PANGLAO ISLANDS

Philippines

Panglao Island

Panglao is one of the only small islands in the Philippines that doesn’t require a boat for access! Just a quick drive over the bridge that connects it with the island of Bohol and voilà- you have arrived!

Panglao is the perfect island to spend a few days or even a week just living life in the slow lane. Spend one day hopping from one white sand beach to another and the next day partaking in your own bar crawl while getting your fill of tropical tiki drinks on the Alona strip.

When you feel a sudden burst of motivation to do something active, there are plenty idyllic spots for snorkeling, kayaking, and diving.

You can find a whole range of accommodation here from budget bungalows to mid-range hotels to upscale resorts. During the low season, you can show up to Panglao without a booking and wander the beach looking for the best deal.

Beaches

Alona Beach

Alona Beach is a 1.5 kilometer (0.93 mile) stretch of fine, white sand beach located on the southern end of Panglao Island. Bordered by two rocks on both ends, this stretch of sand also houses the greatest number of beachfront resorts on the island. Several restaurants can also be found near the beach. The beach offers easy access to nearby snorkeling and diving spots, which are within swimming distance. You don’t need to hire a boat to check out the island’s teeming marine life. Different types of accommodations are available near Alona Beach which cater to different budgets and travel preferences. Alona Beach can be reached from Tagbilaran City, where the airport is, via tricycle or taxi. It is about a 35 to 45 minute ride from the city. Most hotels also offer airport transfers to and from Panglao Island.

Dumaluan Beach

With shallow depths and crystal clear water, you can wade out into the sea quite a ways. Search for baby crabs, little seashells, and sand dollars in the pure white sand. Take a rest in the shallow water where the tide is quite mellow.

With such gentle waves, many travelers use this beach to take kayaks out on the water where they get fabulous views of the island with it’s palm tree-lined beaches at a distance.

There are a few stalls for BBQ and beverages for sale that allow you to chill out in the sand all day!

Geography

The island has an area of 91.12 square kilometres (35.18 sq mi). It is within Bohol Province, and comprises two municipalities: Dauis and Panglao. Panglao island is located southwest of the island of Bohol and east and south of Cebu.

Panglao has a terrain that ranges from plain, hilly to mountainous. Panglao is made of Maribojoc limestone, the youngest of the limestone units found in the western area of Bohol. The limestone composition halted the development of an airport as coralline limestone is soluble which causes formation of caves and sinkholes. One interesting geological feature found in the island is the Hinagdanan Cave which has an underground water source. The cave is an important water source as the island has no rivers or lakes.

Panglao is a popular tourist destination in the Philippines, and includes several small islands, such as Gak-ang, Pontod, and Balicasag.

According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 79,216.

History

Panglao was known to Chinese, Malay, Siamese and Indonesian traders. It once housed the Kedatuan of Dapitan.

Biodiversity

About 250 new species of crustaceans and 2500 new species of mollusks were found around the island. The discovery was the work of the Panglao Marine Biodiversity Project. The project found that Panglao alone has more marine biodiversity than Japan and the Mediterranean sea.

Tourism

Panglao island is one of the main tourist destinations on the Philippines. Alona Beach is the most popular tourist spot on the island, noted for its white sand and clear water. There are also a lot of attractions to do for tourists such as scuba-diving, island hopping, dolphin watching, snorkeling, kitesurfing and fishing.

Transportation

Bohol–Panglao International Airport is the primary international airport to serve the province of Bohol. The site of the airport is very close to Tagbilaran Airport which currently serves Panglao Island and the rest of Bohol for domestic air travelers. It also is less than 2 hours travel time from Mactan-Cebu International airport, which is a gateway to the Central Philippines for international tourists, although there is no direct flight.

The island is connected with the bohol main island by two bridges namely Suarez Bridge and Gov. Borja Bridge.

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