Bohol Island is not just all about the Countryside Tour. A fantastic island hopping experience is also available for water-loving guests. Starting from the Alona Beach, the boat will scour the seas for playful dolphins, and then head towards the Balicasag Island Marine Sanctuary, where snorkeling is possible. Before returning to Alona Beach, there’s a stopover on the Virgin Island, which is not really an island but a strip of white-sand in the middle of the sea! Couldn’t help but sing Moana’s theme song while on the boat. Here’s Day 4 of our Bohol Island escapade:
We booked all our tours, including airport and seaport transportation service, with WOW Bohol Travel and Tours. I was in contact with three tour agencies, but Wow Bohol was the easiest to deal with. We spent PHP 10,090.00 for everything, all tours were private.
Kuya Tony was our boatman for the tour. He picked us up from Scent of Green Papaya Resort about 30 mins late because he was only informed by the agency the night before. He came with his assistant on a habal-habal or a single motorcycle. There was no way we would ride and fit there, and nope, not a single chance without a helmet! Carl and I were actually joking around about how we were more scared of the mosquitoes and the reckless driving than the terrorists planning to kidnap tourists. 😛
So, we opted to call a tricycle. It was an achievement to convince Carl to ride the trike.. 😉 Our boat was waiting for us at Alona Beach! We basically had the boat to ourselves, and we freaking loved it! First stop: dolphin watching. We did dolphin- and whale-watching in Tenerife last December, and it was a cool experience! In PH, there were more dolphins, and in a matter of minutes, they came hoping around the boats to the tourists’ amazement!
It was literally fun to watch the tourist boats race against each other. We didn’t manage to take photos of the dolphins up close; we rather enjoyed the moment instead. Then, we asked Kuya Tony if we could already head towards the Balicasag Island. Balicasag is a reef island off the coast of Panglao. It is surrounded by amazing coral reefs teeming with marine life, where one could enjoy snorkeling in shallow waters or diving with sea turtles in the deeper parts. It is also possible to go on a walking tour around the small island.
Since it is an isolated island, expect the prices of food and amenities to be soaring high! We spent about 1500 for the food and drinks, and 1500 for underwater photos that were totally crappy! We had some grilled chicken and pork with rice. It could have been a lot wiser if we bought food from the main island, but it was too late. And I seriously would not recommend availing the underwater photos. They were all blurry! If you avail the service using your own SD card, then you only pay 1000 pesos. I was hesitant to entrust my memory card, so I availed the 1500-peso crappy underwater photoshoot instead. I couldn’t even find a single photo from their “used SD card” that is nice-enough to be shared here. 😛 Sometimes, we learn the hard way, I suppose.
We bought three pieces of monay bread/buns to feed the fishes for 20 pesos, and we didn’t even use all three! The snorkeling guide hid the last piece. Perhaps he was hungry. But in general, the snorkeling experience was not as nice as snorkeling in Palawan.
After getting ripped off, we boarded the boat again to see the Virgin Island or the white sand bar. It was teeming with people! As soon as we got off the boat, pearl and jewelry vendors came to nag. I know it’s their livelihood, but sometimes, they can be very persistent. And they change the prices all the time! I refused to get ripped off again.
There were a few merienda or snack vendors on the sand bar, selling banana cue, fresh buko or coconut juice, chips, drinks, fish, sea urchins and oysters!
I remembered being on a similar sand bar in my mom’s hometown – Quezon Province. But I was very youngs back then. I’ve heard that the sand bar disappeared completely a couple of years ago, and that made me sad. I hope this one would stay visible for a very long time, or maybe develope completely into a new island. There was no doubt it helps the tourism industry of Bohol.
Too much tropical goodness on a half-day adventure! After buying some banana cues and cold drinks for Kuya Tony and his assistant, we climbed back to the boat and headed back to Alona beach. We knew instantly we had to go swimming at Alona on one of our remaining days in Bohol.
Bohol is such a lovely paradise! We went there amidst travel advisories, but the friendly locals convinced us that we would have missed a lot if we cancelled the trip!
This is all for now. Have you tried island-hopping in Bohol or elsewhere? Bet the memory stays for a long period of time. 😉 #spreadlove
Overview of our Bohol itinerary:
- Day 1 – Arrival
- Day 2 – Countryside Tour
- Day 3 – Medical Center, allergy-problems
- Day 4 – Island Hopping
- Day 5 – Alona Beach
- Day 6 – Panglao Tour, Birthday celebration
- Day 7 – Swimming at the resort
- Day 8 – Tagbilaran port