Famed for its chocolate hills, tarsier, and beautiful beaches, Bohol is a favorite destination among local and foreign tourists. Ideal for couples, families or friends, Bohol is a destination wherein visitors can revel in natural wonders.
Bohol is the 10th largest island in the Philippines and sits right smack in the middle of the Visayas. The province is home to the bug-eyed Philippine Tarsier, the Chocolate Hills, and the famous Panglao Island. Moreover, the island has a 261-kilometer coastline, which means there’s plenty of beaches to discover.
Bohol can be reached by plane if you fly to Manila or Cebu. For international travelers, it’s best to fly into Manila and catch a connecting flight that will take you to Bohol. Some international flights, on the other hand, fly to Cebu and from there, you can book a connecting flight to reach Bohol. Flights from Manila to Bohol take about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Those with the luxury of time or who are on a budget may opt to come to Bohol via boat. However, the journey will take around 25 hours.
There are various ways to get around Bohol. Upon arrival at the pier, resort or hotel owners from Panglao will greet clients and bring them to the resort through their cars. Those who are not booked with a hotel have options to take tricycles or taxis to ferry you to destinations in Tagbilaran and nearby towns. Moreover, there are also choices of jeepneys, buses, van for hire and habal-habal (motorcycle back ride) to choose from.
One of the things that are synonymous to Bohol is the Philippine Tarsier, the smallest primate on earth. The Philippine Tarsier Foundation in Corella has secured a protected area for these cute but endangered primates. The foundation also runs a Tarsier Research and Development Center which educates visitors about these gentle animals and see them in their natural habitat. However, visitors are warned not to visit caged Tarsiers located in many parts of the island, most notably in Loboc. This is due to the insufficient conditions and animals often die due to stress from visitors and poor care.
Another attraction worth seeing in Bohol is the magnificent Chocolate Hills. These unusual hills consist of about 1,268 mounds and are located in the towns of Carmen, Batuan, and Sagbayan. Each hill varies in height between 30 to 50 meters and is covered in green grass. During the dry season, the mounds turn brown, thus its name, “Chocolate Hills”.
Travelers with an adventurous streak will love the Loboc Eco-Tourism Adventure Park. The most famous attraction of the park is its zipline which offers views of above the forest, the Loboc River, and waterfalls. A round trip ride would cost P350. As a side trip, travelers may also opt to try the Loboc River Cruise and pay a visit to Loboc Church.
A visit to Bohol is incomplete without heading to the beach! Panglao Island is famous for its beaches, namely Alona Beach due to its white sand and clear water. There are plenty of activities to do in Panglao, including snorkeling, dolphin watching, island hopping, and scuba diving.
To catch a glimpse of fireflies, head over to Abatan River in Maribojoc. The best way to experience the firefly is by kayak at night, as the noise from motorized boats disrupts the fireflies’ natural habitat. For under P2,000, guests can enjoy this one of a kind experience with a certified kayak guide, kayak rental, and full dinner.
Tourists who are interested in architecture can enjoy appreciating Bohol’s many Spanish colonial churches. There’s the Baclayon Church, Maribojoc Church, Loon Church, Tubigon Church, and Dimiao Church.
Travel foodies will be delighted to know that Bohol has endless dining options. One of the most famous is Gerarda’s Place in Tagbilaran. The cozy restaurant serves up delicious dinakdakan and seafood kare-kare with crab fat.
Another Bohol foodie gem to try is The Buzz Cafe in Panglao Island. Tickle the tastebuds and savor the view of Panglao’s Alona Beach while indulging in the restaurant’s healthy and organic fare. The restaurant is part of Bohol Bee Farm, and if in case you missed this in Panglao Island, there’s also several The Buzz Cafe branches around Bohol.
Night owls looking for a place to party can find all the action in Alona Beach in Panglao. While the vibe in Panglao is more chill than Boracay, travelers can enjoy drinking by bars on the shore, happy hour, live music, and more.
As Bohol is a developing tourist attraction, tourist facilities have greatly improved. Whatever your budget, you’re sure to have a place to stay. Bohol has boutique hotels to quaint bed and breakfasts and even high-end hotels and resorts. However, peak season is during Holy Week, Christmas, and New Year, so book your rooms months in advance.
Those seeking a quiet luxury retreat may look up Amun Ini Beach Resort in Anda, Bohol. The property sits on 30,000 square meters of prime real estate, and boasts of its own white sand beach, and a 15-kilometer long coral reef.
For mid-range budgets, Alona Tropical Beach Resort in Panglao is a worthy option. The resort has 62 guest rooms, a restaurant, a bar, and sits on the famed Alona Beach.