This article has been translated from Russian language using an artificial intelligence-based translation algorithm. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the quality of the translation. You can read the original of this article in Russian here, and ask questions on the topic of our travel forum in English here.
Panglao Island is a small island off the southern coast of Bohol (Panglao on the map). The size of Panglao is only 15 by 5 kilometers. Although it is geographically an independent island, in fact it is part of the island and the province of Bohol, connected to it by two road bridges.
Panglao and Alona Beach is the most popular holiday destination in Central Visayas, one of the major regions of the Philippines. It is here that tourists and travelers arriving in the country through the International Airport on the island of Cebu most often go. Even Cebu island itself is not as popular for holidays as Panglao, and of course it is the most popular and convenient place to stop during a holiday on Bohol. So, if you are not sure where to go on arrival in Cebu or where to stay in Bohol, then without a doubt choose Panglao and Alona Beach.
Panglao has several excellent beaches, developed tourist infrastructure, there are several attractions, excellent conditions for diving and snorkeling, and this is a convenient place to get acquainted with the sights of Bohol. After all, you will agree, it is much more pleasant to live near the beach and travel during the day with excursions or independently to the sights on the Big Island than vice versa. By the way, Alona Beach is, in our experience (the authors of the site), the only place in the entire Central Visayas region where you can buy inexpensive group tours, and not expensive individual tours.
Panglao beaches, where to stay
Panglao is known for its wonderful beaches, but not all of them and the tourist areas related to them are as good as they are described by tour operators and advertising guides. In fact, as elsewhere in this region, Panglao has a weak bottom slope, which is why you can swim comfortably only during high tides.
In the Russian travel blogger space, there is a misconception that the tides depend on the time of day. In fact, this is not so, and it is never possible to say unequivocally, for example, that at a particular resort there are tides in the morning and ebbs in the evenings. To determine the level of tides on Panglao and Alona Beach, special calculation algorithms based on statistical data are used.
Of the total number of beaches in Panglao, we would recommend only two that are worth staying at. This is the most popular and developed Alona Beach (Alona Beach on the map), and less developed but more pleasant Dumaluan Beach (Dumaluan Beach on the map). The rest, although they have a place to be, are not very suitable for a beach holiday, unless you stay in one of the hotels with its own territory and access directly to the shore on a well-groomed and clean hotel beach.
Keep in mind that at the bottom there are sea urchins, and even on sandy beaches, and not just among the stones. Therefore, it is highly recommended to go into the water in special shoes (coral slippers) or at least in flip-flops.
Read the full overview of all the beaches of Panglao Island here, and in detail about the beach and the area of Alona Beach here
When you decide on the area, you can book a hotel in Panglao on one of these sites or through the search form from Agoda:
- Search for hotels in Panglao/Alona Beach on Agoda.com (recommended)
- Search for hotels in Panglao/Alona Beach on Booking.com
- Search for hotels in Panglao/Alona Beach on Hotellook.com
- 🛌 Search hotels on Ostrovok.ru
Внимание! Системы Booking.com, Agoda, AirBnB, Trivago и другие иностранные сайты показали себя как крайне ненадежные партнеры и полностью закрыли возможность бронирования отелей и жилья на территории РФ, в том числе и с финансовыми потерями для граждан России. Если вам нужно забронировать размещение без последствий, советуем пользоваться российскими системами поиска и бронирования жилья и отелей, и избегать использование Booking.com, Agoda и др. Подробнее здесь...
Map of Panglao with hotels, attractions, transport
You can download ⤓ points of interest, important transport points (bus stations, airports, etc.), districts and beaches from our map in KMZ/KML format. These files can be downloaded to the navigator or smartphone for use with offline or online Google Maps applications, Maps.me and others that support this format, and use them to navigate and explore resorts.
Panglao weather, tourist seasons
You can relax on Panglao all year round, it is always warm here. However, there is a favorable and unfavorable season for recreation and tourism:
- The high tourist season runs from January to May. This is a dry season with moderately high temperatures. There is little rain, the sun almost always shines, and the temperature is comfortable, kept within 28°C. Ideal months are April-May. But this season the maximum number of tourists comes to Panglao, prices for accommodation and air tickets are increasing.
- The low tourist season runs from June to December. This is the wet season or rainy season. At this time it is very hot, up to 40°C, frequent rains, high clouds, there may be tropical storms and even typhoons. In fact, at this time, you can also have a great rest, but there is a chance to get into prolonged rains and dense clouds. The weather in the rainy season changes rapidly and there can be both bright sunshine and torrential rains in a single day.
The best time to observe Dolphins and whales is from March to June.
