Last updated on March 19th, 2020 at 11:43 am
Panglao is located in the Central Visayas Region in the Philippines. It’s one of the most popular destinations in the Philippines. We will write all Panglao tourist spots beach, island hopping, caves and more in our Panglao travel guide. There are many backpackers in Alona Beach area but you will find also luxury accommodation.
If you stay in Panglao you there are many places to visit in Bohol like Chocolate Hills, waterfalls and the Tarsier Sanctuary. The airport is only 3 kilometers aways from Alona Beach where more of the places to stay and restaurants are in Panglao Island.
Read here Bohol itinerary!
Panglao Travel Guide
Best time to visit Panglao
A destination like Panglao is very easy to predict. By that, we mean you can easily plan your trip based on the weather as there are certain months that are the best choice for traveling the province. For the coolest weather, the best time to visit Panglao is from November to April. You may experience some short and scattered rains during the months of November to February but the other months are sure to be sunny and bright.
On the other hand, May to July are the hottest months and is perfect for those who love the dry season and don’t mind being exposed to the sun’s heat. Finally, for those who came to Panglao to see the dolphins, its best to visit the province from March to June.
Getting to Panglao from Tagbilaran Port
Panglao Island is around 45 minutes jeepney ride from Tagbilaran Port. From the port you can walk for about 15 minutes to the downtown area where jeepneys leave for Panglao. The ride costs 25 PHP. It’s a great experience to travel by jeepney. During the 20-kilometer ride from Tagbilaran to Panglao. You will see children going to school and locals leaving for work. Everyone just goes on with their lives in their daily commute on the jeepney. Panglao is filled with cheerful people and it is such a beautiful island where there are many plans to do!
Getting Panglao from the airport
If you want to get to Alona Beach from Bohol-Panglao International Airport. You should know there are only 3 kilometers distance from the airport to Alona Beach. But Bohol is so touristic and prices are high.
If you are getting to Alona Beach from the New Airport in Panglao by tricycle prices are 150 PHP. You can get charged 250 PHP for that distance depends on your negotiation skills. A few hotels offer transportation giving you the same rates 150 PHP for transferring from the airport. And taxis has similar prices. You can try to check with your accommodation around Panglao and maybe they will offer you a free pick up from the airport.
Travel Tip: Click here to know prices and schedule to book your bus/boat tickets online with 12Go Asia.
Daily Budget in Panglao
The cost of living in Panglao is similar to other province in the Philippines. You can get a decent meal around Alona Beach area for as low as 60-120 PHP, which is less than $1-3 USD! Beer also comes cheap at 60-70 PHP. You can have eat and drink as much as you want in this island paradise!
You can get dorms for only 400 PHP. That’s just around $4-8 USD a night! Pension houses are also available all over Panglao with rooms that go for as low as 800-1000 PHP. While mid-range accommodations come at 1200-3000 PHP ($22-56 USD). Finally, luxury stays can be afforded at $75-355 USD, depending on the place’s location, size and privacy.
How Many Days You Should Stay in Panglao
If you are planning to stay in Panglao Island, Bohol. We recommend you to stay at least 2 nights. You can get your accommodation around Alona Beach area.
First day you can relax in the beach with a beer, swimming and also trying local food. We recommend to you to book in advance an island hopping tour in Panglao going to Balicasag Island and Virgin Island. You can also book with a diving school since is so beautiful in Balicasag with the turtles.
Second day the Island hopping in Panglao will take you most of your day. You can go out for dinner to a traditional place and try some Filipino food. You can also go out for a drink since there are a few bars in the area.
If you are planning to stay longer than 2 days in Panglao Island. You can relax in the beach and rent a motorbike and explore around Bohol. There are waterfalls, rice fields, the Chocolate Hills, the tarsiers, Loboc River. So much to explore around the area depending the time that you have. For these locations you can also move your accommodation in Bohol near Loboc River or Anda Beaches if you plan to spend more time in Bohol.
Panglao Tourist Spots
1. Balicasag Island
One of the most popular places to visit in Bohol is Balicasag Island. Panglao is full of daily boats going to Balicasag from Alona Beach. People go to Balicasag to visit the popular fish sanctuary and turtle areas, either for snorkeling or diving. Rates start from 700-1000 PHP, depending on the activities you want to do and how well you negotiate with the tourist companies since prices aren’t fixed. Boats leave for Balicasag in Panglao at around 6 AM and they go back to Alona Beach at around 1 PM. The first part of the tour involves dolphin watching while on the way to Balicasag. It will include a visit to Virgin Island.
Read here the best places for diving in the Philippines!
Upon reaching the island, you are free to go swimming, snorkeling and watching fishes and turtles. Unfortunately for us, we weren’t able to go snorkeling due to the warning issued by the coast guard. I’m sure you guys will get the chance, though, since this rarely happens. We are still hopeful for the experience in the future!
2. Alona Beach
Alona Beach is very busy during the day with people sunbathing, swimming, and boats conducting tours and activities. It’s not really a bad thing, because it makes the place come alive especially with various restaurants catering every tourist’s needs by serving all kinds of cuisine. The beach is big enough to find a quiet place for you, in case that’s the vibe that you are looking for. There are cliffs you can climb, which we did a lot, to see the complete sea view in a different light. We climb the cliffs to start and end our day in Panglao.
3. Sunrise in Panglao
If you are an early bird, you will have the opportunity to catch the sunrise from Alona Beach. After that, you can enjoy the day in the beach, have a daytrip to Balicasag and other neighboring islands, spend the day in Panglao or visit The Chocolate Hills.
