World trip month 8: island hopping in the Philippines
8 months of our world trip are already passed and we are more excited than ever. Last month we traveled from the Maldives to the Philippines with a layover of 24 hours in Hong Kong. In 2016 we already visited the Philippines, so we knew some things like how we get around and what we wanted to do but now we did some island hopping in the Philippines to new places like Siargao, Malapascua, and Camiguin.
Because we lost our drone in the Maldives, we decided to book a flight with a layover in Hong Kong to buy a new drone (they are cheaper than in other countries).
Read here our previous world trip adventure: World trip update month 7: The Maldives
Exploring Hong Kong in 24 hours
From the Maldives, we flew to Hong Kong where we arrived very early in the morning and dropped our bags in the hotel. As the DJI store is about to open at 10 o’clock we first explored some places where we want to take some pictures. Once the DJI store opened we went over there to buy a new drone and do some shopping in the surrounding neighborhood.
Hong Kong is a very vibrant city with a lot of things to do but we had only 24 hours and a morning flight to the Philippines, so we decided to go out for dinner and then straight to bed.
28 days in the Philippines
Back in the Philippines!
In 2016 we went already to this beautiful country but there is so much to discover that we decided to come back and explore some new places like Siargao and Malapascua but also places we have already done like Bohol and Cebu.
Before we came to the Philippines we bought a new drone in Hong Kong, so we are very excited to get some new shots.
Diving and Canyoneering in Moalboal
We went back to Moalboal because it’s a lovely town in the South-West of Cebu Island and it’s famous for scuba diving and snorkeling, It’s an amazing place as you can swim between millions of sardines and if you are lucky you can spot whale sharks passing by.
We stayed here 5 days and took a 3-day diving package with Neptune Diving to explore the beautiful corals and reefs of the Philippines. During our dives, we saw turtles, seahorses, amazing underwater caves (which had the shape of a skull), and millions of sardines.
Moalboal is also a perfect gateway to discover many of the beautiful waterfalls in Cebu or to do some adventurous activities as canyoneering and hiking.
The most famous canyoneering adventure is canyoneering at the Kawasan Falls. We walked, climbed, and jump of 7 meter high cliffs to finally reach the Kawasan Falls. What an amazing experience!
Thresher sharks diving in Malapascua
We continued our journey to the Island of Malapascua, which was an 8-hour bus drive from Cebu and a 1-hour boat ride. Malapascua is known as the place for scuba diving with Thresher sharks.
In Malapascua we also discovered that our NEW drone (which we just bought in Hong Kong a week ago) is not working, after contacting the DJI store, they told us it’s a hardware error and the drone needs to be replaced, so we had to go back to Hong Kong! Well, not an easy choice as we already bought our flight tickets to the next destination (you need to show the immigration an outbound ticket for the Philippines), so we decided to stay in the Philippines for now with a broken drone.
In Malapascua, we stayed at Revolution Dive Center and booked a very early morning Tresher Shark Dive with them which was an amazing experience! Floating at 15m deep and waiting in the dark to see a beautiful Thresher Shark circling around you in search of his breakfast is just wonderful.
It feels like we were in the middle of a National Geographic scene.
The next days we explored the beautiful island of Malapascua and the local community, enjoyed the beaches and enjoyed the amazing sunsets.
On day 4 we left to the port to catch the boat back to Cebu, we almost sunk with the boat because we were overloaded and a storm passed by. Once we arrived in Maja (Cebu), we took the bus back to Cebu City where we would catch the flight to Siargao the next morning.
Exploring Siargao Island
Our island hopping in the Philippines continued with an early morning flight to Siargao, a surfer’s Paradise Island. We spend 6 days on this island and met a group of the most amazing Israeli people ever. These guys had quite the same route in mind as us and they were also scuba divers, so we decided to travel together for a while.
In Siargao, we wanted to explore the incredible islands just offshore but we had so much rain for days that we couldn’t do any tour. We drove 1 day with our scooter to visit Pacifico beach and on the way back we got surprised by a thunderstorm. Soaked and wet we arrived back at our accommodation.
We did some surfing on Cloud 9 beach, we did a day-tour to the Sugba Lagoon and had some amazing parties with the Israeli friends.
On our last day in Siargao, the Israeli guys asked us if we wanted to join them to Camiguin Island to share transport and costs. This was a great idea and we joined them even for the 2 weeks to explore Camiguin, Bohol, Siquijor, and Dumaguete together.
