Virgin Island in Panglao has always been included on every island hopping tour in Bohol. Who wouldn’t want to see the long stretch of sand bar that is estimated to be a hectare during low tide? We decided to re-visit the place after two years with the same group of friends that I was with on our first visit. The difference was this time, we found a way to check out Virgin island for free!
This is the docking area for the free boats. It’s on the opposite side of the sandbar where the “tour/paid boats” docked. See? Almost like a private tour as well. The only difference is you won’t get the chance to check out the other islands. It’s alright for us, since we already experienced the whole tour during our previous visit.Check out the calendars before visiting. Make sure that it’s low tide — This is the best time to get into the island where you can check the long stretch of pristine sand bar!Upon arrival, you will pass by the golden statue of Padre Pio. You’ll get to check out the mini-museum that holds some religious information alongside with a canteen that serves, again, free snacks! You just get to give a donation for every food that you’ll take. 🙂
Yes, Virgin Island is not just a mere sandbar, a part of it has shades too. Although it remained uninhabited except for religious relics, a small church, and hundreds — maybe thousands of doves freely roaming around the island. You can even see their hatchlings lying around the tree corners.
Fresh sea food is again one of the free perks while roaming. Aside from this, you get to enjoy the view and opportunities to get great photos!
Now let’s go back to the FREE boat topic. I won’t recommend this if you haven’t tried their island hopping because you won’t get to have the whole island hopping experience but this is best for side trips and if you are saving money, again — this is the best route to take.
This is all you need to do:
Assuming you are already in Panglao:
1. Ride a motorcycle to Pangalo Proper. Ask the driver to drop you off to the docking area for free boats to Virgin Island. Locals are already familiar to this place, specially the motorcycle drivers. Fare: 50 php/head (from Dumaluan Beach)
Docking area landmark: It’s just right beside the famous Panglao Church.
2. On the docking area, register your names. Someone will ask you to write all your names down on their registration form – then you’ll just have to wait for your turn to go! Easy as that.
The boats are free however there’s a donation box on each boat that would take you to Virgin Island. It’s up to you if you’ll donate or not. There would still be out of the pocket money but if you’ll compare it to the tour rates, you can save a lot!
3. You can stay as long as boats come and go on that day. If you decided to head back, just ask for a number on the island’s mini-canteen. Wait for your number to be called. Then you are ready to head back to Panglao town proper once another free boat arrives!
I hope the Free boat trip helps! 🙂