- Travel and Places»
- Visiting Asia
Concepcion Iloilo: Island Hopping Fun
Concepcion: Philippines' Best Island Hopping Destination
Years ago, we set out from Iloilo to bring food and general help to the typhoon victims around Concepcion. That time, the roads were almost impassable even without a major storm, so very few people had ever been there just to poke around. If you have a boat of course, access was much easier as Concepcion is just around from Boracay, which is now Philippines most famous island destination. But the good luck of bad roads and the bad luck of big storms had left this piece of paradise quietly to the fishermen and their island families.
Our first trip was to help, so we were busy, but we made a vow to return when we had time to soak in the beauty, the crystal sea, the fantastic snorkeling and seafood. So, one summer (when schools close in March-May in the Philippines), off we went to Concepcion and what we've discovered made us go there often. In Concepcion as in most of the Philippines, everyday is summer. Its been our secret for years, but alas, we've been discovered!
Concepcion at its best - A summer destination you can't missClick thumbnail to view full-size
When schools are closed during summer vacation, what do you do with the kids for a month or two? Why not the beach and water sports? Time to learn how to swim, kayak, dive, snorkel and sail. Yes, explore the underwater world and know more about this largely unexplored world to millions of people.
Concepcion is not that difficult to get at. The flight from Manila to Iloilo is about an hour and as excellent road links Concepcion and the beaches and islands to Iloilo City, in 2 hours from the airport, heaven unfolds! The internet destroys isolation as an outcome of sharing information and experiences and so Concepcion and its beaches and ocean park have seen increasing visitors in person with more to come if the 2plus million internet visitors are a hint of the future. This is to be expected as the place is really beautiful and you can rent a boat and swim in a different island each day or in several islands in one day.
The place is still not crowded. often, you are the only ones island hopping or the most two boats doing it. There are no big resorts or towering hotels as many of the islands are either not inhabited except for the caretaker or still owned by fisher families that have been there for generations. Needless to say, the international resort community has already approached many of them with amazing offers but that would be giving up a way of life and the decision is not easy. So, for now at least, some of them just operate small and really basic simple accommodations, mostly bamboo cottages.
You can come early, have breakfast in the fishing port rent a boat and captain, set up camp in one of the islands and do your Robinson Crusoe imitation. What are you waitiing for? The tourist information office in Concepcion is also very helpful. Just call: 63 928 983 5476.
Island Hopping in Concepcion - So Much Fun
Island Hopping - Fun?
Concepcion is ideal for island hopping as there are many small islands close to each other.
Except for the caretaker, this island is not inhabited. You can claim it for the day unless other island hoppers have the same idea. The caretaker will be happy to cook lunch for you. Seafood galore, fresh and tasty.
Do you enjoy island hopping?
Where about is Concepcion? - Look at this map
Concepcion is a group of islands in Iloilo, a province in the island of Panay in central Philippines. It is in the same islands as Boracay, the most interationally famous beach in the Philippines.
Concepcion is in Iloilo
Concepcion is a town north of Iloilo, close to the famous beach of Boracay. These are interesting tales on Iloilo for you to read.
You can bring this along with you when you go to Concepcion and enjoy some laughs with the locals as you entertain them with their own tales.
Concepcion offers more than just island hopping - Lots of things to do in Concepcion
A Beautiful Place to Stay in Concepcion - A Ferry Accommodation
This unique ferry cruised by us on our way to one of the islands and I wish I can rent this for days and just cruise through the various islands of Iloilo.
Written by a Filipino, this book gives you a more in-depth peek at Filipino customs.
Your Guide to the Philippines - Other Places to Explore from Concepcion
Tourists have really a wrong impression of the Philippines. They think it is unsafe to visit there but the danger is way down south. This place is at the center of the Philippines, a group of islands called the Visayas.
The Philippines has some of the best beaches in the world. The locals are very friendly and they know how to have fun.
How to go to Concepcion, Iloilo - Fly to Manila or Cebu, the international airports of the Philippines
How to go to Concepcion
From Manila, there are many flights to Iloilo, almost every hour and several airlines service this route. The flight is about 50 minutes to an hour. The Iloilo airport meets international standards and the flight is quite pleasant. From Cebu, you can also take a flight to Iloilo and it is shorter than Manila but compared to Manila, the number of flights are less.
From the airport, you can rent a taxi to bring you to the Northern Iloilo bus terminal in Tagbak, Jaro and from there take the HPQ bus or tourist van to Concepcion. The fare is less than $3. The last trip is at 3:00 p.m. so if you arrive later than this, stay overnight in Iloilo city. Or, try to go to Sara, a town close to Concepcion and from there ask a motocab to bring you to Concepcion.
If this is too much of a hassle for you, take a taxi to bring you all the way there or prearrange with a tour operator to book your transport to Concepcion as well as your boat for the day to go island hopping.
This picture here is of Iloilo airport with the Dinagyang Festival dancers welcoming guests to the city.
It is better to stay overnight in Iloilo as the city has so much to offer. It is an old trading port with many old ancestral homes. Then, your hotel can easily make arrangement for you to proceed to Concepcion.
