Why is Panglao Island Famous?

South of Bohol province, Panglao Island stands out as a premier destination in the Philippines. This small island, easily accessible from the Panglao Airport, offers a perfect mix of stunning natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. Renowned for its white sandy beaches, vibrant marine life, and tranquil atmosphere, Panglao is celebrated as a tropical paradise and a top tourist destination in the islands of the Philippines.

Natural Beauty and Beaches

The Pristine Beaches of Panglao

beach umbrellas and lounges on a white sand beach facing the turquoise green ocean under the clear blue sky

Panglao is synonymous with picturesque beaches that attract tourists from around the world, including places like Manila, Cebu, and Boracay. Notable beaches include:

  • Alona Beach: Known for its vibrant coral reefs and bustling beachfront filled with beach resorts and eateries. This spot is a favorite beach on Panglao for many visitors looking to catch the sunset.
  • Doljo Beach: Just 4 kilometers away from Alona Beach, this one is a less crowded, more intimate beach. Doljo beach boasts one of the best sunsets, it’s a quieter part of the island of Panglao.
  • Dumaluan Beach: Offers a quieter setting with expansive white sands and clear waters, ideal for relaxation and sunbathing. Many say the sand here in Dumaluan beach is finer than at Alona Beach.

Geological and Marine Biodiversity Highlights:

colorful corals and fishes under the blue sea

  • Limestone Cliffs: Dramatic backdrops that enhance the scenic beauty of the beaches, reminiscent of those found in Palawan and Boracay.
  • Marine Life: Home to diverse species including colorful fish, sea turtles, and occasional dolphin sightings, making it a top spot for snorkeling and diving in the Philippines.

Conservation Efforts

Panglao is proactive in preserving its natural landscapes and marine environments through:

  • Beach Clean-Ups: Regular events to keep the beaches pristine.
  • Sustainable Tourism Practices: Initiatives to minimize ecological impact and promote environmental responsibility among tourists and businesses, ensuring Panglao remains a tranquil getaway.

Famous Things to Do in Panglao

Panglao isn’t just about stunning beaches; it offers a number of activities that cater to adventure seekers and culture enthusiasts alike. Here’s what you shouldn’t miss:

Water Sports and Activities

banana boats and kayak on the beach near the sea

Panglao is a paradise for water lovers, offering:

  • Snorkeling and Diving: Explore vibrant coral reefs and encounter a variety of marine life in crystal-clear waters around Balicasag Island.
  • Island Hopping: Visit nearby islands like Balicasag and Virgin Island for a day of adventure and pristine beauty.
  • Kayaking and Stand-Up Paddleboarding: Enjoy the serene waters of Panglao by engaging in these relaxing water sports.

Land Excursions

For those who prefer to stay on land, Panglao has plenty to offer:

  • Hinagdanan Cave: A naturally lit cavern known for its stunning stalactites and stalagmites and a deep lagoon inside.
  • Inland Trails: Trek through Panglao’s lush landscapes and discover hidden natural gems and scenic viewpoints.

Generation 2

Cultural and Historical Attractions

panglao church on the left with a tourist taking a picture and the watchtower with a man with glasses in a blue shirt on the right

Panglao’s history and culture are as captivating as its natural landscapes:

Panglao’s Rich Heritage

The island is steeped in cultural traditions and historical narratives:

  • Old Churches: Visit centuries-old churches that offer a glimpse into Panglao’s colonial past and religious heritage.
  • Local Festivals: Participate in vibrant festivals that showcase Filipino traditions and the community’s warm spirit.

Historical Sites and Their Tales

Panglao is dotted with sites that hold historical significance:

  • Spanish Watchtowers: Explore the remnants of Spanish colonial defenses along the coast.
  • Ancient Ruins and Artifacts: Discover archaeological finds that tell tales of Panglao’s ancient inhabitants and rich history.

Accommodations and Where to Stay

Finding the perfect place to stay in Panglao can greatly enhance your travel experience. Here’s a brief overview of the accommodations available:

Range of Accommodations

a view of the infinity pool with palm trees and the beach and the ocean

Panglao caters to all preferences and budgets with its diverse lodging options:

  • Luxury Resorts: The Henann Resort Alona offers stunning oceanfront views and world-class amenities, perfect for those seeking a touch of luxury.
  • Budget-Friendly Hostels: Moon Fools Hostel is known for its vibrant atmosphere and affordable prices, ideal for backpackers.
  • Vacation Rentals: Choose a beachfront villa from Airbnb for privacy and a homey feel, suitable for families or groups.

Choosing the Right Place

Consider the following when selecting your accommodation:

  • Location: Stay close to major attractions and beaches to minimize travel time.
  • Amenities: Look for essential amenities that suit your needs, whether it’s free WiFi or breakfast options.
  • Reviews: Read recent guest reviews to ensure the accommodation meets your expectations.

Exploring the Surrounding Areas

Panglao serves as an excellent base for exploring the broader Bohol region. There are many people and organizations here offering tours:

Day Trips from Panglao

Don’t miss these excursions:

  • Chocolate Hills: An iconic geological formation that is a must-see in Bohol.
  • Loboc River: Experience a river cruise that offers lush scenery and a taste of local cuisine.
  • Tarsier Sanctuary: Visit this conservation area to see one of the world’s smallest primates up close.

Transportation Options

Getting around Panglao and to neighboring areas is straightforward:

  • Rental Scooters and Cars: Offers flexibility to explore at your own pace.
  • Public Transport: Jeepneys and tricycles are readily available and affordable options for shorter distances.

Personal Insights: Why Panglao is Special to Me

chicken dishes with sauces on the left and some sticky rice delicacies like kalamay on the right

Panglao Island holds a special place in my heart for several reasons:

  • Proximity to the Airport: Quick and easy access from the newly opened Bohol-Panglao International Airport makes it a convenient choice for travelers.
  • Minimal Traffic: The island’s low traffic levels contribute to a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere that is perfect for a stress-free vacation.
  • Good Food Everywhere: Aside from touring the island, I also enjoy going on a food tour in Panglao. The flavors are very diverse and there is a lot of food places to choose from.


Panglao Island’s allure goes beyond its stunning beaches; its cultural richness, diverse activities, and welcoming atmosphere make it a top Philippine destination. Whether you’re after adventure, relaxation, or cultural experiences, Panglao caters to all. Explore more in our travel guide and discover the how to navigate Bohol. Ready to experience Panglao? Let this island enchant you with its vibrant life and tranquil escapes. Don’t forget to visit our Blog page for more information about traveling Bohol.

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