One of the most urgent ecological issue today is that of mangroves. These “red forests” are under immense pressure yet studies had shown them to be effective natural barriers to rising sea waters caused by global warming and storm surges.
We set camp in an island home to a mangrove rehabilitation project organized by a local people’s organization. We spent some time the next morning learning more about mangroves from the locals and participated in a rehabilitation program. This mangrove forest is connected to the estuaries in one of Bohol’s most important mangrove river – we saw how it supported local communities in hunting, gathering, eco- tourism, shelters, etc.
This is one of the most diversely healthy river ecosystems in Bohol. Home to 32 out of the 70 mangrove species known worldwide. An endangered mangrove specie – Camptostemon philippinense can still be found here. We paddled with the late afternoon sun and we’re out on the water until dusk settled then another spectacle greeted us as we paddled along. Apparently, a synchronous firefly specie finds this river as their home too. They use the mangroves along the river banks as their display tree nightly. The mangroves looked like throbbing Christmas trees throughout the night. Pulsating.
We pitched our tents in a riverside camp and were met by the family that represented another community organization that manages the ecotourism program on this side of the river.
Bohol’s unique cultural, historical and natural richness definitely is best experienced by kayaks. Paddling a tranquil river and meeting the communities along gave a deeper insight why Bohol is one of the most charming islands in the Philippines.
Recently, a writer from The Culture Trip signed up in our Firefly Kayaking trip in Abatan River. We did not knew then that he was connected to one of the world’s fastest growing online community of creative and innovative travel content creators.
We’re happy that Ron (kayak guide) who guided Andrew (writer) shared a compelling story of what we do in one of Bohol’s most important river. Andrew reached us after a few weeks to get to know more of our advocacy and he couldn’t have wrote about it more sublimely.
These group of islands are some of the most stunning in the country, no wonder it’s been thronged by travelers both local and foreign. However, the trips we do here take you away from the usual touristy routes. Infact, we take you farther away. With kayaks, we shy away as much as we can from the crowded, massively instagrammed beaches and crystalline reefs.
We will find our own way.
On our own but with the local inhabitants of the islands – the residents, the family, the tribe. These are the folks that live in this paradise who will host us and these are the people we would want to meet and interact with in our journey through these islands.
With our own 2 hands…and the power of our curiosity, join us. Trip details in the link below.
The frontier islands of the Philippines. The Calamianes are a mix-match of stunning beaches, pristine reefs, hidden lagoons, and karst scenery.
The Busuanga Route (March 2-10) takes us into some of the best protected and least known coastlines of the Philippines, and into the breeding grounds of the dugongs, jellyfish lakes, and other marine mammals.
Level: Beginners/intermediate kayakers who wants to experience sea kayaking
Type: Semi-supported, R2R
Gear & Kayaks: Expedition sea kayaks and gear provided
Weather (dry): 27 degrees with some chance of rain
Wind (high): 15-35km/hr
For more details and registration, please email
Linger longer. Connect more. Take your time…go kayaking Abatan River.
Witness life banded by the river’s flow from day to night. From under the mangrove tunnels with the mid afternoon sun to the Bili-Bili Reservoir Spring as the sun sets. During the day, the river is most often ours alone, with the occasional fisherman floating down. Come night after gazing at the fireflies gathered on top the mangrove trees, we’ll silently paddle down escaping the noisy motorboats that starts to come up river.
With very well knowledgeable guides, you’ll get to know much about the mangrove river and these unique insect’s role in the ecosystem.
A few kilometers away from the lively Alona Beach is Bohol’s most famous sandbar. At certain times of the day this sandbar exudes a different character, a change of pace.
Bustling with activity by noon with island hoppers stopping by for buko, or raw sea-urchins (for those with exotic taste) from buoyant sandbar vendors.
Restful. Breathless by dusk as the sun sets behind the Bohol Sea under the cover of the island of Cebu. This is our favorite time of the day to be here. The best place to bask over a private sunset, with a cold beer, and something grilling on the side.
Be awed by hundreds – sometimes thousands of fireflies in a scene that could have come out of a fantasy movie. Under the ambient moonlight, we will paddle into one of the last pristine mangrove rivers of Bohol, where you will witness one of nature’s most amazing sights. You’ll be guided by paddlers from the river community who once were mangrove harvesters. As kayak guides, they now protect the mangrove ecosystem that is key to life in the river. The whole experience is capped with a home cooked Filipino dinner – organic ingredients and locally sourced, prepared by the same community. This kayaking trip is our company’s pride in promoting a truly environmentally sustainable and socially responsible ecotourism enterprise.