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The Wonders of Bohol: Experience Island Adventure in the Philippines


Traveling to Bohol

Located in the Central Visayas region, the province of Bohol ranks among the top tourist destinations in the Philippines, with the Chocolate Hills as the most popular attraction. The island is advertised almost exclusively through the images of the hills, but certainly, there is much more to see.


Tagbilaran City, the capital of Bohol, is referred to as the "City of Friendship" for obvious reasons: during the summer months of April and May, it is widely known that the locals extend their hands to welcome guests into their homes as they celebrate the feast of Saint Joseph, the city’s patron saint.


Summer is also the best time to see the Chocolate Hills in their distinctive shade of chocolate brown. Naturally, these are the months when most visitors choose to go to Bohol, therefore crowds are to be expected.


Aside from the Chocolate Hills, there are plenty of other natural treasures to explore. From seeing the world’s second-smallest primate to discovering Bohol’s rich history, we’ve put up a list of must-see attractions you shouldn’t miss. 


Let’s get started!


Best Things to Do in the Province of Bohol


Visit the Iconic Chocolate Hills


The Chocolate Hills, a geological structure of grass-covered hills that turn brown during the dry season, are what most people visualize when they think of Bohol. They appear on the 200-peso bill and are one of the country’s most recognizable landmarks.


Make your way to the town of Carmen which is the main spot for viewing the hills. Considering that the hills are scattered throughout several towns, you can still see them when touring the rural areas of the island.


In addition to your sightseeing, take an ATV ride to circle around the foothills!


Chocolate Hills

Adventures in Bohol

Take a Closer Look at the Adorable Tarsiers


Tarsier

Bohol is also recognized as home of the world’s second smallest primates, the tarsiers. These creatures with large, wide eyes primarily eat insects and spend the day largely in hiding or sleeping due to their nocturnal nature.


The Philippine Tarsier Foundation aims to protect the tarsiers as they are now vulnerable to extinction due to deforestation. Situated in Corella, PTFI developed the sanctuary to preserve these sensitive animals for future generations.


The guides will take you on a brief jungle trail where you’ll witness the tarsiers thriving in their natural environment. Not only will you meet these cuties up close, but you'll also learn more about the species. 


Still, no matter how excited you are, observe silence, no flash photography, and no touching because doing so will stress them out.


Bohol

Surrender to the Flow of the Pahangog Falls


Province of Bohol

Located in Dimiao, the Twin Falls are well hidden in the heart of the jungle. If you are a nature lover, you will truly appreciate coming here.


From the main road, we had to ride habal-habal up to the entrance of the falls. As we got closer, the more isolated it became, and at the end of the dirt road, there was a small parking lot with a sign leading us to a trail.


The trail is rough, and there are several stairs to climb down to reach the waterfalls. It will be a hike down to the falls which can be challenging for some.


As the name implies, there are two waterfalls that cascade down a limestone rock, filling a sizable pool below. It is deep enough in some areas for rock jumping but be sure to check the depth first.


Despite being quite well-known among the locals, we had the entire place to ourselves. We enjoyed and admired the nature around us without interruption.


Exploring Bohol

Having Fun in Bohol
Swimming in Pahangog Falls

Relish Panglao Island’s Stunning White Sand Beaches


Bohol's best beach destination is Panglao Island, with its easy access to pristine shores.


Renowned for its long stretch of white sand and crystal-clear waters, Alona Beach is the most popular and heavily-commercialized tourist spot on the island. Its beachfront is lined with coconut trees, boutiques, luxury hotels, bars, and restaurants.


Aside from the good times and tan lines, you may also engage in different activities, such as dolphin watching, island hopping, scuba diving, and snorkeling. 


As for us, we only stayed on the beach for swimming.


Beach in Panglao Island

Beach in Panglao Island

Fun in Panglao Island

Embrace the Tranquility in the Hinagdanan Cave


In the municipality of Dauis on Panglao Island, you'll find a naturally lit cave with an impressive number of beautiful stalagmites and stalactites – the Hinagdanan Cave.


The limestone at the bottom of the freshwater pool gives it a green tint that instantly mesmerizes visitors. The water is deep and icy cool, looking dark yet appealing.


With its serene ambiance, you wouldn't want to miss the chance to take a dip.


Stores and gift shops have also opened nearby due to the cave's rising popularity, allowing both tourists and locals to have a delicious meal before or after splashing around.


This was indeed an underground delight. Guaranteed, a must place to visit!


Hinagdanan Cave

Fun in Hinagdanan Cave

Friends in Hinagdanan Cave

Beauty of Hinagdanan Cave

Worship and Reflect in Baclayon Church


Baclayon Church

The La Purisima Concepcion de la Virgen Maria Parish Church, popularly known as Baclayon Church, is one of Bohol's stunning heritage churches. 


