Philippines Island-hopping: A Thrilling Experience - Part 2
From part I, we left off at your hotel in Manila. You planned to go to Cebu. From there, you would go island-hopping in at least two different islands.
You should buy a two-way airline ticket in Manila at Ninoy International Airport. From Manila, take a domestic flight to Cebu International Airport, which is located in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu. You have a choice of hotels in Lapu-Lapu City.The flight from Manila to Cebu Mactan International Airport in Lapu-Lapu City takes around 45 minutes.
Once in Cebu, the first important thing you should do is to gather all the information on ferry schedules: fare, date/time of departure and return for your destinations. Also, you should make hotel reservations in advance if you plan to stay overnight in one location. Ask your hotel desk's receptionist for the information you seek.
You should decide whether you want to spend a night in each destination or not. This is the best to know how to synchronize your island-hopping itinerary. Basically, you may need to spend at least 4 or 5 days in Cebu if you want to visit 3 or 4 nearby islands, provided that you will not stay overnight in anyone of them.
The first island you may want to visit is Bohol. So, from Cebu City, you take a Ferry boat. At your hotel front desk, ask the clerk how to travel to Bohol by ferry. With this information, the taxi driver will take you to the right pier for your ferry-destination Bohol. Get a two-way ticket. Make sure that you check the time and date of your return trip.
You may decide to explore Bohol by bus or by private car or with a tour guide. It is up to you. After you are done with of Bohol, you may now decide to go on to Leyte the same day, probably in the early evening. Check the ferry schedule from Bohol to Leyte to make sure that your island-hopping will go on as planned.
From Bohol, buy a two-way ticket from the Supper Shuttle Ubay (Bohol) to Bato (Leyte). You should check your ferry tickets to make sure that you are on time upon your return. From Bato, Leyte, you may want to hire a tour guide or a private car with a driver to take you to some notable tourist areas; this is also a possibility. But, a tour guide should be the way to go. Because you will arrive sometime in the early evening in Leyte, you would have to stay overnight there. You will find plenty of hotel accommodations and restaurants to choose from.
You have nearly the whole day to explore Leyte. Ask your hotel front desk's receptionist for information on tours: city tours, boat tours, and the like. If you decide to go for some water sports activity, you can hire a small boat or board a passenger boat (a banca) for a tour. If you are in the mood for a dive, then board a diving boat. In this case, you could rent a snorkel and a mask and other paraphernalia right on the beach. Before doing so, find out if these equipments come as a package with the diving tour fare.
How was your diving experience? Wonderful and memorable, I think. Who would not love the scenery of pristine coral reefs blanketed with colorful fish? Perhaps, after your pleasurable dive, you should be ready to hop on a ferry on your way back to Cebu. Review your ferry schedule. If you have some more time before you depart to Manila, you may want to do some more island-hopping in Siquijor, Mactan Island, and Negros Oriental. Happy island-hopping in the Philippines!
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