Monday, January 9, 2017

Bohol Travel Guide: Tricycle Tour Around Panglao Island

Panglao Island is a popular tourist destination in the Province of Bohol. It has an area of 80.5 square kilometers and is divided into two municipalities, namely Dauis and Panglao. As a tourist destination, Panglao is best known for its white sand beaches, hotels and resorts, world class dive spots and small islands such as Balicasag and Virgin Island.

Aside from its fantastic beaches, Panglao also has inland attractions worthy of your visit. One option in visiting these spots if you’re in a small group (3-4 persons) is to hire a tricycle for a whole day or half-day tour.  We availed the tricycle tour around Panglao during our family vacation in Bohol last summer.

Based on our experience, here’s a travel guide with essential information on the tricycle rate, contact person, places to see and what to expect during the tour…

Saint Augustine Church

We started our tour shortly after eating lunch in a carinderia located outside Twin Tides Hotel in Barangay Tawala where we stayed for two nights. Our first destination was the Saint Augustine Church also known as Panglao Church.

The present church was built beside the ruins of an older church. Construction started in 1894 and took several years to finish until finally it was inaugurated through a holy mass and consecration on August 31, 1924. In honor of Saint Augustine, the town fiesta is being held every 28th of August.

The church sits on a plain facing a wide plaza where most town activities are held. At some distance on its rear side is a five-storey watch tower, said to be one of the tallest in the country.

Unfortunately, the church doors were closed when we were there. We did not get  to see its twin antique confessionals carved with grape and dove patterns, the ceiling murals and the main altar with a hexagonal dome above it.

Unable to enter the church,  my kids Maya and Marley had a mini-photoshoot instead at the church grounds.

Nova Shell Museum

Nova Shell Museum is a private museum owned by Mr. Quirino Hora. It houses his collection of various shells, clams and other mollusks.

Mr. Hora has accumulated this collection for more than 30 years. A passionate collector, there are already two sea shells named after him: Bursa Quirihorai and Primovula Horai both discovered in Pangalo.

We later found out that the museum also has a room devoted to a wide collection of antique artifacts, woodcrafts and musical instruments. Its adjacent room also serves as a shop selling various souvenir items.

Stepping outside the museum building, we saw a tree house mostly made up of bamboo. My kids wasted no time climbing it.  

The cool breeze on top provided us momentary respite from the summer heat.

Hinagdanan Cave

One of Panglao’s most popular attractions is Hinagdanan Cave. I remember having been to this place a number of times when I was still a kid as my mother hails from the not-so-distant town of Maribojoc.

Souvenirs shops surround the cave entrance. There are also volunteer guides who are quick to accompany tourists going inside the cave for a minimal fee. Though not required, I recommend hiring a guide. Aside from helping provide income to the locals, they are also trained to take good photos once you are inside the cave.

The entrance of the cave is a hole about 1 meter wide in diameter. Concrete steps are installed with steel railings for safety.

I was surprised to see graffiti on one portion of the cave walls. According to our guide, it was done when a movie was filmed here years ago. While it may be nice to look at in photos, I consider this vandalism to the cave and should have not been allowed.

Aside from its stalactites and stalagmites, the cave’s main attraction is the deep and wide fresh water lagoon inside. We lingered here a little longer and thoroughly enjoyed the cool dip.

Bohol Bee Farm

Bohol Bee Farm is a farm, resort and restaurant in one. It is a homey and very relaxing place situated on top of a seaside cliff. Its owners purposely established this place for bee cultivation, organic farming, healthy eating and to provide livelihood to local residents. They also offer accommodations for those wanting a quiet place to stay away from the bustling city.

Beautiful artworks are displayed at the entrance.

There is also a small yet inviting indoor pool within the mostly wooden interiors.

The farm has a garden planted with organic vegetables and herbs. Meals infused with organically-grown vegetables can be ordered at their restaurant.

They also have a dive shop and offers snorkeling, paddle boards and kayak rentals and marine tours.

The cliff-side Chiilout Bar looks so picturesque and inviting. I bet this is the best place to hang out during sunset.

Bohol Bee Farm also supports the local weaving industry.

They also make and sell ice cream in interesting flavors: Peanut Kisses, Malunggay, Ube, Durian, Pandan, Avocado, Guyabano, Rum Coco, Jackfruit, Buko, Dragonfruit, Chocolate, Spicy Ginger, Mango, Seaweed and Melon.

I tried the Peanut Kisses flavor. Quite expensive at 50 pesos per scoop but definitely yummy!

Alona Beach

From the Bohol Bee Farm, the tricycle driver took us back to Alona Beach. This is where our tour ended. After a half-day of exploring Panglao, we still have enough time to swim, catch the sunset and eat dinner at the beach.

Visit this LINK for my separate post on Alona Beach.

Essential Information:

1. Our tour started and ended near Alona Beach in Barangay Tawala, Check out this POST to know how to get to Alona Beach if you're coming from Tagbilaran City.
2, Rate for the whole tricycle tour is Php600.00. The tricycle can fit 3-4 persons.
3. You may contact the tour driver we hired: Allan, 09127368352 (Tricycle # 065).
4. Souvenir items can be bought at Nova Shell Museum, outside Hinagdanan Cave or at several shops near Alona Beach.
5. For more Bohol-related posts, visit this LINK.


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