The islands of northern Iloilo are continuously creating buzz over the years. Tranquil, untouched, and immensely a great place to unwind and enjoy the benefits of saltwater therapy. But is it safe to bring the kids along?
As a parent, this is always my main concern. My husband and I have been Islas de Gigantes in Carles and would like to venture more beaches in northern Iloilo. One of my friends went to Concepcion’s Bulobadiangan Island with their kids including their baby, so I thought, “let’s give it a try“.
After traveling more than two hours from Iloilo City, I went straight to Concepcion Iloilo Tourism Office for our boat transfer. Most locals contact their boats directly, but I’ll explain in a separate post on why it is better to ask the assistance of the tourism office.
Our boat for Php2,000 for the whole trip. I first thought it’s too expensive but seeing the boat, it is worth the price. It also turned out to be cost-effective.
The smaller boats cost Php1,500 but for those bringing along kids, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you take the bigger boat especially if you are planning to check out other islands in Concepcion Iloilo aside from Bulobadiangan Island.
Travel time from the poblacion to Bulobadiangan Island is 20-25 minutes. It’s hard to think about time with plenty of things to see along the way. Concepcion has many offshore islands, making its water calmer. Unlike other island destinations where it is in an open sea, those places are a little bit scary for kids and mommies.
We also saw the Concepcion Coal Plant. I didn’t know they have it there.
Among all Concepcion Iloilo beaches, Bulubadiangan is the most visited island, more popularly known as Sandbar Beach Resort. Most people will tell you that you’ve never been to Concepcion if you skipped their sandbar.
We didn’t occupy a cottage because our boat has bigger space. See the savings from renting a bigger boat? Our big boat casted a shadow, giving us some shade for a beach picnic!
Bring packed lunch when visiting these tourist spots in Concepcion, Iloilo. I packed rice, Don Rite sausages, fried pork and breakfast leftovers. The small stores in the island serve drinks and basic food like chips.
Be careful swimming and look out for sea urchins. We saw a group of ten spiny creatures. They were the cutest. This part of the sandbar has plenty of star fish!
Another angle of the sandbar of Concepcion, Iloilo facing Igbon Island.
We didn’t spend a lot of time at Sandbar Beach Resort to mazimixe our time at Agho Island. Our boat captain said it is better than Bulubadiangan Island.
If we can go back to Concepcion, I will prioritize Agho Island itinerary and then visit other islands. From the sandbar island, it takes less than 15 minutes. We passed by fishing villages and houses perched on rocks facing the Visayan Sea.
The route means more open water and I was thankful that we took the big boat. Liam is a little bit scared of open sea and waves but with a bigger sea vessel, he enjoyed the ride.
Welcome to Agho Island!
It goes without saying that this is the top things to do in Agho Island, second are taking tons of selfies and photos.
I love Agho Island. So far, it’s my favorite in terms of “swimmability”. The local festival, Tampisaw Festival suits well. The water is clear and just a few steps from the shore are fishes.
Pan de Azucar Island’s Mt. Manaphag serves as a good backdrop. The sand is also finer and softer at Agho.
I won’t divulge more because I’ll be writing a separate post on Agho. Let me just summarize everything for Concepcion Iloilo island hopping with kids.
Rates and Expenses
1. Environmental fee – Php25 per adult ( free for kids)
2. Entrance fee per island – Php25 per adult ( free for kids)
3. Cottage – Php 400
4. Island hopping – Php500 per island ( Tourism Office rate), direct transaction costs (Php1,000).
5. Parking – Php100 .
Travel tips for Concepcion, Iloilo
1. Buy your own food and plenty of water.
2. Bring floaties, goggles, and snorkeling gears. A store in front of the tourism office ( market) sells them.
3. Visit Tourism Office ( 09982168581) unless you trust your contact 101% for safety reasons and best rates. Tourism officer, Ms. Jeneve Yu ( 09291179380) haggled our boat for Php1,800 instead of Php2,000 which we used for tips (please give). She also gave a tip for budget travelers – just find a shady spot in the island to save money from renting a cottage.
4. BEST TIME to visit – weekdays and summer. Water is calm during summer, avoid Habagat season. During weekdays, you can get haggle along with less crowd.
Thank you, Ms. Jen of Concepcion Tourism Office for your help! Stay tuned for more stories on Concepcion, Iloilo.