Located in the Southern part of the Philippines, Bohol is one of the 7641 islands of the country. Expect a slow-paced life, beaches, scenic drives and an amazing sea life. The city of Panglao lies on the Southwest side of Bohol. It is probably the most enjoyable and vibrant place to stay for a couple days on the island.
There is no better way to explore the island than driving a scooter. Panglao is home to several beaches: Alona, Dumaluan and the South Beach. While the Hinagdanan cave does not offer much scenery, Alexis cliff is a cool spot for cliff jumping. The westernmost point of Panglao offers incredible sunsets – just look-up for the Doljo Mangrove Forest on maps.me and get through the ‘no trespassing’ signs. With low tide kicking off at noon, people tend to recommend boat trips in the morning (Virgin Islands, Balicasag etc.). Just get on a boat on the afternoon. It is just much less crowded. Balicasag Island is a stunning snorkeling area where you can easily spot dozens of turtles, mesmerizing corals and fishes with incredible colors you do not even know exist!
Driving further than Panglao will get you to the famous Chocolate Hills of Bohol. It is a geological formation of over 1500 hills which turn brown during the dry season. While it can be a long 140kms return drive from Panglao, there are some waterfalls and beaches to explore alongside the road. Tarsier sightseeing is a bit of a touristy and zoo-like experience to be fair. It is not worth a visit. Last but not least, the Abatan river is a great Kayaking spot to navigate through the mangrove. It is best done in the morning as low tide kicks off at noon.
Even though Bohol’s beaches are not the most paradisiac ones, the island is an amazing place to explore with great sceneries and an incredible sea life. It is worth allocating a couple days.