Bohol is an amazing island with many beautiful beaches, caves, and waterfalls to explore. However, a day of island hopping to the nearby islands is also a great way to spend your time on Bohol. For $10 USD I was able to enjoy a 6-hour day trip tour to both Virgin Island Bohol and Balicasag Island.
The tour begins early in the morning as you go out looking for spinner dolphins. We were lucky enough to find them as they jumped alongside the boat! We then headed to Balicasag Island as the next stop on the tour. It was an amazing snorkeling spot and there were so many turtles, fish and beautiful corals. The final stop of the tour was to visit Virgin Island, which is a giant sandbar and was such a unique spot. I do highly recommend this tour from Bohol and it is a full day of action!
BALICASAG ISLAND TOUR WITH VIRGIN ISLAND AND DOLPHINS INCLUDED
We booked our tour from Alona Beach with a local boat driver but you can also book online here. The tour got started just after sunrise and we set out with quite a few other boats to look for the spinner dolphins. It was great to be out on the boat so early and the water was really calm. It wasn’t long before the spinner dolphins came and began playing near our boat. It was a great start to the Balicasag Island tour and a real spectacle to see these magnificent creatures playing in the wild!
The next stop was a short trip over to Balicasag Island. By now the sun was shining strongly and we were ready to get in the blue water. We arrived at Balicasag and we could already see the coral from the boat that is how clear the water is.
Balicasag Island is a very small island with amazing snorkeling. The water is crystal clear and there were plenty of turtles swimming amongst the coral. One of the turtles we swam with was enormous. Use my friend Jorden as a scale. Even having lived in Hawaii for two years I never saw a turtle quite that big. There is a huge drop-off shelf that is great to check out as the fish swim past in schools.
VIRGIN ISLAND BOHOL
We enjoyed a mango smoothie at Balicasag Island before getting back onto our wooden motorboat and heading towards Virgin Island Bohol. I call it Virgin Island Bohol as it is not to be confused with the U.S. Virgin Islands. I couldn’t help but find myself mesmerized by the crystal clear water and the seaweed below. It almost looked as if we were floating on thin air.
Arriving at Virgin Island Bohol we trudged through the muddy sand trying not to lose our flip-flops. We were greeted by many hard-working vendors selling pearls, fresh seafood they were offering to cook and other jewelry.
I was more interested in the barren sand-flats and the boats that were seemingly waiting for the tide to rescue them from the midday drought. We also found a couple of stranded starfish/sea stars, which made for a great subject but we did feel a little bad leaving them there to potentially dry out.
Virgin Island Bohol is not necessarily a relaxing hangout for beers nor is it a great spot for adventuring. It is an interesting spot but I am still not quite sure what the main attraction is at this sandbar other than the sandbar itself. That didn’t stop our curious minds from a little exploring and we enjoyed ourselves nonetheless. Here are the photos from our stop at Virgin Island Bohol.
WHERE TO STAY ON BOHOL
Read my full blog post: BEST AREA TO STAY IN BOHOL
Bohol Beach Club – Luxury: It’s everything you would expect from a luxury resort in a tropical location. It’s beachside with amazing pools, bars, and chill-out areas. Right near the restaurants, bars, and action of Alona Beach but hidden away so that you can relax after a day of island-hopping or adventures.
Venezia Suites – Value: The Venezia Suits present the best value on Bohol. If you are looking for luxury but only want to spend mid-range often you need to get lucky. Venezia will hook you up with a beautiful suite that comes with a pool and living space. It’s a damn good deal and located right near all the action of Panglao so you are in a good spot.
HM & B Backpackers Inn: As a backpacker generally you check the price, location, and cleanliness. HM & B ticks all those boxes as one of the cheapest hostels near Alona Beach but also maintains good reviews, cleanliness and is pretty cheap compared to everything else near Alona Beach.
ARE YOU KEEPING UP WITH MY BOHOL SERIES
I’ve been to Bohol twice and both times I explored extensively on my motorbike to the popular tourist spots and to locations many people have never heard of. I document it all in my BOHOL TRAVEL GUIDE: 27 Awesome Things To Do
Are you a waterfall chaser? I’ve put together a list of My Favorite Waterfalls and Cave Pools on Bohol with detailed directions and photos.
Maybe you are an adrenaline junkie like me and want to find out the Best Cliff Jumping spots on Bohol.
The popular tourist area where most people stay is Panglao Island. I’ve put together a blog post guide about the Best Things to do on Panglao Island
If you aren’t quite sure whether you want to stay on Panglao Island or venture north to Anda, I’ve written a blog post about the Best Places to Stay on Bohol, which helps you decide what region is best for you depending on your preferences.
One of the best activities on Bohol is the island-hopping to Balicasag and Virgin Island. I’ve put together a guide with everything you need to know about the adventure here: Virgin Island and Balicasag Island Hopping Tour Review