Philippines // Mindanao //

Dolphin Island


Just thirty minutes drive north along the coast from Ozamiz in the village of Sinacaban, the Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park (MOAP; P10) is an ambitious eco-tourism project that combines dolphins, fish ponds, mangrove restoration and chalet-style accommodation via the Dolphin Island Resort (t088/586-0292). Rooms range from deluxe suites (P2500–2999) to smaller cottages (P1500–1999), all on stilts overlooking the shallow bay with hot showers and TV. There are also dorm beds from P250.

The real attraction here is Dolphin Island, a series of man-made stilt huts over a sand bar 2km offshore. It’s principally a dolphin rescue centre, with fenced-in seawater pens providing a safe haven for animals trapped or injured by fishermen – after rehabilitation they are released into nearby dolphin communities. At the time of writing the island was home to five spotted dolphins and one green turtle. You can swim with the dolphins here for just P250 – an incredible deal. There’s a basic restaurant on the island that serves fried chicken, pork and rice, and another restaurant onshore at the resort. The fifteen-minute boat ride to the island costs P30 round-trip (every hour, daily 8am–4pm; last boat back 5.30pm), and you can rent snorkelling gear (P50/hr), kayaks (P100/hr) or organize dive trips (from P2300). Tricycles to MOAP from the Ozamiz ferry charge around P200.

Travel Offers

20% off ebooks

Subscribe to the Rough Guides newsletter and get 20% off any ebook.

Join over 50,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month.