Islands and Beaches

The Playground of Dolphins: Pamilacan Island

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Choose Philippines | May 22, 2013

The quaint barangay , 45 minutes by boat from the town of Baclayon, is known to the rest of the tourist world as the Playground of Dolphins because Its waters are home to spinner and bottlenose dolphins, sperm whales, and recently, according to boatmen, at least one blue whale.

How to Get There: From Manila, you can fly to Tagbilaran City (PhpPhp3,500, round trip). Manila-Tagbilaran flights take an hour and 10 minutes.

From Tagbilaran Airport, you can take a tricycle to Baclayon (Php80-100 for two persons), or a metered taxi (Php150-200 for four persons). You can also catch the jeep, but you would first have to take a tricycle from the airport (Php10 per person) to Gallares Hospital where the terminal is, and take the jeep to Carmen or Loboc (Php7 per person), which will both pass by Baclayon. Get off at the Baclayon port for the boats to Pamilacan.

If you are arriving at night, it's best to book an airport transfer with your hotel because it's hard to get a ride past 9 p.m.

There are also daily boat trips from Cebu to Tagbilaran (Php400 per head, one way) Where to Stay: Pamilacan Tourist Inn and Restaurant (Php750 per person per day, including a cottage and three full meals).

Contact the innkeeper Elvie (63 9129272061) or the owner Mary Aguipo 63 (9174368369, 63 9236600809, 63 9197306108). Pamilacan Island Paradise (Php6,000 per night on twin sharing; Php1,600 for extra person). www.pamilacanislandparadise.com

What To Do:

Dolphin-watching: Reliable tours are offered by the Pamilacan Island Dolphin and Whale-Watching Organization (Php3,800 per trip). www.dolphinwhalewatch.homestead.com. You can also check with the City Tourism Office at the Baclayon Port for registered tour operators.

Snorkeling: Pamilacan has a fish sanctuary where only paddle boats are allowed (Php200 per boat). Visit the makeshift whaling museum to see remnants of the islanders' past as dolphin and whale-hunters. Get an outdoor massage at the Pamilacan Tourist Inn (Php350 for an hour).

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