Panglao Island in Bohol is one of the most popular beach areas in the Philippines, with Dumaluan and Alona as the most frequented beach strips in the island because of their white sand beaches. From Tagbilaran City, Panglao is a short 21 kms ride. There are buses that go to Panglao from Tagbilaran but they are usually an hour apart. The easiest way to go to Panglao would be by private vehicle but it’s more expensive. Hotels, pension houses and inns are scattered all over Alona, search for the best one that fits your budget. This is my last blog entry for our Bohol chronicle
Bridge to Panglao
This is the bridge that will lead you to the white powdery sand beaches of Bohol.
The last stop of our Bohol Countryside Tour was a visit to Hinagdanan Cave which is in Panglao. Other tour operators does not include the Hinagdanan Cave because it is out of the way, good thing the driver that we contacted offers Bohol tour with Hinagdanan Cave so we saved money.
Souvenir shops selling tarsier keychains, bohol shirts, woven hats, abaca bags, kalamay sa bohol and other local delicacies etc can also be found in the vicinity of the Hinagdanan Cave. Souvenirs and delicacies are cheapest here so when you drop by the cave, you can also do your Bohol pasalubong shopping!
Hinagdanan Cave Entrance
Entrance fee to enter Hinagdanan Cave is at P15.00 per person. You’ll be ducking your head as you climb down using the ‘hagdan’ or ‘stairs’. The cave is enormous inside and it has a pool of water which you can swim in if you want to. The thing which I don’t like about the cave is that it’s a bit dark inside, there is one overhead lamp and two natural holes in the ceiling that lets in the sunlight but it is not adequate enough to light the whole cave. The good thing though is that authorities placed a cemented pathway making it easier for anyone to navigate inside the cave.
Inside view of Hinagdanan Cave
We did not stay long in Hinagdanan Cave as there were loads of tourists wanting to enter the cave. My one regret is that i did not buy my kalamay sa bohol bao in Hinagdanan, I should have for the kalamay sells there at P30.00 a piece. I bought our kalamay pasalubong in the port and it cost me P40.00 per bao. Bummer.
Kalamay Sa Bohol
After the cave we were finally going to see Bohol’s famed beaches!
It must have been close to 4pm in the afternoon when we arrived in Alona to check out the inn recommended by our driver. They still have two rooms hurray! We were walk-inn customers to Walk-Inn Haven Inn It’s cheap considering that we are a short walking distance to Alona beach strips!
Tourists flock to this part in Panglao as this is the area which has the most number of restaurants, hotels, motorbike rentals and other amenities! Alona is Bohol’s beach party place! If you want tranquility and more privacy, head to the Dumaluan beach area. There are lots of foreign tourists in Alona that it prompted Nicko to remarked that it seems the foreign visitors outnumbered the local tourists like us heheh.
Alona beach at night is a beehive of activities with some restaurants staging live acoustic bands, others have blasting sound system, some hotels by the beachfront sponsors fire dances. And of course there is no dearth of restaurants lining the whole stretch of Alona beach. The usual dinner buffet offered by these restaurants cost P450.00 per pax which includes a mixture of grilled meat and seafoods and i guess western cuisine too. We did not have budget for that as we were poor travelers we instead ate at this local grill and feast on bbqs, squid, whole lechon manok and ice cream and it cost us only P450.00 for the whole meal hehehe, hmmm when we arrived in that affordable diner a foreign couple was eating so i guess even foreign tourists have discovered street side diners hehe
Waiting for Sunrise at Alona
Boats wanting to bring tourists to island hopping adventure and dolphin watching abound in Alona. Usual fee is P1,400 per boat but if you head out at 5:30am to the beach area you’ll find the same boatmen offering you island hopping and dolphin watching at only P1,000.00. Sometimes it pays not to have reservation hehe. No worries there are tens of boats in Alona so you are sure of hiring a boat even at the last-minute. The island hopping tours usually heads out at 6am to catch the dolphins, so 5:30 is a good time to make that negotiation. Ask to be taken to Balicasag Island and Virgin Island, they are the best spots to snorkel and enjoy the waves and the white sands.
Tourists can rent one of these boats for island hopping adventure!
Too bad sometimes there are loads of boats along the shoreline during early morning that it becomes a nuisance as it discourages some people from swimming. I really think they should be regulated or if they don’t have passengers yet to stay further away, not on the shoreline itself for these boats takes so much space that there is hardly any room to swim.
Alona White Sand Beach
Loving the blue water and calm waves of Alona,
so unlike what greeted us at the start of our Camotes Adventure a day after hehhe
Last glimpse of Alona in Panglao
We didn’t go island hoping because of time limitation. I’ve seen pictures of Balicasag and Virgin Islands and it’s definitely worth going to! We missed dolphin watching too! Oh well, it only means one thing, we’ll be back Bohol!
If you want to read more about our Bohol adventure, please click HERE.