Island hopping is one of the best ways to enjoy summer in the Philippines. Believe it or not, as good as staying on one cozy beach is, it’s incomparable to going to different islands and enjoying what each has to offer. This is most especially true in the Philippines, where the culture reflects even on bodies of water.
The question now is, what are the best island hopping destinations that you should consider when going on a tour? Whether it’s a Palawan tour or any other city, you need to have an idea over this topic. Doing so will help you make your own plan according to your needs and budget.
To help you with this, the next sections will walk you through 15 of the most appealing destinations in the Philippines.
El Nido, Palawan
If you want your island hopping endeavor to last for more than 4 days or so, availing of an El Nido tour is your best choice. Since the place is a lot wider compared to other usual island hopping destinations, it’s usually segregated into 4 separate tours.
The first tour is reserved for those who want to focus on visiting beaches, lakes, and other bodies of water. The second tour, on the other hand, offers greater adventures by focusing on caves, islands, and mountains. For the third tour, you can expect activities pointed to snorkeling. Finally, the last tour covers a little bit of each, but more on exploring island beaches.
Island hopping in Coron, Palawan is an ideal choice if you’re going to travel with your family. A whole day’s worth of activities will be enough to be a good family bonding. Here, you have the option to go snorkeling, dive, or simply enjoy the sights.
Coron also offers a number of attractions that you surely won’t want to miss. These include the Banul Beach, Twin Lagoon, Barracuda Lake, Skeleton Wreck, and many more.
One of the pros of island hopping in the destination at hand is the fact that Coron is one of the safest places in Palawan. A lot of tourists say that even if you wear expensive jewelry throughout your trip, you won’t have to feel threatened.
Caramoan, Camarines Sur
Caramoan Islands is internationally recognized for its wonderful islands. You should definitely look into island hopping here if you want a really long time to explore one of the Philippines’ treasures. With countless activities and destinations, this will give you the time of your life.
That being said, some of the islands that you will enjoy our Lahos Island, Matukad Island, Busdak Island, Minalahos Island, and Cagbalinad Island. Each of these islands has its own stories and legends. Being acquainted with them will add to your majestic island hopping experience.
Another thing that Caramoan is known for is the food that it offers. You should especially try out the locals’ Bicolano food.
Moving on to another one of the Philippines’ most famous provinces, we have Siargao. Apart from being the top destination for vacations, this is also one of the top spots for island hopping. With top-rated amenities and attractions, it is famous among both the country’s nationals and foreigners.
If you can’t get enough of visiting just a few islands like in Sohoton island hopping, then exploring the entirety of Siargao will be a much better choice. It will also give you more value for your money.
Some places that you can visit here are Corregidor Island, Guyam Island, Daku Island, and a lot more.
Isla de Gigantes, Iloilo
Isla de Gigantes, also known as the Gigantes Islands, is composed of several beaches and caves. To be specific, you can expect a visit to Cabugao Gamay Island, Pawikan Cave, and Bantigue Island. You should also experience the long-standing lighthouse in Gigantes Norte.
Apart from water-based activities, the location is also one of the best spots for rock scrambling. You can easily find the exact place by asking locals about the “Boulevard.” This is the cliff where most rock scrambling activities are done.
Port Barton, Parton
Just like El Nido, Port Barton offers various sceneries, attractions, and landscapes, which is why there are various island hopping tours offered instead of just one. What’s different is each tour is composed of balanced choices of reefs and islands.
Some of the most notable islands that you’ll reach include Exotic Island, Twin Reef, Exotic Island, Marine Sanctuary, and Bigaho Waterfalls. These are not all, though, since you can expect at least 10 destinations overall.
Keep in mind that there are no fancy eateries in any of the islands, so this may be a con for some. The good thing, however, is there are also small crowds.
Siargao’s Sohoton is one of the simplest yet most fun islands hopping destinations. Despite the relatively few attractions and islands, you can still expect to stay entertained throughout your stay. It’s also possible to finish the whole tour in one day.
To be specific, some places that you will get to visit are Sohoton Cave and Jellyfish Sanctuary in Bucas Grande. After these, the tour will bring you to Siargao’s Naked Island, Daku Island, and Guyam Island. These are well-known for offering majestic views.
Note that if you’re going to caves, specifically the Sohoton Cave, you should ask locals about what you can and cannot do. They have certain beliefs about the attraction, so it’s best to stay educated and avoid disrespecting the locals’ culture.