It was built by Spanish missionaries in the 16th century, making it one of the oldest churches in the country. The church, which has remained a vital place of worship for the local community, played a significant part in the expansion of Christianity throughout the nation. 


As a long-standing center of religious and cultural activity in the area, Baclayon Church has a significant impact on Philippine history. It serves as evidence of both the country's rich cultural heritage and the lasting impact of the Spanish colonial era. 


The church is situated along the National Road, making it easily accessible to visitors. You are welcome to visit anytime, without making reservations or paying a fee.


Exploring this historical site is a fascinating experience that will allow you to appreciate its timeless beauty, whether you consider yourself religious or are just a curious traveler.


Drive Through the Beautiful Bilar Man-made Forest


Beautiful Bilar Man-made Forest

Planted as part of a reforestation project to combat deforestation in the area, the Bilar Man-Made Forest is a 2-kilometer-long stretch of mahogany trees located between the towns of Bilar and Loboc.


This lush green forest demonstrates the power of civilization to conserve and restore the natural environment. The trees are towering and about the same height, with branches and leaves covering the sky.


Today, the Bilar Man-Made Forest is a popular destination for those who want to take in the splendor of nature. It is often a side trip for travelers heading to and from the Chocolate Hills.


Creating a scenic tunnel of trees bordering the road, it is a lovely place for both locals and tourists to relax and reconnect with nature - most of whom aim to capture Instagram-worthy shots in the middle of the road.


Nevertheless, visitors are constantly warned of its dangers, considering the speeding cars that pass by. There are no parking spots, so most of the cars are parked right on the side of the road.


Exploring the Bilar Man-made Forest

Stop by at Sikatuna’s Mirror of the World and Botanical Garden


Sikatuna’s Mirror of the World

Get your camera ready for a marvelous tour around the world!


This must-see attraction in Sikatuna offers a unique experience by showcasing some of the world-renowned landmarks in miniature form, such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.


Aside from the well-maintained park grounds with curved walkways, it also features a landscaped garden with figurines, a Japanese Koi Pond, and a cafe with a panoramic view of the entire park. 


To better suit your itinerary, pick between a morning or an afternoon tour. We, on the other hand, took an evening stroll in the park to enjoy the vibrant light display that further highlights the lovely sculptures.




Fun in Sikatuna’s Mirror of the World

Exploring Sikatuna’s Mirror of the World

Fun in Botanical Garden
Exploring the Botanical Garden

Getting Around in Bohol


You might want to hire a van to get around Bohol for a hassle-free vacation. Especially if you're traveling in a group, it is more convenient.


To travel between the major towns in Bohol, V-Hires can accommodate 10–12 passengers. Compared to buses, they offer a better level of comfort and convenience. 


Backpackers traveling alone may hire local motorcycle riders to offer them a ride. Also known as habal-habal, this would be a great option to avoid paying too much for a cab or waiting for a jeepney.


For anyone wanting control and flexibility over their trip plans, renting a vehicle is an excellent choice to see the best of Bohol at your pace and time. There are several rental options offered, including those for automobiles, motorcycles, and bicycles.


Where to Stay in Bohol


There are plenty of accommodation options ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious resorts.


High-end lodgings come with features like spas and swimming pools. Some of the best resorts are usually found on Panglao Island.


Renting a private house will work best if you would rather spend more of your budget to exploring Bohol’s tourist attractions. Several vacation properties are available throughout Anda, Panglao Island, and Tagbilaran City.


Being in a group makes it better because you can split the costs!


Local Cuisine in Bohol


Your trip will never be complete without bringing home some of Bohol's signature treats – the Kalamay and Peanut Kisses.


Kalamay is a sticky sweet delicacy made of brown sugar, coconut milk, and glutinous rice. It is traditionally sold in coconut shells tied with strips of red crepe paper, but can also be bought in small plastic tubs.


On the other hand, the delectable Peanut Kisses are made of high-quality peanuts, sugar, and egg whites. These bite-sized cookies have become a beloved treat representing Bohol's culinary heritage.


Province of Bohol: Final Thoughts


Bohol is such a pleasure to visit. It surpasses your expectations even more with your own eyes!


With its breathtaking natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and action-packed activities, it's no wonder the island is becoming one of the Philippines' top travel destinations.


I would love to return one day for another adventure, including a relaxing Loboc River cruise, diving at the Balicasag Island, and crossing the Bamboo Hanging Bridge in Tigbao.


I hope you enjoyed reading this article. May it serve as your guide as you journey through the enthralling wilderness of Bohol while embracing the spirit of exploration and making priceless memories.


Vacation in Bohol

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