Time your trip to Concepcion - To coincide with the Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo
This Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo is a must see as you can see in the picture one of the tribes performing for those arriving at Iloilo airport. Time your visit to have a chance to enjoy this festival.
The Sun Rises in Concepcion - Such an Unfolding of a Beautiful Day
You can watch the sun rising and enjoy as nature awakens and, once again, lets us know it rules the world.
Nature's Beauty in Concepcion Iloilo - The island destination to beat
Top Marine Park in Concepcion - Watched closely by the locals
Tampisaw Festival in Pan de Azucar
The locals celebrate Tampisaw festival in this protected marine area in Pan de Azucar to promote eco-tourism and also to thank the spirits for the bounty of fish and sea food in the area. Pan de Azucar is an easy climb when you're there. From the top you can enjoy the breathtaking view of the islands.
Go island hopping in Concepcion Iloilo - Swim in a different island each dayClick thumbnail to view full-size
Make sure you give your eyes protection - Concepcion Island Hopping will be more fun
The sun can be very strong so it is good to protect your eyes. have some of these fun sunglasses and be the glamour girl that you always want to be. The fish will certainly enjoy looking at you. They might even think you're one of them.
Isn't Concepcion the best island destination in the world? - Sssssssshhhh....let's keep this unknown
Have you been to Concepcion, Iloilo?
Concepcion is not inundated with tourists - Still rustic and quiet
Not Inundated with Tourists
This place has not been inundated with tourists as tour operators have not yet packaged it. There are still not too many facilities for tours so only small groups come. The roads have just been improved so even people in Iloilo have not really been here yet.
Are you interested to visit Concepcion?
Have you been to the Philippines?
Watch this video on Concepcion Iloilo - Showing some of the islands
See what to enjoy in your beach travel to Concepcion.
Concepcion's Exceptional Islands - Bulubadiangan, Pan De Azucar, Agho
Going to the Islands of Concepcion
To go to the islands, you can rent a boat for the day to bring you to wherever you fancy. The rent is around $50. You can get a smaller one for less. The islands are still open for swimmers although some have charged minimal fees...$1 or less.
The area around Pan de Azucar has been declared a marine sanctuary. There is good swimming around here and very interesting rock formation. There are some very basic accommodations in the island right at Tambaliza beach. You can enjoy with the locals when they celebrate the Tampisaw Festival.
Bulubadiangan has the winding sandbar, an absolute delight for the sun bathers. Agho is a white sand paradise and no one lives there except the caretaker. You can spend a whole day there and enjoy a good swim.
These three islands are often the most visited but there are other islands that are also worth visiting. There is Pulo Pina or Pineapple Island. Some of them are inhabited so you can meet the locals and have some fun with them.
If you stay longer, there are interisland ferries you can catch and just explore the islands around.
Some of the islands in Concepcion - Island communities
Island Tourism - Its Impact on Development
Is tourism destroying island destinations?
Yes, it certainly does
Other top islands to enjoy in Concepcion - Some are really interestingClick thumbnail to view full-size
Islands in Concepcion - Have their own personalities
Swimming in Different Islands in Concepcion - Choose where you want to swim in Concepcion
The Concepcion Sandbar - Offers Wonderful Beach
Sandbars in Concepcion
Depending on the tide, sand bars appear and you can really enjoy a stroll, a read or a run on the beach.
The following list gives you the top 2012 Travelers' Choice of Beach Destinations. The good news is Concepcion's neighbor, Boracay, is in the top ten. Let's keep Concepcion to ourselves.
Where to Stay in Concepcion - Head for the beach
Where to Stay in Concepcion
There are very limited choices here as they place is only beginning to draw tourists. Your best choice is the Sandbar resort at Bulubadiangan where you can rent a small villa (basic amenities) for less than $20 or pitch your tent for a minimal fee. There is Hotel Junbee in town as well. Some of the islands now offer basic accommodations as well.
Contact Sandbar resort owner Sonny at 63 906 819 7516. They have a small boat to pick you up from the mainland and also to bring you around to the islands.
Where We Stayed in Concepcion - A Private Beach House
Best Food in Concepcion - Our Fish Dish
Fresh seafood is abundant in Concepcion and you can always ask the locals to prepare it for you. Or you can prepare it yourself. There are facilities to do this in Sandbar resort.
The Concepcion Fish Port - Interesting Visit
Fish Port in Concepcion
The Fish Port in Concepcion is a hub of activity especially in the early morning. It is interesting to go there, have breakfast of fish soup and just watch the fih brokers and the fishermen doing their negotiations. It is very interesting. You can also buy the fish and seafood you like and have it cooked by the locals. You can enjoy the catch of the day and there are lots to choose from.
Fresh Seafood in Concepcion's Fish Port - A Delight for Seafood LoversClick thumbnail to view full-size
Have a seafood cook-out
Have some fresh sea food in Concepcion - Cook your sea food right on the beach
When we visited Concepcion, my niece made the best paella I have ever tasted. What with the fresh seafood available, how can you not eat well?
Bring this recipe book with you and have a seafood cook-out. With all the fresh sea food, you will have a wonderful foodie experience.