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Life Is A Beach: 10 Best Things To Do On Panglao Island, Philippines

Liezl
Updated Jan 08, 2019

Panglao Island in Bohol is home to the best white sand beaches in the country. The beaches here can rival those in Boracay, and because tourism development here is regulated, Panglao also offers a less congested beach experience compared to Boracay. Find out what else is in store for you when you visit the island.

1. Be a beach bum at Alona Beach

Alona beach overview

Alona Beach is a 1.5 kilometer (0.93 mile) stretch of fine, white sand beach located on the southern end of Panglao Island. Bordered by two rocks on both ends, this stretch of sand also houses the greatest number of beachfront resorts on the island. Several restaurants can also be found near the beach. The beach offers easy access to nearby snorkeling and diving spots, which are within swimming distance. You don’t need to hire a boat to check out the island’s teeming marine life. Different types of accommodations are available near Alona Beach which cater to different budgets and travel preferences. Alona Beach can be reached from Tagbilaran City, where the airport is, via tricycle or taxi. It is about a 35 to 45 minute ride from the city. Most hotels also offer airport transfers to and from Panglao Island.

Alona Beach

Address: Alona Beach, Panglao, Panglao Island, Bohol

Operating Hours: Open all hours

How To Access: From Tagbilaran City, take a tricycle or a taxi to Panglao Island. Alona Beach is a popular destination, familiar to most drivers.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Panglao and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Panglao

2. Be a beach bum at Dumaluan Beach


Dumaluan Beach is located on the same side of the island as Alona. This beach, when coupled with nearby Libaong Beach, creates 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) of white sand beach. Although there are several beach resorts along this stretch, it is not as crowded as Alona Beach. This area makes for quieter beach bumming as there may not be as many people compared to Alona Beach. This area is also more popular for locals rather than tourists so you can also strike up a conversation if you want. Or you can just lay on the sand all day. From Alona Beach, you can ride a tricycle to take you to Dumaluan Beach.

Dumaluan Beach

Address: Dumaluan Beach, Panglao, Panglao Island, Bohol

Operating Hours: Open all hours

How To Access: From Tagbilaran City, take a tricycle or a taxi to Panglao Island. Dumaluan Beach is a popular destination, familiar to most drivers.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Panglao and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Panglao

3. Island hopping: Balicasag Island


A popular destination for island hopping is Balicasag Island found off the coast of Panglao Island. Because the island has a marine sanctuary, you will see plenty of tropical fish and marine life when you go snorkeling. The island also has Turtle Point, where, as the name suggests, you will likely encounter turtles swimming around or even swimming next to you. Balicasag also has several great dive sites: Black Forest where you can see schools of fish and Divers Heaven, for corals and a bit of cave diving. From Alona Beach, you can arrange to take a day trip that usually includes Pamilacan Island as well. Check out some of the tour packages offered by local tour agencies.

Balicasag Island

Address: Balicasag Island, Dauis, Bohol

How To Access: Balicasag Island is usually included in the island hopping tour with dolphin watching. Check out some of the local tour agencies such as Bohol Best Tours or Bohol Travel Tours

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Panglao and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Panglao

4. Dolphin and whale watching: Pamilacan Island


This small island is actually part of Baclayon Town on Bohol Island. It’s located 23 kilometers (14.2 miles) from Balicasag Island and is known as a place where whales and dolphins converge. The community on Pamilacan Island are former whalers who depended largely on whaling as their livelihood. When the country banned whaling in 1992, the community began looking for other ways to earn a living, and eco-tourism became a better option. Nowadays, three community-based groups organize dolphin and whale watching tours as their main source of income. Pamilacan Island is usually included in the dolphin watching tour with island hopping. Check out one of the three community-based groups that organize tours to the island, as they may offer a different experience when it comes to island hopping.

Pamilacan Island

Address: Pamilacan Island, Baclayon, Bohol

How To Access: Book with Pamilacan Island Dolphin and Whale Watching Tours. Tour packages usually include round trip hotel transfers and lunch.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Panglao and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Panglao

5. Explore Hinagdanan Cave


On the island of Panglao, you can take your adventure away from the beach for a while. In the town of Dauis, there is an inland cave called Hinagdanan with a natural lagoon inside. A popular tourist spot, this cave is not hard to find. If you are on a budget, you can take a tricycle to take you to the cave, or hire a motorcycle. The cave is usually part of the Panglao Island tour together with other spots on the island. The cave is mainly composed of limestone karst and one beautiful feature of the cave is seen when sunlight streams into the holes on top of the cave. The cavern and the lagoon will look even more amazing.

