DISCOVER BALICASAG ISLAND & VIRGIN ISLAND BOHOL!
An island hopping tour to Virgin Island Bohol and Balicasag Island is an absolute MUST on your Bohol itinerary!
The island hopping tour includes dolphin watching from the boat, snorkeling with sea turtles on Balicasag Island and a visit to the unique sand bar on Virgin Island Bohol.
I can’t recommend this Bohol Island Hopping Tour to Balicasag Island and Virgin Island enough as it was by far the highlight of my trip to Panglao!
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VIRGIN ISLAND BOHOL & BALICASAG ISLAND HOPPING TOUR
The Bohol island hopping tour takes around five to six hours from start to finish. It includes transport by boat from Panglao to Balicasag Island, secondly to Virgin Island Bohol and then finally returning back to Panglao.
Book Now ∼ Bohol Island Hopping
MY EXPERIENCE ON THE BALICASAG ISLAND TOUR
Our trip began at 5:45 am where my friends and I met our skipper and guide at the meeting point down on Alona Beach in Panglao. We each signed our names on some sort of waiver form and we were swiftly on our way.
The first mission was to find dolphins on our way over to Balicasag Island and we got lucky when one breached out of the water right next to our boat. My buddy also spotted a stingray flying out of the water nearby.
It all happened so fast that I couldn’t get my camera out quick enough to capture it all. I guess some experiences like this are best left unphotographed. But damn I wish I had my camera at the ready…
As the boat neared Balicasag Island, which is only a 30 minute trip over from Panglao, we could already see the colorful reef from the boat, that’s how insanely clear and pristine the water is.
I know I have repeated these words quite frequently but the water on Balicasag Island was the bluest water I have ever seen!
See More → 31 Epic Things To Do In Bohol
Arriving at Balicasag Island
We weren’t the only ones at Balicasag Island
Balicasag Beach – Best beaches in Bohol
BALICASAG ISLAND SNORKELING
Balicasag Island is home to one of the best beaches in Bohol purely for it’s glistening white sands and it’s an abundance of marine life just offshore.
You can rent snorkeling equipment from one of the many shacks dotted along Balicasag Island Beach when you arrive on the boat. A mask and snorkel costs 150 pesos and then they will try to charge you and extra 250 pesos for a guide which is not necessary. Just pay for your snorkel set and walk around to the opposite side of Balicasag Island to where there are no boats.
The majority of the tourists snorkel on the side of the island where all the boats are parked up but definitely veer away from this area and head to the other side of Balicasag Island.
Snorkeling in Balicasag Island was the highlight of my trip to Bohol. As soon as I dived into the shallow waters with my mask and snorkel I spotted a sea turtle cruising across the reef about 5 meters from the shoreline.
I remember squealing like a little girl with excitement! I knew Balicasag Island was renowned for sea turtles residing in the reefs here but I did not expect to find one that easily.
We spent at least two hours snorkeling around the reef on Balicasag Island and swam with about 15 different turtles. It was a morning that I will never forget!
Apart from turtles, we saw many colorful corals and countless species of fish while we explored the underwater world of Balicasag Island.
Book Now ∼ Balicasag Island Hopping Tour
Turtles on Balicasag Island
Drone shot of Balicasag Island
Turquoise waters on Balicasag Island
VIRGIN ISLAND BOHOL
After a memorable few hours spent on Balicasg Island, we then continued the Bohol Island Hopping Tour over to Virgin Island Bohol Philippines.
It was still high tide when we arrived on Virgin Island Bohol so the sand bar wasn’t completely exposed. And on top of that, we were 1 of about 30 other tourists boats that were also parked up on the island.
I was a little deterred by the number of tourists at first, but when I got off the boat to explore the shallow waters around the sand bar it was quite interesting to see what was going on.
Must Read → 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary
Before even having the chance to set foot on to the sand bar on Virgin Island Bohol, a local jewelry seller had boarded our boat and tried convincing us to buy a couple of pearl necklaces. Once we kindly denied his offer we were able to get off and stroll around the sand bar.
Most of Virgin Island Panglao consists of floating seafood kitchens which were quite an amusing scene to watch.
You could go up to the boat that had the most appealing seafood and choose whatever you felt like trying such as lobsters, sea urchins, calamari and fish which they would boil or grill right in front of you.