Chasing waterfalls and diving in Camiguin
We left Siargao in the morning to catch the ferry to Surigao. Once we arrived in Surigao we took a minivan with the Israeli guys that drove us in 5 hours to the port of Balingoan. From this port, we jumped on the ferry to Camiguin.
In Camiguin, we hired some scooters and explored the island for a few days which was amazing. We drove to the Tuasan waterfalls, relaxed in the Ardent Hotsprings, and did some dives around Mantigue Island.
The dive was one of the worst ever as the dive center couldn’t handle 10 divers with 1 guide and during the dive, some of us got lost and had to go back to the boat without the rest of the group. As the company paid our money back we agreed to not write any bad reviews or complaints.
On the last day in Camiguin, we catch the ferry to Bohol where we arrived at the Jagna Port. From there we had to take a public bus to Panglao Island which is about a 2-hour drive.
Relaxing in Bohol and exploring Siquijor
We arrived around noon in Jagna (Bohol) and took a bus to Alona Beach. This beach is by far our favorite beach in Bohol and the perfect place to have diner and watch the sunset. As we already visited Bohol in 2016, we decided to relax and take a night ferry the next day to Siquijor.
We arrived in Siquijor very late but the owner of our accommodation arranged everything very well (We booked rooms for 8 people and got free motorbikes to explore the island) The next day we woke up early with the group and explored the Cambugahay Falls.
At the Cambugahay Falls, we felt like kids again when we saw the swinging ropes on the waterfalls. After an amazing time at the Cambugahay Falls, we drove to Salagdoong Beach. At this beach are 2 incredible cliff jumps where we all jumped off with some local guys. An incredible time!
Just before sunset, Valerie and I decided to go to Paliton Beach where we had some fun with the hanging palm trees and watch the sunset.
Diving at Apo Island and discovering the nature of Dumaguete
Dumaguete wasn’t actually on our schedule but after some research, we decided to go there with 6 of us. The other guys wanted to do another island so we split from there.
In Dumaguete, we rented some scooters and drove along an amazing panoramic road to the Twin Lakes. At these lakes, we hired a guide and a boat ride to bring us to the other side of the lake. On our way back to Dumaguete we decided to drive to the Casaroro Waterfall.
The Casaroro waterfalls are in our opinion one of the most incredible waterfalls we have ever seen. A quite challenging hike brought us to this waterfall, which was hidden in the jungle with no other tourists. A real hidden gem.
Dumaguete is also the perfect gateway to visit, snorkel, or dive around Apo Island. So, we booked a dive trip around Apo Island with Bongo Bongo Divers in Dauin. During our dive trip around Apo Island, we saw many sea turtles, stonefish, and amazing coral. Definitely worth doing this!
On our last night in Dumaguete, we had some fun and laughs with the Israeli guys. We decided to leave to Manilla while our Israeli friends decided to explore more in the Philippines.
Hopefully, we see each other back soon.
We took the flight from Dumaguete to Manilla where we will stay for 2 more days.
2 days Manila
We had some plans to explore the city of Manila but due to our broken drone, we decided that Mik would fly back to Hong Kong while Valerie stays in the hotel. So the next morning at 5 am, Mik flew to Hong Kong to get a new drone and took the flight back to Manila at 5 pm.
In Manila, we enjoyed & relaxed at the pool of our hotel before we need to take the flight to Bali, Indonesia.
What’s on the planning for month 9?
Island hopping in the Philippines is definitely amazing! What a wonderful time but we are ready for the next destination, Bali. We booked these flights already before we entered the Philippines as you need to have an outbound ticket on arrival in the Philippines.
In Bali, we have 2 of our best friends from Belgium visiting us and we are going to travel for 3 weeks together. Looking forward to a new adventure!
Hopefully, you enjoyed the update! Stay tuned for more.
Mik & Valerie
Go island hopping in the Philippines with our travel resources
As you know, we love to share all our best tips and favorite places with all of you. That’s why created all these online travel guides, which are completely free. If you found this post (or anything we do) useful, we’d be grateful if you buy something through one of our affiliate links in this article. We’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you, which helps us keep our travel blog alive.
Thank you so much for your support!
- Skyscanner – to book the best and cheapest flights
- Airbnb – to stay at incredible homes & apartments
- Booking.com – to book your accommodation
- Lonely Planet – to purchase a detailed travel guide
- TourRadar – to join one of the amazing group tours
- TripAdvisor – to read the best reviews and find amazing tours
- HostelWorld – to book the most amazing hostels
- GetYourGuide – to book awesome tours and activities