Bohol is an island province in Central Visayas. Bohol tourist spots are known for amazing geological formations, good beaches and coral reefs. It is a well-known tourist destination in the Philippines but still quiet enough to enjoy the place. So if you’re looking for good beaches but don’t want the chaos of the party islands like Boracay, then Bohol is for you. Bohol also offer a wide range of activities. From countryside tour to diving and other adrenaline-inducing activities, there are lots of choices of things to do in Bohol.
HOW TO GET TO BOHOL
From Manila, there’s a direct flight to Tagbilaran, the capital of Bohol. The flight takes about an hour. There are also ferries that run daily from Cebu City and Dumaguete.
THINGS TO DO IN BOHOL
The list of things to do in Bohol is endless – it’s one of the best places in the Philippines in terms of attractions. Most of these are also very suitable for families, and would be a great choice if you are travelling with your kids. The only question is how much time you have, because fitting all of these into a single trip itinerary could be tricky.
One way to work around that is to choose your hotel wisely, so you can enjoy the best location and manage to do more things even on a tight schedule. Check out Agoda for hotels in Bohol or Philippines Travel Package for Bohol tour packages. These are especially recommended for families and large groups, since discounts and promos are usually offered and you actually can save a lot of money.
A. Countryside Tour in Bohol
Chocolate Hills – You haven’t experienced Bohol if you haven’t visited Chocolate Hills. These impressive geological formations in Carmen, Bohol are so unique that you can’t find them anywhere else. This makes it one of the most popular Bohol tourist spots. These little hills turn to muddy brown during summer depicting Hershey’s chocolate kisses, hence the name.
The Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary – If you want to see Tarsier in person, then you have to head to Philippine Tarsier sanctuary in Corella, Bohol. This sanctuary was built to protect Tarsiers. They are one of the smallest primates in the world and are famous with their big eyes that almost cover their entire face. The tarsiers are also highly endangered animals so make sure to follow the instructions in the sanctuary. This includes not stressing the animal by touching them or taking a picture with your flash.
Bilar Man Made Forest – This man-made forest is a 2-km stretch of Mahogany trees. You can find this forest in the boundary of Loboc and Bilar. One of the favorites among Bohol tourist spots because of its similarity to Sagano Bamboo Forest of Japan. You won’t miss this man-made forest on the way to Carmen to see the Chocolate Hills.
Baclayon Church – This church is among the oldest churches in the Philippines. It was founded in 1596 and has had several renovations since then. The church building is made of coral stones and egg whites were used to cement the coral stones together. Baclayon suffered major damage from the magnitude 7.2 earthquake in 2015, as at the time of writing, the church is still under reconstruction. It is located about 7km from the city of Tagbilaran.
Loboc River Floating Restaurant – A countryside tour in Bohol is not complete without the romantic lunch on a floating restaurant. This Loboc River cruise involves a sumptuous buffet lunch while watching local artists sing and dance. The cruise and the lunch only cost Php450 per person (US$9) and last for about 2 hours.
Blood Compact Shrine – This monument in Tagbilaran was constructed to honor the blood compact between Miguel Lopez de Legazpi of Spain and Rajah Sikatuna of Bohol. This important event led to the first treaty between Spaniards and Filipinos in 1565 and became a symbol of friendship between Spain and Philippines.
Sierra Bullones – The rice field in the middle of Sierra Bullones, another sleepy town in Bohol, is the little Banaue of Visayas because of its rice terraces. These rice paddies are so scenic it can calm your soul.
B. Island Tour In Bohol
Alona Beach – This white beach is the most popular of all beaches in Bohol. Located in Panglao Island, Alona is famous for numerous hotels, bars and diving shops. This is where the party is at as well. So if you want to be close to the action, then Alona Beach is the place to be.
Dumaluan Beach – This beach is the largest beach in Panglao Island. It is located next to Alona Beach but it is more quiet and secluded. Dumaluan is also home to more high-end resorts in Panglao. Unlike Alona, there are less boats in this area so you have enough space to channel your inner mermaid. And the whitesand here is said to be finer than anywhere else in Bohol. Yes, people compare sands at the beach when they are bored.
Anda Beach – Anda is one of the emerging Bohol tourist spots. It is located at the other side of Bohol, totally opposite from where Panglao is. It is about 3 hours by bus from Tagbilaran. It might be too far from all the action in Panglao but Anda beach is worth the extra hours and distance. Just think about a long stretch of glaring white sand beach and turquoise water with almost no one in sight.
C. Adventure Tour in Bohol
Diving – Bohol has an endless list of diving sites on its islands. It has one of the healthiest and most diverse marine sanctuaries, colorful reefs and exciting wall dives in the country. Among the top diving destinations in the province are Pamalican, Panglao, Balicasag, Cathedral and Cabilao. You won’t have any problem finding a diving shop here as there are several dive shops in Panglao and neighboring islands.
