Apart from the famous Chocolate Hills and tarsiers, Bohol is also popular for its white sandy beaches, caves, waterfalls and bee farm - most of which can be found in the island of Panglao. Panglao Island is one of the islands in the province of Bohol that offers various amazing attractions for different types of tourists and travelers. Recently, Panglao Island made it to the international scene after being recognized as one of the "15 Best Secret Beaches on Earth" by the New York City-based travel magazine Travel+Leisure.
Bohol has a lot to offer but we only had two full days to spend for the tours. Aside from the Bohol Countryside Tour, we chose to do the Panglao Tour since we were interested to see most of the attractions included in the package as compared to other day tours.
On our third day, we were picked up by the same driver that we hired from BoholDayTour.com. We paid PhP1,000 per head based on two people for this tour. We checked out from Bohol Coconut Palms Resort where we spent our first two nights before heading out on the tour. The last destination of our Panglao Tour was in Alona Beach where we will be checking in for our last night in Bohol.
1. Mag-aso Falls
Mag-aso Falls was our first stop. I had prior knowledge about this falls before our Bohol trip, but it was something negative. There was an incident of drowning in Mag-aso Falls due to a flash flood that happened in 2009 where it claimed two lives. That was the first time I heard about this tourist spot so seeing it in person felt freakish but amazing at the same time. Mag-aso falls is such a beauty. I couldn't believe this tourist spot turned into a monster for a day.
Nevertheless, Mag-aso Falls is something not to miss when you're in Bohol. Nature lovers will definitely be struck by its awe-inspiring beauty. Mag-aso Falls is still part of the island of Bohol, specifically in Antequera, but it was included in the Panglao tour package.
2. Dauis Church
Dauis Church, or known as the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, is located in the municipality of Dauis. Growing up in Iloilo where old churches hold visual magnificence through their amazing architectural designs and historical background, I couldn't help but be astonished by this church. Dauis church has a mixture of styles influenced by both Byzantine and Romanesque architecture. The painting and design on its ceiling above the altar has some similarity to St. Anne Church of Molo in Iloilo City where I grew up.
3. Hinagdanan Cave
Hinagdanan Cave is another major attraction in Bohol and one of the many caves found in the province. The cave got its name from the word "laddered" or hinagdanan in Cebuano because there is a ladder that leads to it. It is said that Hinagdanan Cave was accidentally discovered by the owner of the land where he found the hole. The cave has a large number of stalactites and stalagmites and has a deep lagoon of about 12 feet deep. The experience was exciting since this was the first cave I've ever visited.
4. Bohol Bee Farm
Bohol Bee Farm is a fun and relaxing place to visit in Panglao Island. I admit I was excited to see this spot as I haven't been to a bee farm before. If you're into healthy living, you will love their organic restaurant and farm produce. Everything they serve is 100% natural and organic. We took our lunch here and having had a taste of their organic food was a unique experience. They also offer overnight accommodations.
The tour inside Bohol Bee Farm includes a visit to their organic farm and a glimpse to their decorating and crafting, and basket weaving areas and of course, the bee culture. Don't miss to try their organic ice cream that comes in unique flavors such as malunggay and spicy ginger, too! The road to Bohol Bee Farm was quite bad but the trip was worth it nonetheless.
5. Panglao Church and Old Bell Tower
Panglao Church or St. Augustine Parish is another old church in Panglao that was built in 1972 by Spanish priests. Its facade and architectural details indicate that it has a Baroque design. A few meters behind the back of the church stands a 5-storey bell tower, which is said to be the tallest of its kind in the Philippines.
6. Shell Museum
The Shell Museum is another interesting spot in Panglao where you get to see a large collection of sea shells and other marine species. It's probably of one the biggest shell collections in the world, some of which was collected by Mr. Quirino Hora for more than 30 years of sea exploration. It's perfect for nature and sea lovers who have fascination with sea shells and other marine creatures. They also sell various souvenir items and handicrafts made from sea shells and other sea elements.
7. Alona Beach
Alona Beach is probably one of the best beaches I've seen. I was only starting my traveling life and haven't been to places known for beautiful beaches such as Palawan and Caramoan when I visited Alona Beach so it was a big factor of my appreciation of the beach. We had no expectation prior to coming here and Alona Beach just surprised us. Upon seeing Alona Beach, we seriously wished we had spent more time here than in other places in our tour. That's how impressed we were. Some areas of the beach has sand that is more powdery, I think, than that of Boracay.
We also later learned that Panglao is famous for world-class diving, the reason why we saw more foreign than local tourists around Alona Beach. It is considered as a tropical paradise of Panglao Island.
We spent our last night in Bohol in this beautiful beach of Alona. We checked in at Lost Horizon Resort where we had a wonderful experience except for the poor customer service at their restaurant. I hope to write a separate blog entry for that.
Knowing that we would be flying back to Manila in the morning the next day, we promised to return to Bohol to experience dolphin watching and visit Balicasag Island and Virgin Island, known for their wonderful beach and white sand, which we missed.
Read more about my Bohol trip:
- Part 1 - Bohol Countryside Tour
- Part 2 - Panglao Island Tour