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Bohol

Bohol is one of those destinations where the list of things to do are endless.

Whether you're a solo traveler, a couple, a group of family or friends, Bohol will always have something to offer.

Where do we start? Unique natural wonders, cultural sights, island hopping, and white-sand beaches to name a few. Emerging hotspots like the majestic Sea of Clouds in Danao goes to show how diverse this Visayan gem is.

Here's what you need to know about Bohol!


SEE

Tarsiers

Measuring only about 9-16 cm, tarsiers are known to be one of the world's smallest primates. With eyes bigger than its brains, this fascinating animal can jump 40 times their body length!

Sadly, tarsiers are an endangered species due to illegal destruction of their natural forest habitats. You can see them up close at Tarsier Sanctuary or Tarsier Conservation Area, but remember to not make sudden movements or noise as they are extremely sensitive in nature. Flash photography is also prohibited.

Entrance fee: ₱60/per person in Tarsier Sanctuary Corella and ₱50/per person in Tarsier Conservation Area, Loboc

Tarsier Sanctuary
Tarsier Sanctuary Road Corella, Bohol
Daily, 9AM - 4PM

Tarsier Conservation Area
Loay Interior Road Loboc, Bohol
Monday-Saturday, 8AM - 5PM

Hinagdanan Cave

The word hinagdanan is translated as "laddered" in Cebuano. The cave was named after a farmer who discovered it by accident. He built a ladder to access it for the first time. Here, you will find beautiful stalactites that surround a fresh underground lake.
Entrance fee: ₱100/per person

Hinagdanan Cave
Bingag, Dauis, Bohol
Daily, 7:30AM - 6PM

Bilar Man-made Forest

The serene Bilar Manmade Forest is a 2-km road of towering mahogany trees. It started as a reforestation project to replace trees lost from kaingin (slash-and-burn farming). It's a famous stop for many travelers going to and from the Chocolate Hills.

Bilar Man-made Forest
Loay Interior Road, Bilar, Bohol

Blood Compact Shrine (Sandugo)

"Sandugo" is Visayan for "one blood". This famous statue depicts a blood compact between the Spanish explorer Miguel López de Legazpi and Datu Sikatuna (the chieftain of Bohol) with several other witnesses in 1565. This is considered as the first treaty of friendship between the Spaniards and Filipinos.

Blood Compact Shrine
J.P Inting Street, Tagbilaran City, Bohol

Baclayon Church

The Baclayon Church, or Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, is known to be one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. First constructed in 1717, the church was made from coral stones and cemented using millions of egg whites.

In 2010, it was declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines and a National Historic Landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

In 2014, the century-old church was damaged by an earthquake that shook Bohol province. It has recently been reconstructed since.

Baclayon Church
Baclayon, Bohol

Dumaluan Beach

If you’re looking for a clean and quiet beach to spend a lazy afternoon, Dumaluan Beach is your best bet. Its long stretch of powder-fine white sand and pristine blue waters are perfect for long walks by the shore.
Entrance fee: ₱100

Mag-aso Falls

A staircase of 197 steps will lead you to this peaceful 8-meter twin waterfalls surrounded by lush forests. Go for a refreshing dip in the turquoise waters or simply immerse yourself in nature's peaceful sounds, such as birds chirping and flowing waters.
Entrance fee: ₱20/per person

Maga-aso Falls
Antequera, Bohol


EAT

Giuseppe Pizzeria

When it comes to authentic Sicilian cuisine, nobody does it better than Chef Giuseppe Genco. Prepare to be blown away by their famous brick oven pizzas and freshly made pasta. A selection of premium and affordable Italian wines is available as well.

Giuseppe Pizzeria
Tawala, Panglao, Bohol
Daily, 11AM - 11PM

Tarsier Paprika

The beautiful landscape, lush gardens, and panoramic view of the ocean are more than enough to pay a visit at Donatela Hotel. But on top of all that, its in-house restaurant Tarsier Paprika is a destination in itself.

The restaurant offers a fusion of quality Asian and French cuisine where you can dine cliff side with a panoramic view of the ocean. They’re best known for their Baby Back Ribs, Kinilaw, and their perfectly seasoned Tomahawk Steak that's large enough to satisfy 4 people with big appetites.