There was also the option to sit on benches and tables that were half-submerged in water to enjoy your fresh meal.
Apart from that, there isn’t a whole lot to do on Virgin Island Bohol but it’s a very unique experience I am sure you will enjoy!
The last leg of the boat ride from Virgin Island Bohol to Alona Beach in Panglao takes around 20 minutes and you should arrive back around 12 pm just in time for lunch.
Drone shot of Virgin Island Bohol
Coconut vendor on Virgin Island Bohol
Seafood kitchens at Virgin Island Bohol
All smiles on Virgin Island Bohol
Aerial shot of Virgin Island Bohol
BBQ fish on Virgin Island Bohol
WHERE TO STAY IN BOHOL
Panglao Island in Bohol has hundreds of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of my personal favorite places to stay in Panglao Bohol to fit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers and everyone in between.
See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Donatela Hotel
Donatela Hotel is the best luxury accommodation in Panglao Island. Centrally located and close to beaches and other attractions on Panglao island. The hotel offers a private beach area, swimming pool, restaurant and pool bar. There is a garden villa, pool villa, family villa and honeymoon villa available at Donatela Hotel. The rooms are air-conditioned featuring a balcony, flat-screen tv, dining area, tea/coffee maker, mini-bar, private bathroom, bathtub and plunge pool. They can also help you to organise scuba diving, snorkeling and other activities in Bohol. Great for families, friends and couples.
Mid Range: Conrada’s Place Hotel & Resort
Conrada’s Place is located 450m from Alona Beach on Panglao Island and it’s close to shops, restaurants and other nearby attractions. The accommodation features an outdoor pool, restaurant, snorkeling activities and wellness spa. There are double rooms, deluxe rooms, family rooms and suites which have air-conditioning, free wifi and breakfast is included for all guests. Conrada can also help you book island hopping tours and other activities in Bohol. Great place to stay for families, friends and couples.
Budget: Bohol Coco Farm
Bohol Coco Farm is rated the best budget accommodation for a solo traveler in Bohol. Enjoy a rustic experience with modern luxuries of free wifi and a restaurant. Great location close to beaches and other attractions. The rooms and fan-cooled with shared bathrooms and towels are included. There’s also a shared lounge with free coffee and a tour desk.
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN BOHOL, SEE MY COMPLETE GUIDE ON WHERE TO STAY IN BOHOL.
BOOK A BOHOL TOUR
Another great way to see all of the best Bohol tourist spots is to book a Bohol Countryside & Panglao Highlights Tour.
This particular tour is the most top-rated tour in Bohol with hundreds of great reviews and thousands of bookings. I can’t recommend this amazing tour enough, especially for first-timers to Bohol!
You can Click Here to see what other travelers are saying about this tour!
The Bohol Tour includes the following:
- Chocolate Hills
- Bilar Manmade Forest
- Bohol Tarsier Sanctuary
- Loboc River Cruise with lunch
- Hinagdanan Cave
- Panglao Watchtower
- & much more
Another option for accommodation in Bohol is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals.
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LONELY PLANET – PHILIPPINES
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Philippines Travel Guide!
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JOIN MY FACEBOOK TRAVEL TRIBE
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MORE PHILIPPINES TRAVEL GUIDES
- Philippines Guide: 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary
- Cebu: 15 Things To Do In Cebu
- Bohol: 31 Epic Things To Do In Bohol
- Siargao: 15 Things To Do In Siargao
- El Nido: El Nido Island Hopping
- Coron: Coron Island Hopping
- Boracay: 15 Things To Do In Boracay
- Siquijor: 3 Day Siquijor Itinerary
- Bantayan: 15 Things To Do In Bantayan
- Malapascua: 11 Things To Do In Malapascua
- Camiguin: 13 Best Camiguin Tourist Spots
- Romblon: 12 Epic Things To Do In Romblon
- Tablas: 10 Things To Do In Tablas
- Carabao: 7 Best Things To Do In Carabao
- Dumaguete: Best Dumaguete Tourist Spots
- Sumilon Island: Sumilon Island Itinerary
WHAT TO PACK FOR BOHOL
Everyday Backpack: One of the best backpacks on the market! The Nomatic 20L Backpack is perfect for on the go adventures. Featuring multiple storage spaces for valuables, drink bottles, chargers, notebooks and more. This sleek backpack was designed for you.
