Alubihod Beach is the jump off point for island hopping trips. Because Raymen Beach Resort's boat was already fully booked for the day, we were pointed to a small booth on the beach, between Raymen Beach Resort and Alobijod Cove Resort. This is the Alubihod Motor Banca Owners Association (AMBOA) booth or the Island Hopping Station.
Our island hopping boat
At the booth, we were asked to write our name and number of persons in the group on the logbook. But we could not choose the time. We were to wait for the next available boat. If they called our turn and we had disappeared into our room or anywhere away from the booth, they would have given the boat to the next person on the list. Not wanting to miss our turn, we positioned ourselves near the booth, all ready with our snorkeling gear and snacks.
10 pax Php 500 for the first hour plus Php 150 per succeeding hour
15 pax Php 700 for the first hour plus Php 300 per succeeding hour
20 pax Php 1000 for the first hour plus Php 300 per succeeding hour
Our wallets allocated just three hours worth of island hopping and in three hours we were able to visit just five spots.
The boatman just pointed Fairy Castle out to us and proceeded to steer the boat to the next destination. From afar it looked like a good place for a swim so we asked the boatman to take us to the shore. Nearing the beach, we were disappointed to see that it was rocky and very shallow.
Lamurawan was the next place they took us to. It had a small grotto with a nice view of the surrounding islands. But its waters did not tempt us for a swim.
The boatman and his assistant steered the boat into small and semi–dark Baras Cave. But my friends did not want to swim in semi–darkness. Next please.
Ave Maria Islet
Ave Maria Islet had a small patch of white sand but the rest was just rocks. We spent a bit of time snorkeling in its surrounding shallow waters. Several boatloads of tourists have come and gone, but we were still there looking for fish.
Jannah Glycel Resort
Because we have not had enough of snorkeling in Ave Maria Islet, we asked the boatman to take us to a good place for snorkeling and he brought us to an area near Jannah Glycel Resort. Here we enjoyed looking at the colorful fish, but not at the dead corals.
We weren't taken to one spot that was supposedly included in the standard island hopping route: Pawikan Caring and Feeding Station. Baras Beach and Isla Naburot were just pointed out to us because these were privately owned and off limits. Overall, the island hopping tour in Guimaras was just okay. If you're looking for islands with fine white sand beaches to swim in, you will not find it in this tour. You would be better off just spending your time at Alubihod Beach.
Take note of the time you started your island hopping trip. If you're on a tight budget, be conscious of your time: if you use up just a fraction of an hour, they will charge for a full hour.
Know where you want to go. If you'd like to be taken to the optional areas (see above island hopping route map), let your boatman know. If you won't tell them, then they'd only take you on the standard route.
It seemed to me that the boatman was in a hurry to go back and start with another group. Not because he didn't like my face, but because they can make more money that way.