Like what I said on my previous blog, Bohol is a dream island. This paradise island is truly a jewel of the Philippines. For this article, let’s explore Panglao Island that can be found in the southwest most part of the province. Panglao Island consists of two towns named Panglao and Dauis. It is now the gateway of the province for most of its international and local visitors as it now houses the Bohol-Panglao International airport. It is known for its beautiful beaches, rich marine biodiversity perfect for diving and a lot of exceptional resorts perfect for leisure.
Places to Visit in Panglao Island
If you’re visiting Bohol for few days, I suggest to book your accommodation in Panglao Island. Aside from its accessibility from the airport, it is a good point of pick up in any attractions you wish to take. It has a lot of resorts you can choose from budget hotels up to those luxury ones and a lot of good places to eat and chill the night out. So here are the places you may visit and activities you can do in Panglao:
Bohol Bee Farm
After dropping our things in the hotel, we went straight to Bohol Bee Farm. We discovered this place through Sandara Park who featured it to the Korean show “Battle Trip”. Basically, it is a hotel/farm/souvenir place/restaurant located in Dauis known for serving and selling organic foods and goodies. We had a great experience on their outdoor dining while being mesmerized by the view of the sea. Their menu offers a lot of choices making you hard to choose. We ended up having Seafood Soup (Tinolang isda) and Seafood lasagna. They also served us cassava chips, bread and spreads as complimentary. The servings are big, you can say that ingredients used are fresh and the overall taste and quality is superb! In terms of food taste and overall dining experience, I would say that this is the best I had in the island.
Don’t forget to try their homemade ice cream! It’s flavorful and served with their very own unique cone too. They also sell pasalubong items such as honey, malunggay spread, cassava chips and many more.
Probably one of the known and unmatched site to visit in Panglao. The cave Hinagdanan which means “Laddered” in Cebuano is also located in the town of Dauis that used to be a hideout of the locals in the area to hide from the Japanese Imperial Army during the Second World War. You have to carefully step down on a stair to go inside and reach its lagoon. The cave has its own lagoon where you can swim with large stalagmites and stalactites. It’s kinda hot inside the cave so better be prepared to bring extra clothes because it is better to experience swimming in its waters. Entrance fee for sightseeing is Php 50 and Php 125 if you wish to swim.
South Palms Resort
We didn’t book our stay in this resort but we didn’t miss the chance of visiting it. South Palms Resort has one of the best beachfront I’ve seen so far! It has a long stretch of clean shore with white sand. It also highlights a beachfront spanned with number of palm trees. You may chill whole day on their beach chairs while hearing the sound of the waves and trees. They also have a pool bar and a restaurant that serves also good food. We just went on the resort to dine in and was able to enjoy the place after eating.
I would say that Alona Beach is the heart of Panglao. This is where a lot of resorts and restaurants can be found. If you wish to party and chill the night out, I suggest you stay on this area. It is a tropical beach with white sand and rocky cliffs as attractions. It is a public beach with no entrance fee needed so its perfect for family outings and day swimming. A perfect place to watch the sunset by the beach while eating and drinking a glass of smoothie or a beer.
Island Hopping (Balicasag Island and Virgin island)
To complete your Bohol trip, you can’t miss visiting this two island. There’s a lot of organized tour you may purchase to get on one of this trip. You may opt to have a private tour or avail a joiner package. There’s a lot of tours being offered online (facebook pages) but if you were not able to avail one ahead of time, don’t worry as a lot of these are being offered in the shore of Alona beach which is the common pick up point for this tours. You’ll see people with laminated cards offering island hopping tours, the price differs so be up for negotiations. In our case, we were able to score a Php 750/pax joiner fee.
Balicasag island is an island off coast of Panglao perfect for snorkeling and diving. With its rich marine sanctuary, it is an island you can’t missed on your list. Upon arrival in the island, visitors will be asked to ride a smaller boat maneuvered by a local guide to bring you on the best spot for diving. Under its clear deep blue waters are sea turtles, corals and colorful varieties of fish.
Virgin island also known as Pungtud island is probably the most popular island in Bohol. Mainly, it is a naked sandbar with white sands and clear turquoise waters perfect for swimming and to unwind. Lies on its bare island is a sign “Welcome to Virgin island” where tourists line up to get photos with it. Also, it just happened that it was high tide when we reached the island so we were not able to see the sandbar itself. So better check the high tide and low tide schedule if you wish to see the sandbar.
Other attractions you can visit are Dauis Church and Shell Museum.
Tip: Usual rate of tricycle per ride in Panglao is Php 150 (good for 3pax), so if you wish to visit multiple places in a day, it is better to rent a tricycle. Price may vary from 500 to 1000 depends on how many stop you’ll make.