Situated at the core of the Visayas region, Bohol is one of the 7,107 islands of the archipelagic country, Philippines. Made up of more than 70 islets aside from its mainland, this province is one of the best spots in the country for an island hopping adventure.
Island hopping adventure in Panglao begins with dolphin watching activity usually starts at 6 am or earlier for the dolphins can only be seen early in the morning. The thing called banca will serve as transportation all throughout the Island Hopping. More or less twenty minutes later after setting off, in your way to Balicasag Island, the dolphins are can be seen anywhere, jumping and diving. Once you are at the right spot, the banca will slow down and you will find yourself surrounded by the group of dolphins jumping up and giving a nice show. They’re even flipping in mid-air while the visitors are tracking their every movement, and which also made them amazed by such creature. The banca will chase after them which is very fun and cool experience. You can enjoy the view until you are satisfied and ready to go to Balicasag Island. While watching the dolphins playing in their natural habitat, they seem like welcoming the visitor and showing-off how beautiful the paradise of Bohol is.
Balicasag Island is one of the famous places worth visiting and the first stop in your island hopping itinerary. It’s a bit far from the island of Panglao and will take almost an hour of boat ride to get there favoring good weather and calm waves. Along the boat ride, the amazing transition of the clear bluish water to green can keep you company together with the cold breeze of the morning and the beauty of how morning fog covers the islands around you. Upon reaching the island’s shore, what welcomes you is the innocence of the island from the stress and crowded atmosphere enveloping the city. Of course, the presence of the fine white sand beaches never fails to captivate tourist, locale or foreign, to take a dip and play in its shallow waters. There are locale restaurants although most tourists bring their own food and snacks since it’s cheaper this way. There are also stalls offering rentals for scuba diving equipment to tourist since one of the islands’ attractions is its healthy and diverse marine life. Snorkelling and scuba diving is a must-do activity in the island. But if you are not into those, you can just laze around the shore or take a walk while exploring around the island that can take you only about 45 minutes.
The next stop after the Balicasag Island escapade is the journey to Isola di Francesco, formerly known as Virgin Island. This island is a private property of Ramon Rodriguez but is open to all tourists, especially Catholic devotees. This islet was developed into a prayer haven for the votaries of St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, the patron saint for stress relief and the “January blues”. The islet is accentuated with the ample statue of St. Padre Pio at the entrance and statues of other saints including St. Francis of Assisi, St. Therese, and many more on the pith of the island. It is also embellished with a small chapel dedicated for St. Pio. Apart from the statues of famous saints, one of the highlights of the island is its exquisite sandbar that is visible during low tide. The islet’s breathtaking view is a beauty to behold.
Altogether, it’s a refreshing memory of water adventure that you can add to your memorable moments in your Bohol Summer escapade.