Manilla offers a vibrant city experience, while Boracay is perfect for those seeking a beach getaway. As for Bohol, it is a destination that immerses you in the wonders of the jungle. Get ready for an exhilarating getaway, packed with thrilling jungle escapades that will leave you feeling alive and energized!
With its vast expanse, exploring this island in the Philippines is sure to be an adventure! Located in the heart of the island, you’ll discover a hub of exhilarating outdoor activities. Experience the thrill of ziplining, conquer waterfalls, venture into caves, and embark on scenic river cruises. Experience the allure of pristine beaches and indulge in refreshing tropical beverages adorned with whimsical straws in the southern part of the island. Additionally, in the southern region, one can explore the bustling city of Tagbilaran, brimming with a variety of shopping centers, dining establishments, vibrant nightlife, and cozy accommodations. You can also explore the northern regions and interact with the locals who may not often encounter tourists in their area.
When you’re ready for a change of pace from all the exciting adventures, there’s a wealth of historical knowledge waiting to be discovered on this island. Throughout the centuries, various historical events have left their mark on this place, evident in every corner you explore.
1. Chocolate Hills
The Chocolate Hills are widely renowned as the top tourist destination on Bohol Island, and it is not hard to see why. Stretching out before us are countless rows of perfectly shaped emerald peaks, extending as far as the eye can reach.
These hills undergo a transformation during the dry season, displaying a captivating milk-chocolate hue that has earned them the name “Chocolate Hills”. They become vibrant and verdant during the rainy season.
Experience the thrill of exploring the scenic routes, where you’ll encounter breathtaking landscapes and immerse yourself in the local heritage.
2. Mahogany Forest
Rent a motorbike to experience the beauty that is the Mahogany Forest. The roads wind and bend making for a seriously fun ride. The roads are nicely paved, and the traffic isn’t too heavy so even new riders can handle the journey.
Park your bike on the side of the road and meander up the hill to get a closer look at the massive roots that tangle together in the soil. With the sun peering through the trees and the fresh air surrounding you- you’ll get a feeling of what Bohol is all about.
3. Cathedral of San Jose
It becomes evident and apparent that religion holds a significant place in the culture of Filipino people. The Cathedral of San Jose is a significant landmark in Bohol’s bustling city, attracting a large number of locals throughout the week, especially on Sundays for mass. Regardless of your beliefs, it is fascinating to explore the Cathedral of San Jose and observe the local customs of worship. You might even come across a wedding or a baptism.
Similar to other historical buildings in the area, the cathedral retains its original coral stone walls. Despite undergoing renovations, such as fresh paint on the walls and a revamped ceiling in the cathedral, the church has remarkably preserved its original integrity for centuries.
4. Baclayon Church
Baclayon Church also referred to as “The Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary Parish Church”, holds the distinction of being the oldest Christian settlement in Bohol. Established in 1596 and still standing, this Roman Catholic Church has been recognized as a ‘National Cultural Treasure’ that draws in numerous visitors throughout the year.
The church exudes an air of intrigue with its enigmatic appearance, crafted from aged grey coral stone that bears the marks of time. The archways show signs of decay, while the pillars bear the marks of relentless wind and typhoons, standing proudly by the seaside. In 2013, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 struck Bohol, causing damage to the church while fortunately leaving the museum unharmed. Overall, it creates a captivating experience.
5. Bamboo Hanging Bridge
Experience the thrill of crossing the Bamboo Hanging Bridge, as you walk above the gentle current of the river. With every step on the bridge, a sense of excitement courses through you, as if you are treading on something delicate. But fear not, for the bridge is securely suspended by robust cables that ensure your safety!
After crossing the bridge, you’ll find a charming collection of souvenir shops offering magnets, bags, shirts, and other delightful items.
6. Cambuyo Rice Terraces
The mesmerizing beauty of rice terraces, with their expansive flat plains and vibrant green hues, is a distinctive characteristic of Asia. Amidst the vast expanse of muddy plains, diligent farmers sow the seeds of rice, which eventually sprout into vibrant green stems, transforming the surroundings into breathtaking landscapes. Water plays a crucial role in safeguarding the health of rice plants, preventing them from being affected by fungus or disease.