Bantayan Island, Cebu
Bantayan Island is a paradise on Earth. Everything, including the sea and the sky, look much more beautiful here compared to others. It also offers several tourist spots like Ogtong Cave, the 1970s Fort, the Picturesque Sandbar, and basically the entirety of Kota Beach. The lighthouse standing on Kinatarkan Island is also a must-visit if you want to see the full view of the island.
You will find Bantayan Island a lot more affordable since fees are shared among the group. This is in contrast to others who charge per head for activities. Transportation is also accessible, both on land and water, so it won’t be a worry.
Camiguin offers more of a historical adventure for island hoppers. With its very own ASEAN-certified heritage park, Mt. Hibok-Hibok, and other attractions like churches and homes that have stood since the Spanish era, the province stands out a lot. This is also the main reason why it’s popular among travelers.
There is also a white sand beach, namely the White Beach, on Mambajao’s shores. You should visit this after a long day in Camiguin’s tourist spots like the Sunken Cemetery, Mantigue Nature Park, Soda Water Park, and Katibawasan Falls.
You should also try the province’s lanzones fruits, which is one of its main products. There is even a festival held just for the said fruit, so consider visiting Camiguin during that time to experience the cultural event.
Most probably, you have already heard or gone to Boracay Island at least once. This popular place is a tourist attraction that the Philippines take the most pride in. The activities and other attractions that it offers are just some of the reasons why it’s packed even if it’s not summertime in the country.
Some spots included in your Boracay island hopping are Crystal Cove, Crocodile Island, and Puka Shell Beach. Here, you will be able to enjoy scenic views, have Filipino delicacies and snorkel.
Boracay also has a lot of accommodations and restaurants in it so there are no problems about where you can get necessities.
The Philippines cultural Hundred Islands is nationally famous for being the country’s very first national park. Consisting of 124 islands, you can expect that this makes a good spot for island hopping.
Here, you will be able to see and experience the wonders of the Governor’s Islands, Children’s Island, Quezon Island, Pilgrimage Island, and the Coral Garden. These come with their own activities. For instance, Children’s Island is famous for those who like kayaking. The Pilgrimage Island, on the other hand, is popular among Catholics.
Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Puerto Princesa offers some of the most beautiful white-sand beaches in the Philippines. This is even known internationally because of this very asset. However, it’s not just the hype. The island exceeds a lot of tourists’ expectations both in terms of attractions and delicacies.
Some sub-destinations that you expect to visit in Puerto Princesa are Luli Island, Cowrie Island, and Starfish Island, all of which are white sand beaches. If you want to try deep diving, then you will surely like spending your time here.
For activities, on the other hand, you will be offered a range of choices, namely cliff jumping, board diving, snorkeling, and banana boat riding.
Sta. Cruz Island and Onse Islas Zamboanga
Zamboanga City is home to not just one but two island hopping destinations. In particular, these are Sta. Cruz Island, and Onse Islas. Both of these are unique when you put them side by side with other islands.
The Sta. Cruz Island, most especially, is distinct because of its natural pink sand beach. This island, although small, will let you experience remarkable dishes. Onse Islas, on the other hand, is another door to the city’s 11 more islands. The latter is also popular in the field of ecotourism because of the well-maintained natural resources.
The good thing, though, is you can make the most out of both of these in just one day.
Britannia Island Surigao del Sur
The last on our list is the Britannia Island in Surigao del Sur. This is actually a group of breathtaking islands rather than just one. Some attractions that you can get to visit here include Boslon Island, Camiguin White Island, and Naked Island.
Samal Island, Davao del Norte
Samal Island Hopping is another one of the most famous summer activities in the Philippines. Samal is the perfect place to go if you want to have some time away from the noisy streets and busy life.
Because of the peaceful environment established by the city’s islands, there’s no doubt that there will be more pros than cons here.
Some attractions that you can visit in Samal include the Monfort Bat Cave, Vanishing Island, Maxima Aqua Fun, and Mt. Putting Bato, to say the least. Nevertheless, expect that the activities are almost endless.
One important thing to take note of is to never leave the island without experiencing its giant slides. These will be the highlight of the whole activity.
Since choosing only one island-hopping destination can be overwhelming, it will help if you consider several factors. These include the tour price, available activities, and the overall environment.
For those who want a recommendation, we suggest looking into Siargao hopping in Siargao. This is one of the most top-rated ones, so that you can have high expectations here. Not only that but touring with a reputable team will make your experience much better despite hopping around several islands.
If you still can’t decide, then you should think about consulting people who have already gone island hopping in the past or tour experts specializing in the said activity.