A quick and easy guide on how to get from Cebu to Panglao, Bohol
If you are flying to Cebu and only have a few days to enjoy the beautiful Philippines.. you will probably find yourself in the same dilemma as I did – how can I possibly decide where to go that’s close enough and worth it.
Ladies and gentlemen .. Panglao, Bohol is definitely up there.
Known for its famous Alona Beach – a great spot for relaxing, island hopping and having a good time in general.
You don’t need to look further than that. For real.
In order to do the Cebu to Panglao, Bohol route or Bohol in general, you need to take a ferry to Tagbilaran – a city known as Bohol’s ‘capital’.
– CEBU TO PANGLAO, BOHOL –
Getting to the Harbour
I got a taxi from the Tropical Hostel, approx 15 minutes drive and around Php100 (I cannot remember exactly!) Make sure the meter is ON when you take the taxi.
You can also use Uber or GrabCar (great for moving around the bigger cities at night, especially when travelling solo).
Ferry Company : OceanJet
There are a few to choose from, some better and some worse. This one was recommended to me by the hostel and the online reviews seemed good enough.
I can now personally recommend it as well – due to their affordable price, no problems with the service and the boats were decent enough.
Price : I had two options
500 Pesos to sit inside (first class, I guess)
400 Pesos to sit outside (second class..)
I was surprised that the price wasn’t the other way round.. I went for the cheaper option.
And so glad I did!
First of all, it’s much nicer to be able to feel the breeze and admire the views of the ocean.
Second of all – it’s 100 pesos cheaper.
When boarding the ferry, you need to sit in your allocated seat number. However, as it wasn’t very busy (both times I was on it) as soon as the ferry left the harbour – people moved around and many with the inside ticket came upstairs anyway.
Journey Time :
Roughly two hours.
(Image from Google)
Which Pier : Pier 1
OceanJet leaves from Pier 1.
I think some of the other companies leave from other piers, so make sure you double check beforehand.
Pier Fees :
As it’s the Philippines.. you will be asked for a few extra ‘fees’ that unfortunately have to be paid.
So, make sure to bring some spare cash.
Vehicle entrance fee – Php 10
Terminal fee – Php 25 / Php 20 for Students / Senior Citizens & Children under 12 go for free
(this is to be paid after purchasing the tickets).
Departing Times : Approx every hour
Here is the schedule : click, (for some reason the prices are much higher than what I paid, I’m sure they will be different at the harbour).
Check with your hostel / hotel before leaving as the schedule was slightly different when I visited.
How to do this :
Once you get to the pier and pay the vehicle entrance fee (if getting a taxi), you will get dropped off in between the two main sections and the sea in front of you.
Go to the left where you can purchase your ticket, the queues are usually quite long but go very quickly.
There you can choose which company you’d like to go with as there are a few departing from Pier 1.
Once you get the ticket, go to the main ‘Pier 1’ building which is on the right-hand side.
You will then need to pay the terminal fee and go through security checks.
Once that’s done, you can take a seat by the specified gate on your ticket and wait for your ferry.
The Ferry :
When entering the ferry, you will be told where to go.
I had a seat upstairs in the outside area right in the corner, which was perfect for the views, breeze and pictures. Winnings.
We had a toilet and a fair amount of space. There was no snack bar, so take enough water / some food with you.
Arriving at Tagbilaran :
As many of the SE Asia Piers.. it will be hectic when arriving – locals trying to grab your attention in order to accept their transfer & accommodation offers.
Walk straight past to the end till you see a queue of tricycles on your left.
There should be someone who manages it – say where you’d like to go and he will give you a little piece of paper with the destination.
You then go and talk to the tricycle driver. Keep reading for the prices..
Getting to Panglao / Alona Beach (Php250) :
DO NOT get overwhelmed by any of the chaos and do not agree on a price higher than Php250.
Originally I was asked for Php400, but I knew from researching before that it’s possible to get it down. The price will most probably be the same whether you are with someone or not, so it’s good to share & split the cost.
The journey took about 40 minutes and it was a great introduction to the island – from the busy city chaos to the beautiful landscapes surrounded by palm trees & tons of greenery.
PS. If you have data on your phone – it’s a good idea to show the driver where your destination (accommodation) is on the map to avoid any confusion.
Getting back to Cebu :
Getting back is exactly the same, just the other way round of course.
Grab a tricycle / taxi to Tagbilaran. The taxi driver will drop you off right outside of the ‘ticket counter’.
The boats go roughly every hour as well, but try to get there about 30 mins before to allow time for buying the ticket plus paying the terminal fees (no vehicle fees this time, unless I was just lucky!)
Hope this ‘ Getting from Cebu to Panglao, Bohol ‘ guide can help some of you out there!
Let me know your favourite ferry company or feel free to ask any questions 🙂
Here is a video that I did from my time in the Philippines :
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