With stunning waterfalls, gorgeous beaches, and the famous Chocolate Hills, Bohol is one of the top tourist attractions in the Philippines. We’ve spent a few days there before heading to Siquijor and one of my favorite experiences was the island hopping tour.
The tour will take you to two beautiful islands. On Balicasag Island you’ll have the chance to swim with the turtles. It’s a truly unique experience.
The Virgin Island, Panglao is a small strip of white sand with no vegetation on it, surrounded by the clearest water I’ve ever seen. In this guide, I’ll share with you everything you need to know if you’re planning to visit the beautiful Virgin Island.
Good to know – Panglao and Bohol are two nearby islands, connected through two bridges. To get to the Virgin Island you’ll have to take a guided tour from Panglao. However, people refer to this island as both Virgin Island Bohol and Virgin Island Panglao.
1. My experience
I woke up early in the morning and got ready for what was going to be an epic island hopping tour. I went to Alona Beach, the starting point for all the tours and hopped on a Banca Boat together with some other enthusiastic tourists.
We were all pretty excited about this day. The first stop of the island hopping tour was to see the dolphins. There were so many of them!
We then headed to Balicasag Island where we had the chance to swim with the turtles. It’s an amazing experience to have the chance to see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.
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The last stop was at the Virgin Island. When we arrived, a couple of other boats were already parked around the island. The area surrounding the island was pretty busy.
Some of the boats were transformed into floating restaurants where you can go and grab something to eat. There were also small stalls selling refreshments. Don’t be surprised if you’ll see locals selling jewelry and souvenirs. The Virgin Island looks like the exotic alternative of a shopping mall.
-> Find out which are the top tourist attractions in Bohol
However, I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful the Virgin Island was. The white sand, with no vegetation on it makes this island unique. The water surrounding the island is pretty shallow and you can head further from the chaos and enjoy some privacy.
I have to say that the water here is incredibly clear. If you’re lucky, you’ll even see a few starfish. There is not much to do on the Virgin Island but I enjoyed my experience here.
We took some photos with a group of Filipinos, swam, and admired the beauty of this place.
If you want to find out more about the island hopping tour in Bohol, make sure to check out my guide. I’ve included important information and valuable tips and tricks.
2. Things to know before visiting the Virgin Island
There are a few things you should know before deciding to visit the Virgin Island in Bohol. I will list them down below.
- buy a dry bag – if you want to keep your things dry, you must buy a dry bag. Dan ruined his camera in the Philippines because he didn’t put it in his dry bag. When getting off a boat, he stumbled and fell in the water.
- bring a GoPro – if you’d like to take underwater photos, a GoPro is a must. It’s small, easy to carry, affordable and it takes awesome photos and videos!
- don’t forget the sunscreen! – this is the most important thing you should have with you when visiting the Virgin Island. The sun in the Philippines is very strong and it will damage your skin if you won’t wear sunscreen.
3. How to get to there
There is only one way to get to the Virgin Island. You’ll have to go to Alona Beach on Panglao Island (Panglao Island and Bohol Island are connected through two bridges) and book your tour from one of the tour agencies there.
As an alternative, you can book your island hopping tour online. Make sure to book your tour at least one day in advance.
4. Other awesome places to visit on Bohol Island
There are many awesome places you should visit on both Panglao and Bohol Islands. I know that most tourists come here to see the Chocolate Hills but don’t be afraid to step off the beaten path and explore everything these islands have to offer.
I recommend checking out my Bohol itinerary. I’ve included the top tourist attractions on the island.
Here are some cool things to do on Panglao Island:
- Snorkel at Alona Beach – this is one of the best places for snorkeling in the Philippines. Head to this beautiful white beach and explore the marine life!
- Book a Panglao day tour – explore Dauis Church, the Shell Museum, and the Bohol Bee Farm all while enjoying a hustle-free experience with a guided tour.
- Visit Hinagdanan Cave – with a beautiful underground pool, this cave is truly unique. Make sure to add it to your itinerary!
Here are some awesome places you should visit on Bohol Island:
- Explore Dimiao Falls – this beautiful waterfall situated in the heart of the jungle is not yet on tourists’ radar. If you want to visit an incredible place and enjoy it in silence, this waterfall is a great option.
- Visit the Twin Hanging Bridge – these two bridges are quite a sight. Would you dare to cross them?
- Take a river cruise on the Loboc River – enjoy your lunch while cruising on the Loboc River. You’ll pass by local villages and dense jungle.
- Admire the Man-Made Forest – this thick mahogany forest was created by people. Tourists stop here to admire it and take photos.
- Visit an ethical Tarsier Sanctuary – Tarsiers are delicate animals. Make sure to visit a place where they are taken care of. I recommend the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary.
5. Where to stay on Bohol Island
I’ve been looking for the best accommodation on Bohol Island. Choose a hotel that is close to the tourist attractions you want to visit to make your life easier. Below are the best hotels, for every budget.
- Budget – Homaja Beach Resort – great location, excellent view, very clean, friendly staff, breakfast included
- Mid Budget – Mario Dive Resort – great location, clean & spacious rooms, great facilities
- Luxury – Henann Resort – huge pool facing the sea, very spacious rooms, modern amenities, great for couples
I’m sure you’ll have a great time visiting the Virgin Island, Panglao. This exotic piece of land will steal your heart! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section below.
May the travel bug bite you!