When traveling to Bohol, Philippines, most visitors flock to Alona Beach, and prefer to spend most of their time on the small island of Panglao. Below I have included a few of my personal favorite recommendations across the island for those who want to get outside of the Alona tourist trap.
Panglao Island Map:
My favorite hotel we’ve stayed in the area so far, and one of the nicer resorts, is Bohol Vantage Resort – it’s about 15 minutes motorbike drive to the island’s capital city, Tagbilaran, on the mountaintop overlooking the bay and city. Super quiet and peaceful up here, great internet connection, beautiful rooms, good restaurant, very good value for the price if you want to splurge a little (this is my hideaway when I have a really important work/writing project)
You can also visit their restaurant Le Panorama for lunch or dinner to enjoy the view, or use a day pass at the pool at the neighboring Bohol Plaza Resort also.
The most popular tourist area on the island is Alona Beach, where there are lots of restaurants, a few cafes, nightclubs, and beach bars.
It’s most definitely worth a trip or two over there during your stay, but if you want to stay somewhere a little less busy/quieter, away from the buzz of night life and touts, but still very close to nice beaches, I highly recommend looking in the Dumaluan Beach area:
South Palms Resort (above) is my top-rated stay if you want a beautiful beach resort at Dumaluan.
There is also the local Dumaluan Beach Resort, with beach access that’s only about 50 cents entry per person if you want to visit for the day.
We have a few friends with smaller hotels or hostels in the Dumaluan area that I’d highly recommend:
Maya Playa Resort is run by a lovely Filipina/Italian couple, they have very decent, clean western-style rooms, good wifi, and a great Italian restaurant.
Right on the main perimeter road, but probably about a 10 or 15 minute walk down to Dumaluan Beach.
Maybe 5 minutes closer down the beach access road is the backpacker hostel Adrianna’s Place run by an Australian/Filipina couple — a great budget option:
They have cool Filipino-style nipa huts, there’s a beautiful garden with fantastic restaurant.
I also often go to White Beach (Libaong) which is just one beach down from Dumaluan:
If you’re looking for a high-end but unique luxury experience, you can splurge at the very fancy Amarela Resort, a boutique resort with a huge property and private beach.
Other fun things to see on your trip:
Baclayon Church (oldest Catholic cathedral in Asia from the 1500s)
Loboc River Floating Restaurant
Man Made Forest
Philippines Tarsier Sanctuary (the world’s smallest monkeys)
Alicia Panoramic Hills
Candijay- Waterfalls , Cold Spring and Rice Terraces
Dimiao Twin Falls
Anda – Anda cave
Danao Adventure Park