Mactan Island Hopping: Beating The Summer Heat With The Bankers


It was another day filled with the strong sun warms us up and then, as if on cue, a soft breeze comes along to cool us back down. The bracing sea breeze touching our surface; a perfect day, and an ideal for brisk beach walks and the afternoons heat up just enough to dip our toes in the ocean waves. A sense of calm has descended over us, as one lazy day melts into the next.

Personally, I could not count how many times I’ve traipsed my feet on Olango Island. I’ve done several Island Hopping near the coastline of Mactan and around the Olango Island and its neighboring islets. I even had one whole day cycling around Olango Island while enjoying the stunning scenery and embracing the Island vibes. It was also last year when I experienced cruising along the Mactan Channel with P/Y JOKAI 1 on a Yacht; chasing the dramatic scenery of the sky, as the sun goes below the horizon reflecting on a surface of the calming sea.

Thus, another summer time means another Island hopping experience. And what makes Island hopping more fun is actually not just embracing the ocean breeze, swimming in a turquoise water, listening to the waves kissed the coast, but also the people whom you are with on an Island hopping. And precisely like any other Island hopping I had in the past, It’s always been a new set of energetic, fun, and Island worshipers that have never run out energy to commune with nature. I was on a boat with distinguished bankers that worship numbers and never ends their day without meeting veracious balance in their system. And escaping from an 8 hour routine almost everyday means heaven on earth.

We began our day in The Persimmon Cebu where the tryst was set. We took a Van bound for Mactan, and went straight to our jump off point, which is in Islands Banca Cruises just beside the Movenpick Hotels and Resorts in Mactan. And right after everything was ready, we transport all the foods, including ourselves in a sturdy bamboo raft going to the boat, since the boat could not directly dock off near the coast because of the limited space. Soon enough, everyone was on board on a boat while grinning from ear to ear, as this marks the excitement for a fun filled day.

Mactan and Olango Island Hopping has an interesting and beautiful stops, this signifies that everyone will get to enjoy the bracing sea breeze from one Island to another Island. These Islands are Nalusuan, Hilutungan, Caohagan, Olango, Sulpa Island and if there’s a leisure time, Pandanon Island is on the list of Island destination as well. This has become the quick gateway destination of many, and of those that loves to embrace an Island life. Perchance this is the nearest Island Hopping destination in Cebu without travelling to the south and the northern part of Cebu.

Like how our excitement behaves at the moment, it was how the waves kissing our boat, until we had our first stop. An inviting turquoise water and a beautiful corals filled with fish has welcomed us. Everyone was excited to take a dip, and enjoy the day flirting with a deep blue sea. Grabbing a life jacket, especially for those that don’t know how to swim is sounding like a plea that had been answered just before we ask for it. Truly, taking a dip while enjoying the bluish-green water was our way of beating the summer heat. That time, we were like kids who have found a perfect playground, it was priceless.

Soon enough after drenching ourselves in the deep blue sea, we headed straight to the floating restaurant of Caw-Oy and had our luscious lunch. Truly, Olango Island is not merely known for having rich in marine life, but also for having an array of fresh seafood. In Caw-Oy, you can find several floating restaurants that serve the best and sumptuous seafood — a bit expensive, but definitely worth it! And just before we arrived, the long table has been perfectly set up including the eating utensils. Without a long queue and short waiting time; we had our luscious lunch while the sea breeze hugging our surface, Indeed, It was a perfect lunch time for all of us.

After our scrumptious lunch in Caw-Oy floating restaurant, we headed straight to one of the six satellite islands of the Olango Island Group, which is the Sulpa Island. The Sulpa Island is said to be the most visited Island on Olango Island Group. It is privately owned and no residents; and when you traipsed on the sandy part, entrance fee is being collected. But, if island hoppers would choose to stay and enjoy swimming far from the sandy area, they are free from fees. During our visit, we actually went down from the boat and swim in its turquoise waters. I can definitely feel the happiness of my feet while traipsing on the white powdery sand of Sulpa Island.

