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Island Hopping in Davao - by Brian Dexter M. Medija PDF Print E-mail

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It’s summer once more and the quintessential getaway this time of year consists of sun, sand and a sparkling shore. To those who may have had a fill of full-day stays at resorts and beaches, a little variety couldn’t hurt.  To make things a tad more interesting, add up a boat, lifevests, and perhaps ice-cold drinks and Lechon, some snorkelling or scuba gears or an optional kayak, and you are on your way to extreme summertime bliss.

In a place like Davao, located on the shores of the Davao Gulf and in close proximity to the many islands thereof, the tropical blessings of sun, sea, sand and shore are within an arm’s length away.  It iActive Images hence doubtless why island hopping is  a  staple summertime activity of many a Davao folk for ages.  What, with the many delights the Davao Gulf and its islands hold:  Pristine white-sand beaches, picturesque islets, ubiquitous coral reefs, marvelous limestone cliffs and caves, turquoise, emerald and sapphire waters, and friendly fishermen willing to give discounts on their day’s catch. Island-hopping, is a perfect way to discover these wonderful vistas in Davao’s lovely seascape.

It doesn’t cost a fortune to embark on an island hopping escapade in Davao.  For instance, basic island-hopping packages for 20 persons start at around Php 15,000 (USD 370 at USD 1 = Php 41)—so that’s around Php 750 (USD 18.50) per person—and already includes full-day boat rentals, packed lunch, five snorkelling sets, a kayak or mini-boat (banca), and complimentary bottled water for everyone.  For starters, this isn’t bad at all, cheap even, because you can always bring additional food and Davao's island-hopping boatsdrinks on board to your liking.  Of course, you can always add some variety, still without losing a fortune.  An interesting (and I would say, sumptuous) addition would be a Davao-style banquet on board: Lechon, pansit, grilled fare of bangus, panga, tuna, pork and chicken, puso rice,  fruit basket of pineapples, mangoes, pomelos, bananas, lanzones and rambutan, and lots of ice-cold drinks.  Hey, that sounds like a lot, but in a place like Davao, that hardly burns a hole in your pocket!
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But there’s really no stopping you from foregoing commercial Island Hopping package rates and making your own Davao Gulf package for your group to save you money.  So, If you have some time, you can go straight to Santa Ana wharf and find boats available for rent and make arrangements. You can then prepare your full-day itinerary while making a trip to the market for the meals on board.  There’s a lot of moolah saved this way, maybe Php 5,000 off the commercial tag price for 20 persons.

You can also opt for more luxury for a little extra cost.  Our family on March 22, 2008 rented a 90-capacity boat (with only 20 of us coming aboard) for Php 9,000.  This monster boat came with a mini-boat and snorkeling gears.  We brought our Davao-style banquet on board along with lots of ice-cold beverages and some wine, and took off to our full-day cruise-like island getaway from Santa Ana wharf., Powered by Joomla and Designed by SiteGround web hosting