Bohol is undoubtedly one of the most visited tourist destinations in the Philippines. Why not? Besides the iconic Chocolate Hills and wide-eyed Tarsier, Bohol boasts of numerous natural attractions, beautiful white sand beaches, unpolluted rivers, verdant forest and exotic wildlife that will make you fall in love with the place. Other attractions include waterfalls, caves, and a lot of centuries old churches. The other thing I love about Bohol is that you can tour around the island in 2 days, which includes island hopping and frolicking in the beach.
We went to Bohol July of 2016. It was the family’s first out of town vacation (minus my sister who works and lives in Dubai). It was such a memorable experience for us as a family to spend a few days together as we don’t get to see each other often anymore. Actually, we only see each other ONCE a year.
On the first day, we did the Countryside tour and on the second day was the Island Hopping. By the way, we availed a tour package from BoholCheapPackageTour and I’m glad we did. I highly recommend it.
Here are my Top 10 things to do in Bohol
10. Visit the Blood Compact Monument
This is on my list just because visiting this place felt like I was brought back in time during my elementary years in school. I first knew about the history of this place in my History Book.
This shrine monument relives one of the most important events in the Philippine History – the blood compact between Miguel Lopez de Legazpi of Spain and Datu Sikatuna, chieftain of Bohol on March 1565. This is the First Treaty of Friendship between Spaniards and Filipinos. (I have a separate blog post of our visit to the Blood Compact Monument here)
9. Cross the Sipatan Twin Hanging Bridge ala Serena and Tenten of Dolce Amore
If you’re a fan of Philippine celebrities Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil, also known as #LizQuen, then you would know what I am talking about. The twin bridge was featured in their teleserye ‘Dolce Amore’ and I believed after that episode, the twin bridge became on everyone’s TO SEE list in Bohol.
Yes, the bridges were made of bamboo floorings but don’t be terrified. Supporting the bridges are cable steels! So just shake off the fear and enjoy the shaky bridge.
On the other side of the bridge is a souvenir shops wherein you can haggle – a lot.
8. Stop for a Photo Op at Bilar Manmade Forest
Bilar Manmade Forest is a living proof that in this day and age where deforestation has become a trend, reforestation is still very much doable and possible! Thanks to the Boholanos who had shown the way decades ago.
The forest is a 2 kilometer stretch of wide-spreading branches mahogany trees, uniformed in height. It has become a popular stopover for tourist going to the Chocolate Hills. It is about 5 minutes away from The Simply Butterflies Garden and around 20-30 minutes away from Tagbilaran City.
A short stop at Bilar man-made Forest is definitely an awesome treat for photo ops and a refreshing treat for a hot, sunny day. (I have a separate blog post of our Bilar Manmade Forest experience here)
7. Adore the caterpillars and butterflies at Simply Butterflies Conservation Center
Simply Butterflies Conservation Center is the first butterfly livelihood breeding program in the island of Bohol which aims to protect the butterfly population through breeding and releasing and plant research.
Here you can enjoy the beautiful display of preserved collections of butterflies, moths, and other insects around Bohol. There are also exhibits of eggs, brown and green cocoons, jewel like chrysalis, and of course the life cycle of the butterfly. If you are lucky and brave enough, you will be allowed to hold the caterpillars. (I have a separate blog post of our Butterfly Garden experience here)
6. Explore the diverse marine life at Balicasag Island
Balicasag is most famous for its diverse marine life. In fact, it is one of the most famous snorkeling and diving sites in the country.
The boat ride to Balicasag Island was a little rough that day and the dolphins were elusive. Sad, that we weren’t able to see them. However, the beauty of the rich and vibrant underwater world will definitely stunned you.
If you’re not a swimmer, be sure you have a life vest and don’t forget to bring bread!
5. Try the exotic food and enjoy the ‘floating market’ at Virgin Island
They say, ‘When God give you lemons, make lemonade’.
And I say, ‘when God give you high tide, enjoy it’.
When we stop at the sandbar, we weren’t lucky enough as it was high tide by the time that we arrived and so we didn’t really get to enjoy the sandbar (or also known as the Virgin Island). The sandbar is only visible during low tide.
However, we did enjoy trying different kinds of exotic seafood in the ‘floating market’. Mind you, it’s not the same floating market that you see in Thailand or in Indonesia. The floating market at Virgin Island is literally floating in the shallow waters (well, it wasn’t so shallow) of the sandbar.
4. Be mesmerized by the beautiful sunset at Alona Beach
Who doesn’t love sunsets?
Sunsets are romantic, inspiring, calming and relaxing, not to mention Instagram-able!
Oh yes, you could see sunsets wherever you are. However, I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend the afternoon a very tiring island hopping than enjoying the beautiful sunset at Alona Beach.
Moreover, you can also enjoy frolicking in the sand or enjoy a sumptuous dinner by the beach with the gorgeous sunset in view.
3. Cruise the Loboc River
It was my first river cruise so it is definitely on my top 3. Although the cruise was short, the joy of seeing the lush green forest and the clean waters of the river was already a treat for a nature lover like me.
Plus, we all enjoyed the song and dance performances of the locals. In fact, my sister-in-law danced the Tinikling. J And to top it all, a buffet lunch is served. You will never go hungry while cruising. (I have a separate blog post of our Loboc River Cruise experience here)
2. Meet and greet the adorable Philippine Tarsiers.
Meeting these little creatures will remind you of Star Wars’ master Yoda. Yes! Tarsiers have an uncanny resemblance to Master Yoda, especially their eyes and ears. So if you are a fan of the Jedi Master, you would probably enjoy watching these tree-dwelling creatures.
Meeting the Philippine tarsier (Tarsius syrichta), one of the smallest primates, is a must when visiting the island of Bohol. Why? First, Philippine tarsiers are considered endangered animals. Second, they are endemic in the southern Philippines islands of Bohol, Samar, Leyte, and in Mindanao. Third, they have the largest eye-to-body ratio of all mammals that makes them so adorable.
The Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary in Corella is the more recommended site to visit (there is another viewing centre) when you want to see these little creatures since you can view them in their natural habitat.The sanctuary is also a member of the Philippine Tarsier Foundation, Inc. (PTFI). (I have a separate blog post of our visit to the Philippine Tarsier Sanctuary here)
1. Admire the Chocolate Hills.
And the top of my list is…
One of the country’s National Geologic Monument, there is no doubt that Chocolate Hills is one the most visited attractions in Bohol. This mysterious geological formation got its name for its chocolatey brown color during the summer time. During the wet season, the hills are covered with verdant trees and grasses.
It’s best to visit the Chocolate Hills during the summer season; however, the green hills are just as equally wonderful. (I have a separate blog post of our Chocolate Hills experience here)
These are just ten of the many attractions you will see and enjoy in Bohol. If you haven’t, visit the place so you will experience the beauty of this island. Trust me, you will love it, too and you might stay a few more days. 🙂
P.S. This blog post was already months old. I just forgot to publish it. xoxo