The Philippines is an archipelago of over 7500 islands, there are so many beautiful locations to travel to Boracay, Palawan, Siargao, honestly, there are just too many to name! One of the most popular islands to visit in the Philippines is Bohol. Bohol has a lot of tourists sights especially countryside activities. However, everyone choose to come back to Panglao Island to rest and relax.
So if you find yourself having a few days to spend in Bohol, here is a list of some awesome things to do in Panglao Island. In this article, we’re going to detail some exciting activities that you can do whilst on holiday at Panglao or if you want more, you can check out the best things you can do in Bohol too!
Awesome Things to Do in Panglao Island
So you’ve booked your flight to Bohol, packed your sunnies, swimwear and have readied your reservation on Panglao Island, what’s next? Of course, you’re up for some adventure, sun worshipping and you want to indulge in everything the island has to offer! So here are our suggestions for things to do on Panglao Island, Bohol.
To make the most of your visit to Panglao Island, stay at one of the best Bohol luxury resorts for a more awesome time!
Get a good tan and beach bum your way in the white fine sand with cool juice fresh from a coconut husk. Panglao Island will make you enjoy or relax on its fine sand and pristine beaches. Take pleasure with some of your fellow beach bums or laze around by yourself with a book from sun up till the glorious sunset. Walk along the 1 km stretch of Alona Beach, the most famous on the island. When Alona becomes too crowded for your taste, you can hire or rent a motorbike and relax on the other stunning beaches like Doljo beach, Bolod, Dumaluan, Danao and Bagobo Beach. These are some of the best beaches in Bohol, so if you’re in the area be sure to check them out!
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Try to become a child of Poseidon and immerse yourself in the underworld beauty through scuba diving and snorkeling. Panglao is rich in marine biodiversity and there are some diving sites on the island. Most divers prefer Alona Beach as their starting point. The highlight of most diving excursions in Panglao is the Balicasag Island – a distant island rich with marine life. You can also join a free diving class with a non-profit organization on the island.
Race against the sunrise to start off your island hopping tour and dolphin watching. The islands of Balicasag and Isola de Francisco (Virgin Island) will be your destinations. But before that, ready yourself to wake up at 4:30 AM so you could watch and wait for the dolphins in the middle of the sea. If you’re lucky, a whale might show up too. You can arrange this tour with your hotel or arrange it yourself in Alona Beach.
Prices usually start at 1,500 pesos to 2,500 pesos depending on how many people in the group and how good you are at haggling. Make sure to ask about all the inclusions in the tour so you would know how much will you spend overall. You can also book online for the Bohol island hopping tour to avoid haggling and be more comfortable.
Options are available in Balicasag Island to dive or snorkel. Snorkeling is around 250 pesos. You can pack your own lunch or have a seafood lunch served on the island. Next stop from Balicasag is the Virgin Island, now named Isola de Francisco. The island was opened by the owner for the devotees of Padre Pio as evidenced by the religious statues built on the island. Food and drinks can be brought to the island and one can enjoy the stretch of white sand bar and frolic in the crystal clear water.
Indulge on a mouth-watering food trip and beer spree. No matter what your mood is, food is the ultimate cure and by all means, dig in. Alona Beach comes alive at night as you walk along the shore and find the freshest catch of the day for dinner. Go gaga over the fresh seafood and tell the waiter how you want your food cooked. Enjoy the fire dance and music jams while you’re at it or have a relaxing massage by the beach beforehand.
The area is packed with great restaurants offering different cuisines. And well of course, who would forget the beer? It’s a staple of parties and chill out jams. Foreign tourists are often quite surprised at how cheap beer is in the Philippines. So how about some San Miguel to whet your whistle?
If you’re a sucker for anything healthy and organic, the Bohol Bee Farm is a must try. I am a huge fan of their delightfully organic and tasty ice cream, particularly the Malunggay flavour. If you need something new for your taste buds, try out the seaweed and ginger flavors. Their restaurant or the Buzz Café offers a smorgasbord of interesting delights from bread to pasta and pizza and variety of menu. There are also many different restaurants in Panglao Island which cater to different palettes.
If you want to combine a tour of Panglao Island and the Bee Farm, it is easier to just book a combination tour in the morning so you’ll have the rest of the afternoon free to frolick at the beach.
Kite surf your way into adventure. Water sports are readily available in the island, but if you think they’re not enough and you have the money for it, this may be the activity for you. Check out a popular kite surfing shop along Alona Beach too. There are jet skis and banana boats available at some resorts on the island too.
Get away from the sun and spelunk a little at Hinagdanan Cave. The cave is located in Dauis, farther from Alona Beach. The cave is naturally lit by sunlight that permeates through the holes in the ceiling of the cavern. It has a deep lagoon and large stalagmites and stalactites. The entrance to the cave is a hole about 1 meter in diameter and cemented steps lead into the interior. The path is quite slippery but there is a railing made of rope that you can hold on to. The underground lake is a popular swimming spot but it has been known to test for high levels of various pollutants,since it is fed by ground runoff. The entrance fee for Hinagdanan cave is 50 pesos. It takes about 1 hour to visit and the opening hours are from 730am – 6pm.
If you’ve enjoyed Panglao Island to the fullest and you think you’ve enjoyed Bohol and all it has to offer, you’re in for another treat. Bohol is like a country packed into a small island. Take a tour in the countryside and visit century old churches, cruise along the Loboc River, be one with the Man Made Forest, get along with the Tarsiers and admire the breathtaking view of the 1,268 Chocolate Hills. Then how about visiting about 10 waterfalls and springs sporadically spread around the province or jumping at cave pools in Anda? Oh, and what about free falling at a 75-meter drop, 200 meters above trees and rocks at E.A.T. Danao or exploring its caves?
Visit Moadto Strip Mall
The newest addition to Panglao Island’s attractions is the modern Moadto Strip Mall. It has a long stretch of beach, a green area to lounge and a number of restaurants and shops that cater to anyone. The best time to visit there is during the evening or sunset as you can see some really nice views all while sipping a sun-downer. Moadto Strip mall is located in Doljo beach area and is free for everyone to visit. The new Modala Beach Resort is located beside it too.
Tips When You Travel to Panglao Island Bohol
- If you have more time to spend in Bohol, you can rent a motorbike to explore the areas in Panglao and further into the middle part of the island. All roads are paved if you want to drive to the Chocolate Hills on a motorbike.
- If you don’t have enough time, you can combine a Bohol Countryside tour to the Chocolate Hills and Panglao Island tour in a day.
How to Get to Panglao Island
Panglao is part of the island of Bohol and is accessible from Tagbilaran City. From Manila, you can fly to Tagbilaran City every day with flights from different airlines. From Tagbilaran City, you can take a taxi or car to your hotel or arrange a pick up from them. There are also many affordable places to stay in Panglao or Tagbilaran City to make your trip a success.
If you don’t have enough time to stay on the island. You can stay for one night and combine a Bohol Countryside tour and Panglao Island. This means you get to see the Chocolate Hills, dine at Loboc River and cruise, see the tarsier and also get to see the beaches of Panglao. This is the perfect tour to get the most out of your visit to Bohol. After Bohol, you can also get to Cebu and do a Cebu Daytrip there too!
Have you ever been to Panglao Island? What did you do? Let us know in the comments!
Don’t just leave the Philippines without checking out Cebu! Here’s our Cebu Travel Guide with itinerary and things to do.
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Read all our travel planning articles about Bohol here.
Angie is a travel consultant and blogger who has started by writing her travel memoirs on her blog and then got published on international travel sites. She’s now focused on creating in-depth travel itinerary and articles about planning trips to the Philippines.