After truly enjoying the Sulpa Island and while the sun was about to rest below the horizon, we decided to go back to the mainland. And while on our way, we fill our famish stomach with luscious food since there was still enough food for all of us. The waves were big, but it didn’t stop us from relishing the food. I guess that eating first before leaving the boat, and the deep blue sea means a dinner expense goes to a box of saving. It was indeed a fun-filled day for all of us. Until next time guys, and thank you for having me around.

 

HOW TO GET THERE

There’s a regular flights from any point in the Philippines bound for Cebu via Major Airlines. You can take a flight from Manila, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, Caticlan, Iloilo, Davao, Puerto Princesa, Kalibo, Tacloban, and even Zamboanga. You can also travel to Cebu City by a ferry or Ro-Ro from Leyte, Bohol, and any major northern Mindanao sea ports.

And for the International travellers, you can also take a direct flight bound for Cebu from China (Xiamen), Hong Kong, Japan (Tokyo-Narita, Osaka Kansai, and Nagoya-Centrair), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), Singapore, South Korea (Busan and Seoul-Incheon), Taiwan (Taipei), and UAE (Dubai).

From Mactan International Airport, take a taxi to Islands Banca Cruises just beside the Movenapick Hotels and Resorts in Mactan. The travel time from the Airport is less than 30 minutes. From there, you can go to their office and inquire about the Island hopping tour rate. You can as well contact them ahead of time to arrange your Island Hopping Tour.

Island Hopping Tour Operator

Islands Banca Cruises

Website: www.islandsbanca.com
Contact Numbers: +63 917 630 0736 | +63 (32) 516 1903

  • Hilutungan and Pandanon Islands (10 pax max) – ₱6,500
  • Nalusuan and Pandanon Islands (10 pax max) – ₱6,500
  • Nalusuan and Hilutungan Islands (10 pax max) – ₱4,850
  • There’s a corkage fee if you bring your own food – ₱1,000
  • Packed lunch available (per pax) – ₱210
  • Seafood lunch available (per pax) – ₱450

 

TRAVEL TIPS

  • Set off the Island Hopping as early as you can make the most of the whole Island Hopping Tour.
  • Bring a snorkelling gear to truly enjoy the island. You can as well rent if you don’t own one.
  • Make certain to bring your swimming attire and sunblock to protect your skin from the direct heat of the sun.
  • Don’t tread on the corals if you swim in the deep blue ocean, for they are really sensitive.
  • Make sure to charge your underwater gear, surely, you’ll fall in love while taking the beautiful scenery beneath the ocean.
  • Usually, the Island fees and food are not included in the boat rental. Hence, I advise you to communicate to your Island Hoping operator with regard to the food arrangements.
  • Always practice Leave No Trace Policy (LNT). Take good care of our mother nature. Just enjoy and be responsible enough.
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46 comments

  1. How refreshing to swim in these warm, blue waters and then enjoy lunch at the floating restaurant of Caw-Oy! I miss visiting a tropical island and I would love to go see Olango someday. It’s very far from where I live, but probably well worth the trouble of getting there. I love island hopping but I find it very tiring. I don’t do well on boats.

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  2. Absolutely stunning. The water looks pristine and ending it with an awesome seafood meal is just perfect. I really must get myself to the Phillipines….. and i seeing so much about it. Is it suitable for kids?

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  3. Looks like a great place to visit! The islands look beautiful but I think the thing that ultimately sold it to me was the floating restaurants and the seafood. All that shellfish looks absolutely delicious!

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  4. Island hopping sounds so much fun! I enjoy reading your posts, love the safety tips section (so so handy)
    And island hopping with great food is always a good idea!

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  5. From my experience of scuba diving in the Andamans, I can say – this place looks amazing and when you have a package of lunch, full of seafood, in an open boat that’s amazing. The water of the sea looks so fascinating.

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  6. I’m truly in awe of this island! I can only imagine how clear and warm those waters are, plus it looks like you dine on the freshest seafood for afters too. I’m not the best swimmer, but I do enjoy getting on the snorkel gear and trying my best! Those powdery white sands sound heavenly to me!

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  7. I love island hopping! You get to see so many beautiful places, chill out on the boat (with travel sickness pills of course!) and snorkeling is one of my favourite things to do. Every stop sounds wonderful, and that seafood is making me hungry!

