Summer is about to start and many are already making plans of having a great summer get-away. One fun activity this summer that you can do in Cebu is island-hopping. Many people go to Cebu to enjoy the resorts and the expensive beaches of Mactan but if you are looking for something different and more memorable, you can also go to the different islands near Mactan. You can hire a banca for a day and enjoy snorkeling and fish feeding while moored somewhere in Hilutungan Channel.
You might think that such activity is very expensive. If you are a big group like when you have a family reunion or barkada outing, the costs are affordable per person basis. Here is how you do it:
1. Head down to Punta Engano in Mactan and go to the port beside the Movenpick Hotel.
In this pier, you can hire a Bangka for island hopping. There are even ferries going to the northern towns of Bohol in the port. To go their you can ride a taxi and tell the driver that you want to go the pier beside Movenpick Hotel. From the city, it will be around 220 pesos. It is around 20 kilometers from Cebu City. There is also jeepney route going to Punta Engano, Mactan that will pass by the port if you want to save fare money.
2. Hire a Banka
Normally, the cost would be around 3,000 pesos and up for a whole day of island hopping. The price may vary depending on your destination (Pandanon in Bohol could be around 3,500 at least), the season (there could be some price premium during summer), or your haggling skills (you can shave as much 500-1000 on their first price if you have the convincing power). The bangkas vary in size but one typical motorized bangka can comfortably fit 15-20 people apart from the crew.
3. Bring your own food and drinks
To save up you can decide to have a potluck. Bringing your own food allows to enjoy your favorite and preferred dishes. You can also buy lechon at your favorite lechon outlet in the city. Foods like sinugba and kinilaw pictured above are sure hits as well. Drinks are allowed in the bangka. You can bring softdrinks, beer, vodka, wine, iced tea or any other favorite drink but do not forget to bring a lot of water. You usually have lunch in the boat which can be a first time experience for some.
Sometimes, there are fishermen who will sell you some fresh catch like fish and seashells. They can even grill it for you. If you want some fresh seafood, bring some cash.
4. Ask your crew to anchor your boat somewhere nice to snorkel and swim.
There are many areas Mactan that are suitable for snorkeling and swimming. While moored you can enjoy, taking pictures at the boat. For those of who cannot swim, there are life jackets available or they can bring inflatables. You can also take some incredible jump shots while jumping from the bangka.
5. Go to an island.
There are several options in the Mactan area. There are entrance fees but it is not really that prohibitive. The fees just range from 100 to 200 pesos per head. You can go to some rustic beaches like Sulpa and Hilutungan Islands. You may also go to sandbars like Nalusuan and Caohagan. You may even go to an island of the province of Bohol (Pandanon). You may also go to Talima where you can try out some of their inflated slides. What’s island hopping if you do not go to an island, right? 😉
6. Enjoy different activities in the island and do not forget to take awesome photos.
7. Head home happy at sunset
A whole day of island hopping is one sure way to have a memorable and exciting summer outing. Try it!!!;)
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