Island Hopping in the Philippines

With 7,000+ islands, you can’t visit the Philippines without exploring some of these islands yourself! Back in 2004, I travelled to the 3 major regions of the Philippines: Luzon, Cebu, and Mindanao including a lot of the major islands. However, since getting married, we haven’t done as much island hopping. Well, on this trip, we decided to change that by going to Bohol, Camiguin, and the surrounding islands.


On our first day, we explored the island of Panglao which is connected to Bohol by 2 bridges. We began the day with a delicious lunch at Bohol Bee Farm and got to hold a colony of bees (my wife was scared I would drop it and all the bees would chase us!), followed by exploring the Hinagdanan Cave, the Seashell Museum, & St Augustine Church, and ended the day at the beautiful Alona Beach. We then headed to our room at White and Green Resort.

Cave Exploring

Our second day started with a visit to the Tarsier Sanctuary where we saw the world’s smallest primate followed by the Double Hanging Bridge, the Man-made Forest, the Butterfly Sanctuary, the famous Chocolate Hills, lunch on a Floating Restaurant while cruising down the Lombok River, holding a giant python at the Zootic Animal Park, walking around Baclayon Church, and ending the day at the Blood Ritual Memorial.

Lombok River Cruise

Our third and final day started with an early morning boat ride to go Dolphin Watching. We then headed for lunch at Balicasag Island Marine Sanctuary where I took Rianne and Ryan on a smaller boat to see a Giant Turtle and do some Fish Feeding. Next up we took a boat to Virgin Island, a beautiful white powdery sand bar where we checked out the Mangroves and ate some delicious Banana Fritters and drank some Coconut Juice!


Once we arrived, we had dinner at CheckPoint Food which is owned by an Australian who also owns Turtle Beach Cottage where we stayed for 3 nights. A lot of the resorts and hotels can help organize day trips of Camiguin as well as the surrounding islands. It seems like everyone knows each other since Camiguin is a fairly small island.

The next morning started with visits to the Hot Springs and the Soda Swimming Pool (where the water actually tasted like Soda/Carbonated Water). Next up was a visit to the Old Church Ruins at Bonbon, Catarman and then some fun Perspective Pictures at the Sunken Cemetery. We then did the long climb up the Stations of the Cross (quite hard for kids so we stopped at Station 7 and went back down). Last up for a visit to the lively Mambajao Market.

Day 2 we went island hopping visiting the famous White Island (the sand and water was breathtaking – photos & videos don’t do it justice) and Mantigue Island (where we did a Glass-bottom Boat Tour to see the coral, clams, and other sealife). Finally, we went snorkelling to see the Giant Clams (actually, only my wife went and I hung out with the 3 kids exploring the farm).

Mantigue Island
Day 3 was a travel day, taking the mini-van to the ferry terminal, taking the ferry from Camiguin to Bohol, then riding a mini bus to the airport where we had lunch while we waited for our plane to arrive. We did a blind massage at the Tagbilaran Airport before heading back to Manila.

Overall, we had an amazing time Island Hopping and would have loved to explore more islands…I guess it gives us a reason to come back to the Philippines!


This was a day trip from Manila. We have a separate blog post reviewing the experience!

We also went to Tagatay and Lake Taal as well as saw a lot of Manila!

Have YOU been to the Philippines before? Which islands have you explored?