Tarsier Paprika
Km 16 Hoyohoy Tawala
Panglao, Bohol
Daily, 7AM - 9PM

Peanut Kisses and Broas

Bohol is home to delicious snacks! Don't forget to bring home the signature peanut kisses shaped like the Chocolate Hills and the light, crisp broas (the local version of ladyfingers). These local delicacies are a staple in pasalubong shops around Bohol.

Calamay

Another famous Bohol treat is the calamay, a sticky sweet delicacy made of coconut milk, brown sugar, and ground glutinous rice. Eat it straight out of the container or use it as a spread on your bread!

The Buzz Cafe Homemade Ice Cream (By Bohol Bee Farm)

If there’s one dessert you must try when in Bohol, it’s The Buzz Café’s homemade ice cream. An offshoot of the Bohol Bee Farm’s popular restaurant, they offer a variety of ice cream flavors like Malunggay, Peanut Kisses, Salted Honey, and Durian.

Made from pure coconut milk, it’s served in crispy fried organic cassava cones called cabcab. Best of all, it's gluten-free! Don’t forget to bring home some of their freshly baked squash muffins and sweet potato bread.

We recommend visiting the branch in Alona Beach. Who could resist a cold, creamy treat while taking a stroll along the beach?

The Buzz Cafe - Island City Mall
Upper Ground Floor, North Wing
Island City Mall
Dao District, Tagbilaran City, Bohol

The Buzz Cafe - Liteport
Liteport Center Gallares St.
Tagbilaran City, Bohol

The Buzz Cafe – Alona
Alona Beach Front
Panglao Island, Bohol

The Buzz Express - Tubigon
Ground Floor, Alturas Mall
Poblacion, Tubigon, Bohol

Acacia de Bubu

This small, no-frills barbecue joint is popular for its cheap barbecue and isaw. It's a famous al-fresco stop for both foreigners and locals alike. Be there early as it gets full fast!

Acacia de Bubu
27 Burgos corner Butalid Street
Tagbilaran City, Bohol

Gerarda's Place

This family house-turned-restaurant in Tagbilaran City offers a mix of Filipino and Asian Fusion cuisine. Don't forget to sample their signature Buttered Chicken!

Gerarda's Place
30 J.S Torralba Street
Tagbilaran City Bohol
Sunday-Friday: 8AM - 2PM, 5-10PM,
Saturday, 9AM - 2PM, 5-10PM

Bohol Bee Farm & Restaurant

This charmingly rustic cliffside establishment is well-known for serving a smorgasbord of delicious organically grown produce that’s a feast for the eyes and the palate. Their dishes boast of being 100% natural and preservative-free.

Don’t miss out on their famous Organic Garden Salad topped with colorful edible flowers in delightfully sweet vinaigrette dressing, Seafood Lasagna, and mouthwatering Ice Cream Halo-Halo.

Bohol Bee Farm & Restaurant
Dauis, Panglao Island, Bohol
Daily, 6AM - 12MN

Habhaban sa Buluarte

If you're going to Bohol with a large group, drop by Habhaban sa Buluarte for a hearty yet affordable boodle fight. It's a nice and simple spot to watch the sunset.

Not a lot of people know this, but it's also a social enterprise as they employ out-of-school youth.

Habhaban sa Buluarte
Poblacion, Baclayon, Bohol
Daily, 5PM - 12AM

L’ Elephant Bleu

Located along Alona Drive, this cozy lounge bar and restaurant is famous for its European delicacies cooked by a French-Italian chef. Their must-tries include Chicken Cordon Blue, Burgers, Creamy Fish, Creme brûlée, French crêpes, and mousse au chocolat.

L’ Elephant Bleu
Bamboo Food And Music By L' Elephant Bleu Inc.
Alona Drive, Bohol
Daily, 11AM - 2PM
5PM - 10PM


DO

Lunch Cruise at Loboc River

The lunch cruise by the Loboc River is certainly not to be missed! It starts in Loboc Town and travels upstream to Busay Falls.

Feast on a lunch buffet as a live musical band performs popular international covers. The boat will make a designated stop where Loboc natives perform a cultural performance called the Tinikling dance. Feel free to join along with them! It is highly encouraged to give a tip.
Entrance fee: ₱550/per person

TIP: The river water turns brown when it rains, so best to try this during the dry season when the water is at its natural green.

Loboc River Lunch Cruise
Poblacion Sawang, Loboc, Bohol

Happy Hour at Alona Beach

On days when you’re looking for some bustle, the famous Alona beach is the place to see and be seen.

