Bohol is one of the best places in the Philippines to scuba dive; with vibrant coral reef, scores of turtles, giant barracuda and macro critters as well as occasional whale shark sightings.
The best Bohol dive sites and most tourist infrastructure is located along Alona beach off Panglao.
Panglao is a small island connected to mainland Bohol via a land-bridge: it is here where most dive resorts / centres, accommodation and restaurants are located.
We’ve narrowed down the very best places to stay for divers in Panglao to the top ten!
Next, we divided these options into 2 categories; 1) dive resorts – for flashpackers after a luxury experience and 2) hostels for budget backpackers.
How to Use this Guide:
When staying in Panglao; you have two options. You can either stay at a dive resort; a fancy resort tailored especially for scuba divers – or you can stay in more affordable accommodation such as a hostel or homestay and dive with a dive centre.
Dive Resorts are luxurious; most have their own exclusive restaurants, swimming pools and scuba diving facilities. Dive Centres don’t offer accommodation and sell dives at cheaper prices: however the quality of the diving they offer is just as good as that of dive resorts.
When mentioning the location of each accommodation option, we’ve given this as its distance to Alona Beach: located on the far south side of Panglao island; Alona Beach is the hub of tourist infrastructure and also the launchpad for local diving.
Use the Quick Answer below to check out our top 3 accommodation recommendations for divers in Panglao or scroll down further to read our full reviews of all 10!
Remember, reserving your accommodation online through booking.com is always cheaper than paying when you get there!
South Palm is easily the most luxurious resort in all of Panglao, Bohol and with good reason. It lies just steps from Bohol Beach; a beautiful white-sand beach that is only accessible to residents of South Palm and a small handful of other resorts and restaurants.
There’s plenty of space to enjoy the view whilst lounging around on the hammocks and deck chairs with a cocktail from the nearby bar/restaurant – or you can go for a game of volleyball.
With facilities such as a luxury spa, fitness centre (gym) and indoor games room, South Palm has everything you need but if you do want to go and check out Alona Beach, it’s just a ten minute scooter ride away.
Guests can choose from a variety of spacious and comfortable rooms all with flatscreen TV’s, aircon and minibars and some with pool and beach views. You can also rent an entire villa! The staff are extremely proffessional and friendly; there is a 24 hour help-desk and room service as well as laundry and airport shuttle services.
With it’s own, highly-rated in-house diving team, South Palm is extremely popular among scuba divers and couples!
Henan’s Resort is another luxury resort; this time located right at the classy end of Alona beach and within easy walking-distance of all of the main dive centres, bars and restaurants.
Although there is no in-house diving team, you need only walk for five minutes before you reach Alona divers: the most popular dive centre in Panglao…the other top dive centres are also just several minutes walk away.
Henan’s resort has it’s own unique vibe; it is especially popular among digital nomads and groups of younger travellers. The pool bar gets extra lively at night and there is often a live DJ on the beach just out front.
All rooms feature a large flatscreen TV with cable channels, aircon, safe and seating area with some also offering private balconies.
In addition to the various facilities and awesome location of Henan’s Resort, guests frequently cite how helpful the staff are as another thing that makes Henan Resort great to stay at. The free buffet-breakfast is especially popular!
Bluewater Resort is less than half the price of South Palm or Henan’s but still offers a sufficient luxury feel with it’s own private beach area, 2 outdoor pools and business centre. It is also within the ideal location of just 200 meters from Alona beach.
There is a meticulously-run 24 hour help-desk that can assist with laundry, massage, car / scooter rental and…scuba diving! Snorkeling, fishing and other (non-motorized) water-sports can also be arranged.
Guests can relax by the pool-side bar or within the 2 separate dining areas where high quality Asian and Western cuisine is served. There is also a luxurious spa as well as daily housekeeping.
Rooms are fitted with tiled-flooring, aircon, a wardrobe, satellite TV and iPod dock and seating area. Banqueting and meeting facilities are available.
If you want to stay at a dive resort in Panglao but you’re on a budget, Manta Dream Dive resort is the best bet for you! Located just 800m from Alona Beach, Manta Dream Divers offers a large swimming pool, free private parking and a common garden.
Rooms go for under 2000 PHP ($35) a night and feature aircon, ensuite bathrooms and a small private patio out front. At twenty metre squared they also offer a very decent amount of space. As you can see from the image above, Manta Dream Dive resort offers less privacy compared to other resorts with rooms being semi-detached.
