Panglao Things to Do
Alona Beach in particular is full of independent tour guides and tour agencies offering various tours and travel experiences. What we found in Panglao, which was a positive in our experience, is that most agencies are offering tours at very similar prices so there's not as much need to shop around and negotiate as there is in some other places. We did find though that prices tended to reduce towards the end of the day for bookings for the next day as they tried to fill groups up, and the more people in the group the cheaper the tours become.
Like many tourist resorts across the Philippines, most tours and activities are prices based on the number of people who will be taking part. The lowest price is always the one you'll see advertised on boards and posters! Generally this means that the bigger and more prominent tour agencies are more likely to fill a group and therefore deliver on the low prices that are always the ones initially advertised.
Also, some islands and destinations also have entry fees that may not be included in a tour price so do check and confirm all inclusions before booking.
Panglao Island tour
One of the most popular activities on Panglao is the Panglao Island tour that takes in all the local highlights on an efficient and well run day trip. This is a good choice on your first or last day because they also tend to offer airport pick up or drop off within the tour price.
This tour includes Bohol Bee Farm, where bees are cultivated together with organic produce, and Dauis Church which is one of the many attractive old churches in Bohol province. It also takes in some of Panglao’s natural sites, like Hinandagan Cave and the Sea Shell Museum. Hinandagan Cave is one of the highlights of this tour, featuring a natural cave with stalactites and a deep blue lagoon. It's a beautiful spot and well worth visiting whether on this tour or independently.
Island hopping from Panglao
Another reason that many choose to head to the island of Panglao is to take advantage of the spectacles off the coast. From island hopping to diving there's a huge amount on offer.
Island hopping is a popular day trip, and often includes dolphin watching as well as visiting some of the smaller islands in Bohol Province. These trips tend to last most of the day and leave very early in the morning as this is when dolphin spotting is the most likely. A typical island hopping itinerary might include an initial visit to a traditional fish pen, to understand more about local fishing practices, before heading to Virgin Island. This is an idyllic sand bar with beautiful clear blue waters and fine white sandy beaches - a real paradise spot. There's also a mini museum and visitor centre to take in. The next stop on the tour is usually an island with great snorkelling - often Gak-ang Island or somewhere similar.
Diving in Panglao
Finally, diving is one of the most popular activities for many travellers - both experienced divers and those who head here to get their diving qualifications. There are a huge number of dive shops all offering various packages for divers who are looking to explore some of the best dive sites in the world. The waters off Panglao feature beautiful hard and soft corals and a great range of marine life to take in, from barracudas to clownfish. Do be careful to pick a reputable agency with good safety standards.