Hinagdanan Cave

Address: Bingag, Dauis, Bohol

Fees: Entrance fee: about 1 USD / 50 PHP per person

How To Access: You may take a tricycle from Alona Beach or Tagbilaran City to the cave, which will be a 10 to 15 minute ride.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Panglao and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Panglao

6. Visit the beautiful church of Dauis


The church’s formal name is Our Lady of the Assumption Church, located in the town center of Dauis. Construction started in 1863 and the church was completed by the early 1920s. Unlike the centuries-old churches in other parts of Bohol, this church is designed in the Gothic and Neoclassical architectural styles. Inside the church, at the foot of the altar, there is a well believed to have been miraculously provided to townsfolk who were trapped in the church for days without water. The church is currently undergoing reconstruction after a 2013 earthquake led to a part of its facade falling down.

Our Lady of the Assumption Church (Dauis)

Address: Poblacion, Dauis, Bohol

How To Access: Take a tricycle from Alona Beach or Tagbilaran City.

Facebook page: Our Lady of the Assumption Church

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Panglao and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Panglao

7. Eat healthy at the Bohol Bee Farm


If you are looking for a place to eat a healthy, organic meal, Bohol Bee Farm is the place for you. This place prides itself for offering the best organic dining experience you can have in Bohol. Located in Dao, Dauis, it has a restaurant and a hotel as well. The menu not only includes vegetarian fare, but also organic options for dishes. The farm prides itself for growing and raising fresh ingredients on the farm for the use of the restaurant. The farm also owns and operates BUZZZ Cafe, which has three branches in Bohol, one of which is on Alona Beach. The cafe also serves up organic ice cream, perfect after a day in the sun.

Bohol Bee Farm

Address: Dao, Dauis, Bohol

Website: Bohol Bee Farm

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Panglao and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Panglao

8. Eat seafood under the stars on Alona Beach

dinner at Roderick & Vivien's Seafood and Restaurant on Alona Beach, Panglao Island, Bohol

Posted by Kokoy Gorospe Severino on Monday, 14 September 2009

Arguably the best seafood restaurant along Alona Beach is Roderick & Vivien’s Seafood. Dinner time here can be your pick of the freshest seafood, cooked the way you like it. Barbecued or grilled fish for example is better with a cold drink right on the beach under the stars. You can find the restaurant right along Alona Beach.

Roderick & Vivien's Seafood

Address: Alona Beach, Panglao, Panglao Island, Bohol

How To Access: From Tagbilaran City, take a tricycle or a taxi to Panglao Island. Alona Beach is a popular destination, familiar to most drivers.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Panglao and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Panglao

9. Around Panglao: take a Bohol Countryside Tour

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A post shared by Jhoana Marie Estudillo (@i_amissy) on


From Panglao, you can easily arrange for a day tour that will bring you around the Bohol countryside. This whole day tour brings you the quintessential tourist spots the province is known for. This includes the Chocolate Hills and the Man Made Forest, the historical Blood Compact Site and Baclayon Church and lunch on the Loboc River Cruise. Another highlight is the visit to the tarsiers, the world’s smallest primates. The easiest and most hassle free way to access these sites is to book a tour through local agencies such as Bohol Best Tours.

Bohol Countryside Tour

Address: All over Bohol

How To Access: Contact tour agencies such as Bohol Best Tours.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Panglao and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Panglao

10. Fancy a massage on Alona Beach?

Yes, you can cap off your day with a relaxing whole body massage right on the beach. Several resorts offer massage services like Alona Tropical Beach Resort. Make sure to book your session early, as walk-ins may not be available, depending on the demand that day.

Beach Massage in Alona Beach

Address: Alona Beach, Panglao, Bohol

How To Access: Book a session with any of the massage shops like the one in Alona Tropical Beach Resort, Ester A. Lim Drive, Brgy. Tawala, T: 63 38 5029024

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Panglao and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Panglao

Life is definitely a beach in Panglao

Give in to the call of the sand and sea. From Manila, you can reach Panglao via daily flights to Tagbilaran City. From the airport, you can hire a tricycle or a taxi to take you to your booked accommodation on Panglao.

With our recommended 10 best things to do on the island, plan your stay properly. When everything is all set, just sit back and enjoy your vacation on the beach.

This article was originally published on May 17, 2017

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Alona beach overview
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I am a freelance writer living in the summer capital of the Philippines, Baguio City. I am passionate about writing and living and anything in between.

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