In a bid to promote ecotourism in the Eastern Visayas Region, an island-hopping tour package for the Cuatro Islas Protected Landscape and Seascape has recently been pilot tested, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Regional Executive Director and PAMB chair Primitivo Galinato, Jr. informed.
Dubbed as Cuatro Islas Hopping tour, the package offers a one day tour around Himokilan Island within the jurisdiction of Hindang, Leyte and the Islands of Mahaba, Apid and Digyo of Inopacan which comprises the Cuatro Islas Protected Landscape and Seascape.
The test run was jointly undertaken by the DENR, Department of Tourism, Regional Ecotourism Council, the local government units of Hindang and Inopacan, Leyte, and the Protected Area Management Board of Cuatro Islas.
Jump off point of the tour is at Bontoc Cave in Hindang which offers a unique spelunking experience amidst a natural backdrop of flora and fauna, Ms. Purificacion Daloos, DENR Regional Public Affairs Office Chief, said.
The next stop is at Himokilan Island approximately an hour boat rite from the port of Hindang. The island is a haven to the nut cracking coconut crabs locally known as "tatus." The visitors may also go spelunking and bat watching at Tahod Cave or explore the island through a nature trek.
The visitor then hops to Mahaba Island which offers crystal clear waters teeming with live corals and other marine life conducive for snorkeling and boating adventure.
During high tide, one is treated to a Pasayan (shrimp), a gentle nibbling of red shrimps to sooth and massage tired feet.
Moreover, at Apid Island, the locals show their skills in mat weaving using pandan leaves which are in abundance in the area. Mat weaving is considered the main livelihood of the locals.
The Cuatro Islas Island Hopping Tour is capped with relaxation activities at Digyo Island, the smallest of the Cuatro Islas. Here, buko refreshments are served upon arrival of the tourist who is serenaded while enjoying the wonderful treat.
For a fee, you may avail of message services or rest on hammocks while enjoying the fresh sea breeze. Or, of course, you may swim or just sunbath in the fine white beach of Digyo Island, for free.
For a group of twelve (12) persons, the one day Cuatro Islas Hopping Tour will cost about P1,200 per person inclusive of lunch and two snacks. (PIA 8)