While many of the 7,641 islands in the Philippines are inhabited, the majority have maintained their pristine condition. These islands have white-sand beaches
and crystal-clear waters. In addition, they are also teeming with rich underwater life. This makes island hopping in the Philippines
one of the top activities during the summer.
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Lounging by the beach at Cagbelete Island is an appealing option after an entire day of exploring the beauty of nature.
Image: Nilandingan Cove - Cagbalete Island
Cagbalete Island may not ring a bell among many people, but it has caught the eye of many local and foreign tourists. Located less than an hour from Mauban, Quezon, the island is only accessible through boat. The island can also be your jump-off point in exploring the diverse ecosystem of its surroundings.
Snorkeling and swimming will be among your activities as you explore the Yang-in Sandbar which shows the beauty it hides beneath the waves when the tide is low. Another place you may want to visit is Bonsai Island where you can find a Bonsai Mangrove tree on a flat rock. The lighthouse at Baliscar Island is another worthy destination on your trip to Cagbalete Island.
9. Talim Island
The sun setting at the port hints at the serenity one can experience at Talim Island.
Image: Mac Koy
Ninth place is not your typical island hopping destination since Talim Island is located in the middle of the largest lake in the country, Laguna Lake. Forming the southwest rim of the Laguna Caldera, the island offers a lot of options for city dwellers who are looking for a weekend getaway without having to travel too far.
The unique biodiversity of the island makes it an ideal destination for nature lovers where they can find different bird species including Kingfishers, Herons, and Flowerpeckers. Being an inactive volcano, the island has a number of hot springs you can dip in. You can also try some local delicacies like the native rice cake or milky soft bread. Conquering Mt. Tagapo can also be on your to-do list while visiting Talim Island.
Watching the waves gently caressing the beach is a perfect way to end a week at work.
Image: Tablas island, Romblon Philippines
Tablas Island is the biggest island in the province of Romblon and has remained relatively less commercialized. It is home to a number of waterfalls, beaches, and lakes. In addition, the watershed area hosts a number of endemic wildlife including the Romblon Hawk Owl and the Tablas Drongo.
If island hopping is your game, you may want to explore the Looc Marine Sanctuary and check out the rich marine life in the area. The Blue Hole is another destination if you are looking for some adventure. For white-sand beach lovers, Calatrava Cove or Paksi Cove may be to your liking. Another destination is a saltwater lake close to Mt. Payapao, Tinagong Dagat.
Seventh place is shared by Kalanggaman Island in Leyte, Cebu, and Jomalig Island in Quezon.
Relaxing by the beach with the sun setting over the horizon is the perfect way to end the day at Kalanggaman Island.
Image: Kalanggaman Island, Leyte
Situated off the coast of Palompon, Leyte, Kalanggaman Island is a small uninhabited island that is currently making waves among nature lovers all over the country. This marine sanctuary features sandbars on both ends and is a favorite dive site among visitors of Malapascua Island. Its powdery-white sand beach is comparable to the best in the archipelago.
Islets off the southern coast of Cebu offer unique dive opportunities for people looking to explore the underwater world.
Image: @kensuarez / Unsplash
Cebu has always been a preferred destination among tourists looking for fun under the sun. Aside from Mactan Island, there are a number of island destinations off the coast of Cebu. Among the more popular island destinations are Bantayan Island, Camotes Island, and Malapascua Island in the north. The southern part of Cebu also boasts of the white-sand beaches of Sumilon Island and Badian Island. Mactan Island itself is a jump-off point for tourists looking to hop from one island to another.
The raw beauty of Jomalig Island is its main appeal among its visitors.
Image: Jomalig Island - L&J - Pampo & Tala Resort
Jomalig Island in Quezon shares the limelight with two popular island-hopping destinations in the country. Its remote location allowed its pristine white beaches to remain relatively undisturbed. Its raw beauty has put it on the bucket list of many beach lovers around the world. The long hours of travel will be rewarding for anyone looking to witness the beauty of nature at its best.
