This blog post is part of Penfires Series on Mactan – Cebu Beach and Resort Chronicles, Post Number 3. One of the most popular and favorite beach outing activities in the Philippines is island hopping, this is also very true in the Island of Mactan here in Cebu. And when better to island hop than this summer! Get your shades and bikinis ready! Party hard this summer! Yey! 😎
Whenever you visit one of the affordable beach resorts here in Opon (old name for Mactan Island) especially in Marigondon, Maribago or Punta Engano, someone will eventually approach you offering to take you and your group to an island hopping adventure. You ‘arkila’ or rent this boat for the day. Yes, even if you just intend to explore islands for just a couple of hours. The boats are yours for the day so to speak.
Mactan Island Hopping Rates may differ slightly but from the more than 5 persons and boatmen we’ve talked with during our beach resort hopping last January 21, 2012, these are the average fees for boat rental with their corresponding number of islands included in the island hopping adventure boat tour as well as the limitations on the number of persons per boat.
*Those first class and well-known beach resorts in Mactan usually offer its guests their own boats for island hopping.
Sample of Motorized Bancas for Island Hopping in Mactan
Average Rates and Fees for a Day of Island Hopping in Mactan, Cebu
- P3,500.00 – Big boats motorized bancas – Up to 40 persons, some boats only carries max of 35 pax.
- P3,000 – Medium sized motorized bancas – Good for 25 pax
- P2,000 –Small motorized bancas – Maximum persons set at 10.
The rates above are the average of the prices quoted to us. If you are good at negotiating, then try to haggle down the fees for boat rental especially if it’s off-season. 🙂
For big groups, I am not sure if there are enough life vests for everyone joining the island hopping. Before you close the deal, ask this detail first with the boatmen.
Islands Included in the Island Hopping Adventure
Normally a Mactan boat tour package includes visiting 3 islands – Gilutungan Island (where the Gilutungan Marine Sanctuary is), Nalusuan Island for Nalusuan Marine Sanctuary, Kauhagan Island. Some add in Virgin Island as a freebie or for an extra charge. You can also arrange with your boatmen your island preferences.
Lino, one of the boatmen we’ve talked with advised us that if we intend to go on a whole day Mactan island hopping to SKIP renting any of the beach cottages in the area and to just meet them at Banban Beach Resort in Marigondon (it’s a public beach but no white sand) and ride the boat from there. He mentioned that since the beaches on the small islands in Mactan have finer white sand and clearer water, then swimming there (as opposed to swimming in Marigondon beach resorts) is far more enjoyable. And you save the rental fee for cottages. BUT you have to be ready with pack lunches and snacks and water too as there are no sari-sari stores on the islands. Sound advice. And yep also trash bags. Please be reminded that you’ll be mostly visiting isolated islands and protected sanctuaries so please be responsible and take care of your trash properly.
Banban Resort in Marigondon: You can make this your take off point for Island Hopping in Mactan
By the way, don’t expect so much with Banban Resort, it’s more like a talipapa of cottages. You just make this resort as your jump-point or your take off area to go on an island hopping since there is no entrance as the beach is public. It’s the first resort that will greet you at the END of the main road in Marigondon. Locals also calls this Marigondon Beach. It’s not a good site for swimming since there is no white sand and also there are loads of boats docking in this area (immediately beside the Ban Ban row of cottages)
Alternative take off place: you can visit other Mactan beach resorts and pay for entrance or cottage and then ride your boat from there.
How to contact the boatmen to rent their boats for Mactan Island Hopping?
We of course asked this question, but they said they refrain from giving any contact numbers since oftentimes, those who ‘reserve’ their boats and services, ends up cancelling on them on the day of the scheduled boat tour. So they advise us and potential guests to just come to the beach area either in Marigondon or Maribago or even Punta Engano and Angasil, and ask around. Actually as I’ve said, someone will eventually approach you even if you just stand still. And if you look very ‘touristy’, you’ll be approach in no time at all hehehhe
Have a summer blast! Take your beach party a notch higher with island hopping in Mactan!
P.s. There are some Mactan resorts which offer more activities like kayaking, snorkelling, diving, parasailing, jet ski, banana boatride and more. Contact the beach resort or hotel of your choice for their list of facilities and services.
These are the boat rates for island hopping. To see the full list of beach resorts we’ve visited last Saturday and to get links with their respective details and resort photos, please see this post: Cheap Mactan Beach Resort Options with White Sand: Overview and Direction Tips