Universal Power Adapter: Don’t leave home without one! I highly recommend getting this Universal Power Adapter so that you are able to charge all of your electronics when you’re on the road. Compatible in Asia, UK, Europe, Africa, USA, SA and Australia.
Hidden Money Belt: I never go on a trip without one! The best thing is they are always out of sight, hidden beneath your clothing. With RFID blocking, they are perfectly designed to keep your credit cards, cash and other valuables safe when you’re out adventuring!
Waterproof Phone Case: A waterproof phone case is a must-have item! This universal case will keep your phone safe from water damage, sand and scratches during your adventures. Suitable for all smartphone models.
Portable Charger: One of the best portable chargers on the market! The Anker Power Bank keeps your phone and accessories charged on those longer adventures. Featuring 2 USB charging ports, rechargeable battery, works with iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Oppo and Android.
Microfibre Travel Towel: To pack a towel or not to pack a towel? A standard bathroom towel can take up a lot of space in your travel bag. Get your hands on a quick-dry Microfibre Travel Towel which is perfect for the beach, backpacking, camping and general traveling.
Rain Jacket: A light-weight rain jacket is an absolute must when traveling! North Face waterproof rain jackets come in both men and women sizes, featuring a breathable mesh lining and adjustable hood that can be tucked away inside the collar.
Kindle: The best alternative for books! Kindle e-readers are perfect for long haul flights, reading on the beach or a quiet evening away from the bars. Kindle’s are waterproof with rechargeable batteries and adjustable light settings to suit indoor/outdoor conditions.
Packing Cubes: My favorite item in my backpack! Perfect for organizing your shirts, pants, jackets, socks, underwear and more. This 5 Set Packing Cubes makes packing easier and more efficient, adding extra space in your bag for your next trip.
Activated Charcoal Tablets: Want to avoid food poisoning? Most of us have been a victim of travelers diarrhea from eating street food. Organic Activated Charcoal Tablets are fast-acting and will rid your system of the bad bacteria that causes stomach upset.
MY CAMERA GEAR
Everyday Camera: The most affordable mirrorless camera on the market! I personally use the Sony A7ii Mirrorless Camera on all of my adventures. It’s compact, lightweight and super easy to use for all levels of photography. A 28-70mm Sony lens is also included.
Drone Camera: Take your photography to new heights! The DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone is at the top of the game when it comes to high-quality images and video, easy to control functions and traveler-friendly capabilities. I guarantee you won’t regret purchasing one.
GoPro Hero 8: One of the most popular cameras on the planet! I love using the GoPro Hero 8 for all of my underwater shots and fast-paced adventures. The GoPro Hero 8 captures the best moments with its wide range of functions that are very simple to use!
Camera Bag: My favorite camera bag I have ever owned! The Lowepro Protactic 450 AW II Camera Bag features a waterproof rain cover, drink bottle holder, padded compartments for cameras, drones, lenses, accessories and it also has a laptop pocket.
Selfie Stick: Everyone loves a good selfie, right!? The Sandmarc Metal Edition Selfie Stick is sleek, stylish and can extend to 1.2m. I find it much easier to take photos and videos with the GoPro when it is mounted to the Sandmarc Selfie Stick!
Camera Tripod: The Joby GorillaPod is suitable for all cameras. This tripod is easy to use and perfect for setting up a time-lapse video or even using it as a selfie stick. The legs are flexible so you can wrap it around a tree or a pole to get creative with your shot.
GoPro Dome: Have you ever wanted to capture those under/over water shots with the GoPro? This epic underwater GoPro dome housing is the best camera accessory to have to create the perfect 50/50 shot. I use mine every time I am in the ocean!
Memory Card: The best thing about SanDisk Extreme Pro is that it delivers maximum speed for images and videos. Having 64GB of storage means that you can store hundreds of files on this SD card for 2-3 days and not have to worry about running out of space.
External Hard Drive: As a photographer, my images and video files take up a lot of space on my MacBook so I use the WD Elements External Hard Drive to store everything. With 4TB worth of storage space, this is more than enough for 1 year worth of content.
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FINAL THOUGHTS OF BALICASAG ISLAND
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions at all about Virgin Island Bohol & Balicasag Island, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
Happy Adventuring! 😃