A Backpacker’s Guide to Alona Beach, Panglao, Bohol

How to Get There:

Tagbilaran is the gateway to Bohol. Direct flights from Manila are available daily. If you are not traveling from Manila or Cebu please check flight availability of your preferred airline.


By Plane: From Manila
Cebu Pacific, Airasia and Philippine Airline fly to Tagbilaran regularly. Please check website for exact flight schedules and fares. Cebu Pacific flies four times weekly every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
Airport / Terminal fee from Manila and Cebu:
Domestic Passenger –  220.00 pesos

International Passenger 750.00 pesos


By Ferry: From Cebu
Multiple ferry lines travel from Cebu to Tagbilaran and vice-versa on a daily basis. Please click on ferry links for ferry  schedules and fares. Tickets are available at the port, authorized travel / ticket outlets and online.
Port / Terminal Fee from Cebu:

Domestic Passenger: 25.00 pesos


Transportation:

From Tagbilaran Domestic Airport / Ferry Port:
Tricycle: 300.00 pesos
Van:  300 – 600 pesos
Tour Operators: Tour prices vary.


Going to Alona Beach, Panglao

Skip the offers from private tour operators and other drivers, look for a  regular tricycle (fare 10.00), ask the driver to take you to Bohol Museum where public utility jeepneys are available for 25.00 going to Panglao. Unfortunately, jeepney ride is uncomfortable for some since it will be overloaded with passengers. A better option to avoid the crowd is to take a tricycle for 300.00 but haggle for 200.00 or 150.00. If you are traveling alone, look for other passengers going to Alona Beach whom you can share the fare with. I was able to haggle for 150.00 and found  another commuter so we split the 150.00. We paid 75.00 pesos each. Ceres bus schedule is from 5:00AM – 9:00AM and 5:00PM – 9:00PM.


Going back to Tagbilaran from Alona Beach, Panglao

Take note of the bus schedule if you want to take the bus back to the city. Tricycles for 300.00 and motorcycles for 150.00 are conveniently available around town. Same options, look for other passengers if you are traveling alone to share the fare. If you can’t find anyone, haggle. Jeepneys come randomly.


 Accommodation:


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Dormitels.ph Bohol
Address: Ester Lim Drive, Tawala, Alona Beach, Panglao, Bohol, Philippines

Contact Number: 0917-855-3859


I booked my accommodation at Domitels.ph Bohol . For 355.00 pesos per night, the room has a double-sized bed, toilet, fan, cable TV, wifi and 24-hour reception. If you prefer an AC room, it’s around 500.00 – 580.00 pesos. The hotel is 10-min walk from Alona Beach. If you are concerned about walking back to the hotel late in the evening, it’s perfectly safe or take a habal-habal / motorcycle for 15.00 – 20.00 pesos.


 Where to Eat:


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Restaurants and convenience stores are available nearby. If you are a budget traveler, there is a local restaurant or karenderia just outside Dormitels.ph hotel.  Food menu range from 10.00 – 60.00 pesos or you can walk 10–15mins. away from the beach to find cheaper food options. Some restaurants have budget meals for 110.00 – 250.00 pesos.


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If you are not on a tight budget,  try one of the best Italian restaurants, Guiseppe Pizzeria and Sicilian Roast.  They have appetizing food choices of pizzas, salads, cold drinks,  pasta and more. Food prices range from 260.00 – 500.00 pesos depending on the menu.


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If you like to unwind at the beach front, there are plenty of restaurants that served local and foreign menu. Food price range from 250.00 – 500 pesos.


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 Those who would like to relax with alcoholic drinks and good music, cheapest rum coke and vodka sprite is at UBar for 40.00 pesos only.
Don’t forget to try the local ice cream at Bohol bee farm café, Malunggay flavor ice cream is a must!
Activities:

Aside from beautiful white sand beaches, Bohol is packed with fun activities to do like firefly watching, Bohol tour, island hopping, whale shark watching, Hinagdanan cave and more. Prices vary.


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I tried the island hopping for 400.00 php plus 150.00 php snorkel rental (better to bring your own snorkel set and watch out for tour barkers who will charge more) For foreigners, it’s slightly expensive 500.00 php– 700.00 php.  The 400.00 php island tour includes dolphin watching, Balicasag Island snorkeling and Virgin Island swimming. Lunch not included.


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The trip starts at 6:00am and ends before 1:00pm. You can bring something to eat or you can have breakfast on Balicasag Island. For budget travelers, breakfast on the island is expensive. A breakfast menu of egg, corned beef, rice and coffee is 300.00 php. Few meters away from the tour assembly area is a small food shack which is cheaper. You can have breakfast for less than 100.00 php.


Tip: If you are traveling in a group, it would be best to rent a private boat for 1800.00 php. Boat can accommodate 10 – 15 people. Some shared island hopping tour is too crowded.
Check out the fire dance every evening at the beach front. It starts at 8:00PM
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