In the Philippines, rice plays a vital role in the lives of many Filipinos, serving as a significant source of sustenance and contributing to the country’s economy. Thousands of hardworking individuals dedicate their days to working in rice fields. Step out of your vehicle by the roadside and you’ll have the chance to witness hardworking farmers in action. Feel free to capture some beautiful images of the rice plains, while keeping in mind the importance of showing respect to the hardworking farmers.
7. Dimiao Twin Waterfalls
Surprisingly, in the area, there are not just two, but three waterfalls that go by the name of the “twin” waterfalls. Hop on a van and head over to Dimiao public market, where you can leisurely explore the variety of crafts and snacks on offer. Just outside the market, there are numerous drivers eagerly waiting to transport visitors to the breathtaking waterfalls. It is a common practice in this area. Our dedicated tour guides will accompany you every step of the way, ensuring that you have a seamless and enjoyable experience. They will provide transportation, guide you through exciting treks, capture your precious moments, and safely return you to the vibrant market.
The waterfalls themselves are absolutely stunning, with crystal-clear water perfect for swimming, powerful cascades that provide a refreshing mist, rocky formations that invite climbing, towering cliffs that offer an exhilarating leap, and floating rafts for endless fun.
8. Blood Compact Monument
You can easily spare five minutes to pause and discover the captivating tale behind this bronze structure. Located against the stunning backdrop of the sea, the Blood Compact Monument showcases a group of 5 soldiers coming together around a table to raise a toast. Through a solemn agreement, Spanish General Miguez Lopez de Legazpi and the Native Filipino people forged a bond, pledging to collaborate harmoniously.
There is a brief historical explanation near the monument to provide you with additional information. Enjoy your reading, capturing beautiful moments with your camera, and continue your journey with a joyful spirit.
9. Hinagdanan Cave
Are you brave enough to swim in the deep dark waters of this bat cave? Don’t worry, there are no scary creatures swimming around to pull you under. This cave might look very creepy with spiky features hanging from the ceiling and bats flying all around, but it’s quite a fun experience.
There are a few holes in the ceiling of the cave that shine down on you like a Disney movie and make for the perfect photo opportunity. Make sure to go early in the morning before all the crowds of tourists show up!
10. Loboc Ecotourism Adventure Park
If you like heights, nature, and adrenaline, you are going to love Loboc Ecotourism Adventure Park. Located near the Chocolate Hills, this adventure park offers a day full of fun. You can buy a package ticket that includes the official lunch cruise down the Loboc River but not before you fly through the jungle on your belly via a frightening, yet exhilarating zipline course.
This, however, is no standard zipline that simply plunges you through the trees at speeds too fast to enjoy the view. This zipline takes you over the jungle, and the river and even gives you a view of the Chocolate Hills. This is definitely a Go Pro-worthy adventure.
11. Panglao Island
Getting from Bohol to Panglao doesn’t require any boats, just a small bridge. Indulge in a day of pure bliss on this stunning white sand beach, where you can enjoy water activities, pamper yourself with a soothing massage, or savor refreshing cocktails at a beachfront bar. Indulge in the perfect setting for a romantic evening, where candlelit dinners await you. Delight in exquisite seafood platters featuring succulent shrimp, lobster, and fish. Consider hiring a tour boat to embark on a snorkeling adventure or joining a dive shop for an exciting underwater exploration.
With Panglao being conveniently located just a short drive away from the center of Bohol, it’s the perfect destination for a quick day trip. If you choose to spend the night, there are numerous options available for your accommodation.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Bohol: Best Areas & Hotels
Q: How can I get to Bohol, Philippines?
A: You can reach Bohol by air, with flights available from major Philippine cities like Manila and Cebu.
Q: When is the best time to visit Bohol?
A: The dry season from November to April is the best time to visit Bohol for pleasant weather and outdoor activities.
Q: Are the tarsiers in Bohol endangered?
A: Yes, the tarsiers are an endangered species, and conservation efforts are in place to protect their habitat.
Q: What water activities are available in Bohol?
A: Bohol offers a wide range of water activities, including snorkeling, diving, and island hopping.
Q: Is it safe to eat street food in Bohol?
A: While street food can be delicious, it’s advisable to exercise caution and prioritize eating at reputable food stalls and restaurants for food safety.