Tourists in Bohol typically have only two options when choosing where to spend the night. They can either sleep in one of the beach resorts in Panglao Island or rent a room in Tagbilaran City’s many hotels and pension houses. I decided to stay in Tagbilaran City since it’s cheaper and more convenient for my itinerary and just do a day tour of Panglao Island. It took a while to fish out tips online about public transportation in Bohol but I found out later on that exploring the island by commute is very doable. I recommend it to anyone who’s planning to go to Bohol and wants to save on travel costs.

Starfish on the white sand coast of Dumaluan Beach in Panglao Island

I only spent half a day for my tour of Panglao Island by commute and was able to visit most of the islands’ major attractions. The afternoon was all the time I had since I went to the Tarsier Sanctuary in Corella town in the morning. If you’re planning on spending a generous time on the beach I suggest spending the whole day on a tour of Panglao.

My first destination in Panglao Island was Dumaluan Beach. To get there from Tagbilaran, I rode a Tawala bound jeep with a sign “Tagbilaran-Dauis-Panglao” at the Dao Integrated Terminal beside Island City Mall. It was around 11:40am when I went there. Be sure to ask the driver if the jeepney goes to Tawala and inform him to drop you off at the intersection going to Dumaluan (P25 jeepney fare, 30 minutes travel time). There were a few single motorcycle drivers or “habal-habal” parked at the intersection but I decided to walk the whole way to the beach, it took around 15 minutes.

Intersection going to Dumaluan Beach

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Dumaluan Beach

Entrance to Dumaluan Beach Resort

I didn’t find any open pathways to the beach from the main road so I had to pay a P25 entrance fee at Dumaluan Beach Resort just to pass through. It was a Sunday and the beach was a bit crowded. I have always thought highly about Panglao Island and imagined the beaches to be spectacular but it was just “OKAY” when I first set my eyes on it. Maybe it was because I expected too much or it was the weekend crowd that set me off, I’m not really sure. Not satisfied and wanting to see more, I followed the coast westwards and ended up at the beachfront property of the high-end “Bohol Beach Club.”

Bohol Beach Club

I seemed to have crossed a barrier going into Bohol Beach Club Resort, because, on this side, the beach looks stellar! The sand was admirably white and fine, the beachfront was spacious, the waters were clear and inviting, and best of all, there weren’t many people around. It was good to finally see the Panglao Island I’ve always imagined.

Alona Beach

I went back to the entrance of Dumaluan Beach Resort and found a habal-habal driver parked outside. He took me to my second destination, Alona Beach, for P30. Both beaches were around 15 to 20 minutes from each other. Honestly, I was very disappointed with Alona Beach. The beachfront was very ordinary looking. I was baffled as to why it’s the most popular beach in Panglao and why it gets a lot of rave reviews online. Dumaluan was far more beautiful and Alona is overrated in my opinion. It’s perfectly okay to stay in Alona Beach but I hope tourists in Panglao don’t just get to see Alona only … they should also take the time to visit Dumaluan Beach.

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Panglao Church and Watchtower

From Alona Beach, it was another P30 habal-habal ride to Panglao Church in Panglao Town Centro. I was pleasantly surprised with Churches in Bohol, they’re quite huge and have interesting architectures. The Panglao Church is no exception, I really like the detailed ceiling paintings the most (probably because Iloilo Churches typically do not have those). The old stone watchtower at the side of the church was really interesting also. I liked how the old stones, clay roof tiles, and green outgrowth contrast with the blue sky in the photos I took.

Hinagdangan Cave

After taking photos of Panglao Church and Watchtower, I had to take a habal-habal ride (P25 fare) to the market terminal. There are two jeepney routes you can ride here. The first one passes by the central highway and goes directly to Tagbilaran City and the other passes by the coastal highway on the way back to Tagbilaran. It was already 3:40PM and no sign of the “coastal highway” jeep. I knew it was getting too late so I decided to hire a habal-habal driver to take me to Hinagdangan Cave (P50). He charged me P50 for the ride all the way to the entrance booth. I paid the P25 entrance fee and went inside the cave. It was very stuffy inside! Would’ve been nice to cool off in the cave’s refreshing underground pool. As to the cave itself as an attraction, It’s something you could do while in Panglao but it’s not that remarkable.

Too bad I was running out of time … I wanted to visit Panglao Island Beach Resort, which was just along the way, and Dauis Church … maybe next time. At 4:45PM, I went out of Hinagdangan Cave. I had to walk to the highway intersection to ride a jeep/multicab back to Tagbilaran City. I dropped off at the Tagbilaran Cathedral (P7 fare) and went around the city before calling it a day.