Still, this is a more quiet and private option than staying in the dorm of a hostel and it is situated within a great location, easily walkable to Alona beach. And as the name suggests, Manta dream dive resort is also agreat place to arrange scuba diving.
If you’re looking to stay at a nice resort that’s somewhere away from the hustle and bustle of Alona (whilst still within a 10 min scooter ride of it), you should seriously consider Linaw beach resort which offers very quiet and laid back vibes along with a luxury (but only actually mid-priced!) feel.
Situated on the private beach of Danao, Linaw resort boasts an outdoor pool, fine-dining restaurant and open air games hall where guests can play billiards, table tennis or foosball.
The staff are extremely kind and courteous and all too happy to help you arrange scuba diving, tours and other activities or to rent a scooter / bicycle.
All rooms feature ensuite bathrooms, aircon, flatscreen TV’s and coffee making facilities. Some also offer beautiful sea views and private balconies.
If you’re on a budget and you want to enjoy super fun, ultra-social backpacker vibes, Mad Monkey hostel is the best bet for you! With a bar/restaurant area directly next to a pool; this is a great place to meet and connect with other travellers, even more so thanks to the evening entertainment.
Staying at Mad Monkey Hostel is a lot of fun (albeit a little crazy at times!). You’re likely to make a lot of friends and have some bloody good fun experiences.
This hostel is located along Danao beach just 2.5km from Alona (where most dive centres, bars and restaraunts are located) and which you can reach in less than eight minutes scooter / tricycle ride.
There’s also several dive centres right on Danao beach that you can easily walk to; most notably Bohol Divers Club.
Mixed dorms and female only dorms are available at extremely low prices: all feature ac and shared bathrooms. There are also a few private rooms with ensuite bathrooms and ac available; again at very low prices.
Domos Native Guesthouse offers extremely low prices, a quiet and tranquil setting and a truly awesome location. It is on the far end of Alona beach (on the opposite end of Henan’s resort). You can easily walk to the dive centres, bars and restaurants within 5 minutes from here and yet it is tucked away from all the noisy nightlife – a winning combination.
Each room has a fan and an ensuite bathroom; ac is available but you have to pay an extra price for it in some rooms. There are a range of room options from budget doubles to twin and family rooms.
This is a relaxing place to be; it is also just a one minute walk from a large rock above Alona beach that provides amazing views off towards Siquijor island.
Domos Native Guesthouse is a quiet little homestay; you may not meet many other people here, but the cheap rooms and quiet yet close-to-everything location make it a fantastic option.
Within walking distance of Alona beach, Lennons Place offers a good blend of quiet tranquility: (thanks to the garden huts) with social vibes… thanks to the sun terrace where guests can relax with a drink from the bar whilst enjoying the view of the garden.
It is just 500m from Alona beach and so easily within walking distance (or a 1 minute scooter / tricycle ride) from the main selection of dive centres, bars and restaurants.
This is a cheap place to stay; you can choose to be in an 8 bed mixed dorm or a budget double room; either option is located within one of the small thatched huts in the garden surrounded by nature. There is also a 24 hour help desk and the option for bike hire. There are also bbq facilities, coffee machines and free private parking.
Another great hostel to meet other backpackers is Adrianas Place; which has one of the coolest and most unique bars of any hostel in Bohol. Said bar also doubles up as a restaurant and lounge area!
There’s a variety of room options; all are small cottages surrounded by nature in a lush garden. You can choose from mixed or female only dormitory rooms and private suites with aircon and private patios all at extremely reasonable prices.
Adriana’s place is located on Damaluan beach; this is about 5km away from Alona and less than ten minutes to reach via scooter or tricycle. Along Damaluan beach, there is also Club Aquasports, a local dive centre.
There’s actually quite a bit more to Bohemian Bohol Hostel than just karaoke. It’s another great place to meet people thanks to the shared lounge, terrace and bar with darts. And of course, yes there’s also karaoke!
You can choose from a variety of room options: 8 bed mixed or female only dorms, economy quadruple rooms or family rooms. All rooms have shared bathrooms; only a few feature aircon so be sure to check if this is important to you!
This is a cool and social place to stay; drinking games like beer pong are common and it’s extremely easy to get talking to and befriend other backpackers here. It’s also conveniently located just 600m from Alona beach where you will find most of the dive centres, restaurants and bars!
Bohol is an incredible place to dive for so many reasons! It’s useful to know what scuba divers can expect to see there – as well as when to go, how to get there and so forth.
Check out my main article for a complete Traveller’s Guide to Diving Bohol. crammed full of handy tips and other stuff you can do there besides just dive.
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