Bohol and its neighbor Panglao Island are getting more and more visitors each year due to their beauty and their many natural wonders. They offer fantastic snorkeling experiences with whale sharks and dolphins watching, relaxing moments in white sand beaches, meeting with the cute Tarsier and breathtaking view of the curious Chocolate Hills. Keep reading to discover the best Bohol tourist spots.
The best way to explore the island is by renting a motorbike. You can also go through an agency and either join a group or get a private tour. It’s also probably worth it to spend a night in one of the villages if you want to experience a more authentic Bohol.
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Best Bohol Tourist Spots:
The Chocolate Hills are just amazing, truly one of the world wonders. It has become one of the Philippines most famous attractions. There are about 1776 hills, scattered around Carmen district. Most of them are about 40 meters high, the highest being 50 meters high. They’re called Chocolate Hills because at the end of the dry season the trees and grass turn brown, giving it a unique color.
Millions of years ago, Bohol used to be underwater, the hills are made of corals and shells which turned into these amazing karts rocks with time. Locals believe that they are the tears of a giant grieving his lost lover, others believe the hills are the result of a Gods’ fight, throwing rocks and sand at each other.
For a better light and impression, it’s better to come during early morning or for sunset. There are a couple of viewpoints, all private, the most frequented is Chocolate Hill Viewpoint (entrance 50 pesos), you’ll have to climb about 200 steps to get to it, and you’ll get a 360° view of the hills.
The Tarsiers Sanctuary
Tarsiers are the smallest primates in the world, it is also an endangered species. You can find them in a few places in the world, mostly in Bohol and in Sulawesi (Indonesia). The species is more than 45 millions year old, they are about 10 to 15 cm high and, being really shy, are hard to spot in the wild.
At the conservation center, they are free, but you can easily see them near the walkway, probably because they feed them around here. It’s forbidden to try to touch them or to take flash photography. They get easily scared, so it’s advised not to talk loudly or try to get too close to them. The tarsiers have the peculiarity of killing themselves when scared, they will just stop breathing. You can also arrange a trek through the jungle with a guide from the center.
Loboc River is incredibly beautiful, surrounded by jungle, cliffs, and with crystal clear water, it’s the perfect place for a cruise. The cruise at the tourist office in Loboc city is a bit of a tourist trap, the best would be to arrange a private tour with a fisherman or a villager, this way you’ll be alone, and you won’t have to stop at every tourist shops on the way.
A nice way to see the river is by ziplining (400 pesos), the line, going only one way, is pretty basic, but the view is just amazing, I definitively recommend it.
There are many waterfalls around Bohol, the water is always clear, and the view amazing. If you want to go off the beaten track and enjoy a waterfall with no one around, I recommend Malingin in Patrocenio. The waterfall is pretty small, about 1 meter high, but the river has carved natural pools there. It’s a bit hard to find, but it’s worth it, you’ll be the only one there, and truly in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by coconut trees and paddy fields.
Bohol is home to several adventure parks, there you’ll find a canopy walkway, high rope challenge, bike zip line, ATV tours, river trekking, climbing, caving, kayaking, paddleboarding… Perfect for the adventurous and thrill seekers.
One of the oldest church in Bohol, built in 1595, it has been damaged by the earthquake, but the renovation work is now over.
Held every Sunday, at this local market, you’ll find local products and handicrafts. A good way to observe the local life and try local food.
Alona Beach is definitively the place to be if you like to party. It’s here that most hotels, bars, and restaurants are located, you’ll even find clubs. The beach is beautiful but really crowded and not really large.
If you are looking for a more quiet place to stay, there are many beaches to choose from, all of them are scattered with resorts but are way less busy than Alona. Most of these beaches are private, so if you’re not staying at one of the resort, you’ll have to pay an entrance fee (about 25 pesos).
I stayed near Dumaluan Beach, the beach is pretty quiet, and you will easily find a spot with no one around. Dumaluan Beach Resort offers “cheap” food (about 100 pesos) and drinks (60 pesos for a shake). You can also go snorkeling, there’s a reef right in front of the resort.
Panglao Island is a good place to book a day trip to explore the deserted surrounding islands, do some snorkeling, swim with dolphins or do some diving.
Don’t have much time? Check out these Bohol tours:
Thinking of where to go next? Check out these amazing places nearby:
- Bacolod, the sugar capital of the Philippines
- Iloilo, perfect if you want to avoid the crowd
- Camotes, nature at its best
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