Several times a year, mainly in the low season from June to December, tropical storms form in the Philippines, which sometimes turn into destructive typhoons. They in most cases pass through the northern part of the country, only partially affecting the islands of Bohol and Panglao, but at this time the weather deteriorates greatly, and can completely suspend any sea communication, sometimes canceling aircraft flights. Keep this in mind when vacationing, and if your airport of departure home is in Cebu or Manila, it is better to move there in the low season 1-2 days before departure, so as not to be cut off on Panglao or Bohol.
Seasons on Panglao Island by month, when is the best time to go
* best time to visit;
acceptable time to visit;
not recommended time to visit
Current Panglao weather and forecast
How to get to Panglao and Alona Beach
Panglao is home to the new Panglao International Airport (airport on the map), which serves, among other things, the island of Bohol. The old Tagbilaran Airport is no longer operational, all flights have been moved here.
It is still the only international flight from Seoul, and ready-made tickets with transfers from Russia and other CIS countries at reasonable prices can not be found. Therefore, it is cheaper to buy a ready-made flight to Cebu or Manila, and from there a separate flight of local airlines or by ferry. Cebu Airport is especially convenient, from where you can take a ferry in just a few hours. However, to do this, you first need to get from the airport to the pier by taxi or bus, Read More How to do this in our Guide to Mactan-Cebu Airport.
You can find profitable flights to Cebu or Manila from Russia and other countries using the search form from Aviasales:
Cheap flights from Moscow to Cebu:
|ЦЕНА||ПЕРЕСАДКИ||АВИАКОМПАНИЯ||ДАТА ВЫЛЕТА||ДАТА ВОЗВРАЩЕНИЯ|
|НАЙТИ ОТ 90088 ₽||2 пересадки||26.07.2022||10.08.2022|
|НАЙТИ ОТ 60185 ₽||2 пересадки||18.08.2022||05.09.2022|
|НАЙТИ ОТ 50576 ₽||2 пересадки||06.09.2022||19.09.2022|
|НАЙТИ ОТ 40262 ₽||1 пересадка||30.10.2022||12.11.2022|
|НАЙТИ ОТ 37815 ₽||1 пересадка||01.11.2022||09.11.2022|
Minimum prices for flights from Russia to Tagbilaran:
|НАЙТИ ОТ 60810 ₽||Москва ⇄ Тагбиларан||2|
|НАЙТИ ОТ 76860 ₽||Санкт-Петербург ⇄ Тагбиларан||2|
There is no marina directly on Panglao Island, all ferries and speedboats, with the exception of the only tourist boat from Oslob (Oslob, Cebu island), arrive and depart from the marinas and ports on Bohol Island. The most convenient port to get to Panglao is the Port of Tagbilaran Ferry Terminal in . Tagbilaran (port on map). It is served by frequent scheduled flights from . Cebu; Dumaguete City to Negros Island; Siquijor; Manila; the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Dipolog, Ozamis, Iligan on the island of Mindanao.
Learn more about all the ways, how to get to Panglao and Alona Beach here...
Public transport on Panglao is very poorly developed. There is only one bus service from the airport via Alona Beach and to the bus station in Tagbilaran, and several jeepney routes along the ring road. They rarely go, so it is much more convenient to move on tricycles. As usual, tourists for trips on tricycles are called inflated prices, you need to bargain. For example, locals for a short trip pay from 10 pesos (USD), and tourists are asked for 100 or more. In general, try to bargain at least at the rate of about 20 pesos per kilometer.
Low-powered scooters for traveling around Panglao and Bohol can be rented at the beaches, as well as in Tagbilaran City upon arrival by ferry at Tagbilaran Ferry Port. And there and there the prices are the same: after bargaining, you can rent a scooter for 250 pesos/day (USD) provided that you take for several days, when renting for one day they ask for 350 pesos ( USD). These are the 2021 prices.
Attractions, things to see and do
Directly on the island of Panglao there are not very many attractions. On your own, you can visit Bee Farm, Hinagdanan Cave with a swimming pool, meet the sunset at Sunset Point on the northeastern tip of the island near Dolho Beach. There are also several marine reserves where you can go snorkeling and diving, and that's it.
But these attractions, which can be visited from the island of Panglao, are far from being exhausted, because the bulk of interesting places are located on the island of Bohol and neighboring tiny islets. You can go to Bohol during the day yourself on rented transport, hire a tuk-tuk for a trip, buy an individual or group tour, or see some of the sights even with the help of local buses.
