Review: Bohol Island Hopping with KKday

Bohol Island Hopping with KKday photo by James Connolly via Unsplash
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Bohol Island Hopping with KKday Review

I had 1 week of vacation in the Philippines to escape the harsh winter of Canada. I was determined to soak up as much sun as possible and swim to my heart’s content. Traveling with my Canadian friend Fabian, I wanted him to experience the joys of island hopping. Bohol was our island of choice and luckily, KKday provided the tour with everything we wanted.

KKdayPH Bohol Island Hopping - by Fabian Encarnacion
KKdayPH Bohol Island Hopping – by Fabian Encarnacion

Before embarking on your island hopping tour, it is best to bring the following items: bathing suit, sturdy flip-flops or water shoes, 500 pesos in small bills, zinc oxide non-nanoparticle sunscreen, thin beach towel, waterproof bag, and reusable filled water bottle. Wear your bathing suit beforehand so you don’t have to change on the island. 500 pesos account for optional flipper rental (200 pesos for the whole tour). 150 pesos is the price to explore an extra site of the islands (we’ll get to that), And extra cash for purchasing optional snacks on the Virgin island. Snorkeling mask is included in the tour.

Lastly, PLEASE make sure to wear sunscreen that is safe for sea life. Simply look for a sunscreen with either Zinc oxide or Titanium oxide as the first ingredient. Do not purchase clear or sunscreen in a spray for island hopping as these indicate nanoparticles which are absorbed by marine life causing stress and coral bleaching. You’ll be seeing some amazing coral reefs and an abundance of sea creatures so be mindful that what you wear on your skin will wash off into the ocean. Thank you for doing your part!

Bohol Island Hopping with KKday photo by James Connolly via Unsplash
Bohol Island Hopping with KKday photo by James Connolly via Unsplash

Alrighty so let’s talk about the tour! Our tour began at around 8:00am scheduled pick up from our resort, Bluewater Panglao. We were picked up by the tour organizer and brought us to Baclayon Port which was just 30 minutes away. We hopped on a boat with our amazing tour guide Ofelia, boat captain, and crew. Our first stop was Pamilacan Island. It was a 1-hour boat ride so we sat back and breathed in the refreshing air of the ocean.

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Instagram worthy shots at Virgin Island of Fabian Encarnacion
Instagram worthy shots at Virgin Island of Fabian Encarnacion
Paddle Boats to snokeling sites - by Fabian Encarnacion
Paddle Boats to snorkeling sites – by Fabian Encarnacion
Snokeling at Coral Sanctuary Pamilacan Island - by Fabian Encarnacion
Snorkeling at Coral Sanctuary Pamilacan Island – by Fabian Encarnacion
Snorkeling Pamilacan Island- Gabrielle M
Snorkeling Pamilacan Island- Gabrielle M

Pamilacan Island is full of life. The boat docks right in front of a 200-year-old triangular Spanish Fort. Our tour guide is native to the island and it was refreshing to hear about her islander life and its history. An early lunch of fish, rice, and vegetables awaited us. There are a couple of dogs that are interested in your leftovers but don’t worry, they’re very timid and non-threatening. We met some fellow Canadian travelers that were participating in the tour traveling on a separate boat.

Spanish Port Pamilacan Island - by Fabian Encarnacion
Spanish Port Pamilacan Island – by Fabian Encarnacion
Spanish Port and Eating Area Pamilacan Island - by Fabian Encarnacion
Spanish Port and Eating Area Pamilacan Island – by Fabian Encarnacion
Lunch Included on Pamilacan Island - Gabrielle M
Lunch Included on Pamilacan Island – Gabrielle M
Doggo on Pamilacan- by Gabrielle M
Doggo on Pamilacan- by Gabrielle M

Our first activity was snorkeling at the Coral Sanctuary. Fabian and I took our snorkeling masks and rented flippers on a paddle boat ride to the Coral Sanctuary just off the shore from where we had lunch. Lifejackets are available and recommended so you can remain on the surface of the water with ease. As a previous lifeguard, it was my opportunity to be free. Swimming along the edge of the coral reef, swimming beside a plethora of tropical fish, it was pure happiness. The experience lasted 30-45 minutes. It’s good to note that you can pay a bit extra, around 150 pesos, to explore other sites such as the Turtle and Fish Sanctuary! We decided, after having some Coca-Cola and walking around, that we were ready to go to our next stop, Virgin Island.

Virgin Island - by Fabian Encarnacion
Virgin Island – by Fabian Encarnacion

The voyage from Pamilacan Island to Virgin Island was about 1.5 hours. We took advantage of this time to pass out. I was more exhausted than I thought so it was relatively easy to sleep on a boat and wake up upon arrival.

Banana Cue at Virgin Island - by Gabrielle M
Banana Cue at Virgin Island – by Gabrielle M
Banana Cue stand at Virgin Island - by Gabrielle M
Banana Cue stand at Virgin Island – by Gabrielle M

The experience of Virgin Island was quite unexpected. The sandbar had a row of food stands with a variety of seafood and banana cues. There was an abundance of international tourists taking vacation photos and eating everything. The sand itself was soft and fine which was a personal pleasure to lay in. The banana cues and squid on a stick were so delicious. Be sure to go around and ask for the price to see which stall would offer it at the lowest price. This oasis was a far cry from my life back in urban Montreal, Canada. It was certainly an experience that made me feel blissful. There was one stand that played Kpop and Twice’s Day the Night Away was fitting for the occasion.

Balicasag Island - by Fabian Encarnacion
Balicasag Island – by Fabian Encarnacion

The last Island that we explored was Balicasag, an island known for its snorkeling/ scuba diving sites for turtle watching. I knew about the island browning around on Instagram for my next diving trip. It was a beautiful circular island an hour away from our previous spot. After paying for a fresh mango smoothie on the shore, we took a paddle boat in search of turtles. The boatman swam along with us in search of turtles while holding the boat in one hand. It was very impressive and he tried his best to locate them. I was able to see a turtle and preceded to chase it until I noticed the Fabian was having trouble with his snorkeling mask. After fixing it, we swam around for a couple more minutes until we came to terms with the reality that we weren’t going to see another one during this tour. With any wild animal, there’s always a chance that you won’t be able to see them. I returned the day after, on a scuba trip with Alona Divers, and met 4 turtles! So they are there, it’s just a bit more tricky with a snorkel.

A turtle of Balicasag Island (not part of tour) - Gabrielle M
A turtle of Balicasag Island (not part of tour) – Gabrielle M

A thus the island hopping trip was over. We were able to be dropped off at our resort instead of the port. The entire tour was a pleasure and the people I met along the way were charming and insightful. Our guide and the boat crew were professional and open to answer any questions we had.

A major thank you to KKdayPH for an amazing Bohol Island hopping tour that felt safe and carefree.

Tour Name: Bohol Island Hopping Private Tour

Duration?10 hour(s)

Description: Explore Bohol, a tropical haven in Central Visayas. Explore its top beach destinations: Pamilacan Island, Balicasag Island, and Virgin Island.

Tour Highlights:

  • Discover beautiful marine life at Pamilacan Island
  • Encounter rare sea turtles at Balicasag Island
  • Unwind at Virgin Island’s crescent-shaped sandbar
  • Relish the serene ambiance at Pamilacan Island
  • Enjoy your own private guide and hotel transfer

You can book the exact tour we took via KKday: https://www.kkday.com/en-ph/product/20109

This is one of many experiences offered on KKday! Be sure to check their website for tours offered.

Also see: Short Adventurous 3 Week Trip to the Philippines

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