Letting Loose at Olango Island: A Budget-Friendly Weekend Getaway


Olango Island

Summer is past its full-swing (considering July as a typical rainy month here in the tropical Philippine archipelago) and it’s nearing weekend again. We’ve been planning for a barkada escape in a touristy destination. Everything was set only to end up having conflict with the expense plus the delayed financial resource. Can you relate? Yeah, it’s kinda frustrating but we took it positively. With the pricey quote for a Bohol trip, we headed to Olango Island instead.

DisclaimerThis is a personal blog. The views, opinions, and tips expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the other travelers. I’m not an expert. My purpose of writing is to share my story, hoping, somehow, to be helpful and inspirational to some – if not all.

Sta. Rosa Wharf (photo credit: Asa Ni Quen?)

What happened next?

In days of planning, we’ve decided to spend one weekend at San Vicente Marine Sanctuary in Olango Island. What’s the perk of having this alternative trip? We had an exclusive night stay at the sanctuary, provided with almost everything at a lesser expense.


preparing dinner with lights from lamps and campfire


Dinner (photo credit: Asa Ni Quen?)

Camping at the sanctuary with mangroves and trees around is like a countryside stay. It’s actually what I imagined. We only had flashlights and lanterns to light us up all night as the area do not have a power supply. A fly sheet was laid on the sand for us to sit and lie down while having socials and star and moon gazing.


socials/star gazing (photo credit: Asa Ni Quen?)

Unfortunately, some of us didn’t have enough sleep for some creepy reasons. We even lost our way while searching for a sari-sari store to buy some drinks. We found our way back to the sanctuary after an hour anyway.


stopping by for the stunning Milky Way (photo credit: Asa Ni Quen?)

Everyone woke up early to prepare breakfast and lunch. We’re lucky to have been permitted to use their kitchen and kitchen wares, and other facilities. We all agreed to hop two islands (Cauhagan and Sulpa) thereafter. The island hopping activity culminated at the snorkeling, fish feeding and diving area of the sanctuary. We we’re caught lunch time there and just ate and spend longer time before heading back to the sanctuary.


filling our tummy for a day-long activities


island hopping (photo credit: Asa Ni Quen?)


Caohagan Island


Caohagan Island


Sulpa Island (photo credit: Richman)


giant jelly fish (Photo credit: Richman)


(photo credit: Asa Ni Quen?)


(photo credit: Asa Ni Quen?)


(photo credit: Asa Ni Quen?)


(photo credit: Asa Ni Quen?)

The sun’s excruciating heat and everyone’s exhaustion pushed us to get back, wash-up and be home-bound.


basking the sun and the ocean (photo credit: Richman)


snorkeling (photo credit: Asa Ni Quen?)


San Vicente Marine Sanctuary (photo credit: Asa Ni Quen?)


(photo credit: Asa Ni Quen?)

Before a tricycle ride to Sta. Rosa Wharf, we drop by the signature scenery of the island for photo ops with the street lined vibrant neem trees as our background. And we call it a weekend, quick yet well-spent.


the Boardwalk


heading home with our summer skin tone (photo credit: Richman)

Spending quality time with like-minded (at some point) friends at a short time is nothing more than a week-long vacation with their counterpart. Where are we heading next is yet to determine as of the moment. I’ll keep posted…


rent a bile







Olango Bird Santuary


bring our own hammocks to relax (photo credit: Asa Ni Quen?)


bring your own or rent a tent to camp

Other Activities to Try in the Island:

  • Biking
  • Diving
  • Mangrove planting
  • Kayaking
  • Water Inflatables and other aqua sports
  • Camping (there are now a lot of campsites to stay on the island as of 2021)
  • Boardwalk viewing
  • Floating restaurant
  • Wandering throughout the island and have engage with the locals


Day 1

4pm-5pm – Meetup at Hilton Wharf (beside Movenpick Hotel Mactan Island)

5pm-5:30pm – Punta Engaño to Olango Island by boat

5:30pm-5:45pm – Sta. Rosa Wharf to San Vicente Marine Sanctuary

7pm – Dinner

8pm – Socials

12 midnight – Lights off

Day 2

5am – Wake-up Call

7am – Breakfast

8am-12 noon – Island Hopping (lunch)

1pm – Getting ready to go home

2pm – Heading Home

3pm – 3:30pm – Olango to Hilton Wharf

5pm – Home sweet home

Estimated Budget:

  • Boat Fare (back and forth) – 30
  • Hilton Wharf (Punta Engaño) Terminal Fee – 15
  • Sta. Rosa Wharf (Olango) Terminal Fee – 5
  • Habal2x/Motorcycle Ride to Campsite – 20
  • Entrance Fee (none when you’re camping) – 25
  • Camp fee (per head) – 200
  • Habal2x back to Olango Port – 20
  • Island Hopping – 1300 for 2 islands, 1600 for 3 islands per boat – 145 (1300/9)
  • Snorkeling gear (in case you don’t have one) – 100
  • Use of dirty kitchen (water, charcoal, LPG) – 170 – 19 (170/9)
  • Shared Food – 241

Total = roughly 820

Things to Bring:

  • eating utensils (plate, spoon, fork, glass)
  • camping gear (tent, sleeping bag, flashlight, cookset, burner)
  • gadgets (phone, power bank, camera, googles, snorkelling gear, etc.)
  • sunscreen/sun protection (sunblock, sunglasses, umbrella/hat, etc.)
  • swimming essentials (swimsuit, rash guard, towel,etc.)
  • rice (2 cups each) and drinking water
  • money
  • personal toiletries (soap, shampoo/conditioner, tissue, alcohol, etc.)


  • pray
  • safety
  • LNT (leave no trace)
  • respect each other’s time and effort (be on time)
  • never explore alone
  • be a responsible traveller

For more information on a night stay or any service from San Vicente Marine Sanctuary in Olango Island, just contact it’s manager at 09214681772.

Watch our video here by Asa Ni Quen?:

Latest video (During our 2021 trip):

Also Read:

Why Philippines Should Be Your Next Destination? 

A Road Trip to Bukidnon: Heading North With the Family

Bukidnon: Becoming a Tourist of My Own Province

Travel is… More Than Just the Lord of the Rings

Travel is… Touring the Heavenly Salt Flats of Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni

*some photos credit to the rightful owners

4 thoughts on “Letting Loose at Olango Island: A Budget-Friendly Weekend Getaway

  1. Pingback: Olango Island, Cebu: Snorkeling Haven For Beach Bums - Asa Ni Quen?

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