Excursions to Panglao are best purchased on the beach and in the Alona Beach area. It offers inexpensive group tours, as well as more expensive individual tours. You can buy them in hotels, from distributors on the beach, but we recommend going straight to the Tourist Information Center on the main street in Alona (center on map).There are brochures with a large number of options for excursions, prices and all conditions are immediately indicated. The tour Center works late. You can also find and book tours online on these sites or choose from a banner with photos of the most popular:
- Guided tours of Bohol Island tripster.ru
- Guided tours of Bohol Island getyourguide.ru
- Guided tours of Bohol Island Viator.com
And here is a description of excursions and attractions that are worth visiting in Panlao in the first place, but do not forget about other attractions in Bohol:
The main tourist route on the island
If you do not have a lot of time to travel around the island in search of individual attractions, then the easiest way is to drive along the popular tourist route to the Chocolate Hills. Most of the tourist attractions and attractions are concentrated on this route, and it ends with a tour of the famous Chocolate Hills from the observation deck. Along the way, you can visit at least the following places: monument of Blood (Blood Compact Shrine), Museum of retro cars (Bohol Vintage Cars Museum), cruises on the river Loboc (Loboc River Cruise), amusement park Adventure Park IFlyLoboc, double bamboo bridge (Sipatan Twin Bamboo Bridge), man-made forest in Bilar (Bilar Man-Made Forest), nursery of tarsiers (Loboc Tarsier Sanctuary), pangas falls. And this is not a complete list, since every year more and more new tourist attractions are opened. Learn more about the main tourist route in Bohol here...
🕐 Working hours: it is best to move out on this route early in the morning in order to have time to return before dark.
🚶 Entrance fee / tickets price: entrance to various attractions along the route from 50 pesos (USD), group excursion from Alona Beach from 400 pesos, rent a motorcycle from 250 pesos.
🚶 How to get there: it is best to drive the main tourist route in Bohol on your own by rented transport, so you can see everything you want. But if this is not possible, then you can buy a group tour from 400 pesos in Alona Beach, or hire a driver with a car from 2500 pesos for the whole day. You can also travel along the route quite cheaply on local transport, making a transfer at The Dao Integrated Terminal bus terminal (bus station on the map) in Tagbilaran.
Diving on Panglao is one of the first places among all entertainment. Every morning at Anlona beach, you can see endless groups of tourists loading onto boats and going on diving tours in coastal waters (local diving) or to the small nearby islands of Balicasag, Pamilakan and Virgin Island. Experienced divers can rent equipment and make their own coastal dives.
Diving centers are most in Alona Beach, and directly on the beach, and not in the village itself. It is better to book tours to the islands in advance, at least two days in advance, local dives are possible even on the same day. Learn more about diving on Alona Beach and Panglao here...
🕐 Working hours: tours to the islands depart in the morning, local diving can be carried out throughout the day. Night dives are also offered.
🚶 How to get there: diving centers are best found at Alona Beach right on the shore. Literally in half an hour you can go around all the Centers, find out the conditions and prices. There are also diving centers on other beaches, pay attention to two Russian ones: DOFLEINI Dive Center on Dumaluan Beach and DCC on Danao Beach.
Snorkeling and island hopping tours
If you can't afford diving or think it's too extreme, then look in the direction of snorkeling. Snorkeling in Panglao and Alona Beach is something without which your holiday at the resort will not be complete. Conditions here are excellent: clear water, lots of wildlife, coral reef, shallow depth. Sometimes in the reviews of tourists you can read that snorkeling on Panglao is bad, but this is because such reviews are written by those who did not go beyond the resort and Alona Beach. In fact, there are quite decent places for observing underwater wildlife, and ideally you should go on a snorkeling tour to the nearest islands of Balicasag, Pamilakan and Karin. Learn more about snorkeling and island tours here...
🕐 Working hours: independently during the daytime, tours to the islands depart in the morning.
🚶 Entrance fee / tickets price: mask and tube rental 100 pesos (), group tours to the islands from 1300 pesos ( ).
🚶 How to get there: independent snorkeling is possible on all beaches and marine reserves (Marine Sanctuary) on the coast of Panglao. Tours to the islands are offered at hotels, travel agencies and diving centers on Alona Beach.
Pamilacan Dolphin Island tour / Pamilacan dolphin Tour
The dolphin tour is one of the visiting tourist cards of Bohol and Panglao. The average program of such tours includes sailing on a small boat to the tiny island of Pamilakan; disembarking on the island with lunch and relaxation; snorkeling (Max and tube are included in the price); in fact, the meeting with dolphins in open water. Such tours are sold on the beach and in the travel agencies of Alona Beach, in time it takes almost the whole day.
🕐 Working hours: tours depart in the morning.
🚶 Entrance fee / tickets price: group tour from 1600 pesos (), or you can gather a group of tourists and hire a boat from 3500 for the whole day ( ).
🚶 How to get there: previously, tours to Pamilakan were delivered only from the Baclayon Marina, but today ready-made group tours are freely sold on Alona Beach from private beach owners and travel agencies.
Swimming with whale sharks in Bohol
A small village Lila (Lila), and more specifically the village Taug (Taug) on Bohol is known for the fact that giant whale sharks often appear in its coastal waters. These giants can reach 20 meters in length, but they are completely safe for humans, feed on plankton, and they do not even have teeth. In 2019, it was equipped with a center for swimming with Shark tourists, similar to what is in Oslob.