4. Sunset in Panglao
It’s not much of a secret anymore that we are so addicted to watching sunsets. In Panglao, we watched sunsets while kayaking and paddling. The colors were absolutely breathtaking, and it’s just the perfect time to enjoy the water. A must-do, definitely. These small moments can easily make your stay in Bohol (or really, any other beach for that matter) extra memorable.
5. Hinagdanan Cave
Hinagdanan Cave is an amazing Panglao tourist spot to visit. Not only you’ll love the majestic structure and magical view of sunlight getting into the holes of the caves, but you’ll also love the adventure and thrill of it. This beautiful limestone cave is located in Bingag, Dauis, Bohol and is open to the public from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM. From Tagbilaran, you can ride a tricycle or rent a motorcycle to go to location. Entrance fee to get inside is 20 PHP.
6. Virgin Island
Virgin Island is probably one of your stops if you’re traveling with a tour. You’ll be so mesmerized with the clear waters that make an illusion that you’re floating on air. Tourists love the sandbar here and the sea creatures they can observe at while exploring the place. If you’re not coming with a tour, you can rent a boat to get to Virgin Island from PHP 1500 to 2500, good for 8-10 persons.
7. Visit Bee Farm
This is a unique Panglao tourist spot that you wouldn’t want to miss! Bohol Bee Farm is a private farm and resort known for their organic farm and restaurant. Guests love the food they serve because of the freshness and taste of the ingredients, and the overall dining experience itself. Bohol Bee Farm is located at Dao, Panglao Island in Bohol. To get here from the airport, you can ride a habal-habal or motorcycle, and fare costs around PHP 200 for a roundtrip ride. If you’re coming with a tour, you can ask the driver to stop by Bohol Bee Farm for a quick lunch.
More Panglao Tourist Spots
8. Dumaluan Beach
It’s only 5 kilometers far from Alona Beach in Panglao. You will find white sand and clear waters. There is an entrance fee 75 PHP. If you take a tricycle tour in Panglao will be included in the tour. You can relax and do activities in the beach.
9. Doljo Beach
Doljo Beach is in East Panglao 15 kilometers far from Alona Beach. It’s a beautiful beach with white sand and quiet. But they aren’t taking care of it and is little bit dirty of trash.
Pamilacan Island is located in South Bohol is around one hour by boat from Baclayon. It’s great for snorkeling and you can stay overnight if you wish. You can also rent a cottage and spend the day.
11. Luxury Resort in Panglao
You can have an easy day swimming, reading and sunbathing while in Panglao. We really loved this infinity pool in Bluewater Panglao with direct views to the sea! The water is very beautiful, and the place is very relaxing. Whether you are enjoying a swim in the infinity pool, or in the privacy of your own villas, you will definitely be full of natural good vibes!
12. Getting a Masage in Panglao Island
We had our first Filipino massage called hilot, and it was super relaxing. We REALLY loved the place where we had our Amuma Massage inside the garden with a really beautiful set up, just right in the middle of nature. It was actually very surprising, as we didn’t think that Filipino massage was that popular, compared to Thai, Swedish and Balinese massage. However, we are so glad that we were able to try it. It’s even one of the best massages we’ve ever had to date.
13. Nightlife in Panglao
If you don’t like going to bed early, then why not experience the night life in Panglao? You can go around Alona Beach and you will enjoy various night life activities. You can see both locals and foreigners having a good time together. You can have dinner, down a couple of drinks, and party all you want! Prefer a more intimate scene? Rachel and I chose a romantic dinner together by the beach. Definitely one of the most unforgettable moments of our trip!
14. Filipino Traditional Dance
For the first time in the Philippines, we were able to experience a traditional dance together. In the Aplaya Restaurant, they served themed dinners, and Friday is the Barrio Fiesta, where you get to experience the traditional food in a Filipino Fiesta setup. Fiestas are festivals often celebrated in the name of the patron saint of a particular city. Much of these fiestas are from the influence of the Spanish regime. During our stay, we were able to enjoy watching the folk dances like Tinikling. Great thing to do in Bohol, for sure!
Food to Try in Panglao
We tried local dishes in Panglao like adobo with fried rice and lechon (one of the most famous dishes in the Philippines), and the most popular dish in Panglao and Bohol: Ube. If you love sweet things, you definitely shouldn’t miss the Philippines’ ube halaya!
Where to stay in Panglao
Twin Tides Panglao was a great option when traveling on a budget. Twin Tides Panglao is a quaint yet stylish hotel with a great location – just a few minutes walk from Alona Beach. We enjoyed their breakfast choices, and the time flexibility was actually really good. You can either choose to have them prepare you a very early breakfast or have a late breakfast at around 12 noon, after your day trip to the islands.
The hotel has a quiet and calm atmosphere, the decor was very simple but it’s a really good place for a cheap price. It’s pretty much incomparable to hostels since it’s really just a small hotel with all the amenities you will need. We enjoyed the great breakfasts in Twin Tides Panglao. Western choices and even Asian soups like ramen are available here.
We spent a few days in Bluewater Panglao where you will enjoy the best luxury in Bohol, for a reasonable price. You can enjoy your own villa with a private pool, perfect for intimate moments, or just enjoying a private and exclusive time with friends or family. You can also have your own private beach where you can enjoy your day, whether its activities on the island itself, or getting your own boat and touring the neighboring islands, like Balicasag. The staff is very friendly and will treat you like family, and don’t even get us started with the food. Filipino food at its best! Check the next section for more of their amazing food choices.
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