Falls – Like beaches, Bohol has several falls scattered around the province. Some of the best are Mag-aso Falls in Antequera, Kawasan in Balilihan (This waterfall is totally different from Kawasan falls in Cebu. It is almost similar to Asik-asik, only smaller), Pangas Falls in Bilar, Kinahugan Falls in Jagna, Can-umantad in Candijay and Busay Falls in Sevilla.
Cenotes and cave diving – Yes, Bohol has cenotes like Mexico. And the fun part is people can actually do cave diving under them. You can choose between Tigdao spring, Kalorenzo spring or Banilad spring.
Chocolate Hills Adventure Park (CHAP) – This eco-adventure park is located right next to Chocolate Hills. They offer a wide variety of fun activities. Here, you can bike your way through at the top, overlooking Chocolate Hills through their bike zipline or surf zipline. Below is their latest package rates.
WHERE TO EAT IN BOHOL
Budget: Payag Restaurant in Tagbilaran for good Filipino food. Price range is between Php100-150 per person (USD$2-3).
Mid-range: Gerarda’s is another family restaurant in Tagbilaran that serves modern Filipino food and with some vegetarian friendly dishes. Price range is between Php250-350 per person (US$5-7)
Semi-Fancy: Oceanica Seafood Restaurant in Panglao. They serve Filipino food, seafood and international cuisines. Price ranges between Php700-1500/ person (US$14-30)
WHERE TO PARTY IN BOHOL
- Reggae Bar Aliahailey is a reggae bar along Alona Beach that serves amazing barbecue, food and drinks at a reasonable price.
- Coco Vida Bar is one of the highest rated bars along Alona Beach. Aside from amazing cocktails and music, they also serve amazing food for dinner.
- Pinarella Bay is a small bar in Panglao but with high quality music from professional DJs. If you want to dance your heart away, then this place is the perfect place to have fun.
WHERE TO STAY IN BOHOL
Bohol has several types of accommodations to choose from. From budget to high-end resorts, there is a place for every type of traveller. Below is a list of some of the highest rated hotels in Bohol.
Budget Accommodation in Bohol
Gaea’s Apartments – is a budget accommodation in Panglao. They offer both dormitory rooms for Php350-600 (US$7-12) per person and private rooms between Php700-1800 (US$14-36) per room. It is also close to the beaches as it’s only 15-minute walk to Dumaluan Beach and Libaong White Beach. And they offer free wifi and free private parking. To book, please click here.
Bohol Coco Farm – is thatched roof accommodation in the middle of a farm. If you want a rustic experience far from the craziness of Alona Beach, then you’ll enjoy a quiet moment with a hammock and fireflies on this little oasis. They offer dorms at Php350 (US$7) and private huts for about Php800 ($16). They offer free wifi as well so you’re not really disconnected from the outside world. To book, please click here.
Lennon’s Place Backpacker Hostel – is another hostel in Panglao Island which is only few minutes away from the beach. This hostel includes free slippers and toiletries for the price of Php450 (US$9) per person. They also offer private rooms. To check their latest rates, click here.
Mid-range Accommodation in Bohol
Cabilao Sanctuary Beach & Dive Resort – is a beachfront resort in Loon, Bohol. It offers tranquil accommodation for those people who want to get away from everything. If you want to stay close to diving spots in Loon, then this resort is for you. They also offer an outdoor pool and private beach. To check their latest rates, please click here.
Alona’s Coral Garden Resort – this garden resort is only 2-minute walk from Alona beach. They offer self- catering air conditioned villas, bungalows and rooms for a reasonable price. They also have an outdoor pool and free wifi. To check their latest rates, please click here.
Harmony Hotel – this hotel offers rooms with balconies overlooking the pool and the property’s amazing garden. Harmony Hotel boasts with spacious rooms with hardwood floors and a cozy interior. Although this hotel is not a beachfront property, it is only few minutes walk from Alona Beach. They also offer babysitting services so if you want to treat your SO for a romantic dinner, you can leave the kids to their professional staff. To check their latest rates, click here.
Luxury Accommodation in Bohol
Henann Resort Alona Beach – This luxury resort is literally by the beach and one of those luxury resorts that have beach front in Alona. They also have an outdoor pool and spa services. Guests can also use their free private parking and wifi. This resort is popular with honeymooners who just want to have a relaxing vacation. To check their latest rates, please click here.
The Bellevue Resort – This world-class resort is also located on the coast of Panglao Island. Bellevue boasts an outdoor infinity pool and private beach area. This resort also offers rooms with balconies overlooking the coastline of Panglao and an international buffet restaurant to complete your vacation of a lifetime. To check their latest rates, please click here.
Bohol Beach Club – This resort is one of the most strategically located properties in Panglao with a private beach and amazing garden. They also have an outdoor pool surrounded by the garden which feels like an oasis more than anything else and a private beach at the front that spells tropical paradise with palm trees lining up in the white sand. To check their latest rates, please click here.