camera, if you have them. Do not rely on ATMs or banks; therefore, you should carry cash or Philippine currency.
On an average, you should spend roughly 1100 Philippine currency or pesos or $26 per day on island-hopping or more, and that should cover transportation, food, and miscellaneous.
From Manila, the capital City
You should buy a two-way airline ticket in Manila at Ninoy International Airport. From Manila, take a domestic flight to Cebu International Airport, which is located in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu. You have a choice of hotels in Lapu-Lapu City. The flight from Manila to Cebu Mactan International Airport in Lapu-Lapu City takes around 45 minutes.
Once in Cebu, the first important thing you should do is gather all the information on ferry schedules: fare, date/time of departure and return for your destinations. Also, you should make a hotel-room reservation in advance if you plan to stay overnight in one location. Ask your hotel desk’s receptionist for the information you seek.
You should decide whether or not you want to spend a night in each destination. This is the best way to synchronize your island-hopping itinerary. Basically, you may need to spend at least 4 or 5 nights in Cebu if you want to visit 3 or 4 nearby islands, provided that you will not stay overnight in anyone of them.
The first island you may want to visit is Bohol. So, from Cebu City, you take a Ferry boat. At your hotel front desk, ask the clerk how to travel to Bohol by ferry. With this information, the taxi driver will take you to the right pier for your ferry-destination, which is Bohol. Get a two-way ticket. Make sure that you check the time and date of your return trip.
You may decide to explore Bohol by…