You are thinking of coming over to freedive in Panglao, and now you are wondering how to get to Bohol? Well, look no further. Travelling to Panglao, Bohol is very easy. There are many ways to visit us, and we’re going to explain them all.
There are 4 places you need to think off;
- Panglao via Bohol / Panglao International Airport (BPIA)
Manila and Cebu are big international airport hubs, and Tagbilaran is the capital of the province Bohol, and the closest and only ‘big’ city in the province and close to Panglao Island. In Tagbilaran, we have the ferry port from where you travel to Panglao and our Freediving Centre.
And to be clear about Panglao; Panglao is part of the province Bohol, but Bohol Island is a different island. Panglao is situated on the west side of Bohol Island but connected via two bridges and travelling between Bohol and Panglao is very easy. From FREEDIVE+ it’s only 10 to 15 minutes by scooter to reach Bohol and Tagbilaran city.
You can now fly to Panglao Island directly
On November 27, 2018, the first flight landed on the brand-new airport of Panglao Island. President Duterte officially opened Bohol Panglao International Airport on November 28, and immediately the airport was operational. The 28th was also the day that the doors closed of Tagbilaran National Airport. From this day onwards all incoming flights were redirected to Panglao Island.
Bohol Panglao International Airport is the country’s first fully ecological airport, and by mid-2019 we’ll have daily direct flights from Japan, Korea, China, Singapore, Malaysia, and of course also from Manilla.
Just let us know your flight details, and we’ll pick you up with our Hippo – the Hippo is the FREEDIVE+ taxi van 😉 Either by tricycle or our Hippo, the cost from Bohol Panglao International Airport to our centre is 150php (~$3).
Please don’t forget; if the flight or trip is delayed, can you please inform us in time? If the driver is delayed, he will ask for an additional 250php per hour.
How to get to Panglao via Manila.
If you’re not flying directly to Panglao Island via one of the International airport hubs then travelling from Manila to Panglao is in most cases the easiest option. Manila is a big airport divided over four terminals which used to be quite a pain, but now relatively easy to manage, but more about this in a bit. Manila is a big airport with many daily direct flights from the UK, Germany, Australia, etc. – pretty much from all over the world.
From Manila, you travel by domestic flight to Panglao Island. The duration of this flight is about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Because Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila has four terminals, it used to be quite tricky to travel from 1 terminal to the other. Nowadays, in every terminal, it’s quite easy to find the transfer desk, and they will guide you to a lounge where you can wait for a minivan or bus to take you to the other terminal. Usually, they’ll transfer you within 10 to 15 minutes. The transfers are free of charge.
There are eight daily flights from Manila to Panglao. The airlines that fly this route are Air Asia, Cebu Pacific and Philippines Airlines. The first flight departs at 6 am, and the last leaves at 2:40 pm, so if you land too late, you have to stay the night in Manila. The costs of the one-way tickets vary around 3000php to 4000php which is about 60 to 80usd.
How to travel to Panglao from Cebu.
Cebu is the big island just North of Panglao and Bohol. From Cebu, you can go to Panglao with either another flight or with the ferry.
Flying from Cebu to Panglao.
By far the most convenient way to travel from Panglao to Cebu is by charter plane – it’s also the most expensive way of transportation but for sure worth it. You will land in Cebu on Mactan International Airport from either a domestic or International flight. There are daily flights from Kuala Lumpur, Korea, China, Singapore and several other airport hubs in Asia.
The only airline flying from Cebu to Panglao and from Panglao to Cebu is Air Juan Aviation. At the moment the flights from Cebu to Panglao depart at 8:20 am, 11:50 am and 2:30 pm. Prices of the tickets depend on when you book, but usually, you can purchase a ticket for 1600php which is about 32usd.
The cost of a ticket is about 2 or 3 times as high as a ferry, but the flight from Cebu to Panglao only takes you 15 to 20 minutes whereas the fast ferry will take you 2 hours. Additionally, because the aeroplanes are small 8 to 10 person charters the plane doesn’t fly high and will you enjoy the fantastic view of the waters and islands between Cebu and Bohol. If you land in Mactan early and have the budget for it, it’s highly recommended to fly with the charter.
Taking the ferry from Cebu to Panglao.
If you land on Mactan International Airport, you first need to travel to the Cebu ferry port. Outside the airport, you can quickly grab a taxi. However, prices can vary, but you shouldn’t be paying more than 500php which is about 10usd. The Grab taxi app is quite popular in both Manila and Cebu, so before you come to the Philippines be sure to download and activate your app – it will result in excellent service, clean and nice cars and honest prices. Do this; you will regret it if you don’t 😉 Usually the trip to Pier 1 where the ferry departs will cost you somewhere between 200 and 300php which is around 5usd.
During the day about every hour different fast ferries depart to Tagbilaran. The two companies are Supercat and Oceanjet. Regular tickets are 600php, and business class tickets are 1000php which is about 30usd. It’s quite easy buying tickets; the registration offices are in front of the ferry terminal.
The last fast ferries depart in Cebu around 6 pm. If you don’t want to stay in Cebu overnight, you can take the slow cargo and passenger ferry of the Lite Shipping Company for about 400php which is about 8usd. There is one ferry leaving Cebu at 3 pm and one at midnight every day of the week. The trip will take about 4 hours from Cebu to Tagbilaran.
Travelling from the Ferry port in Tagbilaran to the Freedive Academy Panglao.
You now arrived in Tagbilaran, Bohol, and you need to get the freediving centre. This is quite easy. You call, email or Whatsapp us before you leave Cebu – there is public wifi at the ferry terminal, and we’ll arrange the Hippo or tricycle to wait for you on arrival. The Hippo or tricycle will cost you 400php which is about 8usd.
You can call, text or Whatsapp us on the following two numbers;
Dive Centre: +63 927 860 5655
Retail Shop: +63 927 860 5672
Again, there is free internet in the ferry terminal.
If you arrange a taxi van on arrival in Tagbilaran harbour, you pay 500php. If you organise your own transportation ask the driver just tell your taxi or tricycle driver to bring you to the Freedive Academy in Tangnan. Take the North road on Panglao island, after the Tangnan elementary school, turn right and then we are directly on the right side – can’t miss it 🙂 The trip shouldn’t cost you more than 400php. The tricycle driver can also call the dive centre at +63 927 860 5655.
And that’s about it; if you have any additional questions about travelling to Panglao, please feel free to contact us.
See you soon in Panglao!
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