Its vibrant 1.5-kilometer stretch of white sand beach is the center of most of the island’s activities and restaurants. Pick a spot and spend the afternoon along the beachfront with a cold drink. What's even better? Most establishments offer happy hour promos!

Island Hopping (Balicasag Island Marine Sanctuary, Balicasag Island, Balicasag Reef & Virgin Island)

Head out into the sea and explore Panglao’s crystal clear waters and fascinating islands nearby—you’ll be surprised by what you will find! Watch playful dolphins frolick in the waters as you make your way to Balicasag Island, a popular picnic spot and marine sanctuary. Wade in the pristine waters of Virgin Island and soak up the sun as you laze away on its sandbar. Boat rental rates start at ₱2,000 per boat.

Snorkelling/ Diving

Panglao is home to some of the richest and most diverse marine life in the country. Rent a mask, snorkel, and fins, or take a scuba diving course and make your way to one of its fish sanctuaries.

If you’re lucky, you’ll get to swim with sea turtles, get caught in a tunnel of a school of jackfish, and race with thousands of sardines on the run. Panglao is one of the 3 destinations in the world where you can witness this phenomenon—outside of a can!

Firefly Watching

For a truly enchanting evening, witness an amazing light show from millions of fireflies! The Abatan River and Maribojoc River is where you can take a guided kayakking tour. Don't forget to bring a change of clothes, mosquito repellant, and dry bags! On the other hand, the Loay River is where you can take a riverboat cruise.

Inquiries can be made with the Municipal Eco-Heritage Tourism, Culture, and Arts or Kayakasia Philippines.

ATV Adventure Tour in Chocolate Hills

If seeing the famous Chocolate Hills from a crowded view deck is not exactly your cup of tea, go on ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) adventure! This guided tour includes stops at Mini Rice Terraces, Three Sisters' Hills, and Eight Sisters' Hills.

Don't forget to bring an extra change of clothes and shoes! The ride along the way can get quite muddy. Rates start at ₱850 per person.

Stand-up Paddling (SUP) or Yoga at Loboc River

To escape the crowds on the lunch river cruise, why not try stand-up paddling or even practice a yoga session?

It's the perfect way to reconnect with nature and sneak in a good workout too!

Mountain Bike Tour

Exploring Bohol via a bike is a fun and alternative way of sightseeing the wonders of Bohol. Choose from 3 different tours:

Tour A being the beginner-friendly route, where you'll bike next to the river and pass through local villages, old churches, and ancestral homes of Loboc and Laoay areas.

Tour B is the intermediate tour which involves off-road and downhill trails through Loay mountain terrains and rice fields. A stop will be made at the blacksmith station to see how they make bolo knives. You will also bike through rice fields and mountain terrain.

Tour C is the expert trail where you'll bike to the top of Loboc Hills to witness a stunning landscape of the area.

Rates start at ₱500/per person.

Mountain Bike Tours
Barangay Road Valladolid
Loboc, Bohol
Daily, 7AM - 5PM


HIDDEN GEMS

Cadapdapan Rice Terraces & Can-Umantad Falls, Candijay

Two hours away from Tagbilaran rests two emerging hotspots in Candijay. The lush rice terraces cover a few hectares of the mountain slopes of Barangay Cadapdapan. The waters from Cadapdapan River is used to irrigate it.

Entrance fee: ₱20 per person with parking fee: ₱10 (for motorbike); and ₱20 (for private cars)

The Can-Umantad Falls is certainly not for the fainthearted! It's around 500-step trek from the Cadapdapan Rice Terraces. If you want to avoid the trek going to and from the Can-Umantad falls (which can get quite slippery during rainy days), hire a habal-habal instead.

The 60-feet waterfall considered to be the tallest one in Bohol. Go for a dip in its clean, cold waters.

Sea of Clouds, Danao

A majestic sea of white clouds amongst rice paddies and terraces will greet you at Laguna Moutain in Danao, Bohol. From the base, it will take you a 20-minute hike until you reach the top. The view will be worth it!

TIPS: Be there early to witness the sea of clouds unfold in front of your very eyes! Don't forget to bring a jacket as it can get cold. If you're traveling via public transportation, catch a bus heading to Danao terminal the day before and spend a night in town. Head there via habal-habal to catch the sunrise.