Unlike the world-famous Oslob, where whale sharks are tamed, here they are still at least partially foraging on their own, although most likely everything will change soon. But no one will give you a 100% guarantee that you will see them here, although, as the organizers of the tours say, the probability of seeing them is 99%. Learn more about swimming with whale sharks in Bohol here...
🕐 Working hours: sailing is held from 06:00 to 11:00, It is better to arrive as early as possible.
🚶 Entrance fee / tickets price: entrance fee for swimming with sharks (including mask and snorkel rental) 1000 pesos (USD), tours from Alona Beach from 1500 pesos.
🚶 How to get there: the shark swimming center is located in the village of Taug in the village of Lila (Lila) is located on the south coast of Bohol, 40 kilometers from Alona Beach (Swimming Center on the map). You can get there by taxi-tricycle, rented transport, buses, or with a tour.
Firefly tour / Firefly tour
This is an evening tour along the river, during which you can see the stunning spectacle of a million fireflies lighting their lights at nightfall. The tour is conducted along the Loboc River from the town of Loay, but it is not necessary to go there yourself, inexpensive group tours from Alona Beach are offered.
🕐 Working hours: in the evening after dark from 18: 00 to 21: 00.
🚶 Entrance fee / tickets price: Group boat tour costs from 500 pesos (USD), on kayaks from 1700 ( USD).
🚶 How to get there: boat tours depart from the bridge in the town of Loay, 32 kilometers from Alona (Firefly tour on the map). Given the late departure time, it is best to use a ready-made tour with a transfer from Alona Beach. we do not recommend going by tricycle or rented transport in the evening.
This is the only natural attraction located directly on the island of Panglao, not counting the beaches of the island, of course. It is shallow, consists of one large hall, in which there is a pool with clean water for swimming. There are lights and railings around the pool to keep from falling into the water.
It is in order to swim in the pool, it is worth visiting it. If you are interested only in the cave itself for inspection without swimming, perhaps you should not go, it is not particularly spectacular. Yes, there are some stalactites and rock formations inside, but you will spend no more than 5 minutes there. Learn more about Hinagdanan cave here...
🕐 Working hours: 07:30-17:00.
🚶 Entrance fee / tickets price: entrance fee 50 pesos (USD), swimming fee additional 75 pesos, motorcycle/car parking 5/15 pesos.
🚶 How to get there: Hinagdanan is located on the north shore of Panglao 12 kilometers from Alona Beach (cave on the map). It is better to get there by rented transport, a trip on a tricycle in both directions with a wait will cost from 400 pesos. The visit without swimming takes place on its own, but swimming with a conditional guide who takes groups to the cave, and looks after your safety.
This is one of the most interesting sights on Panglao, and definitely worth a visit, but provided you understand spoken English well. Its visit includes an excursion, during which they talk about the plants grown here, the production of honey by bees, their care, and all kinds of beekeeping products ranging from fresh honey to cosmetics. Without knowledge of English, unfortunately, it will not be so interesting here. Learn more about the Bohol Bee Farm here...
🕐 Working hours: guided tours are available from 08: 00 to 16: 30 every 30 minutes.
🚶 Entrance fee / tickets price: you can come and walk around the accessible part of the farm, visit the shops for free, the cost of the tour is 30 pesos (USD).
🚶 How to get there: the farm is located on Panglao Island 9 kilometers from Alona Beach (bee farm on the map). You can get here by rented transport (there is free parking), or take a passing jeepney on the main road towards the town of Dauis (travel about 10 pesos), get off at the turn to the farm and walk 1 kilometer towards the beach.
Dauis watchtower and church
Dauis Watchtower and the Catholic Church Church Of Our Lady of the Assumption (Dauis Church) are two historic landmarks located on the northern tip of Panglao Island near the bridge to Bohol Island. Built in the XIX century. Both the tower and the temple were damaged in an earthquake in 2013, but the temple remained open despite minor damage. The tower can only be viewed from the outside.
🕐 Working hours: during daytime.
🚶 Entrance fee / tickets price: free.
🚶 How to get there: located in the village of Dauis in northern Panglao 15 kilometers from Alona (Dauis tower and Temple on the map). You can get to Tagbilaran by tricycle or jeepney.
Nova Shell Museum
A museum with a huge collection of seashells, among which there are very "cool". Here you can buy some copies. The only bad thing is that the museum is in a neglected state: dirty and dusty, there is no information about the exhibits.
🕐 Working hours: 08:00-17:00.
🚶 Entrance fee / tickets price: 50 pesos.
🚶 How to get there: located in the capital Panglao near the city center and 5 kilometers from Alon (Museum on the map). It is not easy to find it, it is located in an alley in the courtyard of the house without any signs. There is only one single sign on the alley at the entrance to the courtyard.