Naked Island, Daku Island, and Guyam Island have always been the three gems on any, and all, Siargao Island Hopping Itinerary. Their peachy white sands and glistening waters are enough to convince anyone on the bigger island to get on the next boat that’s going there.
Island hopping in Siargao used to only cost about ₱1,500 for a bangka that’s good for around four to six people, until recently. You can still find boats for the same price, but now there are also those that offer the same service (and more) for ₱1,000 per person. The question is, which one is better for you? Here are the pros and cons of a ₱1,000 per person island hopping service vs. a ₱1,500 per bangka service to help you decide once you’re in Siargao.
₱1,000 per person island hopping
It’s safe, especially for female solo travellers
There was no way that my dad would have allowed me to go island hopping, alone, with two random boatmen. So when I went to Siargao as a solo traveller and saw that this was an option, I immediately signed up for it.
You get the opportunity to meet new people
This trip is usually organised by the resort or, in my case, a tour company and they encourage anyone who’s interested to sign up. Since they have about 20 slots for this activity, there are plenty of chances for you to make new friends, especially if you go by yourself. I met two people, on this trip, that I ended up hanging around with the entire time I was in Siargao.
Drinks, snacks, lunch, and other inclusions
Our guides brought two giant coolers filled with ice, sodas, water, and liquor along with the cups and eating utensils. They cooked and prepared the food while most of the guests were dilly-dallying on the beach. Our ₱1,000 each was able to get us a rental hut where we all ate in. Our guides were also thoughtful enough to bring swimming floaties, snorkelling goggles, and some sports equipment. The only thing you have to worry about on this trip is how to have fun, really.
Since you’ll be with other people, you can’t easily decide to stay on a particular island for longer than the time given to you. You’ll have to consider the others and their time.
There’s too many in one small boat
There will likely be only two boats that can each accommodate 10 of all 20 of the guests. At least, that’s according to my experience. Other people won’t mind that, but I personally felt like it was too cramped. Some of you might want to stretch out your legs or turn to look at the water. Both are impossible in this situation.
If you’re going with a few friends, it’s expensive to be paying ₱1,000 for each person as opposed to paying ₱1,500 for a bangka and dividing that amongst all of you.
₱1,500 per bangka island hopping
Well, only if you have other people to share this expense with. Even if this option doesn’t include lunch, and you and your friends were to buy your own food and drinks from the local market, it would still be a couple of hundreds cheaper than the first option. It’s great for those who like to travel on a budget. Also, if you ask kindly, the boatmen can prepare the food for you.
You make your own schedule
Or at least, it’s easier for you and the boatmen to agree on your schedule. You can decide the time as to when you’d like to start, and as to how long you’d want to stay on each island. If I had chosen to do this instead, I would have stayed on Naked Island a little longer.
Some people like to keep their circle closed; they like to keep within themselves or are just shy about hanging out with strangers. If you and your friends aren’t so keen on sharing a boat with 10 other people, you can always opt for this option. It’s better to get your own boat and spend time on the islands by and within yourselves than to choose to go with more people but eventually just isolating yourselves from the group.
Basically, you’ll have to worry about your own food and drinks (plus ice!). You may have to bring your own utensils, unless you don’t see the need for them. There’s also the lack of swimming and sports equipment, unless you’ve already thought of bringing your own even before flying to Siargao. Finally, you may have to pay for the rental hut if you choose to get one. Obviously, there are quite a few things that this option lacks. However, all these things can be expendable for those who travel cheaply.
These two services may each have major impacts on your island hopping experience. Choosing which one to go for always depends on your preference as a traveller. We hope that by determining their pros and cons, we were able to help you decide which option is best for you as you pre-plan your itinerary for Siargao.