Sea of Clouds, Danao
Laguna Mountain, Barangay Concepcion
Danao, Bohol

Anda Beach

Among the province’s fast emerging hot spot is Anda, an approximately 110 kilometer or three-hour ride from Tagbilaran City. It's home to long stretches of fine white-sand beaches and calm waters sans the crowds.


TIPS


  • The best time to visit Bohol is summer (March-May). To avoid the crowds, it's best to visit during the off-peak season (July-October) but keep in mind that this time is prone to monsoon weather.

  • Seeing dolphins while doing the island hopping tour is not always guaranteed, but March-June is your best best.

  • The grass that covers the Chocolate Hills turn "chocolate" brown during the dry season from December-June. Other times, the hills are green.

  • There are plenty of options to get around in Bohol. Jeepneys and buses are common public transportation options. Taxis and tricycles are available from the airport. There's also the choice of renting a car or taking a van with other fellow travelers. The more people, the cheaper it will be per pax.

  • Habal-habal is also another cheap option to get around. Motorbikes and bicycles are also available for rent starting at ₱350 per day.

  • Most tour packages include air-conditioned car or van transfers to and from your accommodation. There are various tours services to choose from online!

  • The standard day tour in Bohol include the following sites: Blood Compact Marker, Baclayon Church & Museum, Tarsier Conservation Area, Loboc River Cruise with Lunch, Bamboo Hanging Bridge, Bilar Man-Made Forest, Habitat Bohol (Butterfly Garden), and Chocolate Hills. (This is subject to change, based on tour service providers)

  • The standard day tour in Panglao include the following sites: Bohol Bee Farm, Hinagdanan Cave, Dauis Church, Nova Sea Shell Museum, and Alona Beach. (This is subject to change, based on tour service providers)

  • Habal-habal is also another cheap option to get around. Motorbikes and bicycles are also available for rent starting at ₱350 per day.

  • In some attractions, it might be hard to catch public transportation. You can hire a trike to take you around Bohol for a day. Prices start at ₱800.

  • If you're going DIY, prepare enough cash for entrance and environmental fees.

  • Insect repellant is also highly recommended. A small handy bag is necessary when going to tours to keep your valuables safe with you. Bring a shawl when visiting the churches.

  • Shop at the pasalubong store next to the Sandugo (Blood Monument Shrine) for the lowest prices! Here you will find keychains and magnets that go as low as ₱10, assorted clothes, and packed snacks. In fact, 3 plastic containers of calamay will only cost you ₱100!


WHAT TO WEAR


Light and comfortable clothing such as casual tops and shorts are perfect for the day tours. Make sure to bring an extra change of clothes for some stops such as the ATV adventure in Chocolate Hills and the Firefly Watching.

Of course, bring your favorite beachwear if you're going to the beach or island hopping. Don't forget your beach essentials to protect you from the sun: sunscreen, cap, hat, and sunglasses!


HOW TO GET THERE


AIRPLANE

Air Asia, Cebu Pacific, and Philippine Airlines offer daily flights from Manila to Tagbilaran Airport. Duration of the flight will take around 1 hour and 15 minutes.


FERRY

From Cebu, a fast ferry from Cebu Port Pier 1 or 4 to Tagbilaran City Pier will take around 1 and a half hour. The regular boat will take about four hours.

A cheaper alternative would be to catch a ferry to Tubigon and travel by bus or van from Tubigon to Tagbilaran.

Check out Super Cat (2GO), Ocean Jet, FastCat, and Starcraft for ferry schedules.


WHERE TO STAY


Bohol offers plenty of accommodations for all types of traveler—solo backpackers, couples, and families included. For the budget-conscious, there are hostels and dorm-style stays. Luxury resorts are also available for those who are willing to splurge.

Stay in Panglao if you want to be near the nightlife bustle and beach. Aside from its close proximity to the airport, Tagbilaran is where the major malls, trade, and business circles take place. Baclayon is the quiet alternative that's rich with history. In fact, it's the first town where the Spaniards established Baclayon Church.

Check out our exclusive partner resorts in Bohol!

Illustrations by Ce Manalang

Photo credits: @duyzhova_a, @sirgerald12th, @nofihason, @margabonnintraveler, @dashbuenavista, @jyrikartul, @anepzali, @rnkpy, @frankenjam, @victoriaanweiler, @thefashionelle, @explorer_doc, @bryancaptures, @wheninbohol, and Nataniel Luperte

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