6. Tawi-tawi Island
The serene beauty of Tawi-tawi Island is best observed when the sun sets over the horizon.
Image: Tawi-Tawi Southern Pearl
Despite its not-so-appealing reputation among non-residents, Tawi-tawi Island is still considered an exceptional islandhopping destination. Located in the Sulu Archipelago, the island features pristine beaches, unexplored dive sites, and natural tourist attractions that have remained untouched by commercialization.
The island offers a myriad of activities for people looking for something fresh and new. You can dive and check out the wrecks of Japanese World War 2 warplanes, explore Bolobok Cave, or trek Bud Bongao. Visiting the neighboring islands of Papahag, Laa, and Bilata is another option. There are also a number of sandbars and virgin island beaches in the area including Panampangan Island and Pasegan Guimba.
Limestone formations and white-sand beaches are a staple in the Caramoan Islands.
Image: Gota Village Resort, Caramoan Island
Fifth on the list is the Caramoan Islands. It remained relatively-unknown until it became the venue of the hit reality television show, “Survivor”. Located in the far coast of Camarines Sur, the islands are blessed with white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters. In addition, some islands feature caves, lagoons, and limestone cliffs.
Aside from hopping from one island to another, you can also go snorkeling, kayaking, or scuba diving in the area. Teeming with rich marine life, Caramoan Island offers visitors an experience of seeing nature’s beauty protected due to its isolation.
4. Baler, Aurora
Baler is home to a number of secluded beaches and coves where you can camp and spend the night.
Image: Baler Municipal Tourism Office - Baler, Aurora
More famous as a surfing town, Baler offers visitors more than giving them the chance to hang ten. Located on the east coast of Luzon, Baler faces the roaring waves of the Pacific Ocean. It is also home to a number of cultural and historical sites that have been preserved over the years.
Aside from surfing, you can also go scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and paddle boarding in Baler. In addition, there are also a number of secluded coves and beaches in the area where you can spend the night in a tent.
While Siargao may be a surfer’s paradise, it is also heaven for a beach lover due to its white-sand beaches.
Image: Isla Cabana Cloud 9 Siargao Island Philippines
The Surfing Capital of the Philippines, Siargao, comes in third in the list. This tear-shaped island features a shoreline marked by white-sand beaches, reefs, and small points. Its year-round waves are even comparable to a number of surfing hotspots around the world. The island also hosts an annual surfing competition that has drawn some of the best surfers in the world.
But Siargao offers more than just surfing to its visitors. There are a number of smaller islands in the area you can visit including Naked Island, Guyam Island, and Daku Island. You can also visit Sohoton Cove where you can find some caves, a lake, and a lagoon.
For more beautiful places around the country to visit, check out Yoorekka
The view deck on Governors Island offers a panoramic view of the Hundred Islands.
Image: Island Tropic Hotel and Restaurant
A list of island hopping destinations is never complete without the Hundred Islands. This collection of over a hundred islands is accessible through an outrigger boat from Lucap wharf in Alaminos, Pangasinan. While boats can dock close to many of these islands, some can only be admired from the boat.
Governors Island is the biggest island where you can have a sweeping view of the area. A cove on the island is ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Some islands have beaches while others feature caves you may want to explore. You can also stay a night in a tent in some of the islands in the area.
1. El Nido, Palawan
Accommodations of all shapes and sizes are available for visitors of El Nido.
Image: El Nido Resorts
On the top of the list of favorite island hopping destinations in the Philippines is no other than El Nido, Palawan. Its turquoise waters and white-sand beaches are the main attractions of this well-liked holiday destination. Despite its popularity, the area has maintained its natural beauty that is known around the world.
The different geological formations on the islands of the area are popular island hopping destinations among local and foreign tourists. Some of the islands you may want to visit are Matinloc, Cadlao, and Dilumacad. You may even want to visit the secret lagoon and take a dip in its cool, clear waters. The area also has around 30 dive sites where you can explore the rich underwater life in the area.
The Philippines is indeed blessed with islands that are nothing short of world-class. Which of these island hopping destinations have you already ticked off from your bucket list?