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  8. I have never done an island hopping tour before. I don’t know why but this one does sound very interesting. I would love to do an island hopping tour here. The islands look so green and beautiful.

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  9. Loved your narrative approach as it definitely made me feel like I was right there with you. Can only imagine what an experience this must’ve been and great reminder about not stepping on coral reef to protect the ecosystem (and yourself)!

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  10. Going to the boat with a balsa, that’s so cute! I’d love to experience that. I have been to Mactan but didn’t stay long enough to explore it. I would definitely love to see the beaches of Cebu and take a swim. The water is so clear and inviting. Are you acquainted with all of the people on the boat or you just happen to be with them on the same tour? And another question, how come nobody is wearing a life vest? Is it not provided on the tour?

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  11. Those are a good bunch of chilled out bankers. With view like that and the array of food, I am not surprised. Olango island is very beautiful. Thanks for sharing with us

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  12. Islands are fun, had some time hopping from one to another in Scandinavia. But I always stop on food, that is enough of the reason to make me want travel there.
    What is actually price in Euro?

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  13. I can see why you like Olango Island so much. Your photos of the deep sea diving are amazing! I can’t believe how blue the water is. The seafood looks delicious too. Who cares if it is expensive? I hope to go to this place some day.

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  14. You are so lucky to live in a country with so many beautiful islands, like Olango. The color and carelessness of the water is simply amazing, I love your underwater photos. I would love to experience a floating restaurant as some point.

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  15. I love the water clarity in your photographs. As an ex banker (a very long time ago though), I can understand the relief of a break from routine. The seafood does look quite delectable!

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  16. A Beautiful place. Love the color of the water. Absolutely stunning. I’m adding Mactan and Olango to my bucket list. Hopefully next year.

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  17. Wow island hopping sounds like a perfect way to beat the summer heat and explore nature! Being a banker,I can totally relate to bliss when I’m away from work. These islands seem like an ideal getaway from the mundane life and are also very beautiful! Will definitely add island hopping to my bucket list!

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  18. Like the usual, your story telling is unique and the photos are great. I’m quite interested about going to Olango and the rest of Mactan Island knowing that Ive been to Cebu many times and only went to Cebu City and the rest of Southern Cebu

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  19. I’m planning to go to Cebu in July, so make sure to give these places a visit! I’m not a big fan of island hopping, especially since I’m dead weight in water, but the photos you shared are just wonderful. The food they gave you looks so delicious too! The tours also look affordable. Thanks for sharing!

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  20. Wow, these are completely new islands I have never ehard of before.. Thanks for the share.

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  21. I always visit Cebu in a regular basis but I never knew such place existed just right out of the airport! I would definitely try this next time. The photos are really encouraging and the blog is well detailed that I felt I will not be lost once I get there.

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  22. This looks like such a fun outing. I love doing island hopping trips so it was refreshing to read this post. The pictures look beautiful

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  23. Would love to visit here with my kids! We don’t get to travel and Cebu is one of the places I’d like to go. The information here is very helpful for someone like me who isn’t to aware of how to go about things. Everything looks amazing!

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  24. It looks like you had a great time! I personally love water activities so I had fun reading your post. Thank you for sharing!!

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  25. Oh my! It seems as though you all had a lot of fun. And going from island to island is a great way to experience a lot of variety. And your underwater pics are SO clear. You must be so happy with them. Glad you had fun! 🙂

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  26. Sea, sand, and a floating resto! My idea of paradise. And you got a nice boat too! Great for lounging, obviously. The chill feels is contagious. Also, this is the first time I’ve heard of the place. Now Bantayan need not be our default destination near Cebu.

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  27. The waters look so beautiful. Do you ever run into pollution or waste during your underwater adventures? Or are the beaches clean where you are? I’ve read a few things about divers in some warm countries running into actual trash while they’re diving!

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  28. Another post about the Phillipines Islands .Sigh how I wish i had the money and freedom to travel here .Phillipines seems totally different from what I thought.You are totally right the company on the trip surely matters .I usually hate large groups but I wouldnt mind if i had good company

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