I’ve only been to Bohol once but this beautiful island will definitely be part of my top three (3) recommendations when visiting the Philippines. Why? It’s because Bohol boasts of white beaches, interesting history, diverse wildlife, and incredible sites.
Today, I’ll be sharing with you the information I have gathered during my recent trip to Bohol. I hope this will help you plan your trip to this one-of-a-kind tropical paradise!
How to Get to Bohol
The fastest and easiest way is by plane. Cebu Pacific, AirAsia Zest, and Philippine Airlines (PAL) operate multiple flights from Manila/Clark to Tagbilaran City, the capital of Bohol. Travel time is around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
If you’re into a different kind of adventure, you may also opt to travel by boat. Tagbilaran City Pier is the destination of a number of ships coming from Manila. There are also vessels from other parts of the Visayas including Dumaguete and Cebu. If you’re coming from Mindanao, you may hop on a boat to Bohol in Cagayan de Oro and Dipolog.
Places to Visit in Bohol
Just to reiterate, we’ve only had 24 hours to explore Bohol so we really maximized our time. We’ve only set foot on the southern coast of the main island up to the Chocolate Hills.
La Purisima Concepcion de la Virgen Maria Parish Church, commonly known as Baclayon Church, is just six kilometers away from Tagbilaran City. It is the second oldest stone church in the Philippines constructed in 1595 by the Jesuit priests.
Loboc River Cruise
When visiting the town of Loboc, you can experience cruising along the river on-board a small Banca boat with The Famous Loboc Cruise Lunch Buffet. It starts by the Loay Bridge which is located in the neighboring town of Loay or at the Loboc town proper where you can choose from a variety of river cruising vessels. The Loboc River cruise usually runs for an hour or so back and forth.
Bilar man-made Forest
Starting from Loboc, you can journey to Bilar man-made Forest and walk through a deep forest penetrated with 63-year old Mahogany Trees for free. Make sure you have your tripod and cameras ready since this is a national road with vehicles passing by almost every 5 minutes.
Visit the Chocolate Hills
This was only something I’ve been seeing in my Sibika textbooks, and finally, I was able to see the beauty of the Chocolate Hills! In the town of Carmen, you can grasp the legendary beauty of these thousand hills of wonders in many different ways. You can go hiking, take photos from the high viewing deck, and ride a bicycle on a zipline above the hills.
Visit the Tarsier Sanctuary
From there you could go to Corella and see the island’s own endangered primates at the Tarsier Sanctuary.
Other destinations you should also check out:
- Danao Adventure Park – A destination for the more adventurous! Located in the municipality of Danao, it offers a wide array of extreme yet educational activities including river trekking, kayaking, root climbing, and rappelling.
- Hinagdanan Cave – A naturally lit limestone cavern in Panglao Island.
- Punta Cruz Watch Tower at Maribojoc Bay
- Mag-aso Falls in Antiquera
The north remains waiting for me and I can’t wait to go back soon!
Getting Around Bohol
Getting around Bohol can be a little tricky for tourists who wish to make the most of their stay. For short distances, riding a tricycle is the best option. It’s cheap and can be easily found in the streets of Tagbilaran. These trikes can take you to any point of the city and other neighboring towns like Panglao, Dauis, and Baclayon.
For inter-town travels, public transportation such as buses and jeepneys can be unreliable due to inconsistent schedules. If you want to see a lot of places within a short period of time, these modes of transportation might prove inefficient. For this, I recommend hiring a private vehicle, renting a motorbike, or joining a tour.
Motorcycle rentals range from P300 ($6) to P500 ($10) a day depending on the model. Car rentals are also available starting from P1,500 ($30).
For island-hopping, boat rental cost varies depending on the season, boat size, and which islands you want to visit. The most common is Virgin Island + Balicasag Island, which usually ranges from P1500-P2500 ($30-$50). It can occupy up to 10 passengers.
Sample 2D/1N Itinerary
When I visited Bohol, it was meant to be a side trip to my 5-day vacation in Cebu. Little did I know that I’ll enjoy Bohol even more because of its relaxing vibes and scenic views.
If it’s your first time visiting Bohol, I recommend trying the more popular tours – Countryside Tour and Island-hopping Tour. They highlight some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the province. Here’s a sample 2D/1N itinerary. Note that this itinerary is based on the assumption that you’re traveling from Cebu and taking a packaged tour from your accommodation.
|8:10 AM||Arrival in Tagbilaran City Port Terminal|
|8:30 AM||Start of Countryside Tour: Tarsier Sancturary, Bilar man-made Forest, Butterfly Sanctuary, Chocolate Hills|
|11:00 AM||Loboc River Cruise|
|1:30 PM||Baclayon Church, Blood Compact Shrine|
|5:00 PM||Back to Hotel|
|8:00 PM||Dinner at Alona Beach|
|5:00 AM||Catch the sunrise in Alona Beach|
|7:00 AM||Souvenir shopping|
|8:00 AM||Back to Hotel|
|1:00 PM||Ferry back to Cebu|
Your travel expenses will largely depend on your traveling style and how much you plan to spend on activities, accommodations, and food. To get you started with budgeting your upcoming Bohol trip, here are budget estimates if you follow the 2D/1N itinerary posted above.
Prices below are for 2 people traveling together.
|Fastcraft: Cebu to Bohol (RT)||P2,000 ($40)|
|Tricycle from Panglao to Tagbilaran Port||P250 ($5)|
|Countryside Tour||P1,500 ($30)|
|Tarsier Sanctuary Fee||P120 ($2.40)|
|Chocolate Hills||P100 ($2)|
|Bilar Man-made Forest||N/A|
|Loboc River Cruise||P900 ($18) – cruise + lunch|
|Butterfly Sanctuary||P60 ($1.20)|
|Lunch||P300 ($6) – lunch at Tagbilaran Port|
1. Are there banks in the island? – The country’s major banks, which are also linked to most foreign banks, are found in Tagbilaran City. So it’s best to do your necessary bank transactions already upon arrival.
2. Are there money changers in Bohol? – Visit the Indian or Pakistani currency exchange outlets in Tagbilaran City, exactly in the street between Rose Pharmacy and the Jollibee Restaurant. Another money changer that also offers a good rate is in the basement of Island City Mall.
3. Is Bohol safe? – Yes!
Do you have any questions? Feel free to comment down below or message me through my contact form.
I’d be happy to clarify any confusion you might have!